Posts Tagged google

Yet (another) reason why I don’t like Google…

As someone who uses a computer on a daily basis to do my work (you tend to do that as a computer engineer and consultant), I have various Operating Systems installed and I also have various browsers installed. One of those browsers happens to be Google Chrome. Admittedly I rarely use it as I most frequent IE – and no it’s not because I’m a Microsoft “Fan Boy” or an MVP, I just find it easier to use, not to mention most websites are designed for it (for whatever reason)…Anyways, today I went out to get a new mouse mat as my new desk is reflective and my infrared mouse won’t track anywhere on it…Upon my return home, I was greeted with the following in my system tray:

google update or not

Hmm, “There’s a new version of Google Chrome available…Try it out (already installed)”. Ok, bells and whistles. New version, but it’s already installed you say…Did you install it or did I? If I did, is there really a new version? Is this from Google or is it some sort of Malware/Spyware and maybe my Security Essentials definitions are out of date…Let’s try the link and see what that returns (for those wondering, the link points to http://www.google.com/support/chrome/bin/answer.py?answer=150752).  Essentially that page says:

When Google Chrome hasn’t been used for an extended period of time, you may see a little pop-up appear on your screen, asking whether you want to give the latest version of the browser a try or whether you want to uninstall the browser from your computer. Since Google Chrome updates itself automatically, you’ll have a new and improved version of the browser waiting for you to try if you select the first option. If you decide that you’d rather not use Google Chrome, you can uninstall it. We hope you’ll tell us why in the survey you’ll get as part of the uninstall process.

Wow, so essentially that means Google has installed code on my system (even though when I installed it I wasn’t made aware of this nor did I have a choice to disable what is the “Google Update Service (gupdate)”). So similar to a time bomb, just waiting to go off, as it has today they have installed a service…Interesting as these guys are the ones who say Internet Explorer is doing wrong by being part of the Operating System…Last time I checked, I had options with Internet Explorer as to what it did, how often it did things and least of all, when it was running (and moreover, what data it is sending and when)…

So, Google, want to tell us what else your “Google Update Service (gupdate)” might be doing? I know one thing’s for sure…You won’t be getting any more data from my machine, as there is no more Chrome on it…

Oh, by the way, I uninstalled Chrome, yet guess what, you’re “Google Update Service (gupdate)” service is still there, albeit in the definition of it, it clearly states:

Keeps your Google software up to date. If this service is disabled or stopped, your Google software will not be kept up to date, meaning security vulnerabilities that may arise can’t be fixed and features may not work. This service uninstalls itself when there is no Google software using it.

Aah, how marketing companies like to lie, lie and lie again.

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Quickbooks SimpleStart’s “extras” you probably don’t want

Anyone starting up their own business needs Accounting software of some sort of another.  Recently here in the UK, Microsoft discontinued their Office Accounting package which was a nice, easy to use package that didn’t cost an arm and a leg.  It has recently been handed over to Mamut consulting who charge an annual fee, which isn’t so nice if you have the package doing what you need it do to (sure software assurance is nice, but that’s why you have the software upgrade option too).  What does this leave you with then?  Hopefully hosted Dynamics soon, but for now, not in the UK, so you’ve got Intuit QuickBooks and they have various versions from a “Quick Start” at £90 to a Premier at £450.  However, for the new startups, they’ve got SimpleStart which is a FREE (yep, free) version of Quick Books.  It’s limitations:

  • 20 customers & suppliers
  • Minimised functionality

Still, not too bad if you’re just starting out, right?  They’re website even says:

With QuickBooks, "free" means anything but watered down. The QuickBooks SimpleStart Free Edition has all the great SimpleStart functionality – but it’s built specifically for businesses with fewer than 20 customers and suppliers. Download & use it free – for as long as it fits your business needs

Aah, if only, right.  Download the SimpleStart installer and as it unpackages itself, let’s have a look:

intuit quickbooks free google desktop

Wait, what’s that say?  Extracting googledesktopsetup.exe – and interesting enough it says above “…files needed to install SimpleStart Free Starter…”, I didn’t know Google Desktop was needed for this free version to be installed.  I thought it was free and not watered down Quicken?  Why do you need to package it with extra software?  You could at least tell us you’re doing this like Adobe does…Naughty!

Summary: Those of you attempting to use this SimpleStart edition, user beware as if it’s packaged with Google Desktop (which is probably out of date unless they keep repackaging the MSI – opening potential security vulnerabilities), one can only wonder what else is inside the .msi…

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Get On ‘Yer Bike (Trike) Google

get on your bike google

As if they aren’t in the news enough already for upsetting China and blaming Microsoft for a zero-day flaw in IE:

<soapbox>

By the way Google, I quote from the MSRC:

Based on our comprehensive monitoring of the threat landscape, we continue to see only limited attacks. To date, the only successful attacks that we are aware of have been against Internet Explorer 6.

We continue to recommend that customers update to Internet Explorer 8 to benefit from the improved security protection it offers.

And, albeit that the successful attacks are only confirmed against IE6, they’re still going to patch it, and they’ll even talk about it:

Please join us Thursday, January 21 at 1:00 p.m. PST for a public webcast where we will present information on the bulletin and take customer questions. Registration information:

Date: Thursday Jan 21
Time: 1:00 p.m. PST (UTC -8)
Registration: http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032440627

And interestingly enough Google, in your own blog post Thursday May 14, 2009 you state:

We work hard to keep our users safe and secure when using our applications, and we believe that making sure users have the latest software available using automatic updates is a key component of that.

Guess what, Microsoft suggest that and does that too, and if you were updated (similar to your suggestions above), you’d have IE 8 which is safer than Chrome and this attack wouldn’t have been such a big marketing hoo rah for you, but at any rate, I digress…

</soapbox>

Google have a bloke on a push bike riding around the UK taking imagery of the National and Historic landmarks…Quite an interesting contraption and if you’re interested more in imagery of this bloke on his pusher, visit the BBC’s In-Pictures review.

If you’re interested in the aforementioned rant about Internet Explorer, I ask you…Which version of IE are you running?  If you’re not running IE 8, why?  Do you not take your car in for service and make sure it’s “up to date”? When you go for an MOT each year to ensure you’re “safe” on the roads, do you not have to do what they suggest to make your car roadworthy?

Microsoft Update is your MOT and your service call all in one…Best of all, it’s free of charge 🙂

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Google seems on the back foot

In an attempt to try and take more of the browser war, in a potential (what I’m guessing) effort to help bolster their anticipation for their new Chrome OS (and potentially Wave – see later), Google now realises their “footprint” isn’t as large as it seems and has put on what I’d call a heavy marketing effort…Over the New Year, I visited London only to be inundated with loads of Google Chrome adverts all over the London Underground:

google long adverts LUL

They were in almost every underground station as well as in Piccadilly Circus and other various locations in London.  According to W3Schools:

W3Schools is a website for people with an interest for web technologies. These people are more interested in using alternative browsers than the average user. The average user tends to use Internet Explorer, since it comes preinstalled with Windows. Most do not seek out other browsers.

These facts indicate that the browser figures above are not 100% realistic. Other web sites have statistics showing that Internet Explorer is used by at least 80% of the users.

It seems that 80% of most users today use IE in some way, shape or form.  Furthermore, what is interesting is if we look at Google’s ad:

google advert specifics

Down at the bottom it clearly reads:

A fast, new browser made for everyone

Also in their advert it says 6 tabs open, 0 crashes and 1 browser.  Well, I’m sure they’re aware, all browsers these days do tabs and rarely crash, unless you’re doing something dodgy with them.  However, when dissecting the “fast” bit, maybe Google HQ filters out Microsoft pages, as here is an interesting one to visit:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer/get-the-facts/mythbusting.aspx

Interestingly enough, Myth 1 goes in to detail about speed and actually says that most web pages today, the speed differentiation is minimal if at all even there.  And, for those of you that say – Justin – you sing the Microsoft praises and that’s a Microsoft page, surely it’s going to have tainted facts, try visiting this independent third party review:

http://saunderslog.com/2008/09/02/head-to-head-chrome-vs-ie-8/

And, yes while his review does point out that IE was consuming more memory, his tests were with the initial launch of IE 8 on Vista.  If you look at IE 8 on Windows 7, you’ll find it utilises around 50MB, less than that of Chrome.

So, in summary?  I’m not saying Chrome isn’t going to take a chunk of the browsing market from Microsoft, but I think Google is realising with this mass marketing exercise that they aren’t the entirely big powerhouse they thought they originally were and when launching Chrome their anticipated numbers weren’t what they wanted them to be (and based on looking at this advert, it assumedably is trying to tie Chrome in with their new Wave offering as well as Chrome OS – lines 2, 4, and 5?).  Surely, watch this space, but until Chrome makes browsing *easier*, not faster (because in all actuality, it isn’t boys, is it – be honest), the mass majority of the public will continue using IE.

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More reasons to Bing. Google is off air…

So, for those of you still on the fence between Bing and Google, try going to http://www.google.co.uk now…..Oh wait, you can’t.  However, you can get to http://www.bing.com and get the information you need.  Yet another reason to Bing things in lieu of Googling 🙂

Happy Bing-ing!

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Bing hopes to topple Yahoo! and take on Google

Microsoft is re-launching their search engine, promising to make search simpler, and aiming to overhaul Yahoo.

Re-named and re-branded Bing.com, the search engine will go live first in the US and launch in beta elsewhere.

Google has more than 64% of the search market in the US, followed by Yahoo at 20% and Microsoft at 8.2%.

Bing offers to make search more relevant by understanding the intention of searches, and grouping more related information to the original query….

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Is Google Undo Send really that big of a deal?

googlemail In what is still "beta" (I question that sometimes of Google – when does there software ever get out of beta stage), they have now proclaimed a NEW feature – Undo Send.  What exactly does it do?  Well, if we break it down, it does the same thing Outlook has let you do for ages.  Think before sending your email.  If you click send and then mull over your deep inner thoughts thinking, OH *!?*@, I shouldn’t have sent that, usually it’s too late.  However, what Google have done is given you an extra 5 seconds to think about it after sending.  Gee whiz, thanks Google.  Let’s look at this in Outlook now:

We open up Rules and Alerts (under the tools menu) and create a new rule:

outlook-step1

Hmm…check messages after sending:

outlook-step2

Defer delivery by a number of minutes, lets say 5

outlook-step3

Give it a sensible name and ensure you turn on the rule:

outlook-step4 

Presto, we have the same functionality in Outlook.  Wow Google, that was hard.  Maybe someone should teach you about AJAX and potentially how to put in a 15 second META-REFRESH which would allow you to do the same thing?

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Google uses less energy than the rest of us?

In today’s news, it seems Google has found ways to use energy that no one else has found.  Their data centre’s seem to use less energy than other’s:

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/10/saving-electricity-one-data-center-at.html

Wonder what kind of cooling they use or what servers they have that we don’t?

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If Google won’t do it, we will

Ah, the joys of the Internet, free speech and the way people are the way they are.  What am I on about?  A week or so ago, I posted about Google’s new Chrome Browser (and the pretty comic book they deployed with it).  One of the main complaints I had about it was there was no Mac version and it was “coming soon”.  Well, don’t give computer geeks what they want and, well, they’ll develop it themselves.  Queue CrossOver Chromium.

CrossOver Chromium is a proof-of-concept release using Wine to show how the Google Chrome browser does work and can easily be ported to the Mac platform.  CrossOver says they did this to prove a point.  It seems Google would like to run Chrome natively in Mac OSX and not via CrossOver and they were after the Windows market first…however, here’s just to show it can be done.

Good on ya CrossOver.

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Browsers and Petrol

So today in the UK we’ve been told that the raw price of petrol has dropped 25% yet we’re paying more.  Recently here at 227 Volts we’ve been talking about beta browsers.  What do those two have to do with the price of fish?  Petrol makes you go and browsing is all about who can go fast, so here we go…who goes fastest?

Read the rest of this entry »

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