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Google Latitude Now Available for iPhone

google-latitude-iphoneThe world’s largest online search company, Google, today made available its Google Latitude application for Apple iOS devices [iTunes], after the app was approved by Apple for use in its iOS powered devices like the company’s hugely successful iPhone smartphone.

Google Latitude is a social location sharing service that allows friends to show their current location in real-time through their mobile device, which is displayed in Google Maps, for all of their approved friends to see.

The service is entirely opt-in; with privacy features that ensure not just any person could see your location.

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Google Cloud Connect syncs Google Docs with Microsoft Office

google logoMany people have their own unique preferences when it comes to using software, and historically that has presented various challenges such as compatibility issues across different platforms, and formatting inconsistencies when opening documents in different versions of word processing applications, among other challenges.

Google today announced the availability of a new product, Google Cloud Connect, in beta, that will make it easier for people using Google Docs and Microsoft Office to collaborate on working with documents.

The application seamlessly works between Google Docs and Microsoft Office to synchronize changes to documents made by different editors in close to real-time.

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Google Board Approves Hefty Executive Compensation Raises


The world’s largest online search company, Google, significantly increased employee payouts effective January 1, 2011, according to a public 8-K securities and exchange (SEC) filing published late last week by the company.

The Google Board of Directors approved the hefty increase in base salaries with added stock options for top-level executives at the company.

Four executives, including Patrick Pichette (Senior VP, CFO), Nikesh Arora (President, Sales & Business Development), Alan Eustace (Senior VP, Engineering, and Jonathan Rosenberg (Senior VP, Product Management), will all receive a significant 30-percent increase in their respective base salaries, bringing their new annual base salaries to $650,000.

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Ask.com search engine concedes defeat, to shut down

ask-searchThe California-based online search engine, Ask.com, which launched over ten years ago in 1996, has announced the company would discontinue its web-based search business, citing intensifying competition from top rivals like Google.

Ask.com will be transitioned into a question & answer online community with search functionalities, and the ability for members to post questions targeted directly to other community members who could post their own replies.

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Google adds screenshot previews of websites on search results

googleThe world’s largest search engine in the world, Google, has made available a new tool called Instant Previews to its search results, allowing users to see screen-shot previews of web pages directly from the search results.

Google Instant Previews works by adding a simple magnifying glass beside the title of each result, and when clicked by the user, it displays a screen shot of the webpage.

The company says it will cache popular pages from popular websites for the previews, and for other websites, it will generate the screenshot on the fly.

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Dell to replace BlackBerry corporate phones with Android, Windows Phone 7

The computer tech giant, Dell Corporation, will be abandoning RIM’s BlackBerry smartphone platform, in favor of its own smartphones that are powered by Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 operating system, and Google’s Android mobile OS.

The company will start by replacing 25,000 BlackBerry smartphones with the company’s own Venture Pro smartphone, the company’s latest Windows Phone 7 device. Dell will later give employees the option of using smartphones powered by Google Android.

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Google to reward programmers who find security flaws

googleThe online search and advertising giant, Google, has announced it would offer financial compensation to programmers who identify security flaws on Google-owned web properties, including the company’s video sharing site YouTube, and its social network Orkut.

The compensation ranges from $500 to $3,133.70 per identified security flaw, with the payout dependent on the severity of the risk identified as measured by a systematic process developed by the company.

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Two top-level Google executives, including YouTube CEO, to leave their positions

In the last few days alone, two top-level executives at the world’s largest online search company, Google, announced they would be stepping down from their posts due to personal reasons.

Chad Hurley, now 33 years old, was the first executive to announce he would step down from his position as the chief executive officer at YouTube, the same company he founded which was later acquired by the search giant for $1.65-billion in an all cash deal.

Mr. Hurley founded YouTube along with co-founders Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, who also had positions at Google but later left the company.

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Google, HTC, Samsung, Motorola slapped with new Android patent infringement lawsuit

The France-based digital security firm, Gemalto Corp, has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Google, Samsung, High Tech Computer (HTC) Corporation, and Motorola, in a U.S. District Court in Texas, in a case relating to alleged patent infringement with Google’s mobile operating system, Google Android.

The patents in question relate to the Google Dalvik virtual machine, a technology that converts and executes Java apps on its Android operating system.

The virtual machine firstly converts .class Java apps to Dalvik Executable files and then executes the files to run the apps more efficiently on memory sensitive devices such as smartphones.

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Google to remove key features from Google Groups pages

Google has announced the company would disable important Google Groups functionalities effective February 2011.

Google Groups essentially allows people to create and manage niche groups across many categories, allowing others to join and post information.

The company says it will be removing the ability to edit pages and to upload new files to groups starting early next year.

Administrators who make edits to pages, or upload new files before the deadline, will be able to keep the changes and files, but will not be able to make any further changes after the February deadline.

Google made the announcement by sending a mass email to group administrators. The message wrote “[those who] would like to keep the content currently on the pages and files sections of your group, we highly encourage you to export and migrate it to another product”, warning after the February deadline, the content would no longer be available.

The company has plans to integrate Google Sites with Google Groups, hinting the current functions would be replaced with others as part of another integrated product.

The tech giant did not provide any other more specific information relating to its decision to remove key features used on the service.

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