Google has revealed Chromebox for Meetings, it's attempt to further push Chrome OS into the enterprise by offering a simpler way for multiple people to collaborate. Offered as a $999 kit including a Core i7 Chromebox - such as the ASUS Chromebox announced this month, though models from Dell and HP are also in the works - a noise-canceling microphone, 1080p autofocus HD camera, and double-sided remote with a QWERTY keyboard, Chromebox for Meetings plugs into an existing display or projector and can, Google claims, be up and running in minutes. We caught up with Google to find out more.
Facebook has turned ten, and though the terrible teens are still a few years off, the predators are already circling. The social site celebrated its tenth birthday in a fairly low-key way, giving each user a custom highlights video dubbed "A Look Back" picking out their most popular moments on the site, but the anniversary has been overshadowed by the ongoing trademark spat with app developer FiftyThree over who gets to use the name "Paper". It's perhaps a perfect example of how to many Facebook is now perceived: lumbering heavyweight rather than agile upstart.
Spherical panorama images have become a popular stitching activity among photo-takers, and as a result some smartphones and applications have cropped up that can make them. The process can still be tricky, however, and that's where Ricoh's Theta camera came in, making the process simple. Starting today, an apps update for the camera simplifies another process: posting images to Google+ and Google Maps.
Fans of the West Wing - and of getting greater insight into how the US government ticks - will be excited to hear that today is Big Block of Cheese Day, with the Obama Administration throwing open the virtual doors and answering public questions across social networks. Named after the fictitious day when West Wing's President Bartlet and staff took questions from special interest groups, however wacky, according to The White House the real thing will be playing out today across Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, and Instagram.
Google has added a new category view to Google+, effectively turning the contentious service into a socially-curated news reader to take on Flipboard, Pulse, and others. Dubbed Google+ Explore, and initially available both on the desktop and in the Android app, the new view combines shared posts and content, communities related to particular topics, and popular "What's Hot" stories that have been highlighted by other Google+ users.
This afternoon Google services Gmail and Google+ appeared to be down as marked by inaccessibility by the masses starting in at around 1PM CST. While the beginning of this inaccessibility did not show markets on Google's Apps Status Dashboard, reports from across the United States showed a similar "Temporary Error (500)" reading. This downtime seemed to permeate Google's social network as well, with messages falling short through Google+ Hangouts starting at around 1PM CST as well.
Yesterday, news surfaced of an annoying and somewhat unanticipated so-called hijacking of hotel links within Google+ Local accounts by yet-unknown spammers. When clicked, the compromised links took prospective customers to a third-party book service. Whether the third-party services were responsible for the compromised accounts or another entity entirely -- someone operating under an affiliate account sees most likely, in that scenario -- also isn't yet known.
YouTube revealed last fall that Google+ would be integrated into its comment system, causing a sweeping overhaul to the video service and forcing many onto Google's social network. The change went live by early November, and with the changes came a user outcry on multiple levels -- from those who resented being pushed onto Google+, and from creators who found managing comments unnecessarily difficult as a result.
This week Google’s Chairman has suggested that we’re officially over the hump. Speaking with Bloomberg TV about his predictions for 2014, Google’s voice has suggested that while we’ve been moving toward a mobile computing environment for the past several years, we’re now at a point where mobile “has won”, with “more tablets and phones being sold than personal computers, people are moving toward this new architecture very fast.”
The same service you’ve been using with your smartphone for several months is hitting the desktop world this week with Google+ Auto Backup. This software ships - strangely enough - with the newest version of Picasa, uploading your photos automatically from a certain directory to your Google+ social networking account. This service works with photos that are 2048pixels on their longest end unless you’d like to devote Google Drive space to the effort.
As part of Google+'s AutoAwesome feature, users can get videos generated from their pictures and other similar features. Today, Google's Anil Sabharwal announced that as part of this, Google+ users are getting a "holiday gift": automatically-created year in review videos based on content uploaded to Google+ throughout 2013. The video will be auto-generated for any user who qualifies.