Around the IT Industry 8/6-8/10

by Modis on August 10, 2012

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Google to Feature E-Mail Information in Searches

Google has begun an initiative to feature users’ e-mails in their searches with the company’s popular search engine. Currently available only as a limited opt-in option for Google account holders, the program will allow the search engine to poll the user’s personal Gmail account for relevant items and display those results in a collapsed format alongside the web-based search results. While this could be a major boon to people who want to use Google accounts for the bulk of their e-mail, documents, and browsing session, others are concerned about the potential privacy issues inherent in making personal e-mail documents searchable via the company’s website.

Microsoft’s Newest Browser Going Off-Track by Default

The default browser included in Microsoft’s new Windows 8 operating system, Internet Explorer 10, has caused quite a stir amongst the advertising and analytics industry due to a simple option in the browser being enabled by default. What browser option has these industry giants so concerned? The ‘Do Not Track’ option that prevents websites from monitoring a browser’s traffic patterns and reporting it back to the site’s owners, thus allowing them to cater advertising and other options specifically to target that user.

Google Fiber Threatens Cable Television

Google’s bold plan to bring fiber optic-based Internet and television services to major cities around America is beginning to make landfall and, while the incumbent cable giants are certainly still on top, Google’s new program could endanger their interests as Google recovers some of the capital invested in the program’s launch. The program currently requires a hefty setup fee for customers wanting to enjoy the service to the tune of $300 for installation and then another $120 per month for the service. What they get for these prices, however, is nothing short of awe-inspiring: Internet access with no data cap restrictions at speeds over 170 times faster than the national average, a 2 terabyte DVR capable of recording 500 hours of programming and up to 8 shows simultaneously, and access to a considerable range of television stations (though currently the service lacks some of the bigger names in television such as ESPN, Fox News, and AMC among others). As the market for Google’s fiber-optic service grows, expect prices to fall and the cable companies to scurry for a solution to promote their own offerings over Google’s.

Google Backs Asteroid-Based Mining Project, Other Billionaires Follow

Planetary Resources, Inc. is a Seattle-based startup company that plans to utilize robotic mining machines to harvest large quantities of precious metals such as platinum from asteroids. The program plans to deploy a surveyor satellite within the next two years to begin identifying and prospecting high-priority sites for the company’s mining machines. This bold startup program has drawn the attention of many high-profile investors including Google CEO Larry Page and Chairman Eric Schmidt as well as Ross Perot Jr. and more. While co-founder Eric Anderson has stated that an IPO could be in the company’s future, there are no plans to make the company publicly available at this time.

Are People Without Facebook Accounts Suspicious?

With Facebook’s meteoric rise to dominance in the social media industry, boasting in excess of 900 million users, people have begun to view those rare individuals who are not connected to the media monolith in some way as suspicious. A German news story was flagged by Slashdot that notes several mass murderers in recent history were largely withdrawn from social media. Perhaps more concerning is the growing notion amongst employers that job hunters and current employees without a Facebook account must be hiding something. Even ex-employees of Facebook can’t seem to stay away forever, as Katherine Losse discovered not long after leaving, citing: “You can’t get away from it. It’s everything. It’s everywhere.”

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