Google announced last May that it intended to begin adding business interiors to Google Maps Street View. Now the first test images are rolling out. Users browsing maps will be invited into shops and offices that make use of the same 360-degree panning view that we’re used to with street view. Considering the very different nature of the content, Google has changed the way they acquire these images.
In a bit of a reversal, Google+ will reportedly be moving away from its strict real name policy and allow users to use pseudonyms. The news was apparently relayed by Google social chief Vic Gundotra himself. There is no timeline for the change, but it is likely tied to the user verification program.
If the idea of sending your shady search queries into the ether makes you a little nervous, Google is coming to the rescue with a plan to encrypt searches. In the next few weeks, users that are signed into their Google account will automatically be directed to the HTTPS search page for secure searches.
Brooke Rutledge of Lafayett County, Mississippi, is taking Facebook to task over claims the social networking site is illegally tracking user behavior, even when they're not logged into the site. At the heart of the issue is a discovery by Australian blogger Nik Cubrilovic that appears to show Facebook has the ability to track users across the Web on any page with a "Like" button or other Facebook integration.
What makes you, well, you? That’s the kind of question that can keep big-brained philosophers pondering for decades. We’re no Nietzsches here at Maximum PC, so we’ll just report on the facts, thank you very much – and the facts says Facebook thinks part of you actually belongs to them. Well, kind of. Facebook refused to turn over a complete log of the personal data the social network had collected about an activist group’s founder over the years, because apparently, the company considers some of your personal data – such as “Like” history – to be their “trade secrets or intellectual property.”
Spotify has been pulling in new users by the boatload since it appeared in America a few months ago. The announcement last week that the music streaming service was being integrated with Facebook will likely serve to swell its ranks even more. But users that decided to jump on the bandwagon now that Spotify is open to all have suddenly found that they must sign in with a Facebook account to get access.
It's all fun and games until a mime gets cold clocked for being obnoxious, and we'd be tempted ourselves to land a right hook if a street performer followed us around all day. Government workers will have to fight the urge as Google's Eric Schmidt heads to Washington to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee's antitrust subcommittee over Google's dominance in Web search. The non-profit consumer advocacy group known as the Consumer Watchdog has hired mimes to follow government workers around while wearing track suits that read "Google Track Team."
AVG is going to have to rethink its mobile application strategy if it wants its security app reinstated in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Microsoft removed the security software vendor's app from the Marketplace after learning that it might be harvesting a bit too much information from users and sending data back to AVG's servers.