While most web service companies work day and night to lock you in, Google has always maintained funding to its Data Liberation Front to help you do the exact opposite. One of the principles that have always made us admire Google is their commitment to making it as easy to leave a web service as it was to join, and today they are adding an important new expansion. As of now, YouTube users can download the original (non-transcoded) version of any clip they have uploaded to the service in the past, or in the future.
A job a Google nets you free food, benefits for your spouse and kids should you drop dead at the keyboard, and even a salary that is second to none. All of these perks add up to make a job at Google one of the most coveted prizes for the modern geek, and yet, not every position is so glorious. A recent “Tech Confessional” exposed by BuzzFeed gave the chilling account of an ex-Googler was hired on contract to look at the very worst of the Internet so you don’t have to.
The rise of the smartphone camera mixed with the ability to freely post video visible to anybody in the world has the power to shake nations, as we've seen around the globe in recent years. It also has a chilling side effect: dissenters are now easier than ever to identify and track down, as we saw vigilante groups doing following the London riots. Dictator haters have a little less to worry about now, as Google has added a free, easy-to-use face blurring tool to YouTube.
The Internet community is obsessed with cats, so if you're going to build a neural network consisting of 16,000 computer processors designed to simulate the human brain, then what better task is there than to have it scour the Web for felines? Researchers from Google's X laboratory saw the logic in doing exactly that, and remarkably, the massive neural network actually taught itself to recognize the Internet's favorite type of furball with surprising accuracy.
Remember Karen H. Klein, the upstate New York school bus monitor driven to tears from a barrage of mean spirited insults and taunts from a group of middle school kids? The Internet community at large hasn't forgotten, and continues to donate to what was originally intended to be a $5,000 fund to send Ms. Klein on a "vacation of a lifetime," but quickly ballooned into what will likely end up a tax free retirement fund worth at least $650,000.
Fair warning if you woke up in an exceptionally good mood today and don't want anything to ruin it. Stop reading right here, right now. Seriously. I'm even tossing in a throwaway sentence to give your brain a chance to communicate with your eyeballs to divert your attention elsewhere (here's a fine piece on the science behind Nigerian scams). Still reading? You were warned.
One of the latest videos to go viral on YouTube shows a group of middle school kids relentlessly taunting and verbally abusing Karen Klein, a 68-year-old school bus monitor who tries her best to ignore the insults but is ultimately driven to tears. It gets worse (and better).
Strange things happen on the Internet all the time. The art of RickRolling was -- and for some, still is -- one of them, whereby for a short period of time it became vogue to trick people into visiting Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" video on YouTube. Even more strange than RickRolling becoming a thing is the fact that AVG Technologies managed to convince YouTube to pull the popular video yesterday.
Good news for 3D monitor owners: now, you can watch Gabriel Iglesias and the Epic Meal Time guys shove a Bacon-weave and McNugget-covered cake into their faces and feel like you are right in the room with them! How, you ask? With a little love from Google! Starting today, any short-form 1080p video found on YouTube can be converted to 3D on the fly.
Consumers downloaded the Windows 8 Consumer Preview over a million times in less than 24 hours, but we're willing to bet that the majority of those downloads came from the technically inclined rather than, say, your parents. The tech world has already proclaimed what it likes and doesn't like in Windows 8 -- but do everyday people really care if W8 has an enhanced contact app?
It began with a simple posting on Google TV's Facebook page late Saturday night: "Get ready for Monday, we have some big announcements!" Within minutes, the tech blogosphere was alight with speculation. Could it be a Sonos-killing streaming media device? Maybe a TV version of Google Nexus? Some other type of new hardware? A software update? Nope. The announcement has been made, and the news was something nobody saw coming.