Google Maps adds Bicycling as Mode of Transportation

Almost everyone uses Google Maps to get directions. There is an option to choose whether you are traveling by car, public transit or walking to the destination. By choosing a particular mode of transportation it would then give you the directions and the estimated time. Now even Bicycle has been added to the list.

Thus for all bike lovers, now Google Maps is Bike Friendly. Though it doesn’t seem to work everywhere, but mostly does in and around San Francisco. I wanted to head from Golden Gate Bridge to the Golden Gate Park, so I selected Bicycling and it gave me the directions and even an estimated time.

It is currently in BETA and Google is asking user feedback on the directions listed and any unmapped bike routes that is not suited for cycling.

UPDATE : Google posted a video of how bicycle directions work.

Google Ads before video on YouTube

There is a popular saying about ads and Google that if ads are a bubble then so is Google. Google’s maximum revenue comes from advertisements . Infact 90% of their income is due to ads. Google has tasted success when dealing with ads and this time they placed ads on YouTube.

You might think that YouTube already hosts quite a few ads on the top right corner of the browser, which is quite true. But now in some videos , a Google Ad will play before the actual video. After the ad , the video will be played as normal.

Though Google claims to keep ads and content separate but this time the concept went haywire.The better part being that it does not play third party ads. For example : While watching an ad related to the Oscars, a Google Chrome ad was played before the video and then came in the video ( Sandra Bullock Interview ) .

Guess this was just an experiment by Google and not a permanent feature.


Vulnerability in Google Picasa

The folks at Secunia discovered a vulnerability in Picasa which can be exploited by malicious people to potentially compromise a user’s system.

According to them , the vulnerability is caused due to an integer overflow error in PicasaPhotoViewer.exe when processing JPEG files. This can be exploited to cause a heap-based buffer overflow by tricking a user into opening a specially crafted JPEG file and e.g. zooming in.

Successful exploitation may allow execution of arbitrary code.The vulnerability is confirmed in PicasaPhotoViewer.exe version 3.6.95.25, included in Google Picasa 3.6 build 95.25. Prior versions may also be affected.

To be on the safer side, update your Picasa version to 3.6 build 105.41.

Apple iPad available April 3

Apple on Friday rolled out the following schedule :

1.The iPad Wi-Fi model will be available April 3.

2.Wi-Fi and 3G models available late April.

3.All iPad models will be available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the U.K. in late April.

4.Preorders for all versions start March 12 for pickup April 3.

Are you going to get one? Do leave behind your comments.

Visual Tabs brings cover flow to Chrome

If you are dazzled by the cover flow of websites feature that Safari 4 has to offer, but love the rest of the experience of Google Chrome, then take a look at Visual Tabs . Visual Tabs is a Chrome extension, which tries to bring cover flow to Chrome.

It is not a start page replacement. It pops up from the top just like other extensions do. It does not provide a 3D wall. After installing it you could look at all your opened tabs in cover flow style. You have a scroll bar down below for easier navigation.

You have different colors to choose from so that you could change the background. The size of the pop up box is also good. You could download it from here.

Apple removes WiFi Scanners from the App Store

Apple is really beating the ban hammer on both the developers as well as the users. They have removed so many apps this past month and are still going on. The latest plan being to remove WiFi Scanners from the App Store. Maybe Apple is tired of so many Apps available and wants to defragment the Store.

 3 Jacks Software on its blog said –

“We received a very unfortunate email today from Apple stating that WiFi-Where has been removed from sale
on the App Store for using private frameworks to access wireless information,”

Even WifiTrak a popular WiFi scanner has been removed today.

Apple wants to prevent users hook up their iPhones illegally to an open, unsecured connections. For some reasons it is better for the security of the device. Or there could even be a technical problem with the 802.11 radio functionality.

AppVersal Ad

Google Chrome update brings in Automatic Translation

Google Chrome was updated to version 4.1.249.1021 . This new version allows users to get a feel of Chrome 5 before actually jumping to it. Chrome 5 is still in development therefore Google threw in an update to Chrome Beta Build so that users could try Chrome 5 features.

The new features include :-

* Automatic translation of web pages – If a user is viewing a web page which is in a language different from the one preferred by the user, then the user would have the option of translating the page using Google Translate. Google says it’s a step towards making “all the world’s information universally accessible in an easy, frictionless way.”

* A Privacy option has been added to the Chrome options dialog which offers the user the feature to control whether websites can load images, use JavaScript , use plug-ins or store cookies. You can access this by going to Options > Under the Hood > Privacy .

Apple sues HTC

Apple has sued HTC for infringing 20 iPhone patents. Earlier this year Apple and Nokia were fighting over similar issues.
Seems that the competition between the Nexus One and the iPhone has heated up a lot.

“We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We’ve decided to do something about it,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.”

UPDATE : HTC comments on the case:

We only learned of Apple’s actions based on your stories and Apple’s press release. We have not been served any papers yet so we are in no position to comment on the claims. We respect and value patent rights but we are committed to defending our own innovations. We have been innovating and patenting our own technology for 13 years.


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