Nevada Passed Law For Driverless Cars

Somewhat an exciting news for the state of Nevada, but to us all it’s probably a really cool news even though many of us obviously from other states — it’s about Nevada passed a new law which sets forth how might its Department of Transportation regulates driverless cars.  Yes, you heard me right, driverless cars are probably in the making somewhere in automakers’ test labs or Google’s test labs of all things, but Nevada is preparing for such technology which prompts me to think that Nevada knows something that we don’t.

Are they?  The folks in Nevada are ready themselves for a future which will be here soon where cars are driving themselves?  We know this is so doable since Google in the past years or last year has demonstrated such capability by having successful driverless car demonstrations (i.e., if my memory serves me well).  Cheers!

I think this technology is very awesome since we don’t really have to fly in order for us to munch on snacks and doze off carelessly!  In fact, you can text messages to your heart’s content on any road trip, wether that be cross country adventure or a dash to a local mall.  I don’t know how safe driverless cars will be, but I hope this technology will allow less accidents and safer road and highway traveling.  Until then, I guess I’m crossing my fingers and hope my state too will prepare for such a future as how Nevada has done so!

Source:  http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/23/nevada-prepares-itself-for-the-imminent-rise-of-driverless-cars/

Google Chrome 12 Stable Version Will Scan For Malicious Downloads

I’m happy to know that Google Chrome newest stable version yet which is Chrome 12 can now automatically scan for malicious downloads.  According to USAToday, Chrome 12 boasts that it will not need to know the malicious web destinations ahead of time, and yet it will be able to detect malicious downloads.  So, it sounds Chrome 12 is super safe!  Still, some hackers out there may eventually know how to circumvent Google Chrome’s newest yet battle strategy. For now though, don’t we love nothing more than a browser such as Chrome to exhibit such amazing security feature?  I think so, because with Chrome 12 we may feel surfing the web and downloading data somewhat safer than what not.

If one day the browsers can replace all security software, that will be the day that I’m truly happy!  No longer anybody needs to download a bunch of security software to hog evermore computer’s resources.  No longer anybody needs to buy even more security software just to know later they still can be hacked as usual.  It will be a death knell for many security software if light weight browsers can be configured to prevent computer viruses and malware.  Firewall?  Sure, a browser can become a user interface for IPTables for Linux users.  Imagine that eh?  How about such a browser can also configure Windows’ firewall with preset safest firewall settings?  Don’t worry, such browsers will allow users to modify security rules of Windows’ firewall down to the tiniest detail so whatever specifications and needs will be met.

You see, Chrome is heading in the direction that I have to say, “I’m loving it!”  You see, it doesn’t matter if a computer has installed the best security software.  When a user downloads something destructive, the security software has only one chance of identifying such malicious download; we know more than often, many security software tend to miss the mark completely, especially with those zero-day exploits.  The truth is that no antivirus software can boast for sure that they will catch 100% of all virus types out there in the wild.  As Internet connection gets faster, the needs for downloads will increase many more folds.  It’s obvious that we will get infect by virus easily if we are not evermore vigilant about our downloading behaviors.  So, in the end I don’t see that many differences between a browser with capability of detecting computer viruses versus an antivirus software.  The big difference is that a browser may likely be free of charge, but most antivirus software come with decent price tags.

Chrome 12 has other new features too, but I let you read them at USAToday’s “Google Chrome 12 is now stable release.”  You don’t have to wait for Google to push the update to your browser automatically, because now you can venture directly to Google Chrome’s website and download the newest stable version.  Don’t forget to install it after you download it, eh?  I think by installing the latest version, the older version will be overwritten automatically.  Just make sure you actually quit Chrome before the installation of the newest yet stable version of Chrome begins.

Source:  http://content.usatoday.com/communities/technologylive/post/2011/06/google-chrome-12-is-now-stable-release/1?csp=34tech&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+usatoday-TechTopStories+%28Tech+-+Top+Stories%29

A Review Of Chrome OS: My Chrome OS Inside VirtualBox Adventure

Taking the cues from my reading of ZDNet’s “How to install Google’s Chrome OS,” I used VirtualBox to test out Chrome OS which is a nightly build of someone else which can be found at chromeos.hexxeh.net/vanilla.php.  As ZDNet suggests, if you don’t really know how to program and compile source code, it’s best to use Chrome OS Vanilla version from Hexxeh.  So how does it feel to use Chrome OS?

Even though I used a virtual machine environment such as Virtualbox, yet Chrome OS was able to boot in a second or less.  I couldn’t really count the short duration it took to boot up since the whole boot process happened so fast; it felt as if I got a working operating system instantly on a fresh boot.  At the very first boot of Chrome OS, it asked me to connect to a network.  For some strange reasons, the default network setting I picked the first time around with VirtualBox was not recognized by Chrome OS, and so I could not go beyond the network setting screen.  Sighed, I shut off the virtual machine, got back out, and configured the network setting of VirtualBox.

What I did was I enabled at least four (i.e., if I remember this correctly) virtual network virtual adapters, and each one used a slightly different settings.  For an example, the first one used plain NAT with type of PCnet-FAST III (AM79C973).  The second, third, and fourth network virtual adapters were configured with different virtual hardware types and settings.  My case, it was one of the adapter with setting of eth0 and possibly either an Intel PRO/1000 MT Server(82545EM) or Paravirtualized Network (virtio-net) that did it for me.  Anyhow, Chrome OS inside VirtualBox environment was able to pick a compatible network adapter among the ones that I had enabled to move me forward in setting up Chrome OS.

I probably forgot how exactly it played out with the next step after the network setting, but I remembered that I had to create a new Google account so I could use Chrome OS.  Obviously, I could have sign in with my frequently used Google account, but as being a security paranoid freak, I decided it was better to create a new Google account for Chrome OS testing purpose.  After all, it was my first time to dance with whoever responsible for the compiling of Chrome OS into a vanilla solution so one could just attach it as an existing hard drive to VirtualBox machine, and so it was typical of me to play safe by using a brand new Google account.

Inside Chrome OS, it felt as if I’m using a Chrome browser, only!  The little tool icon that Chrome has always had on the top right was presented inside Chrome OS.  I clicked on that and went into Settings.  Lo and behold, I noticed there were couple extra features that only Chrome OS would have and Chrome browser could never have.  Actually, the Chrome browser has it as Preferences, and Chrome OS has it as Settings.  Inside Settings, I saw the option of System; which I clicked and saw you could configure date and time and touchpad and language and accessibility.  In the Internet option, I could configure Wi-Fi or Wire network setting.  Under the Hood option was basically the same thing as Chrome browser has always had.  In User option, I could add users and so on.

Somewhere on the Internet said that I could access terminal of Chrome OS by doing Ctrl + Alt + t combination of buttons, but I found out that it would pull up a non-functional terminal.  By that I meant the terminal would have a prompt said crash >, but whatever linux commands I’d typed at the prompt would not execute.  Actually, one command would execute was [exit].  I typed exit command at the prompt, and the terminal closed which allowed me to be at the normal screen of Chrome OS.

Without a terminal, and not knowing if any linux command would work with Chrome OS or not, I could not really install VirtualBox Guest Additions to enable Chrome OS to be boot with full screen.  Oh, you must think I was stupid for trying linux commands on Chrome OS!  Pardon me though, from what I heard and read and absorbed, Chrome OS is based on Ubuntu; Ubuntu is Linux; so my assumption was and is that Chrome OS is just a variant of Ubuntu and so it’s just another Linux operating system.  Unfortunately, with even that knowledge, I was unable to use Chrome OS’s terminal or to be sure of if Linux commands could actually work with Chrome OS or not.

Right click on Chrome OS’s very top portion (i.e., above everything else and on the empty space where tabs can spring into existence at anytime), a popup menu showed me various options such as allowing me to open up a task manager.  Shift + Esc combination of buttons can also bring up the task manager.  In task manger, I was able to monitor private memory, cpu, and so on.  The task manager was so simple, it made me feel as if I was using a kindergarten version of Linux’s top.  The link “Stats for nerds” which linked me to additional stats information was so alien to me, I just glimpsed at it once and could care less about it afterward.  Essentially, the additional stats at “Stats for nerds” screen showed the additional information on memory usage for each application, and that was about it.

In conclusion, I can see why Chrome OS is perfect for a machine with simple hardware architecture such as a low-end notebook, because Chrome OS isn’t utilizing a traditional method of storing data onto a local hard-drive.  Instead, it relies on the cloud where data are constantly streaming back and forth between a user’s machine and the servers that locate somewhere else in the world.  Although Chrome OS isn’t requiring powerful internal architecture since there isn’t a need of installing any application internally, it’s still a very powerful operating system.  Imagine one day some company will stream all types of powerful applications from the cloud for Chrome OS machines, and those powerful applications may run way faster (i.e., utilizing the power of the cloud) than many applications that meant to be ran internally (only a slow Internet connection can ruin everything).

Google Releases Video Chat Source Code, Allowing Just About Anybody To Create A Video Chat Service

Want to build a video chat website or service that caters to unique experience?  No, I’m not talking about the porn industry, but it’s all about Google’s latest move.  Google has released source code of their video chat technology.  In fact, Google acquired this video chat technology when it bought out Global IP Solutions in 2010.

It seems as if Google is doing this deliberately!  Google knows Microsoft is in the process of completing the acquisition of Skype for $8.5 billion or so, and so Google releases the source code of its video chat technology to entice competition against Microsoft.  In fact, Google spent only millions to acquiring its video chat technology, but Microsoft has to spend billions of dollars.

Yes, I know, Microsoft is acquiring a very popular platform.  In 2010, as reported Skype had around 663 millions of users/accounts.  Still, Google may be able to make Microsoft feels that it has overspent on Skype since Google urges browser developers and website owners to utilize its video chat technology.  If Google’s wish comes true, then Skype will be just another video chat service!  In fact, video chat will be so normal that people won’t care which video chat service they want to get accustom to, since many more video chat services will be made available to users through Google’s video chat technology.

Skype has one advantage over any new video chat startup is that it has huge user-base and load of cash from Microsoft to upgrade its service’s capability.  If you haven’t yet heard of Skype, Wikipedia has a very good article on it here.  I typed in Google Video Chat Source Code in Google’s search box, and the first link led me to here.

Sources:  http://www.infoworld.com/d/open-source-software/google-releases-video-chat-source-code-780http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skype

Two Steps Verification Process Blocks You From Accessing Google Applications On Your Mobile Gadgets?

Wondering why you can’t access Google Books app on your iPad 2 or iPhone or Android devices?  Wondering why even on your desktop you can’t even access your Picasa’s web album, but yet you can log into your gmail just fine?  A possible scenario is that you probably had enabled two steps verification for your Google account, therefore you have to take the extra steps in approving what applications you want your Google account to be associated with.

So how to do this?

  1. Just log into your gmail or directly to Google account if you can.  Inside Gmail, go to the uppermost right corner where it displays your email address, click on this to pull down a pulldown menu.  In the pulldown menu, choose Account Settings.  In the case of you directly log into Google Account, you probably are already arrived at Account Settings page.
  2. On Account Settings page, locate the Security section which locates directly under a Personal Settings section, choose Authorizing Applications and Sites.  Sometimes, Google will ask you to enter your Google account password on the next screen so you can access the Authorizing Applications and Sites page, do this so we can move to the next step where we will be able to approve what applications to have access to your Google account.
  3. On Authorizing Applications and Sites page, you will notice what websites and applications are able to communicate with your Google account; here you can also revoke the accesses of these websites and applications.  Just make sure you only allow trustful websites and applications to have access to your Google account, or else you’re risking of leaking your own confidential information to malicious third parties.  See the text box sits directly under the Application-specific Passwords section?  Enter an application name (i.e., one at a time) for Google to generate a temporary password.
  4. Enter the temporary password into applications on your iPad 2 or iPhone 4 so these applications can communicate with your Google account.  For an example, you want to access Google Books app on iPad 2, but it requires you to enter your Google account password.  You entered the Google account password, but it didn’t work.  Now you know that you need to enter the temporary password that you had followed the steps I mentioned above to generate it, and this time Google Books app allows you to access it.

Once again, I must warn you not to give out your Google password to anyone in all circumstances, and do not allow strange websites and applications to have access to your Google account.  Once you do that, your Google account is no longer secure, and your information may be in the hands of malicious hackers and so on.  Hopefully, my instructions here will be valid still at the time you’re trying to allow your favorite applications to have access to your Google account.

Source:  http://picasa.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1184000

Google Cloud Print

Google has a service where it can allow you to print anywhere using Google Cloud Print.  From my rough understanding of this cool service, you have to have a Google account to be able to use it.  Google promises to work with developers of wide array of mobile platforms and computing platforms so there will be more apps that utilize Google Cloud Print.  This means Google is hoping that Google Cloud Print will be a sub feature in various major apps and platforms, so the next time you use whatever apps that have the potential for you to print anything, as if by second nature you will be able to use Google Cloud Print to print anything you browse on the web or in the apps at anywhere right on your various devices.  The trick is you have to allow your printer to be connected to Google Cloud Print service.  I’m not clear how to do this yet since my Mac refuses to connect to my printer, because my printer is an odd model that is no longer supported by its own vendor and Mac even though it’s relatively new.  Perhaps, Chrome browser isn’t yet supporting Mac to use Google Cloud Print service, and that’s explain why Chrome crashes when I try to set up Cloud Print Service on Mac through Chrome browser.

For your information, you can access Cloud Print Service on Chrome browser through go to Chrome >> Preferences >> Under The Hood >> scroll way down to the bottom where it says Google Cloud Print.  Anyhow, Chrome latest browser which is 11.0.6 plus has now allowed you to connect to Google Cloud Print service, and I don’t think that was the case with older versions of Google Chrome browser.  Before, you can use various apps or Google extensions to print, and printing your email in Gmail through Google Cloud Print service, but now Chrome browser is also allowing you to do this directly.  I think you should try this feature out and let me now how it’s go eh?  Check out various YouTube videos I’ve found on Google Cloud Print service right after the break!