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Google Soon To Begin Offering High Speed Fiber Connections
February 11th, 2010

Online goliath Google has been keeping busy as it has recently turned its versatile hand to mobile operating systems (Android) social networking (Buzz) and smartphones (Nexus One).  According to Google, it will soon build and test an ultra-high-speed broadband platform in a selection of trial locations across the United States, which will result in the delivery of Internet speeds up to 100 times quicker than current standards

Google has this week announced plans to redefine current Internet performance with a blazing fast experimental fiber network. On search engine and Google related newsgroups, they report that Google has a goal “to experiment with new ways to improve access to the Internet and make it faster for everyone.”

ISPs have traditionally considered selling voice minutes and, of late, data bundles. While so-called “over-the-top” services from Internet players such as Google have threatened ISP revenues from additional services, their core networks were never under threat. That is now set to change. Google will launch several experiments across the United States by deploying optical fiber. The search giant/world power announced it will build and test one-gigabit-per-second fiber connections to at least 50,000 homes in various locations across the US. The trial could expand to as many as 500,000 homes, according to the post. Google asked cities and states interested in joining the experiment to apply to Google by March 26 and said it eventually would build the network in a number of U.S. locations.

“We don’t think we have all the answers – but through our trial, we hope to make a meaningful contribution to the shared goal of delivering faster and better Internet for everyone,” the company said. It says it wants software developers to come up with applications, including “uses we can’t yet imagine.”  Hopefully, some if not many of them could be USENET related.

Google has slowly been crossing paths with ISPs, a fact that’s been more than obvious from its series of forays over the course of recent years. However, while ISPs have always looked at Google with a sense of alarm, this latest announcement is likely to set a firm line in the sand with other ISPs.

Some newsgroup subscribers have double-checked with Google to see if a fast wireless overlay could be deployed as part of the experiment. A replied post by a Google spokesperson states: “Google’s focused on fiber-to-home right now and has no current plans for additional deployments,”

It is quite possible that Google will back down from its stated “experiment” after the initial rollout. But it’s more likely that Google will continue with a phased rollout program until it can generate enough panic amongst the ISPs to create what it set out to create. Google has had mixed results with its previous efforts to provide communitywide Internet access. In 2006, the company launched a Wi-Fi network in its hometown of Mountain View, calling the move at the time “a way for us to give back to and engage with the community.” But Google’s efforts to provide free wireless Internet access throughout San Francisco fell apart in 2007, when Google’s partner, EarthLink, backed out of the deal.

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Google Offers First Look At It’s Chrome Operating System
November 20th, 2009

Today Google demonstrated an early version of its Chrome operating system at its Mountain View, California, headquarters. The new system, scheduled to release in about a year, is expected to challenge Microsoft’s Windows, which currently powers most personal computers.

While newsgroup subscribers the world over may very well be playing with the code, helping to mold the finished product, those who attended or watched the launch event remotely learned more about Google’s vision for the future of computing.

Google’s Chrome OS is a sort of a Web operating system that boots up a netbook in a fraction of the time it takes to start today’s existing computers, with Web applications loading in just a few more seconds. Taking the idea straight from the foundation of USENET, The Chrome OS is focused around “cloud computing”.

When you boot into Chrome OS, you are basically opening a browser window for running web apps. Unlike “normal” operating systems, you will not be able to install applications in the Chrome OS environment. Instead, it uses HTML5, for bringing an app like experience right within the browser – without the need for installing anything. The Chrome OS is nothing but a barebones, stripped down version of Linux that is fast and launches like a web browser.

Google’s much anticipated Chrome OS has quite some time to go till it is released to the masses.  Google is initially pitching Chrome OS for netbooks but is also encouraging computer manufacturers to developing cheap dedicated Chrome machines. These machines will feature larger screens and keyboards than netbooks. Depending on its adaptation, Chrome could find its way to laptops and desktops.

One of the keys to Chrome OS’ success probably will be how much users can actually do with it, given that it won’t be using much of the software in common use now. Accessing USENET newsgroups, for instance, remains a mystery.

Developers who want a closer look at the project, however, will get their wish. Effective immediately, Google is releasing the Chrome OS code to the public under an open source license, along with the associated design documents.

While Google has not confirmed on any specific launch dates, the Chrome OS is largely expected to be released sometime in 2010.  It will not be available as a download to run and install. Instead, Chrome OS is only shipping on specific hardware from manufacturers Google has partnered with. That means if you want Chrome OS, you’ll have to purchase a Chrome OS device.

Google is currently working with unnamed computer manufacturers to define specifications for these computers, which will include larger netbook-style computers with full-size keyboards, large trackpads and large displays.

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Google Offers Free Wi-Fi To Access USENET Newsgroups
November 12th, 2009

If you’re looking to travel this holiday season throughout the united states, Google is offering a way for you to still have USENET newsgroup access along the way. Google has announced that they will offer free Wi-Fi at approximately 47 major U.S. airports across the country running through January 15, 2010; ensuring that people can connect online and access newsgroups for free while they wait at airline gates and other areas.

Below is a list of airports where the free WiFi access to USENET newsgroups is being offered:

Austin (AUS)
Baltimore (BWI)
Billings (BIL)
Boston (BOS)
Bozeman (BZN)
Buffalo (BUF)
Burbank (BUR)
Central Wisconsin (CWA)
Charlotte (CLT)
Des Moines (DSM)
El Paso (ELP)
Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
Fort Myers/SW (RSW)
Greensboro (GSO)
Houston (HOU)
Houston Bush (IAH)
Indianapolis (IND)
Jacksonville (JIA)
Kalamazoo (AZO)
Las Vegas (LAS)
Louisville (SDF)
Madison (MSN)
Memphis (MEM)
Miami (MIA)
Milwaukee (MKE)
Monterey (MRY)
Nashville (BNA)
Newport News (PHF)
Norfolk (ORF)
Oklahoma City (OKC)
Omaha (OMA)
Orlando (MCO)
Panama City (PFN)
Pittsburgh (PIT)
Portland (PWM)
Sacramento (SMF)
San Antonio (SAT)
San Diego (SAN)
San Jose (SJC)
Seattle (SEA)
South Bend (SBN)
Spokane (GEG)
St. Louis (STL)
State College (SCE)
Toledo (TOL)
Traverse City (TVC)
West Palm Beach (PBI)

Google’s official blog post says over 100 million people will pass through the participating airports between now and January 15, 2010. They surely mean 100 million trips, many of them repeat customers, which still means millions and millions of potential users.

These sponsorships have a meaning beyond “free WiFi.” Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are trying to position themselves as gateways to the Internet. But unlike what Gmail did to email, Google hasn’t changed the price of WiFi access to $0.00 as part of a business model. However, as an extension of Google’s holiday promotion, airport wireless users will be invited to make charitable donations upon logging in. Google will match donations to Engineers Without Borders, the One Economy Corporation and the Climate Savers Computing Initiative up to $250,000. The airport whose passengers donate the most money will receive an additional $15,000 from Google to donate to the local charity of its choice.

In October, Google announced a deal with Virgin American Airlines to offer free in-flight Wi-Fi access during the same holiday period.

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Google Newsgroups: Gmail Fail
September 24th, 2009

Google Inc., owner of the world’s most popular Internet search engine, said its e-mail program is working again after the second disruption in less than a month cut off service to some users.

The latest outage from a company that prides itself in running advanced computing systems said on the Google Groups and USENET newsgroups that it was aware of the problem.

Frustrated Gmail users took to USENET newsgroups to voice their frustrations and look for information.

The problem was resolved for most users after approximately one hour, and Google expected “a resolution for all users within the next one hour,” the company said on its status Web site.

The Gmail problem comes on the heels of an hour-and-a-half Google News glitch on Tuesday. Google did not reveal the cause of that crash or how engineers got the news aggregation site working again.

And earlier this month, Gmail experienced one day of intermittent disruptions, followed by a second day during which users saw multiple delays and outages. Gmail users also endured well-publicized crashes in both February and May.

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