Google Chat Nearly Got Me Fired

by @edent | # # | 4 comments | Read ~603 times.
Google documentation saying their apps aren't compatible with each other.

My colleague was understandably ticked off with me. A week previously, they’d asked me to get something fairly urgent done. I hadn’t done it – and all hell was breaking loose. I wasn’t being truculent or disobedient. I simply hadn’t seen their message. And it was all Google’s fault. At work, we use Google’s G-Suite.…

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Even Google forgets to renew its domains

by @edent | # # # # # | 12 comments | Read ~32,536 times.
Domain showing as available to purchase.

tl;dr Google forgot to renew a domain used in their documentation. It was mildly embarrassing for them. And possibly a minor security concern for some new G-Suite domain administrators Background Choosing a good example domain, to use in documentation, is hard. You want something which is obviously an example, so that users understand they have…

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How to rescue blocked files from Gmail

by @edent | # # # # | Read ~278 times.
Show Original option in Gmail.

Six years ago, I developed Android apps (APKs) which I emailed to myself. When I try to download them from Gmail today, I get this rather annoying error. Anti-virus warning – 1 attachment contains a virus or blocked file. Downloading this attachment is disabled. Google, in its efforts to protect me from myself, have retroactively…

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Introducing the new HTML element – welcome <clippy>!

by @edent | # # # # | 13 comments | Read ~46,559 times.

Hello! It looks like you’re writing a blog post – would you like help with that? chuckles Me and my colleagues at Microsoft have decided that the world needs more Clippy – the adorable animated paperclip. To help with that, we’re bringing a new feature to Edge 6.0. Web Developers can now use <clippy> to…

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102KB ought to be enough for any email

by @edent | # # # # | 10 comments | Read ~4,105 times.
Raw HTML in the middle of an email.

Another day, another Gmail bug which won’t get fixed. The original Android phone – HTC Dream – had 192MB of RAM. The latest Android phones tend to have 6GB. A 32 times increase in a decade. Laptops have also leapt forwards in speed and memory. Sadly, no one on the Gmail team has noticed. It’s…

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A report from the AMP Advisory Committee Meeting

by @edent | # # # # | 12 comments | Read ~6,787 times.
A lightning bolt logo.

I don’t like AMP. I think that Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages are a bad idea, poorly executed, and almost-certainly anti-competitive. So, I decided to join the AC (Advisory Committee) for AMP. I don’t want them surrounded with sycophants and yes-men. A few weeks ago, a bunch of the AC met in London for our first…

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Chromebooks aren’t accessible – a five-year-old bug

by @edent | # # # # | 4 comments | Read ~2,994 times.

I was in need of a new laptop, so I bought a cheap ChromeBook – mostly because Amazon could deliver it the same day. Sadly, the trackpad was broken. Before I sent it back, I thought I’d try using a mouse with it. That’s when I discovered that accessibility is very much a second thought…

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Why Android Pie Won’t Be Getting the Copyleft Symbol

by @edent | # # | Read ~575 times.
Wikipedia Copyleft page. The icon is a blank box.

Google is a company with nearly unlimited resources. It often chooses to use its power for the greater good of the Internet. Creating amazing projects like digitizing every printed book, bringing Internet access via high-altitude balloons, and offering high-quality language translation. And sometimes it just gets bored and abandons them. Google Noto is such a…

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Hundreds of thousands of spam listings on Google “My Maps”

by @edent | # # | 1 comment | Read ~408 times.
Google My Maps page with spam content.

Blogging – because Google don’t offer a bug bounty for spam reports… Back in 2007, Google introduced “My Maps“: Easily create custom maps with the places that matter to you. Allow friends to see and edit your maps, or publish them to the whole world. Like most Google products, it was effectively abandoned after launch…

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Context-Aware Text Recognition?

by @edent | # # # | Read ~391 times.
A scanned document, the text is askew. Next to it is a computer-generated version of the text. A passage is highlighted.

I’ve been playing with Google’s Cloud Vision API. It is OCR (Optical Character Recognition) – but in THE CLOUD and uses MACHINE LEARNING! When it works, it is indistinguishable from magic. When it fails, it reveals a very limited understanding of human text. Let’s take a look at this quick example – a piece of…

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