The Day Google Deleted Me

by @edent | # # # # | 12 comments | Read ~6,153 times.

(Trigger Warning - violent swearing and criticism of your employer / focus of your fanboi-ism.) Google knows me. I've been using Google since long before they were fashionable. I have a Gmail account (in my name), YouTube (also in my name), an Android developer account (name and bank details), Play account (name, credit card, and… Continue reading →

Google's Secret Screenshot API

by @edent | # # # # | 9 comments | Read ~11,697 times.

I've been looking for a way to programmatically take screenshots of websites. Most of the solutions I've found won't work on headless servers, require complex libraries to be installed, or cost money. So, what do we do when faced with a knotty programming problem? Hack it! Google has a "Pagespeed" service, it allows any webmaster… Continue reading →

Get your Google Location History the hard way… Again!

by @edent | # # # # | 10 comments | Read ~7,660 times.

Last year, I wrote about how to extract Location History from Google. Once again, Google have changed their URLs to make it even harder to get one's current location out of their data-greedy hands. It used to be the case that Latitude gave that information - but they killed it. Then they promised it in… Continue reading →

Sharing on Android is Broken

by @edent | # # # | 4 comments | Read ~1,226 times.

As I get older, I begin to lose neuroplaciticy. I get angry and confused when I don't understand things. I get frustrated when I have to change my behaviour. It happens to all of us, to some extent, and it's one of the major reasons you should design your apps in a clear and consistent… Continue reading →

128 WiFi devices ought to be enough for anyone...

by @edent | # # # # | 3 comments | Read ~951 times.

Google have just announced their brand new WiFi router - OnHub. It promises to make WiFi connectivity a breeze, increase speeds, reduce buffering, and clean your carpets. Nestled at the bottom of the annoucement is this curious specification. That seems... low. Doesn't it? I did a quick tally of all the devices my wife and… Continue reading →

Searching For A Smile

by @edent | # # # # | 1 comment | Read ~229 times.

What happens if you search the web for the Unicode character "☺"? On the one hand, it's a symbol just like the letter A or the punctuation mark "!" - on the other, it contains semantic meaning. A smiling, happy face. I decided to look at a few popular search engines to see what they'd… Continue reading →

How To Make Your Google+ Account Completely Private

by @edent | # | 12 comments | Read ~59,014 times.

I actively resent having a Google+ account. It's a bloated desert of half-finished ideas. Even the Google employees I know seem to have stopped using it. It's a necessary evil when dealing with Google products, sadly. I haven't used it in months and my profile tells people not to contact me there. That doesn't stop… Continue reading →

How Gmail lets spammers grab your attention with emoji

by @edent | # # # # | 5 comments | Read ~8,467 times.

What could be worse than email spam? Animated gifs in the subject line of email spam! This is a trend I've recently started to see on Gmail - here's what it looks like and how it works. So, what's going on here? How have they got an animated image into the subject line? Here's the… Continue reading →

Do All Google Employees Have Perfect Eyesight?

by @edent | # # # | 15 comments | Read ~71,406 times.

I can only assume that on their first day at Google, new employees are given their Android phone, a ChromeBook, a self-driving car, and complementary Laser Eye Surgery. That's my theory on some of the problems besetting Android's Lollipop release. I've ranted about Lollipop before, and now I'd like to point out two particular problems.… Continue reading →