Google’s 3D Street View

Could this be a new feature of Google Map’s Street View? I do not have a pAir of 3D glasses so I cannot confirm it.

Hold on a second, isn’t today April 1st? You be the judge.

Google Street View for Hong Kong Now Live

The long awaited Google Street View feature within Google Maps is finally available in Hong Kong. This feature had been available in USA, Canada, UK, Japan, Taiwan and many other countries for years. Taiwan only received this capability last year (September 2009).

Over a year ago others in Hong Kong and myself reported seeing the Google Street View vehicle (Toyota Prius) capturing images all around Hong Kong. With the Street View feature enabled, users of Google Maps can check out their desire spots in Hong Kong before they actually visit the locations. This is particularly useful for tourist and other visitors who are not familiar with places in Hong Kong. This feature will also be useful to Hong Kong natives, as many locals rarely visit areas outside of their homes and work districts.

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What’s the Fuzz with Buzz

If you are into technology or if you use Gmail you will have noticed Google launched Buzz several weeks ago. Google this time took a different approach of launching its products/features. Buzz was not released with an “Alpha” or “Beta” badge, instead it was released as a “finished” product.

Normally Google releases a product with many features and slaps a “Beta” label on it, like they did with Gmail. Then slowly releases new features or refines existing ones. Ineffect recuiting its users as testers pubilcally.

This time Google released a product that does very little but what features it has are very solid. Although, some of the initial decisions Google made regarding Buzz are questionable. Abnormally Google reacts very quickly on complains and refines the product based on these feedbacks almost over night. I believe Google’s ability to accomplish such agile development methodology is the result of hiring seasoned individuals from the social network community (people like Chris Messina and others) specifically for the development of Buzz and social features in other products within Google’s suite of applications/services.

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Google Nexus One for Sale in Hong Kong

Stores in Hong Kong are starting to sell the Google Nexus One.

This store in Wanchai Computer City is asking for HKD5880.00 (cash price), which give it a mark up of HKD1554.47 when compared to buying the phone directly from Google

Nexus One = USD529.00
Shipping to Hong Kong = USD28.32
Total purchase price = USD557.32 (approximately HKD4325.53).

Given the high mark up, I don’t see why anyone would purchase the Nexus One from these stores in Hong Kong, unless they do not have a credit card (Google uses Google Checkout which accepts credit cards only). Plus all Nexus One purchased from Google has the option of adding up to two lines of engraving to the back of the phone.

Do You Want a Google Wave Account?

Google Wave LogoIf you have not heard of Google Wave you will want to go to Google’s About Google Wave web page to learn all about it. Please be aware that Google Wave is still in “public preview” (aka. alpha) product status, so the features are still evolving and infrastructure being improved.

Ever since I received my second batch of Google Wave “invites” and announced it on Twitter, I had been bombarded by spammers asking for invites. The last thing I want is to become part of the reason these spammers gain access to Google Wave.

What I have decided to do is take note of what one of my online friend, @Daynah, had done, mimicing her techniques in trying to screen out these spammers. I encourage anyone who have Google Wave invites to give out to do something similar.

It is very unfortunate that we have to ask potential Wave users to go through these troubles, but I hope everyone understand that we’re just trying to keep Google Wave spammer free.

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Phishing on YouTube

YouTube logoYesterday I received a message in my YouTube account Inbox claiming that my account was flagged. On initial skimming of the email I was shocked, but then looking at the message closer I quickly recognize it as another Phishing email.

The email states

The Youtube Team YouTube Broadcast Yourself™ Hi (account), According to our records, you have been flagged for the following: Hate Speech/Bullying Spam/Flooding of other YouTube channels Massive Advertising Explicit Copyright Infringement Your ac…
The Youtube Team
YouTube Broadcast Yourself™

Hi (account),

According to our records, you have been flagged for the following:

Hate Speech/Bullying
Spam/Flooding of other YouTube channels
Massive Advertising
Explicit Copyright Infringement

Your account also appears to be phished and/or flagged by other users with the following IP addresses:

We have reviewed your account and notice that your account seems to be in good standing. Therefore, we will not penalize you for any actions. However, we have reviewed the reports made to your account, and notice that your account has been flagged and/or reported multiple times. We ask for your current password in order to ensure that you are the owner of this account and to verify your current account status. Please provide us with the information below…

On initial thought, I was wondering about the scammers’ goal for taking over a YouTube account. Then I remember that many YouTube accounts are now linked to user’s Google Account, which provides access to GMail among others.

So, everyone needs to be diligent and be careful when receiving instructions via email or through proprietary messaging system, asking you to provide username and password or means of authenticating your identity. In most cases, legitimate web sites will never ask for a user’s password. Remember bad guys are everywhere, especially on the Interweb.

First Android Phone from HTC

HTC has finally made details of their first Android phone available to the public. It bares the moniker “HTC G1“, may be it implies there will be subsequent versions.

It will launch in the USA through the carrier, T-Mobile on October 22, 2009 for USD179.00 and a 2-years contract.

One thing that is interesting, as reported by Engadet, is T-Mobile view on unlocking the phone. They will allow the unlocking of the HTC G1 after the initial 90 days into the 2-years contract, giving the HTC G1 an unlocked price of USD399.00 price.

There are two videos in Engadet’s Hands-on review comparing the HTC G1 to the Apple iPhone and showing off some of the 3rd party add-ons to existing built-in application. The latter is something that the OpenSource nature of Android has over the Apple iPhone.

HTC did not implement any multi-touch technology into the HTC G1. The use of on screen controls and hardware buttons makes the phone feel 1st generation. Also, in my opinion the look is also fairly ugly, but looking at the other HTC models in the past, one cannot expect the elegance of Jonathan Ive (arguably the best industrial designer in the world).

So far no news as to how the HTC G1 will be launched in other geographic locations.

[Update: September 24, 2008]
It is reported that T-Mobile will give away all applications on their Android Market Place free to the early adaptors to the HTC G1.

Androids Arrive at VerizonT-Mobile

Google softwareThere are now significant information to point to a first and new Android phone on Monday, September 22 on the VerizonT-Mobile network in the US.

The reported Android based phone will be manufactured by HTC, and implies that it will support both GSM and CDMA network. But 3G communication will only supports the CDMA network (EV-DO).

So stay tune.

[Updated: September 19, 2008]
Thanks to the reader, Travis, for pointing out my mistake. I stand corrected that it is T-Mobile in the US who will be releasing the first Google Android phone by HTC in early October to the general public.