Welcome to another week of Google. This time around we discussed the ever-popular Google I/O Conference, the new Google Chrome OS notebook from Samsung, and some scary browser vulnerabilities.
Google I/O 2011 Highlights
The Google I/O Conference in San Francisco took place this week, but in case you caved and blinked at any point, we've wrapped up the highlights:
- Google Music
- Google TV Gets More Love
- New Honeycomb
- Ice Cream Sandwich
Check out our full coverage here.
Introducing Google Chrome OS Notebooks from Samsung
Samsung's new range of Chromebook machines has made its way to the public. The company's devices come with WiFi as standard and 3G as an option, an Intel N750 Atom processor, 2GB of RAM and a 16GB SSD for local storage. Prices start at US$ 429 for the WiFi version up to US$ 499 for the 3G edition.
It sounds well and good, but one major issue with Chrome OS remains: Who is going to risk their data to the cloud, which has been shown to be all too frail in recent weeks?
Google Sets Aside US$ 500M for Possible DoJ Settlement
Google has recently adjusted its quarterly earnings report with a hefty US$ 500 million reduction. The earlier-reported cash earning has now been earmarked for a potential settlement with the Department of Justice for undisclosed ad-related issues.
The figure was accrued over the first quarter of 2011, which now requires the company to modify its earnings report from during that period. As a result, Google's net income has dropped from US$ 2.3 billion to US$ 1.8 billion for 1Q 2011, which means its per-share earnings are effectively diluted from $7.04 to $5.51 each for the period.
Google is confident, though, that the decrease in earnings will not be material to its business overall.
Security Firm Finds Vulnerabilities in Google Chrome; Should We Be Afraid?
A recent and unfortunately series of events indicates that Chrome may not be as secure as we once thought.
In a recent video, Vupen demonstrated a zero-day exploit that enables hackers to take control of one's desktop. The exploit involves having a user load a webpage, after which arbitrary code can be executed on one's desktop, bypassing the usual security features of the browser and OS, such as the Chrome sandbox and Windows' ASLR and DEP. Vupen says this can be done in all Windows versions, and the vulnerability is present even with the latest Chrome version (hence being a zero-day exploit).
Should you be freaked out? These exploits are often done with the assistance of some crafty social engineering attack, but this doesn't necessarily mean users should disconnect themselves from the Internet. Of course, you should be careful of the websites that you open, and the links that you click.