Google acquires Israeli security startup SlickLogin in less than two months after the company was officially formed

Google has acquired SlickLogin, an Israeli security startup that has developed a product that uses unique high-frequency sounds and a smartphone to help simplify the process of securely signing in to Web services.

The announcement was made on the official website of SlickLogin:

SlickLogin Joins Google

We started SlickLogin because security measures had become overly complicated and annoying.

Our friends thought we were insane, but we knew we could do better. So we set out to improve security while still making it simple for people to log in.

Today we`re announcing that the SlickLogin team is joining Google, a company that shares our core beliefs that logging in should be easy instead of frustrating, and authentication should be effective without getting in the way. Google was the first company to offer 2-step verification to everyone, for free – and they’re working on some great ideas that will make the internet safer for everyone. We couldn`t be more excited to join their efforts.

SlickLogin’s three founders, Or Zelig, Eran Galili and Ori Kabeli only began developing their product last August, presented it at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco in September and officially formed the company in December. Zelig, the Tel Aviv-based company’s CEO; Galili, its vice president of technology; and Kabeli, who heads research and development, will be joining Google’s development center this week and become part of the company’s global security team.

Since Google was early to the idea of offering two-factor authentication as an option to help secure its many services — such as Gmail — it’s clearly acquiring this company in order to enhance those capabilities. If you use two-factor authentication now, the most common way is to use an app on your smartphone that generates a new six-digit number that changes every 30 seconds after you’ve entered your password. The point is that you’re entering something you know, and supplementing it with something you have that is more or less impossible for a hacker to guess. It’s not perfect, but it goes a long way toward making your account harder to hack.

A site enabled with SlickLogin’s technology can use your computer’s speakers to generate a high-frequency sound that’s silent to human ears but which can be picked up by the microphone on a smartphone. The phone has to be close to the computer. Each audio signal is unique, and based on a unique numerical key that’s generated on the back end. The service can also be used to sign into banks, corporate VPNs and pretty much any other kind of service.

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Samsung could have bought Android before Google

The year is 2005. No smartphones yet (at least not at a level we accept them now), the network carriers control all the content, a lot of mess with versions of the operating systems and what works for Motorola hardly ever runs on Samsung. Mobile application developers run away from smartphones like they run away from hell, and those who really wanted to create something for mobile phones were literally forced to write new code for each model separately, often rewriting the same thing hundreds of time.

The revolution, however, was not that far away. Andy Rubin began working on an operating system that was first designed for digital cameras, but then captured smartphones too. He started off as an engineer at Carl Zeiss, but then worked on operating systems for handheld computers. He had the experience and support of a few engineers. In October 2003, he launched the Android project which ran out of money within a year that made him search for investors.

We all now know that in the end Andy Rubin comes to Google and everyone lives happily ever after. But a very few people know that Rubin first went to Samsung with the offer. The entire Android team of eight engineers flew to Seoul to meet with the largest handset maker.

In a meeting with 20 executives of Samsung, Rubin pitches the Android idea relentlessly, but instead of enthusiasm and questions, the only response he gets is dead silence. Then, Samsung’s team of high-ranked executives voices what seemed obvious then:

“You and what army are going to go and create this? You have six people. Are you high?’ is basically what they said. They laughed me out of the boardroom. This happened two weeks before Google acquired us,” Rubin later recollects.

Indeed, in early 2005 Larry Page would agree to meet with Andy Rubin, and after hearing about his work on Android, he not just helps get the money – he decides that Google will acquire Android.

Google bought Android for $50 million by mid 2005, all eight team members of Android moved to Mountain View . And the rest, as they say, is history…

I guess it was never meant to be. Samsung was looking for a ready product whereas Google was in search of a great idea. Android and Google are a match made in heaven and it’s probably the best thing that Android didn’t end up with Samsung, after all.

More news @ HERE

Android Coffee Tables to hit the market soon

The world has seen plenty of weird products that run Android operating system, like MetaTrend’s Espresso Maker; Samsung’s refrigerator with a 10-inch touchscreen display, Wi-Fi & DLNA; Touch Revolution Washer/Dryer; Touch Revolution Microwave – you name it.

But who would have thought to come up with the idea of producing 32 and 46-inch Android Coffee Tables?

Ideum and 3M collaborated to the idea and came up with the solution. They’re these giant Android coffee tables that, unfortunately, run Android 4.1, have four legs just like any other coffee tables you’ve ever seen. Platform 46 and dPlatform 32 Multitouch Coffee Table combine Ideum’s design and 3M’s multitouch display in a casual form factor making it one of the coolest things we’ve ever seen.


Android Coffee Table specs:

As mentioned earlier, there are two variants of the Multitouch Coffee Table (46 and 32 inches) with a smooth and responsive 1080p display that supports up to 60 touch points, a powerful 3.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and 500GB of hard drive. And, of course, it’s water-resistant (coffee-resistant). Play Angry Birds on one of these with Pigs’ heads being as big as yours.

Whether it’s practical or economical or cool, the price starts at a whopping $6950 which will have a huge say in this product’s future success. The Platform Multitouch Coffee Tables are built in the USA and backed by a two-year warranty from Ideum with support from 3M.

The Platform Multitouch Coffee Tables ship with Windows 8 installed which means you have access to virtually any Windows App including legacy applications. Thousands of touch-enabled apps for Windows 8 and 7 are now available. The Platform Multitouch Coffee Tables are available with Windows 7 upon request or, as an upgrade, a dual boot system. The official website says Android version will be available later this year. What’s your take on this Android Coffee Table(t)?

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Reason why mouse cursor is slightly tilted

Have you ever wondered why mouse cursor on your computer is slightly tilted and not straight? Why isn’t the cursor positioned vertically which would be a more logical choice? Because that would be more convenient for selecting text and other tasks.

An expert at StackExchange, who is quite familiar with the history of computer technology, explained the reason by referring to a document that is more than 30 years old (from 1981). He confirmed that Douglas Engelbart,  who invented the mouse, in fact portrayed the arrow cursor vertically as the most logical selection option. (see screenshot below)

Why is mouse cursor tilted?

First mouse cursor was in fact vertical.

However, the graphical interface of the operating system in practice was first implemented by Xerox, namely – its research and development unit Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). In particular, the cursor was described in a document from 1981 , which lists the characteristics of XEROX PARC, the first ever Graphical User Interface (GUI) in history.

First ever mouse pointer.

When designing this machine, it was practically impossible to design a vertical mouse arrow of small size (that could easily be seen by users) due to low resolution displays. That’s when they decided not to increase the size of the pointer, but instead turn it slightly so the left side of it was vertical and the right one tilted under 45°.

More than 30 years have passed since then, high-resolution displays were invented, but the tradition of portraying the mouse cursor tilted by 45° preserved.

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Hidden Google Tricks, Tips and Features

There might have been raised a lot of questions regarding Google’s privacy policy and what not, but Google is still awesome as it is. Today, I will tell you about a few Google tricks and features that you probably didn’t know existed (so, most common google tricks and tips that everyone knows will not feature in the article).Why don’t we start off with an interesting Google fact (It’s not a Google trick):

Ever notice that ubiquitous “I’m feeling lucky” button on the Google homepage that you’ve probably never used. What if I told you that this small little piece of grey rectangle, costs Google over 110 million dollars a year! Because when users press the “I’m feeling lucky”, it takes them directly to the top search result for that query thereby bypassing all the other top 9 results and also the ads that get displayed alongside them. Brin was recently quoted as saying that almost 1% of all Google searches go through the “I’m feeling lucky” button and that costs the company around $110 million in annual revenue.

Google Tricks and Features you probably didn’t know existed:

Final Words

That was it for today and I hope you guys really liked it. If you know any more rare tricks you can pull out on Google, please, let me know by commenting below.  :-) See you next time!

More tips and tricks @ ASK GOPHER