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Google To Buy Waze For $1.3 Billion

samzenpus posted about 10 months ago | from the owning-the-road dept.

Google 153

An anonymous reader writes "Google and Israeli start-up Waze have agreed in principle on a deal in which the search engine giant will buy the road traffic information sharing application for $1.3 billion. Waze, which claims more than 40 million users, describes itself as an app bringing together 'the world's largest community of drivers who work together to fight traffic, and save time and gas money on their daily commute.' There have been previous reports that first Apple and then Facebook wanted to acquire the Israeli start-up."

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153 comments

Geotarding? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43959113)

I wonder what their first move will be... Geotarding it like their navigation app? Or killing it altogether, like iGoogle and Reader...

Re:Geotarding? (5, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#43959141)

Waze crowdsources routefinding, which is a huge computational problem. I imagine that like Dodgeball the technology, but not the actual user experience, will ultimately be merged into the larger Google Maps crowdsourcing operation.

This is a huge blow for Apple, who simply don't have Google's mapping resources and really need a way to bootstrap their maps improvement efforts. They don't have a web based map system to draw on, and as bad as Apple Maps is, the most pernickety users - the ones most likely to file correction reports - have moved back to the Google Maps app. Well, I know I have.

(That stupid "legal" link in the corner of even the tiniest API-provided, in-app map is exactly the sort of nonsense Apple is supposed to not do!)

Re:Geotarding? (2, Interesting)

MrMickS (568778) | about 10 months ago | (#43959185)

This is a huge blow for Apple, who simply don't have Google's mapping resources and really need a way to bootstrap their maps improvement efforts. They don't have a web based map system to draw on, and as bad as Apple Maps is, the most pernickety users - the ones most likely to file correction reports - have moved back to the Google Maps app. Well, I know I have.

Other than some well publicised issues at launch time I've found that for me Apple Maps works at least as well as Google Maps. Maybe its down to where you are in the world.

At what point did you go back to Google Maps? Was it following the initial criticism and based on the reports of others or was it after you'd used it for a while?

Re:Geotarding? (2)

stephanruby (542433) | about 10 months ago | (#43959291)

Other than some well publicised issues at launch time I've found that for me Apple Maps works at least as well as Google Maps. Maybe its down to where you are in the world.

I can't speak for the parent since I'm not an iPhone user.

But could it be that Apple doesn't have turn-by-turn walking directions yet, or real-time transit directions, or even somekind of street-view equivalent.

For instance, I read a consumer study in the UK a few years back that said that Google Navigation would consistently beat out its standalone gps competitors in terms of speed at getting to a destination, because it automatically showed a street view picture of the address at the end of the journey. Apparently, this small feature allowed the test drivers to arrive earlier by at least a margin of five minutes each time, because they didn't waste any time trying to find the exact address of a building once on the scene.

Re:Geotarding? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43959605)

Google best?

Try telling that to the HGV drivers from a well known trucking company (No Eddie S) who get lost where I live due to Google telling them that
1) my road is a through road (I was 30+ years ago)
2) it is suitable for 32+Tonne vehicles (It is not).

Despite several people telling Google that their maps are wrong they never get changed.

The HGV's get to the end of my road and find it is a dead end despite the signs saying that it is a no through road.
Then they get stuck because reversing 1.5 miles back up a narrow lane is impossible.
My neighbor comes to their rescue and only charges them £300 to tow them back up the lane with his mega tractor.

As for streetview, Google never got down my end of the lane so we are some of the great un-googled of this world. Hurrah!
 

Re:Geotarding? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960075)

My neighbor comes to their rescue and only charges them £300 to tow them back up the lane with his mega tractor.

Sounds like a nice business model. Did you check whether he told Google that your road indeed is a through road for 32+tonne vehicles? ;-)

Re:Geotarding? (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#43960191)

That doesn't mean that Google's not the best option available. You can actually file an erratum through their web site (it takes about 2 minutes) and you get an email response when they accept/reject the changes. You can submit a correction as a text complaint, or now you can actually edit the map data directly to correct it. And in my experience within a month it's settled.

That said, very few HGV drivers I'm aware of use Google Maps, they tend to use standalone satnav systems if only because you're not dependent on a good phone signal.

Re:Geotarding? (2)

markkezner (1209776) | about 10 months ago | (#43960247)

I've found that they do correct map errors eventually, especially if given quality error reports. It usually takes a few weeks.

For your safety I recommend you make the correction yourself using Google Map Maker. There is still a human approval process but it should expedite your correction.
http://www.google.com/mapmaker [google.com]

Re:Geotarding? (-1, Flamebait)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 10 months ago | (#43960999)

google nav sucks. at least on my android (2.3; yes its old but whatever happened to the 'its a nexus, it will always get upgrades' bullshit?)

I drive from san fran down to san jose. it tells me to get OFF 101 at redwood city, drive around the town a bit then get back ON 101 to continue south.

uhm, this is the bay area - you know - home of google. and they can't even get their maps app working properly on a simple 'stay on 101' route.

not to mention the sudden reboots during nav or maps. I look down at the phone since its been quiet for a while and I see a shimmering X. oh my god.... its rebooting and I have to restart and wait. WHILE driving.

google is a lot of shine but underneath, their programmers are nothing special. at least by the apps and 'stability' that I've seen from them.

now google will ruin waze. great. just great ;(

Re:Geotarding? (4, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#43959313)

I gave it until the Google Maps standalone app launched, plus about a fortnight. It simply wasn't improving quickly enough in my region (which is not the US) despite my filing error reports daily. I check in on it now and then, and it took them four months to notice that the shopping centre in which one of their own stores was located was not, in fact, a large park. (In fact, most places with "park" in the name were marked out as parks, regardless of whether it made any sense...) Several other issues remain unresolved to this day.

A lot of my issues aren't with mapping data but design. It's presented like a car SATNAV with lots of POI icons for food etc. prioritised over things like road names, railway stations, major universities, etc. so while it's probably good when you're driving it's very hard to read as a pedestrian. Even the colour contrast is terrible, it's all cold-toned pastel shades for everything. That's one I can't see improving any time soon.

Re:Geotarding? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43959985)

That's because Apple kit is designed for hipsters and hipsters don't drive.

They cycle round on their fixies and care not what the road names are but where the closest place they can sip a latte is.

You're not Apple's demographic, you're just not hip enough, that's why you're having problems. If you were part of their demographic then you wouldn't be complaining, you'd just "think different" about it all and feel happy about the complete lack of worthwhile information and functionality.

Re:Geotarding? (-1, Flamebait)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#43960143)

You're an imbecile.

Re:Geotarding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960223)

You're using Ad Hominem

Re:Geotarding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960599)

That's not an ad hominem, you idiot, it is a insult, or possible just stating the facts depending on your POV. If Sockatume has said "You're wrong because you are an imbelcile," then that would be an ad hominem, but he didn't.

really (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960629)

That's because Apple kit is designed for hipsters and hipsters don't drive. They cycle round on their fixies and care not what the road names are but where the closest place they can sip a latte is.

whats that about Ad Hominem?

Re:really (0)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 10 months ago | (#43960997)

That's because Apple kit is designed for hipsters and hipsters don't drive. They cycle round on their fixies and care not what the road names are but where the closest place they can sip a latte is.

whats that about Ad Hominem?

that's not an ad hominem its a ad populium

Re:Geotarding? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#43961083)

No, I'm making a reasonably accurate interpolation from the facts. I wrote that Apple Maps doesn't work for me because it's not suitable for pedestrians, and the response I got was a ramble about how Apple Maps is totally pedestrian-obsessed and some gibberish about hipsters. Clearly the response was written by someone with no reading comprehension.

Re:Geotarding? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#43959371)

I should add, the bigger issue with Apple Maps' crappy data is that geofences can silently misbehave, because the conversion from an address to a geographical location and vice versa is hidden from the user, so there's no telling if or how it has gone wrong. Bad data in the maps app is one thing, but data that makes other apps work badly is the sort of thing that shouldn't happen on an Apple device.

Re: Geotarding? (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | about 10 months ago | (#43959781)

I'm in Israel. Apple Maps doesn't even have street names for all the roads in my town.

Re: Geotarding? (0)

mrvan (973822) | about 10 months ago | (#43960697)

Well, if you live in Israel, Google maps doesn't have streetnames for almost half of your capital [goo.gl], or for your . Nor, for that matter, for the [goo.gl]fourth [goo.gl] and fifth [goo.gl] largest city in your country.

And if you deny that those cities are in your country, could you kindly inform your government so that they can withdraw their troops?

Re: Geotarding? (1, Troll)

mrvan (973822) | about 10 months ago | (#43960739)

Sorry, I messed that one up big time! It should be:

Well, if you live in Israel, Google maps doesn't have streetnames for almost half of your capital [goo.gl], or for your second largest city [goo.gl]. Nor, for that matter, for the fourth [goo.gl] and fifth [goo.gl] largest city in your country.

And if you deny that those cities are in your country, could you kindly inform your government so that they can withdraw their troops?

Re:Geotarding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43961461)

This.

I am a Waze user (having moved away from Gmaps) and neither knows how to find my house when given my street address (I live out in BFE). Of the popular mapping applications + in-car GPS systems, only Apple maps can figure out where I live from my street address alone.

Re:Geotarding? (4, Insightful)

wisty (1335733) | about 10 months ago | (#43959303)

> This is a huge blow for Apple

I doubt it. I've said (when Scott Forstall stepped down) that Apple realised that it's not in the data industry. Sure, they can do a bit in-house, but they just don't have the resources to cross the moat that Google has with its infrastructure, code, and expertise.

Apple does hardware, interfaces, and marketing very well. It leverages other company's products (its kernal, the BSD userland, GCC / LLVM, and Google's online stuff) when it lacks any real competitive advantage. Google is a harder pill to swallow (since they can't just fork it and modify things to suit their needs), but it's a battle they've chosen not to have.

Android and Glasses are what they should be focus on beating, and they won't beat them if they lumber their own devices with half-assed clones of the things Google does best.

Re:Geotarding? (3, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#43959333)

Well, they've got to get their maps data from somewhere, which means they're in the data industry now. The fact that Apple were bidding for Waze suggests they're stuck with it unless they decide to partner up with someone like Google again.

Re:Geotarding? (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about 10 months ago | (#43959417)

Obviously Apple would have liked to have it, but if they perceived it as the huge blow you suggest then they would have offered more. Perhaps they're wrong, but that's their position.

Re:Geotarding? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#43959601)

Ha, maybe it'd be more apt to say it's a huge blow to my hopes that Apple would get it kicked into shape this year.

Re:Geotarding? (3, Insightful)

MrMickS (568778) | about 10 months ago | (#43959431)

Well, they've got to get their maps data from somewhere, which means they're in the data industry now. The fact that Apple were bidding for Waze suggests they're stuck with it unless they decide to partner up with someone like Google again.

Apple got their data from a number of different sources originally. One of these was TomTom which might explain the decent data quality in the UK. They were also reported to have been getting traffic data from Waze in some form already. Don't forget that Waze aren't a mapping company, they are a traffic company.

Apple aren't going to partner with Google because Google would have them over a barrel with respect to mapping on iOS. All they can do is iterate on the data that they've got, they were employing people to manage this in the different regions a while back, and look for other complimentary data sources. One problem with getting a new data source is merging it into the existing data and managing conflicts. I worked on GIS systems back in the early '90s and it wasn't trivial then with the small amount of data available. I can only imagine that its got worse as the data set sizes have increased.

Re:Geotarding? (2)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 10 months ago | (#43959981)

Apple got their data from a number of different sources originally. One of these was TomTom which might explain the decent data quality in the UK.

While no doubt that the quality of data was likely great, every source I've read so far plus my own observations have shown that they horribly mishandled the data. TomTom's maps aren't only good in the UK, they are actually excellent in many parts of the world including Australia. Apple also credit Sensis in Australia, the largest information brokers in the country. They literally got their data from the company that publishes the street director, telephone directories, and business directories, yet that didn't stop Apple Maps from placing the second largest city in my state 300km west in the middle of a nature reserve.

This is not the kind of thing that is easy to screw up.

Re:Geotarding? (1)

polyp2000 (444682) | about 10 months ago | (#43960181)

Android is one thing - Glasses is another. Talking about the latter (Glasses) - Apple will do what they always do - wait until several similar concepts from different sources have tried and failed. produce something very similar and claim they invented the idea to great critical acclaim. N.

Re:Geotarding? (1)

cellurl (906920) | about 10 months ago | (#43960485)

Its getting close to monopoly lawsuits. Google controls maps. That is a dangerous spot for them.

Who do you trust for speed limit information? [wikispeedia.org]

Re:Geotarding? (2)

MMC Monster (602931) | about 10 months ago | (#43961253)

First of all, I really don't think Google controls maps.

Second, it's only an issue if they abuse the monopoly in order to leverage themselves in another field.

They have a mapping application for Apple iPhones. Microsoft has their own mapping application. So does Apple. So does Tom Tom. So do a score of others. Google leveraging maps to increase the share of Android only works if Apple and Microsoft pretty much admit they need Google Maps.

You have a better argument saying Google has a monopoly on videos since they own YouTube.

Re:Geotarding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43961703)

ok, then lets say Navetq Telenav is a budding monopoly funded by the companies you mentioned.

If I try to raise money in the "Nav" business and get asked "does Google do it", then yes, Google is a monopoly or is nearing a monopoly".

So I have to play the "trusted source" card, eg, playing on the current "who do you trust" card in play.

Then, I may be allowed to Stay a while in the Nav business.

Eg, Waze was just in it to get bought, like any public company.

Help eliminate accidental speeding tickets worldwide [wikispeedia.org]

Re:Geotarding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43959533)

Google is always talking about innovation but all they seem to do is absorb small companies into their borg collective. After the NSA fiasco there's no way I'm going to provide data to these people.

Re:Geotarding? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 months ago | (#43960725)

Waze crowdsources routefinding, which is a huge computational problem. I imagine that like Dodgeball the technology, but not the actual user experience, will ultimately be merged into the larger Google Maps crowdsourcing operation.

This is a huge blow for Apple, who simply don't have Google's mapping resources and really need a way to bootstrap their maps improvement efforts. They don't have a web based map system to draw on, and as bad as Apple Maps is, the most pernickety users - the ones most likely to file correction reports - have moved back to the Google Maps app. Well, I know I have.

(That stupid "legal" link in the corner of even the tiniest API-provided, in-app map is exactly the sort of nonsense Apple is supposed to not do!)

well, it remains to be seen what they will do with it.
they might kill it and in 3 years after that introduce an identical feature in their own product line.

Re:Geotarding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43959757)

I stopped using Google's search engine yesterday. I hope you do to.

Re:Geotarding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960657)

What are you switching to?
Bing? (also collaborating)
Yahoo? (repackaged Bing in an uglier wrapper)
Something else? (first 12 pages of results for any search are SEO spam, dodgy online pharmacies, and other worthless crap)

google, apple, facebook and israel (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43959117)

talk about the axis of evil

captcha: disgusts

We are the Google (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43959123)

Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. We will add your genetic distinctiveness to our own.

Re:We are the Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43959179)

"And here is a complementary Google Glass surgically added to your brain"

Time for Google to confess (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43959193)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nfgAa2Hu-o

"President Obama defended the two programs that exploded into public view". In other words he confirmed both leaks as true.

Google have denied their involvement in Prism.
http://www.wate.com/story/22534581/google-ceo-denies-companys-involvement-in-prism

"SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Google CEO Larry Page and Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg are denying reports that depict two of the Internet's most influential companies as willing participants in a secret government program that gives the National Security Agency unfettered access to email and other personal information transmitted on various online services."

Really it's time to confess. If people use this traffic tracking system, then that data will go straight into the NSA computer, and be used against them. The President has confirmed the existence of these programs, its time for Google to tell the truth and admit their part in this mass surveillance. Same with Microsoft, same with Apple, same with Facebook.

$1.3Bn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43959195)

A much needed cash injection for the Israelis... That'll finance the murder of a few more Palestinian children...

Not happy (4, Informative)

stephanruby (542433) | about 10 months ago | (#43959199)

I'm not too happy about this. Waze was the only alternative that could go toe-to-toe with Google Maps Navigation in terms of doing real-time crowdsourcing aggregation of driving data.

I know there are others like Nokia (which purchased Navteq, currently the leader in maps), Microsoft, and Tom Tom, but those others don't work nearly as well mostly because they haven't done anything new in the last ten years.

At least, there is Open Street Maps now, but that still doesn't have good turn-by-turn navigation (nor good real-time up-to-the-second information).

Re:Not happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43959363)

I'm not too happy about this either, being an Israeli. It seems likely that this app will disappear, and Google Navigation is not available in Israel for now...

However, if they leave the app as it is and join forces - maybe we could get even better things than before.

On the other hand I was much more frustrated when I thought Apple would buy Waze because Apple would have killed only the Android version, and I would never go Apple, sorry.

Oh well, at least the corrupt politicians will have some more tax money to work with...

GGF

Re:Not happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43959723)

Google Navigation works in Israel (for me, on an SGS3, YMMV). AFAIK, Turn-by-Turn navigation works. It even does walking directions and public transport

Re:Not happy (4, Interesting)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | about 10 months ago | (#43959511)

Every time I've tried to use waze it overheated my phone so much it was physically uncomfortable to hold, google navigation on the other hand behaves nicely. If they take waze's features and google's performance I'd be happy.

Re:Not happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43959553)

Google is the new Microsoft. Didn't you notice all the shit you have to agree to use android 4. The million times it asks for permission to use your data with no option to quit asking if you say no.....

Re:Not happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43959679)

There's also Sygic, Navigon, Copilot....

I like Sygic

Re:Not happy (1)

afidel (530433) | about 10 months ago | (#43961215)

Yeah, with the impending closing of igoogle I've switched my homepage netvibes and Waze was the only source of realtime traffic maps that would allow themselves to be embedded in a third party site. With this purchase I'm going to be back to popping out to a different site which is less than ideal.

Good ! (2)

Chatterton (228704) | about 10 months ago | (#43959233)

I like Waze very much and use it from time to time but I find very frequently that Waze make you take really stupid roads sometime more slower than the one with the traffic jams :/ Other problems I have with Waze are: From time to time it doesn't seems to be able to start the GPS of my tablet, Reboot my tablet just before an exit I should have taken on the motorway, Slow to detect that I have not taken its planned path...
Else I use Google navigation with lot less problems but I get in the traffic jams each time when i need to go in town :(

Now Google navigation with the traffic jam avoidance of Waze could be really be good.

Re:Good ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43959761)

Agreed - I use Waze because I feel like I get a better sense of traffic ahead (and I like having the speed traps marked). The time estimates are also very very accurate. The problem for me, and why I welcome this announcement is, like parent mentioned, Waze routing sux big time. It almost always takes me via non-optimal routes. Yesterday I used it to navigate from my home to a location, and it tried to take me North, then East, then South, i.e. about 270 degrees around the town, rather than take the south road out of town. Had I followed it, it would have added about 4 miles to my trip. It does this ALL the time. I've been commuting to a job for 7 months now, and it STILL hasn't figured out that it's better to take the east road, rather than travel 10 miles northeast and then 10 miles southeast (and burn a lot more fuel because that's all highway). I have to navigate to an intermediate point, and then re-route to work. BTW, it's much more willing to suggest the same route going the other direction, i.e. for the evening drive home. :-(

Google on the other hand tends to have good routing, so if they marry the Waze realtime traffic/obstacles/police features to their existing routing engine I think they'll have a very very good product.

Re:Good ! (1)

afidel (530433) | about 10 months ago | (#43961455)

Waze optimizes for time not for distance so if those other routes are faster despite being longer then it's going to take you that way. Waze also has a preference for major routes it`s likely to have information from other wazers as to traffic conditions on. It's also possible it's a route bug, they do happen and waze allows you to report them, but IME it's hard to get a change approved unlike Google maps maker where you generally get an approval or rejection in a matter of days.

Google, Apple AND Facebook were interested ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43959247)

The NSA must want that information really badly ...

Unsubscribe from gmail, hotmail, yahoo, fb, itunes (0)

udachny (2454394) | about 10 months ago | (#43959329)

It is time to unsubscribe from these wonderful services that these wonderful companies are providing for a wonderful miserly fee of your soul and private information.

Pop3 and Thunderbird (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43959387)

I already did, pop3, I found that my ISP provides an excellent email. I was quite surprised how much easier Thunderbird is, and pop3 may be old, but it doesn't leave your email on the cloud.

Secure the link with TLS, I asked the ISP if their SMTP connections are force secure, he assure me it is.

My government may not protect my privacy, my British politicians may not have my interests at heart, I may be classed as possible terrorist to be watched, but there is a way forward here.

And it even works better than before!

Re:Pop3 and Thunderbird (3, Insightful)

MrMickS (568778) | about 10 months ago | (#43959463)

I already did, pop3, I found that my ISP provides an excellent email. I was quite surprised how much easier Thunderbird is, and pop3 may be old, but it doesn't leave your email on the cloud.

Secure the link with TLS, I asked the ISP if their SMTP connections are force secure, he assure me it is.

My government may not protect my privacy, my British politicians may not have my interests at heart, I may be classed as possible terrorist to be watched, but there is a way forward here.

And it even works better than before!

Your email still passes through the ISPs server so the meta-data about who you received mail from and when, and who you sent mail to and when, is still recorded in their logs. If GCHQ see something they count as suspicious then they can apply to the Home Secretary or Justice Secretary to allow interception of your email and its done.

If the PRISM stuff is to believed then it doesn't matter where your email is delivered it just has to pass a listening point and they have it. So well done for changing your mail setup but I don't think it'll make much difference.

Thunderbird encryption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43959523)

True, but the email history isn't hanging around on a gmail or yahoo or hotmail server waiting to be read.

There isn't a PRISM interface to my computer like the one to Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo, so they *really* need to get real warrant, checked by a real person. None of this 'click a checkbox to say its legal' business. Only then can they get my email history.

I noted very carefully that General Petraeus didn't trust webmail send, exchanging messages with his girlfriend by writing a draft, leaving it for her to read, and she writes a draft, leaving it for him to read. Never sending email. If he can't ensure his privacy then none of use can trust these free US services.

The relay problem is more of an issue, my ISP tells me it rejects unencrypted links (no STARTTLS with a fail), but that doesn't mean all relays in the link are secure, or that my ISP wouldn't turn that off if forced by secret warrant.

I see Thunderbird has encryption built in, I need to figure out hot to get it to work and push people to using it by default.

What about the PRISM interface to Google glass? I still can't believe that we have this massive scandal, and European politicians are so in the pockets of the US, that they DEFEND US spying on their own citizens! How can they ensure democracy if they can't protect us from foreign surveillance??? What happens if we want to vote for the ANTI-US candidate, what happens if we want to *campaign* for the anti-US candidate??? Do we have a democracy or not?

Re:Thunderbird encryption (1)

MrMickS (568778) | about 10 months ago | (#43959871)

True, but the email history isn't hanging around on a gmail or yahoo or hotmail server waiting to be read.

There isn't a PRISM interface to my computer like the one to Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo, so they *really* need to get real warrant, checked by a real person. None of this 'click a checkbox to say its legal' business. Only then can they get my email history.

If they want to do business in the UK, or operate offices with the UK, it is. We have laws in place that require ISPs to keep communications logs for 12 months. No warrant is needed to access this data based on UK law either, just the say so from a senior official in the organisation making the request.

You are also assuming that PRISM is picking things up off the servers, from my reading of things, it doesn't. It can collect the data on-the-wire. So all that's necessary is that your mail passes a PRISM tap and your data is collected. Now the NSA might not be able to access that data without a warrant however GCHQ, based on the sharing of intelligence information provisions, can. So what is to stop them passing information of interest picked up in this way off to the US authorities? Its a neat end around on your privacy laws and what the majority of the outrage is about over here in the UK. Its not that the surveillance goes on but rather that the intelligence community appear to have found a way around oversight.

Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Paltalk, ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960121)

I normally live outside the UK, so that's not a problem. When I'm in the UK, I'll POP3/TLS'd to my ISPs email service. I know about UK's insane surveillance culture already,

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/us-tech-giants-nsa-data

From the Guardian example, they *do* extract the data from the servers.
"Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Paltalk, YouTube, Skype, AOL, Apple.... Email, Chat voice/video, Videos, Photos, Stored Data, VoIP, File Transfers, Video Conferencing, logins etc, Online Social Networking, Special Requests (in bold no less)"

That's not on the wire, they got these companies to sign up and give the data over. The sign up dates are clearly stated, this is done by those companies.

"Now the NSA might not be able to access that data without a warrant however "

We saw from the leaked warrant, that there is no real warrant (here it is):
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2013/jun/06/verizon-telephone-data-court-order

It's just a 'give NSA everything on everyone', renewed every three months. So NSA doesn't need a warrant after that, once the data is on their servers its there for any random search they feel like doing. All warrant free after that. PRISM data is probably also just funnelled into that database, again so it can be used without a warrant in secret. It might need a warrant to tap their servers, but from the leaked warrant we know the Judicial protection is a joke.

I think there is outrage at the surveillance in the UK. I think people are afraid to speak. [I've editing out a sentence here from this message for my own protection and the safety of my family]. I was going to the US for Thanksgiving this year, I really don't want to put my family through a DHS interaction. Too risky. I think I'll cancel.

For email, I'm pretty sure I'll remove the last of the data transit risks soon, it's a pity. I used to feel safe in Europe, now I feel like anything I say will land me in some prison somewhere on a trumped up charge.

Re:Thunderbird encryption (1)

afidel (530433) | about 10 months ago | (#43961785)

From the information leaked PRISM is covered by a blanket warrant from the FISA court. Under previous law the FISA court would not have been able to sanction domestic monitoring but I'm sure it is under some authoritarian reading of how the FISA bill and the Patriot Act interact.

Re: Thunderbird encryption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43959899)

STARTTLS doesn't do much if, say, Verisign has inserted the NSA into their certificate chain of trust.

Re:Pop3 and Thunderbird (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960157)

Uh, you assume POP3 != "doesn't leave your email in the cloud" and your ISP (who provides the TLS for SMTP) won't be interested in your mail.

Not sure this is good (3, Interesting)

figleaf (672550) | about 10 months ago | (#43959357)

Instead of wasting so much money, I wish Google had investing in something much more worthwhile like offline navigation.

Re:Not sure this is good (5, Funny)

MrMickS (568778) | about 10 months ago | (#43959437)

Instead of wasting so much money, I wish Google had investing in something much more worthwhile like offline navigation.

If they did that how would they track where you are?

Re:Not sure this is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43959461)

Instead of wasting so much money, I wish Google had investing in something much more worthwhile like offline navigation.

If they did that how would they track where you are?

Batch uploads the same as today. Google maps isn't live-streaming your location data back.

Re:Not sure this is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960707)

Yes it is. How do you think they get real-time traffic data.

Re:Not sure this is good (1)

Threni (635302) | about 10 months ago | (#43959727)

GPS.

Re:Not sure this is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960715)

Do you even understand how GPS works when you're offline? The only good thing about your post is that it was short.

Re:Not sure this is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43959795)

Instead of wasting so much money, I wish Google had investing in something much more worthwhile like offline navigation.

If they did that how would they track where you are?

It could track your position with the GPS while not having a data connection. It wouldn't get traffic updates, and it would have to pre-load all the map data, but you could use a WiFi only tablet with those restrictions.

I'm not sure this is worth it, though. The move is towards all these devices having full-time data connections (i.e. you'll see more and more tablets purchased with a cellular data plan). So, this would be engineering a solution to a problem which will eventually go away as data connections on these devices become ubiquitous.

Re:Not sure this is good (1)

yabos (719499) | about 10 months ago | (#43959943)

Except when you're in a foreign country where having a functioning GPS map is very useful, you don't usually have a data connection since phones are often locked to your home carrier making data fees astronomical.

If you can't beat them, buy them! (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about 10 months ago | (#43959509)

I use and like both Google maps and Waze; you can't beat streetview and the quality of Google maps, whilst Waze can give you some handy updates.
This really just goes to show what a massive failure Google has been in 'social' stuff, despite its huge success in other areas.
I still don't "get" Google plus, despite being a keen user of Gmail, Picasa, Docs etc.(urm, still waiting for the Picasa Android client, guys).

Main thing to remember, though, is always keep a 'hard' map loaded on your device too, for those tricky moments when there's no network coverage and you really need directions. Openstreetmap is OK, commercial offerings (I like iGo, YMMV) are better.

Tom Tom doesn't spy on me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43959693)

Thanks but Tom Tom doesn't spy on me.

Re:Tom Tom doesn't spy on me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43959799)

Of course it doesn't.

I hope waze app doesn't disappear (1)

agentgonzo (1026204) | about 10 months ago | (#43959539)

I've been using Waze for ages and have an older iPhone so can't use apple's built-in nav. I use a combination of google maps and waze. Waze's navigation is sometimes a bit quirky and I've noticed that google's routing is better (also offers walking and cycling routing). Searching in google maps is far superior to Waze, though for some reason they *still* can't search your contacts on your phone!

The actual UI in waze is much better than google though. For some reason, google maps nav always seems to lag about 50m behind where I actually am (which means I've missed a few turnings a couple of times) whereas waze is spot on. Also, Waze is the only nav app I've ever used that zooms out enough. When coming off a motorway, it will be zoomed out enough for you to see the next turning so you know whether to be in the left/right lane of the slip road. All other maps don't zoom out far enough to show you this so you have to guess and switch at the last minute when you get close enough to the roundabout to see where you are going next.

I really hope that google doesn't kill the waze app after 'integrating' it into google maps.

Re:I hope waze app doesn't disappear (1)

Khan (19367) | about 10 months ago | (#43959593)

This is my exact concern too. I'm not a fan of Google Maps for driving and like you, have seen the delays (among other quirks) in the map nav. And unlike GM, Waze's integration into FB is something that's well done. Also, start time of the app in general is much quicker on my 4S. If they maintain it separately like FB did with Instagram, I'll be ok with that. However, given Googles track record and "Do Evil" stance, I'm not holding my breath.

Elmer Fudd is impwessed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43959609)

It would be gweat during wabbit season.

You ARE traffic (1)

gsslay (807818) | about 10 months ago | (#43959713)

"community of drivers who work together to fight traffic"

That's strange. I've always thought that drivers are traffic. Are they fighting themselves? Or just other communities of drivers?

There's definitely scope for competition here. Different communities, different apps, swore deadly enemies fighting to the death! Which one can stage a fake traffic jam that sends the other into a futile five mile detour, leaving the road half empty?

Re:You ARE traffic (1)

Xest (935314) | about 10 months ago | (#43960061)

"There's definitely scope for competition here. Different communities, different apps, swore deadly enemies fighting to the death! Which one can stage a fake traffic jam that sends the other into a futile five mile detour, leaving the road half empty?"

I feel this idea deserves much VC funding.

In light of NSA connection... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43959751)

Now they'll not only know where you are and where you are going,
they'll know your planned route and what traffic is like.

And what a great URL this story has (1)

Begemot (38841) | about 10 months ago | (#43959765)

"google-to-buy-waze-for-13-billion"

who needs any dots between 1 and 3 ;)

competition (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43959823)

Strategic blow to everyone not paying for Google Maps data (i.e. Apple). Google might simple kill the company off, or more likely sorta roll their tech into the main Google maps app. As long as nobody else gets the data Google is happy.

Well, crap. (1)

zarmanto (884704) | about 10 months ago | (#43960155)

I really, really like Waze just the way it is, and have been using it on my iPhone since even before the whole iOS Maps debacle started... and having tried both of the new apps since then, neither Apple Maps nor Google Maps can compare to Waze, IMHO. Google better not screw this up.

Will Arab nations boycott Google now? (1)

Steve_Ussler (2941703) | about 10 months ago | (#43960259)

Since it is buying an Israeli company?

Hopefully. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43961893)

If they did so, they'd be morons. Deliberate morons shouldn't have access to the best resources.

Interesting (1)

Kimomaru (2579489) | about 10 months ago | (#43960743)

Ever get the feeling that we'll look back at this period in history and be kind of astonished at how it turned into a race to see how quickly giant companies can spend billions aquiring no-names? Is this a trendy thing now? They're spending billions on "Waze"? What's a Waze?

Ingress+Waze (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960901)

Maybe I would finally be able to play Ingress and navigate my way at the same time?

Ugh. Another good product lost to the evil empire. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43961037)

So long Waze. It was good while it lasted. I'll miss you.

Police reported ahead (1)

dindi (78034) | about 10 months ago | (#43961417)

So, does that mean that we can now say bye-bye to the feature where you can report police

"in countries where it is agains the law" ? (everywhere soon) ...

Fuck... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43961797)

... another app that I've been using and contributing to will again be scuttled.

Fuck.

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