Google Calendar Has Been Completely Revamped for the Web

It’s a total redesign. Here’s what you need to know.

Google’s popular online Calendar has received a redesign.

The search giant said Tuesday that its Calendar app for desktop computers has been upgraded to resemble its more nimble and aesthetically pleasing counterpart for smartphones.

The updated Calendar app seems primarily geared toward customers of Google’s G Suite lineup of business apps, formerly known as Google goog Apps for Work.

With the new update, corporate IT administrators will be able to set up office conference rooms into the app, so people can see whether or not a particular room has been booked for meeting on their digital calendars.

Once set up, employees can search for conference rooms via the Calendar app and book the space and invite other workers to any meetings they set up. They will also be able to see whether those conference rooms contain any particular audio or video equipment or if they are wheelchair accessible if their IT staff properly configured the digital calendars.

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People will also be able to add any spreadsheets or documents related to their meetings directly to the Calendar app, so people can access the necessary files without having to open other apps like Google Drive.

If an employee receives an invite for a meeting, they will see a portion of their calendar blocked off in the calendar app that’s “all in one color,” according to a tutorial on the new calendar. If people indicated that they will “maybe” attend the proposed meeting, they will see diagonal lines instead of one color, and if they haven’t replied, they will “just see the event’s outline” in the calendar app.

Customers can also choose to hide the weekends from their calendar so they can only see their workweek, according to the tutorial. They can also choose to see a view of the entire year truncated into calendar form.

Google plans to automatically convert its current calendar app to the updated version between Nov. 14 and Nov. 28. Interested companies can choose to manually update the app starting Tuesday.

Tech

Famed Architect’s Lawsuit Against Google Just Got Much More Serious

Eli Attia alleges he wasn’t the only one mistreated by the search giant.

A long-running lawsuit filed against Google by a prominent architect has just gotten much broader.

Last week, the Superior Court of California granted a motion adding racketeering charges to the civil case being pursued against Google by Eli Attia, an expert in high-rise construction. Attia claims Google stole his idea for an innovative building design method – and now he wants to prove that it does the same thing frequently.

Attia’s suit was originally filed in 2014, four years after he began discussions with Google (prior to its reorganization as Alphabet) about developing software based on a set of concepts he called Engineered Architecture. Attia has said Engineered Architecture, broadly described as a modular approach to building, would revolutionize the design and construction of large buildings. Attia developed the concepts based on insights gleaned from his high-profile architecture career, and has called them his life’s work.

Google executives including Google X cofounder Astro Teller came to share his enthusiasm, and championed developing software based on Engineered Architecture as one of the company’s “moonshots.” But Attia claims the company later used his ideas without fulfilling an agreement to pay to license them.

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Attia’s suit names not just Google, but individual executives including founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. It also names Flux Factory, the unit Attia’s suit alleges was spun off specifically to capitalize on his ideas.

Speaking to the San Jose Mercury News, Attia’s lawyer claims Google told Attia his project had been cancelled, “when in fact they were going full blast on it.” Flux Factory is now known as Flux, and touts itself as “the first company launched by Google X.”

Attia’s suit will now also seek to prove that his case is representative of a much broader pattern of behavior by Alphabet. According to court documents, the motion to add racketeering charges hinged on six similar incidents. Those incidents aren’t specified in the latest court proceedings, but Alphabet has faced a similar trade-secrets battle this summer over X’s Project Loon, which has already led to Loon being stripped of some patents.

The idea of racketeering charges entering the picture will surprise many who associate them with violent organized criminals. But under RICO statutes, civil racketeering suits can be brought by private litigants against organizations and individuals alleged to have engaged in ongoing misdeeds. The broader use of racketeering charges has slowly gained ground since the introduction of RICO laws in the 1960s, with some famous instances including suits against Major League Baseball and even the Los Angeles Police Department.

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Serverless computing may kill Google Cloud Platform

Google, which has had to claw its way back into cloud relevance in the shadows of Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, suddenly finds itself playing catchup again, thanks to the rise of serverless computing. Although Google Cloud Platform still trails AWS and Azure by a considerable margin in general cloud revenue, its strengths in AI and container infrastructure (Kubernetes) have given it a credible seat at the cloud table.

Or would, if the world weren’t quickly moving toward a serverless future.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

Google finally gains traction in cloud services

Google has long run a distant third behind Amazon and Microsoft in the cloud services business, but it finally seems to be catching some momentum, if the most recent quarter is an indicator of future trajectory. 

During an earnings call with Wall Street analysts, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that Google Cloud Platform continues to experience “impressive growth across products, sectors and geographies and increasingly with large enterprise customers in regulated sectors.” 

To be more specific, Pichai said Google closed three times as many $ 500,000-plus deals in the most recent quarter as it did in the same time period last year. Of course, that is kind of pointless without knowing the exact number. And given Alphabet, Google’s parent company, reported overall revenue of $ 25.8 billion for the quarter, it’s likely a few drops in the bucket. 

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Network World Cloud Computing