Weekly high-tech hot topics in the blogs: Google Buzz, Opera Mini

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The Independent Tech

Hot topics in the tech blogs for the week ending February 12: Google creates a buzz with Google Buzz, Google to open shop as your high-speed broadband ISP, bloggers caution over Google Buzz security issues, and Opera Mini hopes to become an alternative browser on Apple's iPhone platform.

Google Buzz
Google Buzz is a new real-time social network service being proposed by Google. Google Buzz is integrated into Google's email client, Gmail, and makes it easy for users to share short status updates, photos, videos and links both privately and publicly in real time. Bloggers were excited by the proposition - even before Google's announcement of the service writing, “Google Launching Twitter-Killer For Gmail!"

Google's experimental fiber network
The internet giant is gearing up to provide US customers with high-speed broadband connections more than 100 times faster than the speed of those currently provided in the country. The majority of bloggers welcomed the news, postulating the positive run-on effects such as the creation of bandwidth-intensive 'killer apps' and services. Cnet's Marguerite Reardon vocalized some of the possible concerns associated with Google becoming a network provider in her article " Is Google a wolf in sheep's clothing to ISPs?"

Google Buzz security issues and improvements
Shortly after Google launched Buzz bloggers started testing the social network and immediately brought to light some of the security flaws inherent within the service. After reading articles being written by technology bloggers and listening to consumers' concerns over the security flaws, Google took the matter into its own hands and wrote a blog post entitled "Millions of Buzz users, and improvements based on your feedback." The post detailed a number of steps the company had taken to provide users with more control over their public profiles and noted that the company had made improvements that ensured the public vs private settings were transparent during the initial sign-up process.

Google translator phone
An article written by the Times Online sparked heavy discussion in the tech blogs this week. The Times Online article ran with the headline , " Google leaps language barrier with translator phone " and provided details of a new mobile-based translation project that could instantly translate human speech into different languages. "We think speech-to-speech translation should be possible and work reasonably well in a few years' time," said Franz Och, Google's head of translation services to the Times Online. While this service is fantastic in theory bloggers such as Mashable's Stan Schroeder wrote, "Anyone who’s used  Google Translate knows that translations aren’t (and probably never will be) perfect."

Opera mini for iPhone
Web browser developer Opera Software announced they had designed an iPhone -compatible version of their popular Opera Mini web browser which they believe is up to six times faster than Apple's default iPhone browser, Safari. The company said the browser will also provide savings for iPhone users who travel the globe by reducing their roaming browsing costs by up to 90 percent. Bloggers were unanimous in their hopes the application would eventually be available in the app store but understandably hesitant to believe it would get past the critical eyes of Apple's App store approval team.

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