Hello faithful readers and welcome to yet another exciting edition of This Week in Technology News for August 1, 2013. News outlets around the country simply can’t stop talking about the sudden surge of Facebook’s stock prices in an otherwise unremarkable week that’s been dominated by everything Google. From Google Play apps launching in the Apple store to Google Chromecast selling out in record time, it’s hard to not see why the world’s largest tech company will be a part of our lives for decades to come. So in tribute to their recent media domination, we proudly present This Week in Google for your reading pleasure.

Google Promises Starbucks 10x Faster Wi-Fi

starbucks and google partnershipOur first tech story of the day comes from a new partnership between Google and Starbucks to deliver faster web browsing to over 7,000 locations throughout the United States. How much faster, you ask? According to a guarantee by Google, Wi-Fi speeds will reach ten times faster than the service currently offered by AT&T. This dynamic duo will not stop there, however, because they are currently in the process of designing the next generation of Starbucks locations that will be built from the ground up to embrace mobile technology on numerous devices.

While financial terms have yet to be released to the public, it is safe to assume that our White Mochas and Caramel Frappuccinos will taste just a little bit sweeter with the increased bandwidth during our morning rituals. Network upgrades are starting this August at corporate-owned stores and will continue throughout 2014 by Colorado-based Level 3 Communications.

Android Phones Held for Ransom

Android security threatsIn other news that revolves around Google, Android users are officially advised to immediately beef up their mobile security suites in the wake of thousands of hijack attempts in India and Indonesia. Remember those fake virus scanners from the early 2000’s that prompted you to purchase a $99 license to “fix your PC”? Well, the mobile equivalent has been unleashed and it’s just as devious as ever. Experts are calling it “Mobile Ransomware” and it will prove to be near impossible for the average user to remove.

In case you skipped the past decade, ransomware is a virus that takes over the user’s Internet capabilities (among other vital applications) and requests payment for a thorough virus removal service. If the user forks over a credit card payment, the virus typically goes dormant for a short period of time while hackers use your credit profile to steal everything but your socks. The only way to remove this malware is through a legitimate security suite that recognizes the virus, so hit your apps store today and stay ahead of this potential problem.

Google Chromecast Sells Out, then Flops

google chromecast reviewsOur final Google story of the day takes a look at the frenzied sales bonanza that ensued from the official launch of the Chromecast, which is a $35 wireless streaming device that grants access to Netflix, YouTube, and stored Chrome content. The big appeal of this product is that it runs off a traditional USB drive, so in theory it will transform anything from HD televisions to smartphones to laptops into entertainment machines. We say in theory because initial reviews have been almost universally negative due to the Chromecast’s limited functionality.

Despite horrible reviews, both traditional and online outlets sold out within hours of the Chromecast’s debut and demand is still high as retailers attempt restock their shelves. In fact, Google Chromecast resellers are fetching a premium of $75 and up on sites like eBay, so it seems that everyone wants to become an official beta-tester at the $35 price-point. Our advice is to let the hype die down and wait for version 2.0; the original model simply does not offer enough flexibility to be considered a must-have product.

Well, that’s all we have for This Week in Technology for August 1, 2013. Be sure to check back with us in the next edition where we’ll flip this trend and talk about everything except for how Google’s changing the world. We’ll see you then!