How to get an early look at the new Google Maps with a bit of cookie know-how

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We had the opportunity to grab an early look at the new and refreshed Google Maps, but not everyone is as fortunate; you either had to be an I/O attendee or hope you received an invitation after requesting one. However, a tipster has sent Android Police a set of instructions that’ll let you get in on the new Maps without those pre-requisites. All you need is the ability to manually set cookies via a Chrome extension like this one or an alternate browser.

Then visit the Google Maps page, replace the cookie labeled NID with a special code (we’ve included it after the break), and voilĂ , the brand new Google Maps will appear before your eyes. Now you too will be able to enjoy more visually enticing navigation — just don’t expect it to feel like a skydive.

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Google ends Street View litigation in the US, agrees to destroy collected data and pay $7 million fine

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Google’s long found itself in hot water where its Street View mapping practices are concerned, running afoul of authorities both in the US and abroad since 2010.

But as of today, the search giant’s putting an end to its domestic legal woes, agreeing to dole out $7 million to the 37 states and District of Columbia involved in the litigation. In addition, the company’s pledged to destroy all of the user information (passwords, emails, etc.) it’s thus far collected from unsecured networks — unlawful snooping it claims was carried out by a “rogue engineer.”

Google admits to fumbling its dedication to user privacy in this one area and, as part of the settlement, has committed to not only educating its employees on best privacy practices, but to also launch a consumer outreach program addressing these same issues. So, for now, consider this case closed… in the US. Its troubles across the pond are another matter.