Articles about Google

Did Google remove presidential candidates Donald Trump and Gary Johnson from search results?

Google logo sign building

The US has four nominees for president now. The choices narrowed a bit yesterday when Bernie Sanders officially nominated Hillary Clinton upon losing a hard fought campaign. Clinton swallowed her pride and did the same thing for Barrack Obama back in 2008.

Despite the common misconception, the US does have more than two parties, though most citizens seldom hear about others. There are also fringe parties that really aren't heard of.

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At last! Google Play Family Library lets you share purchased apps, games and movies with others

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It's something that Android users have been begging for -- the ability to buy an app once, and share it with members of the family. Until now, one way around the problem was to create a shared family account that could be used to download everything, but now Google has a better solution: Google Play Family Library.

This new feature not only lets you share purchased apps with up to six family members, but also games, movies, TV shows and books. It's something that could save Android-using families a good deal of money, and it's rolling out right now.

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Zero-day flaw leaves LastPass vulnerable to attack [UPDATE: it's fixed]

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A Google Project Zero hacker has discovered a zero-day vulnerability in the password manager LastPass that could lead to accounts being completely compromised.

The security flaw can be triggered by visiting a malicious website, and it has been confirmed to be an issue by white hat security researcher Tavis Ormandy. He has filed a full report to LastPass with a view to getting the vulnerability patched.

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Spam call protection arrives in the Google Phone app for Android

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We're used to the idea of filtering spam emails from our inbox these days, but there is also the problem of spam phone calls. These are not just a nuisance, but may also be the start of scams. Google is pushing out an update to its Phone app that helps to keep you protected.

It's a simple idea. Whenever a suspicious call comes through, a warning is displayed on screen to let you know that you might want to either ignore the call, or take care if you answer.

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Google Maps gets a facelift that makes it easier to read and areas of interest easier to find

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You've probably noticed that it can be hard to make out details on Google Maps. You're not alone; Google has noticed too, and the company has just launched a redesigned version of the essential travel tool.

The changes apply to the desktop, iOS and Android versions of Google Maps and the most immediately apparent difference is the new color palette -- much subtler and easier on the eyes. But Google has also cleaned things up to improve visibility, and added new 'areas of interest'.

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Forget the beta... Prisma arrives on Android

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Like Pokémon Go, Prisma has taken the app world by storm in recent weeks. Previously only available for iOS users, the photo app that creates works of art from your snaps has finally made its way to Android.

Just a few days ago there was talk of a beta program that keen users could take part in, but now we've jumped straight to the full release. If you're (somehow) unfamiliar with the app, it uses machine learning to transform your photos into the style of any one of a number of famous artists and styles.

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Google wants devs to reduce the size of app updates

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For many mobile users, it's important to keep an eye on data usage to ensure tariff limits are not exceeded. A major contributor to gobbling up monthly bandwidth allowances is the updating of apps, and Google is taking steps to reduce the size of APK updates.

In a post on the Android Developers Blog, Google speaks directly to developers, pointing out the various steps they can take to optimize the size of updates. The company also calls for greater transparency so users know the size of updates before committing to a download.

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KAPOW! Bubble Zoom in Google Play Books means better support for comics

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If you use your Android smartphone or tablet to read comics, your reading experience is about to get a whole lot more enjoyable. An update to Google Play Books sees the introduction of Bubble Zoom, a feature announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2016.

It uses image recognition technology to identify speech bubbles and automatically enlarge the text of each, one at time as you tap. To celebrate, Google is offering 50 percent off certain DC Comics and Marvel comics.

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BBC iPlayer Radio app launches in the US for iOS and Android

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The BBC pumps out a great deal of fabulous content, but there's one problem -- an awful lot of it can only be accessed in the UK. With the launch of the iPlayer Radio app for iOS and Android, this changes.

As well as giving listeners the chance to tune in to live radio broadcasts, the app also provides access to podcasts, and boasts a catch-up feature for shows you may have missed. The iPlayer Radio app is available free of charge, and has already received rave reviews in the Google and Apple stores.

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Now it's easier than ever to submit changes and additions to Google Maps

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Google has done a great job of mapping the globe down to street level, but it's not perfect. You've almost certainly encountered errors and omissions on Google Maps, and starting today the company is making it easy to point out missing and incorrect data from the comfort of your mobile.

Crowdsourcing the collecting of map data is a great way to ensure that Google Maps is kept constantly up to date. It means that as businesses close down, change names, or open up, users can submit feedback to Google straight away so the information is available to everyone as quickly as possible.

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Google A4A will speed up the web by making ads far more efficient

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These days, the web is all about advertising. Whatever type of site you visit -- news, entertainment, music, or whatever -- you are almost certain to encounter ads. Many people turn to ad blockers not just because ads can be irritating (and something of a privacy concern), but also because they can dramatically slow down browsing.

We've already heard about Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages project which looks to speed up the web for mobile users. But AMP is about more than just pushing page content to handsets quicker. Google has also developed a way to dramatically speed up the appearance of ads: AMP for ads, or A4A.

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Google is making it harder to root Android 7.0 Nougat

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Rooting Android remains very popular with a certain crowd of users, but fact of the matter is for most folks it is an unnecessary hassle. I have gone through the pros and cons of hacking the operating system in previous articles, so I will not discuss them again here, but suffice to say that both the software and the hardware have matured so nicely that the vast majority of people can be perfectly happy with their new smartphone or tablet as it comes out of the box.

Google has been somewhat permissive with regards to rooting, but, behind closed doors, it has been working hard to close the open avenues. While hacking Android has become harder, Nougat will take things to the next level, bringing new security features to make sure that your device stays the way its maker intended.

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Google's DeepMind AI has cut data center electricity usage by 15 percent

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Artificial intelligence is frequently associated with sentient computers, bots and the like. But in the real world, AI is being put to a far wider range of uses. DeepMind, Google's AI division has been instrumental in slashing energy consumption in data centers.

Lying at the heart of the internet, data centers are huge electricity gobblers, and anything that can be done to reduce usage is to be welcomed. DeepMind has reduced consumption in Google's data centers by an impressive 15 percent, helping the company to do its bit for the environment.

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Google and Bing have no obligation to censor searches for torrents

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The High Court of Paris has ruled that Google and Bing do not have to have automatic filters in place to scrub torrent-related results from searches. The battle against piracy is something that search engines have found themselves pulled into, but this latest ruling turns the debate on its head.

French music industry group SNEP went to court on behalf of a trio of artists, requesting that Microsoft and Google automatically filter out links to pirated material. The group had called for a complete block on searches that include the word 'torrent' as well as blocking sites whose name includes the word.

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Google is receiving more government requests for access to user data than ever before

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Transparency reports from the big tech companies always make for interesting reading, and the latest update from Google is no different. Its most recent transparency report covers the period July-August 2015, and shows that the company received a record number of government data requests.

The report shows the number of times governments around the world contacted Google with requests for access to user data. For anyone with an interest in either privacy or security, the marked increase in the number of requests is interesting.

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