Articles about Google

Google's updated privacy policy means personally identifiable ad tracking is now go, go, go!


That Google encroaches on user privacy is not a startling revelation by any stretch of the imagination. But a recent change to the company's Privacy Policy means that information from DoubleClick ads can now be used to identify individuals and track them online.

The changes to the policy have not been hidden -- the details and alterations are visible in an archived copy of the document -- but it has not been advertised either. The implications of the change are huge. Since purchasing DoubleClick back in 2007, Google kept identifiable user data separate from anonymized ad tracking. This is no longer the case.

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Chrome's bleeding edge Canary build now available for Android


Google offers a choice of Chrome versions, depending on how close to the cutting edge you want to be. You can choose to run either the stable release, or gain access to additional features by opting to join the beta channel. There’s also Canary, a "bleeding edge" build of Chrome that installs, runs and updates separately from the main browser.

This has previously only been available for Windows or Mac, but it’s now available on Android too.

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Google releases open source 'Nomulus' TLD registry platform

TLD domain extension dot com

Google is one of the biggest champions of open source, releasing very useful projects such as Cartographer and Noto. Heck, the company is so proud of its open source efforts, that it graded itself with a public report card.

Today, the search giant releases yet another open source tool. Called "Nomulus", it is designed to be a top-level domain (TLD) registry platform. This is not a young or incomplete project, however, as Google began developing it way back in 2011. Now that Nomulus is in the wild and free to use, it will be interesting to see how it is leveraged.

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Google can now help you find the cheapest flights

Google Flights cheapest tickets

You can save big on plane tickets. The trick, as you know, is to buy them at the right time. And since it may not be easy to foresee, Google Flights has received an update to let you know when is the best time to take out your credit card.

With the holiday season just around the corner, Google says that 69 percent of the US leisure travelers worry about finding the cheapest flights or making the right decision when buying their tickets, so Travel will now inform users when it expects prices to change.

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Acer updates Chromebook 15 with 12-hour battery life -- $199 exclusively at Walmart

Acer Chromebook 15 CB3-532_right facing_GWP

Chromebooks are not for everyone, but for many home users, it is absolute perfection. If you live in the web browser -- as many people do nowadays -- laptops running Google's Linux-based Chrome OS are a godsend because they are maintenance free. No need for confusing OS upgrades or anti-virus software. It just works, and it works well. Since they can now run Android apps too, they could become a serious threat to Microsoft and Windows 10.

One of the most attractive aspects of Chromebooks is price -- they are often quite affordable. Today, Acer refreshes its 15.6 inch Chromebook 15 with a mind-boggling 12 hours of battery life. Best of all? It starts at $199. Yes, this model will get Android app support in a future update too.

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Google will show different search results to mobile and desktop users in the coming months


At the moment it does not matter whether you perform a Google search from your phone or from your computer; you'll see the same results. But in a few months this is set to change. The company is set to launch a new mobile search index that will be more up to date than the desktop index.

The news came at Pubcon, a social media and optimization conference, via Google's trends analyst Gary Illyes. It was an idea that was floated last year, and after a little experimentation, Google is almost ready to launch the new search index.

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Google releases Open Source Report Card -- does the company deserve an A+?


The future of computing is open source. While there is still room for closed source software, more and more companies are going the open route. Major players such as Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook are all contributing to the open source community. Google in particular is a huge proponent of open source. Heck, two of the company's operating systems -- Chrome OS and Android -- are Linux distributions.

Today, the search giant announces the 'Open Source Report Card'. This is essentially a report that explains the details of its open source projects. Google is undoubtedly a major open source contributor, but the question is, what grade should the company get?

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Sorry, Donald Trump, Google News makes it easier to fact-check bogus claims


Regardless of your opinion of Donald Trump, there have been some accusations that he isn't always truthful when he makes statements. During the most recent debate, his opponent, Hillary Clinton, urged viewers to fact-check some of his claims. Whether or not Trump is any less truthful than other politicians is up for discussion.

Understandably, it can be hard for the average voter to know what is true, and what isn't. In other words, if a politician makes a bogus claim -- or 'bends' the truth -- how can a voter fact-check? Today, Google News is making it is easier to do so with a new "Fact Check" label for articles that offer fact-checking.

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Updated Google Photos uses AI to animate and auto-rotate your pictures... and more


Google Photos has received a fairly significant update that sees the arrival of four key new features. Three of them are focused on sharing and viewing your photos, but the fourth is an AI-powered auto-rotate function that ensures you'll no longer have to look at photos on their sides.

As Pixel and Pixel XL owners (as well as other Android users who don't mind a drop in quality) have unlimited Google Photo storage at their disposal, Google is introducing a Facebook-style restrospective feature. Google says it will "make it easier to look back at your fondest memories", but there is more to discover.

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Google's latest transparency report reveals the futility of transparency reports -- and increased data requests

Google Logo

As has become the norm for big tech companies these days, Google has just published its latest transparency report. The report reveals -- in very, very broad strokes -- the number of requests for user data the company has received from the US government.

In a groundbreaking revelation (and -- please -- note the sarcasm) the lifting of a gag restriction by the FBI means Google is now able to report about the number of National Security Letters it received in Q2 2015. Sort of. "We have updated the range of NSLs received in that period [...] from 0-499 to 1-499." Or, to paraphrase: "there definitely weren't none".

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Google Chrome 55 will drastically improve memory consumption


Google Chrome has received plenty of updates to make it lighter on resources, but it can still be a bit of a hog in certain areas. Its higher memory consumption remains a weak point, as you can easily notice on systems with a lower amount of RAM. However, an upcoming update is touted to greatly lower its footprint.

Google Chrome 55, which is expected to arrive in December, should improve the average memory consumption by up to 50 percent compared to the current release, version 53.

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Google releases open source font Noto to eliminate the tofu problem


You may not have heard of the tofu problem, but you have almost certainly experienced it. If you visit a website or open a document that can't display a particular character, you'll see a white box symbol resembling a cube of tofu. Now Google has a solution.

The Noto font project (it's a mashup of 'NO more TOfu') has been something of a labor of love, taking five years to reach its conclusion. But the result is an open source Noto font family which Google says includes "every symbol in the Unicode standard, covering more than 800 languages and 110,000 characters".

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Algorithm-powered sorting comes to Google+ Communities


Just about all of the key players in social media have turned to algorithms to control the order in which posts appear in users' timelines. Google has already introduced algorithmic sorting for Google+, and now it is rolling out to Communities.

Just as with Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, the decision to move towards algorithms rather than a simple chronological timeline is one that will be divisive. But Google has made it easy to toggle the setting, helping to keep everyone happy.

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Class-action age discrimination lawsuit against Google goes forward

Google logo sign building

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Google accusing the company of discriminating against older job seekers and employees. The case against the company has been certified by the Northern California District Court, which is allowing aggrieved applicants aged 40 and older to join together to file a single suit.

Now that the case has been certified, the court has given plaintiffs the right to challenge Google in court as opposed to individually which will make it easier to deal with the company's expert legal team. This move by the court also increases the chances of the company offering those involved in the case a favorable settlement.

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Google ditches Hangouts in favour of Duo as a required Android app

Google Hangouts Samsung smartphone Android

Starting in December, smartphone manufacturers will no longer be required to install Hangouts on their handsets. Instead, phone makers will need to provide users with the recently-launched Duo.

This is not to say that Hangouts is being killed off -- not yet, at least. But Duo, complete with end-to-end encryption, will replace the app as part of the core Google Mobile Services package.

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