In the grand scheme of things, Chrome OS is hardly a major player from a desktop market share perspective -- for now. With that said, the Linux-based operating system has captured the hearts and minds of many consumers. It has matured quite a bit too, becoming a viable Windows alternative for home users. Actually, it is a great choice for some businesses too -- depending on needs, of course.
Today, Google announces the latest business-focused laptop running its desktop operating system -- the HP Chromebook 13. Not only is this Chrome OS laptop powerful, affordable, and beautiful, but very secure too. It can be argued that it is safer than a Windows notebook.
A federal judge has ruled that Amazon is liable for sending out bills to parents of children who made in-app purchases without permission. Amounting to millions of dollars, the bills have now been deemed unauthorized, and Amazon faces having to pay back a large percentage of the money.
The case has echoes of similar legal action brought against Google and Apple for purchases made by children in the App Store and Google Play. Amazon, Apple and Google have all implemented systems to prevent unauthorized purchases since being investigated by the FTC back in 2014.
Google antitrust: Getty Images files complaint against search giant for image scraping and piracy promotion
Google is already embroiled in one antitrust case in Europe where the company stands accused of abusing Android's dominance. Now photo agency Getty Images is accusing Google of promoting piracy and engaging in anticompetitive behavior by 'scraping' images from third party sites.
In a familiar-sounding complaint, Getty Images also says that Google skews search results in favor of its own services -- such as Google Images. The photo agency says that this directly impacts upon rival services, but perhaps the big charge is that a change made to Google Images provided access to copyrighted material and "promoted piracy, resulting in widespread copyright infringement".
YouTube is not paying artists enough in royalties for music videos, and Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx has had enough. He says that the Google-owned video site pays just a fraction of the likes of Apple and Spotify.
Sixx is calling on other musicians to join forces in a bid to make YouTube dig deeper into its pockets and pay artists a fair share. He is quick to point out that this is not just about getting more money for himself, insisting that he is also looking out for "the little guy -- the up and comers that we were at one point".
The tax arrangements of international technology companies have been in the spotlight for a little while now. Few people disagree with the idea that they should be paying their way when it comes to tax, and one of these people is Steve Wozniak. He thinks Apple should pay tax at a rate of 50 percent -- just like him.
Just like Amazon, Facebook and Google, Apple manages to avoid a great deal of tax by channeling money through a subsidiary located in the Republic of Ireland. This reduces its tax bill dramatically by avoiding the UK corporation tax of 20 percent, and instead paying the Irish rate of 12.5 percent. Apple co-founder Woz feels the company should be paying the same rate that he has to.
According to Google’s online transparency report, Google.com had been considered a "partially dangerous" website.
In the report under the Safe Browsing section, the company listed its own website as one that could be dangerous to its visitors followed by a list of site safety details along with testing details.
The modern internet user is somewhat paradoxical -- looking to be more connected and contactable than ever before, whilst simultaneously seeking privacy. Can the two ideas live side by side? It's a tricky balancing act, but many people turn to VPN tools to increase their security and privacy online.
Opera is the first web browser to bundle a free VPN tool as standard (with unlimited VPN data, no less), and it's hard to imagine that the competition won’t follow suit. Nothing has yet been announced, but the appearance of versions of Chrome or Firefox with integrated VPN would hardly be a surprise -- or would it? And how would you feel about a VPN tool supplied by Google?
Once again, as it has done in the past, Google makes the classic monopolist defense for its competitive—or anticompetitive, depending on perspective—behavior with respect to Android. Today, the European Union's Competition Commission formerly charged Alphabet and its major subsidiary, which has 12 weeks to provide satisfactory legal response before the Commission issues corrective sanctions.
Simply stated, the EC finds that the company abused its dominant position, in part by contracts compelling Android licensees to preload Google apps and related services, including search. Microsoft ran into similar bundling headaches starting in the late 1990s with respect to Windows. Responding today, Kent Walker, Google general counsel, claims that licensees and consumers can choose to install third-party apps. Microsoft made like-claims during its antitrust defense here and in Europe; they fell flat.
Dog years is too slow a measurement when it comes to the Internet, which pace maturing makes Moore's Law look like a skeleton sitting at a feast (it's too feeble a metric). Case in point: Google Chrome 50 officially releases this fine Wednesday, which is a long way from its late-2007 alpha. Whew, where did the years go?
Now before you quibble about who's how old when, let's clarify. By my math, and an official blog post, Chrome turned 50 one week ago. Maybe none of us noticed. I write this the afternoon before Big G rolls out the birthday cake, and Chrome was v49 when I checked but updated to 50. Perhaps this is a push comes to shove thing: Pushing the official day a week later when automatic update shoves the new version out to most users.
When it comes to email, Google is about more than just Gmail. With Inbox, Google has looked to simplify and automate email, and today the company announces three new features that take this further.
But Google doesn't think that 'features' is strong enough a word; instead these are 'experiences'. Specifically, there are new experiences that make it easier to keep track of calendar events, manage the links you email to yourself, and view all of the newsletters you subscribe to.
The EU may be bringing an antitrust case against Google in relation to its Android operating system, but the ITIF (Information Technology & Innovation Foundation) thinks that this is 'misguided'. Rather than Google harming customer choice, the institute says that it is the case against Google that should be in the spotlight.
Google has made much of the fact that Android is open source, and the ITIF says that "holding 'open' operating systems to higher standard only hurts consumer choice". Vice President Daniel Castro says that the Android ecosystem reduces costs for consumers, increases choice, and complains that the European Commission has failed to give details of precisely how consumers are being harmed by Google.
The European Union has charged Google with anticompetitive behaviour, saying that the company abused the dominance of Android in the mobile marketplace. Regulators have taken exception to Google's requirement on phone manufacturers to install Chrome and Google search, saying that this stifles innovation and limits user choice.
Unsurprisingly, Google disagrees and has hit back at the charges saying that "our business model keeps manufacturers' costs low and their flexibility high, while giving consumers unprecedented control of their mobile devices". More than this, Google says it prides itself on having built a sustainable ecosystem built on open source software. It also says that Android has been designed in such a way that is "good for competition and for consumers".
As Apple releases its transparency report, Google today releases its second Android Security Annual report. The report covers all things Android, from the security of the operating system itself, to the security of Google Play and the apps it provides access to. Of course, Google is keen to highlight everything it does to improve security for its users.
As such, the report shows how the company performs more than 400 million automatic security scans per day on devices with Google Mobile Services. Aided by machine learning, these scans help to home in on what are referred to as Potentially Harmful Applications (PHAs). Google points out that just 0.5 percent of scanned devices feature PHAs, and this dropped to 0.15 percent for devices that only installed apps from Google Play.
Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission’s antitrust commissioner, is continuing to put pressure on Google in regard to its Android operating system.
Vestager gave a speech at a conference in the Netherlands today in which she stressed how her department has now begun a close examination of the contracts Google has with mobile device manufacturers and mobile carriers. The European Commission is objecting to the requirements the company puts on its mobile partners to pre-load Google apps on devices.
There's nothing like a good sex scandal to get people talking, and that's certainly what's happened in the case of a celebrity threesome that's currently subject to a superinjunction banning the involved parties from being named. While the identities of the couple cannot be revealed by British newspapers, their names are well-known in other parts of the world, and all over the web.
The British press has played ball, agreeing not to name YMA, his husband PJS and the two others, AB and CD with whom a threesome is supposed to have taken place but it is impossible for law enforcement agencies to control what appears online. Google has been the first port of call for many curious-minded people eager to learn the names of those involved, and the search giant has said that -- despite many requests to do so -- it will not censor search results that could lead people to the names.