It seems as Google’s software, with the ability to listen everything being said in a room, was being installed on computers without the owners’ consent, and everyone’s freaking out about it.
It was first spotted by open-source developers who noticed that Chromium (open-source basis of Chrome) began remotely installing audio-snooping code that was capable of listening to users, The Guardian wrote in a report.
We've all had occasions when we've sent an email and then, for one reason or another, wished we hadn't. It may have been a message fired off in anger, or a missive you notice is littered with typos. For some time -- six years in fact -- Google has offered a bit of a safety net in the form of the Undo Send Labs feature.
For more than half a decade this was nothing more than an experimental feature, hence its appearance in Labs. But now Google has announced that it is being properly integrated into Gmail for everyone to use. There's no need to enable an experiment option any more, this is now a feature that everyone can access through Gmail's settings.
Not willing to be upstaged by Apple Music, Google is launching a free version of its Google Play Music service. To make money, the free version of the service will be supported by advertisements -- forget free trials and the prospect of upsetting artists such as Taylor Swift.
The free version of Google Play Music is starting life in the US and Google is pushing the fact that there are curated radio stations to suit whatever mood you find yourself in. The station features the involvement of some of the Songza team and it is possible to home in on a custom radio station based on genre, mood, decade, activity, or similarity to particular artists.
The wearables market continues to grow and there's something of a battle -- just as there is in the smartphone market -- between Apple Watch and Android Wear. Google's wearable OS keeps receiving updates and one of the things that makes it stand apart from Watch OS is the level of customization it offers users.
Today Google unveils 17 new watch faces to add to the existing catalog that already extends to more than 1,500 entries. As ever, the claims of there being something for everyone apply, and there are numerous cultural nods with Terminator Genisys, Hello Kitty, and Angry Birds faces all available for download.
Google today revealed details of a new project designed to power the world of journalism. News Labs is a joint venture between Google and a number of technology firms and entrepreneurs to make it easier to research and publish stories. It's something aimed primarily at major newsrooms and reporting outlets, but it also features tools that can help to power and promote collaborative citizen journalism.
The search giant has several programs that have been created to make it easier for people to make use of YouTube to deliver and consume news. User-generated news has become increasingly important in recent years, offering not just a wider range of opinion but also unparalleled localization, and Google is keen to be at the heart of it. Newspapers and news websites are far from being the end of journalism; reader interaction adds to the narrative.
This week, I had opportunity to use Apple Watch, making it third of the modern smart variety that I have experienced (the others being LG Urbane and Moto 360). The differences between the platforms are quite startling and worth highlighting. They begin with diverging design ethics derived from the fruit-logo company's app-centric heritage and Google's place in the cloud.
For people who use either Android handset or iPhone, existing device really determines what watch platform you choose, if any—that is for now. Down the path you go. But where it leads is somewhere else, not the same destination. One platform is more responsive to you in varying contextual situations. The other requires more direct interaction, but gives other benefits.
Google is to start honouring requests to remove links to revenge porn from its search results. In a move that has echoes of the Right to Be Forgotten in Europe, today's announcement indicates that the search giant is now willing to start censoring search results if people request that explicit personal images of them be removed.
This is not supposed to be carte blanche for people to request the removal of any image they are unhappy with -- it is a move designed to target images that might be posted to sexploitation websites with a view to bribing their subjects.
In the Electronic Frontier Foundation's annual Who Has Your Back report, Apple is commended for adopting a "strong stance" on user rights, transparency, and privacy. The 2015 edition of the report is the fifth to have been produced, and it rates a number of tech companies according to how they inform users about their privacy policies and how they respond to government requests for data.
Apple was awarded a full five star rating, faring better than Microsoft (three stars), Google (three stars), and Facebook (four stars). Other companies receiving a five out of five rating include Wikimedia, WordPress, and Yahoo. At the bottom of the heap are AT&T and WhatsApp who received just one star each. Despite a few disappointments, EFF is generally pleased with how tech firms have noted the renewed interest in privacy that now exists.
One of the most important aspects of the United States is freedom. Many of us take it for granted, but in many countries, people are not free to express themselves. In the USA, citizens are free to choose their religion, whether it be Christianity, Judaism, Islam or anything else; it is glorious.
Today, Google is specifically embracing Islam by releasing a tool for Ramadan. The unimaginatively named 'My Ramadan Companion' will help Muslims to observe this very holy month.
Playing video games is a very fun hobby. Hell, for some people, playing them is a job; yes, professional competitive gaming is a real thing. You know what else is cool? Watching other people play. While it was an absurd notion years ago, nowadays, people enjoy being spectators to another person's gameplay. I watch Pewdiepie, like, every day.
The most famous platform for streaming gameplay is Twitch, which is why Amazon bought the service for a ton of cheddar. Not to be outdone, however, Google today announces its own streaming service for gamers -- the unimaginatively named YouTube Gaming. While I do not expect a mass exodus from Twitch, Amazon's service will certainly lose some of its luster as a result. Interestingly, it will be run by former pro-gamer, Ryan Wyatt -- aka Fwiz -- most widely known as the former love interest of Justine Ezarik -- aka iJustine.
It’s no secret that Chrome for Mac hogs more resources than Safari. The browser by Google has been receiving heat from experts and users alike for shortening their laptop's battery life by 2-3 hours. The good news is that the company finally seems committed to resolving these glitches.
Earlier this month the Mountain View-based giant took its first major step at bringing improvements to its browser when it announced that Chrome will begin to automatically pause flash content on web-pages if a user hasn’t looked at it in a while. The company is now sharing other efforts it is making to improve Chrome.
While choosing which iPhone to buy is a fairly simple decision -- there just aren't many options to choose from -- it's a very different matter for Android fans. The wealth of hardware manufacturers producing an endless stream of handsets means that a trip to the phone store, physical or online, can be overwhelming.
Today Google launches a new tool that can be used to home in on the perfect Android handset for you. Answer a few simple questions about the types of thing you need from a phone, and the wide selection of devices will be whittled down to those that are just right for you.
If you are an Android user, there is a good chance you have downloaded apps and games from the Google Play Store. For many users, the search giant's store is probably their only known way to install apps on their devices. In reality, however, there are many alternative app stores, with one of the most popular coming from Amazon.
Today, an app store called Playphone -- focusing on distributing games -- announces a partnership with Cyanogen. Yes, the CyanogenMod maker will be distributing Playphone with its Cyanogen OS in select markets. This alternative app store is home to popular developers such as SNK Playmore and Square Enix. Will this anger Google?
I have some advice for the European Union Competition Commission: Lay off. You don't need to reign in the Google monopoly. Apple will correct the market around search and mobile. That's one of two related takeaways from Monday's WWDC 2015 keynote. iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan up Apple's push into search and proactively-delivered information in big ways. That is if delivery is as good as the company promises.
The other takeaway harkens back to what I told you last week about Tim Cook's piracy rant against unnamed Facebook and Google alongside the friggin U.S. government -- plural if thinking beyond the Feds: It's BS marketing. Apple prepares a major competitive assault against Big G, hitting where damage can be severe: Perception and profits. I cannot overstate Google's vulnerability, which ironically is where the search and information giant exploited Microsoft during this Century.
While the world awaits Apple's WWDC conference to learn of all the new iOS news, many of us Android users are simply shrugging our shoulders in a collective "meh". Sure, Apple makes great products, including the iPhone, but they are very expensive. Android is better positioned for those of us with more meager bank balances.
One of the best value smartphones is the OnePlus One. Normally $299, the company recently offered a temporary price drop to an eye-popping $249 for the 16GB model. Guess what fellow bargain hunters? Today, the company makes that price drop permanent. However, the fun does not stop there. You can also get a majorly discounted year of DropBox Pro if you buy the 64GB model -- a $99 value.