The Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership, or TPP, is a controversial trade agreement which has been decried by many as limiting privacy and freedom of expression, as well as lacking transparency. Google has just announced that it supports TPP.
While the TPP has been signed by the Obama administration back in February, it is still to be approved by congress. In the meantime, many companies, organizations and interest groups have spoken out against it. Google admits that the TPP is not perfect, but joins the likes of Microsoft in lending its support.
If you use Google as your search engine, you'll no doubt have noticed that as you type, a list of suggestions appears. This is an example of Google trying to be helpful, but the autocomplete suggestions can also be amusing or just plain weird -- thanks, algorithms! In recent days, Google has been accused of tinkering with search suggestions in a way that favors Hillary Clinton -- something the company strenuously denies.
You may have wondered how Google comes up with the suggestions it makes, and Tamar Yehoshua, VP of product management has spilled the beans. She reveals that as well as trying to be helpful to the searcher, the autocomplete algorithm also censors suggestions to discourage people from conducting "offensive or disparaging" searches about others.
The original Chromebooks launched back in 2011 are reaching the end of their support cycle. With Google offering a fairly generous five years (*) of support and updates, users have had a good run, but the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook is the first device to drop off the support list.
Having been launched in August 2011, Acer AC700 Chromebook will be in a similar position in a couple of months. But it's not entirely clear what will happen. Google says that after five years, automatic updates are "no longer guaranteed", but the company has continued to provide updates for its own devices that originate from 2010.
Google's plans to gather Street View data in India have hit a brick wall after the country rejected the company's proposals.
Indian security agencies expressed concerns about plans to send Google Street View cars around the country, taking 360-degree photos along roadways. This is certainly not the first time Google Street View has faced problems, with numerous cases relating to privacy resulting in changes being made to the service.
An Android update is rolling out that makes it easier to take full advantage of location-aware apps. You might be somewhere for which there is the perfect app to enhance your visit, but if you don’t know of its location-specific capabilities, you just might never use it. Enter Nearby from Google.
Google offers a number of example scenarios in which Nearby might be useful. Walk into a CVS, and you could be notified of the in-store photo printing service. Visit a key landmark, and you could enjoy a virtual tour, or learn more about it. Developers are being encouraged to deploy 'beacons' which, when triggered, will either call up a web site, fire up an app, or offer an app download when users are in particular locations.
The name PDFium might not be immediately familiar, but if you're a Chrome user there's a high chance you're using it to view PDFs. The PDF viewer is built into Google's browser, and a vulnerability has been discovered in the jpeg2000 library which could allow for malicious code to be executed.
Unearthed by Aleksandar Nikolic from Cisco Talos, the heap buffer overflow vulnerability could be exploited by simply getting a user to open a PDF document with an embedded jpeg2000 image. The National Vulnerability Database entry warns that the security flaw affects versions of "Chrome before 51.0.2704.63 [and] allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service or possibly have unspecified other impact via a crafted PDF document".
A Google search for "three black teenagers" seems innocuous enough, but the company has come under fire after throwing up seemingly racist results. Images returned by Google included police mugshots when 'black' was included, but similar images were not present when conducting a 'white' search.
This is certainly not the first time Google has found itself in the firing line for apparent racism. Google Photos offended many people when its AI-powered auto-tagging feature labelled images of black people as gorillas. Flickr has suffered from similar problems with its own labeling system
If you like taking Live Photos with your iPhone then you probably want to share those moments with other folks. One of the best ways that you can do that is by converting your Live Photos to GIFs, so that everyone can enjoy them even if they do not have an iOS device or Mac.
By now there are loads of apps that let you do that, but Google believes that there is room for one more. So, its Research arm has introduced Motion Stills, which has a neat little trick up its sleeve.
There aren't many small Android tablets that can set your world on fire. The manufacturers that are still invested in this market no longer seem to be interested in producing smaller devices, as their attention is now either focused on larger slates or hybrid devices. So, if you are in the market for a small tablet that runs Android, you clearly aren't spoiled for choice.
This is why, after nearly three years on the market, the second-generation Nexus 7 is still my favorite. Google's last small slate got so many things right back in 2013 that I have been struggling to find an attractive replacement for it. But since Xiaomi introduced the Mi Pad 2, I have been wondering whether it is the successor that I have been waiting for so long. Given the opportunity to test it, I set upon to find out whether there truly is a small Android tablet to get excited about these days.
The Olympic games are a time when the countries of the world should put aside their differences to engage in sport. Whether that actually happens, however, is debatable. While the athletes are surely capable of focusing on the competition, it can be hard for long-standing disagreements to be forgotten -- even temporarily -- by their home countries.
If you plan to visit Brazil for the Olympic games, and to focus on sport and having fun, Google has you covered. In anticipation of the 2016 Rio Olympics, the search giant is bringing the 'Explore' feature to Brazil Maps.
Google is a company that's well-known for its beta products -- there is a long-running joke about so many of its services being in permanent beta. Beta testing on Android has tended to be limited to a select few, but with the Google Maps app the beta programme is being opened up to everyone.
After signing up to take part, you will be able to download a newer version of Google Maps than is currently available in the Play Store. At the moment there is a fairly insignificant version number difference, and no notable changes, but this should all change as beta testing progresses.
With the size of apps and games spiralling upwards faster than the amount of storage increases in phones, it's very easy to run low on space. To help overcome the problem of not having enough room to install a new app, Google is starting to suggest rarely used apps that could be installed.
The feature has not appeared completely out of the blue, with references having been spotted to it in APK teardowns some months ago. But now Google Play's intelligent uninstall manager has been spotted in action.
There are lots of services that help you find your lost smartphone, but nothing beats the convenience of a built-in tool like Android Device Manager or Find My iPhone. However, Google might have something that's even better.
Google believes that locating a smartphone should be as simple as a Google search, so the company has introduced a new feature in My Account that lets you do just that. And it works no matter if you have an Android smartphone or iPhone.
One of the concerns -- for those focused on privacy, at least -- with the likes of Siri, Cortana and 'OK, Google' is that the way these features works means they are constantly listening to what you say. In the case of Google, these recordings are stored in the cloud for the company to use to improve the service.
But voice recognition is an art rather than a science, and your phone is not always able to distinguish between commands you direct at it and ordinary conversation. As such, Google may well have recorded audio of you going about your day to day business. The good news, however, is that you can review these recordings and delete any of them -- or all of them if you want.
Airport security has been a big deal since the September 11, 2001 attacks that took down the World Trade Centers and damaged the Pentagon. But it's often criticized as being a facade of security and not real protection.
How bad is it? A recent investigation uncovered a Somali colonel working as a security guard at Dulles airport right outside the US capitol.