Articles about Google

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


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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BBC+ is a new iOS and Android app that delivers personalized BBC content


Over the years, the BBC has created a huge number of apps and websites to showcase the various services it offers. If you're interested in a range of BBC content, you've probably found that you have to jump from app to app and website to website. BBC+ aims to change all that.

BBC+ is a new app from the corporation that’s available for iOS and Android. This is one of the first apps built using the newly-developed Mobile Application Framework (MAF) and it gives BBC fans the opportunity to create a personalized collection of the content most relevant and interesting to them -- news, weather, TV and more.

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Google launches final Android 7.0 beta before Nougat goes public


It may only be a few weeks since Google revealed that Android 7.0 will be called Nougat, but there have already been several developer previews of the Marshmallow successor. Today Google launches the fifth and final preview before the official launch.

As this is the final preview, build NPD90G of Nougat can be considered near-final code; this is, near as damn it, what you'll be installing on your Android handset in the not-too-distant future when Android 7.0 is officially launched. At the moment, the preview build can only be installed on Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, and Pixel C devices, as well as General Mobile 4G (Android One) devices, but more will be added further down the line.

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Apple wants to simplify music royalty pay outs and this could harm Spotify


Many artists loathe music streaming services that have proved so popular with music fans. While they offer a platform to showcase music, the returns can be low and the way in which payments are calculated is endlessly complex.

Apple has put forward a proposal to simplify the royalty payment system which would not only see artists getting more money, but would make life more difficult for the likes of Spotify. Keep artists happy, harm the competition -- two birds with one stone. A government filing in conjunction with the Copyright Royalty Board suggests a royalty rate of $0.091 per one hundred streams.

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After truck attack in Nice, Google offers free calls to France and Facebook activates Safety Check


The world woke this morning to news that a trunk had been driven through a crowd of people celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, France. With 84 people killed and many seriously injured, people around the world are not only shocked and appalled, but also concerned about friends and family in the area.

As has become worryingly common, Facebook today activated its Safety Check feature to allow people in Nice to let those they know that they are safe. In addition to this, Google and a number of phone providers are offering free calls and texts between the US and France.

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Google should Brexit

Google Maps Samsung Smarthone

Yesterday, Europe's Competition Commission expanded its legal assault against Alphabet and major subsidiary Google. Four monopolies are under fire: AdSense, Android, search, and shopping services. Trustbusters allege that Google uses anticompetitive tactics to protect its market dominance, which share ranges from 80 percent to 90 percent in each category. Behind the charges is a hoity-toity attitude typical of overly-protectionist EU regulators. What if the information giant gave them what they want?

Imagine this: Google shuts down operations across the entire Euro zone—in a Brexit-like departure, but suddenly with no preparations. Switch it off. Search and other services could remain available in Britain and to all other non-EU countries. The company surely has the means, starting with IP blocking and expanding to other measures. The risk: Confirming just how dominant is Google, because of the incredible negative consequences. But the chaos also would lead to an outcry to restore services, while illuminating how important Big G is to citizens and how greatly businesses benefit, or profit, from the monopolies.

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European trustbusters torpedo Google

British Ship Torpedoed

Alphabet Admirals Sergey Brin and Larry Page had better tell Captain Sundar Pichai to close the watertight doors—lest the search and advertising ship sink in the North Sea, where depths reach 700 meters (2,300). Brrrr. Are the lawyers handing out life preservers? Will paralegals man the water pumps?

Today's expansion of the European Union Competition Commission's investigation into Google business practices makes a really bad situation much, much, much worse. Problems are these: Adding advertising to anticompetitive charges; expanding investigation to four monopolies (AdSense, Android, search, shopping services); citing exclusive contracts as violation of the law; and narrowing the applicable market for search shopping competition, thus blowing apart one of Google's major counter legal arguments. Kaboom!

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Google's gender equality emoji are formally adopted


Concerned as ever with diversity and equality, Google recently proposed a new set of emoji including a wider range of images of women in different professions. Today the company makes good on its promise and delivers the goods... with a little help from the powers-that-be.

Launched because "there aren't a lot [of emoji] that highlight the diversity of women's careers", the new emoji portray women in roles that have previously been the domain of man -- at least in pixel form. In all, the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee is adopting more than 100 new emoji after Google's suggestions.

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Android Pay lands in Australia


In Asia, cellphones have been used as payment methods for many years. In other parts of the world, however, it is only just starting to take off thanks to smartphones. Paying for things with my iPhone and Apple Pay feels like magic to me, although I am sure many millennials are hardly impressed.

Google has been working on competing against Apple Pay with its similarly named Android Pay, and it is slowly rolling out across the globe. Today, the search-giant's phone-based payment platform officially lands in Australia.

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Google Hangouts 11 update drops merged conversations, gains video messaging

Google Hangouts Samsung smartphone Android

Google has its fingers in lots of messaging pies, and having added SMS support to Hangouts on Android, it wasn’t long before the merging of text and chat conversations was introduced. With the release of Hangouts 11, this changes.

With the new release, merged conversations are now gone -- SMS and chats are kept separate, but you won't lose anything -- perhaps in a bid to push people to its Messenger app to take care of texts. The same release also sees the addition of a long-awaited feature: the ability to send videos in a message.

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Thinking about Big Data -- Part three (the final and somewhat scary part)


In part one we learned about data and how it can be used to find knowledge or meaning. Part two explained the term Big Data and showed how it became an industry mainly in response to economic forces. This is part three, where it all has to fit together and make sense -- rueful, sometimes ironic, and occasionally frightening sense. You see our technological, business, and even social futures are being redefined right now by Big Data in ways we are only now coming to understand and may no longer be able to control.

Whether the analysis is done by a supercomputer or using a hand-written table compiled in 1665 from the Bills of Mortality, some aspects of Big Data have been with us far longer than we realize.

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Google adds Three to Project Fi

project fi nexus 6p google

Google wants to make Project Fi an attractive plan not only in the US but also internationally as today it announces that it is expanding the coverage of its service in more than a dozen additional countries. Project Fi now provides high-speed data access in nearly all the places visited by Americans across the globe, claims Google.

To cover "over 97 percent of the places Americans travel internationally", Google is adding Three, which is present in Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Sweden and UK, to the list of mobile operators that work with Project Fi.

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Privacy warning: Pokémon Go has full access to your Google account data


Pokémon Go may be proving jaw-droppingly popular, but in the rush to catch 'em all, it seems that users have overlooked something of a privacy issue with the game. It's not unusual for apps and games to request, or require, access to your Google account but there are usually limits in place.

Not so with Pokémon Go. As reported by Search Engine Journal, iOS users have discovered that the game not only requires access to users' Google accounts, it requires full access. This is the highest level of access available to any app and if it is revoked, the game won't work.

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Google's looking for 10 UK startups that 'think big'


Google wants to help UK’s young start-ups make it big, and it’s kicking off a start-up camp to make it happen.

A nationwide search has kicked off, with the goal of finding 10 start-ups "who think big". Applications are now open and will remain so until July 29. The 10 start-ups that do get selected, will have access to "bespoke support", including insights from London’s most experienced mentors and investors.

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Google acquires media streaming and monetization platform Anvato

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End-to-end video streaming and monetization platform Anvato announced recently that it has been acquired by Google, and that it will be joining the Google Cloud Platform team.

Anvato is a video processing software solution, offering encoding, editing, publishing and distribution of videos on various platforms. The company’s clients include NBCUniversal, MSNBC, CBS, Univision, HGTV, Bravo and Fox Sports, and they use their services to power live streams, to edit videos directly in the cloud, and insert ads.

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