google

Tue
10
Apr
John Lister's picture

YouTube's Under-13 Policy In Question

Consumer groups say YouTube is breaking the law by collecting data about pre-teens without parental permission. They've asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate. The alleged breach is of the Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act ... (COPPA), a federal law that significantly restricts the way sites can handle data about users aged under 13. That's why many major websites that have user accounts officially ban pre-teens from signing up with their services. That's not quite the case with YouTube. Users do have to be 13 or older to get a Google account, which is necessary for some ... (view more)

Thu
05
Apr
John Lister's picture

Chrome Browser PC Scans Come As Surprise

Google Chrome users have been surprised to discover that the Chrome browser scans their computers in search of malware. It doesn't appear to be a reason to panic, but arguably Google could have been more up front about it. The scans were spotted by ... Kelly Shortidge who works at a cyber security company. She noticed that the chrome.exe executable file (which is visible in Windows Task Manager) was scanning files in her Windows documents folder. On further investigation, she discovered Chrome has been doing this since around October, 2017. The scans are being done through Chrome Cleanup, a tool ... (view more)

Tue
03
Apr
John Lister's picture

Google Cracks Down On Cryptomining Scams

Google is banning Chrome browser tools that harness a computer's power to 'mine' virtual online currencies for a third party. It seems Google gave up trying to distinguish between different levels of legitimacy in such set-ups. The whole concept of ... "cryptomining" using a web browser may seem baffling to many users. In the simplest terms, the cryptomining program could automatically load when visiting a particular web page or would always remain active (if it was through a browser extension). The users' computer would then "mine" (using mathematical equations) until a ... (view more)

Wed
28
Mar
John Lister's picture

Google Speech Synthesis Gets More Realistic

Google says it's made the most realistic computer speech simulation ever. It uses artificial intelligence to reproduce the way humans put words together. The idea of Google's "Cloud Text-to-Speech" is to go beyond the traditional approach when ... dealing with speech synthesis. That effectively boils down to recording a batch of sound files of different syllables, then patching them together to form words. That works well for some languages such as Japanese, where speech patterns are very regular, but not so well for language such as English that have more complexity with pronunciation. Full ... (view more)

Wed
21
Mar
John Lister's picture

Google Bids $300M for Paywall Support, Combat Fake News

Google says it is investing $300 million to help improve the quality and reliability of online news. It argues that such work is in its own business interests. The biggest change with the 'Google News Initiative' is a couple of steps to improve the ... online experience for people who subscribe to news sites that are behind a paywall. One is that subscribers, once signed up to a news site, will be automatically logged on to it whenever they are signed in to their Google account, saving the need to re-enter passwords. Another change is that people who use this facility will now see a special ... (view more)

Thu
08
Mar
John Lister's picture

Survey: One In Five Have Smart Speakers

Nearly 47 million Americans have a 'smart speaker' device in their home according to a new survey. If true, the devices' user base has gone from almost nothing to one-in-five people in just two years. While models vary, smart speakers are small ... devices that perform two main functions: playing music (often from online streaming services) and answering spoken questions as a quicker alternative to typing something into a smartphone or computer. In some cases they are also used to control home devices such as lights and heating. The study says 19.7 percent of people have access to a smart speaker ... (view more)

Tue
20
Feb
John Lister's picture

Google Exposes Unfixed Microsoft Edge Security Flaw

Google has revealed a security flaw with the Microsoft Edge browser before Microsoft released a patch. It's a controversial move with arguments across both the tech and security industries. The flaw in question is somewhat complicated. In very ... simplified terms, the flaw is to do with how Microsoft Edge converts website code into what users see on their computer screen when visiting a website. Google realized that it could work out precisely when the browser would access part of the computer's memory and use this knowledge to effectively set a booby trap. That could then force the computer to ... (view more)

Tue
06
Feb
John Lister's picture

Former Execs to Battle 'Social Media Addiction'

Former Facebook and Google employees are campaigning to warn users of the dangers of tech addiction. The 'Center for Humane Technology' will work on lobbying officials and educating children and parents. Though the organization has been running ... since 2014, it's not achieved much publicity so far. That could change with a high-profile relaunch after receiving several forms of funding including cash from a "media watchdog" non-profit, plus the equivalent of $50 million in free advertising space from companies such as Comcast and DirecTV. Google 'Ethicist' In Charge The group is largely made up ... (view more)

Thu
01
Feb
John Lister's picture

Google to Predict Flight Delays before Airlines

Google is attempting to predict flight delays before airlines announce them. In some cases, it might be before the airline even knows it is going to happen. The new feature will be added to Google Flights, a service that lets users compare different ... options and find the best flight for their needs. This can take account of factors such as whether the user wants to prioritize price, direct flights vs layovers and total travel time. It also allows users to compare details such as baggage allowance. Incoming Flight Delays Among Key Data Once a user has booked a flight, the service can already ... (view more)

Thu
18
Jan
John Lister's picture

Chrome Extensions Labelled Rogue

A security firm says four malicious extensions for Google Chrome were downloaded a total of more than half a million times. It's asking why Google's vetting process didn't weed the malware earlier. Extensions in Chrome are similar to add-ons for ... other browsers - namely, third-party tools that improve the web browsing experience. Common examples include ad-blockers, password managers and tools for downloading videos from web pages (such as Youtube). Because extensions have some level of access to a user's Internet data (and even some control over their browsing), Google has some security ... (view more)

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