google

Thu
19
Oct
John Lister's picture

Toronto Bayfront to Become 'Smart City' using Google Tech

Google's sister company is to build a mini-city in Toronto that includes a range of technologies built into the infrastructure. It's designed partly to help locals and partly as a test bed for new technology. The 68-acre project on the Lake Toronto ... waterfront is led by Sidewalk Labs - a spin-off company that's owned by Google's parent company Alphabet. It's a partnership with the city and won't involve Google owning any land or acting as a landlord, though Google will move its Canadian headquarters to the area. It'll be part of a wider regeneration project covering 800 acres. Free Public WiFi ... (view more)

Wed
11
Oct
John Lister's picture

Bogus 'Adblock Plus' Opens More Ads

Users of a popular ad-blocking tool have been warned to watch out for a bogus version of the tool. One copy of the fake Adblock Plus was downloaded 37,000 times before being removed from the Google Chrome store. The legitimate version of Adblock ... Plus is one of the most popular tools available as a Chrome extension: a third-party tool that can be added directly to the browser itself. The makers claim that more than a hundred million devices are actively using the tool. The bogus version is particularly ironic, though not in a way that victims would appreciate: rather than block ads, it ... (view more)

Wed
04
Oct
John Lister's picture

Google Says Government Data Demands Way Up

The US government and court system asked Google to provide information about more than 33,000 people in the first half of the year. The figure was a new record. The numbers come from Google's twice-yearly "Transparency Report", which is designed to ... track trends in the number of requests and prompt debate about the balance between privacy and security. For the US alone, Google received 16,823 requests for data about 33,709 users (though it's possible this may include the same user being counted twice for multiple accounts. That compared with a total of 48,941 requests about 83,485 from ... (view more)

Tue
03
Oct
John Lister's picture

Google Search Results Wrongly Name Man As Vegas Shooter

Google has confirmed its top search results misidentified the man responsible for the Las Vegas shootings. The automated results took the information from a controversial message board site rather than a mainstream media outlet. The information ... appeared in the results when people searched for the name of a man who was not responsible to or connected with the shooter. Instead the misidentified man shared a surname with a woman who had been named a "person of interest" by police and was in a relationship the actual shooter. Man Misidentified As Shooter When somebody searched for the innocent ... (view more)

Tue
26
Sep
John Lister's picture

Google Video Ads to Get Way More Personal

The content of video ads you see on YouTube could be personalized based on your online history, thanks to new advertiser tools. The video clips could automatically adjust based on sites you've visited, apps you've downloaded and even the places ... you've been. It's all possible thanks to Google offering a series of new tools for advertisers. One is known as "Custom Affinity Audiences," which means ads aren't simply placed next to (or before) relevant videos. Instead they are specifically targeted at users who are likely to find the content relevant. While the tool has already been ... (view more)

Wed
13
Sep
John Lister's picture

Billions of Bluetooth Devices at Risk of Malware Infection

The majority of Bluetooth devices could be vulnerable to a malware attack. The attack, dubbed BlueBorne, can reportedly spread to devices without needing any action from the victim. The attack takes advantage of a bug in the Bluetooth technology ... itself rather than a specific operating system. At one point this summer an estimated 5.3 billion devices were at risk, running Windows, Android or Linux, as well as Apple devices running systems before the current iOS 10. Fixing the problem will require patches for specific devices and operating systems. Microsoft has patched the issue already, ... (view more)

Tue
15
Aug
John Lister's picture

Report: Facebook likened to Addictive Drugs, for Sake of Ads

One of the earliest investors in Facebook and Google has likened the effects of major Internet companies on users to the effects of addictive drugs. Roger McNamee accused the companies of "aggressive brain hacking" to make their ad business more ... profitable. Writing for USA Today before discussing the topic on NBC, McNamee also likened the companies' behavior to that of the gambling industry. He said they "exploit human nature, creating addictive behaviors that compel consumers to check for new messages, respond to notifications, and seek validation from technologies whose ... (view more)

Thu
03
Aug
John Lister's picture

Google: Robots Better than Humans at Spotting Extremist Videos

Google says its artificial intelligence system is better at identifying guideline-breaking videos than human moderators. The claim is somewhat subjective, however. The company, which runs YouTube, made the claim as part of an update on how it deals ... with 'questionable' videos. Last month, Google said it was refining its use of computerized systems for examining videos and checking whether they breach content guidelines. It says that as a result of the improvements, three-quarters of removed videos are now caught automatically before the company receives a complaint from a human viewer ... (view more)

Wed
02
Aug
John Lister's picture

Chrome Browser to Get Ad-Blocker

Google is testing a built-in ad blocker for the Chrome browser. It's prompted a mixed response with some fears of a conflict of interest. The company had previously talked about adding an ad blocker as a built-in feature in Chrome, rather than the ... optional extensions that are already available from third-parties. Now the feature is being tested in the Dev and Canary version of Chrome. These are special versions where user get early access to features but with the knowledge that they may have performance flaws at this stage. It would be extremely unusual for Google not to later go ahead ... (view more)

Tue
27
Jun
John Lister's picture

Google to Stop Scanning Emails for Advertising Purposes

Google is to stop scanning Gmail messages for advertising purposes. The move was driven largely by a need to satisfy business customers. The company announced that "Consumer Gmail content will not be used or scanned for any ads personalization after ... this change." A company spokesman said this would bring the consumer service into line with the G Suite service for businesses. Business Users 'Put Off' By Scanning Diane Greene said that although business customers "have never had their messages scanned for use in advertising, many potential customers were nonetheless put ... (view more)

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