google

Tue
22
May
John Lister's picture

Google Sued $4B for 'Secretly Tracking Users'

Google is being sued for a potential $4 billion over claims it intentionally bypassed security settings on iPhones. It's likely to succeed following similar cases in the past. The case has been filed in the UK by a group called 'Google You Owe Us'. ... They are seeking "representative action" status, which is similar to class action status in the United States. If that's granted, any settlement or damages in the case could apply to as many as 4.4 million people. (Source: theguardian.com ) Claims May Sound Familiar On the face of it, the case looks bad for Google as it covers the same issue ... (view more)

Tue
15
May
John Lister's picture

Google Drone Military Involvement Sparks Resignations

Around a dozen Google employees have resigned over the company developing artificial intelligence for use with military drones. An internal petition against the work has reportedly been signed by 4,000 employees. The protest is over Google's ... involvement in Project Maven, a program the US Department of Defense is developing to make better use of its aerial drones. It is said to collect so much video footage from its drones in war zones and other areas where the US has a military presence that it's not viable to have humans analyze all the material. The idea of Project Maven is to use computers ... (view more)

Tue
08
May
John Lister's picture

Google Cracks Down On Election Ad Abuse

Google is to tighten up its rules on election-related advertising. It will restrict who's allowed to place such an ad and give the public more detail on who's behind elections ads. The new rules will cover election ads purchased on Google in the US. ... It doesn't yet appear the rules will affect ads that simply address political issues rather than specific candidates and campaigns. One rule is that anyone placing an election ad will need to prove they are either a US citizen or a lawful permanent resident. While this becomes law, Google says it will tighten its enforcement by requiring proof ... (view more)

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)

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