google

Tue
19
Oct
John Lister's picture

Google Enables '2-Step Verification' as Default

Google is switching on two-factor authentication by default for 150 million users. It's also making it mandatory for two million people who upload videos to YouTube. The system means no longer relying on passwords as the only way to control access ... to account. Instead it adds a second method such as getting a security code on a particular phone. Two-Factor versus "Two-Step" Verification Google calls the concept two-step verification, though that doesn't really describe it properly. The more commonly used "two factor" term refers to the idea of combining different types of ... (view more)

Wed
13
Oct
John Lister's picture

Google to Test How Search Results are Displayed

Google is testing two key changes to it search tools. The idea is to make both searching and Search History tools more useful. The first change is to searches themselves. At the moment, users see a search results page and choose one to click on and ... visit the page in question. If they don't find the page useful, they'll click the back button and look for another possibility in the results list. That can be a little fiddly, particularly on some mobile devices where the back option isn't always easy to use. It also makes it even more annoying when a website (against all good design practices) ... (view more)

Wed
06
Oct
John Lister's picture

Google Uses Lasers for Broadband Internet

Google says it has successfully used beams of light in the air to carry an Internet signal. It says the technology won't work everywhere but could be a useful solution in specific places. Project Taara works on a broadly similar principle to fiber ... optic cables, with pulses of light carrying a signal that translates into the 0s and 1s of computer code. The "Free Speech Optical Communications" system uses a narrow beam of light invisible to the human. It's a similar technology to that which Google used in a previous project to connect balloons in the sky. The new system instead connects ... (view more)

Tue
03
Aug
John Lister's picture

Phone, Gadget Repair 'Rules' to be Enforced by FTC

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has voted unanimously to enforce "right to repair" laws. The rules should make it harder for manufacturers to maintain monopolies over fixing gadgets such as phones. The FTC follows an executive order from the ... President that covered economic competition issues in general but included a specific reference to smartphones. (Source: theverge.com ) The moves aim to tackle companies such as phone makers which either block or restrict third-party companies or device buyers from carrying out repairs. This involves a range of tactics such as refusing to supply ... (view more)

Fri
02
Jul
John Lister's picture

Google To Warn Of Unreliable Results

Google is to warn users when results for a search might not provide reliable information. It's designed mainly for breaking news stories. The warning will be an update feature for the existing "About this result" tool that Google has been testing ... publicly since February. The tool means results on mobile devices now have a menu option that brings up a pop-window that describes the source, with the description taken from Wikipedia. The idea is to give users a quick insight into sources they don't recognize and help them decide how authoritative or otherwise they may be. Warning Message Issued ... (view more)

Mon
21
Jun
John Lister's picture

Gov't Proposes Curbing the Reach of Big Tech

The House of Representatives will examine five different proposals for curbing the power of big tech companies. The bills take very different approaches to the task, though it's unclear if any but the least dramatic has a shot at becoming law. There ... could be a couple of reasons why lawmakers have thrown out so many ideas. One is simply a numbers game with the hope that more attempts means more chance of something becoming law. Another is to present some more drastic measures that get rejected in the hope that the "weaker" bills then look more reasonable and balanced. The five bills, as ... (view more)

Wed
02
Jun
John Lister's picture

Google Accused of Hiding Tracking Settings

Internal Google documents suggest the company intentionally made it harder for users to stop it accessing their location data. The documents have become public through a lawsuit that claims Google broke data consent rules. The state of Arizona is ... suing over the way Google handles location tracking. Officials say that even when users switched off location tracking for specific apps, Google continued tracking in the background. It only stopped when users switched off a tracking setting for the entire Android system. That's led to the lawsuit, based on the logic that Google made profits from ... (view more)

Thu
06
May
John Lister's picture

Google Criticized Over Misleading Gov't Ads

Google has been accused of failing to do enough to tackle rip-off ads. The issue involves advertisers who mislead customers into paying for government services that should be free of charge. The accusation comes from the BBC News site and involves a ... series of services such as applying for driving or travel permits. While the official costs vary from country to country, such services often have little or no cost from a government agency. Third party sellers run websites that are vague about their status and then charge users inflated fees to apply on their behalf. Such sites are often legal as ... (view more)

Wed
14
Apr
John Lister's picture

Phones to Alert Pedestrians to 'Pay Attention'

Android phones could soon warn users to stop using their device when walking. The feature will be "entirely optional." The warnings will come in Google's Digital Wellbeing app. Google's rules say all devices running Android 9 ("Pie") or later must ... have some form of Digital Wellbeing app, with many manufacturers choosing to simply install Google's version rather than create their own. The apps, which are optional to use, have so far concentrated on factors such as monitoring screen time and alerting users how long they have spent using their device in different ... (view more)

Wed
17
Mar
John Lister's picture

$5B Lawsuit Advances Over Chrome Incognito Privacy

Google will have to go to court to answer claims it misled users by tracking their online activity in a supposed private browsing mode. A judge agreed a lawsuit seeking $5 billion can go ahead with class action status. That status doesn't change ... Google's chances of winning or losing, but could mean much bigger consequences if it does lose. It means anyone meeting set criteria could effectively be treated as a plaintiff, eligible for any financial awards, without having to launch their own case. The case appears largely to come down to whether Google's wording is clear enough, rather than it ... (view more)

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