Showing posts with label Google news. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Google news. Show all posts

Friday, 17 August 2018

Google Tracks Your Movements, You Like It or Not

Google Tracks Your Movements

You Are Being Watched as Google Tracks your Movements

Whether you like it or not Google keeps track of your daily movements. You may not want it to do so, you may switch off your location history but Google is always tracking your movements. Why you ask? Well the answer lies within Google wanting to make big bucks when it comes to advertising. By getting your location and the places you frequently visit, Google is able to tailor advertisements based off of that data.

An Associated press investigation team has learnt that Google tracks your movements even when you expressly tell them not to. How do they do this, you say? The answer is simple. They track your movements from your android phone or iOS.

Being Upfront about Tracking your Movements: 

Most of the time Google is upfront when it comes to tracking your movements. They ask your permission and if you decide to give it, then Google prepares a timeline showing your movements over a period of time.

But of course many are opposed to the idea of their movements being tracked. Alas, that has not stopped the tech giant from tracking your movements. It makes sense too that people are not so keen on letting Google track their movements.

Police have previously used the data stored by Google in nabbing suspects in an investigation. But who’s to say that data pertaining to tracking your movements will be used only by the correct authorities.

There is considerable risk of some unknown parties getting that information and using it in ways that we have not even thought about.

What does Google say about Tracking your Movements? 

According to Google, the company does not remember where you move on a daily basis. This it does when your location history is turned off.

But the reality is much different. Even with location history being off, Google still tracks your movements from various Google apps.

Take for example Google Maps, as soon as you open the app, Google immediately takes a snapshot of where you’re at. If that’s not enough for you, then knowing that when you get automatic weather updates, it pinpoints your exact location will force you to wonder how Google is getting all that info.

Forget the apps for just a second, what about innocent searches on the net for chocolate chip cookies or anything else for that matter, on your search results page you get your exact latitude and longitude and I know no one is going to be happy about that.

Who does Google keep track of? 

Studies show that Google tracks movements of nearly 2 billion users worldwide. These can be from android as well as iPhone users who rely on Google for some of their app usage.

When you turn off location history in one place, all places where such data is stored should be turned off, like other Google apps as well. But no matter how straightforward that seems it is not done. It is not that it is impossible to switch of location history on your device but knowing where to switch it off and how, can be problematic.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Google Gives Parents Greater Powers


Google’s New Family Link Software

Wilson Rothman, WSJ personal technology editor explained on Lunch Break with Tanya Rivero that Alphabet Inc’s Google had revealed an unparalleled set of parental controls, with the beta launch of Family Link, while enabling children below the age of 13 to sign for content-restricted accounts.

Parents seems to be losing control with their children and tablets, phone as well as iPods have been pushing our kids in a digital black hole enabling less visibility in their social activities and their pastimes. Google’s new Family Link software is a relief for parents in keeping their kids under control in this digital world.

The arrival of Family Link corresponds with a change to the policy of Google on child accounts. Children below 13 years can now have them provided they are set up through the Family Link which has been authorized by a parent.

It is said to be the most inclusive set of parent tools for the internet, the greatest features which Amazon as well as Apple have provided with services of Google which is that we get this remarkable functionality by providing a little more personal information and this time it is data about the online activities of our children.

Experience Use of Android Based Device

With the Family Link account a child is capable of experiencing the use of an Android based device and the test case, a Nexus 5X in a manner which tends to look adequately like the phone of Mom or Dad’s though tends to keep the child protected from some trouble of adulthood in Google search, Chrome browser, Google Play store together with YouTube app.

Harmless search that seems to yield filtered, child-sanitized web as well as image search consequences could be through default. Google has also mentioned that search effects could, for the first time, cater to children but that would be difficult to tell. The amazing thing is for parents in the form of remote access.

Moreover, Family Link also tends to provide parents with an administrative app which they could utilise in locating the device of their child onmany ring it in case of losing in couch cushions, remotely adjust account and device settings or also do a factory-reset if the phone is lost.

Set Up Time Restrictions/Off-limits Hours

Moreover parents could also set up time restrictions and off-limits hours and see the time spent on several app by their children. As the beta version of the Family Link tends to go public individuals could request to try it though their devices need to be running Nougat which is the updated version of Android.

Google has informed that by the end of the year, it would be working with earlier versions. The company also believes in releasing a parental control app for iPhones. It is essential to know how many parental control systems are available before one decides to purchase it. They are not just built into popular devices led by Apple and Amazon but are also sold as services by third party.

Apple is said to have control both local and remote dispersed around the operating system of its iOS. The restriction unit in the setting of iOS enables the user to set a passcode in locking down from Siri and FaceTime to iTunes albums together with the feared in-app procurements

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Google Daydream VR phone

Daydream VR phone

Virtual Reality Plans of Google

Google’s Vice president of virtual reality, Clay Bavor, though not worried with perfection but desires to develop virtual worlds which tend to look and feel like real ones. He seems convinced that Google and the others would surely get there ultimately. While they labour on it, the main objective of Bavor is to put a VR headset on everyone he could find. Why VR seems to be cool and exciting is difficult to explain in words, according to him and tech reporters all over the world sense his pain though as soon as one tries it, you tend to get it.

 Hence the virtual reality plans of Google have always been about giving as many people, access as possible while perfections tends to come later. Recently on stage, at Google I/O, the annual developer conference-show-and-tell of the company, Bavor had announced his next step of the process. Google has been developing the next form Android precisely with focus on virtual reality in order that all smartphones running its operating system would be a VR headset. It has been working with partners on non-cardboard headset and controllers which would be coming later in the year.

Daydream – Standard & a Brand

This would extremely enhance the quality of the entire experience and a set of the specs of the phone which would permit optimum VR experience in Android. It has developed Daydream which is a standard as well as a brand which tends to encompasses everything that Google has been working on with VR. Daydream does not seem to be a custom version of the operating system like the Android TV or android Wear but is a part of Android just the way texting and notification are a part of Android and is a VR mode.

 When the phone is docked, one will launch Daydream Home that enables you to open apps from Netflix, Hulu and IMAX, or games from EA, Ubisoft and much more. It seems to be comfortable and clean, similar to Oculus Home. Bavor states that there are some really neat things in the works but considering how much is there already in Cardboard, the ecosystem of Daydream is going to be big from day one.

VR Listeners/VR Helpers

The Android N code tends to detect apps as `VR listeners’ or `VR helpers’, which means that any app would be able to launch a VR mode. One would get notifications while you are in VR just like one in Samsung’s Gear VR. VR is not a solely separate thing in Google’s view, hidden in its own app with its own app store. It is something which every developer, every app could tap into and any `Daydream-ready’ phone is basically any high-end-phone.

 Bavor states that phones from Huawei, LG, Samsung, Xiaomi and others are in workings and can run VR mode in Android. Other apps could do the same just the way YouTube enables instant switching and watching any video in a virtual reality theatre. Presently VR has been facing difficulties and the best VR experiences tends to be time consuming as well as expensive to produce.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Google Sends out Invites for September 29 Event


Google’s Invites for Upcoming Event

Google has begun sending invites to media for the upcoming event on September 29 where probably the launch of the next generation Nexus and Chromecast devices will be coming up. There have been rumours and reports stating that the search giant would be launching not one but two Nexus smartphones at the event where both of them would be smartphones.

The two Nexus smartphones would be launched one from LG while the other would be from Huawei. Moreover the reports also indicate that the successor to the Google Chromecast would be launched with quicker Wi-Fi together with added features accompanied with a special music focussed variant of Chromecast known as Chromecast Music.

 This would be with provision for Spotify streaming. The LG Nexus 5X which is referred to be the name of the sub 5 inch screen variant would be featuring a 5.2 inch 1080p IPS LCD display. It is a hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 SoC with 3GB RAM, 16/32FB having an internal storage space together with a 13 megapixels primary camera, a 4 megapixel secondary camera and a 2,700 mAh battery.

Enhanced Wi-Fi/Fast Play

On the other hand, the Huawei Nexus 6P features a 5.7 inch QHD AMOLED display with an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, a 3GB RAM, 32GB on-board storage. These would be accompanied with a 12 megapixel primary camera along with 4K video recording as well as an 8 megapixel front facing camera. The smartphone by Huawei would be named the Nexus 6 comprising of a fingerprint scanner and USB Type-C.

 The Nexus 5 of LG would feature a 5.2 inch display. It would also have a fingerprint scanner which would be under the extended camera and comprise of 3 GB RAM. The two smartphones would be the first set of smartphones which will run the latest Android M – Marshmallow, software.

It is also expected that Google would be unveiling the second breed Chromecast dongle which would be packed with a range of latest features. These would comprise of feeds for the main screen device accompanied with enhanced Wi-Fi together with a new features which has been known as `Fast Play’.

Introducing Chromecast Audio

It is also said that Google has been speculating on introducing Motorola inspired dongle labelled as `Chromecast Audio’that would be permitting a Chromecast device to get plugged directly into any of the speaker through an auxiliary cord. Since the invitation reads `hands-on time’, followed by a presentation, there seems to be possibilities of seeing the two new Nexus smartphones revealed at the event at San Francisco.

Google’s event comes weeks after Apple’s similar events where the tech company had announced new iPhones, iPads as well as new Apple TV together with latest accessories. Earlier this week, Amazon too had unveiled a new line of products which included a $50 tablet as well as a new version of the Fire TV with a potential of streaming device at 4K resolution.

As always Google event will be streamed live on their YouTube channel and for those unable to make it for the event could tune online and view the live event which would be starting on Tuesday, September 29, 9 AM PT.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Google Agrees Privacy Policy Changes With Data Watchdog

It is after the pressure put on Google by the UK Information commissioner’s office (ICO) that they have decided to rewrite their privacy policy.

Following this similar reviews are being conducted around Europe, where the firm must make it easier for its users to get to know how and for what the data is collected and used and need to submit a two year review which is the outcome of an investigation done by the regulators. It has come to the attention of the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) that the personal data collected from the web services and products of Google are being too unclear. The outcome of this, made Google plan to implement the same with other European regulators.

The process involved in the inquiry: 

It all triggered off when the Mountain View company started being noticed by the regulator and its continental counterparts following their controversial policy which was updated on March 2012 that pooled 70 existing documents. This was later also joined by other data regulators who form the European Article 29 Data Protection Working Party. The investigation held made Google not only to agree, but also ensure that the accessibility to the privacy policy is easy as well as to redesign their account setting features in such a way that it allows the users to find its controls more easily.


Apart from these clarifications, the company will also have to provide information pertaining to the anonymous identifiers, which are similar to that of cookies. Google has been given time till 30 June 2015 to put into practice all the changes and according to the rumors the company will be rolling out a single policy across the EU with the aim of satisfying each and every regulators who has opened the investigations. Google has also dropped the appeals related to these investigations which are being undertaken by the Spanish and French watchdogs.

According to Steve Eckersley, the ICO's head of enforcement, this step which has been taken will mark a very important step towards a long standing investigation and also the extended dialogue. He also added, while their investigation summarized that this case has not brought out any substantial distress and damage to the consumers, it is still very important for the organizations to accurately understand the influence of their actions and the need to meet and comply with the requirements of the data protection law. According to the spokesperson of Google, the company is very happy that the ICO has finally decided to close and put an end to the investigation. Google has agreed that they need to make improvements in their privacy policy and vowed to continue to work constructively along with the commissioner and the team in the near future.

As the result of closing this investigation, the company will not be fined for any of their actions in the United kingdom, this is completely opposite to the fine and penalties imposed on the company in France and span.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Google Skybox for Good: Access Satellite Images Freely

Google Skybox for Good: Access Satellite Images Freely
There is great news for all the non-profit institutions out there. Now you can access all the images you need via Skybox. The company has been recently purchased by Google in August for 500 million$. It uses the satellite SkySat-I and a technology called the Skynode, which allows companies to improve their performance through high fidelity imaging and analytical data. Skynode is comprised of a 2.4 metre satellite communications antennae, packed in the premier applications which allow an user to access relevant images in as little as 20 minutes. It comes with a flexible access plan.

Advantages of Skybox-

  • It allows access to those images that a business company requires- trucks, ships, cars, etc. It also displays the grid of ports, pipelines as per the requirement of the client. 
  • It provides real-time video streaming for global movements in 90 seconds videos at a rate of 30 frames per second for clarity.
  • It provides algorithms that help to solve business problems that may arise at any moment. 

Google has recently announced its Skybox for good programme that allows the use of skybox imaging for non-profit causes. Since skybox provides real-time images of the earth, it has immense possibilities for helping humans. Through the use of crystal clear pictures and analytical data, non-profit institutions can tell their story with better facts and data. It allows them to reach more people and to spread awareness.

How the Skybox for good program is helping people all over-

  • The program has already started tracking the melting of the Helheim glacier in Greenland which allows environmentalists to track the effects of climate change.
  • Google has partnered with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative’s Signal Program to trace the development of the displaced people of Sudan by their Internally Displaced Persons program. 
  • The images have also been used to view the beaches that have been cleared of landmines in Sri Lanka. The program has successfully taken some images of the Nagarkovil Village in the northern portion of Sri Lanka. HALO trust had verified that this area was free of landmines. Skybox imaging has helped to prove the rehabilitation of people by showing the presence of 84 houses and 40 acres of cultivated agricultural land.
  • Skybox has also made the tracking of elephants and other wildlife movements to determine the condition of endangered animals and study breeding patterns of animals in the wild. This can be helpful in the understanding of animal behaviour on a better level.
  • Sky Truth and Appalachian Voices are monitoring the rate of deforestation on the mountain tops for expansion of mines. The images available show the shocking truth about the devastating effects of this deforestation on the local community and wildlife of the Appalachians.

This program is available for anyone who attributes Google and does not profit from such images in any manner. Non-governmental institutions can also request for images pertaining to their areas of interest. This initiative from Google will definitely be a milestone in helping NGO’s and other institutions by allowing them to freely access satellite images.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Google Buys Makers of Tremor-Canceling Technology- Lift Labs

Lift Labs
Industry Giant Google has bought Lift labs, the company which has developed battery operable utensils that has made the life of the people easier who are suffering with Parkinson disease or essential tremor. They can now eat their meals with the help of these utensils. Parkinson’s disease is known to give terrible tremor and shaky hands and makes it difficult for the people to eat food or drink. “Liftware”, the product developed by Lift labs has been able to cancel more than 70% of the tremors.

According to healthcare and life sciences research director at Frost & Sullivan, Daniel Ruppar, there is lot of progress and development being carried out pertaining to technology-centric innovation in Parkinson’s disease. Clinical activity trackers and technology is part of these items which will be used to enable communication in the patients facing difficulty.

According to Tim Drinan, Google spokesperson, Lift labs has now officially joined Google X and as per Michael Magdaleno, Lift spokesperson, even Lift lab is pretty excited to be the part of Google.

Lift-ware technology:

Lift labs have developed a whole range of spoons which include soup spoon, standard spoon and fork. These utensils have been developed with tremor and motion sensors which easily differentiate between hand tremor and other motions. The tremor cancelling process is based on Proprietary algorithms, which runs on an on-board computer present in handles, which fires off miniature motors and moves the utensil in the complete opposite direction of the tremor.

Lift lab is currently working on number of technologies and products including personal hygiene tools, makeup applicator and attachments which can help the users to involve themselves in their hobbies like handcrafts and painting.

Liftware comes along with a battery that is easily rechargeable by connecting the charging cradle in to a powered USB port with help of the cable provided. The cable can even be plugged to computer or USB adapter of Smart Phone. Liftware can last up to 3-6 meals after one charge and comes with a 110/220 V power adapter.

A one year warranty has been provided within USA from the sale date. The drawback is in the handle which his not waterproof. The stabilizer that comes along with the spoon attachment is currently priced at US$295.

Lift labs and Google:

The company is going to join the research division of Google. Google X is already known to have made major technological innovation through their Moonshots projects. According to Google, they know that the tremor cancelling technology will contribute towards improving the life of the people. Google is going to put all the efforts to further explore the technology to improvise on understanding and management of neurodegenerative diseases.

According to Sergey Brin, Google co-founder, in the year 2008, he discovered that he is also carrying mutation of the LRRK2 gene (G2019S) which also increases his risk of developing the Parkinson’s disease, just like his mother. He stated that he wants to contribute towards this research and want people to feel empowered.

Google in 2013 already started a separate new company called Calico. This company develops technologies to deal with the health issues from aging.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Google Begins Quantum Computing Research Project in Collaboration With NASA and USRA

Google Research
Google, web search giant now is aim to crack the code of the next level in computer evolution. When compared to traditional computers, the quantum computers are considered as the Holy Grail of computing.

This will remove all the errors from the current traditional computing systems. According to Google Inc, the company will be joined by a research team headed by John Martinis (Physicist from University of California Santa Barbara), which will be working on building the superconducting electronics based new quantum information processors. This Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab is partnership between NASA, USRA and Google. The aim of the lab is to study the application of quantum optimization in relation with the artificial intelligence.

The Quantum AI team will be able to test and implement the new designs that have been developed for quantum optimization and inference processor with an integrated hardware group. These designs are based on the theoretical insights and learning’s inspired from the D-Wave quantum annealing architecture.

John Martinis who is professor at University of California, Santa Barbara, is one of the most prominent known names in the researchers who have given immense contribution towards the researchers in the field of Artificial Intelligence. Google is working on quantum chips as they have the vision that one day these chips will make the machines perform like humans.

The designed Chips that will be able to work at sub-atomic levels in such a way; that they will be able to make the existing processors even faster.

As per the experts, the quantum bit will be having two different states at the same time. They will be able to improve the power and speed of computing today. Standard computer deals with binary data which is expressed normally in zero and ones. However the quantum computing will be encoding the data by using the sub-atomic particle behaviour.

Google has become focused on artificial intelligence past couple of years and also working on self driving cars projects and robots projects. Google has acquired artificial intelligence company DeepMind Technologies Ltd in January 2014. Even though the DeepMind Technologies Ltd Company has unable to produce any commercial product, they have been paid £242 million ($399 million) for their proficiency in the field of Artificial Intelligence.

This company has the aim of making computers think like humans. According to another founder in the company, Shane Leg, had warned that the artificial intelligence is the number one risk in the current century and might even lead to the extinction of the human race. In a recent interview he stated that one day human race has to extinct and the artificial intelligence will be the most prominent contributor towards this.

Google has ensured that an ethics board is overseeing all the processes under Artificial Intelligence.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Google commits $50M to encouraging girls to code

Google code
Google’s $50 M for Made with Code Initiative

With all intent and purpose to bring along more women in the technology industry, Google has planned to fund in $50 million into it’s`Made with Code’, initiative and would want more women in technology, encouraging them to learn how to code, in an effort to give equal status to them.

Recently the company launched the Made with Code initiative with celebrities like the former first daughter Chelsea Clinton and the actress and comedienne Mindy Kaling. The event was emceed by Kaling who informed that she had a whole lot of ideas for apps but had no knowledge on how to make them work, which is the plight of several other women all over where most of them have no idea on how to build them up.

According to the Labour Department, only around 20% of software developers are women in the US with Google recently admitting that only 17% of its tech workers are women.

Made to Code Website Designed to Motivate Girls

This gender issue is a big problem for Google as well as several other technical companies, who may be in need of qualified engineers to enhance growth and innovation in their industry and Google who is keen on increasing these numbers in women is making headways in bringing about this change.

 Recently the company started the Made with Code website designed to motivate young girls in middle and high school to learn how to code and the company also announced about funding the project along with key partners like Girl Scouts of the USA and Girls Inc., for $50 million for the next three years.

Kaling who admits being famous stated that she had never written code and like many other women, she too was a outsider in the all-boys world and yet managed to find success. She further went on to relate that girls needed to be encouraged to become the next generation of coders because they needed to play bigger role in the tech-driven society.

Learn to Code Software

The concept of Google’s `Made with Code’, initiative is created to motivate them in getting them into role models to follow along with ideas on how computer coding can fit into their activities as well as interest which they love.

The website launched at the event also features many female engineers, entrepreneurs as well as artist, most of those who had used their knowledge of computer coding in order to pursue their careers in fashion, animation, cancer research, music, dance and much more. Besides this it also makes available Google’s free Blockly learn-to-code software which teaches in one lesson to design a bracelet which is then 3D printed by Shapeways.

The software also teaches how to create animated GIFs or even build beats for music track. Megan Smith, Google X Vice President informed that learning to code is like learning to read and the best way to learn is to be exposed to it. She also stated that encouragement at home and school is critical to inspiring girls to even try coding and further added that parents need not be techies to encourage a love of technology.