Items tagged with Google

Google has been designing and building premium Android smartphones for many years, co-branding with various hardware partners since back in the days of the company's Nexus devices. More recently with its first generation Pixel series, the Mountain View team has taken more prominent ownership of the brand, with devices specifically underscored as "Made By Google." And indeed the design signatures of the first generation Pixel and Pixel XL were distinctly different from any other handset on the market, as are the latest Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL that Google is launching today, along with a redesigned... Read more...
One the primary benefits to owning a Google-branded phone is that new versions of Android are made available immediately, as opposed to waiting for a third-party manufacturer to customize and qualify the code. Unfortunately for some owners of Google's first generation Pixel phones, this perk turned into sideways with the release of Android 8.0 Oreo, which seems to have busted the ability to receive text messages. This has been an issue for affected users for nearly a month, dating back to September 20 when a frustrated Pixel XL owner on Verizon complained of the "absurd issue." The user went on... Read more...
Google Chrome might be the most popular web browser in the world, but it has long been criticized for the app bloat that has accumulated over the years and its negative impact on resources and battery life. The "bloat" is about to increase again today, although Google says that the latest addition to Chrome should help protect your system from attacks. The Google team says now detailing three feature updates in Chrome for Windows that helps users "recover from unwanted software infections". The first addition comes in the form of a background monitor that can determine if an extension has changed... Read more...
This morning we talked about a researcher from KU Leuven University in Belgium who had discovered a major security vulnerability in the WiFi Protected Access II (WPA2) protocol that is used to secure wireless internet traffic. That vulnerability could be used to allow a nefarious attacker to glean confidential details sent over WiFi such as usernames and passwords for secure websites. At least one software company didn't waste any time with an update, with Microsoft confirming that it released an update on October 10th that addressed the exploit. Microsoft has released a patch that will fix the... Read more...
Are you a little too anxious for the upcoming launch of Google's highly anticipated Pixel 2? If so, or you simply love the idea of getting an early look at how Google setup Oreo on its new flagship smartphones, we think we have a new weekend project for you. But don't fret, this one couldn't get much easier. As long as you own an Android phone, at least. In fact we set it up ourselves in just a few minutes. Google's upcoming Pixel 2 XL Android Flagship Smartphone In advance of next week's Pixel 2 launch, an APK of the same launcher used for both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL has hit the Web.... Read more...
What was supposed to be a temporary workaround that was doled out to Google Home Mini smart speaker owners has now turned permanent, effectively disabling a key feature of the device. Users can no longer activate the speaker's Google Assistant by tapping on the unit's touch panel. Following the latest update, the only way to engage the artificial intelligence technology is to say, "Okay Google" or "Hey Google." Google initially disabled the touch-to-activate feature ahead of the smart speaker's global launch in response to a glitch discovered by reviewers. Under normal circumstances, Google Home... Read more...
Earlier this month Google rolled out some new products that took aim directly at Amazon and the Echo line of devices. Those new Google devices include the Google Home Mini and Google Home Max. The Home Mini is set to launch on October 19 and ahead of that official launch, as Google and other manufacturers normally do, the device was placed in the hands of reviewers around the globe. One of those reviewers is reporting that the Home Mini he was writing about was almost constantly recording sounds in his home. For some folks, this might not be a big deal, but all of the audio it records is sent out... Read more...
Months after the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election concluded, there are still allegations that Russia meddled in the process to help sway voter opinion. Google has been running an investigation to see whether Russian operatives might have exploited its advertising system in an attempt to interfere with the election. According to people who claim to be familiar with the investigation, evidence has been found that Russian operatives did indeed use the advertising platform to spread disinformation. The sources claim that Google found tens of thousands of dollars were spent on ads by Russian agents... Read more...
Self-driving cars are inevitable when it comes to the future of transportation in the United States and abroad. Many auto manufactures from Ford to Mercedes-Benz to Tesla are racing to make fully autonomous driving technology ready for primetime on public roads by the turn of the decade (or shortly thereafter). Google helped to familiarize many in the tech industry with the idea of self-driving vehicles with its fleet of autonomous Toyota Prius and Lexus RX 450h hybrids. Now that Google's self-driving efforts have been spun into a separate entity called Waymo, parent company Alphabet is hoping... Read more...
Do you remember the movie The Circle with Tom Hanks and and Emma Watson? It was not all that great, though the message of user privacy is one that could serve as a cautionary tale to consumers. Tesla founder Elon Musk is certainly aware of what is at stake, and he took to Twitter to voice concern over Google's new AI-based camera, Google Clips. Image Source: Google In response to an article link on the new camera, Musk responded, "This doesn't even *seem* innocent." Musk has made his reservations about the potential downsides of artificial intelligence well known, and when you mix in privacy concerns,... Read more...
A big challenge for people who travel abroad is one of communication. Many people only speak one language making it hard to communicate when you break free from your own country (and comfort zone). One of the coolest features of the newly announced Google Pixel Buds is that they can translate 40 languages on-the-fly. Such juggling of language between people typically requires professional translators. Pixel Buds have the Google Translate software built right in and promise to translate languages just as if they are spoken in your native tongue. With a pair of earbuds selling for $159, should... Read more...
Google Fiber started off with a simple enough premise: providing lightning-fast internet and TV service to customers at reasonable prices. Given that many Americans have just one or two ISPs serving their area (usually, with just one of them offering serviceable internet speeds), the promise of gigabit internet from Google at $70/month was hard to pass up. Last week, however, it was revealed that the TV portion of Google Fiber is being eliminated from future rollouts of the service. In a blog post, Google explained that in its newest markets, Louisville and San Antonio, it will not be providing... Read more...
Google's legal troubles with a former collaborator and renowned architect who worked on a project under the company's secretive Google X division are not going away. If fact, they are intensifying. In addition to accusing the company of stealing a technology he allegedly came up with, Eli Attia has added racketeering to his lawsuit, claiming Google has a pattern of bad behavior that makes it guilty of such a charge. Racketeering is a serious crime that is often associated with organized criminals. It entails the act of dishonest service, known as the racket, to solve a problem that otherwise would... Read more...
Sometimes the things that Alphabet/Google tries to do out of its X branch sound insane, but this is why it's called the moonshot factory. One of the odd projects that has come out of X is Project Loon. The idea behind this project is to strap hardware that beams internet down to the masses underneath high altitude balloons. X has gained permission to blanket the devastated territory of Puerto Rico with LTE internet access using Project Loon balloons. After Hurricane Maria made landfall and devastated the area, the electric grid and wireless communications are still mostly out of service. According... Read more...
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