Items tagged with alphabet

Does Google track your location? A study by the Associated Press and Princeton University discovered that some Google services store your location regardless of your privacy settings. It is believed that over 2 million Android users are affected by this issue. Google claims that if users turn off their “Location History”, it will no longer store the places the users have been. The AP and Princeton University insist that some Google apps store time-stamped locations, even if the user has disabled “Location History”. Some of these exceptions make sense, but others seem illogical.... Read more...
Waymo's autonomous vehicle fleet has been piling on the miles ever since the program was first initiated by Google back in 2009. According to the company, its cumulative total for miles driven has swollen to 8 million to date. To put that figure in perspective, it took six years from the time the Google's first autonomous vehicles took to the road until it crossed the one million threshold. The two million mile mark was reached just over a year later the miles have been racking up ever since. Remarkably, Waymo's miles-driven tally has was at "just" 5 million in February of this year. You can chalk... Read more...
Alphabet is one of the largest and most valuable companies on the planet, and at least one Morgan Stanley analyst is suggesting that the company use its cash pile to gain the upper hand in a growing market sector. In this case, Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak says that Alphabet subsidiary Google should give away millions of its Home Mini AI smart speakers.  In fact, he suggests that Google should give away one Home Mini for each American household in order to gain a leg-up on market leader Amazon. Amazon has just over a 60 percent share of the smart speaker market in the United States,... Read more...
Google is at the center of another privacy lawsuit, this latest one filed in the UK on behalf of around 4.4 million iPhone owners who may have had their browsing data improperly collected. Should Google lose the legal battle, it could be on the hook for 3.2 billion pounds, or roughly $4.29 billion, the company revealed in a court filing. Google denies the allegation and doesn't believe the issue even belongs in a London court. The crux of the lawsuit is the use of tracking cookies of Apple's Safari browser. It's similar to what led Google to pay the United Stated Federal Trade Commission (FTC)... Read more...
Now that Waymo is free of its long-running legal battle with Uber, it is focusing its attention on more important endeavors; namely spreading its self-driving technology to more platforms. In this case, Waymo is launching a pilot program that will see autonomous semi-trucks navigating through the Atlanta, Georgia area. Waymo began testing its autonomous trucks during trials in California and Arizona and is ready to expands those trials in high-profile way. While many of the basic principles of a self-driving semi-truck are similar with passenger vehicles like the Lexus RX 450h and Chrysler Pacifica... Read more...
Google purchased Nest back in 2014 for $3.2 billion, and since 2015, it has operated as its own subsidiary under the corporate Alphabet umbrella. However, it was announced today that Nest will be “coming home” by rejoining the Google hardware division. The announcement was made by Google Hardware SVP Rick Osterloh and Nest CEO Marwan Fawaz, and acknowledges that smart devices are becoming an increasingly integral part of our everyday lives. Devices like the Google Home and Nest Cam should be co-developed under the same team, not in separate silos. Nest in particular has been on an upward... Read more...
Just two months ago, Waymo announced plans to test a self-driving car service in Phoenix, Arizona, in which commuters could summon a free ride from one of around 600 Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans. Now the company is putting the pedal to the metal with "thousands more" of the same hybrid vehicle, each one motoring around without a flesh and blood (read: human) driver behind the wheel. Fiat Chrysler in Canada is producing the self-driving vehicles for Waymo, which is planning to deploy the hybrids in cities where it is currently testing autonomous driving technology. When asked by Wired exactly... Read more...
Back in 2016, Google's parent company Alphabet started a new cybersecurity project at its X Moonshot lab. Now two years later, that project is graduating into a standalone company called Chronicle, with the aim of helping other firms find and stop cyber attacks before they can cause any harm. It will do this through a continually honed intelligence and analytics platform designed to rapidly identify and neutralize threats. In a blog post announcing the standalone outfit, Chronicle CEO Stephen Gillett explains that it's fairly common for hackers to go undetected for months, and that it can take... Read more...
A surprise announcement has come out of Alphabet this week. Google's former CEO and most recently Executive Chairman of the Alphabet Board of Directors has announced that he is stepping down from his post. Schmidt will transition to a role as a technical advisor for the company, and Alphabet says that it expects a non-executive chairman will be appointed at the next board meeting. "Larry, Sergey, Sundar and I all believe that the time is right in Alphabet’s evolution for this transition. The Alphabet structure is working well, and Google and the Other Bets are thriving," said Eric Schmidt.... Read more...
A new rumor is circulating that claims YouTube is getting ready to launch a new music service in March. According to people claiming to be familiar with the matter, the new service is called YouTube Remix and it's Alphabet Inc's latest attempt to combat Spotify and Apple in the music industry. The same sources claim that one major music label, Warner Music Group, has already signed on. Warner is one of the three major music labels globally. YouTube is reportedly in talks with the other two global music superpowers: Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music. YouTube is also in negotiations with... Read more...
Waymo's legal battle with Uber over autonomous driving technology just got a little bit trickier to navigate for the Alphabet-owned company. Adding to a growing list of unfavorable rulings for Waymo, a federal judge in San Francisco threw out key testimony from the company's damages expert, Michael Wagner, making it more difficult to prove allegations that Uber stole trade secrets related to self-driving vehicle technology. The judge also denied a trade-secret theft claim, along with one of the defendants in the case, ultimately making it more difficult for Waymo to prove that Uber engaged in misconduct... Read more...
Alphabet's Project Loon team has sent LTE balloons up in the sky over parts of Puerto Rico. Project leader Alastair Westgarth stated in a blog post that his team was working with the government of Puerto Rico, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), FEMA, and others to make this happen. The team is also collaborating with wireless carrier AT&T to deliver emergency Internet services to the hardest hit parts of the island. "Working with AT&T, Project Loon is now supporting basic communication and internet activities like sending text messages and... 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...
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...
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