Items tagged with Google

Back in September, Google praised the benefit of autoplaying content on the web, pointing out that users watch and listen to a lot of media these days. At the same time, Google said one of the biggest complaints is unexpected media playback, which can not only make unwanted noise, but also consume power and use data. So, Google promised to clean things up with Chrome 64 when it arrives next month by giving users more control over audio. Don't feel like waiting? You can take control (partially) right now by downloading the Chrome 64 beta. One of the features that is included in the Chrome 64 beta... Read more...
One week ago, we brought you news of an exploit discovered by a Google Project Zero researcher that had the potential to jailbreak iPhones. Jailbreaking allows users to install unsupported and unauthorized applications and services on an iPhone, but also leaves the devices more vulnerability to malware and other security risks. At the time, it was thought that the exploit would allow for a tethered jailbreak, meaning that the device would need to be hooked up to a computer with a USB cable each time that it was rebooted (to reinject the code). Earlier this week, the Project Zero researcher, Ian... Read more...
Google is talking up a new technology that it is testing out to help Project Loon bring connectivity to unconnected regions. The new technology is called Free Space Optical communications or FSOC. The tech uses light beams to deliver high-speed, high-capacity internet connectivity over long distances. Google says that it is just like a fiber optic cable, only without the cable. Ditching the cable means none of the time and cost involved with laying fiber-optic cable, which is very expensive. Google says that with FSOC boxes, the hardware can be placed kilometers apart on roofs or towers, and... Read more...
It looks as though Amazon was the first company to blink with regards to its ongoing feud with Google. Back in 2015, Amazon removed devices like the Chromecast and the Google Nexus Player from its massive online marketplace. Amazon’s reasoning at the time was that the devices, which lacked support for Amazon Video, could confuse customers and lead them to possibly return the devices after the couldn't access Amazon's streaming media services. "Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime," Amazon said at the time. "It’s important that the streaming media... Read more...
Google Chrome is by far the most popular internet browser on the planet for PCs, but with that popularity has come a reputation for being a memory (and battery) hog. Microsoft has pointed out this discrepancy on numerous occasions while promoting its Edge browser in Windows 10. Unfortunately for Chrome users that want an even more secure browsing experience, a new feature introduced in Chrome 63 for the desktop will ratchet up memory usage even higher. The feature, called Site Isolation, uses a strict policy that relegates individual websites to their own separate process. "When you enable site... Read more...
Way back in the day -- dating back to just after the release of the first iPhone -- hackers chipped away at the security defenses in iOS to give users functionality that was lacking in the default software. This practice is known as jailbreaking, and it is something that Apple unsurprisingly frowns upon since it breaks through its “walled garden”. Ian Beer, a researcher working for Google's Project Zero team, announced via a tweet that he has discovered an exploit that could jailbreak devices running iOS 11.1.2 or older. Project Zero is tasked with finding bugs in competing software,... Read more...
Motorists should take caution when driving in the direction of California's wildfires, even when using a navigation app that is continually updated. Case in point, users of Waze and other similar navigation apps report that driving directions have pointed them squarely to where the wildfires are raging, including roads that have been closed down or otherwise blocked off because of the fires. The aftermath of a wildfire in 2015 (Image Source: Flickr via Bob Dass) Apps like Waze use a combination of artificial intelligence and driver input to stay up to date with current conditions. In theory, these... 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...
Android Wear, the customized and lightweight version of Google's full-fledged Android platform for smartphones, had fallen a little behind with Google having launched Android 8 (Oreo) several months ago. That just changed, however, as there is a new version of Android Wear that is based on Oreo, and it has already begun rolling out to device makers. As to when consumers will see an update, that is entirely up to each smartwatch manufacturer. Prior to this update, the latest version of Android (2.0) was based on Android 7.0 Nougat. Google began beta testing an Oreo build around a month that initially... Read more...
The greatest chess matches are no longer played by mere mortals comprised of flesh, bone, and blood, but sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) schemes. Sitting at the top, at least for now, is AlphaZero, a product of Google's DeepMind division where machine learning rules the day. It also rules the chess board—AlphaZero took down Stockfish, the sophisticated open-source chess engine that many players use to prepare for big matches. Stockfish's recent string of successes includes winning the 2016 TCEC Championship and and the 2017 Chess.com Computer Chess Championship. It is a formidable... Read more...
Google has a new version of its Chrome web browser for mobile devices, Chrome 63, and it is making it available first for Android users. It is a bit of an unusual move, as typically Google updates its Chrome browser for both Android and iOS at the same time. For this round, however, Chrome 63 for Android is releasing before it ends up on iOS, bringing with it a new site permissions dialog and some other changes. In the past, permissions would appear on a dialog box that slides up from the bottom, and would often be ignored. But with the update to Chrome 63, permissions appear as a pop-up dialog... Read more...
Amazon and Google have an on again and off again relationship that all started with a spat over how YouTube was presented on the Amazon Show device. Google pulled YouTube from the Amazon Show because of issues with the layout of the video app that removed some of YouTube's normal capabilities. Only a few weeks ago, the YouTube app returned to the Amazon Show and everyone though that the feud was over. As it turns out, the war between the two companies is far form over. Google has now announced that it will be blocking YouTube from two Amazon devices. Google has also criticized Amazon for refusing... Read more...
If you're currently the owner of Google's first-party Nexus or Pixel hardware, we have some good news for you today. Google just pushed out the final release of Android 8.1 Oreo, which brings with it a number of tweaks, with the biggest one being reserved for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. For starters, you will have quick access to the battery status of connected Bluetooth devices by accessing the Quick Settings menu. Google has also implemented a feature to help mitigate screen burn-in on the system bar (which was most notable on the Pixel 2 XL, which features an LG OLED display) by inverting the... Read more...
Google says that its researchers have created an AI "child" that is able to outperform any human-made counterparts using a reinforced learning scheme. This scheme enabled the AI child to learn a task and then report back to the parent to learn how to better perform. The AI child is very good at recognizing objects including people, cars, handbags, traffic lights, and more in real-time. The team of researchers points to the AI child created by the supercomputer as proof that some machine-made programs are more accurate than human-created ones. The AI child is dubbed NASNet and is controlled... Read more...
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