Items tagged with NASDAQ: GOOG

In the cloud game, there is so much competition, it's hard to keep them all straight sometimes. But of them all, two giants that are fun to watch duke it out are Google and Microsoft - especially when it comes to online documents. While Google was ahead of the curve with regards to hosting office tools online, Microsoft has arguably had an easier time selling its service based on the simple fact that it's been creating office tools for nearly thirty years (the first version was revealed at COMDEX in 1988!). Both companies have their own pluses, though, making it hard for some businesses to choose between them. Google clearly has mastered the art of infrastructure, while Microsoft offers tools... Read more...
Since 2010, Google has offered support in the desktop version of Chrome for push notifications. To help make that feature even more useful, it eventually introduced a notification center, not too dissimilar from what Microsoft offers in Windows 10. With an emerging push standard, though, Google has been forced to reevaluate things. Via a new blog post, Google lets us know that it will be removing that push notification center from all desktop versions of Chrome (Windows/Linux/OS X). What makes this decision easy for Google to make is that it seems very little people actually made use of it. Writes Justin DeWitt, a Chrome software engineer, "in practice, few users visit the notification center."... Read more...
If you've been paying any attention to the security realm over the past few years, you're probably well aware that Google's Android OS has quite a number of issues and caveats surrounding it. It comes with the territory of the OS being placed into the hands of any vendor that produces an Android device - it becomes their responsibility to update, not Google's. Obviously, that's going to be problematic where patches are concerned. After the Stagefright MMS bug hit the world a few months ago, the need for better Android security really hit the limelight. Not long after, some companies, such as Samsung, began promising to get better about things. Ultimately, though, it seems like Google itself has... Read more...
It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that Google loves speed. This is a reality website owners know all too well. Sometimes it can feel like a constant battle making sure the big G is happy, both with regards to how fast pages load, and how it wants you to check all of the right Web design boxes. It's for these reasons that it's no surprise that the company has just rolled out a new project that aims to make the Web even faster. At least on mobile. The AMP Project, or Accelerated Mobile Pages Project, comes to fruition a mere week after Google officially became a subsidiary, and it could prove to be a boon for those who browse while mobile often (which is pretty much all of us). As its name... Read more...
It's no secret that Google and Microsoft haven't been on the friendliest terms for quite some time, something the large number of lawsuits each firm has filed against the other has no doubt had something to do with. However, it appears that the frosty relationship may be thawing. Last week, both companies revealed that all lawsuits filed against each other would be dropped, so that both could work together in the future "to benefit our customers". On the Microsoft side, we've seen a definite warming-up to Google this past year, at least where Android is concerned. This past summer, the company officially released its Office suite for the platform, and just two months ago, it even ported its Cortana... Read more...
It's official: Google is now a subsidiary. Feels weird, doesn't it? The change happened yesterday as a new parent company, Alphabet, takes Google and other ventures under its wing. Google as a subsidiary means little to consumers, though, as it's still going to be the front-facing brand; the name associated with Android, Search, Apps, Maps, and so on. As the graphic below highlights, Alphabet will initially consist of seven separate companies, each with its own CEO. Google Ventures will look after acquisitions and funding; Calico will be responsible for the health side of things; Nest will be smart products; Google Capital invests in "tech trends"; Fiber handles all things Google ISP; while Google... Read more...
Google's brand new Nexus 5X smartphone looks to be a good contender for its given price point ($379), but there's a major stipulation you should be aware of if you have interest in picking one up. Despite the fact that the USB-C connector has barely broken through to the market yet, Google saw it fit to supply only a USB-C to USB-C connector in the box. Oy. What this means for you is that unless you happen to be rocking a computer that has a USB-C port, such as an updated Alienware notebook, or Apple's latest MacBook, you're not going to be able to connect it to your computer to transfer data or take advantage of the Android Debugging Bridge in order to root or flash it in the future.... Read more...
YouTube has been planning to introduce subscriptions to remove advertisements from its website for quite some time, and it seems we're on the verge of it finally rolling out. Yesterday, the company sent out an email to content providers requesting them to agree to updated terms; if they fail to do so, their videos will either stop being monetized, or stop being shown in the US. In the email, it's noted that 95% of partners have signed up so far, and given the side-effects of not doing so, that's not too much of a surprise. If you happen to be a YouTube content creator, you'll want to log in before October 22nd and agree to the terms. What remains to be seen is how this revenue will be split up,... Read more...
Google prides itself on its voice recognition tech, and it's no wonder: it's good. I take advantage of it on a daily basis for the sake of saving the hassle of typing on a small keyboard for messaging, and while there are occasional hiccups, I am forever grateful that the tech is as good as it is. And now, it looks like it's just gotten better. Back in 2012, Google shifted its voice recognition tech from the old-school Gaussian Mixture Model method to more advanced Deep Neural Networks. The benefit to the latter is that it was faster, and probably more accurate. But despite that, an issue still existed: the success of using it in a loud environment was hit-or-miss. With the adoption of some new... Read more...
It seems as though Google just can't catch a break with foreign governments. In recent months, we've seen the EU pressure the company over supposed favoritism it's showing itself within shopping results, and now, Russia is accusing Google of breaking antitrust laws by bundling its own apps with Android. Oy! In particular, Google was hit with an antimonopoly case here. This comes as a direct result of the company forcing companies that ship devices with Android to include basic Google software. That would include Gmail, Photos, Hangouts, Google+, Chrome, among others. If this all sounds familiar, it could be because Google faced similar issues earlier this year, but managed to escape antitrust... Read more...
Ransomware is one of the most sickening types of malware out there, and one enterprising person (or group) has managed to take things to a new level: by bringing porn into it. According to research firm Zscaler, this latest piece of malware is designed to sucker people into downloading a dedicated porn player simply called "Adult Player". We're not sure of the promises made, but I'd imagine that anyone who downloads it would hope that it would act as a portal for some free porn - or perhaps just add features that porn enthusiasts demand from a video player. Nonetheless, once the player is installed, the malware automatically installs from a separate APK as part of a "reflection" attack - one... Read more...
Google prides itself on being able to deliver relevant search results in an instant. In some cases, results could be displayed before the query is even finished being typed out. Whether you're seeking song lyrics, a drink recipe, or flight information, Google's become quite good at getting you the right information, fast. It's hard to argue though that most of that instant information isn't "important". What is, is health information. In some cases, that information might genuinely be needed right that moment, while in other cases, it might not be so time-sensitive. Whatever the urgency, though, health is one area where Google is pushing hard to improve its overall search experience. In a new... Read more...
It's no secret that Google's Chrome browser loves to hog RAM. In fact, it sometimes seems like it wouldn't matter how much RAM is tossed at the browser - it's going to find a way to eat it up. Months ago, I had such bad experiences with this that the browser would lag my entire PC (and that was with 16GB of RAM!), an issue that a subsequent beta ended up fixing. Still, proper memory fixes in Chrome are long, long overdue, because when the issues are bad enough to spawn an entire meme, there's a definite need for attention. Fortunately, attention is being paid to this, and with the brand-new version 45, benefits can be reaped from the hard work of Google's engineers. In the example video below,... Read more...
As consumers, the sheer number of different codecs available for a given media type can be downright frustrating. There's a reason a multitude of devices exist that help transcode streams to be playable on another device - there's been a lack of a standard, so we have no choice but to bend over backwards and jump through hurdles in order to make sure our media works on any device. This reality is also frustrating for companies - those that have to open their wallets for licensing. We're long overdue for a real standard, one that doesn't have licensing costs and one that most people can agree on. With the Alliance for Open Media, that's just what we're in for. To make sure the best codecs are... Read more...
At this point, it can be assumed that most tech firms don't like dealing with the EU, and there are many different reasons for it. With Google, it could have to do with the fact that it keeps getting hit with anti-trust charges that it vehemently believes are nonsense. You might recall earlier this year when the company was effectively carpet-bombed with charges, mostly relating to the supposed anti-competitive nature of its search engine. Well, not surprisingly, Google still isn't lowering its defenses. In fact, it's making it clearer than ever that it believes the EU doesn't know what it's talking about with this particular matter. "The SO says that Google's displays of paid ads from merchants... Read more...
It's no secret that Google's search engine is littered with Easter eggs, but the latest discovery has to be the coolest. When Max Rosett wanted to refine his programming skills, he did what most people would: he hit up Google. The responses to his searches weren't quite so typical, though. When issuing queries like "python lambda function list comprehension" and "mutex lock", the search results page folded downward to reveal a question: "You're speaking our language. Up for a challenge?" Google's no stranger to creating neat little games, but this is different. This is serious. What Max didn't realize at the time was that this game is in effect a job application, and a challenging one, at that.... Read more...
Earlier this year, Google and Twitter teamed up to embed tweets in your search results, and for both companies, the partnership made a lot of sense. From an end-user perspective, seeing popular tweets of ongoing events in your search results might give you the kind of answer you need right away. For popular Twitter users, it could even result in an increase of followers. Up to this point, the search feature has only been available for mobile users, whereas in an new update, it's been spread to the desktop. Unfortunately, I can't currently see the feature in order to share a screenshot, but it's likely to look quite similar to the mobile implementation: As with most new features that Google rolls... Read more...
One of the most frustrating elements of photography isn't rain or rough weather in general, but windows. No, not that Windows, but windows that do a better job of reflecting the scene behind you than let you see or capture a photo through it. I'm sure many of us have been in a hotel room where we would have loved to have been able to shoot the scene outside, but had to contend with reflections that ruined the shot. If you can relate, you should be happy to know that there's a solution, one that was just discussed at the ongoing SIGGRAPH conference. Called "A Computational Approach for Obstruction-Free Photography", a team at MIT and Google managed to create an advanced algorithm that analyzes... Read more...
Earlier this week, we learned of a scary piece of malware that can strike almost all Android devices in use. As has become a theme of late, the exploit is trigged via a simple text message. While it's easy to assume that you'll be safe simply by not reading any unsolicited text messages from people you don't know, this bug can be effective enough to not even require you to open it. If the attack is successful, the phone can be remotely accessed in full. That even includes being able to trigger the camera and microphone. Suffice to say, this is a serious bug, and while there's been no proof of it happening in the wild yet, it clearly needs to be patched as soon as possible. Given the severity... Read more...
Many Android users I know like to stick with Google's official Nexus phones, and every single one of them cite the same reasons for it: a clean user interface. It's true; Nexus devices are the go-to for experiencing Android as it's meant to be, similar to how Microsoft sells "Signature" desktops and notebooks that deliver the experience it wants you to have. Ultimately, both Microsoft and Google have the same goal with their respective lines: that lack of bloat. Well, it seems like Sony might be catching onto the perks of this. In a new blog post, the company writes that it is going to be soon testing a "concept" operating system that follows in the footsteps of Nexus, "It has some significant... Read more...
Google has just rolled-out yet another cool feature to one of its products that's both awesome and downright scary from a privacy standpoint. This time, it's Google Maps that's affected, and its new feature "Your Timeline" leaves little to the imagination. With it, you'll be able to effectively stalk yourself - in the past! As it is today, Google by default tracks where you are at any given time, but the amount of information captured is minimal. If you took a trip to New York six months ago, you'll probably be able to see that referenced in your Maps history. Your Timeline takes things further by providing far more information, down to the name of a building you were in. A feature like this... Read more...
Last month, Google began opening up about the accidents it encounters with its autonomous vehicles. While the overall number of accidents is low, accidents are accidents, and are worthy of note. Especially when we're talking about a vehicle that's driving itself. In Google's favor, the accidents it's been encountering haven't been its fault. Surprise, surprise: it's been the fault of drivers who are not paying close enough attention. Take, for example, an accident that occurred just a few weeks ago, on July 1. When Google's Lexus began to slow down at an intersection, so too did a couple of cars in front of it. One car behind didn't, though. Traveling at 17 MPH, the car failed to brake and smashed... Read more...
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