Google is delaying a Chrome audio update that broke countless web games

Google is partially and temporarily rolling back a recent Chrome change that blocked autoplaying audio, after web developers complained that it had broken countless games and apps. The update rolled out with Chrome version 66 in early May, and it was intended to quiet annoying ads and videos that would drive users toward ad-blocking software. But it also ended up completely removing the audio from interactive web projects that relied on specific commands, which created problems for artists — and doomed any abandoned projects to silence. “The team here is…

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Twitter banishes trolls to the shadows

Twitter says it is taking action against “trolls” that “distort and detract from the public conversation”, by making their tweets less visible. The social network has been trying to tackle abuse and harassment on its platform for several years. The company said it would now look at “behavioural signals” to “improve the health” of discussions on the platform. “People contributing to the healthy conversation will be more visible in conversations and search,” it said. Twitter said examples of suspicious behaviour included: Advertisement accounts failing to confirm the email address they…

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Google will make its paid storage plans cheaper

Google is rolling out new changes to its storage plans that include a new, low-cost storage plan and half off the price of its 2TB storage option.It’s also converting all Google Drive paid storage plans to Google One, perhaps in part because you’ll now have one-tap access to Google’s live customer service. Google One will get a new $2.99 a month option that gets you 200GB of storage. The 2TB plan, which usually costs $19.99 per month, will now cost $9.99 a month. Finally, the 1TB plan that costs $9.99…

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Researchers have found a vulnerability in two popular email encryption protocols

European security researchers have found an alarming new vulnerability in the most common forms of email encryption. The attack, described in a report published Monday morning, lets bad actors inject malicious code into intercepted emails, despite encryption protocols designed to protect against code injection. Implemented correctly, the malicious code could be used to steal the entire contents of a target’s inbox. The vulnerability affects two of the most common email encryption protocols, PGP and S/MIME, although the degree of vulnerability depends heavily on the client’s implementation of the protocol. A…

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YouTube introduces ‘take a break’ notifications for your digital well-being

When Android P is released this summer, it will bring with it a new Dashboard designed to clearly show the amount of time we’re spending on our phones. You’ll see a breakdown that includes the number of times you’ve unlocked your device, a tally of notifications, and details on how much time you’re spending in individual apps. This all stems from Google’s focus on digital well-being that the company announced at I/O 2018 this week. But YouTube isn’t waiting for Android P to introduce some helpful features. Just as Sundar…

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Google to warn when humans chat with convincing bots

Google says it will take steps to ensure that humans are not fooled when they get called by software bots that can convincingly mimic the human voice. Anyone called by the bot will be told they are conversing with a machine, Google told tech news site the Verge. The vocal skills of the Duplex bot were demonstrated at Google’s I/O developer conference this week when it was shown booking a hair appointment. The demo left one technology expert “horrified” by what she had seen. Social impact In its statement, Google…

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Google Maps goes beyond directions

Google  announced a new version of Google Maps that will launch later this summer. All of the core Google Maps features for getting directions aren’t going away, of course, but on top of that, the team has now built a new set of features that are all about exploration. “About a year ago, when we started to talk to users, one of the things we asked them was: how can we really help you? What else do you want Google Maps to do? And one of the overwhelming answers that…

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Lyft Tests its Monthly Subscription Service

Lyft is moving ahead with tests of the All-Access plan, a monthly subscription service for rides through the Lyft platform. A select group of riders will see an option to sign up for a waitlist to be part of Lyft’s next round of All-Access invitations. “Testing our newest All-Access Plan is the next step in moving rideshare from one based on ownership, to one based on subscription,” a Lyft spokesperson said.“We’re excited to roll this out to more passengers in the coming weeks and continue offering Lyft’s affordable, convenient, and…

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You can now run Linux apps on Chrome OS

For the longest time, developers have taken Chrome OS machines and run tools like Crouton to turn them into Linux-based developer machines. That was a bit of a hassle, but it worked. But things are getting easier. Soon, if you want to run Linux apps on your Chrome OS machine, all you’ll have to do is switch a toggle in the Settings menu. That’s because Google is going to start shipping Chrome OS with a custom virtual machine that runs Debian Stretch, the current stable version of the operating system.…

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Google Assistant to make phone calls for owners

Google has unveiled artificial intelligence software that books appointments over the phone on behalf of users by conducting voice-based conversations on their behalf. Chief executive Sundar Pichair said that Google Duplex would launch as an “experiment” over the coming weeks. The facility was unveiled at the firm’s annual IO developers conference. Experts have said that if it works it could give the firm a major advantage over rival virtual assistants. Pre-recorded demonstrations played back to the audience featured the software first booking a haircut and then making a restaurant reservation…

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