Google launches a data-friendly search app for users in emerging markets

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Google is continuing its push to make its services accessible for people with lower-end mobile devices or slow internet connections after it introduced Google Go, a data-friendly search app. The app was first spotted in beta in August — when it was known as Search Lite — and now it has been released for select Android devices (here). At just 5MB the app won’t take up huge amounts of space on a device — that’s important because cheaper devices that are popular in emerging markets have limited capacity — while…

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Google faces mass legal action in UK over data snooping

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Google is being taken to court, accused of collecting the personal data of millions of users, in the first mass legal action of its kind in the UK. It focuses on allegations that Google unlawfully harvested information from 5.4 million UK users by bypassing privacy settings on their iPhones. The group taking action – Google You Owe Us – is led by ex-Which director Richard Lloyd. He estimates the users could get as much as “several hundred pounds each”. The case centres on how Google used cookies – small pieces…

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Facebook, Google and others join The Trust Project to fight Fake News

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Fake news” and other misinformation, online propaganda, and satirical content people believe is true have filled the web via search engines and social media, and have caused a rift in how people perceive today’s news organizations and the quality of their coverage. A nonpartisan effort called The Trust Project is working to address this situation by helping online users distinguish between reliable journalism and promotional content or misinformation. Today, a key part of that effort – called “Trust Indicators” – are going live on Facebook, offering easy-to-access, transparent information about a news…

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Google Can Tell if Someone is Peeping at Your Phone

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Your days of peeking at someone else’s text conversations on the train might be numbered. At the Neural Information Processing Systems conference in Long Beach, California, next week, Google researchers Hee Jung Ryu and Florian Schroff will present a project they’re calling an electronic screen protector, where a Google Pixel phone uses its front-facing camera and eye-detecting artificial intelligence to detect whether more than one person is looking at the screen. An unlisted, but public video by Ryu shows the software interrupting a Google messaging app to display a camera…

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Flitto’s language data helps machine translation systems get more accurate

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Artificial intelligence-powered translation is becoming an increasingly crowded category, with Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook all working on their own services. But tech still isn’t a match for professional human translations and machine-generated results are often hit-and-miss. One online translation service, Flitto, is now focused on providing other companies with the language data they need to train their machine translation programs. Headquartered in Seoul, Flitto launched in 2012 as a translation crowdsourcing platform. It still provides translation services, ranging from a mobile app to professional translators, for about 7.5 million…

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Lightform raises $5M to turn old projectors into augmented reality machines

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In Blade Runner 2049, one of the more interesting stylistic choices was how the film imagined futuristic augmented reality. While the Microsofts and Googles of our real dystopian world are currently approaching AR tech with headsets and smart glasses, Blade Runner 2049 relied entirely on external projection to augment its world and the people in it. This vision of the future may still seem a tad concerning, but it’s good news for San Francisco-based AR startup Lightform. Lightform isn’t a hologram startup, but by capturing structured light, their projector-mounted computer…

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LightStep emerges from stealth with a tool for application performance monitoring

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LightStep, a company which has developed a new tool for application performance management, has emerged from stealth with a $29 million dollar war chest. The company, founded by ex-Google engineer Ben Sigelman, has developed a group of software tools to track the how well applications are working across enterprises. At Google, Sigelman was responsible for the creation and operation of Dapper, a distributed monitoring system that could analyze 2 billion transactions per second, according to a LightStep statement. Sigelman also was one of the developer behind the OpenTracing standard, part…

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Phishing Makes It Easy To Hijack Accounts

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Cyber-thieves grab almost 250,000 valid log-in names and passwords for Google accounts every week, suggests research. The study by Google and UC Berkeley looked at the ways email and other accounts get hijacked. It used 12 months of log-in and account data found on websites and criminal forums or which had been harvested by hacking tools. Google said the research helped secure accounts by showing how people fell victim to scammers and hackers. During the 12 months studying the underground markets, the researchers identified more than 788,000 credentials stolen via…

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Google set to simplify Android Video Calling

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Video calling is about as easy as it can possibly get these days. You can do it on computers, mobile devices, and even tablets. It’s popular and widespread enough that you even have options. There are plenty of options available for those looking to video chat with their friends or family. Now, Google is rolling out a new Duo integration for its own Pixel, Pixel 2, Android One, and Nexus phones to allow users to place a video call directly from the Android Phone, Contacts, and Messages apps. Later this…

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Google secretly recording users through mobile devices

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Did you know that Google has been recording you without your knowledge? Some of your most intimate conversations might be sitting in a Google data centre somewhere. Just talking is enough to activate the recordings – but thankfully there’s an easy way of hearing and deleting them. The technology giant has effectively turned millions of its users’ smartphones into listening devices that can capture intimate conversations — even when they aren’t in the room. The company quietly records many of the conversations that people have around its products. The feature…

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