MOUNTAIN VIEW — Google has decided to echo Amazon.The search giant is developing an in-home voice-activated Internet device that will be able to answer users queries, play music and control smart home devices, the company announced at its I/O developer conference Wednesday.Dubbed Google Home, the device, which will be out later this year, looks like it s targeted straight at Amazon s Echo.Home will serve as a showcase for Google s new intelligent assistant technology, prosaically named the Google assistant.Google representatives at the conference indicated that consumers will be able to use the device to make or cancel dinner reservations, check flight information, look up sports scores and turn on lights in their home.The device will have a built-in speaker, and owners will be able to use it in coordination with Google s Chromecast Audio product to play music throughout their house.Google didn t say what Home will cost or when exactly it will be available.Amazon s Echo, which the company debuted in late 2014, costs $180.Photo: Google s Home product viewed on a screen above the stage at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View during the keynote presentation at Google s I/O developer on Wednesday, May 18, 2016.Troy Wolverton, Mercury News.Tags: amazon, amazon echo, chromecast audio, Google, google assistant, google home, intelligent assistants, smart home
MOUNTAIN VIEW — Google is getting in on the bots game, joining Facebook and Microsoft.This summer, the search giant plans to launch a new messaging app called Allo, Google representatives announced at the company s I/O developer conference on Wednesday.The app incorporates Google s intelligent assistant technology and is to allow users to accomplish more things without having to launch other apps.By simply typing questions or commands within Allo, users will be able to make dinner reservations, check sports scores, find photos or check their flight reservations.So it can understand the context questions are asked in.So, in one demonstration, Google representatives showed how users could use Allo to find information about soccer star Cristano Ronaldo and then get Allo to find videos of him by just typing best tricks.The Google assistant was able to glean that the user was interested in seeing videos of Ronaldo from the context of the conversation.Google s move into text bots follows Facebook and Microsoft.Meanwhile, Facebook at its F8 conference last month unveiled similar features that are coming to its popular Messenger app.Bots have the potential to make it less important which operating system users have on their smartphones.Troy Wolverton/Mercury News Tags: allo, bots, chatbots, facebook, Google, intelligent assistants, Messenger, Microsoft, Skype, the google assistant
The silent update capability of Chrome OS is one of the operating system s smartest features, as it does the behind-the-scenes work at grabbing the latest software update.One day you'll just fire up your laptop, and you're suddenly running the latest version.In the case of the latest Nexus devices, Google representatives told the crowd at the Android team s office hours event at I/O that the background update feature won t be available for current-generation Nexus devices.That means it s likely that all currently-available Android phones and tablets won t get the feature.Why this matters: This throws some cold water on one of the much-ballyhooed features announced at Google I/O.On the one hand, if you re the type to keep tabs on the latest versions of Android this won t be a major deal breaker, but this new updates scheme is an important tool against fragmentation as it would nudge more phones and tablets onto the latest Android builds.
Reuters — Thailand s government met with representatives from Internet giant Google, amid growing calls from Thai hardline royalists to bring those who insult the monarchy to justice, as many Thais look with uncertainty to a future without their revered king.King Bhumibol Adulyadej s death on Oct. 13 has thrown the country of 67 million into mourning.It has also led to the rise of ultra-royalist vigilante groups who say they will punish anyone perceived to have insulted the monarchy during a highly sensitive time for Thailand.Deputy Prime Minister Prajin Juntong said he met with Google representatives in Bangkok on Friday.Google affirmed in the meeting that it would continue to help the government remove content from YouTube, a Google subsidiary, that it deemed offensive, he said.If any website is inappropriate they said to get in touch with them and inform them of the URL and the time the content was found, Prajin told reporters.That conforms with Google s practice around the world, Alphabet Inc s Google says.We have always had clear and consistent policies for removal requests from governments around the world and we continue to operate in line with those policies, a Google spokesperson in California told Reuters on Friday.When we are notified of content that is illegal through official processes, we will restrict it in the country where it s illegal after a thorough review.
Google will pay 438 million rubles (US$7.8 million) and will stop requiring its apps be preloaded on Android smartphones in Russia, in an antitrust settlement with the country's Federal Antimonopoly Service.The settlement, announced Monday, ends a nearly two-year investigation by FAS into Google's control of the Android operating system.FAS had accused Google of abusing its monopoly position in mobile app stores serving the Android operating system.The fine amounts to 9 percent of Google's revenue in Russia in 2014, plus inflation, according to TASS.Russian search engine provider Yandex filed the original complaint against Google.Google representatives didn't immediately respond to requests for comments on the settlement.
in the race's ten cities, eight from Sweden and two in Finland.Monday north volts representatives went to Vaasa and on Tuesday, it was the Kotka-Hamina region.”we Discussed the Kotka-Hamina region of the suitability of this battery factory project, their needs and what we have to offer,” explains Eagle development director Terhi Lindholm.”according to our Estimates, Kotka-Hamina respond very well Nothvoltin the demands in all areas”, Lindholm said.HaminaKotka is Finland's largest export port, Helsinki-Vantaa airport is the area from the travel a little over an hour and the rail connection to the ports, st. Petersburg, elsewhere in Finland as well as to Asia is good, Lindholm list.Kotka-hamina in the north volts representatives met, among others, former Us ambassador Bruce Oreck and Google representatives.
Technology giant Google is expected to receive a record fine from the European union competition law infringement, told the news agency Bloomberg.according to Sources, Google will already on Tuesday during the penalty therefore, that it is advertise your own shopping search services to their smaller competitors at the expense.Google is expected to get even more than 1.2 billion usd fine, and the EU has accelerated the decision-making pace of things in the last few days.Previously, the EU authorities aimed for July, but now the matter has been taken forward as early as this week.according to Bloomberg, several Google representatives is still early on Monday after being told the EU schedule.Although the EU does not need to tell the schedule in more detail for businesses, it is often done it yet.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) today published a story showcasing the results of a report from the Campaign for Accountability.The story details a series of shady encounters between Google representatives and various Professors wherein Google appears to be paying academics to write specific papers.According to the report, Google (and others) are influencing politics and students by paying high-dollar stipends to the professors who are willing to do its evil bidding.Google’s strategic recruitment of like-minded professors is one of the tech industry’s most sophisticated programs, and includes funding of conferences and research by trade groups, think tanks and consulting firms, according to documents and interviews with academics and lobbyists.Google, in its response, says that the Campaign for Accountability is a biased organization pushing an anti-Google agenda.In an official blog post the company said:
A Google employee who penned a controversial memo that argued biology prevents women from being as successful as men in the tech industry has been fired by the search giant, Bloomberg reported late Monday.James Damore, the Google engineer identified as the memo's author, confirmed his dismissal in an email, saying that he had been fired for "perpetuating gender stereotypes," Bloomberg reported.Google representatives declined to comment on the report, citing employee confidentiality.Earlier in the day, Google CEO told employees that the memo's author violated company rules by penning and publishing the controversial memo.The wording of Pichai's memo to workers seemed to suggest the employee's actions could result in their dismissal, something people inside and out of the search giant have been calling for."Portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace," Pichai wrote in a memo to employees obtained by Recode.
Sherisse Pham and Taehoon Lee, writing for CNN Tech: Google is facing scrutiny for reportedly collecting data about the location of smartphone users without their knowledge.Regulators in South Korea summoned Google representatives this week to question them about a report that claimed the company was collecting data from Android devices even when location services were disabled.The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) "is carrying out an inquiry into the claims that Google collected users' Cell ID data without consent even when their smartphone's location service was inactive," Chun Ji-hyun, head of KCC's privacy infringement division, told CNNMoney on Friday.U.K. data protection officials are also looking into the matter."Organizations are required by law to be transparent with consumers about what they are doing with personal information," said a spokesperson for the Information Commissioner's Office."We are aware of the reports about the tracking system and are in contact with Google."
Today brings the news, as reported by the Sunday Times, that Google has reaped “millions” from shady companies that advertise online as help lines for people suffering from addiction, but in reality funnel those people to expensive private clinics, earning huge commissions.The basic idea is simple, and sound: someone searching for “help quitting pain pills” or something like that should be connected with the appropriate resources, and ostensibly that’s what help lines like those investigated by the Sunday Times’ undercover crew do.But profit-oriented private clinics, which charge tens of thousands of dollars for their services, have begun offering huge referral rewards for sending patients their direction.Plus it bought them consultation with Google representatives who reportedly helped keep them at the top of the results.It may be that the people looking for help did eventually find it.Might be nice to know that the ostensibly objective help line you’re calling is earning huge commissions from the places it refers you to, right?
With Facebook in the dock over serious data breaches, Google executives took to the Advertising Week stage speaking of efforts to highlight its privacy prowess to the public, provide better measurement to TV advertisers, and its latest blockchain experiments.Google was pilloried 12 months ago as News Corp-owned The Times published an exposé bringing to the surface the long-standing brand safety time-bomb, just as the entire advertising industry’s attention was trained on London.However, 12 months later, and its ‘duopoly-mate’ is more firmly under the spotlight, with the controversy surrounding the Cambridge Analytics affair – another case of well-known risks (among those in the digital sector) brought to the boil though mainstream media exposure.The comparative lack of controversy left Google representatives more at ease on stage during Advertising Week with Sridhair Ramaswamy, Google, senior vice president, ads and commerce, plus Matt Brittin, Google, president, EMEA, explaining some of its latest initiatives.This includes continued efforts to win approval among the traditional TV industry – after a rebuttal from the UK establishment last year – attempts to assuage the growing skepticism of an increasingly data-savvy public.And yes, an early insight to its experiments with the buzzword du jour – blockchain.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai milked the woos from a clappy, home-turf developer crowd at its I/O conference in Mountain View this week with a demo of an in-the-works voice assistant feature that will enable the AI to make telephone calls on behalf of its human owner.The Duplex demos were pre-recorded, rather than live phone calls, but Pichai described the calls as “real” — suggesting Google representatives had not in fact called the businesses ahead of time to warn them its robots might be calling in.King reckons it would need to state up front that it’s a robot and/or use an appropriately synthetic voice so it’s immediately clear to anyone picking up the phone the caller is not human.Now experiments have shown that many people do interact with AI software that is conversational just as they would another person but at the same time there is also evidence showing that some people do the exact opposite — and they become a lot ruder.We’ve seen, for example, how microtargeted advertising platforms have been hijacked at scale by would-be election fiddlers.Pichai said the first — and still, as he put it, experimental — use of Duplex will be to supplement Google’s search services by filling in information about businesses’ opening times during periods when hours might inconveniently vary, such as public holidays.
Media outlet Axios has highlighted several issues with Google’s AI-powered calls shown at its developer conference.The employees in these calls don’t identify their workplace or ask for contact details when confirming appointments.Google representatives haven’t addressed these concerns, raising questions about their legitimacy.Google made headlines around the world for its Google Duplex demo, showing us a voice assistant that’s able to call businesses on our behalf.It made for an eerie experience, as the AI-powered assistant conversed like a human, but did Google edit or even stage these calls?News publication Axios has raised several important questions regarding the demo, which saw the AI assistant call a hair salon and a restaurant.
A new report claims that Google representatives met with game development studios at E3 2018 earlier in June.It looks like Google is moving ahead with its earlier reported plans to launch a gaming-themed streaming service.A report from Kotaku, citing unnamed sources, claims Google representatives held meetings with game development studios at E3 2018, the video game trade show that was held in Los Angeles earlier in June.Read more: Here’s why Google should launch a game streaming serviceWhat’s surprising is that the story claims that Google is not just trying to get game developers interested in this service, which reportedly has the internal code name “Yeti”.The same report says Google also met with a number of major companies in March at the Game Developers Conference, held in Google’s backyard of San Francisco.
For the first time, official Google representatives referenced Google “Yeti,” the alleged gaming service.The reference appears in Chromium code and appears to refer to audio/video sync issues.While Google “Yeti” is still a mystery, it looks like it is, at the very least, a real thing.Back in February, we heard rumors about a supposed gaming service from Google, codenamed “Yeti.” Since that rumor broke, we haven’t heard much else about the Yeti project, which seems to be a game streaming service akin to PlayStation Now and Nvidia GeForce Now.However, the folks over at 9to5Google found a reference to Yeti in an interesting place: in Chromium code commits, specifically in a Chromecast-related section.The code snippet is reposted below:
Google, on the defensive from concerns raised about how Chrome tracks its users, has promised changes to its web browser.Two complaints in recent days involve how Google stores data about browsing activity in files called cookies and how it syncs personal data across different devices.Google representatives said Monday and Tuesday there's nothing to be worried about but that they'll be changing Chrome nevertheless."We've heard -- and appreciate -- your feedback from the last few days, and we'll be making some product changes," tweeted Parisa Tabriz, a security team leader at Google.Google added in a blog post Tuesday evening that it will add new options and explanations for its interface and reverse one Chrome cookie-hoarding policy that undermined people's attempts to clear those cookies.Chrome is a powerful tool that lets websites gather the kind of personal information that makes it possible for advertisers to target ads for a particular audience.
YouTube appeared to be experiencing widespread service disruption Tuesday night, showing users a blank website frame instead of the usual site populated by videos.Users trying access videos or upload content were greeted instead with an internal server error message.The outage appears to have begun around 6 p.m. PT, according to outage monitors and comments on Twitter.YouTube and Google representatives didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.NASA turns 60: The space agency has taken humanity farther than anyone else, and it has plans to go further.Taking It to Extremes: Mix insane situations -- erupting volcanoes, nuclear meltdowns, 30-foot waves -- with everyday tech.
‘Tis the season and Google is feeling generous.Today it rolled out a bunch of new Google Assistant features, including improvements nifty to-do list functionality and a new feature that encourages you to be polite to your inanimate, question-answering bot.Top of the list is what Google’s calling “visual lyrics.” It essentially turns a smart display, like the Google Home Hub, into a karaoke machine.If you have a Google Play Music subscription, You can watch and sing along to lyrics as they pop up on a screen, though at a demo Google representatives were quick to remind me the feature worked for “non-explicit songs” only.So, like that one Lil Jon song with the 329 cuss words and Ginuwine’s “Pony” are out.Other display-based features include replies for Google’s recently launched Broadcast feature.
Introduced chaotically alongside Pixel 3 phones, Pixel Slate tablets, and Pixel Stand accessories, Google’s $149 Home Hub seemed somewhat out of place at its October launch event.Odd name aside, the latest Google “smart display” — a tablet designed to be left in one place — arrived months after similar options from JBL and Lenovo, but included a smaller, 7-inch screen, and lacked a front-facing camera.My colleague Khari Johnson quickly nailed Home Hub’s biggest pros and cons in separate articles, seeing it as an Amazon Echo Show and Facebook Portal challenger on price, but concluding in a subsequent review that it was a somewhat perplexing alternative to the aforementioned JBL and Lenovo smart displays on features.Faced with questions regarding “missing” cameras, Google representatives said they were deliberately omitted to make users comfortable using Home Hub on bedroom nightstands.From where I stand, Home Hub is Google’s answer to Amazon’s Alexa-equipped Echo Spot clock, and substantially intended to displace tablets (such as iPads) from their places in bedrooms, and other places clocks traditionally sit.Viewed more broadly, it’s Google’s way of giving its numerous paid and free services a permanent spot in the place where you sleep or work, without following Amazon’s Fire Tablets straight to the bottom of the consumer electronics price range.