The Battle Between Amazon and Google Continues at CES 2019

UPS versus FedEx. MasterCard versus Visa. AT&T versus Verizon. All these famous rivalries pale in comparison to the biggest of the modern day – Amazon versus Google. “The Battle for Second Place,” as it were, the two internet giants have been duking it out for years. According to Statista, Amazon and Alphabet (Google’s parent company) were the number two and three largest companies in the world by market value in 2018 respectively. By mid-year, Amazon was worth $777.8 billion U.S. dollars, with Alphabet trailing closely behind with a market value of 766.4 billion. Both are still a ways off from

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Google working on detecting spam from call ads

A new report from Search Engine Land explains that Google is looking to crack down on spam advertisements. According to the publication, “Google has begun informing advertisers that it may record some of the calls that come in through call-only ads and call extensions in ads.” Google is apparently making a goal of protecting users “from fraud and spam and to ensure a trusted environment for advertisers.” In an email to Search Engine Land, a Google spokesperson said, “Fraud in the advertising calls ecosystem is a growing issue and we are committed to combating it and improving call quality for

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Get ready for the Pixel 3

On October 9th, Google will be announcing the upcoming Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones. According to TechRadar, excited customers can also begin pre-ordering the devices immediately following the announcement. The news apparently comes from an email received by Android Central. As Tech Radar explains, “The email also apparently shows a number three, which transitions between black, white and mint colors, which seems an obvious hint that the Google Pixel 3 range might come in those shades.” The mint theory is backed up by leaked images of a white Google Pixel 3 phone with a mint-coloured power button.

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Confidential Mode is the Snapchat of Gmail

Gmail users! Haven’t you always wanted to send and receive self-expiring messages through your trusted email service? No? Well, you’re getting it anyways! According to Android Authority, Gmail’s new ‘Confidential Mode’ is bringing “self-deleting messages” which allow “you to specify an expiration date or manually revoke access to a message.” Messages sent in Confidential Mode also cannot be copied, forwarded, printed, or downloaded. If you’re really serious about sending a an email confidentially, you can choose to require the recipient to enter a passcode (sent via SMS or email) before opening the message. Android Authority specifies, “SMS-based passcodes are the

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Watch out for this Google Maps scam

There are a lot of scams out there – and a lot of different avenues that scammers use. A surprising one, perhaps, is Google Maps. According to ZDNet, scammers have been using Google Maps URL-sharing feature to trick users into opening links to “shady websites.” The security firm Sophos says this is a successful tactic because Google Maps “lacks a mechanism to report scammy links.” The main website that Sophos observed the links redirecting to was a Russian diet-pill scheme targeting English speakers. “Between the legitimate Google URL shortener you’d probably trust, and the Russian URL you probably wouldn’t, the

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Google’s Project Yeti could be the Netflix for video games

Would you be interested in a Netflix for video games? Because Google might deliver. A new project the company is working on, codenamed Yeti, will reportedly be a subscription-based video game streaming service. The move toward more gaming isn’t altogether surprising. Google recently hired Phil Harrison, a high-profile game industry veteran who worked for Microsoft and ran Sony PlayStation’s first-party studio and research and development teams. Google also owns Owlchemy Labs, a VR tech company responsible for the popular Job Simulator VR game. And by itself, Google has had great success with Google Play mobile. Yeti may run on Chromecast,

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This Google app is raising privacy concerns and social media buzz

Maybe you’ve seen a friend – or more likely, a celebrity – using Google’s new Art & Culture app. You know, the one where their selfie is matched with the most similar-looking painting from Google’s enormous art database? Well according to Google, the app has already seen over 30 million downloads. Depending on your perspective, that either means 30 million people are just having some fun with this new tech, or 30 million people have just used Google’s facial recognition technology without understanding the privacy implications. As it turns out, many are concerned about the latter. People are concerned that

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Google won’t tolerate apps that gather your data without consent

Google seems to be cracking down on developers that collect personal user data without consent. It is also tightening the rules on which ads can appear in Android applications. According to an article by TechSpot, Google’s “Safe Browsing team has expanded its Unwanted Software Policy to address further ‘unwanted and harmful behaviors on Android.’” This includes apps that handle data – such as phone numbers, email addresses, etc. – being required to prompt users for permission to collect that information. Likewise, apps’ privacy policies must be displayed within the application itself. TechSpot explains that the amended rules now state that

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Google to share profits with news publishers

Google is reportedly working a new system that would “help drive potential subscribers toward news publishers as part of a revenue-split agreement,” says Forbes. Google is apparently in talks with big names in the media to work out a deal that would involve ad-targeting tricks to help encourage more subscribers for news sites. Google’s news chief Richard Gringas told The Financial Times that the deal in the works would offer publishers a better deal than its arrangement with advertisers, in which 70 percent of revenue is directed to the visited websites. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has been earning billions per

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Google stops challenging federal search warrants

Search warrants on data are a little different than those on physical property – especially because a lot of data is stored on overseas servers. According to the Justice Department of the United States, Google has stopped challenging warrants from U.S judges that request data from these servers. A lot of tech companies, including Google, have challenged these warrants in the past after a federal appeals court sided with Microsoft when the issue came up in a drug investigation. As explained by Ars Technica, “Microsoft convinced the New York-based 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals—which has jurisdiction over Connecticut, New

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