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All posts tagged "Google"

  • Google fined €2.42-billion for abusing market dominance

    The European Commission has fined Google €2.42-billion (R35.32-billion) for abusing its dominance as a search engine by promoting its own comparison shopping service over others. According to the Commission, Google was unfairly promoting Google Shopping while demoting rival comparison services, such that even the most prominent rival service was only appearing on the fourth page. This practice is a violation of the EU's antitrust rules. It says that dominant companies have a responsibility not to restrict competition in any markets. The judgment comes after seven years of investigation, and is the largest antitrust fine ever handed out by the European commission. It was calculated based on...

  • 5 fun AIs that let you play with images in unexpected ways

    The thought of AI can be scary, and it would be rational for the inevitability of the singularity to make you anxious. But sometimes it's best to ignore the dark cloud that is the unknown future to play with some cool AI-powered software that messes with images/sketches to create funny and cool-looking things. It's time to enter uncanny valley. Pix2Pix human generator Pix2Pix is the brainchild of Dutch Public Broadcaster NPO, and it uses "hundreds of drawings and photographs" of presenter Lara Rense to create a neural system that lets you create a realistic photo of her from a crude sketch. Of course,...

  • Google will no longer scan your Gmail emails

    Great news for those vested in Google products. The company has announced it will no longer be creepy and scan consumers' Gmail email account content for its advertising purposes. "G Suite’s Gmail is already not used as input for ads personalisation, and Google has decided to follow suit later this year in our free consumer Gmail service," Diane Greene, SVP of Google Cloud confirmed in a blog post. "Consumer Gmail content will not be used or scanned for any ads personalisation after this change." This move is to better align the consumer Gmail offering with the already scan-free business offering and other...

  • This Google Doodle lets you create calming musical animations

    Today would have been Oskar Fischinger's 117th birthday, and Google is using its latest doodle to celebrate his abstract animations. The German-American was notable for his abstract musical animations long before computer graphics and the concept of music videos came into play. In 1936, Fischinger and his wife fled Germany when it became clear he could not pursue his art under Hitler's regime. When he arrived in the US, Paramount Pictures offered him a job. He went on to animate sequences for Disney's Fantasia and Pinocchio. The artist's work was largely created between the 1920s and 1940s -- and the lack of digital technology meant he often spent...

  • Google’s adorable Doodle celebrates the summer (and winter) solstice

    Google's doodlers really know how to capture a moment in an adorable GIF. And what might the latest moment be, you ask? The summer and winter solstice, of course. Depending on which side of the equator you're on, you'll today experience the longest day of the year (north) or the longest night of the year (south). Much like these two mice in Google's GIF. Celebrating the new season—in both hemispheres!—with a #GoogleDoodle for summer and winter solstices. https://t.co/ioInwGI6Fv pic.twitter.com/cZvjSOE0os — Google (@Google) June 21, 2017 "Today’s Doodle celebrates the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere," Google explains. "As the longest day of the year, solstice...

  • Here’s how Facebook and Google plan to fight terrorism

    Both Facebook and Google have revealed how they are countering terrorist activity on their respective blogs this past week. These posts come after UK Prime Minister Theresa May criticised the internet for providing a safe space for terrorists to communicate -- and after Facebook itself dodged a lawsuit that claimed it was the reason Palestinian terrorists were able to kill numerous Israelis. Facebook revealed it is looking specifically at how artificial and human intelligence can work together, as well as partnering with other companies, NGOs and governments to bring an end to terror. The company is working on software that identifies when a user...

  • South Africa: here’s how to get four free months on Google Play Music

    Google Play Music now offers a four-month free trial for those subscribing to its service. The streaming music platform headed by the Mountain View company houses over 30-million tracks, and allows users to upload their own to the cloud, usually comes with a two- or three-month trial. But Google's seemingly feeling a bit generous this week. First spotted by Android Police last week, the deal is still ongoing at the time of writing. And yes, it's available to those within South Africa's borders too. Interestingly, it seems that the deal comes in tow with South Africa's addition to Google Play promo codes supported...

  • ‘Judy’ malware found on Google Play Store puts 36.5m users at risk

    Just when you thought that WannaCry would be the last of the big malware attacks to plague 2017, a new breed of nasty has appeared on the Google Play Store. And its name is Judy. According to a report published by security company CheckPoint, Judy "is an auto-clicking adware which was found on 41 apps developed by a Korean company". The malware gets its name from the usual (and rather adorable) protagonist of the games fronting the malware. In one particular case, users can "create delicious food with Judy". Sounds yum. Cleverly bypassing Google Play's security measures by masquerading behind a legitimate app,...

  • Weekly Round Up Podcast #106: Google I/O & WannaCry ransomware

    This week, the trusty Hadlee Simons hosts Andy Walker and Stephen Timm. To start us off, Andy talks about WannaCry, the worldwide attack involving ransomware that targeted over 230 000 computers. The Windows attack even managed to hit the UK's National Health Service. The team then discuss General Motors pulling out of South Africa, and other international locations. Isuzu will be taking over GM’s light commercial vehicle manufacturing facilities in Port Elizabeth. Over on Ventureburn, Stephen talks about the GEM report that significantly fewer South Africans believe they have either the opportunity or the capability to start their own business. The report also...

  • Android O is killing Google’s blob emoji (and replacing that adorable kitty)

    Google might've announced a slew of updates to its products yesterday, but its most important development was mostly swept under the rug. The company's derpy emoji, which featured anthropomorphous blobs wearing emotionless faces, will finally be replaced by more expressive figures. This is all part of Android O's -- Google's upcoming mobile operating system -- support of Emoji 5.0, part of Unicode 10.0. According to Emojipedia, there are also a number of new emoji heading to the OS, including a mage, a face that's enjoying a good vomit, and of course a face with a hand over its mouth. If those...

  • Weekly Round Up Podcast #105: WhatsApp’s blackout, Windows 10 S & more

    Welcome to Weekly Round Up, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. This week sees Hadlee Simons hosting Andy Walker and Stephen Timm. Kicking off the show, we detail one of SA's biggest business deals this decade: the US$100-million sales of GetSmarter, a South African ed-tech startup, to a US company. Hadlee and Andy discuss Windows 10 S as well as the Microsoft Surface Laptop, which were both unveiled this week. With both Microsoft products having their ups and downs, the duo explores what makes them great and what makes them somewhat disappointing. WhatsApp was...

  • Google Docs’ latest phishing scam was bad news for journalists

    A Google Docs phishing attack, that paraded as a genuine link to a shared document, caused widespread panic on the internet Wednesday. On the same day that Facebook's WhatsApp was down for the count, some Google users (Fortune's Jeff John Roberts suggests that the scam was targeted at journalists) received an email with a seemingly normal Google Docs link. Closer inspection revealed a few oddities. The sender of the mail is the rather hilarious "hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh@mailinator.com" but the consequences of clicking the mail aren't. Taking unsuspecting users to a faux OAUTH authentication page, suggesting that Google Docs requires authorisation to open the document. The...

  • These are the nominees for 2017 Google Play Awards

    The first Google Play Awards took place last year, highlighting a number of innovative and/or popular games and apps. So we're glad to see the event come back this year, with Google announcing its list of nominees this week. Who are the nominees then? Check out the full list below -- you might find a few gems. Standout Indie - Reigns, Kingdom: New Lands, Mars: Mars, Causality, Mushroom 11. Standout Startup - Hooked: Chat Stories, Discord: Chat for Gamers, Castbox: Free Podcast and Audio, Simple Habit Meditation. Best Android Wear - Lifesum: Healthy lifestyle app, Runtastic Running and Fitness, Foursquare City Guide, Bring!...

  • Google Maps remembers where you parked even if you don’t

    There are two problems with parking in any city (especially Cape Town). One, finding a parking, and two, remembering where it is you parked. Google Map's latest feature update ensures the latter comes a bit more easily. "Now, Google Maps for Android and iOS will not only help you get where you’re going, but it’ll help you remember where you parked once you’ve arrived," Google Map's project manager Jeff Albertson announces in a blog. For users who engage with Maps regularly, simply tapping the blue location dot with bring up a menu with "save your parking" an a new option. "You’ll see a...

  • The ultimate guide to building apps in 2017

    This article is, more than anything, about user experience. Whether it’s an app, a website or something in between, your mobile platform of choice represents an unprecedented opportunity for you to connect to your customers no matter where they are. Connection follows us everywhere we go and permeates every second of our day. However, earning your time and engagement with the millions of mobile users in the market today, means creating an experience that will add true value to the their lives. I’ve long believed that in order to extract value from your consumers you need to create value first. Engagement...