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Google’s Education Software violates Student Privacy, claims EFF

Google’s Education Software violates Student Privacy, claims EFF

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) alleged that Google is spying on school children through its Chromebooks. The international non-profit digital rights group has now asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate Google over the matter.

In a complaint filed earlier, EFF said Google is collecting personal data from kids using the company’s Chromebooks in classrooms. According to the non-profit, Google for Education has been collecting the data and disobeying the terms of Student Privacy Pledge that the company signed earlier this year.

The EFF said during ‘Spying on Students’ campaign, it found that some Google practices were doubtful. It said that the tech giant isn’t collecting children’s data to advertise it, but to track data about students' browsing activities.

Google honors 41st Anniversary of Lucy Discovery with a Doodle

Google honors 41st Anniversary of Lucy Discovery with a Doodle

It’s the 41st anniversary of the discovery of 'Lucy', hominin skeleton first discovered in 1974. Google celebrated the discovery of human ancestor with an animated doodle, which showed an ape-like ancestor. The discovery was an important one as it gave best clues to scientists about ancestors of human.

In 1972, Maurice Taieb from National Center for Scientific Research of France and Donald Carl Johanson from Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History discovered more than two million years old stone tools in the Afar region of Ethiopia. About two years after the first discovery, the researchers found something that changed our thinking about human ancestors.

YouTube under fire for the way it handled its biggest stars

YouTube under fire for the way it handled its biggest stars

YouTube's latest creation ‘YouTube Red’ for generating even more revenue is under fire for the way the company has dealt with its biggest stars. A YouTube Red subscription is going to free subscribers from having to bear pre-roll advertisements from their favorite YouTube channels for a price.

Subscribers will have to pay $9.99 a month, and they will get ad-free YouTube videos, Google Play Music availability, exclusive original content from YouTube official Creator partners, such as PewDiePie, and many other unspecified perks.

While talking about the service, Robert Kyncl, YouTube's chief business officer, said that 99.9% of the content on YouTube will remain free, like always.

Businesses squeezed between Apps and Mobile Web

Businesses squeezed between Apps and Mobile Web

Tech giants Apple and Google are the most valuable brands in the world. Apple’s iPhones and other gadgets are gaining attention of smartphone lovers, while Google’s mobile web is making several things easy for users. Today, the main objective of tech giants should be to offer simple and inexpensive Internet to users, but Apple’s focus on apps and Google’s focus on mobile web are making businesses grappling with online world.

Google Hires Thomas Insel to Lead Its Life-Sciences Team

Google Hires Thomas Insel to Lead Its Life-Sciences Team

Thomas R. Insel, who has been the director of National Institute of Mental Health for past 13 years, will be joining the Google Life Science group. The announcement was made this morning by Insel itself.

The company said, "Tom is coming on board to explore how the life-sciences team at Google could have an impact on the huge challenges related to understanding, diagnosing, and treating mental illness".

Insel wrote a blog post in late August detailing his visits to Silicon Valley tech giants and startups that are working on health ventures. Technology is not the answer to all problems, but it can help those with mental illness even more than those with other chronic, serious medical conditions, he said.

Google’s Street View arrives in Kenya to raise awareness about current plight of elephants

Google’s Street View arrives in Kenya to raise awareness about current plight

You will be able to see elephants from close through Google Maps in possibly the best Street View ever conceived. Google has collaborated with the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT), Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and Save the Elephants to launch #GoogleElephants for raising awareness regarding the current plight of elephants.

Lewa wrote on its Facebook page, “For the first time in Kenya, Google has launched its Street View technology in one of a kind partnership to raise global consciousness around elephants”. It mentioned the Street View technology is going to provide panoramic views of individual elephants and their landscapes, and also stunning imagery from Lewa.

Google hopes to expand Internet Service in Southern California, Kentucky

Google hopes to expand Internet Service in Southern California, Kentucky

Google Fiber is looking forward to expand its 1Gbps Internet and TV service to more parts of the US. It has been confirmed by the company that it is in the process of expanding its service in Irvine, California; Louisville, Kentucky and San Diego.

The company made announcement regarding its plans to bring high quality Internet service in the abovementioned cities in its blog. The company is looking forward to plan the process in cooperation with the leaders in the cities.

According to Jill Szuchmacher, director of Google Fiber expansion, "We'll work with Irvine, Louisville and San Diego to conduct a detailed study of factors that affect construction such as local topography, housing density, and the condition of existing infrastructure".

Google Unveils Its New Logo

Google Unveils Its New Logo

The tech giant Google has unveiled its first logo update since 2013. Goggle said in a statement that it changed its multi-colored logo to make it easier for users to use it on apps and mobile devices.

The company explaining the redesign said in a blogpost that it has changed a lot over the past 17 years, from its products to the evolution of their look and feel. And today it is introducing another change.

The firm's blue, red, yellow and green logo has been tweaked to a new sans-serif typeface and has softened colors. Users who visited the search engine's homepage today were able to see a moving animation that explains the entire change of the logo.

Google's self-driving cars don’t know how to handle a not-quite-stationary bike

Google's self-driving cars don’t know how to handle a not-quite-stationary bike

One Austin-based cyclist has reported an encounter in which one of the autonomous cars got comically uncertain of how to act when it noticed him doing a track stand at an intersection. Whenever his bike made even a slight movement, the car lurched forward and quickly hit the brakes. Though nothing happened out of it but it become quite clear that Google's self-driving code didn't have any idea about how to handle a not-quite-stationary bike.

While talking about the whole affair, Google told the Washington Post that this is the type of a real-life input it wanted to get as it is developing its intelligent vehicle tech. This affair has also come up as a frank reminder of how far autonomous vehicles have to go.

Google Signs Agreement with DexCom to Create Disposable Glucose Monitoring Devices

Google Signs Agreement with DexCom to Create Disposable Glucose Monitoring

Google has recently signed an agreement with DexCom under which both the companies will be busy creating a series of disposable continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices that the companies claim will be smaller and more affordable than current options.

The companies claimed that the new device will be smaller and more affordable than the current options available. Andrew Conrad, head of the life sciences team at Google, said in a joint statement released by both the companies that they have committed to develop new technologies that will help move health care from reactive to proactive.

"This collaboration is another step towards expanding monitoring options and making it easier for people with diabetes to proactively manage their health", said Conrad.

Google’s Second quarter profit beats analysts’ estimates

Google’s Second quarter profit beats analysts’ estimates

Google’s shares jumped almost 12% after the search engine giant’s profit surpassed the analysts’ forecasts for the first time in the last six quarters. The surge in Google’s profit is the result of boost in strong advertising revenue and its new chief financial officer’s announcement to bring more restraint to spending.

After closing at $601.78 on Nasdaq, Google rallied to $673.50 in extended trading. If Google manages to close at that level on Friday, the web search leader will record an all-time high for the stock in regular trading. It will add nearly $40 billion to its market value.

Federal Railroad Administration teams up with Google to warn drivers about railroad crossings

Federal Railroad Administration teams up with Google to warn drivers about railr

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has collaborated with Google for warning drivers when they're approaching a crossing. The step has been taken to prevent railroad crossing accidents. According to a report by The New York Times, every railroad crossing in the country could be viewed in Google Maps; the app will issue both audio and visual notifications when the car comes close to a crossing.

At present, there's no schedule as to when the features could be seen in the app. The FRA said that it is expected that drivers will be more careful while intersecting railroad crossings. Approximately 94% of accidents at crossings are as a result of driver inattention and error.

Google’s New Robot capable of having different kinds of conversations

Google’s New Robot capable of having different kinds of conversations

Google in a research led by Oriol Vinyals of the Google Brain team and Quoc V. Le, a Google researcher at Stanford has created a machine that has the ability to have conversations of different kinds.

Outcome of the team's work is a machine that can have conversations of different kinds including discussing the meaning of life. The research paper documenting this work can be found on Arxiv, a popular place to find academic research and is accessible to everyone with little effort searching.

The paper titled 'A Neural Conversational Model' contains conversations which show the bot solving IT issues, answering questions about general knowledge and discussing philosophy and morality with a human being. The machine has the unique ability to analyze existing conversations.

International teams in race to win Google’s $20 million Lunar XPrize

International teams in race to win Google’s $20 million Lunar XPrize

A dozen teams are racing to win Google's $20 million Lunar XPrize, which will be awarded to the first privately funded team that lands on the moon. The race is being seen as a chance to grab the lead in a market by teams in Japan, the US, Brazil, India and Germany.

The competitors are predicting mining platinum and rare earth elements, setting up habitats using water from lunar polar caps. They will eventually build a launchpad for a mission to Mars.

According to Peter Diamandis, the founder of the award, XPrize would be able to attract several times the amount in investment, lend authority to an idea and help define achievable goals. Winning also calls for a feasible business model that can keep the project alive after the prize money is spent.

Google reveals Health-Tracking Wristband

Google reveals Health-Tracking Wristband

Google X, Google's advanced research division, unveiled on Tuesday about a health-tracking wristband. The medical wristband can provide data for patients’ vital signs. It can measure the wearer’s pulse, heartbeat, and skin temperature and activity level.

The device can monitor the patient’s behavior outside the hospital setting. The band can also quantify environmental factors such as light exposure and noise levels.

As per the PC World, the wristband looks like a smartwatch with a square display. Google spokesperson Jacquelyn Miller said the company is working with its research partners to know whether a constant set of data can prove helpful for doctors to treat diseases better and come up good treatments.

Google develops Health-Tracking Wristband

Google develops Health-Tracking Wristband

Google is now working on a health tracker, a type of wearable gadget. It has developed a wristwatch-like device that can track things like pulse, activity level, heart rate and skin temperature. The new tracker is intended for medical use.

Andy Conrad, head of the life sciences team at Google, said, “Doctors have always looked for new ways to gain insight into the subtle biological patterns that could help earlier diagnosis or intervention in disease”.

Conrad said that they are expecting that the new device can help people to make it easier to understand medical-grade information and manage serious health conditions. In addition, the device can also detect surrounding light and sound conditions.

Duolingo raises $45 million in funding

Duolingo raises $45 million in funding

Duolingo, language learning service, raised $45 million in a Series-D investment led by Google Capital.

Free language learning service, Duolingo, announced that it has secured $45 million investment in a round led by Google capital at a valuation of $470 million.

Google Capital along with previous investors Union Square Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers values the Pittsburgh-based maker of a popular language learning app at $470 million.

Luis von Ahn, Duolingo's co-founder and CEO, "Because tutors are scarce and expensive, we are using technology to give everyone access to a personalised education in a scalable way".

Google's Native Smart Lock Manager allows Users to store Passwords

Google's Native Smart Lock Manager allows Users to store Passwords

Google has launched native Android Smart Lock password manager which will allow users to store passwords. According to the company, the Android Smart Lock could be a boon for users which will make signing into applications easier.

The Mountain View, California, headquartered Google launched the Smart Lock for Passwords at the I/O conference in San Francisco. The company announced that developers like Netflix, Orbitz and The New York Times have re-launched their applications to make use of the new feature.

VR Gears to Make Headway with Google Jump

VR Gears to Make Headway with Google Jump

Google I/O 2015 developer conference saw the unveiling of yet another technological device as the company released Google Jump that would enable content creators to easily create media for the elaborate virtual reality (VR) headsets.

Jump would offer an immersive experience as its camera system developed by GoPro provide a way for creators to capture high-quality 3D video relatively easily as all these cameras are accurately synchronized and splice all the footage together.

Another hallmark of Jump is its ability to not only create a spherical video with the footage from multiple cameras, but it also makes this footage stereoscopic.

Google I/O 2015 Falls Short of Consumers Expectations

Google I/O 2015 Falls Short of Consumers Expectations

The technology space would have surely yearned for advancement if Google wasn't there to contribute immensely with its platforms; the Android ecosystem, Google Maps, Google Search, Gmail and Chrome that warranty the dominance and clout it commands in the technology arena.

But as the expectations of innovation are undeniably high, the Google I/O 2015 developer conference leaves consumers wanting for more. Google unveiled an array of upcoming technologies but none offered major enhancements.

The Google mobile operating systems announced the feature of Volume control though this doesn't seem to be much of advancement. So the users wait to figure out the dynamics behind the feature.




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