Android, YouTube, Search Engines, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, July 10, 2018


Washington Post: Google may have to make major changes to Android in response to a forthcoming fine in Europe. “Google could face a record penalty this month from European regulators for forcing its search and Web-browsing tools on the makers of Android-equipped smartphones and other devices, potentially resulting in major changes to the world’s most widely deployed mobile operating system.”

Google Blog: Building a better news experience on YouTube with the GNI. “We launched the Google News Initiative (GNI) earlier this year with three goals in mind: to elevate and strengthen quality journalism; evolve business models to drive sustainable growth; and empower news organizations through technological innovation. Since then, we’ve been working through partnerships to support investigative journalism, strengthen fact checking organizations, improve digital news literacy, and continue our collaboration with publishers.”


MakeUseOf: Avoid Google and Bing: 7 Alternative Search Engines That Value Privacy . “Google and Bing might be the web’s most popular search engines, but they’re both a disaster from a privacy standpoint. They routinely harvest your data and use it in more ways than you care to imagine. Is search engine privacy important to you? If so, you should consider using one of these alternative search engines instead.” Couple here I hadn’t heard of!

The Verge: This app reads Wikipedia to teach you about the cities you’re driving through. “If you’re a fellow Wiki-addict who loves obscure local trivia, there’s now an app that’ll read it to you. Developed by Malte Ubl, the tech lead for Google’s AMP project, the app detects a user’s geolocation and matches it with relevant Wikipedia articles. The app then reads the articles out loud, kind of a smart passenger who happens to know everything about the history of the town you’re driving (or walking) through.”


CNBC: Reddit — one of the world’s most popular websites — is trying to cash in through advertising. “Reddit, the controversy-laden social media company, has become such a popular place for discussions on gaming, politics, pornography and celebrity gossip that it’s now one of the five most-trafficked U.S. websites. But unlike the other top sites — Google, Facebook and Amazon, Reddit has a diminutive business limited primarily to banner ads and promoted posts. The 13-year-old company is now trying to expand and is making an aggressive push to get advertisers on board.”

Times of India: Google maps help CAG find quarry exploitation . “Google Earth Maps have come in handy for the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) to unearth irregularities in sand mining in the state. The government auditor has exposed flagrant violations at sand quarries in Karur and Cuddalore districts with an estimated penalty evasion of Rs 500 crore.”


New Indian Express: Trolls beware: Government plans database on cyber-abusers. “The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) is broadening the ambit of data collection on cyber crimes to include trolling and abuse on social media. The NCRB, the Union Home Ministry’s wing that tabulates and analyses crime data from across the country every year, will also maintain data on fake online profiles, online defamation, online frauds, cyber stalking, cyber bullying, online gambling and cases of online abetment of suicides.”

Bellingcat: After Strava, Polar is Revealing the Homes of Soldiers and Spies. “Polar, a fitness app, is revealing the homes and lives of people exercising in secretive locations, such as intelligence agencies, military bases and airfields, nuclear weapons storage sites, and embassies around the world, a joint investigation of Bellingcat and Dutch journalism platform De Correspondent reveals.”

Phys .org: As facial recognition use grows, so do privacy fears. “Facial recognition is playing an increasing role in law enforcement, border security and other purposes in the US and around the world. While most observers acknowledge the merits of some uses of this biometric identification, the technology evokes fears of a ‘Big Brother’ surveillance state. Heightening those concerns are studies showing facial recognition may not always be accurate, especially for people of color.”


Techdirt: Yes, Privacy Is Important, But California’s New Privacy Bill Is An Unmitigated Disaster In The Making. “We’ve talked a little about the rush job to pass a California privacy bill — the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) — and a little about how California’s silly ballot initiatives effort forced this mad dash. But a few people have asked us about the law itself and whether or not it’s any good. Indeed, some people have assumed that so many lobbyists freaking out about the bill is actually a good sign. But, that is not the case. The bill is a disaster, and it’s unclear if the fixes that are expected over the next year and a half will be able to do much to improve it.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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