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Google’s plans to use AI to help the blind

Google’s plans to use AI to help the blind

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Google wants to turn a regular Android phone into an artificial intelligence-powered helper for the blind. Lookout is a new app that uses image recognition and artificial intelligence to describe a scene through a phone's camera. Google (GOOG) announced the app at its annual I/O developer conference this week. Google is testing the app now and said it will be released later this year, starting on Pixel devices. If you walk into building lobby with an Android camera held in your hand or worn around the neck on a lanyard, pointed outward, Lookout will detect people and objects like elevator doors, and read nearby text. The app doesn't require an internet connection. Google says Lookout is designed to keep users engaged with what's going on without bombarding them wi...
Amazon Stops Buying Prized Shopping Ads on Google

Amazon Stops Buying Prized Shopping Ads on Google

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Amazon.com Inc. has stopped buying a popular type of Google ad, according to people familiar with the decision. The move deepens the rift between the technology titans and signals Amazon’s growing ambition in the digital advertising market.The pullback affects highly coveted real estate at the top of Google search results, where retailers and e-commerce bid and pay handsomely to place colorful, image-rich ads that show up when consumers look online for running shoes, headphones and other products to buy.Amazon began bidding for these slots, known as product listing ads, or PLAs, in late 2016. That pitted the e-commerce giant against retailers like Walmart Inc. in online auctions that Google runs to decide who gets to place their ads on top of results for queries like "cowbo
CSIS agents and vehicles may have been on Google Maps despi…

CSIS agents and vehicles may have been on Google Maps despi…

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A Google Street View camera car drove past “no photography” signs on a public road near the Ottawa headquarters of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), collecting photos of people and vehicles that were added to Google Maps last year, according to a pair of amateur online investigators. Richard Trus and Sydney Eatz say they identified the images, which were removed from Google Maps on Tuesday, and could have been used to identify employees of the Canadian spy agency, and even track their vehicles to their homes. Google Street View is a Google Maps feature that provides ground-level panoramic views of locations around the world. Google blurs out faces and licence plates in images captured by their camera cars, but Trus and Eatz claim they were able to
Google Drive’s redesign matches the new Gmail

Google Drive’s redesign matches the new Gmail

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Google recently overhauled Gmail with a fresh revamp and new functions. Now the company is following on from that and rolling out an update to how Google Drive will look on the web. There’s no change in the way you use Drive; the redesign just involves color changes and where icons and buttons are placed. Google says it made visual tweaks to Drive to align with its latest Material Design principles, which were already on show in the new Gmail. “We built this new interface to create a responsive and efficient experience for Drive users, and to feel cohesive with other G Suite products,” the company wrote in a blog post. The changes include small adjustments to where icons are laid out: the settings wheel and help center button are now in line with the search bar; if you have a custo
The new Google Maps is more than just a Yelp alternative

The new Google Maps is more than just a Yelp alternative

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Group PlanningBefore we go into all that though, I want to go over my favorite of the new features: Group Planning. When you're searching for places to go to, like a hotpot restaurant, for example, you can long press each result in the new Maps app to create a shortlist. After your first long press, a badge similar to the Messenger chat heads on Android pops up on the side of your screen, with a number indicating how many items have been added to the list.Once you're done picking your candidates, you can tap the badge to bring up your list. From that page, you can share your selection with your friends, and they can upvote and downvote each option. You can also switch between a list view and maps view. The latter makes it easier to see your proximity to each location, so you can factor...
The Price of Google’s New Conveniences? Your Data

The Price of Google’s New Conveniences? Your Data

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For the past 20 years, Google’s mission has been to organize the world’s information. Increasingly, the information it serves up is ordered around you—your browsing habits, where you go, who you talk to, what you say, and what you search for.The trend came into stark relief Tuesday at Google’s annual developer conference, where the company introduced a suite of new services that, frankly, sound awfully convenient. Take Google Lens, a visual search tool that “proactively” surfaces information about the objects around you, or Google Assistant, which thanks to its new “continued conversation” feature, doesn’t need a wake word every time.“You open the camera and you start to see [Google] Lens surface proactively all the information instantly and it even anchors that information to the thing
FBI Agents Search Adelanto City Hall, Mayor’s Home in Wake …

FBI Agents Search Adelanto City Hall, Mayor’s Home in Wake …

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Federal agents executed search warrants at Adelanto City Hall and the home of Mayor Rich Kerr on Tuesday morning, according to law enforcement officials. A view of Adelanto City Hall is seen in this Google Maps image. An FBI spokeswoman confirmed agents were executing federal search warrants in the city on Tuesday, but declined to comment further because the affidavits in support of the warrants are under seal. Kerr was seen being removed from his home in handcuffs Tuesday morning, according to the Victorville Daily Press. The official, however, told The Times that Kerr had not been arrested. In a written statement, city spokesman Michael Stevens said the city was unaware of the nature of the FBI investigation but was “prepared to cooperate with any investigation being conducte
AI is so important to Google it’s rebranding its research d…

AI is so important to Google it’s rebranding its research d…

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Every big tech company is an AI company these days, but none more so than Google. To underline the point ahead of its I/O developers conference, the company has rebranded its Google Research division as Google AI, reflecting the centrality of artificial intelligence to the company’s future. In a blog post announcing the news, the company said the rebrand was to “better reflect [its] commitment” to integrating AI into various services. It follows an organizational reshuffle last month which saw AI product development split up from Google’s search efforts, and veteran Googler Jeff Dean taking the helm of the new division. A newly-revamped homepage for Google AI also emphasizes more than just the company’s consumer products, highlighting recently-published research in topics like healt
Prince Harry’s Ex-Girlfriends: An Official Dating Guide

Prince Harry’s Ex-Girlfriends: An Official Dating Guide

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Royal Inquiries is your comprehensive guide to everything you ever wanted to know about life under the crown. Not to make this all about me, but we are all truly living in one of the most important times of my life. In less than two weeks, my lifelong ginger best friend Prince Harry will marry my Californian best friend Meghan Markle. I’m so happy and excited for me! But were you aware that before Meghan came onto the scene, Prince Harry dated other women? It’s mind-blowing, I know. Luckily, as one of the world’s foremost royal experts (and the closest thing the prince has ever had to a sister) I obviously know each of Prince Harry’s mostly blonde exes quite well. Here, let me introduce you to all of them.
Google working on improved Chrome address bar, revamped Blu…

Google working on improved Chrome address bar, revamped Blu…

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Chrome OS has been rapidly evolving over the past few months, mostly in regards to Linux application support. There are even more improvements in the works, from minor UI changes to a major reworking of Chrome OS' Bluetooth functionality. First, Googler François Beaufort revealed that the Chrome team is experimenting with an updated address bar. Much like on mobile, search results include thumbnails and brief descriptions. You can try it out for yourself by enabling the #omnibox-rich-entity-suggestions flag and restarting Chrome. This is only on the Dev/Canary channels for now, but it also works on all desktop platforms. Improved search results in Chrome address bar Next, XDA Developers discovered that support for Android app shortcuts is coming. This Gerrit commit reveals that ap