Articles about Google

HYPER unveils a trio of Google-certified 'Works With Chromebook' USB-C products

When someone tells me that Chromebooks are only good for surfing the web, I have to do my best not to angrily laugh in their face. That opinion is just so ignorant and outdated. The truth is, Chromebooks run the excellent Chrome OS Linux distribution, which is more than capable for business, education, and personal use. You aren't limited to web apps either -- you can run many desktop Linux and Android apps nowadays. Oh, and Chrome OS is more secure than Windows 10 too.

Most new Chromebooks come with a USB-C port, letting you connect many great accessories, such as docks and dongles, to expand its usefulness. Yeah, you can even turn a Chromebook into a makeshift desktop by connecting a monitor, mouse, and keyboard. And now, HYPER has unveiled a trio of Google-certified "Works With Chromebook" USB-C products.

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How to block site notification requests in Chrome

Google Chrome icon

There are many things to get annoyed by online, and we're not just talking about the content you find and the people you encounter. It used to be that pop-ups were the scourge of the internet, but these have been replaced by new irritants -- in particular ads, cookie warnings and site notifications.

Pop-ups have all but died a death and ads can -- should you wish -- be avoided with various blockers. There's little that can be done to stop sites warning your about cookies, but when it comes to being pestered by sites asking if you would like to receive notifications, you can take action. Here's how to block notifications and notification requests in Chrome across Windows, macOS and Linux.

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Google introduces new features to protect passwords

Google building logo

Google is taking steps to make people's accounts more secure by announcing two initiatives to mark World Password Day.

Firstly it's automatically enrolling all Google account users in two-factor authentication. This will begin with accounts that are appropriately configured for this transition. You can see whether your account is ready in Security Checkup.

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Google Arts & Culture's open source Woolaroo app uses AI to help preserve endangered languages

There are thousands of different languages spoken around the planet, but a sizable number of these are at risk of disappearing.

In fact, of the over 7,000 native languages currently in use, some 3,000 are in danger, and on average, a language becomes extinct every fourteen days. Google Arts & Culture is taking action to help preserve these endangered languages.

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Google apparently can't help you if your Gmail account gets locked, but there is a workaround

Head in hands

If you’ve ever been locked out of your personal Gmail account then you will no doubt have discovered it can be a serious uphill battle to regain access. If you forget the password, then you can try the 'forgot password' option, but if you’ve been locked out for other reasons, then you’re in trouble.

As reported by PCMag, Game publisher Mike Rose was recently locked out of his account for 'suspicious activity', and when he contacted Google support he was told there was nothing they could do for him.

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Unlock Google's secret 'Star Wars Day' Easter egg

It is May 4th, which every Star Wars fan knows is 'Star Wars Day' ("May the 4th be with you!").

There’s lots of Star Wars related content today -- Amazon Alexa is offering to do impressions of the main characters from the films, and Star Wars spin-off The Bad Batch has debuted over on Disney+. There’s even an impressive teaser video showing the 'real' lightsaber Disney is working on. Not one to be left out, Google is celebrating the day too.

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Google launches Android Earthquake Alerts System in Greece and New Zealand

While we would all like to think the ground beneath us is stationary, the truth is, this giant sphere we call Earth is constantly moving. Not only is our planet simultaneously rotating and moving around the sun, but sometimes the ground can shake and rumble more than we'd like too. This can happen when the tectonic plates move about too much. This friction is what we call an earthquake. We call it this because a layer of earth beneath us quite literally quakes.

These earthquakes aren't just scary -- they can be deadly too. Yes, people can be injured during these seismic events, including death. Earthquakes can even cause tsunamis, leading to drownings too. This is why it is so important to alert people when earthquakes happen. Thankfully, if you own an Android phone and live in either Greece or New Zealand, I have some good news -- Google is launching an earthquake alerts system in those two countries.

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Why Istio is winning the open source service mesh race [Q&A]

In recent years the use of microservices has helped to streamline development processes. But there's still an issue with managing communication between services.

Service mesh is a technology that adds uniform networking capabilities right across the program stack but is decoupled from the application code itself.

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Google's Fitbit Luxe is a stylish fitness tracker

Alphabet own Google. Google owns Fitbit. And Fitbit largely owns... well... the fitness tracker market. Look, Apple Watch might be wildly popular, but for the average consumer, the name "Fitbit" is synonymous with wearables. I have witnessed many people referring to fitness trackers made by other brands as "Fitbit." This behavior is much like consumers calling all adhesive bandages "Band-Aid."

Fitbit's success isn't a mystery. Besides its catchy brand name, the devices are easy to use and are heavily focused on fitness. In other words, Fitbit devices aren't overly complicated. This has lead to their adoption by people that aren't necessarily gadget enthusiasts. Oh, and they have excellent battery life too -- they don't need daily charging like Apple Watch.

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Use DuckDuckGo to create a QR code for any website

If you care about your privacy on the web, and you’re worried about just what Google knows about you, then privacy-focused search site DuckDuckGo is a great alternative.

It offers lots of features that you may not be aware of, including the ability to quickly generate a QR code for any website.

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Google now offers virtual tours of many UNESCO World Heritage sites

I’ve been lucky enough to travel extensively and see a large chunk of the world, although thanks to COVID-19 and lockdowns, I haven’t been anywhere in quite a while and have seriously itchy feet.

Back when overseas travel was easy to do, I visited quite a few UNESCO World Heritage sites, but the world is a huge place and there are still plenty more I would love to go to (I will finally tick Machu Picchu off the list one day).

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FLoC off! WordPress proposes treating Google's new targeted ad tech as a security concern

WordPress

Google's Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) technology has raised the hackles of many, and the latest to express concern at the new user tracking and ad targeting technique is WordPress.

The blogging platform joins the likes of DuckDuckGo in standing up to Google, suggesting it could block Google's new technology on the sites it powers. With WordPress catering for around two-fifths of the web, the proposal could have a huge impact on what Google has planned. Fighting FLoC, WordPress says it "can help combat racism, sexism, anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination and discrimination against those with mental illness with four lines of code".

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DuckDuckGo's Chrome extension blocks Google's controversial new FLoC tracking technique

Chrome warning tape

That Google tracks internet usage is hardly news -- it how the company has operated for years, and it is central to its business model. But the search giant recently started testing a new technique for delivering targeted ads to people called Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), and it's now enabled for millions of users by default.

While Google is insistent that FLoC is "privacy-preserving mechanism" and one that " enables ad selection without sharing the browsing behavior of individual users", the algorithm remains controversial for many. The cookie-free technique uses fingerprinting which the likes of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other privacy groups have expressed great concern about. For anyone who would like to block Google's new tracking method, DuckDuckGo's Chrome extension is here to help.

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Google Chrome 90 to use HTTPS by default

With privacy and security being so important nowadays, you would think internet users would demand that all websites use the encrypted HTTPS protocol rather than "regular" HTTP. But as usual, humans are often ignorant or lazy when it comes to their own online safety. Ultimately, it is up to corporations to protect us. After all, we can't depend on the government for such oversight (nor would we want to).

Once again, Google is stepping in to better protect its users. This time, the wildly popular Chrome web browser is getting more secure thanks to a simple tweak. You see, in the upcoming version 90 of the browser, the search giant is making HTTPS default when typing in an address in the URL bar. In other words, you will now see https:// instead of http:// unless you specifically type in the latter.

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How changes to tracking will affect the online world [Q&A]

The Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) is a random device identifier assigned to a user's device which advertisers use to track data so they can deliver customized advertising.

But Apple is about to replace the iOS IDFA tracking system in iOS 14 with a new App Tracking Transparency (ATT) feature which will allow iPhone users to opt-out of tracking on third-party apps and sites. This, plus Google's crack down on third-party cookies, means privacy is a hot topic currently -- and all signs point to even more shifts in the coming year.

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