Archive for the ‘google’ Category

Google Drive will introduce long-asked-for file shortcuts feature

August 16th, 2019
Google offers a suite of cloud collaboration services, but Drive is at the heart of it all.

Enlarge / Google offers a suite of cloud collaboration services, but Drive is at the heart of it all. (credit: Google)

Soon, Google will add one of the most commonly requested features to its Drive file hosting, sharing, and collaboration service: shortcuts. These will allow users to create pointers to files from either the same drive or another, separate shared drive.

The new feature will work just like shortcuts in Windows—they are pointers to a file stored in another location. The shortcut can be stored anywhere without impacting the location of the original file. Google gave this example in its blog post announcing the feature:

If Paul in marketing shares a document from his team’s shared drive with the entire sales team, Greta in sales can create a shortcut to that document in her own team’s shared drive. Previously, because documents can’t be owned by two shared drives, Greta would need to create a copy of the document for her team’s shared drive, which could then quickly become out of date.

Google writes that supported content types for shortcuts include Docs, Slides, Sheets, JPGs, PDFs, folders, and Microsoft Office files.

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Posted in cloud storage, google, Google drive, Tech | Comments (0)

Microsoft: Cloud gaming is “inevitable” but “years” from mainstream

August 14th, 2019
Project xCloud running <em>Gears of War 4</em> at an E3 Microsoft Theater demonstration.

Enlarge / Project xCloud running Gears of War 4 at an E3 Microsoft Theater demonstration.

With the planned 2019 launch of Project Xcloud, Microsoft isn't ignoring the game industry's current mania for streaming gaming. But in a recent interview with Gamespot, Microsoft Xbox head Phil Spencer tempered near-term expectations for the supposed streaming gaming "revolution" some are expecting.

On the one hand, Spencer told the site that streaming is "one of the directions the industry is headed" and will be "inevitably... part of gaming." At the same time, though, Spencer said he doesn't want to oversell the speed of that transition.

"I think [streaming] is years away from being a mainstream way people play," Spencer said. "And I mean years, like years and years." Comparing the trend to Netflix's now two-decade-old transition to streaming movies, Spencer said, "I think game streaming will get there faster than 20 years, but it's not going to be two years. This is a technological change. While it seems like it happens overnight, it doesn't."

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, google, microsoft, stadia, XBox, xcloud | Comments (0)

Google Discloses 20-Year-Old Unpatched Flaw Affecting All Versions of Windows

August 13th, 2019
Update — With this month's patch Tuesday updates, Microsoft has finally addressed this vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2019-1162, by correcting how the Windows operating system handles calls to Advanced Local Procedure Call (ALPC). A Google security researcher has just disclosed details of a 20-year-old unpatched high-severity vulnerability affecting all versions of Microsoft Windows, back

Posted in google, Google Project Zero, hacking news, hacking windows password, microsoft, Vulnerability, windows Vulnerability, Windows zero-day vulnerability | Comments (0)

Now you can use Android phones, rather than passwords, to log in to Google*

August 12th, 2019
Now you can use Android phones, rather than passwords, to log in to Google*

Enlarge

It could soon become easier for Android users to securely log in to Web accounts. Starting today, Google is rolling out a service that lets people on version 7 and later of Google’s mobile operating system use their device’s fingerprint or screen lock instead of a password when visiting certain Google services.

For now, the service is available only for Google’s Password Manager property, and even then it's only when people are using select Android models. Over the next few days, the feature will be available to all Android 7 and above devices. Google has no timeline for when people will be able to use the feature when signing in to Gmail, other Google properties, or for non-Google sites.

The new sign-in method uses the industry-wide FIDO2, W3C WebAuthn, and FIDO CTAP standards jointly developed over the past few years by a long list of companies. The standards are designed to wean the world off its reliance on passwords by making it easier to use other authentication factors such as physical security keys, fingerprints, or other biometrics.

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Posted in authentiction, Biz & IT, FIDO Alliance, google, passwords, two-factor authentication | Comments (0)

Android Users Can Now Log in to Google Services Using Fingerprint

August 12th, 2019
If you're using Chrome on Android, you can now sign-in to your Google account and some of the other Google services by simply using your fingerprint, instead of typing in your password every time. Google is rolling out a new feature, called "local user verification," that allows you to log in to both native applications and web services by registering your fingerprint or any other method

Posted in Android, FIDO Alliance, FIDO U2F Security Key, FIDO2 Protocol, google, Google Security Key, Online Security, password security, physical security key, website security | Comments (0)

Google Pixel 4 will reportedly jump on the 90Hz display bandwagon

August 8th, 2019

Pixel 4 rumor season never stops, even if Samsung is having a major smartphone launch. 9to5Google, which had its earlier Pixel 4 rumors confirmed by Google before the phone has even launched, has a fresh set of Pixel 4 rumors for us.

First up: The Pixel 4 will supposedly have a 90Hz "smooth display" feature, just like the OnePlus 7 Pro. This means the entire interface should refresh at 90 frames per second instead of the usual 60, which—on the OnePlus 7 Pro at least—proved to be an absolute revelation for UI smoothness and making the phone feel fast and responsive. Until 90Hz displays came along, Google was the leader in Android UI "smoothness," so it'll be interesting to see what the company can do with a faster display.

Quicker display refresh rates are rapidly becoming the next big upgrade for Android phones—as evidenced by the aforementioned 90Hz OnePlus phone and even a 120Hz OLED screen from Asus with the ROG Phone 2. At the Note10 launch, we were disappointed to see Samsung shipping a regular old 60Hz display on its $1000 flagship, and now it looks like even Google is going to beat Samsung to the punch.

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Posted in 90 hz, 90 hz display, Alphabet, Android, google, Google Pixel, google pixel 4, pixel 4, Tech | Comments (0)

Google parent company Alphabet passes Apple as world’s most cash-rich company

August 5th, 2019
Google co-founder Larry Page is now CEO of Alphabet.

Google co-founder Larry Page is now CEO of Alphabet. (credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

You've probably heard it before: Apple has more money in the bank than any other corporation on Earth, thanks to huge profit margins on its products and a run over nearly two decades leading in the consumer technology industry. It has been called the richest, most successful company in the history of the world. But one part of that narrative isn't true anymore: Apple no longer has the biggest financial reserves of any company on Earth.

According to a report in Financial Times, that label may now be applied to a different tech giant: Alphabet, Google's parent company. As of this year's second financial quarter, Alphabet now has $117 billion in reserve, compared to $102 billion for Apple. However, Apple has $163 billion in 2017, so this is just as much a story of Apple reducing its reserves as it is one of Google growing its own.

Since then, Apple has worked to reduce its liquidity in response to criticisms from investors that essentially amounted to an accusation that the company was hoarding cash. While there is some room for nuance, investors generally want to discourage companies from hoarding cash. Instead, they prefer that the money either be returned to investors in some way or invested in something that may produce a return later.

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Posted in Alphabet, apple, google, Tech | Comments (0)

Google publishes sustainability plan for hardware, but its impact is uncertain

August 5th, 2019
A large Google sign seen on a window of Google's headquarters.

Enlarge / Mountain View, Calif.—May 21, 2018: Exterior view of a Googleplex building, the corporate headquarters of Google and parent company Alphabet. (credit: Getty Images | zphotos)

Google says it is embarking on new plans to make its hardware greener. Anna Meegan, head of sustainability for consumer hardware at Google, wrote a blog post outlining the company’s goals for improving the environmental impact made by its devices.

Google’s sustainability commitments include making 100% of shipments to or from customers carbon neutral by 2020 and including recycled materials in 100% of Made by Google products starting in 2022. The industry giant also wants to maximize the amount of recycled content wherever possible. The final commitment is a more-general statement that Google “will make technology that puts people first and expands access to the benefits of technology.”

The statement about recycled materials is a positive one, although its language is vague. Using recycled plastic in a smartphone doesn’t necessarily make a huge difference when there’s so little plastic in the device to start with. A broad promise about making an effort “wherever possible” can cover a whole range of outcomes. The specific wording about the carbon neutrality of Google’s shipments makes for a clearer metric of how successful the company is in meeting its goal.

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Posted in google, sustainability, Tech | Comments (0)

Your Android Phone Can Get Hacked Just By Playing This Video

July 25th, 2019
Are you using an Android device? Beware! You should be more careful while playing a video on your smartphone—downloaded anywhere from the Internet or received through email. That's because, a specially crafted innocuous-looking video file can compromise your Android smartphone—thanks to a critical remote code execution vulnerability that affects over 1 billion devices running Android OS

Posted in Android, Android patch, Android Security, google, hacking video, malware, media framework, patch update | Comments (0)

Justice Department launches antitrust probe into big tech

July 24th, 2019
Top officials have decided monopolies aren't fun and games.

Enlarge / Top officials have decided monopolies aren't fun and games. (credit: Getty Images | Alex Wong)

The Department of Justice is launching an antitrust probe into some of the world's biggest and most influential tech companies, the agency announced Tuesday.

The department's Antitrust Division, which is responsible for reviewing and enforcing issues relating to mergers, monopolies, competition, and price-fixing, said its review would "consider the widespread concerns that consumers, businesses, and entrepreneurs have expressed about search, social media, and some retail services online."

“Without the discipline of meaningful market-based competition, digital platforms may act in ways that are not responsive to consumer demands,” Makan Delrahim, head of the Antitrust Division, said. “The Department’s antitrust review will explore these important issues.”

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Posted in amazon, antitrust, department of justice, DOJ, Facebook, google, Justice Department, Policy | Comments (0)