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Archive for the ‘google’ Category

I spent a good amount of time at Google’s New York City pop-up shop this morning, and while the product demo areas were great — and felt true to what you’d imagine a Google retail store to be — the actual buying process was anything but.

Most of the staffers spread around the Flatiron location definitely seem to be Google employees, as they’re all fairly knowledgeable about the Pixel 2, Home speakers, Pixel Buds, and other new products on display. But when it comes time to buy a phone, you’re handed off to people working on behalf of an authorized Verizon reseller.

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Google is permanently axing all “top touch” functionality from its new Home Mini device after a nasty bug was documented yesterday that essentially recorded everything around the gadget and sent it to Google. These things happen! Either the company couldn’t be sure it could fix it or it couldn’t be sure people would trust that it did — so they made the choice to nuke it from orbit.

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One of Google’s most important decisions for Android was to separate key feature updates from new firmware — you don’t have to suffer through months of delays from your manufacturer and carrier just to get a new messaging app or a vital behind-the-scenes service. And now, that’s true for Android Wear as well. Google’s Hoi Lam has confirmed that Android Wear 2.0 can receive some updates through the Play Store, rather than waiting for monolithic firmware upgrades. An update this past week is proof positive: 2.0-equipped watches got support for third-party chat apps in contacts and fewer accidental launches for the watch face picker.

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Russian operatives bought ads across several of Google’s services without the company’s knowledge, the latest evidence that their campaign to influence U.S. voters was as sprawling as it was sophisticated in deploying the technology industry’s most powerful tools.

The revelation about Google, made by people familiar with an internal company investigation, adds it to a growing list of iconic tech companies used by a disinformation operation that U.S. intelligences services have said was approved by the Kremlin. Twitter and Facebook already had disclosed some Russian accounts, and U.S. investigators say other companies likely were exploited as well.

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Google recently unveiled its vision for the future of global communication — a pair of headphones that can translate over 40 languages in real time. But are we sure that we can rely on Google Translate to understand the nuances of spoken language and the complexities of culture?

The company has made enormous linguistic progress in the past 12 months. In late 2016, Google announced that it had made a breakthrough in translation and artificial intelligence. Google Translate had started using a neural network to translate some of its most popular languages.

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The Google Pixel 2 is the top-performing mobile device camera we’ve tested, with a record-setting overall score of 98. Impressively, it manages this despite having “only” a single-camera design for its main camera. Its top scores in most of our traditional photo and video categories put it ahead of our previous (tied) leaders, the Apple iPhone 8 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, despite the Pixel 2 coming in lower in the new Zoom and Bokehcategories. The Pixel 2 is also a major step forward from the Pixel (which was our top scorer when it was released a year ago), moving from 90 to 98.

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Google’s Pixel 2 event in San Francisco on Wednesday had a lot of stuff to show off and most of it was more of the same: the next iteration of the flagship smartphone, new Home speakers and various ways of entwining them more deeply into your smart home, a new laptop that’s basically a Yoga running ChromeOS and a body camera that I’m sure we’ve seen somewhere before. Yawn. We saw stuff like this last time and are sure to see more of it again at next year’s event.

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Alphabet Inc.’s Google (GOOGL) on Wednesday unveiled tools to make augmented reality apps for mobile devices using the Android operating system, setting up its latest showdown with Apple (AAPL) Inc’s iPhone over next-generation smartphone features.

Phone-based augmented reality (AR), in which digital objects are superimposed onto the real world on screen, got a huge boost from the popularity of the Pokémon Go game. The game, launched in the United States in July last year, sent players into city streets, offices, parks and restaurants to search for colorful animated characters.

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A “smart” drinking glass is deemed a “win-win-win.”

Beer drinkers drink from a cup with an embedded microchip in its base that links to a smartphone app and sends data back to beverage companies and consumers get product promotions in return.

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Earlier this week, Google finally unveiled the new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones that we knew were coming since earlier this year. It was a pretty big deal for Google as well as the wider industry, as Sundar Pichai and Rick Osterloh – someone we used to associate with Motorola – took to the stage to announce a new kind of Google. A Google that isn’t afraid to do things on their own, a Google that wants to own the letter “G” all over the world. With the Pixel and Pixel XL, Google have shown that “G” really is “for Google” and that Alphabet’s main earner is, without a shadow of a doubt, now a hardware company. The two devices have what it takes to be successful on paper, but there’s a lot at work here, and not everyone will be happy with the price, the design and perhaps even the features involved with the new Pixel and Pixel XL. Given that everyone is a little different, people will no doubt form their own opinions on the new devices, but let’s explore the good, the bad and the ugly.

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