What Happened To Google Image Search And Why You Can No Longer View Images Directly

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Yesterday, Google made a few changes to the way Image Search works, the biggest tweak being the removal of the “View Image” button they would take you straight to the image’s URL. Now, all you’ll see is “Visit”, which navigates to the page on which the image appears. So, why did Google do this? A legal settlement with Getty Images basically.

The “View Image” button wasn’t the only casualty; with Sullivan mentioning the demise of “Search by Image”. He clarified however that reverse image search is still available, you just can’t shortcut it any more when browsing search results.

Of course, killing “View Image” won’t stop anyone who wants the direct URL: it’s a simple matter of right-clicking the image and selecting “Open in new window / tab”, or whatever equivalent in your browser of choice, which does the same thing.

What Happened To Google Image Search And Why You Can No Longer View Images Directly

Google’s Big Ad-Blocking Update Comes to Chrome Tomorrow: Here’s What We Know

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It’s been in the works for nearly a year and Google’s great ad-pocalypse is now upon us. On Thursday, the Chrome browser will begin to automatically filter out ads that don’t meet certain quality standards. Your browsing experience is about to change a little bit. Here’s what you need to know.

In April of last year, the news first broke that Google planned to integrate some form of ad-blocking into its browser that would be on by default. Since then we’ve seen a gradual rollout of the feature, beginning with the ability to mute autoplay videos with sound on the sites of your choosing. Now, Google going all-in with a set of criteria for what ads will be kosher in Chrome.

Along with its fellow ad giant Facebook, Google is a member of the Coalition for Better Ads, an industry group that has performed research on what forms of web advertising annoys people the most. It’s created a list of the 12 types of web experiences that should ideally be avoided by advertisers. Now Google is going to enforce that list with Chrome, which is used by over half of all people accessing the web with a browser.

Google’s Big Ad-Blocking Update Comes to Chrome Tomorrow: Here’s What We Know

Alphabet’s New Chronicle Promises to Speed Threat Data Analysis

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Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has launched Chronicle, a new cybersecurity venture, following two years of development at the Alphabet X research lab.

The idea behind Chronicle stems from the fact that many companies receive tens of thousands of security alerts per day, more than most teams can handle, Gillett said last week in an online post introducing the new firm. Typically, security teams can filter those alerts to a few thousand, and at best, review several hundred at a time.

Chronicle will be able to speed up the detection process by as much as 10 times, using the same infrastructure that is employed in other Alphabet programs, thus allowing those threats to be analyzed in minutes.

The real goal is to create an “immune system” for the digital world, allowing companies to predict future attacks rather than react after the damage has been done, wrote Alphabet X CEO Astro Teller, captain of moonshots, in an online post.

Alphabet’s New Chronicle Promises to Speed Threat Data Analysis

Google Device Bug Chokes Home WiFi Networks

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A bug in the software used by Google Cast devices such as Chromecast and Home can slow down or crash WiFi networks.

The problem — initially believed to be isolated to a particular router model made by TP-Link — appears to affect models made by other manufacturers, including Asus, Linksys, Netgear and Synology.

The Cast feature on Google’s home devices is the culprit behind the WiFi problems, according to a post on the TP-Link website. Cast sends MDNS multicast discovery packets in order to discover and keep a live connection with Google products such as Home. These packets normally are sent in 20-second intervals.

However, after a device wakes up from sleep mode, it sometimes broadcasts a large amount of the packets — more than 100,000 on some occasions — at a very high speed in a short amount of time. The longer the device is asleep, the larger the packet burst will be.

Google Device Bug Chokes Home WiFi Networks

Google is making 360-degree cameras Street View-ready

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It can be a pain to upload your own Street View photos even if you have a 360-degree camera. You may have to stop to take photos every few feet, and then there’s the question of getting the spherical shots from your camera to the internet. Google thinks it can help. It’s working with hardware partners on “Street View ready” standards that will certify 360-degree cameras based on how easily you can post shots. Street View mobile ready devices let you post directly from an app, with no PC required; auto ready cameras, meanwhile, are designed for capturing high-accuracy shots from your car. VR ready cameras collect the geometry you need for (what else?) virtual reality and connected 360-degree shots, while workflow ready cameras come with publishing tools that upload directly to Street View. In at least some cases, uploading is just a matter of recording some footage (even on the move) and loading an app.

Google is making 360-degree cameras Street View-ready

Google Plasters Its Name on a New Hardware Collection

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Google on Tuesday unveiled a new smartphone and home hub that squarely aim at products from market leaders Apple and Amazon.

The company’s new branded smartphone, called “Pixel,” marks a departure from past efforts. Up to now, Google’s Nexus phones were made by a variety of manufacturers that sold them under their brands.

The Pixel has a 2,770 mAh battery, while the Pixel XL’s is 3,450 mAh. Both batteries have a quick-charge feature that gives the phone seven hours of runtime on a 15-minute charge.

Pixel users who want to dabble in virtual reality will be able to do so with another new product introduced at the Google event. Daydream is a fabric headset that allows Pixel to be used as a VR screen. It will sell for $79 starting in November.

Google also rolled out a competitor to Amazon’s Echo home hub. Called “Google Home,” the unit is voice-controlled and can play music, communicate with other devices in the home, provide anticipated information, and assist in everyday tasks like creating shopping lists, making dinner reservations and buying concert tickets.

“The search on Echo is no way near as effective as plugging into Google search,” he told TechNewsWorld. “When it comes to search, there is really no one better than Google at it.”

Google Plasters Its Name on a New Hardware Collection

Google: There’s No Hub Like Home

No longer willing to let Amazon have the space to itself, Google on Tuesday officially launched Google Home, its long-awaited wireless hub. Google Home is an interactive personal assistant and entertainment center that takes full advantage of the company’s deep advantages in Web search, AI and machine learning.

The Google Assistant technology will allow the Google Home device to bring a much more personalized experience to the user than Amazon’s devices can provide, and Google’s technology has greater capabilities in terms of recognizing and deciphering nuances in language, handling unstructured queries, and being available to users across different platforms.

“It’s shortfalls are that it currently lacks the Echo’s ever-more-robust ecosystem for home automation, it doesn’t support multiple users, and not as many people use Google Music as use Prime Music,” he told TechNewsWorld.

In addition, Google Home is only one device, Enderle noted, while Amazon’s Echo is part of a growing family of devices, including the Amazon Tap and the Echo Dot, which is a relative bargain at $49.95.

Google: There’s No Hub Like Home

Google Drive Search Just Got a Lot Smarter

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Google Drive is making finding your documents a lot easier and faster by unleashing the full power of the Google search engine. You can now search the way you talk, get spelling corrected, and more.

Drive’s update, starting to roll out today, includes Google Search’s Natural Language Processing, which lets you search with natural phrasing. For example, you can type things like “find my budget spreadsheet from last December” instead of trying to remember what you named it. You can also narrow down results with phrases like “show me presentations from [person],” so you can quickly find everything they’ve shared with you. Drive also has an autocorrect feature now that suggests search terms that you may have misspelled. Other features of the update include a way to split documents into multiple columns in Docs, and Drive will now save an original copy of any file you convert and edit in Docs, Sheets, or Slides.

Google Drive Search Just Got a Lot Smarter

A Screenshot Tour of Allo, Google’s New Smart Messaging App

2016-09-21-10

Google just launched Allo, a new smart messaging app that comes with stickers, emoji, and a powerful assistant who can answer all your questions. Let’s take a look at its biggest features, and see if it’s worth moving all your conversations over to it.

A Screenshot Tour of Allo, Google’s New Smart Messaging App

Google fixes two serious Android security flaws

2016-09-21-02

Google’s mobile security team has definitely been busy cleaning house this week. The company has released an Android update that closes two security holes that could pose a major threat if intruders found a way to exploit them. The first was only designed for “research purposes” and would only have been malicious if modified, Google tells Ars Technica, but it wouldn’t have been hard to detect or weaponize.

The other flaw behaved similarly to the well-known Stagefright exploit, letting an attacker send an altered JPEG image through Gmail or Google Talk to hijack your phone. The issue, as SentinelOne researcher Tim Strazzere explains to Threatpost, is that it’s both easy to find and capitalize on this vulnerability.

There’s more. Security company Check Point also revealed that Google Play had been hosting apps containing two forms of malware (CallJam and DressCode). CallJam both steered phones to websites that made bogus ad revenue and, if you granted permission, would call paid phone numbers. DressCode would also visit shady ad sources, but it could also compromise local networks. Google has since removed the offending apps, but the infection rate may have been high when users downloaded the software hundreds of thousands (or in a few cases, millions) of times.

Google fixes two serious Android security flaws