Tag: Google

Best smart speakers of 2020: Google Nest Mini, Amazon Echo Dot, and Apple HomePod compared

In 2020, Amazon, Google and Apple are all making good smart speakers. The competition between these tech giants only pushes them to keep getting better. Amazon popularized smart speakers with the original Echo and the Alexa voice assistant, but today you have several options, each with their own pros and cons. 

So how do you pick the best smart speaker for your needs? Well, the key differences largely come down to hardware size, price and audio quality. If you don’t need much oomph from your music and you’re good with a little lower audio quality, you can save money and get the same smarts in a smaller smart speaker.

Our favorites, the Amazon Echo Dot and the Google Nest Mini, are both awesome smart devices. Pretty much all of

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Bed Bath & Beyond made a five-year commitment to Google Cloud

  • On Thursday, Bed Bath & Beyond announced a five-year commitment with Google Cloud, with Deloitte serving as the consulting partner making it happen.
  • Bed Bath & Beyond has been pivoting to focus more on e-commerce during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • It plans to use Google Cloud’s data warehousing and AI capabilities to analyze data, project future sales trends, and improve customers’ online shopping experience.
  • Google Cloud will be the chain’s only cloud provider, highlighting the platform’s success in competing against rivals like the dominant Amazon Web Services in the retail sector.
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Bed Bath & Beyond has “ramped up rapidly” to grow its digital business amid the coronavirus pandemic.

To reach customers who are ordering products online, the home goods retailer has adopted practices like curbside pickup and also converted a quarter of its stores into regional fulfillment centers to double

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Australia to amend law making Facebook, Google pay for news

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The author of proposed Australian laws to make Facebook and Google pay for journalism said Thursday his draft legislation will be altered to allay some of the digital giants’ concerns, but remain fundamentally unchanged.

Australia’s fair trade regulator Rod Sims, chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, said he would give his final draft of the laws to make Facebook and Google pay Australian media companies for the news content they use by early October.

Facebook has warned it might block Australian news content rather than pay for it.

Google has said the proposed laws would result in “dramatically worse Google Search and YouTube,” put free services at risk and could lead to users’ data “being handed over to big news businesses.”

Sims said he is discussing the draft of his bill with the U.S. social media platforms. It could be introduced into Parliament in

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Google can now scan malicious files for Advanced Protection users

Google’s Advanced Protection program aims to protect high-profile people who are especially at risk of being targeted by online attacks with extra security features in Chrome, and it’s adding a new feature today. Those enrolled will be able to send files that Advanced Protection suspects are malicious to be scanned in full by Google’s Safe Browsing malware-detection technology.

Previously, the Advanced Protection features went as far as flagging or blocking a download that was deemed to be a concern. Now, Google says that if a downloaded file seems suspicious, a new option will be available for enrolled users to send it for an in-depth scan.

Once the user gives the approval, Chrome will upload it, and the full scan by Safe Browsing “will perform a quick check using metadata, such as hashes of the file, to evaluate whether it appears potentially suspicious,” after which the file is deleted from its

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The Technology 202: Google returns to the hot seat on antitrust as Justice Department case looms

Googles broad ad empire – which is also reportedly a key focus of the Justice Department’s ongoing probe – will be under the spotlight. 

Google’s mergers and acquisitions chief, Donald Harrison, will testify that advertising allows it to provide nearly all of its services free to consumers, even as the tech giant faces an onslaught of criticism from rivals. Competitors contend Google has too much power over online advertising because it controls both the infrastructure for selling ads and some of the main platforms on which they’re placed.

“Any discussion of online advertising would be incomplete without mentioning the importance of advertising in supporting a free and open Internet,” Harrison wrote in his prepared remarks to the Republican-controlled committee, less than two months after the companys chief executive Sundar Pichai appeared at a blockbuster House antitrust hearing with the leaders of Amazon, Facebook and Apple. 

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Best smart home products for 2020 that aren’t made by Google or Amazon

Google and Amazon dominate the smart home market. Beyond Amazon’s growing roster of Echo smart speakers, the tech giant also owns home security brands Ring and Blinkand Wi-Fi router brand Eero. Smart thermostat maker Ecobee gets funding from Amazon. Google owns Nest and brought the company further under its control this year, rebranding most of its connected devices from “Google Home” to “Google Nest,” like the Google Nest Mini and the Google Nest Hub

Our current list of best smart home devices features 12 products; seven of them are Amazon or Google devices — or devices made by Amazon- or Google-owned (or funded) companies. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. They’re all solid gadgets and we heartily recommend them. As much as Google and Amazon (the latter especially) deserve credit for bringing some much needed organization to the smart home category via

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Google Fiber to offer 2 Gig internet for $100 a month starting this year

Google Fiber will double the maximum internet speed offered to its customers starting later this year from 1 Gbps to 2 Gbps, the company announced this week. The new plan will cost $100 a month, $30 more than the company’s existing 1 Gbps option. However, only downloads will be offered at the new maximum speed; uploads will remain at 1 Gbps. With the new plan, Google says it will provide customers with an unspecified “new Wi-Fi 6 router and mesh extender” to make the most of the new speeds.

Pilots of the new plan are due to kick off in Nashville, Tennessee, and Huntsville, Alabama, next month, with a full rollout in the two cities planned for later in the year. The company says it currently offers Google Fiber and Google Fiber Webpass (which uses over-the-air transmission rather than fiber optic cables) in 19 cities in the US. 2 Gbps

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Apple and Google to Make It Easier to Opt In to Virus Tracing

Several state governments may soon send residents an alert asking them to turn on “exposure notifications.”

On Tuesday, Apple and Google said they would make it easier for states to use their new technology that detects phones that come close to one another and can notify people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus.

States that sign on will be able to send a notice directly to smartphones asking people to opt in to the technology. Previous versions of the technology had required people to seek out a state health agency’s app.

The new approach could spur the popularity of such virus alert technology in the United States by significantly lowering the hurdles for its use. Maryland, Virginia, Nevada and Washington, D.C., already plan to use the new system, Apple and Google said, and about 25 other states were exploring using the earlier app version.

In a statement, Apple

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Google faces grilling on ad business before U.S. Senate antitrust panel

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google will be questioned about its ad business in a hearing on Tuesday, with a particular focus expected on whether it misused its dominance in online advertising to drive profits.

Senator Mike Lee, a Republican and chair of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel, is likely to also press Google on allegations that it is opaque in pricing advertising services, as its critics complain.

Lee is expected to express concern that Google may have broken U.S. antitrust law, a source close to the panel said.

The tech giant made a series of purchases, including DoubleClick and AdMob, to help make it the dominant player in online advertising. Google maintains a tight grasp over each of the many steps between an advertiser looking to place an ad

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Google hit with $3 billion lawsuit in UK over YouTube data harvesting

A new lawsuit filed in the UK alleges that Google’s YouTube platform knowingly violates privacy laws in the country by tracking children online.

The complaint is being filed on behalf of more than five million British children under the age of 13 and their parents, and seeks damages of 2 billion pounds (about $3 billion). The lawsuit is being brought to the UK’s High Court by researcher and privacy advocate Duncan McCann. Tech advocacy group Foxglove is backing it.

It alleges that YouTube systematically breaks underage user privacy regulations and data rules in both the UK Data Protection Act and Europe’s GDPR by unlawfully harvesting the data of “millions of children” to target advertisements.

“We think its unlawful because YouTube processes the data of every child who uses the service – including kids under 13. They profit from this data, as they are paid by advertisers to place targeted advertising

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