Tag: Google

Google Pixel 5 review: new phone, old tricks

The amount of effort Google seems to put into its Pixel phones while simultaneously ensuring that they look and feel mundane never ceases to astonish me. The new Pixel 5 is the epitome of this trend, though it’s been present since the beginning.

The Pixel 5 is unassuming. Instead of pushing the state of the art forward, Google has seemingly retreated to simpler, more reliable, and less expensive technology. The Pixel 4 had face unlock, squeezable sides, and a literal radar chip. The Pixel 5 has a simple rear-mounted fingerprint sensor that harkens back to Android phones from 2018, not 2020.

And yet, it’s still a very good phone for $699. It’s not impressive or flashy. By spending just a little (or a lot) more money, you can get better specs, larger camera arrays, prettier screens, and fancier designs. The Pixel 5 is trying to sell something else, sometimes to

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Google reveals Mineral crop-inspecting robots

A photograph of a field at sunset shows three bridge-shaped robots - a central bar suspended by two pillars - drive over rows of crops
The plant buggy roams atop the crops, counting and analysing each

Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has unveiled prototype robots that can inspect individual plants in a field, to help farmers improve crop yields.

The robot buggies roll through fields on upright pillars, so they can coast over plants without disturbing them.

The goal is to collect huge amounts of data about how crops grow.

Called Project Mineral, it is part of Alphabet’s X company, which aims to create world-changing technology from radical “moonshot” ideas.

In a blog post, project lead Elliott Grant said: “We hope that better tools will enable the agriculture industry to transform how food is grown”.

A modern version of the buggy rolls through a huge field of low-height green crops, stretching as far as the eye can see
The robot buggy can be made in different sizes for different crops and planting patterns

The team says its main goal is to address the world’s increasing need for food and the sustainability of growing it.

But current tools do not

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Google unveils revamped Google Analytics with new ML models, more granular data controls

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Google is rolling out what it says is the biggest overhaul of Google Analytics in nearly a decade. The revamped platform features new machine learning capabilities, unified app and web reporting, native integrations and privacy updates.

With the redesign, Google said it’s aiming to provide a more modern approach to data analytics and measurement. 

Building on the foundation of the App + Web property that Google introduced in beta last year, the new Google Analytics has machine learning models baked in, along with new integrations between Analytics and Google Ads, and new controls to help customers better manage their data.

The new machine learning models can automatically alert customers to significant trends in their data, like calculating churn or purchase probability. The new property type also includes unified measurement to remove data fragmentation across devices and platforms, and more granular data controls for things like ads personalization and activity sharing. 

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Google Is Pushing Zoom Out Of Gmail By Default Starting Today

Google is pushing its Zoom competitor, Google Meet, on as default in Gmail calendar invites November 16th, but notifying users that they can make this feature live now. November 16th the switch is flicked for them. The new setting will be on by default for all organizations from today. The aggressive move is probably why big some big Zoom news is coming out later today.

Google is seeing more than 100m users use Google Meet a day and adding about 3m users a day on top of that. A

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Google labels ACCC’s allegations as ‘narrow’ but will hand over 40 categories of evidence

At Australian Federal Court on Wednesday, Google was ordered to hand over evidence to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in relation to the watchdog’s allegations that Google mishandled the location data of its users.

The evidence that is to be handed to the ACCC includes over 40 categories of information and data. 

Throughout the day, Google’s legal counsel Robert Yezerski told the court he was concerned that handing over the evidence via discovery would postpone the case’s decision as it is a time consuming and costly process. 

He also labelled the ACCC’s allegations as “very narrow” and brushed off any references to Google’s interface as being a “labyrinth of screens and processes”, explaining that the allegations were only applicable to certain Google account settings and certain screens. 

“The case is very narrow and it’s narrow in three particular respects. First it’s narrow because it’s limited to two Google

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Border Patrol Spent $2 Million On Google Maps For A Massive Surveillance Tool

For every person who enters America, a profile is drawn up and a determination made on their risk to national security. It’s the same for any cargo or packages. And it’s all done using a tool known as the Automated Targeting System (ATS). This decades-old technology helps border staff decide whether or not you or a shipment needs to be pulled aside for further inspection before being allowed into the country.

Run by Customs and Border Protection, it’s been controversial since the mid-2000s, when the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) pivoted its use from just targeting cargo to tracking people. Though it’s primarily engineered by lesser-known tech contractors, one of the technologies the ATS uses is Google Maps. Through a review of government contract records and a FOIA request response, Forbes has learned that the CBP has spent at least $2 million in the last three years on the

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Why Google and Facebook Could Dominate Big Data

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The Facebook logo is seen on a phone


Alastair Pike /AFP via Getty Images

Data has become big business, and is in many ways at the heart of big tech’s recent rise. Bernstein argues that those companies with the best ability to monetize the value of data will be the winners.

Analyst Matti Littunen takes a look at the world of data collection and aggregation, noting that consumer personal data generates more than $50 billion in annual revenues just in data broker and marketing data services. Media spending driven by the data amounts to an additional $100 billion.

Yet data is just another form of noise if it’s not utilized correctly. As a result, Littunen says, there will be a “further value shift in the consumer data supply chain from data extraction and identity profiling to analytics and activation software. Data assets are valuable to the extent they

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Best smart home devices of 2020 that aren’t made by Google or Amazon

Google and Amazon dominate the smart home industry. Beyond Amazon’s expanding lineup 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 products 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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Snap Taps Facebook, Google Alum Alexa Levine as U.S. Head of Entertainment Sales

Snap, parent company of Snapchat, has hired Alexa Levine as U.S. head of entertainment.

Levine comes to Snap from Facebook, where she worked for three years oversaw the company’s film, TV, streaming and live event ad clients as industry manager for entertainment. Prior to joining Facebook in 2017, she had a variety of roles at Google — including, most recently, senior account executive, media and entertainment — as well as Microsoft and ad agency Omnicom.

At Snap, Levine is responsible for leading the company’s entertainment sales team and working with U.S. entertainment clients advertising on the platform. Based in Los Angeles. Levine reports to Clayton Peters, U.S. head of verticals, who oversees Snap’s enterprise verticals.

Levine holds a bachelor’s degree in business and hotel management from Cornell University and an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Snap continues to bulk up its originals slate

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It’s Time For Google To Copy Apple’s Best iPhone Feature

Google’s excellent Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL handsets will receive their last security update in December 2020, which effectively decommissions the phones.

When I explained this to my partner, who still uses her Pixel 2, she wasn’t excited about a new phone, rather she asked why she had to ditch her perfectly functioning Pixel. 

MORE FROM FORBESApple’s iPhone 12 Will Cause New Problems For Samsung, Google

It’s a good question. Why shelve a phone that, three years ago, was cutting edge technology? That has no noticeable performance issues and still has a reasonable battery life (she hasn’t

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