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Google CEO admits company must better address the spread of conspiracy theories on YouTube

Google CEO Sundar Pichai admitted today that YouTube needs to do better in dealing with conspiracy content on its site that can lead to real-world violence. During his testimony on Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee, the exec was questioned on how YouTube handles extremist content that promotes conspiracy theories like Pizzagate and, more recently, a Hillary Clinton-focused conspiracy theory dubbed Frazzledrip. According to an article in Monday’s Washington Post, Frazzledrip is a variation on Pizzagate that began spreading on YouTube this spring. In a bizarre series of questions, Rep. Jamie Raskin…

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The Monopoly Man Showed Up At Googles Congressional Hearing Today

The Monopoly Man aka Rich Uncle Pennybags aka Ian Madrigal in costume videobombed Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s congressional hearing today and the video and freeze frames are kind of hilarious. More seriously, lawmakers grilled Pichai on issues related to data privacy and anti-competitive market behavior as well as Google’s plans in China. Back to Madrigal, he actually took over the ‘Pennybags’ character from Amanda Werner, who is now a strategy director at Revolution Messaging and was often seen in Washington in the backgrounds of various trials and US political events.…

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Google You Owe Us claimants arent giving up on UK Safari workaround suit

Lawyers behind a UK class-action style compensation litigation against Google for privacy violations have filed an application requesting permission to appeal against a recent High Court ruling blocking the proceeding. In October Mr Justice Warby ruled the case could not proceed on legal grounds, finding the claimants had not demonstrated a basis for bringing a compensation claim. The case relates to the so called ‘Safari workaround’ Google used between 2011 and 2012 to override iPhone privacy settings and track users without consent. The civil legal action — whose claimants refer to themselves as ‘Google…

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Google finally adds consumer customer support with Google One

You may recall my tale of woe from last year when I recounted how I was locked out of my Google account for a month. It was a tough time, made all the more frustrating because there wasn’t any customer support to contact. That is changing for Google One users though, and it’s about time. I received an email this week from Google informing me that my paid Google storage had been upgraded to Google One, Google’s freshly designed storage options announced last May. It comes with twice the storage,…

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Headlines 

‘Not OK, Google!’ San Francisco Google employees walk out in protest of sexual harassment

Google employees across from the San Francisco Ferry Building.Image: jack morse / mashable On an unusually warm Nov. 1 morning in San Francisco, scores of Google employees walked out of their downtown office in protest.  The staged walkout had come together quickly, and followed the Oct. 25 news that Google execs paid Android creator Andy Rubin $90 million after determining that allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against him by an employee were likely credible. Those leaving their desks on Thursday in SF were but one part of a global effort…

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Envoy raises $43 million to digitize your office

The office might not seem like an area in desperate need of disruption, but Envoy — a Silicon Valley company used to sign in over 100,000 visitors at offices across the world each day; and a TechCrunch SF office neighbor! — has raised $43 million to do just that. The company started life five years digitizing the sign-in book with a simple iPad-based approach, and it has moved on to office deliveries with an automated system that simply involves scanning a barcode. In both cases, alerts are routed directly to…

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A Twitter employee groomed by the Saudi government prompted 2015 state-sponsored hacking warning

An explosive report in The New York Times this weekend sheds new light on the apparent targeting of Twitter accounts by “state-sponsored actors” three years ago. It comes in the wake of the confirmed death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Friday, two weeks after he disappeared in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Khashoggi had long been a target of a Saudi troll army, according to the report, which employed hundreds of people to stifle the speech of government critics, like Khashoggi, who left the kingdom to live and…

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Google brings vulnerability scanning to its Cloud Build CI/CD platform

Google today announced an important update to its Cloud Build CI/CD platform that brings vulnerability scanning to all container images built using the service. Container Registry vulnerability scanning, which is now in beta, is meant to ensure that as businesses adopt modern DevOps practices, the container they eventually deploy are free of known vulnerabilities. As Google rightly notes, the only way to ensure that security protocols are always followed is by automating the process. In this case, all new Cloud Build images are automatically scanned when Cloud Build creates an…

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Headlines 

4 sleek charging stations that hide your phone to keep your family off their tech Optimize That

The Pixel 3 leaks are completely out of control.Image: raymond wong/mashable Google’s big Pixel event is a couple days away and the leaks just reached a new level of ridiculous. Does it even count as a leak if you can just walk into a store and try it out? That’s what Engadget’s Richard Lai apparently did. The Hong Kong-based writer reports that a local mobile phone shop is selling the still unannounced Pixel 3 XL. SEE ALSO: Google’s new Easter egg is a secret text adventure game It’s not clear…

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What you need to know ahead of the EU copyright vote

European Union lawmakers are facing a major vote on digital copyright reform proposals on Wednesday — a process that has set the Internet’s hair fully on fire. Here’s a run down of the issues and what’s at stake… Article 13 The most controversial component of the proposals concerns user-generated content platforms such as YouTube, and the idea they should be made liable for copyright infringements committed by their users — instead of the current regime of takedowns after the fact (which locks rights holders into having to constantly monitor and…

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Google gets more RCS messaging support from Samsung

Google has secured a bit more buy in from Samsung for a next generation text messaging standard it’s long been promoting. The Android OS maker’s hope for Rich Communication Services (RCS), which upgrades what SMS can offer to support richer comms and content swapping, can provide its fragmented Android ecosystem with a way to offer comparably rich native messaging — a la Apple’s iMessage on iOS. But it’s a major, major task given how many Android devices are out there. And Google needs the entire industry to step with it to support…

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Google will lose $50 million or more in 2018 from Fortnite bypassing the Play Store

When Fortnite Battle Royale launched on Android, it made an unusual choice: it bypassed Google Play in favor of offering the game directly from Epic Games’ own website. Most apps and games don’t have the luxury of making this choice – the built-in distribution Google Play offers is critical to their business. But Epic Games believes its game is popular enough and has a strong enough draw to bring players to its website for the Android download instead. In the process,  Unlike Apple, which only allows apps to be downloaded from…

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Google acquires GraphicsFuzz, a service that tests Android graphics drivers

Google has acquired GraphicsFuzz, a company that builds a framework for testing the security and reliability of Android graphics drivers. The news, which was first spotted by XDA Developers, comes on the same day Google announced the release of Android 9 Pie. A Google spokesperson confirmed the news to us but declined to provide any further information. The companies also declined to provide any details about the price of the acquisition. The GraphicsFuzz team, which consists of co-founders Alastair Donaldson, Hugues Evrard and Paul Thomson, will join the Android graphics team to…

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Headlines 

Millions of Android Devices Are Vulnerable Right Out of the Box

Security meltdowns on your smartphone are often self-inflicted: You clicked the wrong link, or installed the wrong app. But for millions of Android devices, the vulnerabilities have been baked in ahead of time, deep in the firmware, just waiting to be exploited. Who put them there? Some combination of the manufacturer that made it, and the carrier that sold it to you. That’s the key finding of new analysis from mobile security firm Kryptowire, which details troubling bugs preloaded into 10 devices sold across the major US carriers. Kryptowire CEO…

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