Tag Archive: Google



Google on Thursday rolled out its Expeditions app with a new solo mode for all users.

“Using this mode, they can explore over 600 different tours on their own. All that users need to do is download the Expeditions app (available on both Android and iOS), drop their phone into Google Cardboard and get ready for an adventure!” the company said in a statement.

For the past two years, the app was available only for teachers as a tool to extend learning inside the classroom, helping students to gain exposure to new career paths and learn about various social impact initiatives happening around the globe.

With the new update, users can either take these tours as an explorer or a guide.

As an ‘Explorer’, users can experience the tour on their own, where they can view more detailed information on various points of interest within the experience.

The ‘Guide Mode’ lets teachers preview a tour before embarking with their students on a virtual journey.

Expeditions also works on Daydream View VR headset-ready phones for more immersive and engaging experience.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


After a US-based digital security company alerted Twitter about a massive botnet campaign promising online sex to its users, the micro-blogging website has removed nearly 90,000 such fake accounts.

Dubbed as ‘SIREN’, the fake botnet campaign was discovered by ZeroFOX, a Baltimore-based security firm specialising in social-media threat detection.

“To our knowledge, the botnet is one of the largest malicious campaigns ever recorded on a social network,” ZeroFOX wrote in a blog post.

ZeroFOX’s computer vision and natural language processing algorithms identified over 8,500,000 tweets from close to 90,000 accounts related to the ‘SIREN’ campaign.

“‘SIREN’ has been incredibly successful, netting over 30,000,000 clicks from its victims. This data can be gleaned because the botnet uses trackable, Google shortened URLs,” ZeroFOX added.

ZeroFOX last week reported the findings to both the Twitter and Google security teams, who promptly removed the offending accounts and links, comprehensively remediating the ‘SIREN’ botnet.

All of the nearly 90,000 accounts had a suggestive photo of a woman as a profile picture and a female name as the display name.

The accounts either engaged directly with a target by quoting one of their tweets or attracting targets to the payload visible on their profile bio or pinned tweet.

The tweets themselves generally contained canned, sexually-explicit text, often in broken English, compelling the target to click, such as “you want to meet with me?” or “Push, don’t be shy” [sic].

Once a link is clicked, the user is issued a series of redirects.

The final redirect websites encouraged the user to sign up for subscription pornography, webcam or fake dating websites.

“These types of websites, although legal, are known to be scams. Many of the websites’ policies claim that the site owners operate most of the profiles,” the blog post said.

A large percentage of the bots were female names with nude or semi-nude pictures.

In terms of the ‘SIREN’ actors themselves, a large chunk of the Twitter accounts’ self-declared user languages were Russian.

“The poor English, Cyrillic text and sheer magnitude of the infrastructure is indicative that ‘SIREN’ is a group or actor that is technically proficient and probably located in the Eastern Block of Europe,” ZeroFOX said.

The botnet is named after the mythical Greek Sirens, who seduced wayward sailors with their singing and lured them to their doom.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


While we still await the much-delayed Web client of Google Allo, version 14 of the messaging app has now started rolling out for Android and brings message reactions to the platform. Currently, the latest update is not showing up for us but it is expected to be rolled out by the search giant in phases to the users.

Now, just like on Facebook Messenger, users can give emoji reactions to particular messages within the chat and once there are multiple reactions, the count of the reactions starts showing up beside the message. Amit Fulay, head of Google Allo, announced the new feature in his tweet saying, “Latest #GoogleAllo version out today! You can react to messages in chat (tap the heart to like them)”

Notably, unlike Facebook Messenger, Allo users can only react to messages with a heart-shaped emoji as of now. Fulay has suggested that there are more “under-the-hood enhancements” that come with the update but we will have to wait to figure out other notable additions. For now, there’s now word on when the updated app will hit iOS.

To recall, Google said in May that the Web client of the Allo app will be released in a month or two but recently clarified that it will take “few more weeks” to be made available. Nick Fox, VP, Communications Products at Google, said in a tweet in May: “I’m using Web client every day and loving it. Team is working hard to get it out ASAP [As Soon As Possible], but we’re still a month or two from public release.”

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Asus ZenFone AR, claimed to be the world’s first smartphone with 8GB of RAM, will be launched in India on Thursday. The company will be live streaming the launch, which kicks off at 2pm IST, and you can catch it right here. To recall, the Taiwanese consumer electronics giant had launched the ZenFone AR at CES 2017.

Apart from the massive amount of RAM it offers, the smartphone’s biggest highlight is support for Google’s Tango augmented reality platform. It also sports a modfied Snapdragon 821 SoC that’s been optimised for Tango performance. To facilitate Tango, the handset also sports a camera arrangement and sensors that allow motion tracking, depth perception, and area learning.

Asus ZenFone AR price
So far, the ZenFone AR has been launched in the company’s home market – Taiwan. The Asus ZenFone AR price is TWD 24,990 (roughly Rs. 53,100) for its 8GB RAM and 128GB storage variant. We can expect the Asus ZenFone AR price in India to be around the same.

Asus ZenFone AR specifications
In terms of specifications, the Asus ZenFone AR runs Android 7.0 Nougat and sports a 5.7-inch QHD (1440×2560 pixels) Super AMOLED display and is powered by a Snapdragon 821 SoC that has been claimed to be customised for Tango by the company. As mentioned earlier, the handset comes with an impressive 8GB of RAM.

In terms of optics, Asus ZenFone AR comes with a 23-megapixel Sony IMX318 module with TriTech+ autofocus system, dual-PDAF, second-gen Laser Focus, and continuous-focus. The rear camera supports 4-axis OIS (optical image stabilisation) as well as 3-axis EIS (electronic image stabilisation) for video recording alongside support for 4K video recording. At front, there is an 8-megapixel camera with an f/2.0 aperture and an 85-degree wide angle lens.

The ZenFone AR comes with up to 256GB of built-in storage, which is further expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB) in a hybrid dual-SIM (Micro+Nano) configuration. It houses a 3300mAh battery and connectivity options offered by the smartphone include USB 2.0 Type-C port, Bluetooth v4.2, and Wi-Fi 802.11ac connectivity.

The Taiwanese company has previously confirmed that the Asus ZenFone AR features vapour cooling system to avoid overheating. We will not have to wait very long for the Asus ZenFone price in India and availability as the launch date is not far away.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)

 


It seems as though Google’s Android platform is facing its worst time yet as far as malware infestations go. After two malware-related reports in the past week – CopyCat and SpyDealer – there are now reports of another malware, called LeakerLocker, that has the potential to send your personal pictures, messages and browser history to your friends. What’s more, this malware is also reportedly a ransomware that does not encrypt files.

Popular security technology company, McAfee has discovered that the LeakerLocker ransomware can be accidentally downloaded from the Google Play. As of now, It has noted two apps in particular, Wallpapers Blur HD and Booster & Cleaner Pro, that seem to carry the malware. Notably, the ransomware steals the information, creates an unauthorised backup, but does not encrypt them. Instead, it demands “a modest ransom,” failing which the attacker would leak the victim’s private data to their contacts.

McAfee has reported the ransomware to Google. One of the apps, Wallpapers Blur HD, has been downloaded between 5,000 and 10,000 times, and one user has pointed out that the wallpaper app strangely requests permissions such as calls, reading and sending SMS, access to contacts, among other things. The second malicious app, Booster & Cleaner Pro is an easier target as this is the sort of app that requires access to almost everything in your phone to function properly, which users may unwittingly give permission to.

LeakerLocker is the third in a series of malware-related reports this past week. On Monday, it was reported that an Android malware, named SpyDealer, had the ability to steal a user’s personal data from over 40 popular apps that include Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype, Telegram and more. This comes following another report last week of a CopyCat malware that had reportedly affected over 14 million Android devices last year. These cases have started to paint a pretty gloomy picture about the safety of Android OS, but at least we know that Google is taking some active anti-malware measures to help out its users.

For Android users who feel recent malware-related reports are getting too much for Google’s own good, there may a bit of relief in knowing that the tech giant has been reported to be working on an Android ‘panic button’ that would help users exit a potentially malicious app and back to the home screen. There’s no word on when Google will release this feature, but when last reported, it was being tested on Android 7.1 Nougat. It may not be much, but at least we know Google is taking some active measures to fight off compromised apps.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Alphabet Inc’s Google unit expects to receive its first wind power from Norway by early September, the company told Reuters on Wednesday.

Tellenes wind farm, a 50-turbine strong wind farm of 160-megawatt (MW) capacity that is currently under development, will become Norway’s largest wind farm and Google’s biggest in Europe.

“We’ll purchase power as soon as the wind farm becomes fully operational, which we expect will take place in early September 2017,” a Google spokesman told Reuters.

Google last year signed a 12-year deal to buy 100 percent of the plant’s output. The company, which has four European data centres in Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Ireland, said the wind power will be used to supply one or several of them.

The Tellenes wind farm’s first turbine will begin to generate power by next week, said Olav Rommetveit, a spokesman for farm maker Zephyr, although Google will not receive the initial output.

“Google will not immediately get the supply. It has an exclusive contract for 12 years and they will begin getting the electricity at some point after commercial operations begins,” said Rommetveit.

The electricity produced until Google starts receiving the farm’s full capacity, will be sold on the Nord Pool power exchange, he added.

BlackRock, which provided the project’s equity financing, confirmed the first turbine would be ready for production next week and said power sales would start a few days later.

Arise, a Swedish wind power company, will be the farm’s operator.

Google has also bought the future output of a smaller wind farm in Sweden, due to start operation in 2018, bringing the total capacity of its renewable power purchases in Europe to 500 MW, the company said.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


A British hospital trust misused patient data when it shared information with Google for work on a smart phone app to help detect kidney injuries, a British data protection watchdog said on Monday.

The Royal Free NHS Trust failed to comply with the Data Protection Act when it passed on personal information of around 1.6 million patients to Google’s DeepMind.

“There’s no doubt the huge potential that creative use of data could have on patient care and clinical improvements, but the price of innovation does not need to be the erosion of fundamental privacy rights,” Elizabeth Denham, head of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), said in a statement.

The data was provided in a medical trial that integrated information from existing systems used by the Royal Free to alert clinicians when signs of deterioration in a patient with Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) were found.

The investigation found that many patients did not know their data was being used as part of a test.

“We accept the ICO’s findings and have already made good progress to address the areas where they have concerns,” the trust said in a statement.

 

As a result, the trust has signed a document agreeing to make change to the way it handles data.

Although the ICO’s findings related to the hospital, Google’s artificial intelligence arm has also taken responsibility, admitting it underestimated the complexity of Britain’s state-run National Health Service and the rules around patient data.

“We were almost exclusively focused on building tools that nurses and doctors wanted, and thought of our work as technology for clinicians rather than something that needed to be accountable to and shaped by patients, the public and the NHS as a whole,” Google DeepMind said in a statement.

“We got that wrong, and we need to do better.”

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Lenovo’s Moto M, which was launched last year in India, has now according to user reports started receiving Android 7.0 Nougat update in the country. To recall, the Android 6.0 Marshmallow running Moto M smartphone was launched in two variants in India – the 32GB + 3GB model priced at Rs. 15,999, and the 64GB + 4GB version priced at Rs. 17,999.

The Android 7.0 Nougat update for Moto M, as per user reports, comes with a considerable size of around 1.5GB. Apart from the new version of Android, the update also brings along Duo video calling app to the smartphone.

 

While the other changes that come along with Android 7.0 Nougat should also be expected, the changelog doesn’t mention changes apart from the ones mentioned above. The Moto M’s Android 7.0 Nougat update rollout was first reported by FoneArena

 

The dual-SIM (Nano-SIM) Moto M – the first Moto smartphone with an all-metal body – sports a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) IPS display with 2.5D curved glass on top. The new Moto smartphone is powered by a 2.2GHz quad-core MediaTek Helio P15 processor.

 

In terms of optics, Moto M comes with a 16-megapixel rear camera with Phase-Detection Autofocus (PDAF), and at front, it features an 8-megapixel camera for selfies. The connectivity options offered by the smartphone include Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v4.1, GPS/ A-GPS, 4G VoLTE (with support for Indian LTE bands), USB Type-C (USB 3.1), and a 3.5mm audio jack.

 

While Moto M was initially sold exclusively on Flipkart, the smartphone was recently made available for purchase offline as well and that too as the same price as its Web counterpart.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Google has confirmed that it is working on the successors of the Pixel and Pixel XL devices, and a recent report even outed their codenames – Muskie and Walleye. Now, a separate report tips that the tech giant is working on a third device as well, much larger than the other two, and this one is codenamed Taimen.

Taimen is another type of fish known for its large size, and Droid Life claims that Google is working on a third large-display device scheduled to launch this year. The device is codenamed Taimen, however, apart from that there is little else that is known about the device.
Android Police cites its internal source to claim that Taimen could be a phone, but the surety of this is very little. This Taimen device could be a tablet as well, or could be large Pixel-branded phone. Alternatively, it wouldn’t sport Pixel branding at all be a completely different device with a unique branding of its own. There is no clarity on this matter as of now. As time of launch nears, more details on this mysterious third device should be known.

As for Muskie and Walleye, they are tipped to be the codenames of the successors of the Pixel phones. Walleye is the name given to the base variant (Pixel 2), whereas Muskie is reserved for the larger model (Pixel XL 2). Previous leaks suggest that the Pixel 2 may come with an improved camera, a better processor, and be water and dust resistant as well.
Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Google started rolling out Android 7.1.2 Nougat public beta to all compatible devices just a few days ago. The reportedly brings the fingerprint ‘swipe for notifications’ gesture to Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P smartphones. This feature was first introduced only in Pixel devices even though all the smartphones contain the same fingerprint sensor hardware required for the feature.

As we mentioned, Google exclusively introduced the ‘swipe for notifications’ gesture in Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL. 9to5Mac reports that Nexus 5X users who have the latest beta installed, are being able to use this gesture feature. Nexus 6P users haven’t got the latest beta release yet, but this feature is likely to be introduced for them as well, whenever the release hits, 9to5Mac speculates.
If your Nexus 5X is running on Android 7.1.2 Nougat public beta, you can find the feature in the Settings menu under Moves to enable it. The swipe for notifications gesture lets you open the notification panel just by swiping down on the fingerprint sensor at the back.

Android 7.1.2 Nougat public beta version is arriving for Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 5X, Nexus Player, and Pixel C devices as of now, while the company has confirmed that an update for Nexus 6P can be expected to be released soon. The Android 7.1.2 public beta images are also available to download for compatible devices. The final release of the Android 7.1.2 Nougat is expected to be made available in a couple of months.
Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)