Google gets its way, bakes a user-tracking ad platform directly into Chrome

image via arstechnica.com
image via arstechnica.com

Don't let Chrome's big redesign distract you from the fact that Chrome's invasive new ad platform, ridiculously branded the "Privacy Sandbox," is also getting a widespread rollout in Chrome today. If you haven't been following this, this feature will track the web pages you visit and generate a list of advertising topics that it will share with web pages whenever they ask, and it's built directly into the Chrome browser.

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2023/09/googles-widely-opposed-ad-platform-the-privacy-sandbox-launches-in-chrome/

Google launches an AI-powered image generator

image via techcrunch.com
image via techcrunch.com

“Designed for experimentation and creativity, ImageFX lets you create images with a simple text prompt, then easily modify them with a new take on prompting using expressive chips,” Google writes in a blog post. “We invested in the safety of training data from the outset,” Google said. “Consistent with our AI principles, we also conducted extensive adversarial testing and red teaming to identify and mitigate potential harmful and problematic content.”

https://techcrunch.com/2024/02/01/google-launches-an-ai-powered-image-generator/

Google settles $5bn lawsuit for ‘private mode’ tracking

image via bbc.com
image via bbc.com

Google has agreed to settle a US lawsuit claiming it invaded the privacy of users by tracking them even when they were browsing in "private mode". The class action, which was filed by law firm Boies Schiller Flexner in 2020, claimed that Google had tracked users' activity even when they set the Google Chrome browser to "Incognito" mode and other browsers to "private mode". It said this had turned Google into an "unaccountable trove of information" on user preferences and "potentially embarrassing things".

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-67838384

Google’s best Gemini demo was faked

image via techcrunch.com
image via techcrunch.com

Google’s new Gemini AI model is getting a mixed reception after its big debut yesterday, but users may have less confidence in the company’s tech or integrity after finding out that the most impressive demo of Gemini was pretty much faked. “We created the demo by capturing footage in order to test Gemini’s capabilities on a wide range of challenges. Then we prompted Gemini using still image frames from the footage, and prompting via text.” (Parmy Olsen at Bloomberg was the first to report the discrepancy.)

https://techcrunch.com/2023/12/07/googles-best-gemini-demo-was-faked/

Google and Canada reach deal to avert news ban over Online News Act

image via bbc.com
image via bbc.com

The agreement announced on Wednesday requires Google pay C$100m (£58m, $74m) annually, indexed to inflation, to news outlets. The statement said that Google would pay a "single collective" which would distribute the funds to eligible news agencies "based on the number of full-time equivalent journalists engaged by those businesses".

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-67571027

Some Google Drive for Desktop users are missing months of files

image via theverge.com
image via theverge.com

Google says it’s investigating Google Drive users’ reports claiming that their personal files have unexpectedly vanished from the cloud service. The company acknowledged the issue today in a new Google community support thread and believes it involves a “limited subset” of Google Drive for desktop app users.

https://www.theverge.com/2023/11/27/23978591/google-drive-desktop-data-loss-bug-files-missing-investigation

Google Play Games for PC is getting support for 4K and some console game controllers

image via theverge.com
image via theverge.com

Google is adding some new features to the Google Play Games Beta on PC, its service that lets you play Android games on a PC, including support for 4K screen resolution on “supported monitors” and for popular console gaming controllers. Google detailed the updates in a blog post from Arjun Dayal, Google Play Games’ director of product.

https://www.theverge.com/2023/10/23/23928877/google-play-games-pc-4k-game-controllers-clash-of-clans-royale