Programmer News


Google Assistant will soon be on a billion devices, and feature phones are next

Google Assistant will soon be on a billion devices, and feature phones are next

As CES kicks off, Google has a massive presence: monorails, a booth that’s three times larger than last year, and likely a giant pile of news to announce. But ahead of all the actual product news, the company wants to beat its chest a little by announcing some numbers. By the end of the month, it expects that Google Assistant will be on 1 billion devices — up from 500 million this past May.That’s 900 million more than the number Amazon just gave us for Alexa. But just like Amazon, Google’s number comes with caveats. In an interview with The Verge, Manuel Bronstein, the company’s vice president of Google Assistant, copped to it. “The largest footprint right now is on phones. On Android devices, we have a very very large footprint,” he says. He characterizes the ratio of phones as “the vast majority” of that billion number, but he won’t specify it more than that. Though he does argue that smart speakers and other connected home devices comprise a notable and growing portion.
How Google’s Duo effect other Video Applications?

How Google’s Duo effect other Video Applications?

Google Duo is intended to partner with Google Allo. Allo focuses on text messaging, similar to Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Skype and similar solutions. Duo, by contrast, offers one-to-one video messaging, similar to Apple's FaceTime product.Available for both Android and iOS, Duo aims to simplify the video-chat experience by offering simple controls and only person-to-person communication. It doesn't require a separate account; log in with your phone number, and connect with other Duo users based on their phone number in your contacts list. Duo does not support a Web version, so Windows users are locked out of the platform, although Google's use of the WebRTC standard means that desktop clients (even ones not developed by Google) could work with the service.
As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants

As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants

For years, Facebook gave some of the world’s largest technology companies more intrusive access to users’ personal data than it has disclosed, effectively exempting those business partners from its usual privacy rules, according to internal records and interviews.The special arrangements are detailed in hundreds of pages of Facebook documents obtained by The New York Times. The records, generated in 2017 by the company’s internal system for tracking partnerships, provide the most complete picture yet of the social network’s data-sharing practices. They also underscore how personal data has become the most prized commodity of the digital age, traded on a vast scale by some of the most powerful companies in Silicon Valley and beyond.
Facebook bug exposed up to 6.8M users’ unposted photos to apps

Facebook bug exposed up to 6.8M users’ unposted photos to apps

Reset the “days since the last Facebook  privacy scandal” counter, as Facebook has just revealed a Photo API bug gave app developers too much access to the photos of up to 5.6 million users. The bug allowed apps users had approved to pull their timeline photos to also receive their Facebook Stories, Marketplace photos, and most worryingly, photos they’d uploaded to Facebook but never shared. Facebook says the bug ran for 12 days from September 13th to September 25th. Facebook tells TechCrunch it discovered the breach on September 25th, and informed the European Union’s privacy watchdog the Office Of The Data Protection Commissioner (IDPC) on November 22nd. The IDPC has begun a statuatory inquiry into the breach.
Wordpress 5.0 launches with new, block-based editor

Wordpress 5.0 launches with new, block-based editor

In the new ‘Bebo’ version of WordPress, which is named after Cuban jazz musician Bebo Valdés, we see the introduction of the Gutenberg editor, which puts each piece of content into its own distinct block, allowing creators to decide where to place it and how it appears to viewers. This essentially makes the process a flexible WYSIWYG system. WordPress says that if you prefer to use HTML and CSS, the blocks won’t be an issue. Blocks include paragraphs, images, galleries, quotes, audio, lists, embeds, and much more. For those building client sites, it’s possible to create reusable blocks that lets clients add new content anytime while maintaining the same look and feel.
Microsoft is building a Chromium-powered web browser that will replace Edge on Windows 10

Microsoft is building a Chromium-powered web browser that will replace Edge on Windows 10

Microsoft's Edge web browser has seen little success since its debut on Windows 10 in 2015. Built from the ground up with a new rendering engine known as EdgeHTML, Microsoft Edge was designed to be fast, lightweight, and secure, but it launched with a plethora of issues that resulted in users rejecting it early on. Edge has since struggled to gain traction, thanks to its continued instability and lack of mindshare, from users and web developers.
Google, Mozilla working on letting web apps edit files despite warning it could be 'abused in terrible ways'

Google, Mozilla working on letting web apps edit files despite warning it could be 'abused in terrible ways'

A group led by Google and Mozilla is working to make it easy to edit files using browser-based web apps but wants advice on how to guard against the "major" security and privacy risks.
Google to pay JavaScript frameworks to implement performance-first code

Google to pay JavaScript frameworks to implement performance-first code

Google will be launching a fund of $200,000 to sponsor the development and implementation of performance-related features in third-party JavaScript frameworks. The fund's launch was announced earlier this week at the Chrome Dev Summit 2018, Google's annual web dev conference.Frameworks with original ideas to improve performance and those which ship "on by default" performance-boosting features will be favored in the funds allocation process. Framework dev teams can sign-up for a Google sponsorship.
Google reportedly paid £4,000 to settle a racial discrimination lawsuit in the UK

Google reportedly paid £4,000 to settle a racial discrimination lawsuit in the UK

Google  paid £4,000 to settle a discrimination lawsuit that claims it did not do enough to protect a contractor from being racially profiled while working on an undercover project for Google Maps in shopping malls, reports the Guardian. The contractor, a UK citizen of Moroccan descent, said he was subjected to frequent harassment, including being asked if he was a terrorist, while gathering information about wi-fi signals inside stores, and the situation was exacerbated because he was instructed not to disclose that he was conducting research for Google.
Community Broadband an 'Ominous Threat to The First Amendment'

Community Broadband an 'Ominous Threat to The First Amendment'

The Trump FCC has declared towns and cities that vote to build their own broadband networks an “ominous threat to the First Amendment.” The claims were made last week during a speech given at the telecom-funded Media Institute by FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly. In his speech, O’Rielly insinuated, without evidence, that community owned and operated broadband networks would naturally result in local governments aggressively limiting American free speech rights.


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