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Android phones are about to completely change as Google plans to charge for apps

The Independent - Tech

The world's most popular mobile operating system may soon look very different after Google announced that smartphone manufacturers will no longer have free access to popular apps on Android. The licensing fee charge for the Play Store and other Google apps follows a $5 billion fine handed to the technology giant by the European Commission for antitrust violations earlier this year. Until now, Android phones and tablets have all come pre-installed with Google's search engine and Chrome browser, a move that European lawmakers deemed illegal. From 29 October, all new Android devices launched in Europe will be subject to the new licensing charges. There are a lot of Easter Eggs hidden in Chrome, and more and more are discovered each year.


Google Chrome's private incognito mode leaks way more personal data than you might think

The Independent - Tech

Google could continue to collect personal data from users, even if they use the incognito mode in the Chrome web browser, a study has found. A researcher from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, discovered that Google could retroactively link a person's private browsing to the usernames and account information they use online. "While such data is collected with user-anonymous identifiers, Google has the ability to connect this collected information with a user's personal credentials stored in their Google Account," the study states. The study, commissioned by the trade organisation Digital Content Next, explained that a person's web activity on sites that run ads from Google's online ad marketplace can be connected through the anonymized cookies to their YouTube, Gmail or other Google account. There are a lot of Easter Eggs hidden in Chrome, and more and more are discovered each year.


Google Chrome needs to be updated right now, says security boss

The Independent - Tech

Google Chrome needs to be updated as soon as possible, its security boss has warned. A critical security flaw inside of the browser is being used by hackers and could allow them to break into people's computers. The bug is already under attack, Google said when it announced it, meaning that cyber criminals are already trying to break into people's computers using it. The issue has been fixed in the latest version of Chrome, Google has said. But that has not necessarily downloaded onto your computer, meaning people may still be in danger.


Google denies tracking people through incognito mode – but doesn't say it's not possible

The Independent - Tech

Google has denied that it tracks people using Incognito mode in the Chrome web browser, after a study suggested the search giant could use its vast web presence to do so. Incognito mode claims to offer web users the ability to browse privately in Chrome without Google collecting their browsing history, cookies, site data or other online data. A study by Professor Douglas Schmidt, a researcher at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, discovered that Google could retroactively link someone's incognito mode activity to the account information from Google-owned services, like Gmail and YouTube. Professor Schmidt explained in the study: "While such data is collected with user-anonymous identifiers, Google has the ability to connect this collected information with a user's personal credentials stored in their Google Account." There are a lot of Easter Eggs hidden in Chrome, and more and more are discovered each year.


Google attacked over reported plans to launch secret, censored search engine in China called 'Dragonfly'

The Independent - Tech

Google has been attacked over reported plans to launch a "censored" search engine in China. Amnest International has launched a petition against the plans, arguing that the apparently launch should be cancelled. Human rights campaigners claim developing a specifically censored search engine would be in conflict with the company's values and that it will limit freedom of expression. They also point out that Google's own staff appear to disagree with the plans. There are a lot of Easter Eggs hidden in Chrome, and more and more are discovered each year.