Google Maps Offensive Continues as Apple Begins Mapping New Regions

While Apple Maps is said to be a solid alternative to Google Maps, it’s not necessarily a secret that Apple’s app isn’t quite here yet. Especially outside of the United States, as Apple has often been extremely slow when it comes to rolling out new features for users who don’t live in the company’s home market.

Apple Maps, for example, has already received massive updates in the United States, including better maps and new features like traffic information with road signs and traffic light warnings, but this new experience continues to be available in limited markets.

But on the other hand, the iPhone maker is working tirelessly to expand Apple Maps to more markets, as the company itself knows it’s pretty much the only way to compete with Google Maps.

And more recently, Apple sent its fleet of Subaru Impreza used for data collection to Austria, with the mapping process due to start today. The company hasn’t shared any information on how long the entire process will take, but according to local media, Apple just wants to focus on vehicle-based data for now, so foot mapping wouldn’t take place. as part of this first step in the process.

This is probably a sign that Apple wants to improve the navigation component of its app, although time will tell how quickly the new data will be available to users in Austria.

The good news is that Apple is indeed making very good progress when it comes to expanding Apple Maps to more regions. Right now, this is one of the biggest shortcomings of using Apple Maps compared to alternatives like Google Maps, as the preloaded app on iPhones still lacks map data. updated and new features in many major markets.

Apple has yet to confirm Apple Maps’ expansion in Austria, but expect to see the company’s Subaru Imprezas on the streets of the country for several months.

After Apple hinted it was parting ways with Google Maps for its own proprietary system and application, Google is firing back, announcing it has new mapping technology ahead of Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference. In an invite sent to press last week, Google promised to “show off some of the newest technology and give a sneak peak at upcoming features,” according to CNET.

No word yet on whether the mapping technology will be for Google’s Chrome browser or for android phones or both, but mobile support seems likely. Will Google’s new application include something similar to Apple’s powerful new 3-D mode, which, according to 9-to-5 Mac, boasts “beautiful, realistic graphics”? Stay tuned as Map Wars 2012 continues.

Source: Google Maps offensive continues as Apple begins mapping new regions – OLTNEWS

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Critics:

The Google Maps apps for iOS and Android have many of the same features, including turn-by-turn navigation, street view, and public transit information.Turn-by-turn navigation was originally announced by Google as a separate beta testing app exclusive to Android 2.0 devices in October 2009. The original standalone iOS version did not support the iPad, but tablet support was added with version 2.0 in July 2013. An update in June 2012 for Android devices added support for offline access to downloaded maps of certain regions, a feature that was eventually released for iOS devices, and made more robust on Android, in May 2014.

At the end of 2015 Google Maps announced its new offline functionality, but with various limitations – downloaded area cannot exceed 120,000 square kilometres and require a considerable amount of storage space. In January 2017, Google added a feature exclusively to Android that will, in some U.S. cities, indicate the level of difficulty in finding available parking spots, and on both Android and iOS, the app can, as of an April 2017 update, remember where users parked. In August 2017, Google Maps for Android was updated with new functionality to actively help the user in finding parking lots and garages close to a destination.

In December 2017, Google added a new two-wheeler mode to its Android app, designed for users in India, allowing for more accessibility in traffic conditions. In 2019 the android version introduced the new feature called live view that allows to view directions directly on the road thanks to augmented reality Google Maps won the 2020 Webby Award for Best User Interface in the category Apps, Mobile & Voice. In March 2021, Google added a feature in which user can draw missing roads.

In 2005 the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) complained about the potential for terrorists to use the satellite images in planning attacks, with specific reference to the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor; however, the Australian Federal government did not support the organization’s concern. At the time of the ANSTO complaint, Google had colored over some areas for security (mostly in the US), such as the rooftop of the White House and several other Washington, D.C., US buildings.

In October 2010, Nicaraguan military commander Edén Pastora stationed Nicaraguan troops on the Isla Calero (in the delta of the San Juan River), justifying his action on the border delineation given by Google Maps. Google has since updated its data which it found to be incorrect.

On January 27, 2014, documents leaked by Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA and the GCHQ intercepted Google Maps queries made on smartphones, and used them to locate the users making these queries. One leaked document, dating to 2008, stated that “[i]t effectively means that anyone using Google Maps on a smartphone is working in support of a GCHQ system.

References

Why You Suddenly Need To Stop Using Google Chrome

It's time to ditch Chrome—here's why.

If you’re among the billions of people using Chrome, then Google’s stark new data harvesting disclosures should come as a nasty surprise. Worse, a new Chrome revelation, one that hasn’t yet made headlines but which is detailed below, should serve as an even more serious warning. Here’s what you need to do now.

Google is under fire this week, after the surprising amount of your data harvested by Chrome has been disclosed. This is a genuine threat to your privacy. Worse, a more serious issue for Google, detailed below, hasn’t even made headlines yet. Chrome is totally out of step with Safari, Edge and Firefox, shattering Google’s “privacy first web” claims. All of which should give you a serious reason to quit Chrome today.

Last year, when Apple said that it would force app developers to disclose the scale of data collected and linked to its users, all eyes turned to Google and Facebook. Many suspected that this level of scrutiny would shine an alarming light on the world’s two most valuable data machines. And that’s exactly what has happened.

The issue for Google is that, unlike Facebook, it sits both sides of the fence. Guarding your privacy on one side—with Android and and its mail, docs and drive ecosystem, and an advertising behemoth on the other, collecting $100 billion plus in ad spend, the majority of its annual revenue. In that regard, it’s really no different to Facebook.

And so, there’s little surprise that Apple’s mandatory privacy labels have shown these two ad giants to be well out of step with their peers when it comes to collecting your data. If your business model is monetizing your users’ information, then you’ll want to collect as much as you reasonably can—and Google and Facebook don’t disappoint.

“Google doesn’t care about protecting user privacy,” privacy-centric DuckDuckGo warned this week, when Chrome’s privacy label was finally revealed, “they care about protecting their surveillance business model. If they really cared about privacy, they would just stop spying on billions of people around the world.”

DuckDuckGo focused on the data that Google collects, linked to its users. But there’s a different dataset in the detail, included below, that’s much more damaging to Google and which shows Chrome to be shockingly different to its major rivals.

MORE FROM FORBESStop This ‘Secret’ Location Tracking On Your iPhone-3 Critical Settings You Need To Change Today

I have already warned that Gmail collects more data than other leading mail platforms. In its defense, Google pointed me at comments made by CEO Sundar Pichai, that “we don’t use information in apps where you primarily store personal content—such as Gmail, Drive, Calendar and Photos—for advertising purposes, period.”

You’ll note that Chrome isn’t on that list, nor is it an app “where you primarily store personal content.” But it is an app where you enter private and sensitive search terms and conduct private transactions. But what Chrome does have in common with Gmail is an avaricious and out of step approach to data harvesting.

Google took its time adding privacy labels, with a gap between app updates of some three months after the labels became mandatory. But now we can see the detail for Chrome, just as we did for Gmail. As I commented on Gmail, protecting user privacy is a binary philosophy, “you either believe it’s the right thing to do, or you don’t.” And these new labels have made Google’s (and Facebook’s) privacy claims sound hollow.

Just as with Gmail, Chrome collects your user ID and device ID in too many categories. Unlike Safari, Edge and Firefox, Chrome says it links all harvested data to devices and individuals. Safari collects but doesn’t link browsing history, usage data and locations to users. Neither Firefox nor Edge link usage data. But Chrome says it collects all those data fields and links all of them to user identities.

This isn’t complicated. The fact is that Chrome collects more data than any of the other browsers, yet is the only one that doesn’t appear to collect any data that isn’t linked to user identities. This is a much more shocking illustration of the different philosophies at play. Chrome hasn’t even attempted to protect its users’ privacy in this way. This isn’t about specific data fields, this is about an overarching attitude to privacy.

“You don’t become a multi-billion-dollar company without grabbing as much data as you can then monetize,” says Cyjax CISO Ian Thornton-Trump. “It’s like there’s some sort of crossroads well maybe a three-way intersection. Collect all the data you can, collect all the data you need or collect the bare minimum of data. The companies in the bare minimum category are few and far between.”

“Why does a web browser need my financial data?” asks security researcher Sean Wright. “I think that says it all really. I really struggle to think of a suitable justification for that.” Google will argue that you can elect to provide your financial data when you choose to transact. But it’s yet more data collected under the guise of convenience.

Google didn’t offer any comments in response to this story, but did insist that the justification for its data collection is to provide features and functions—for example tailoring searches to a user’s location. Again, this misses the stark difference between an in-session function and collecting linked user data, as suggested by its privacy label.

Google’s viewpoint, that it only collects the data needed to provide its service, is the same rationale WhatsApp gave me for collecting its own treasure trove of data. The issue with that reasoning, though, is that competing apps that collect significantly less data offer similar features and levels of performance and security.

Clearly, not every user will provide every data field on the privacy label to Google—they’re intended as a worst case, this is the data that could be collected. This is why comparisons are so critical—no privacy label should be taken in isolation. It’s also wrong to only compare mainstream apps with privacy-first specialists. Chrome versus DuckDuckGo, or WhatsApp versus Signal, for example.

Comparing Google, Apple and Microsoft makes more sense. Looking across both emails apps and browsers for the three tech giants does not paint a pretty picture for Google—bear this in mind before you install its apps on your phone.

On the surface, Google does appear to be making privacy-related changes. Google told me it will “no longer use the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA)… on iOS for personalized advertisements and ad-related measurement in the near future.” Google has also committed to ending cross-site tracking cookies. But the devil’s in the detail, as seen in the news this week that Google killing these cookies might be anticompetitive.

Google makes its money selling ads tailored to you as an individual, contextualized by your search or activity. Most of those ads are geared around search queries. And so, Google’s plan to replace cookies with so-called Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), a clever way to say the “anonymization” of individual users into groups of individuals with common characteristics, is the kind of cleverness you’d expect from an ad giant.

The shift to FLoC has been criticized as putting too much control and, ultimately, monetization in Google’s hands. And, because this approach is handled by the browser you use, that control is enabled by Chrome’s dominance of the browser market, with a greater than 60% market share. “Users and advocates must reject FLoC,” says EFF, “and other misguided attempts to reinvent behavioral targeting. We implore Google to abandon FLoC and redirect its effort towards building a truly user-friendly Web.”

You might decide that you don’t like your browser analyzing searches and collecting your data to target you with ads. You might assume that a browser alleged to have tracked users even when those users enabled its “incognito” mode isn’t a privacy-first kind of platform. You might also ask if Safari and Edge deliver a degraded service absent that data harvesting. Remember, you can use Google without Chrome.

MORE FROM FORBESStop Using WhatsApp Until You Change This Critical Setting

This new Chrome warning is especially relevant for iPhone and iPad users, given they can now change their device’s default browser away from Safari. You certainly don’t want switch this to Chrome—ever. Why would you open yourself up to additional data harvesting when it does not add to your online experience?

Whether it’s mail or browsers, the pattern is clear. And before people email me to tell me they see some of the missing data types in other browsers or email apps, remember the difference between data fields being used and actually being linked to your identity. There’s a world of difference between the two.

Andy Yen, the founder and CEO of ProtonMail, was heavily critical of Google’s data collection from Gmail. He sees the same pattern here, telling me that “a picture paints a thousand words. The only legitimate reason for a product to collect data is to make sure it has the information it needs to function. This necessity will vary from product to product, but as the chart shows, a browser clearly doesn’t need to collect any information on its users to do its job. The biggest players have profiteered off users’ trust for too long and it’s time for alternatives.”

The best browser for privacy is DuckDuckGo, albeit it’s likely too much of a departure for most users. But in whichever browser you use, turn off cross-site tracking where you can and consider using private browsing modes, albeit you’ll miss the convenience in accessing previous sites and being remembered when you do.

DuckDuckGo says it is now seeing a surge in downloads. “Looking at app store rankings,” a spokesperson told me, “our mobile browser has been the second most downloaded mobile browser in the U.S. after Chrome.” It also says, unsurprisingly, that it supports Apple’s mandatory privacy labels, which have highlighted its benefits, “and we hope other app marketplaces will follow suit.”

This is the crux, though. Apple does not monetize data in the same way as Google, its business model is to sell devices and services within its ecosystem, and privacy does genuinely appear to be in its DNA. The same cannot be said for Google. Google is not going to crack down on data collection in the same way. What it will do, though, is to adopt some of Apple’s initiatives, ensuring that it doesn’t fall too far behind.

The last decade has seen a steady erosion of your privacy. Free to use apps and platforms have monetized you and your data. You have traded away your privacy for that convenience. But when two of the world’s largest tech companies, Google and Facebook, generate most of their revenues from advertising, and when that advertising is driven by your data and interactions with their services, the balance is very wrong.

“Facebook said that ‘privacy is a thing of the past’,” recalls security expert Mike Thompson, referring to Mark Zuckerberg’s comments a decade ago, before he began to advocate more private interactions. “So why would Google not take the same stance? If Google took my privacy seriously, I wouldn’t see repetitive ads all over my social media,” Thompson says, referring to ads that link back to activity on his phone.

But privacy is now on the agenda more than ever before. You have the opportunity to restore some of what has been lost. But only if you take initiatives like privacy labels seriously, if you show some correlation between the apps you use and the data they collect. If you look at the relative privacy labels and chose Chrome over Safari, or Chrome over Edge, then you send a message that its data harvesting is fine by you.

As I’ve said before, what happens next is down to all of us—all of you.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Zak is a widely recognized expert on surveillance and cyber, as well as the security and privacy issues associated with big tech, social media and communication platforms, as well as IoT and smartphone security. He is frequently cited in the international media and is a regular commentator on broadcast news, with appearances on BBC, Sky, NPR, NBC, Channel 4, TF1, ITV and Fox, as well as various cybersecurity and surveillance documentaries.

Zak has twenty years experience in real-world cybersecurity and surveillance, most recently as the Founder/CEO of Digital Barriers, which develops advanced surveillance technologies for frontline security and defence agencies as well as commercial organizations in the US, Europe and Asia. The company is at the forefront of AI-based surveillance and works closely with flagship government agencies around the world on the appropriate and proportionate use of such technologies.

Zak can be reached at zakd@me.com.

Source: Why You Suddenly Need To Stop Using Google Chrome

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Important Google Photos Change Will Impact Millions Of Users

Google Photos users often struggle with Google’s frequent unexpected interface changes, but a new tweak is now rolling out that’s sure to make image sharing much easier for everyone.

The change, as spotted by Reddit users last week, brings in an improved sharing menu that makes it easier to find and select the apps and contacts you want to use to share your photos.

The improvement makes a small, but significant change to how sharing destinations are selected. Thankfully, it’s so intuitive that you may have already been using the new interface without even realizing.

If you have the new interface, sharing an image now presents you with two rows of icons much like before. The top row is for sharing directly to groups or individual contacts and the bottom row is for sharing via any other appropriate apps you have installed. The key change is that selecting an app for sharing no-longer requires scrolling through a potentially very long list of apps to find the one you’re looking for.

Instead, you are presented with a selection of just three recently-used options followed by a new button marked ‘more’. Tapping on ‘more’ then brings up an app drawer which you can swipe upwards to expand it into a vertically-scrolling full screen format.

Google Photos now uses a new app sharing menu

Here you’ll find some favorite sharing destinations at the top, followed by a complete list of compatible apps. Furthermore, the apps are presented here in alphabetically rather than the seemingly random order found in the previous horizontal app selector.

Many users have the new interface already, so if you don’t have it yet you should expect to receive it soon. If you want a reminder of the old sharing interface, try sharing from the Google Maps app which still uses the old horizontal scroller.

Follow @paul_monckton on Instagram

Paul Monckton

Paul Monckton

I’ve been working as a technology journalist since the early nineties. My passion is photography and the ever-changing hardware and software that we use to create it, be it traditional cameras and Photoshop or smartphones and tablets with their numerous apps. I have also worked extensively on computing titles such as PC Magazine and Personal Computer World and managed the PCW hardware testing labs. This has seen me testing and reviewing all manner of technologies in print and on line. I take on both written and photographic assignments and you can get in touch with questions, tips or pitches via email. Find me on Instagram @paul_monckton.

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Google Photos users often struggle with Google’s frequent unexpected interface changes, but a new tweak is now rolling out that’s sure to make image sharing much easier for everyone. The change, as spotted by Reddit users last week, brings in an improved sharing menu that makes it easier to find and select the apps and contacts you want to use to share your photos. The improvement makes a small, but significant change to how sharing destinations are selected. Thankfully, it’s so intuitive that you may have already been using the new interface without even realising.

If you have the new interface, sharing an image now presents you with two rows of icons much like before. The top row is for sharing directly to groups or individual contacts and the bottom row is for sharing via any other appropriate apps you have installed. The key change is that selecting an app for sharing no-longer requires scrolling through a potentially very long list of apps to find the one you’re looking for.

Instead, you are presented with a selection of just three recently-used options followed by a new button marked ‘more’. Tapping on ‘more’ then brings up an app drawer which you can swipe upwards to expand it into a vertically-scrolling full screen format. Here you’ll find some favorite sharing destinations at the top, followed by a complete list of compatible apps. Furthermore, the apps are presented here in alphabetically rather than the seemingly random order found in the previous horizontal app selector.

Many users have the new interface already, so if you don’t have it yet you should expect to receive it soon. If you want a reminder of the old sharing interface, try sharing from the Google Maps app which still uses the old horizontal scroller. Follow @paul_monckton on Instagram All data is taken from the source: http://forbes.com Article Link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/paulmonc…#sharing#newsdaily#newsworldabc#bbcnewstoday#newstodaydonaldtrump#newstodayworld #

4 Free Tips to Get Your Business to Show Up on Google Maps

Google is still the King, Queen and court jester of online search. Sure, Facebook and Amazon are trying to carve out their own slice of the search pie, but as of July 2019, Google dominated over 90 percent of all search queries. When someone does a Google search for a product or service, they are demonstrating intent and motivation. The beauty of searches based on intent is that this traffic can be free.

Paid keyword advertising works, but it isn’t the only way to get clicks and customers. Ever notice how some businesses and entrepreneurs are always just below the paid ads on Google Maps, while others don’t ever show up? Those that get displayed do four things to their business profile better than everyone else.

Before we get into the four specific tasks, it’s important to know that your business will not appear on Google Maps unless you establish a Google My Business (GMB) profile for each and every location. Google the phrase “Google My Business” to find a direct link to set up your GMB profile. It is connected to your Google account.

Related: Want to Rank Higher on Google? Learn SEO Strategies From an Expert.

If you are establishing a brand new location, you are going to choose between a service location and a physical location. A physical location is an actual office or retail space people go to, like a doctor’s or lawyer’s office. Clients come to you. A service location is one where you service a neighborhood or town but do not have an office or retail space. Examples include a plumber, realtor or HVAC service technician. You go to the client. In both cases, you need a mailing address so Google can mail you a postcard verification. You “claim” your listings and start to take charge of your online presence.

With that baseline set, let’s go over these four quick and easy ways to get your business to show up on Google Maps when people are searching for a local (fill in the blank) like yours. 

1. Photos, photos and more photos

Ever look at a business profile and wonder if the place is still even in business? You can tell when a business profile looks deserted. The first dead giveaway is when the only photo for that business profile is the Google Maps street view.

You have to upload relevant photos. This cannot be emphasized enough. People eat and buy with their eyes. You don’t have to hire a professional photographer. The cameras on most smartphones will suffice.

Take as many photos of your workplace as possible. Make sure to rename each photo to include the business name and what’s in the photo. By doing this, you are correctly labeling the photo per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines, which is a courtesy in itself, plus you are helping Google easily understand what the photo is about thereby making it easier for the algorithm to deliver more accurate results.

Other ideas for photos include clients, customers, products, food and before and afters. Remember, you can’t have too many photos so long as they are relevant to your business.

Related: Most Search Traffic is Organic. This Tool Helps Improve Your SEO Rankings.

2. Embed your Google Maps profile 

Google loves it when you use their tools. One of the quickest and easiest ways to send signals to Google that your GMB profile is getting traffic is by taking advantage of your website’s existing traffic. Embed the small Google map on your site. Every time someone visits your site they are inadvertently viewing the embedded Google property. Google picks up on this even if they don’t click on the map.

Search for your business on Google Maps. When you find it, click on the “share” option and select “embed map.” Copy that code and place it on your site in the same manner you’d embed a YouTube video.

3. Reviews

The more clicks your profile gets, the higher and more often Google delivers it as a search engine result on Google Maps. The more reviews you have, the more likely people will click on your profile. This is known as social proof.

You have to get good at requesting reviews from your customers, clients, patrons, friends and family. Getting reviews is an art form. You will get better at the more you do it. Don’t be surprised or even offended when you have to ask someone for a review or testimonial more than once. Studies show that you are more likely to get a review after a customer experiences a “high.” This typically happens after a purchase or a good meal. It’s at those moments you and your team should be requesting a review.https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

Related: 6 Tips for Acquiring More Google Reviews (and Why They Matter)

4. Accurate information

Make sure your business phone number, website and hours of operation are up-to-date. Use a guest browser and test out the links to the phone and website. Are they accurate? Do they work as intended? Is the phone ringing to the correct person? Does the website link to the homepage or correct product or service? These are all things you should be testing. It’s all about the customer experience and the longer you keep the customer on your GMB profile, the more valuable you are in the eyes of Google.

Google wants to deliver the best and most relevant search results to the consumer. They have a universe of tools and online signals that help them determine which search engine results to provide. The more competitive your business space is, the more complete and professional your GMB profile has to be. If your business profile isn’t complete, has inaccurate information and doesn’t have any photos of your business or photos of you at work, you probably won’t show up.

By: Paul Argueta / Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

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Microsoft Issues Bold Strike To Google Chrome With New Features You Need Now

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Microsoft’s revamped Edge browser has only been available for a few months, but it’s already putting pressure on Google’s market-leading Chrome. Now Microsoft has just issued a bold strike to Chrome with a set of cool and timely new features in Edge 83.

Launched on May 22 and rolling out gradually, Edge 83 will be available initially for a small number of users to evaluate their response so Microsoft can iron out any bugs and issues, according to tech site Bleeping Computer.

So what’s coming in this latest Microsoft Edge update?

Chrome-beating Microsoft Edge features you’ll want to try now

Even as countries exit lockdown during the COVID-19 crisis, many users are now working from home. This makes features such as the ability to separate your profiles between work and personal integral.

One of the new features in Edge 83, “Automatic Profile Switching” is able to detect when you are navigating to a site authenticated with a work account while in your personal profile and switch without you having to do anything.

Meanwhile, an update to a feature called SmartScreen makes you safer as you browse by stopping you from visiting insecure websites or downloading malicious files. Among the other cool updates, the Collections feature is improving—you can use it to drag and drop items to the collection without opening it—and the ability to Sync your extensions has been added.

How to get the new Microsoft Edge features now

If you can’t wait for the update, Bleeping Computer includes instructions for how to get Edge 83 now.

First, go to Microsoft Edge’s enterprise page and Select Stable 83 under Channel/version > Edge 83.0.478.37 > Select the platform > Download.Google Chrome v Edge

Microsoft Edge is certainly ramping up on the features front as it goes head-to-head with Chrome. In another move that brings its browser on a par with Chrome, Microsoft recently confirmed it would add a feature that will hide annoying notification pop ups that appear on some websites.

Privacy and security are a new battleground for browser-makers, and Google has just dropped a bunch of new features to try and starve off attempts to steal its market share.

In some ways, the two browsers are similar: If you are already an Edge user, you’ll know it’s based on the same Chromium browser engine as Google Chrome. Both Edge and Chrome releases have been delayed during COVID-19—and both skipped version 82 altogether to go straight to 83.

These new features are pretty cool—and they are what people need right now—so if you’re looking for a Google Chrome alternative, why not give Edge a try.

Follow me on Twitter.

I’m a freelance cybersecurity journalist with over a decade’s experience writing news, reviews and features. I report and analyze breaking cybersecurity and privacy stories with a particular interest in cyber warfare, application security and data misuse. Contact me at kate.oflaherty@techjournalist.co.uk

Source: https://www.forbes.com

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#MicrosoftEdge #GoogleChrome Microsoft has moved its web browser, Edge, over to Chromium, which means it now has many of the same perks and extensions as Google Chrome. But how does it compare to the world’s most popular browser? Find out in our Edge vs Chrome browser showdown. For more tech tips, how-tos, guides, app lists, game lists and all things tech, hit the ‘Subscribe’ button or check out our other videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5Hh… Or visit our website at: https://www.maketecheasier.com/

Google Issues Serious Warning For Google Photos Users

Google Photos Logo

Google has issued a serious warning to a number of Google Photos users, stating that their private videos have been accidentally sent to strangers.

The warning will come as a shock to users who have used the service to store videos they don’t wish to be made public, precisely because of Google’s promise to protect their data and keep unshared Photos private.

According to the warning, sent directly via email to all affected users, the blunder caused Google’s ‘Download your data’ service to incorrectly export some stored videos to the wrong user’s archive when bundling them up for download.

This resulted in some users downloading archives with missing videos and, more worryingly, videos that belong to other users.

You can read the text of the email in the tweet from @jonoberheide below:

View image on Twitter

Google hasn’t revealed the number of accounts affected, but it appears to be relatively small as it’s restricted to those who used ‘Download your data’ within a specific five-day time period of November 21 to November 25 2019. However, even only a small proportion of Google Photos’ over one billion users will likely result in a significant total number of people affected. The wording of the email suggests that Google is confident that it has identified all occurrences of the bug and warned all those affected.

What to do about it

Google’s preferred solution to this predicament is for users to create new data archives and download them again. While this will help anyone with missing videos to retrieve them, it offers no comfort to those who now have no way of knowing which, if any, of their videos have been downloaded and viewed by strangers. Furthermore, we can only hope that there are no other instances of the bug which remain undetected.

I have reached out to Google for comment.

OnePlus Confirms Massive Camera Upgrades

Forbes Paul Monckton

I’ve been working as a technology journalist since the early nineties. My passion is photography and the ever-changing hardware and software that creates it, be it traditional cameras and Photoshop or smartphones and tablets with their numerous apps. I have also worked extensively on computing titles such as PC Magazine and Personal Computer World and managed the PCW hardware testing labs. This has seen me testing and reviewing all manner of technologies in print and on line. I take on both written and photographic assignments and you can get in touch with questions, tips or pitches via email. Find me on Instagram @paul_monckton.

Source: Google Issues Serious Warning For Google Photos Users

2.38M subscribers
Those default Google Chrome settings are no good! Here is what to change. More Top Lists ➤ https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list… Subscribe Here ➤ https://www.youtube.com/user/ThioJoe?… Google Chrome is the most popular web browser right now, but most people just leave the settings on default without even knowing about things they could or should change. Some of these settings are on by default that you should disable, and others are cool features that are not enabled by default, but you’ll want to turn on. This video goes over 11 of these settings, which include some found in the regular settings menu, as well as some in the hidden “chrome flags” menu, found at chrome://flags . Everything from a new way to mute noisy tabs, to faster downloading with chrome. ~~~ ⇨ http://Instagram.com/ThioJoehttp://Twitter.com/ThioJoehttp://Facebook.com/ThioJoeTV ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

Google Maps Just Introduced a Controversial New Feature That Drivers Will Probably Love but Police Will Utterly Hate

On long drives, I often find myself running two real-time mapping programs on my phone at once: Google Maps and Waze.

The reason is that Google Maps seems to be a better, faster-loading map program that shows alternate routes on long trips more quickly.

But Waze, which is actually owned by Google, has one feature I greatly appreciate: It lets other drivers warn of the locations of road hazards and police speed traps.

I’m not an especially lead-footed driver, but I’d still rather know where the cops are. It’s been a very small first-world problem for me that Google didn’t just combine both apps.

This week, however, Google announced the next best thing: Starting immediately, drivers will be able to report hazards, slowdowns, and speed traps right on Google Maps.

Apparently this has been rolled out in some cases to Android phones, but it will now be available across the board — on Android and iOS. I’m excited, and I think other drivers will be, too.

But one group that will likely not be happy is the police. In recent years, police have asked — or even demanded — that Waze drop the police-locating feature.

In February, the NYPD wrote to Google:

The NYPD has become aware that the Waze Mobile application … currently permits the public to report DWI checkpoints … Accordingly, we demand that Google LLC, upon receipt of this letter, immediately remove this function from the Waze application.

The Waze feature — and presumably the new version on Google Maps — makes no distinction between police who are running speed traps, manning DWI checkpoints, or simply sitting by the side of the road.

Previously, the LAPD and the National Sheriffs’ Association (.pdf link) also insisted that Waze drop the feature.

“There is no moral, ethical, or legal reason to have the police locator button on the app,” the sheriffs’ association wrote in 2015. “We are concerned that terrorists, organized crime groups, and gangs will find this a valuable tool to further their illegal activities.”

Google has always responded by saying that drivers slow down and strictly obey the law when they know that law enforcement is nearby.

That’s certainly my experience driving up and down the highways of New England and the New York area. Of course, if drivers know to watch their speed when they’re around speed traps, they’ll get fewer speeding tickets.

There’s a temptation here to suggest that “follow the money” is one reason law enforcement might object to drivers notifying one another to where police speed traps are located.

Most departments would dispute that there’s any link to revenue, or to the idea of police having informal quotas for the number of tickets they have to write or arrests they have to make.

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But there could be one other reason to “follow the money,” on the other side.

Earlier this month, Apple announced a major update to its own Maps application. This was a big milestone for Apple, since years ago it admitted its own app was really bad — and actually encouraged people to use Google Maps instead.

Now, Apple is back in the maps game, as my colleague Jason Aten reported. And mere weeks later, Google introduces a popular interactive feature that some users have wanted for a long time.

Sounds like a potential win for both Google and its users — and a potential loss for police who oppose it.

Source: Google Maps Just Introduced a Controversial New Feature That Drivers Will Probably Love but Police Will Utterly Hate

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Google Says Chrome Will End Support for Third-Party Cookies That Track You. Here’s Why That’s Not All Good News

On Tuesday, Google announced what appears, at least at first, to be a fairly monumental change to its Chrome browser: Over the next two years, it plans to “phase out support for third-party cookies in Chrome.” Third-party cookies are little pieces of code used by advertisers to track what you do online so they can serve you targeted ads on sites you visit based on where you’ve previously visited.

So, for example, if you browse Pottery Barn’s website, and start seeing ads everywhere for the coffee table you were looking at, it’s usually because of third-party cookies. In reality, while most of us would say it’s kind of creepy, targeted ads are effective. At the same time, they’re also a very real invasion of your privacy–which is a problem. In fact, those privacy concerns are why browsers like Brave and Safari have already ended support for this type of tracking.

Back in August, I wrote about Google’s new “Privacy Sandbox,” which the company said was a way to introduce privacy protections for users online while still allowing digital advertisers to serve up targeted ads. The problem, at the time, was that Google said that it couldn’t eliminate support for third-party cookies because it would have a detrimental effect on the web at large.

Now it seems that’s changing, and there are huge implications for users as well as advertisers. Google’s blog post announcing the change puts it this way:

We are confident that with continued iteration and feedback, privacy-preserving and open-standard mechanisms like the Privacy Sandbox can sustain a healthy, ad-supported web in a way that will render third-party cookies obsolete.

So, let’s look at the good news and the bad news. If you’re a user, there’s mostly good news, because ending third-party cookies is generally good for privacy. The caveat here is that it’s not yet entirely clear how Google plans to have it both ways. Meaning, it’s not clear how Google thinks it can provide a privacy-protected browsing experience that also provides targeted ads.

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There’s also the fact that some less ethical advertisers will no doubt resort to other types of more nefarious tracking, like browser and device fingerprinting. Those technologies create a profile of you based on information sent by your browser about your device, the operating system, your location, and other unique identifiers. Safari has introduced protection against that, and it will be interesting if Google takes a similar approach with Chrome.

This leads us to more good news, this time for Google. Google has arguably the most to gain from this change, because its advertising model doesn’t depend on the same type of tracking technology. In effect, by eliminating third-party cookies, Google is edging out any of its digital advertising competitors. Since Chrome is the most popular browser in the world, all of your web traffic is already going through Chrome. It doesn’t need cookies for that.

If you’re a digital advertiser, on the other hand, this could be very bad news. That’s especially true if you’re a smaller business or startup, since both tend to rely more heavily on digital advertising. Larger brands are able to better absorb changes like this, but if you’re bootstrapping a new company and count on PPC advertising to reach your customers, this is going to hurt.

That said, while I’m generally sympathetic to the overall challenge facing entrepreneurs in this regard, I still have to lean in the direction that it’s a good thing whenever tech companies start respecting our privacy. In fact, the headline of my column back in August was that “Google Could Make the Internet Respect Your Privacy.” At the time, I was pretty sure it wouldn’t.

In this case, I’m happy to be proved wrong.

By Jason Aten Tech columnist @jasonaten

Source: Google Says Chrome Will End Support for Third-Party Cookies That Track You. Here’s Why That’s Not All Good News

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A Beginner’s Guide To Using Keywords In Google Ads

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Google Ads can be an effective way to reach an audience of new customers. However, if you do not have a well-thought-out keyword list, your search and display ads may not be shown to those much-coveted consumers.

What is a keyword list? It is a set of terms, words and phrases that are associated with your business, brand or product. For example, if you own a yoga studio, keywords or phrases might include yoga classes, beginners’ yoga, hot yoga or meditation classes.

Beyond compiling a list of keywords and phrases that correlate to your business, think about the ways that people may search for you. Listing out your business or product name is always a must. But what if people do not already know about you? In our example of the yoga studio, keywords to use could be yoga studio near me, yoga studio in [town name], or even something as simple as good yoga studios.

The more specific your keywords are, the narrower the audience will be that finds them in their search. Ashtanga vinyasa yoga is a good keyword if you are targeting experienced and knowledgeable yogis, but it may exclude those new to the practice trying to find a studio. However, too broad of a keyword and you may be wasting money on showing your ad to people that may not be your target audience. Yoga is a pretty broad keyword and it competes with many other facets of the practice, including magazines, blogs and other online websites. Finding keywords that hit the proverbial sweet spot, as mentioned in paragraph three, will help optimize your reach to those searching for your business.

Once you have a keyword list ready, you must next decide on the modifiers. These are ways of inputting the keywords into Google Ads using quotation marks, brackets, plus signs, or leaving no modifiers of the keyword or phrase at all. The options are exact match, phrase match, broad match modifier, and broad match, respectively.

Exact Match is much like it sounds. By choosing the Exact Match modifier using brackets, ads will show when someone searches that exact term. [Beginners’ Yoga Studio] is an example of an exact match. Only someone searching that exact term will see the ad associated with that keyword.

Phrase Match uses quotation marks around the word or phrase. “Beginners’ Yoga” would be shown to those searching that phrase or a variation of that phrase, like beginners’ yoga classes.

Broad Match Modifier utilizes plus signs in front of the keywords so that they will appear when those terms, or close variations of those keywords, are searched in any order. +Beginners’ +yoga is an example of Broad Match Modifier. If someone searches yoga for beginners, the ad associated with that phrase will be shown to them.

Leaving out any modification and inputting the keywords or phrases just as they are is Broad Match. This type of matching leaves the terms open to include misspellings, synonyms and variations of the term. This is the default match when adding your keywords into Google Ads.

Which modifier is better to use is up to you. However, Google Ads makes it very easy to access your keywords and make changes at any time. If you start your ads with Broad Match but find that you are not converting customers, try Broad Match Modifier or Phrase Match. Google Ads’ dashboard can help you determine which keywords are successful. Google will also provide you recommendations on what keywords you may want to add to the campaign.

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Finally, create a negative keyword list for terms for which you do not want to be found. Using the yoga studio as an example again, if it does not offer hot yoga classes, then the term hot yoga can be added to the negative keyword list. When people search the term hot yoga, your ads will not show up, saving the money on ads to be shown to those who are in the market for your type of studio.

Google Ads can act as a driver to gain brand awareness, push more visits to your website, receive more phone calls and, most especially, grow your customer base if they are set up correctly. Taking your time with your keyword list is a great way to start.

Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?

Google’s New Chrome Move: Another Reason To Switch To Firefox?

Google’s Chrome browser has come under increasing scrutiny lately, especially after its Manifest V3 plans announced earlier this year which cause some ad blockers to break.

Now privacy advocates are honing in on a nascent web API called getInstalledRelatedApps, which has been in development since 2015 and available to experiment with since Chrome 59’s launch in 2017.

Described on GitHub, the API lets developers determine if their native app is installed on your device.

Of course, there are benefits that will improve the experience when people have multiple apps from the same developer installed on their device. It will prevent potentially annoying consequences such as receiving the same notification twice.

So what’s the problem? As an article on highly-esteemed tech site The Register points out, the purpose of this API “isn’t really about users so much as web and app publishers.”

In fact, if it isn’t handled properly, it could be a major risk to people’s security and privacy. “If done incorrectly, there’s a good chance of it being open to abuse–and with that come some pretty significant privacy and security related issues,” says security researcher Sean Wright.

Google Chrome privacy: Identifying factors

The privacy issue stems from the fact that the API would allow sites to potentially see which apps you have installed on your device. “Seeing what you have installed allows them to form a picture of what you do,” says Wright.

At the same time, it could impact your security: “Knowing which apps are installed can help attackers perform targeted phishing or to target apps with known vulnerabilities,” Wright warns.

It looks like Google will officially support this API in a future version of Chrome, according to a statement of intent posted by Google engineer Rayan Kanso at the end of November. In the post, he conceded that it would not help Chrome users directly although said it “indirectly benefits them through improved web experiences.”

Google is aware that its new move could have consequences. This week, Google engineer Yoav Weiss expressed concerns, highlighting the API’s risks. He pointed out that “the collection of bits of answers” to “Is app X installed” could reveal enough about a user to uniquely identify them.

I have reached out to Google for further comment and will update this story when it arrives.

A risk to Google Chrome users’ security and privacy: What to do

As the Register’s Thomas Claburn states, it shows “how user concerns, like privacy, don’t necessarily drive how software gets made.”

Indeed, concerns such as security and privacy often take a back seat, right behind functionality. “There has to be a balance, but unfortunately this often seems tipped in favor of functionality,” says Wright. “It’s putting the company before users. This really frustrates me because without your users, there would be no company.”

Sound familiar? That’s because it is. Increasingly often, users are being overlooked when they really should be at the heart of every product.

But there is something you can do. The only way to fight back against changes that impact privacy is to look for alternatives that do not affect you in the same way.

Many companies are hitting back against the likes of Google and Facebook, by providing services that respect their users’ privacy and security. Firefox is currently the browser of choice for those who are concerned, and many Chrome users have already moved over.

At the same time, smaller browsers such as Brave are quickly gaining a strong reputation, so it might be a good time to try something new.

Follow me on Twitter.

I’m a freelance cybersecurity journalist with over a decade’s experience reporting on the issues impacting users, businesses and the public sector. My interests within cybersecurity include critical national infrastructure, cyber warfare, application security and data misuse. I’m a keen advocate for women in security and strive to raise awareness of the gender imbalance through my writing.

Source: Google’s New Chrome Move: Another Reason To Switch To Firefox?

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