Showing posts with label Google.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Google.. Show all posts

Aug 17, 2020

News | Tech | Google's Australia Warning: Google says Australian news rule threatens free search services

Jamie Smyth 

Google has warned that a landmark Australian proposal to make it pay for news content could threaten its free search services in the country, as it vowed to fight the regulation.
The US company has also suspended a news licensing scheme it agreed with some Australian publishers this year, as it seeks to blunt what the government has described as “world leading” and necessary legislation aimed at creating a sustainable news media.
“We need to let you know about new government regulation that will hurt how Australians use Google Search and YouTube,” Google wrote in an open letter signed by its Australia managing director, Mel Silva, posted online on Monday.
Ms Silva added that the proposed regulation “would force us to provide you with a dramatically worse Google Search and YouTube, could lead to your data being handed over to big news businesses, and would put the free services you use at risk in Australia”.
Last month Australia’s competition regulator published a draft law intended to force Google and Facebook to pay media groups in exchange for carrying their content. It comes as digital platforms face increasing scrutiny globally over their market dominance and potential to impact elections.
The Financial Times has learnt that Google is also “pausing” a news licensing programme as a result of the law. The scheme, which was introduced to much fanfare in June, involves Google paying Australian publishers, including InQueensland and InDaily, for news content. Similar schemes in Brazil and Germany will not be affected.
Google’s decision to appeal to the Australian public over the law could set the scene for a massive lobbying campaign, analysts said. That would be likely to pit the Silicon Valley groups against Australia’s mainstream media and the country’s regulator as MPs consider the draft law in the coming months.
“There is a lot more concern about the power of News Corp, and how it is used, than about the power of Google,” said Terry Flew, professor of communications at Queensland University of Technology. He added that many young Australians view mainstream publishers as out of touch.
With its open letter, Mr Flew said Google appeared to be testing the waters to determine the strength of opinion on the issue.
Google has not ruled out withdrawing its news service from Australia entirely, echoing its 2014 move in Spain when the government similarly sought to make the company pay for news content.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission criticised Google’s open letter, saying it “contains misinformation” about the draft law.
“Google will not be required to charge Australians for the use of its free services such as Google Search and YouTube, unless it chooses to do so,” said Rod Sims, ACCC chair. “Google will not be required to share any additional user data with Australian news businesses unless it chooses to do so.”
Mr Sims added that it would “address a significant bargaining power imbalance” between Australian news media and internet groups. “A healthy news media sector is essential to a well-functioning democracy,” he said.

Jul 28, 2020

News | Tech | Google: Google data cable to link US, UK and Spain

4-6 minutes - Source: BBC

A Google-branded signed yellow buoy sits on the sand in as the first line is dropped Image copyright Google
Image caption One end of Google's "Curie" cable, finished last year - a similar project will land in Cornwall in 2022
Google has announced plans to build a new undersea network cable connecting the US, UK and Spain.
The tech giant says it is incorporating new technology into the cable, which it claims is a significant upgrade to older existing lines.
The project is expected to be completed by 2022.
Underwater data cables are vital to global communications infrastructure, carrying some 98% of the world's data, according to Google's estimate.
The cables are usually built by communications firms - typically a group of them pooling resources - which then charge other companies to use them.
The latest cable, named "Grace Hopper" after an American computer scientist and naval rear admiral, will hit the UK at Bude, in Cornwall. It is Google's fourth privately owned undersea cable.
But Google needs "an ever-increasing amount of transatlantic bandwidth", according to John Delaney from telecoms analyst IDC.
"Building its own cables helps them choose cable routes that are most optimal," and near data centres, he said.
"It also minimises operational expenditure by reducing the need to pay telcos and other third-party cable owners for the use of their infrastructure."
Jayne Stowell, who oversees construction of Google's undersea cable projects, told the BBC it needed an internet connection that could be relied upon.
"It's not enough to have a single cable because any element in the network can break from time to time, and if it's 8,000 metres under the sea, it takes a while to repair," she said.

Under the sea

The first ever transatlantic telecommunications cable was built in 1858, connecting Ireland and the US by telegraph.
Around 750,000 miles of cable already run between continents to support the demand for communication and entertainment - enough to run around the world almost 17 times.
Cables are required to withstand major hazards, including earthquakes and heavy currents, and have a lifespan of around 25 years.
But Ms Stowell says some of the transatlantic cables are "going out of service and we need newer, better and more sophisticated technology".
"It served its need and purpose at the time, but it's old generation," she said.
Google has yet to build a cable that lands in mainland China, where its services are restricted by the state and Ms Stowell said there are no plans to build one in the foreseeable future.
"We understand, being an American company, and understand the legalities of what we must abide by," she said. But she pointed out that the Asia market was bigger than China.
She also addressed growing fears that the world could soon see two internets: one controlled by the West and the other by China.
"The world wide web is dependent upon interconnected networks. One would hope networks would be regarded as neutral and continue to interconnect."

Wave of demand

Internet usage has skyrocketed around the world since Covid-19 restrictions were introduced. In April, Ofcom revealed that a record number of UK adults spent a quarter of their waking day online during lockdown.
As demand for high-speed internet increases around the world, companies are continuing to look for ways to reach more consumers.
And Google is not alone in pursuing ownership of vital data infrastructure.
Microsoft and Facebook, for example, are joint-owners with telecoms company Telxius of the Marea cable, which runs from the US to Spain.
In May, Facebook announced another project to build a 37,000km (23,000-mile) undersea cable to supply faster internet to 16 countries in Africa.
Ready for use by 2024, it will deliver three times the capacity of all current undersea cables serving the continent.
Africa lags behind the rest of the world in terms of internet access, with only four in 10 people having access to the web.
However, with a population of 1.3 billion, it has become a key emerging market for many businesses.

Jun 3, 2020

News | Business | Google: Google in $5bn lawsuit for tracking in 'private' mode

3minutes - Source: BBC

The Google offices in NYC are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Image copyright Getty Images
Google has been sued in the US over claims it illegally invades the privacy of users by tracking people even when they are browsing in "private mode".
The class action wants at least $5bn (£4bn) from Google and owner Alphabet.
Many internet users assume their search history isn't being tracked when they view in private mode, but Google says this isn't the case.
The search engine denies this is illegal and says it is upfront about the data it collects in this mode.
The proposed class action likely includes "millions" of Google users who since 1 June 2016 browsed the internet in private mode according to law firm Boies Schiller Flexner who filed the claim on Tuesday in federal court in San Jose, California.
Incognito mode within Google's Chrome browser gives users the choice to search the internet without their activity being saved to the browser or device. But the websites visited can use tools such as Google Analytics to track usage.
The complaint says that Google "cannot continue to engage in the covert and unauthorized data collection from virtually every American with a computer or phone".
Vigorously denying the claims Google spokesman Jose Castaneda said: "As we clearly state each time you open a new incognito tab, websites might be able to collect information about your browsing activity".
The search engine says the collection of search history, even in private viewing mode, helps site owners "better evaluate the performance of their content, products, marketing and more."
While private browsing has been available from Google for some time, Boies Schiller Flexner said it recently decided to represent three plaintiffs based in the US.
"People everywhere are becoming more aware (and concerned) that their personal communications are being intercepted, collected, recorded, or exploited for gain by technology companies they have come to depend on," it said in the filing.
One option is for visitors to install Google Analytics browser opt-out extension to disable measurement by Google Analytics, it says.

Mar 28, 2018

Google | Google’s core algorithm update: Who benefited, who lost out, and what can we learn? March 28, 2018.

Logo SEW | Daily

There’s been much talk recently about Google implementing a broad core algorithm update. A couple of weeks ago, webmasters started to notice changes to their search rankings which many suspected were due to an update to Google’s core algorithm.
Jon Earnshaw turned to the SERPs to have a look, going back in time to the period just before, during and after the recent update.

Today’s Top Story

Google’s core algorithm update: Who benefited, who lost out, and what can we learn?

There’s been much talk recently about Google implementing a broad core algorithm update. Google has suggested that this update has nothing to do with the quality of content, and instead focuses on improving the quality of the SERPs. However, if Google wasn’t testing quality, what exactly were they testing? Who benefited from the update, and what can we learn from it?
by Jon Earnshaw
Google's core algorithm update: Who benefited, who lost out, and what can we learn?

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