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Google Admits That Microsoft Beat Them To Buy GitHub

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Google Cloud CEO Diane Green says that Microsoft beat Google to buy GitHub

Earlier this month, we reported that the software giant Microsoft had officially acquired GitHub Inc. for $7.5 billion in an all-stock deal. While the news of Microsoft acquiring GitHub did not go well with the global developer community, it appears that Microsoft was the only party that was interested in purchasing the largest source-code repository in the world.

According to a report from Bloomberg, Chief of Google’s cloud business, Diane Greene while addressing Microsoft’s GitHub deal at Fortune’s annual “Most Powerful Women Evening” event in San Francisco, said, “I wouldn’t have minded buying them, but it’s OK.”

For those unaware, GitHub, is a web-based hosting service for software development projects that allows developers to use the tools of the privately-held company to store code, change, adapt and improve software from its public repositories for free. It has more than 23 million individual users in more than 1.5 million organizations. Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, and many other big tech companies use GitHub.

According to sources familiar with the GitHub deal, said that representatives from Alphabet’s Google were also in talks with the company about an acquisition in recent weeks but the deal eventually went to Microsoft. It has also been reported that GitHub’s founder Chris Wanstrath chose Microsoft because of his relationship with CEO Satya Nadella and the latter’s apparently favorable attitude towards the open-source ecosystem.

“Microsoft is a developer-first company, and by joining forces with GitHub we strengthen our commitment to developer freedom, openness and innovation,” said Nadella said when news of the GitHub acquisition was first announced. By acquiring GitHub, Nadella is hoping to restore growth and attract third-party developers to Windows.

“We recognize the community responsibility we take on with this agreement and will do our best work to empower every developer to build, innovate and solve the world’s most pressing challenges,” Nadella added.

While Alphabet’s Google has yet to confirm the bid reports, Greene too did not divulge more information on the bid by Google.

Greene, however, added that two Google products are among the most popular ones on GitHub. “I really hope Microsoft can keep them totally neutral,” she said. She echoed the feelings of the developer community, who have raised concerns over Microsoft’s purchase of the platform, as they fear that the tech giant may use its ownership of GitHub to see what projects are popular, and then launch rivals of its own.

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Google’s Files Go App can transfer files upto 490 Mpbs offline

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Google takes on Apple’s AirDrop by speeding up offline file sharing in Files Go app

Last year, Google had released a new app called Files Go for Android devices that was designed to help with file management and making offline sharing easier for users with lower-end devices in regions with limited connectivity.

For those unaware, Files Go, the default files manager app of Android Go devices, helps users to quickly locate content on their devices in one place, free up space on their devices, show users how much space they have used on their device, find and delete duplicate files, lengthy videos, back up files to the Google Drive, clean cache, uninstall unused applications and more. It also allows users to share files locally without the need for internet connection just like Apple’s AirDrop feature.

Now, in the latest update to the Files Go app, Google brings improvements to the software’s offline sharing feature with a new sharing tab and faster transfers.

The major upgrade to the Files Go app includes the following features:

Easier to find and use: Nearby sharing is now available in its own dedicated tab called “Share.” This tab has a simplified and smoother interface, and it works on any Android phone from the latest Google Pixel back to Android 5.0 (Lollipop).

Faster connections: Thanks to improved connection techniques, the average time it takes to connect two phones is now just five seconds.

Faster transfers: Files Go picks the fastest method of sending files available on your phone, such as 5GHz Wi-Fi Direct, so you get the highest transfer speeds possible. Users have seen speeds up to 490 Mbps—that’s four times faster than before, or 100 original quality photos sent in less than five seconds.

More secure: Files Go helps you verify that you are connecting to the right person and encrypts all your transfers for additional security.

Users can download the updated Files Go app from the Google Play Store here.

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These are the top 10 highest-paying jobs at Google

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Let’s have a look at the 10 best highest jobs at Google

The technology industry is widely considered one of the best-paying industry in the world, as there is an exceptional demand for people with technical skills.

Google, which is basically an engineering firm is are ready to pay the highest pay-packages to their engineers. But, it is not just the programmers who are highly paid at Google, as the search giant also pays top dollars for their deserving candidates, irrespective of the field, such as the marketing executives, finance executives and legal counselors.

Recently, Business Insider gave an insight of the highly paid packages that Google offers to their deserving candidates. BI used the annual salary data from Glassdoor, an online employment company, and entries that had at least five reviews in order to provide the best 10 highest-paying jobs at Google.

The list below shows the top 10 highest-earning that Google employees make at the company.

  1. Engineering Director

Salary: $283,591

The engineering director has the responsibility of supervising all aspects of engineering within a company. According to career building website Monster, this kind of job could require up to 10 years of experience.

  1. Group Product Manager

Salary: $253,905

Every Google project needs Product managers, as they are the connection point for interaction with sales, software engineers, marketing managers, and almost every other piece of a project. Some of Google’s best products could not take off as it didn’t have a good product manager.

  1. Director

Salary: $247,500

Irrespective of division, a Director at Google is expected to bring superior leadership skills to the company to lead and manage teams and keep everyone focused on a common goal.

  1. Senior Staff Software Engineer

Salary: $242,500

The highest paid employees at Google are its senior software engineers are they are expected to take the technical lead in whichever department they work in, whether be it YouTube, AdWords, or any other division of the company.

  1. Marketing Director

Salary: $234,741

The job of a marketing director is to spread the word about what Google has to offer, which TV commercials, blog entries, conference presentations, and much more.

  1. Senior Software Engineering Manager

Salary: $205,290

Senior Software Engineering Manager at Google is a highly-in-demand job, as the very experienced programming pro is in charge of leading teams of coders under them.

  1. Senior Product Manager

Salary: $201,600

Like the Group Product Manager, a senior product manager is also an equally important job at Google, as he or she brings the diversified engineering teams together to achieve a common goal that is important for the overall progress of Google.

  1. Staff Software Engineer

Salary: $200,923

Engineers at Google need to be excellent at solving complex problems. This is why the company was once known for challenging job candidates with puzzling brain teasers. However, Google seems to pay these employees well based on Glassdoor’s data. According to Glassdoor, Google’s salary for this position is 60% higher than the national average.

  1. Engineering Manager ll

Salary: $192,000

An engineering manager basically supervises teams of engineers who would be responsible for development, tests, creating new Google products, and improving existing ones.

  1. Product manager lll

Salary: $185,000

The job of a Product Manager is to supervise various projects dealing with company products and to keep everyone involved on the same page.

 

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Google rolls out offline reading feature for Chrome on Android

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Google Chrome for Android will automatically download articles over Wi-Fi for offline reading

Google in its latest update for Chrome browser for Android, has introduced a new feature that will automatically download news articles while connected to a free or un-metered Wi-Fi connection so that the user can view them later.

This new feature is aimed at countries where mobile connectivity tends to be more limited or there is no continuous internet coverage. This is part of Google’s Next Billion Users (NBU) initiative and the new Chrome browser update has been made available to over 100 countries, including India, Brazil, Indonesia and more. Currently, the downloading feature for offline reading is limited to articles alone.

“Today, we’re introducing another way for Chrome on Android users in India, along with more than 100 countries including Nigeria, Indonesia, and Brazil, to surf the web with Chrome on Android devices – even without a constant internet connection. When you’re connected to free, un-metered WiFi, Chrome will automatically download relevant articles, based on what content is most popular in your location,” Amanda Boss, Product Manager, Offline Chrome for Android, wrote in a blog post.

So, how does this work? According to Google, when users are connected to free, un-metered Wi-Fi, Google Chrome will automatically download “relevant articles” based on “what content is most popular in [their] location.” Additionally, if the users are signed into their Google account, the app will learn from their past browsing habits and download relevant content for offline use. The automatically downloaded content will be available along with all of the downloaded content available for access anytime, without an internet connection.

“Chrome’s goal is to make the web work well for everyone, everywhere. From building offline capabilities to an automatic data saver, we’ve launched a number of features to improve web accessibility especially tailored to NBU markets. However, it can be frustrating and hard to access the web when you lose connectivity or spend days disconnected. Spotty connectivity shouldn’t stop us from accessing our favourite sites to get information, whether it’s recent news or the latest cricket results,” added Amanda.

Users are advised to update to the latest version of Chrome via the Google Play Store for the new feature.

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Google’s AR measurement app to be soon available on Android phones

Google’s AR measurement app to be soon available on Android phones

Google’s Measure app comes to ARCore compatible devices

Google has released a new version of its measurement app via augmented reality (AR), called the ‘Measure’ that is compatible with the ARCore platform, including most recent flagships.

For those unaware, Apple also has a similar AR measurement app for iPhones that too goes by the name ‘Measure’, which was introduced as a new feature in iOS 12. This feature allows users to measure real-world objects using AR on their phone. In fact, Google’s Measure app has been around for a long time although it was available only on Project Tango devices that had specialized sensors.

The Measurement app helps in quick, everyday measurements around the house or office. It also helps in measuring the length and height of objects in the real world such as size of a rug, the width of a cabinet, or the height of a table. It allows you to switch between imperial and metric units, and save photos of measurements to your device for easy access later, which is helpful if you are in a furniture shop or hardware store. All you need to do is move your phone around the real-world object, and then drag a virtual line over the object you want to measure.

So, how do you use the app? Firstly, download the app from the Play Store, and then launch it. On launching the app, it will ask you to grant various permissions and provide information on how to use the tool. It is worth noting that the Measure app works best in well-lit areas and textured surfaces.

Once calibrated, a drawer at the bottom allows users to drag either a length or height tool into the camera viewfinder. The surfaces are highlighted with a grid of dots that the users can use to adjust the ends of the chosen tool in order to fine tune what’s being recorded. You will now be able to view the measurement of the object at the center of the blue or orange bar on your screen. Then, click a photo with the capture button in the top-right corner to save the measurement to your photo library.

To know if your device is compatible with ARCore platform, click here. You can download the Measure app from the Play Store.

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Google’s AI can predict a patient’s death with more accuracy than hospitals

Google's AI can predict a patient's death with more accuracy than hospitals

Google AI can help doctors predict when patients might die

Google’s Medical Brain” team have used a new type of artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm that can make predictions about a patient’s death more accurately than hospital doctors, reports Bloomberg.

Google’s findings were published in the Nature partner journal Digital Medicine in May. In one major case study in the research, Google applied its neural networks, a form of AI, on a woman with cancer who had arrived at a city hospital with late-stage breast cancer, fluids already flooding in her lungs. The hospital’s Early Warning System predicted that the woman had a 9.3% chance of dying during her stay, while Google’s AI said the risks of death were higher at 19.9%. Unfortunately, the woman passed away less than two weeks later.

These models outperformed traditional, clinically used predictive models in all cases. We believe that this approach can be used to create accurate and scaleable predictions for a variety of clinical scenarios,” the company researchers wrote in the research paper.

To make its predictions, the software analyses patient’s data such as ethnicity, age, gender, previous diagnosis, lab results and vital signs. In this case, Google’s AI analyzed the 175,639 data points found in the patient’s electronic medical records, which included interpreting and evaluating handwritten notes. The inclusion of all this information is what makes this AI different from previous traditional methods.

In general, prior work has focused on a subset of features available in the EHR, rather than on all data available in an EHR, which includes clinical free-text notes, as well as large amounts of structured and semi-structured data,” the research paper reads.

What particularly impressed medical experts the most “was Google’s ability to sift through data previously out of reach: notes buried in PDFs or scribbled on old charts.

Google research scientist and medical doctor Alvin Rajkomar MD, said: “When patients get admitted to a hospital, they have many questions about what will happen next. When will I be able to go home? Will I get better? Will I have to come back to the hospital? Predicting what will happen next is a natural application of machine learning.” 

This new AI technology can help doctors make better diagnosis and be a real boon to hospitals, ultimately resulting in improved patient care.

Although the system is still in its initial stages, Google believes it could someday be used to predict death much longer in advance. Google also wants to work on AI tools that can predict not only death risk, but also symptoms and diseases. 

The AI has been developed in collaboration with colleagues at UC San Francisco, Stanford Medicine and The University of Chicago Medicine.

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Google launches updated DIY kits for AI Voice and Vision

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Google rolls out updated DIY AI Vision and Voice kits that include a Raspberry Pi Zero

Last year, Google had launched its ‘AIY (“Artificial Intelligence Yourself”)’ projects also known as “AI DIY” to improve and create tools that will give the developers the power to build AI into their projects. Back then, the search giant had launched two do-it-yourself kits: Voice Kit and Vision Kit, which were specially designed to integrate into educational plans.

Google in a blog post said that they’ve noticed “continued demand” for the Voice and Vision Kits “especially from the STEM audience where parents and teachers alike have found the products to be great tools for the classroom.”

Now, the search giant has released updated versions of its Voice Kit and Vision Kit that are not only easy to assemble but also more widely available. This will give students and educators an easy, cheap platform for developing and programming their own “smart” gadgets.

“We’re taking the first of many steps to help educators integrate AIY into STEM lesson plans and help prepare students for the challenges of the future by launching a new version of our AIY kits,” Google notes.

Previously, the Voice Kit and the Vision Kit, had to depend upon the Raspberry Pi board, which the users had to purchase separately other than the AIY kits. However, Google has decided to make it easy for you to build your own smart speaker similar to a Google Home or a smart home camera that can detect faces and expressions by including everything that you need, including the boards in the updated versions of its Voice Kit and Vision Kit. The box will also include clear instructions on how to setup.

“To make setup easier, both kits have been redesigned to work with the new Raspberry Pi Zero WH, which comes included in the box, along with the USB connector cable and pre-provisioned SD card. Now users no longer need to download the software image and can get running faster. The updated AIY Vision Kit v1.1 also includes the Raspberry Pi Camera v2,” Google adds.

Google is also releasing an AIY companion app for Android, available in Google Play, to make wireless setup and configuration a snap. Google is also working on releasing an AIY companion app for iOS and Chrome very soon.

You can purchase the new Vision Kit and Voice Kit at U.S. Target Stores and Target.com for $89.99 and $49.99 respectively. Google is working on to make both the kits widely available in the world.

Source: Google

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Google to Launch a Mid-range Pixel smartphone in India

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Google plans a big consumer play in India by expanding into the smartphone, laptop, and smart home market

Google has been planning to expand its reach in the Indian consumer market for a long time now. To achieve this, the search giant has now come up with a strong India-focused strategy to roll out consumer products along with a low-cost pixel phone to take on competitors such as Apple, Samsung, and Amazon.

According to the ETtech report, four industry executives have said that California-based Alphabet, the parent company of Google, will launch a mid-range smartphone, premium laptop Pixel book, smart speakers, and other intelligent home automation products especially for markets such as India. Besides these, the company also has plans of expanding their distribution in the to general trade by spending big on marketing and advertising, something that Apple and Samsung have been doing for years, according to a senior industry executive. The company is looking to expand in the offline market, as it plans to open up its own stores in the country.

Recently, select Indian retailers took part in Google’s trade meet held in Malaysia, the, UK and the U.S. last month wherein Google’s top brass shared information of its consumer products expansion plans in the Indian offline market in the future.

“Google is excited about the expansion of the consumer products business in India with the advent of the cheap 4G internet led by Reliance Jio and other operators which it says will help to realize the maximum potential of these products,” said a leading retailer who had participated in the meet.

Google plans to roll out its smart speakers, Google Home and Google Home Mini in India by the end of this month, which will compete against Amazon’s Echo speakers. The company plans to undertake a massive countrywide advertising campaign for this, they said.

Similarly, Google plans to launch a mid-range Pixel smartphone in India by the end of second quarter of 2018, with its next flagship Pixel smartphone expected to hit the market during Diwali.

Google plans to launch a mid-range Pixel smartphone focused on price-sensitive markets such as India around July-August, and its next flagship Pixel smartphone may hit the market around Diwali, they said.

The search giant is also looking to launch the Chrome OS based Pixelbook laptop, Google Wi-Fi as well as intelligent home automation products including doorbell, security cameras, alarm system, and smoke detector, from its popular Nest brand, the executives said. The company is also expected to launch some Android Oreo (Go Edition) devices, for mid-ranged customers that will likely be sold by partner brands.

One retailer familiar with Google’s plans said that the company “does not plan to become over-aggressive to chase market share in the consumer products space; instead, it first wants to have a sizeable retail presence in the country and build the brand.”

Source: ETtech

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Google Shutting Down Its URL Shortener service

google is shutting down URL shortner service Goo.gl

Google to retire URL shortener service next year, but existing links will work

Google has announced that it will shut down its URL shortener service, also known as “goo.gl” next month followed by a complete closure by 2019. Starting April 13, 2018, the service will no longer accept new users and will discontinue the service for existing users on March 30, 2019.

For those unaware, goo.gl is a URL shortening service offered by Google that was introduced in December 2009 and initially used for Google Toolbar and Feedburner before going public in September 2010. It is now one of the widely used and popular tools for publishers, marketing, and branding agencies.

While neither Google’s FeedBurner nor the Toolbar exists now, the search giant wants the users and developers to move to Firebase Dynamic Links (FDL). Starting April 13, 2018, FDLs, which are essentially smart URLs will replace Google’s goo.gl. Google is encouraging developers to make use of FDL APIs, which will automatically detect a user’s platform and direct other users to any location within an iOS, Android or web app.

In a blog post on Friday, Michael Hermanto, Software Engineer, Firebase, said, “We launched the Google URL Shortener back in 2009 as a way to help people more easily share links and measure traffic online. Since then, many popular URL shortening services have emerged and the ways people find content on the Internet have also changed dramatically, from primarily desktop web pages to apps, mobile devices, home assistants, and more.”

He also added, “URL Shortener has been a great tool that we’re proud to have built. As we look towards the future, we’re excited about the possibilities of Firebase Dynamic Links, particularly when it comes to dynamic platform detection and links that survive the app installation process. We hope you are too!”

Hermanto noted that the decision to turn down support for goo.gl is “to refocus its efforts as it transitions to another service that will fill the void.”

Further, users who are looking to create new short links should use FDLs from now on, or try other popular URL shortener services provided by companies like Bitly (bit.ly) and Owly (ow.ly) as an alternative.

Google also noted that “all links will continue to redirect to the intended destination after March 30, 2019. However, existing short links will not be migrated to the Firebase console/API.” But consumers can still manage short links through the console until that time. Additionally, development projects that have not used the URL Shortener APIs before May 30, 2018, will not be able to create short links with the service.

Source: Google Blog

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Google removes the term “Kodi” from its autocomplete search box

google removed kodi from search result

Google now makes it harder for people to search for “Kodi”

In recent years, Google has made several changes to its search algorithms to make the copyright-infringing material less accessible after entertainment industry groups repeatedly insisted the search giant to tighten its anti-piracy efforts.

Google has now added “Kodi” to its autocomplete piracy filter of the search engine, as it is viewed as being “closely associated with copyright infringement”, reports TorrentFreak.

For those unaware, Kodi works as a centralized, legal, open source media center that allows you to access all of your digital audio, movies, TV shows, music collection and photo library from a single, convenient place, whenever and wherever you are. However, its support for third-party add-ons, including those that allow for illegal streaming of copyrighted content without paying for it, often makes it look illegal.

“Google has taken steps to prevent terms closely associated with piracy from appearing in Autocomplete and Related Search,” the search giant had previously explained. “This is similar to the approach we have taken for a narrow class of terms related to pornography, violence, and hate speech.”

Therefore, Google has removed the term “Kodi” from its autocomplete results. As spotted by TorrentFreak, when someone starts typing in “kod” into Google search, they will see suggestions like “kodak”, “kodak black”, “kodaline”, “kodiak”, and pretty much anything apart from Kodi. However, when one types “kodi” with a space afterward, options like “kodi addons” and “kodi download” appear. Similarly, when typing “addons for k”, Google suggests addons for Kokotime, addons for krypton 17.6(A Kodi build!) and addons for kronos wow.

 

google removes kodi from search result
Google autocomplete search suggestions removed “Kodi” term

When asked about its latest decision to remove Kodi, a Google spokesperson told TorrentFreak, “Since 2011, we have been filtering certain terms closely associated with copyright infringement from Google Autocomplete. This action is consistent with that long-standing strategy.”

The Kodi team, operated by the XBMC Foundation, is not impressed with Google’s move. “We are surprised and disappointed to discover Kodi has been removed from autocomplete, as Kodi is perfectly legal to open source software,” Nathan Betzen, the president of the XBMC Foundation said. “We have a professional relationship with the MPAA, who have specifically made clear in the past their own position that Kodi is legal software. We hope Google will reconsider this decision in the future, or at a minimum limit their removal to search terms where the legality is actually in dispute.”

Despite, the Kodi team actively making efforts to distance itself from piracy by issuing trademark takedown notices to those selling piracy-configured Kodi boxes, has not helped them in case of Google. In the past, Google has removed terms like pirate bay, BitTorrent, and uTorrent from the autocomplete results.

Source: TorrentFreak, The Verge

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