Google to penalize sites for popup ads touting apps

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Ever been to a website, and just when you settle into the second or third sentence, the screen darkens subtly and a giant popup ad covers everything begging you to Get The App? Google hates them too. Read the rest

Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and others join to create royalty-free video codecs for all

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The group plans to develop a new generation of royalty-free open source digital media formats for video, audio, and still images.

In Google's new logo, serifs a no-go

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It's all about looking better on increasingly smaller devices.

Boston's WGBH initiates careless, groundless legal action against Fedflix project

Rogue archivist Carl Malamud writes, "I got mugged by a bunch of Boston hooligans. Readers of Boing Boing may be familiar with my FedFlix project which has resulted in 6,000 government videos getting posted to YouTube and the Internet Archive." Read the rest

Google covertly lobbied against net neutrality in India

The company emailed members of the Government Relations committee of the Indian ISP association, asking them to support Facebook's Internet.org program, which delivers "a poor Internet for poor people." Read the rest

New Google robot named Atlas is obviously drunk

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Atlas the robot recently walked in the woods for the first time. From the looks of that bot-wobble, it looks like he packed his forest flask.

Google shakes its structure up with Alphabet, and Sundar Pichai becomes Google CEO

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Google, the core search business that started it all, will have a new CEO: Sundar Pichai.

Ex-GOOG diversity boss promised "UK's 1st women's history museum," built a Jack the Ripper "museum"

Former Google diversity officer Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe promised the Tower Hamlets council "the first women’s museum in the UK" if they would approve a zoning change that let him add three storeys and an extra floor, but what he built was a Jack the Ripper "museum." Read the rest

Woman busts husband smoking in Google Street View image

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After Donald Ryding, 58, suffered a heart attack, he told his wife Julie that he had quit smoking. He was proven a fibber though when Julie saw a Google Street View image of Donald sneaking a puff on their of their driveway in Merseyside, England. Read the rest

Latent doglizards of cheeseglopping pizza-ads

Take one Google Inceptionism neural-net system, which, when fed its own output over and over, begins to hallucinate dogish-lizardoids in random noise; add one supercut of cheese-porn pizza ads; stir thoroughly and strain. (via JWZ) Read the rest

WATCH: More DeepDream obsessions

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Since Cory posted about the Deep Dream image recognition algorithm last month (and Rob earlier today) it's inspired an explosion of iterations like Roelof Pieters' DeepDreamed Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas. Read the rest

July 4: Rumblefish claims to own US Navy rendition of "America the Beautiful"

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Adafruit Industries has been stripped of revenues from its Youtube channel after Rumblefish -- a notorious music-rights agency -- claimed to own the copyright on a public domain, taxpayer-funded rendition of "America the Beautiful." Read the rest

BBC's list of pages de-indexed through Europe's "right to be forgotten"

Under a crazy, ineffectual EU court ruling, people can petition Google and its rivals to de-index news articles from their European search-results. Read the rest

Chrome update turns browsers into covert listening tools

The default behavior of hotword, a new, black-box module in Chrome (and its free/open cousin, Chromium) causes it to silently switch on your computer's microphone and send whatever it hears to Google. Read the rest

Teaching image-recognition algorithms to produce nightmarish hellscapes

In "Inceptionism," scientists at Google Research describe their work training neural nets with sets of images, then tweaking the "layers" of neural net nodes to produce weird outcomes. Read the rest

Secret security questions deemed insecure

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Google analyzed the "secret questions" used by its vast userbase and was not surprised to learn that they are mostly terrible.

In a blog post at the company's Online Security Blog, Elie Bursztein said that "secret questions are neither secure nor reliable enough to be used as a standalone account recovery mechanism."

"That’s because they suffer from a fundamental flaw," Bursztein wrote. "Their answers are either somewhat secure or easy to remember—but rarely both."

Here are some specific insights:

With a single guess, an attacker would have a 19.7% chance of guessing English-speaking users’ answers to the question

• "What is your favorite food?" (it was ‘pizza’, by the way) With ten guesses, an attacker would have a nearly 24% chance of guessing Arabic-speaking users’ answer to the question

• "What’s your first teacher’s name?" With ten guesses, an attacker would have a 21% chance of guessing Spanish-speaking users’ answers to the question,

• "What is your father’s middle name?" With ten guesses, an attacker would have a 39% chance of guessing Korean-speaking users’ answers to the question "What is your city of birth?" and a 43% chance of guessing their favorite food.

They're not the first to acknowledge the problems with secret questions. Read the rest

Eric Shit is a portrait of Eric Schmidt painted in an unorthodox medium

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Google CEO Eric Schmidt, famous for weirdly off-kilter mockery of the privacy his company exploits for its billions, has been immortalized in shit.

Artist Katsu selected "Eric Shit" as the second in his series of portraits created using his own excrement. The first was of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Techcrunch's Kim-Mai Cutler interviewed Katsu, who explained that his process is born in a fascination with the artistic possibilities of human-produced materials…

… But it’s really about bio-data. These titans of the cloud, are like, basically in competition to control every bit of granular data about individuals. That’s what makes their companies so powerful. They understand that human data has this immense value and they’re shielding and hiding that from the public. Maybe feces is the last thing that they could possibly control.

Here's a video of the artwork (demonstrating its LED-flashing frame) posted by alexaspace (via The Verge's James Vincent). Read the rest

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