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Friday, September 27, 2019

Google doodle on Google's 21st birthday


Not a single day passes out ! ~ without our searching something on ‘Google’.  The word ‘google’ has become a verb and is synonymous with searching something - on all and sundry information that one thinks of knowing ! .. ..

Of course there is much more than the simple search engine.  Earlier this week, Google unveiled "Google Play Pass." For one, monthly price, Android users have access to hundreds of premium games and apps, with no ads and no in-app purchases. Here's what you need to know about the service and some answers to questions you may have about Play Pass.  Google is currently running a limited-time offer where you can subscribe to Play Pass for only $1.99 per month.  Google Play Pass allows you to download a variety of games and apps that would normally cost anywhere from $0.99 to $9.99 per download. The subscription also allows you to unlock in-app purchases and expansion packs that would normally gamers an additional cost.

Intellectuals often talk about ‘quantum physics !’ .. .. In theoretical physics, quantum field theory (QFT) is a theoretical framework that combines classical field theory, special relativity, and quantum mechanics and is used to construct physical models of subatomic particles (in particle physics) and quasiparticles (in condensed matter physics) !!  Google appears to have reached an impressive milestone known as quantum supremacy, where a quantum computer is able to perform a calculation that is practically impossible for a classical one. But there are plenty of hurdles left to jump over before the technology hits the big time. For a start the processors need to be more powerful. Unlike classical computers which store data as either a 0 or a 1, quantum computers handle data as a mixture of these two states.

Away from all this ~ Google is celebrating its 21st  birthday today  with a special Doodle. The search engine was founded in Sept 1998 by two PhD students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, in their dormitories at California’s Stanford University. Having developed a search algorithm known as ‘Backrub’ two years earlier, Page and Brin chose the name Google for their new project because it recalled the word ‘googol’ – a mathematical term meaning ‘10 raised to the power of 100’.

At a time when the World Wide Web was still in its infancy, Page and Brin’s lofty goal was to “organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”.  Now it is a very big Company, a great money spinner ! .. .. Google LLC is an American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, which include online advertising technologies, search engine, cloud computing, software, and hardware. It is considered one of the Big Four technology companies, alongside Amazon, Apple and Facebook. Together  Page & Brin, own about 14 percent of its shares and control 56 percent of the stockholder voting power through supervoting stock. They incorporated Google as a California privately held company on Sept 4, 1998 in California. An initial public offering (IPO) followed in  2004, and Google moved to its headquarters in Mountain View, California, nicknamed the Googleplex. In August 2015, Google announced plans to reorganize its various interests as a conglomerate called Alphabet Inc. Google is Alphabet's leading subsidiary and will continue to be the umbrella company for Alphabet's Internet interests. Mr Sundar Pichai was appointed CEO of Google, replacing Larry Page who became the CEO of Alphabet.

The company's rapid growth since incorporation has triggered a chain of products, acquisitions, and partnerships beyond Google's core search engine (Google Search). It offers services designed for work and productivity (Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides), email (Gmail/Inbox), scheduling and time management (Google Calendar), cloud storage (Google Drive), instant messaging and video chat (Google Allo, Duo, Hangouts), language translation (Google Translate), mapping and navigation (Google Maps, Waze, Google Earth, Street View), video sharing (YouTube), note-taking (Google Keep), and photo organizing and editing (Google Photos).  Google.com is the most visited website in the world. Several other Google services also figure in the top 100 most visited websites, including YouTube and Blogger.

Though we fail to notice, lots of changes do happen.  According to a Reddit thread on /r/google, the search engine has quietly removed a button that allowed users of Google Image Search to quickly find results within a custom time frame. Now, the date filter on Google's Image search only has buttons that allow users to find images from the past year and newer on the fly. This is not the first set of filter buttons Google has removed from the image search engine this year: Last month, the company removed the ability for users to filter results by "minimum size," "exact size," and "full color." These feature buttons, however, are still available in "advanced search." Custom date range is not yet available as a button within advanced.

Another article citing Quick Heal security labs  says that 29  malicious apps have been discovered on Google Play Store with a collective download count of more than 10 million. The apps were removed by Google soon after. One of the malicious apps from this set named 'multiapp multiple accounts simultaneously' has crossed 5 million installs and out of the 29 apps, 24 are from 'HiddAd' category that hides the icon after first launch and create a shortcut on home screen of the phone. "The remaining 5 apps are of 'Adware' category and would generally get into your Android phones through advertisements. Users see many advertisements every time they visit social media sites like YouTube, Facebook, etc, which promote different mobile applications. The 'Adware' apps pretend to offer a functionality of magnifying the view, but in reality these show heavy advertisement on user's mobile, eventually draining phone battery and causing heavy data usage and productivity loss.

Google announced yesterday that they will not be showing links to new stories in France due to the EU Copyright Laws that were announced earlier this year. Instead of showing snippets of European news stories, Google News feed will now only display previews and thumbnail images from the news stories unless the publishers agree to provide them with the content for free. It is a major disappointment for France, which is the first country for the law to be implemented, as they were expecting additional revenue in concurrence with the new copyright law. With the new EU copyright law approved by the European Parliament the expectation was that Google would have to pay publishers to use snippets of their content with a term they referred to as "link tax."  Google says that they do not pay for news content as a matter of policy. In fact, in 2014 they shut down Google News in Spain after a law passed that mandated payments on sharing news content.

These and much more ~ Google offers so much of interesting things ! ~ Happy birthday Google

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
27th Sept 2019.

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