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Google Pixel 3 referenced in AOSP

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Google Pixel XL hands-on

The Google Pixel 3 is expected to launch later this year, but we’re getting our first mention of the device today.

The Pixel 3 has appeared in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). There aren’t any images or specs or anything like that, but there is a mention of the device that appears to be the first reference to the Pixel 3.

In a commit spotted by XDA Developers that’s titled “Cherrypick ‘Add device config to decide which Auto Selection Network UI to use’,” the upcoming Pixel 3 is called out by name. Here’s the paragraph of text included in the commit:

Google Pixel 3 AOSP

While it’s not much, it is exciting to see Google mention the Pixel 3 by name. There aren’t many details on the device available right now, but Google has announced the previous two generations of Pixel phones in early October, so we may see the Pixel 3 make its debut in October of this year.

What do you want to see from a Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL?

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Ungrateful Google Plebes Somehow Not Excited to Work on Military Industrial Complex Death Machines

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“Don’t Be Evil” has been one of Google’s corporate maxims for over 15 years. But it’s recent dealings with the Department of Defense has put that ideal on ice. For some reason, Google’s workers aren’t psyched about this!

Over three thousand Google employees signed a recent public letter demanding CEO Sundar Pichai shut down Project Maven — a Department of Defense contract to create a “customized AI surveillance engine” — and publicize a clear policy that “neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology.”

The letter’s got some pretty direct language, calling the company out on its loss of the aforementioned core value: “Google’s unique history, its motto Don’t Be Evil, and its direct reach into the lives of billions of users set it apart.” The commoditization of people’s personal data (ergo, their psyches) not withstanding, obviously.

Gizmodo reported on Project Maven earlier last month, when they described it as “using machine learning to identify vehicles and other objects in drone footage, taking that burden off analysts.” Google and the Pentagon fired back, stating that the technology wouldn’t be used to create an autonomous weapons system that can identify targets and fire without a human squeezing the trigger.

CEO Pichai spun the letter and public exchange with the company as “hugely important and beneficial” in a statement to the New York Times, but of course, didn’t refer to any plans to throw the brakes on the project. Pichai’s statement went on to say that the tech used by the Pentagon is available to “any Google Cloud customer” and reserved specifically for “non-offensive purposes.”

Thing is, Google’s far from the only tech industry player in cahoots with the military. Red flags immediately went up when news broke that a team of researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) was partnering up with weapons company Hanwha Systems — a company that produces cluster bombs, not exactly a popular form of warfare, as far as these things go. Fifty researchers from thirty countries called for an immediate boycott of the Korean institute.

Microsoft and Amazon both signed multi billion dollar contracts with the Department of Defense to develop cloud services. Credit where it’s due: At least the DOD isn’t trying to spin this as anything other than death machine-making. Defense Department chief management officer John Gibson didn’t beat around the bush when he said the collaboration was designed in part to “increase lethality and readiness.”

So that’s fun! And if Google’s recent advancements in AI tech faced a similar fate, think: Weaponized autonomous drones, equipped with private data, and a sophisticated AI. Not saying this is exactly how SkyNet starts, but, this is basically how SkyNet starts.

The counter to this argument, insomuch as there is one, is that these technological developments lead to better data, and better data leads to better object identification technology, which could also lead to more precise offensives, which could lead (theoretically) to less civilian casualties, or at least (again, theoretically) increased accountability on the part of the military (analog: the calculator should make it exponentially more difficult to get numbers “wrong” on your taxes, so the automated hyper-targeted death robots should make it exponentially more difficult to “accidentally” murder a school full of children).

All of which should go without saying that collaboration between the Department of Defense and various Silicon Valley tech companies is a dangerous game, and we have seen how quickly the balance can tilt in one direction. Having informed tech employees call out their CEOs publicly could hopefully lead to tech companies choosing their military contracts more carefully, or at least, more light being shed on who’s making what technologies, or rather, what technologies Silicon Valley coders are unknowingly working on.

More likely is that it just results in these companies being more discreet about the gobstoppingly shady (but profitable!) death machine work they’re doing. Good thing — like the rest of the world with a brain in their heads — we’re all ears.

The post Ungrateful Google Plebes Somehow Not Excited to Work on Military Industrial Complex Death Machines appeared first on Futurism.

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Some interesting stats about Google Play Store vs. Apple App Store apps and development

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

We don’t usually cover infographics and comparisons on Android Police – most are biased, pointless, or without much credibility – but this latest data set from appfigures made us stop and do a double-take because it presented interesting stats from a rather reputable app analytics company.

appfigures‘ report looked at 10 different questions regarding the Play Store and App Store and tried to answer them with stats pulled from its Explorer app research tool.

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Some interesting stats about Google Play Store vs. Apple App Store apps and development was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google employees demand the company pull out of Pentagon AI project

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Last month, it was revealed that Google was offering its resources to the US Department of Defense for Project Maven, a research initiative to develop computer vision algorithms that can analyze drone footage. In response, more than 3,100 Google employees have signed a letter urging Google CEO Sundar Pichai to reevaluate the company’s involvement, as “Google should not be in the business of war,” as reported by The New York Times.

Work on Project Maven began last April, and while details on what Google is actually providing to the DOD are not clear, it is understood that it’s a Pentagon research initiative for improved analysis of drone footage. In a press statement, a Google spokesperson confirmed that the company was giving the DOD a…

Continue reading…

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Google may launch mid-range Pixel smartphone this summer

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Google Pixel 2 XL hands-on

Google’s Pixel phones have all been high-end models, but the company may soon switch things up with a mid-range model.

Google plans to roll out its products in India, and that may include a new mid-range Pixel smartphone. That’s according to four sources speaking to the Economic Times, who add that this mid-range device would be made especially for price-sensitive markets like India.

In addition to this mid-range phone, Google plans to launch its Google Home and Google Home Mini smart speakers, its home automation products, and its Pixelbook laptop in India, says today’s report.

Google is reportedly aiming to launch devices like the Google Home and Google Home Mini at the end of April with prices of Rs 9,999 and Rs 4,999, respectively. The mid-range Pixel device is expected to arrive sometime around July or August.

Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are great smartphones, but because they’re premium models with high-end specs, they’re rather pricey. A mid-range Pixel could help get Google’s smartphones into the hands on consumers that can’t want to or don’t want to spend the money for a flagship-tier model and get them into the Google ecosystem.

Would you be interested a more affordable, mid-range Google Pixel smartphone?

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Google Maps v9.75 beta rolls out with notifications for transit maps, hints of bicycle sharing integration, and mystery LG “perks” [APK Teardown]

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Late last night, the latest version of Google Maps began rolling out through the beta channel. For many people, this will likely bring new notifications with convenient shortcuts to local area transit maps. There are also signs that Google is adding integration with bicycle sharing services, a vague hint of new activity around speed limits, and possibly some new perks for Local Guides.

What’s New

Unofficial Changelog: (the stuff we found)

  • Transit maps in notifications
  • Nearby traffic notification toggle

Transit maps in notifications (for India?)

Google Maps has been making huge leaps at improving mass transit features over the last couple of years with new and improved features like step-by-step navigation through stops and updated train schedules.

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Google Maps v9.75 beta rolls out with notifications for transit maps, hints of bicycle sharing integration, and mystery LG “perks” [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google Voice opens up testing for data-only VoIP calls

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Google Voice has long been helpful for receiving phone calls regardless of the device you're using. That's assuming you want a conventional call, though — it can be a pain if you're traveling and face roaming charges, or in those moments when you w…
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Google Voice gets Wi-Fi calling beta test

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Google Voice app icon

Good news, Google Voice users: A useful new feature is coming to your service.

Google is now offering a beta test of Wi-Fi calling for Google Voice. With Wi-Fi calling, you can make calls from any device with a Wi-Fi connection, you can reduce roaming charges, and you can stay in contact even if you’ve got a poort cellular connection.

You can try out the beta version of Wi-Fi calling for Google Voice right now. Just fill out this form, update your Google Voice app, and then you’ll get an email with further instructions.

Wi-Fi calling for Google Voice is currently available on Android and the web, with iOS support coming soon. If you’re calling from your computer, you’ll need to use Chrome for now. Google says that support for Firefox, Safari, and Edge is coming soon.

Here’s a list of the known issues with Google Voice Wi-Fi calling right now:

  • Obihai devices won’t work if you enable calling over Wi-Fi (e.g. Incoming calls won’t ring your Obihai phone if you turn on calling over Wi-Fi and mobile data)
  • You won’t be able to use incoming call options (call recording & call transfer) when you enable calling over Wi-Fi and mobile data
  • On your computer, Wi-Fi calling only work with Chrome. Support for Firefox, Safari and Edge coming soon!
  • Android Bluetooth support:
  1. You won’t be able to use the buttons on your bluetooth device to answer calls or hang up
  2. Unable to use earpiece mode when a bluetooth device is paired
  3. Depending on your Android version, your calls might drop if you try to switch between Bluetooth and speakerphone.

Wi-Fi calling is a very nice addition to Google Voice. As I mentioned before, you can use Wi-Fi calling from more devices, and it means that you don’t need to rely on a cell carrier’s network to stay connected. You just need to find any Wi-Fi hotspot and you’ll be good to go. If you’re a Google Voice user, the addition of Wi-Fi calling seems pretty great.

Do you use Google Voice? If so, are you going to try Wi-Fi calling?

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