• Google Doesn't Plan To Send CEO To Testify At Hearing
    Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey have a agreed to attend a senate hearing next week, but neither Google nor its parent company Alphabet offered anyone who holds an executive office position. Google did offer to send Kent Walker, its senior vice president of Global Affairs. But those sitting on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which wants to talk about tech's role in protecting elections from misinformation and disinformation, wants someone in a higher position to attend and have threatened to leave an empty chair during the session to represent a missing attendee.
  • Microsoft Retooling Cortana For Mobile Users
    Microsoft wants users to tap into Cortana, it's virtual assistant, even when they're away from their computer screen. But the majority of its followers sit in front of a computer screen at their desk when using the Windows operating system. Microsoft wants to change that, so it's retooling Cortana, according to the Wall Street Journal. The major problem is Google owns the market for mobile, especially search. Cortana is avaialble on mobile, but it's typically not the choice for those who use virtual assistants on the go. Microsoft also hopes to increase it's share of voice interactions through a partnership with …
  • Google Works With Michael Kors To Introduce A Smart Runway Watch
    The latest version of the Michael Kors Runway, complete with Google Assistant, sports fitness features like untethered GPS to accurately track runs and walks, heart rate monitoring. It also has swim-proof functions and it's compatible with Google Pay, which means those wearing the timepiece can make purchases, manage tasks. 
  • Google Assistant Plays Songs On Pandora Premium
    Google Home has been available to Pandora's Plus and ad-supported subscribers for nearly two years, but on Tuesday the company announced that  Premium listeners can use their voice to play on-demand tunes and playlists. The feature also lets the listener find a song if they don't know the title, as long as they know some of the lyrics. 
  • Alphabet Invests $375M In Oscar, Gains A 10% Stake
    Alphabet, Google's parent company, has invested $375 million in the health insurance company, Oscar Health. TechCrunch reports that the $165 million round the company raised in March valued the health startup at around $3 billion. And while the new round maintains a similar valuation for the company, it gives Alphabet a 10% share in Oscar. The deal also finds longtime Google employee and former CEO Salar Kamangar joining Oscar’s board.    
  • Google Welcome Back In China If It Follows State Rules
    Google can return to China if it follows the rules, according to reports. People’s Daily, the Chinese newspaper sanctioned by the state, ran an opinion piece on Monday explaining that the country would welcome back Google if it follows China’s strict internet rules, according to CNBC. The report also quotes Robin Li, CEO of rival Baidu, the top search engine in China, as saying that if Google returns, it will lose.
  • Search And The Underlying Truth About Behavior
    A look into the digital self and what Google knows that social media does not has author and data scientist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz discussing how to find insights into human behavior through keywords that lead up to information on the topic that the person initially set out to find. 
  • Google Implements Two-Step Verification For Google Ads
    Google announced Monday it will allow administrative users to implement a two-step verification process for Google Ads. The authentication policy becomes available for all users who have access to the account.
  • Tech Companies Warm To Working With U.S. Privacy Policy Makers
    Tech coalitions like Information Technology Industry Council that represent companies like Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook and Salesforce are hoping to work with policy makers in the U.S. to help shape privacy laws, according to the Wall Street Journal. There are worries that state-by-state rules, like the one passed recently in California, could create a "burdensome patchwork of regulation."
  • Epic Games To Keep Fortnite Out Of Google Play
    Game maker Epic Games plans to keep Fortnite out of the Google PlayStore when it releases it for Android phones. The company's CEO Tim Sweeney told The Verge that this is partly to avoid the 30% cut Google takes for the sale of in-app purchases of games sold. "The announcement marks a bold departure from the widespread industry practice of using mobile operating system makers like Apple and Google for app distribution," reports The Verge.
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