Google’s ‘Fabricius’ Tool Uses ML to Decode Hieroglyphs

· Andrew Orr · Link

Photo of Egyptian hieroglyphs

Here’s something cool that Google has created: A web tool called “Fabricius” that uses machine learning to decrypt hieroglyphs.

So far, experts had to dig manually through books upon books to translate and decipher the ancient language–a process that has remained virtually unchanged for over a century. Fabricius includes the first digital tool – that is also being released as open source to support further developments in the study of ancient languages – that decodes Egyptian hieroglyphs built on machine learning.

New News About News – TMO Daily Observations 2020-06-30

· Kelly Guimont · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

Charlotte Henry joins host Kelly Guimont to discuss updates to Apple’s News app, Google’s news partnerships, and iOS 14 updates to News+.

Google Chrome 85 Hides Full URL Addresses

· Andrew Orr · Link

Google chrome icon

Google wants to follow in Apple’s footsteps by hiding the full URL in Google Chrome 85. Instead, with an optional (for now) toggle, users can choose to have the address bar display only the top level domain.

There’s no public explanation yet for why Google is pressing ahead with these changes, but the company has said in the past that it believes showing the full address can make it harder to tell if the current site is legitimate.

However, it’s also worth considering that making the web address less important, as this feature does, benefits Google as a company. Google’s goal with Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and similar technologies is to keep users on Google-hosted content as much as possible, and Chrome for Android already modifies the address bar on AMP pages to hide that the pages are hosted by Google.

In other words, Google doesn’t want people to be able to tell the difference between Google and the internet.

Apple Helps Fight Childhood Sexual Abuse

· Jeff Butts · News

Apple Helps Fight Childhood Sexual Abuse

Apple and 17 other leaders in the tech industry are working to fight the growing problem of childhood sexual abuse and exploitation.

You Can Now Port Facebook Photos to Google

· Andrew Orr · News

Facebook logo

As part of the Data Transfer Project, customers can now port Facebook photos to Google Photos. Here’s where to find that option.

How to Spot Online Scams Using Google’s New Tool

· Andrew Orr · Link

Google scam spotter

Partnering with the Cybercrime Support Network, Google has a new tool called Scam Spotter. It gives you a quiz to help you spot online scams. It simplifies advice from experts into three golden rules:

  • Slow it down: Are they telling you it’s urgent? Take your time and ask questions to avoid being rushed into a bad situation.
  • Spot check: Are they claiming to be from a specific institution? Do your own research to double check the details you’re getting.
  • Stop! Don’t send: Are they asking you to go to the store and get gift cards? If you think a payment feels fishy, it probably is.

Google Fi Introduces eSIM Support for New iPhone Customers

· Andrew Orr · Link

Google Fi logo

First introduced last month, Google Fi is rolling out eSIM support for new iPhone customers.

This capability is tied to version 2.5 of the Google Fi companion app, which rolled out yesterday. The release notes mention how “You can now activate Fi via eSIM on select iPhone devices.”

The official help document still notes how “iOS eSIM activation only works for new users who sign up for Google Fi.”

Find the Google Fi app here.

You Can Now Lock Google Drive on iOS With Face ID, Touch ID

· Andrew Orr · Link

Google drive icon

Today Google updated Google Drive on iOS with a feature called Privacy Screen. It lets you lock the app with Face ID and Touch ID. Digital Trends notes:

The feature is activated each time you close the Drive app and reopen it and also locks files if you switch between Google Drive and another app, according to a Google spokesperson. You’ll have the option to turn this feature on and adjust its timing in Drive settings.

I personally would like Apple to let us lock every app with Face ID / Touch ID. Apps can clearly do this by themselves, but having it “baked” into the operating system is ideal.

App Store: Google Drive – Free

Leaks Reveal Google Pay Card as Rival to Apple Card

· Andrew Orr · Link

Google pay card

Leaked images of a Google Pay Card reveal that Google is busy creating a rival to Apple Card. There will also be an associated virtual card with it.

The Google card and associated checking account will allow users to buy things with a card, mobile phone or online. It connects to a Google app with new features that let users easily monitor purchases, check their balance or lock their account. The card will be co-branded with different bank partners, including CITI and Stanford Federal Credit Union.

I remember getting a card associated with my Google Pay account back in 2015 or so. They released it long before the Apple Card, but like many Google products it eventually got canceled.

Google Fi Customers Can Use iPhone eSIM

· Andrew Orr · Link

Google Fi logo

Google watchers have noticed that Google Fi customers can use the iPhone’s eSIM, although Google says this feature is in the process of rolling out.

A modern Apple device is required — XR, XS, XS Max, and 11 series, while this simplified iOS eSIM activation is currently only available to “new users who sign up for Google Fi.” The just-announced iPhone SE should also support eSIM, according to tech specs for the device.

Google: “We Don’t Sell Your Data, We Just Monetize It”

· Andrew Orr · Link

Google logo

One way to avoid the California Consumer Privacy Act is to claim that you don’t sell data. This is what Google has seemingly done.

Google monetizes what it observes about people in two major ways: It uses data to build individual profiles with demographics and interests, then lets advertisers target groups of people based on those traits. It shares data with advertisers directly and asks them to bid on individual ads.

As I tweeted yesterday, there is no difference between selling “access” to data and selling data “directly.” In both scenarios, people are products for advertisers. Although I’m sure lawsuits have been won and lost on lesser technicalities.

Google Search Reveals Private WhatsApp Groups

· Andrew Orr · Link

WhatsApp

Google indexes links to WhatsApp group invites that may be private, meaning people can find and join them.

Motherboard used a number of specific Google searches to find invite links to WhatsApp groups. Some of the groups appear to not be overly sensitive or for a particular audience. Many of the links on Google lead to groups for sharing porn.

But others appear to be catered to specific groups. Motherboard entered one WhatsApp group chat that described itself as being for NGOs accredited by the United Nations. After joining, Motherboard was able to see a list of all 48 participants and their phone numbers.