Google to Fix HEIC Photo Backup 'Bug'

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Redditor u/stephenvsawyer found that HEIC photos were given unlimited backups to Google Photos because they are smaller than JPGs. If Google tried to compress them the files would actually get bigger, which would be a waste of storage space. But Google calls it a bug and says it will fix it.

However, what that means remains unclear. Would Google start charging for HEIC images stored in Photos, even if they’re small and don’t take up much space? Would it forcibly re-convert those pics to compressed JPEG, or compress them further under the HEIC format? And will the fix apply to all HEIC images or just iPhones?

I’m not sure how Google will fix it unless they just check if the file extension is .HEIC and arbitrarily limit these files (arbitrary since converting them would increase their size).

Google Built Fake Webpages Called 'Push Pages' to Defy GDPR

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As part of Google’s DoubleClick/Authorized Buyers advertising system, the company created hidden webpages for advertisers that violate its own policies.

Google Push Pages are served from a Google domain (https://pagead2.googlesyndication.com) and all have the same name, “cookie_push.html”. Each Push Page is made distinctive by a code of almost two thousand characters, which Google adds at the end to uniquely identify the person that Google is sharing information about. This, combined with other cookies supplied by Google, allows companies to pseudonymously identify the person in circumstances where this would not otherwise be possible.

Google Bans Apple Card From Advertising Platform

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Google doesn’t want customers to use virtual card numbers, and that includes the one Apple Card uses. An anonymous person writes about their experience.

Last week I received my Apple Card and decided to use it on my Google Ads account for another project. Getting a little bit of daily cash back for my meager ad spend was attractive. Within a couple of hours of updating my payment method my account had become suspended for suspicious payment activity.

I’m writing this to warn anyone else that intended to use the card online that you may experience… difficulties. And if you’re planning on using the Apple Card for anything important, think again.

It makes sense, on the premise that tracking companies like Google would oppose private measures like the Apple Card. I assume other virtual cards like Privacy.com would suffer the same fate.

Google's 'Ask a Techspert' Explains Machine Learning

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In Google’s Ask a Techspert series, senior software engineer Rosie Buchanan explains machine learning for non-experts.

Today, when we hear about “machine learning,” we’re actually talking about how Google teaches computers to use existing information to answer questions like: Where is the ice cream? Or, can you tell me if my package has arrived on my doorstep? For this edition of Ask a Techspert, I spoke with Rosie Buchanan, who is a senior software engineer working on Machine Perception within Google Nest.

This is a cool blog post explaining it, and I hope to see more explanations like this.

Google Privacy Sandbox Probably Won't Protect Your Privacy

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Advertising company Google wants to build a “Google privacy sandbox” as a way to improve personalized ads while attempting to remove the “personalized” part.

The goal of these proposals is to promote a dialog on ways browsers could advance user privacy, while still ensuring publishers can earn what they need to fund great content and user experiences, and advertisers can deliver relevant ads to the right people and measure their impact.

Or, if you want to support websites with ads while also protecting your privacy, stick to Safari.

News+: Should Apple Leak the iPhone 11 Design?

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In the latest issue of Macworld, Michael Simon says that Apple should leak the iPhone 11 design like Google did for the Pixel 4.

We already know it’s coming in September. And we kind of know what it will look like too. There have already been bountiful leaks that have revealed a giant square camera bump—which incidentally looks a whole lot like the Pixel 4—and it’s expected that all three models will be pretty much identical from the front. So what’s the harm in confirming what we already know?

If we accept two conditions: 1) Many Android phones tend to mimic iPhones; and 2) iPhone 11 mockups are close to or exactly the real design; Then I think the Pixel 4 was also the iPhone 11 leak.

This is part of Andrew’s News+ series, where he shares a magazine every Friday to help people discover good content in Apple News+.

Last Month Google Play Had 205 Malicious Apps With Over 32M Installs

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In July alone, Google Play had 205 malicious apps with over 32 million installations, most of them containing hidden ads.

The bulk of the suspicious software – 188 to be exact – contained hidden ads, accounting for 19.2 million installs. The rest of the offenders fell under the categories of subscription scam, ad fraud, stalkerware, fake apps, fake antivirus tools, adware droppers, and software with built-in backdoors, according to data compiled by ESET malware researcher Lukas Stefanko.

Google's Project Zero Finds 6 iOS 'Interactionless' Bugs

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Google’s security team Project Zero recently found six “interactionless” iOS bugs. If sold on the black market they would be worth over US$5 million.

According to the researcher, four of the six security bugs can lead to the execution of malicious code on a remote iOS device, with no user interaction needed. All an attacker needs to do is to send a malformed message to a victim’s phone, and the malicious code will execute once the user opens and views the received item.

The fifth and sixth bugs, CVE-2019-8624 and CVE-2019-8646, can allow an attacker to leak data from a device’s memory and read files off a remote device –also with no user interaction.