Inside Google & Alphabet - June 7th, 2019

Inside Google & Alphabet (Jun 7th, 2019)

YouTube's Content Restrictions / Whale Songs / Follow Friday: Google Hacking

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$GOOG (09:32 AM EST): $1,053.00 +8.66 (+0.83%) // More info

1. YouTube's updated restrictions on white nationalist content are having unexpected results. Yesterday, YouTube briefly suspended the account of anti-Semitism researcher David Collier because it mistook his videos of alleged anti-Semitic activity for hate speech. YouTube has also deleted videos from the YouTube channels of history teachers because the videos contain images of Adolf Hitler. Some material has been reinstated, but if this issue continues, it'll be difficult for British teachers; history education in the UK focuses a great deal on World War II. YouTube is recommending that teachers upload the videos with more context so moderators will understand them to be educational. -- THE GUARDIAN

2. Google's partnership with NOAA has paid off with a whale mixtape. Since last fall, Google has teamed up with NOAA, using its AI to listen to audio recordings taken on the ocean floor in an attempt to identify whale songs. Seven months later, Google has released Pattern Radio, a site containing 8,000 hours of these recordings, which can be reviewed on their own or explored with the help of one of several on-site guides (like an acoustic biologist, a software engineer, or a research oceanographer). -- TECH AU

3. Follow Friday: Google Hacking. Google continues to develop more and better features for its search engine, but one thing will always be true: your search results will only be as good as your search query. If you can't describe what you're trying to find, Google might not be able to help you. On the other hand, if you know your Google syntax, you can winkle out amazing results with just a few words. 

The Google Hacking Twitter account has some frankly scary tweets exemplifying this. Multiple times a day it posts Google queries designed to unearth unsecured sensitive information online along with a few words about what the search is for. Examples in the last few days were designed to find sensitive directories, spreadsheets of passwords, and login portals. 

I've tried some of these searches and was unnerved at how many results I got. If you want to learn how to design Google queries that usefully integrate Google's special syntax, this is an excellent teacher. You'll probably also learn that you need to think more about how to best secure your information online. 

4. Google's finally spilled more beans on Google Stadia. The video game streaming service will launch in November of this year — or in 2020 if you want to buy games à la carte without subscribing. More than 15 games have been mentioned in association with the service (hellooooo "Baldur's Gate III"), but it's not clear if we've gotten a full list yet. As you might imagine, a streaming service requires a good internet speed, but you better check your data cap as well; PC Gamer ran the numbers and estimates that streaming Stadia games in 4K will use 1 terabyte of data in 65 hours. -- TOM'S GUIDE  

5. Adware called BeiTaAd was found in 238 apps available on Google Play. It issues ads so aggressively that phones with it installed become difficult to use. -- ARS TECHNICA

6. Google Maps is adding an "SOS Alert" feature. Google Maps already had natural disaster updates, but this adds additional features like information on the direction of floodwaters or the magnitude of an earthquake. -- CNET

7. Google has purchased Looker for $2.6 billion. Looker is a data analytics company. -- CNBC

8. Google's delivery-by-drone service — Wing — has launched in Australia. The country still is trying to work out who gets access to airspace. -- ABC AUSTRALIA

9. British price comparison site Kelkoo is not happy with how the EU has tried to make a fair platform for online competitors. It may take its complaints to United States courts. -- REUTERS

10. Data gathered from a Google Street View car led Cornell researchers to an unhappy discovery. Industrial methane emissions are much, much higher than reported. -- CORNELL UNIVERSITY

Tara Calishain has been writing about search engines since 1996, when she wrote the Official Netscape Guide to Internet Research. She's since authored or co-authored several other search-related books, including Google Hacks. Tara is obsessed with all things related to online information collections. You can say hi at @ResearchBuzz on Twitter.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside), David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology), and Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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