Inside Google & Alphabet - June 14th, 2019

Inside Google & Alphabet (Jun 14th, 2019)

Game Builder / San Jose Development / Follow Friday: Get Random With Google Earth

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$GOOG (09:44 AM EST): $1,082.31 -6.46 (-0.59%) // More info


1. Google has launched a free tool to help non-programmers make video games. The tool, called Game Builder, is for macOS or Windows, and is only available via the Steam online store. The drag-and-drop interface lets users make a variety of games, including first-person shooters and platform games. It's also possible to make multiplayer games or to collaborate in real time making games with friends. A library of 3D objects is available, but the game elements look pretty Minecraft-y (not that there's anything wrong with that). -- TECHCRUNCH
 


2. Google's San Jose "megacampus" development could drive local housing costs up unless more affordable and market-rate housing is made available, a new report says. The report, from Working Partnerships USA, predicts annual rent hikes of hundreds of dollars by 2030, with a disproportionate impact on communities of color. Jeffrey Buchanan, policy director for Partnerships USA, thinks Google should go beyond its stated community benefits plan to help counteract the possible rise in housing costs from the "Google Effect". At least two more years of planning will take place before construction on the campus begins. -- SF GATE  


3. FOLLOW FRIDAY: Random Places. With all the algorithmic recommendation systems and AI-sculpted social media feeds out there, it sometimes seems like we're stuck in tiny echo chambers filled only with things we find familiar. Let a little randomness break you out of that rut with two Twitter accounts from user @supermoof

@random_places tweets a — you guessed it — random image from Google Street View every four hours. If you want to explore the area beyond the single image, click the map URL included with the tweet. Recent images highlighted include places in Thailand and Italy, as well as Ankeny, Iowa, and Green Bay, Wisconsin. 

If you're in the mood for a larger perspective, check out @BPEarth, which posts shots of random Google Earth locations every few hours. Because these are sky shots, they tend to be much more abstract than the Google Street View pictures, but there's still plenty to see here; a recent image from Turkmenistan looked like a postmodern painting, while a picture from Stuarts Creek, Australia, seemed straight from the surface of Mars. 


4. Google won a rare victory in an EU court. Since 2014, Germany's telecom regulator has been trying to get Gmail classified as a telecom service, which would make it subject to Germany's telecom regulations. The EU Court of Justice ruled this week that while Gmail does meet some criteria of a telecom service, it does not have enough in common with traditional telecom providers to be classified or regulated as such. The case will return to Germany for what is expected to be a final ruling. -- TELECOMPAPER  


5. The U.S. Department of Justice is demanding that Google turn over information it has related to Roger Stone. The information concerns upload dates and times for eight YouTube videos. -- FORBES

6. Google's new Stadia game service may let publishers offer subscriptions. -- ENGADGET  

7. Google's John Mueller has clarified that Google does not evaluate a site's authority itself. This follows a question from a webmaster who believes they lost rankings in the June search algorithm update because of a drop in site authority. Google says there is no such metric. -- SEARCH ENGINE JOURNAL

8. Adrian Kingsley-Hughes did a teardown of a Google Titan Bluetooth security key and was not impressed by what he found. -- ZDNET

9. Google is getting rid of the 32-bit version of its Android Studio. Only the 64-bit version will be supported as of June 30. -- NEOWIN

10. Google SEO Sundar Pichai has made a prediction for 2019's ICC Cricket World Cup. He's thinking India vs. England in the final. -- FINANCIAL EXPRESS  


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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