Inside Google & Alphabet - July 9th, 2019

Inside Google & Alphabet (Jul 9th, 2019)

India Antitrust Investigation / Stadia Update / Scam Apps

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$GOOG (09:36 AM EDT): $1,112.31, -4.04 (-0.36%) // More info

1. Google's provided more details on its upcoming Stadia streaming gaming service. The company updated its FAQ right before July 4. It includes support for multiplayer games and user retention of a game even if a game's publisher leaves the platform. Bad news is that mobile game streaming will be available on only a few devices initially, specifically Pixel 3/3a phones and Chrome OS tablets. Google has yet to provide any information on VR support. Stadia is expected to launch in 14 countries in November. -- ENGADGET

2. Google has pulled a fake "Updates for Samsung" app from the Google Play store. The app wasn't malware but it was a scam, charging users to download Android updates for Samsung that Samsung makes available for free. It did offer a free component for getting the updates but apparently throttled the download speed to 56K which was a great speed 20 years ago. Now? Not so much. This has been a long time coming: according to an analysis by Bleeping Computer, the app has been on the Google Play store since at least 2013. -- THE VERGE

3. Privacy experts are worried about Alphabet's plans for a smart neighborhood in Toronto. Last month, Alphabet released the plans for Sidewalk Labs' "smart city" development in Toronto.  The plans clock in at over 1,500 pages but don't offer a lot of new details about protecting resident privacy — and privacy advocates are worried that Alphabet won't do enough to safeguard resident information. There are also concerns that the privacy problem will get worse as data collection evolves and gets more extensive over time. -- CNN

4. Google teams up for quantum computer research. Google has partnered with Forschungszentrum Jülich  ("Jülich Research Center" in German) to accelerate research into quantum computing and quantum algorithms. In addition to undertaking research together, the two organizations will work on training researchers and experts in quantum computing and participate in regular research exchanges. Forschungszentrum Jülich will also operate and make available a European quantum computer with 50 to 100 qubits. -- SCIENTIFIC COMPUTING  

5. There might be some problems with India's antitrust arguments against Google. TechCrunch goes through the allegations step by step and compares them to the current state of the Android market in India. India's investigation is still ongoing and it's not clear if the country will apply penalties or fines to Google. -- TECHCRUNCH  

6. Google Cloud is making yet another acquisition. This time it's cloud storage company Elastifile. Google did not disclose the cost of acquisition, but said the deal is expected to close later this  year. Google Cloud's been on a bit of a buying spree; last month it announced the acquisition of data analytics company Looker for $2.6 billion. -- CNBC

7. Google Messages has its own data program. The program is free to join and allows participants to get early access to builds before they are rolled out to stable updates. The article cautions that Google tends to roll out updates slowly in even in the beta program, so this won't be bleeding edge stuff. -- DROID LIFE

8. YouTube TV is finally available on Amazon's Fire TV devices. Amazon and YouTube settled their device feud back in April, but gave no timeline for their devices to play nicely together. In addition to YouTube TV coming to Amazon Fire, Amazon Prime TV will be coming to Chromecast. -- TOM'S GUIDE 

9. Google Fit is having some issues. After undergoing a lot of updates in the last year, it's hit the wall on functionality. Users on Google Play are complaining that Google Fit is not tracking their progress and they can't log into the app. Not everyone is affected, but enough people are that there are hundreds of negative reviews on Google Play. -- ANDROID POLICE 

10. When an artist noted that Google hadn't commemorated Juneteenth with a Google Doodle, he made his own. Then it went viral. Then Google called about a job. Davian Chester has had a crazy couple of weeks that include a billboard in his native Columbus, Georgia, and a fan note from his UPS delivery driver. -- WASHINGTON POST

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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