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Inside Google & Alphabet

Inside Google & Alphabet (Jul 23rd, 2019)

$GOOG (09:52 am EDT): $1,144.00, +5.93 (+0.52%) // More info

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1. Sources say Google has contracted with Pegatron to manufacture a new generation of Google Glasses. While the first iteration of  Google Glasses were a pretty profound failure as a consumer product, they have been received well both on factory floors and in operating rooms. The new Google Glasses will be lighter and have a bigger battery than their precursors. Surprisingly, that bigger battery might have a shorter life; these new Google Glasses will run only about 30 minutes before needing a recharge. -- DIGITIMES

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2. Google's launched a personalized shopping platform. Many years ago, Google tried a product search with Froogle, which became Google Product Search. Even before that there was Google Catalogs. Google's newest attempt, Google Shopping, plays to its strength -- that is, all the data it has collected on you and me. Product recommendations are personalized based on your search activity, though there's regular keyword search as well. Product listings have reviews, different online store options, and even different purchasing options across the web and online (critical, I suppose, if Google wants to avoid more antitrust stumbles).  -- KIM KOMANDO

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3. Google wants you using its search engine even before you can read. Google has a patent called Gamifying Voice Search Experience for Children, which was filed in 2016 and granted earlier this month. The patent outlines the experience of pre-school children using digital assistant technology to search online, without needing to know how to read. The patent also envisions the search engine prompting the child to initiate searches, like asking about a favorite animal. Kid-safe searching has been for a long time both controversial and difficult; restricting the search universe to pre-school children topics and a "white list" of verbal search prompts might just be the way to go. -- MEDIAPOST  

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4. Google's maps may become "self-healing" thanks to AI. Google Maps maintains mapping data on over 200 countries, which is a lot for humans to keep up with. Instead of adding more people, Google is training machine learning algorithms to extract data from satellite and Google Street View imagery and update maps without human intervention. Google Maps needs all the help it can get; it's had its share of goofy problems lately, from moving a town over 73 miles away from its actual location to completely failing to note a new traffic tunnel. -- POPULAR SCIENCE

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5. Google Voice is having a messaging issue. Some users are reporting that the service isn't delivering their messages. This might be less about Google itself, though, and more about specific cell phone companies; it looks like messages are being delivered to AT&T customers, for example, while Verizon users are reporting issues. -- 9TO5 GOOGLE

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6. Google's out here buying faces for $5. This is the story of George the engineer, who was sitting on a park bench minding his own when he was approached by Google with a request to help the company with its facial recognition. George traded a $5 gift card for five minutes of interacting with the phone in selfie mode, getting various views of his face. George also admitted he didn't completely read the waiver he signed. (Don't be like George.) -- ZDNET

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7. Looks like Google is addressing Google Assistant's volume problem. Sometimes Google Assistant hollers at you when an inside voice would be better. While you won't be able to set the volume, an upcoming 'Custom TTS Volume' feature should let you adjust Google Assistant's voice up or down. -- THE AMBIENT

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8. Undersea cables are bringing Internet access to the remotest of places. Saint Helena is a little island out in the middle of nowhere with a population of about 5000 people. Currently its Internet access consists of one 50MB satellite connection shared by the entire island. That will change when the island connects to Google's recently-announced Equiano subsea cable. -- IEEE SPECTRUM

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9. It looks like Google is considering Kansas City for a data center. However, there are still several steps before the $600 million investment becomes a reality. Meanwhile, a city council in North Texas has approved a Google data center there but the agreement has yet to be finalized by Google. -- KANSAS CITY STAR

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10. Is Google My Business worth it for SEO? A thread on /r/SEO started with a question about Google My Business for an engineering firm. Would having a Google My presence help the firms' SEO? The answer seemed to be a resounding yes, with some users talking about their own experiences and others offering advice on making the most of a GMB listing. -- REDDIT  

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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.

Editor: Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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