Inside Google & Alphabet - August 2nd, 2019

Inside Google & Alphabet (Aug 2nd, 2019)

Alphabet's World's Most Cash-Rich / Google Charges EU Search Providers / Thiel Blasts Google

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1. Alphabet is the most cash-rich company in the world, beating Apple. According to The Financial Times, Alphabet had $117 billion in cash while Apple had a cash reserve of $102 billion during the second quarter of 2019. However, while Alphabet may have the most money, it's Microsoft that ultimately won the title of "most valuable company" in the world, and is worth nearly $1.1 trillion. - MACRUMORS

2. Competitors will have to pay Google if they want to become the default search engine for European Android users. Starting in early 2020, Google says it will allow EU users to select their default search engine with a new search provider choice screen that will pop up while users set up their Android phone or tablet. Search providers will have to pay in an auction to show up as one of these options. Search providers can now apply for eligibility and submit their bids by September 13, 2019. - THE VERGE

3. PayPal founder Peter Thiel says Google will hurt America by sharing its DeepMind artificial intelligence, which Thiel dubs its "crown jewel," with China. In a New York Times op-ed, Thiel, who was one of the project's early investors, warns these A.I. tools may just serve to help the Chinese army gain an intelligence advantage over the US. "All one need do is glance at the Communist Party of China’s own constitution: Xi Jinping added the principle of “civil-military fusion,” which mandates that all research done in China be shared with the People’s Liberation Army, in 2017," Thiel writes. - BUSINESS INSIDER

4. A former American Google employee says he was fired because of his Republican political beliefs. Ex-Google software engineer Kevin Cernekee says the tech giant let him go for defending other right-wing employees from discrimination. “Historically, there’s been a lot of bullying at Google,” Cernekee told The Wall Street Journal. “There’s a big political angle, and they treat the two sides very differently.” Cernekee says he is now taking legal action against the tech giant alleging wrongful termination and has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board. - THE HILL

5. Hamburg’s Data Protection Authority will not allow Google to listen in on its European user's conversations recorded on Google Home devices for three months. The news comes after a whistleblower revealed Google had been listening to user's private conversations even when a user hadn't turned on the device. The regulator says it will also likely start an investigation into Apple and Amazon's practices as well. - TECHERATI

6. Google confirmed it is testing a new "Play Pass" subscription service for Android apps that will cost $4.99 per month, and give users access to hundreds of premium apps and games." - ARS TECHNICA

7. File management app Google Files will be updated with improved offline playback controls for music and video files, the tech giant announced. The features will be available to the public in the next few days. - GOOGLE

8. In case you missed it, earlier this week Google released a video introducing two new Pixel 4 features: face unlock (similar to Apple's Face ID) and motion sense. You can watch the clip here.  - ANDROID POLICE

9. Google Fit will offer a dark mode theme as well as an improved sleep tracker. The company is already rolling out these updates, and says dark mode should be available to turn on by next week. -  THE VERGE

10. Google bug-hunters revealed five flaws in Apple's iMessage software that make it vulnerable to dangerous attacks, with one requiring users delete all of the data on their iPhone to stay safe. One of the Google researchers who found the flaws will share their findings at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas while also highlighting other Apple vulnerabilities. - BBC

Written and curated by Inside Dev and Inside Deals Editor Sheena Vasani, a freelance journalist based in California. Proficient in Javascript and Ruby. Got my start at Dev Bootcamp and Thinkful.

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

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