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Inside Google & Alphabet

Inside Google & Alphabet (Aug 5th, 2019)

1. Google has announced that it will include some recycled plastic in all of its devices by 2022. It will start doing so this year on an unnamed and “yet-to-be-announced” product. At the same time, the internet giant also announced that all of its product shipments will be carbon neutral by 2020. These moves are part of Google's renewed commitment to sustainable product design. "Basically, in every single point of the [design] process and in every single product, we’re going to be asking these [sustainability] questions and making these decisions,” says Ana Corrales, the chief operating officer for Google hardware. - FAST COMPANY

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2. A group of Democratic senators is demanding that Google grant temporary contract workers full-time status after six months of employment. In a letter sent to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, lawmakers urged the tech giant to "end any abuse of these worker classifications and treat all Google workers equally." Presidential hopefuls Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders were among the ten senators who signed the letter. In response, Google denied mistreating its temporary workers. According to a May New York Times report, Google is made up of 121,000 contract employees and 102,000 full-time employees, but a Recode report says that the former make a median of $90,000 per year, $38,000 less than full-time employees. - CNBC

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3. Google-owned DeepMind Health says that it has developed artificial intelligence that can identify otherwise hard-to-detect acute kidney injury symptoms up to 48 hours before doctors can. Deep Mind Health researchers say its AI made accurate predictions for 9 out of 10 patients whose symptoms worsened to the point of dialysis. "This could provide a window in the future for earlier preventative treatment and avoid the need for more invasive procedures like kidney dialysis," the researchers wrote. - FOX NEWS

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4. Around 50 percent of Chrome extensions have less than 16 installs, an Extension Monitor report on the Chrome Web Store reveals. Of the 188,620 extensions available on the store, 87 percent also have less than 1,000 installs, while 25,540 extensions have only one user. Meanwhile, only 13 extensions boast 10 million users, such as Skype, Adobe Acrobat, Grammarly for Chrome, Adblock, uBlock Origin, and more. You can check out a summary of the scan here. - ZDNET

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5. Google's Titan two-factor authorization security key is now available for purchase online in the U.K., Canada, Japan, and France. It comes as a bundle with a USB and a Bluetooth hardware key. These allow users to verify their identity on apps and browsers with this physical key instead of a less secure password. The news comes one year after Google starting selling Titan, which was initially used only by Google employees, in the U.S. - THE VERGE

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6. Google is rolling out a Google Assistant update that allows the device to read messages aloud from both SMS messages and third-party apps such as WhatsApp, Slack, and Telegram. Users can also reply in English and other languages in a limited capacity. This capability is currently available only on select Google Assistant devices and it is not yet clear when it will be open to all. - ANDROID POLICE

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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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