Donald Trump trashes Facebook, Google and Twitter as ‘dishonest media’

Image: Twitter

Donald Trump lashed out at Facebook, Google and Twitter over the weekend, claiming they were “burying” negative news about Hillary Clinton.

Trump took to Twitter on Sunday morning to let everyone know he was mad about something. Two weeks ago, he yelled about Saturday Night Live‘s “hit job” now it’s a vague proclamation that lumps Facebook, Google and Twitter under the umbrella of “dishonest media.”

According to Trump, the tech companies are guilty of suppressing news relating to the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

He doesn’t get into specifics, so it’s not entirely clear what he believes has been buried, or how. A quick glance at Google News shows that the investigation reignited on Friday when FBI director James Comey pointed to newly unearthed emails is the top result as of 11:30 a.m. ET on Sunday morning.

Image: Google

Twitter doesn’t surface information in quite the same way as Google, but both #Election2016 and the Clinton probe are at the top of the site’s “Featured Tweets” section as of Sunday morning.

Image: Twitter

Facebook’s own “What’s Trending” section may or may not include mention of the email probe; it’s a difficult thing to track since the content of that section is tied to the current user’s account.

Reached for comment, a Facebook spokesperson pointed Mashable toward the below CNN tweet, in which correspondent Brian Stelter addressed the Trump tweet and tried to deduce its meaning on Reliable Sources.

Google News doesn’t change rankings of stories to influence user opinion, a source at Google told Mashable, nor does it tweak rankings related to political candidates.

Mashable also reached out to Twitter for comment, but the company did not respond.

The same cannot be said of the Twitter community at large. Trump’s tweet quickly garnered a slew of responses from users who were too happy to point out that the targets of the presidential hopeful’s ire are not, in fact, “media” companies (something Facebook stressed as recently as five days ago).

Read more:

This might convince Donald Trump that Google’s not conspiring against him

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pauses while speaking at New Mount Olive Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Oct. 30.
Image: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Donald Trump called Google a member of the “dishonest media” on Sunday, but he might tone down his criticism going forward if he spent some time googling his rival last night.

Someone hijacked the Wikipedia page for “pathological lying” late on Sunday and uploaded a picture of Hillary Clinton. They also linked the Democratic presidential nominee’s name to the term throughout the article.

As a result, Clinton’s photo briefly popped up when Google users searched “pathological lying,” according to the Huffington Post. Google often pulls Wikipedia images during searches.

Searches for “45th us president” also reportedly showed a picture of Trump for a short time.

The revision history for the Wikipedia’s “pathological lying” page shows moderators quickly reverted the page back to normal and then locked it on account of “persistent vandalism.”

Clinton’s image briefly appeared on the Wikipedia page for “pathological lying.”

Image: screenshot/wikipedia

Trump has continually linked Clinton’s name with lying on the campaign trail. He often calls her “crooked Hillary,” and his supporters often chant “lock her up” at rallies for the Republican presidential nominee. More than once, his supporters have dressed up as Clinton in a prison jumpsuit.

During the second presidential debate, Trump threatened to jail Clinton if he is elected, and he’s repeatedly called her a criminal for her use of a personal email server while she was secretary of state.

That issue has dogged Clinton throughout the campaign, though the FBI found after an investigation that neither she nor her staff had committed any crime. The agency did, however, find that Clinton had been far too careless with regard to email security.

Maybe this little blip will convince Trump that Google search results aren’t conspiring against him.

Read more:

Google’s new Android Auto app makes any old vehicle a smart car

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – MAY 28: Attendees look at cars featuring Android Auto during the 2015 Google I/O conference
Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Google just introduced a new way to bring your jalopy into the future.

Android Auto can now function entirely from your phone, the company announced in a blog post Monday, meaning you no longer need a special dashboard or an entirely new car to use it.

“Whether your phone is connected to a compatible car display, or placed in a car mount on the dashboard, Android Auto brings your favorite apps and services into one place, making them accessible in safer and seamless ways,” Gerhard Schobbe, Android Auto product manager, wrote in the post.

These apps include Spotify, Pandora, Google Play Music and Google Maps. Waze, which is owned by Google, is not yet supported by the Android Auto app but will probably be integrated into the Android Auto app eventually, as it was mentioned in the Google I/O developer conference earlier this year.

Image: Google

As you’d expect, the Android Auto app can also “make calls or send messages with hands-free voice commands.” You’ll be able to read and send text messages by simply talking to the app.

The auto app also works to tailor your notifications to avoid unnecessary distractions while you’re behind the wheel.

The new update is rolling out now in over 30 countries and is free. Visit the Android Auto website to see when it’ll be available on your device.

Read more:

Google finds ‘serious’ Windows vulnerability

File photo – A Microsoft logo is seen at a pop-up site for the new Windows 10 operating system at Roosevelt Field in Garden City, New York July 29, 2015. (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

A serious security vulnerability in Windows code is currently being exploited, Google researchers said on Monday.

Google discovered the flaw, which also affects Adobe’s Flash media player, on Oct. 21. Adobe issued a fix a few days later, but Microsoft still has not issued its own, according to a Google blog post. Google said its policy is to publish actively exploited critical vulnerabilities seven days after it reports them to the software’s creator.

The flaw, which exists in the Windows kernel, can be used as a “security sandbox escape,” according to Google. Most software contains sandboxes in order to stop malicious or malfunctioning programs from damaging or snooping on the rest of the computer.

It’s unclear how extensively the Windows flaw has been exploited. Google said only that it is being “actively exploited.” In a statement, Microsoft acknowledged the security flaw and criticised Google for disclosing it before a fix was ready.

Read more:

Google announces on-sale date for its Daydream View VR headset

Image: jason henry/mashable

You’ll soon be able to buy one of Google’s VR headsets.

Daydream View, the virtual reality headset Google launched alongside its Pixel phones last month, will be available in stores and online beginning Nov. 10, the company announced.

The headset will sell for $79 in the U.S. where it will be available at Best Buy and Verizon, in addition to Google’s online store. (Google is also partnering with retailers in the UK, Canada, Australia and Germany.)

Of course, you’ll need one of Google’s Pixel phones in order to take advantage of the headset at least for now. Though most major Android manufacturers have committed to making Daydream-ready devices, Google’s pair of new flagships are the only ones currently available.

If you do have a Pixel, Google already has a decent amount of VR content lined up, including virtual reality versions of Hulu and YouTube as well as games and experiences from the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Daydream View also has the unique distinction of being the first headset to offer a Harry Potter VR experience (based on the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.)

Read more:

Girl Uses Google Translate To Invite Her New Classmate Who Was Isolated To Sit With Her At Lunch

Elementary school student Rafael Anaya had just moved from Mexico to California, and, not knowing English, was having a hard time finding new friends – until one girl used google translate to reach out and write a letter to him. A 10-year-old classmate Amanda Moore saw the boy eating lunch alone, and didn’t think it was right. See, Amanda is a girl who believes that everyone should have a buddy, so she used technology to invite Rafael to have lunch with her. Her letter reads: ‘Would you like to sit with me today? Look for me and I will show you where I sit. We can color or simply tell scary stories. Thank you for your time, signed Amanda.’

Show Full Text

The girl’s mother Kindard told ABC7 News that since her daughter gave Rafael the note, the two have become friends. The classmates who proved that friendship is stronger than language barrier, they even went trick-or-treating together on Halloween. Rafael told the news channel that Amanda and him would be friends ‘forever.’

(h/t: huffpost)

Watch the video below:

Read more:

Google is making sure Gmail users remember to vote

Early voters stand in a line that stretches out the door of the Southeast Atlanta Library, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016,
Image: Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP

If you’re registered vote and ready to cast your ballot on Tuesday, chances are you already know where to vote. But Google’s Gmail isn’t taking any chances, and has started showing some U.S. users an automatic banner message reminding them to vote when they log into their Gmail accounts.

The initial message is short and to the point: “It’s almost Election Day, know where to vote.”

Image: gmail

That message is accompanied by a “no thanks” or “show me” option. If you click “show me,” you’re taken to another page that offers a search field that will show you your polling address based on where you registered to vote.

Image: gmail

Based on a quick survey of social media, the feature is a welcome surprise to most Gmail users.

Back in October, Google made a big push to show how users could harness the power of Google to learn how to register to vote.

This new campaign, with just around 48 hours before the election, is likely too late for those who haven’t already registered to vote. Nevertheless, it serves as a powerful reminder for anyone in the U.S. who might be thinking of passing on their right to vote on Tuesday.

Read more:

OK, Alexa: A Google Home Versus Amazon Echo IQ Test

Reviewing a product designed to learn over time is like reviewing a newborn baby. So much functionality is dependent on artificial intelligence and machine learning, the only certainty is that it’ll get smarter over time. Who knows what it’ll end up being: A jack-of-all-trades? A specialized savant? Or maybe just a creeper that records everything you say?

Consider the Amazon Echo. At birth, it didn’t have the ability to order you Domino’s, play Spotify playlists, or get things from Amazon Prime. In the past year, its capabilities and intelligence have evolved significantly. That’s thanks to hundreds of “skills” created by developers with the Alexa Skills Kit, partnerships with major companies such as Uber and Sonos, and Amazon’s new Music Unlimited service, which offers deep voice-control features.

At the ripe old age of two, Amazon’s Echo already has offspring in the form of the Echo Dot and Echo Tap. And now it has a neonate arch-rival in the form of Google Home. In the long term, the competition between the two platforms will be great for users of both devices: Two heavyweights in the tech world will be trying to make their voice assistants smarter, more versatile, and more useful than the other one.

As of now, they’re more like twins than not: They both tell decent jokes, they both stream NPR if you ask for news, they both do IFTTT, and they spout recipes and random facts with ease. Because it’s had more time in the world, Amazon’s platform has the advantage in many key areas. But Google Home ($130) trumps the full-size Echo ($180) in a few ways too—and not just in terms of price. They’re both really good, and they’re both going to get smarter. A lot smarter.

Google Home’s Big Advantages

Audio quality: Up until about 75 percent of volume, Google Home sounds really, really good. The bass has surprising bump, and it doesn’t muddy up the midrange or high-end. Things start distorting at the top two volume levels, but audio quality is so impressive through most of its range that it’s really disappointing it can’t be used as a normal Bluetooth speaker (seriously, Google?). Perhaps more importantly, the Google Home Assistant’s voice sounds more natural and warm. She even says complimentary things about Alexa.

Aesthetics: While the full-size Amazon Echo looks like Darth Maul’s spaghetti canister, the Home will look good—or at least inoffensive—in any home. It has an elegant vase-meets-lipstick design, and there are swappable base grilles for customizing its color and texture. The multicolored light show under the top touchpad is noice, too.

Multi-room audio: Using the Home app, you set up a music service for Google Home to use. Your choices are Spotify if you have a premium account, Pandora, Google Play Music, or YouTube Music. Then you ask for a song, artist, playlist, or just “music,” and the speaker streams tunes directly over Wi-Fi. But the big advantage to having a few Google Homes in your abode compared to a multi-Echo setup is that multiple Google units sync up for home-blanketing audio. Set speakers as a group in the Home app, say “OK Google, play ‘Informer’ by Snow on Home Group,” and the song plays on all your dang speakers. By default, if you make a request to a single speaker, it only plays on that speaker unless you ask for group playback. You can also control what plays on other speakers by asking a nearby Google Home unit to play something on another speaker. It’s neat-o.

Does a better job with crowd noise: In an unscientific test that annoyed my neighbors, I played loud audio of crowd noise in the same room as a Google Home speaker and an Amazon Echo Dot. Then, I tried using voice commands with both speakers. The Google Home unit didn’t have a problem picking my voice up over the din, while the Echo Dot only heard me once out of five tries. Google Home’s far-field microphone array worked more consistently for me, even though both Home and Echo had the same impressive range when I spoke without a bunch of background noise at normal volume: About 25 feet down the hall, around the corner, without line of sight.

Chromecast controls: There are Alexa voice controls built into the Fire TV Stick and box remotes, but you can’t bark commands to a tabletop Echo or Dot to play things on TV. (At least not yet.) During the setup process, Google Home recognizes if you have a Chromecast or Cast-capable TV in the house, and you can play YouTube videos on TV by asking the speaker. The options are limited: A recommended YouTube playlist starts rolling if you say “Play YouTube on Chromecast”, and you can request a playlist of topical clips by saying “Play sloth videos on Chromecast”. But you have to specify the “Chromecast” each time. And you can’t search YouTube for a keyword, then pick a single video to play by voice. Google Home just serves up keyword-driven playlists.

A better app: One of the drawbacks of the Echo’s more-developed skill set is that the Alexa app has to cover a lot of bases. As a result, the Alexa app can be confusing to navigate, and its dull white-on-black color scheme doesn’t help much. The Google Home app, where you can tinker with options, set your preferences, and see a feed of all your requests, is a much more lively companion. It serves up useful links for some of your voice requests, and it has a simpler, more vibrant interface.

Translations: Simply put, Alexa doesn’t do translations. At least not spoken-word translations: It’ll only send a translated word or phrase to the Alexa app, but that won’t help you pronounce . Google Home gives spoken-word translations for both individual words and phrases, so you can ask it how to say “meatball” in Japanese, “I have a ballpoint pen” in German, or “dj vu” in French. Google Home also one-ups Alexa by telling you what certain animals sound like.

Alexa’s Superior Smarts

Supports Bluetooth, aux-in, and aux-out: This is a pretty big one if you want to play music stored on your phone or if you’re a subscriber to Apple Music. While Google Home only does the voice-request-over-Wi-Fi thing, you can wirelessly stream tunes the old-fashioned way over Bluetooth with the Echo lineup. You can even go older-school with the 3.5mm-in port on the Echo Tap or the 3.5mm-out jack on the Echo Dot.


Handles multiple accounts: Another possible dealbreaker for multi-user homes is that Google Home only supports a single account. You choose a Google account to link your Home to during the setup process, and all the Home interactions and calendar requests are associated with that account. Echo is much better for multiple users, as you can register several users in a household and switch between profiles by asking Alexa.

A lot more third-party support: There’s a vast universe of Alexa skills already out there, and they’re growing by the day. You can control your home-security system with Alexa, check on your car’s vitals, and open and close your garage door. Given Google’s popularity and the appeal of the Home speaker, it’s practically a sure thing that the Home platform will get all kinds of third-party support soon. Until then, Amazon’s platform has a huge edge in interoperability.

You can order things on Amazon Prime: Both Google Home and Amazon Echo will give you recipes for meatloaf and mashed potatoes, and both will convert measurements on the fly, but only one of them will place an order on Amazon Prime when you run out of Worcester sauce. Guess which one that is?

Deep controls for Amazon Music Unlimited: Even though the deep contextual understanding is limited to Amazon Music Unlimited—which is a really good deal at $4 a month for Echo-only listening—Alexa is the best voice assistant by far at picking the music you want to hear. It’ll bring up a song if you only know some of the lyrics, if you request “the latest” song or album from an artist, or create an on-the-fly playlist based on boolean genre and era combinations. Amazon has essentially created a voice-only music interface from scratch, and it’s a glimpse at the future.

Cheaper entry point: While the full-size Echo costs $50 more than Google Home, you can get the Alexa experience in the $50 Echo Dot and the $40 Fire TV Stick. The Echo Tap, which is the only one of these devices that runs on a rechargeable battery and is designed for portable use, costs the same as a Google Home speaker.

Both Platforms Have Weaknesses

Directions: While the Google Assistant does a good job at giving you turn-by-turn directions on a phone, that skill hasn’t been passed on to the Google Home version of the helper. It’ll tell you estimated commute times and nearby attractions, but it won’t tell you to take your first left, walk three blocks, and then hang a right. Of course, Alexa doesn’t do that either, but given Google’s mapping prowess, it’s a bit surprising that Home won’t tell you where to go. It also won’t send direction or map requests to your phone.

Editing lists: Both Google Home and Amazon Echo let you create lists with ease and add to them over time: Google’s automatically appear in the underrated Keep list app, while your Alexa lists appear in the Alexa app. Unfortunately, the only way to edit those lists is to jump in the app and delete completed tasks manually. Asking to delete items from your list only confuses Alexa and the Assistant.

Timers: Initially, it seemed Google Home addressed one of Amazon Echo’s major weaknesses in the kitchen: You can set a kitchen timer on the Echo, but you can’t assign a name like “meatloaf” or “green bean casserole” to the countdown clock to keep track of what’s done and what needs another 10 minutes or so. When you set a timer on Google Home, it asks you to name it, so you can assign “meatloaf” to your timer. However, when the timer goes off, it doesn’t repeat what you’ve named it. That smell in the air is my burnt imaginary meatloaf. And my imaginary green bean casserole is really undercooked.

Read more: