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Businesses

Google To Devs: Use Our Payment System Or Be Dropped 305

Meshach writes "Google has been pressuring applications and mobile game developers to use its costlier in-house payment service, Google Wallet for quite some time. Now Google warned several developers in recent months that if they continued to use other payment methods — such as PayPal, Zong and Boku — their apps would be removed from Google Play. The move is seen as a way to cut costs for Google by using their own system."
Censorship

How a Gesture Could Get Your Google+ Profile Picture Yanked 262

SharkLaser writes "It turns out that Google has started to remove Google+ pictures that have persons giving the middle finger in it. 'Our policy page states, "Your Profile Picture cannot include mature or offensive content." Your profile photo was taken down as a violation of this policy.' Google+ is supposed to be a universal social network and 'identity service,' and to allow sharing like in real life — a public venue for free expressions. Since the middle finger is such culturally-specific issue, will Google+ also start to remove things like showing the palms of your hands to people (considered an insult in Greece), showing the soles of your shoes (insult in the Middle East), and patting someone's head (an insult in Buddhist countries)? A good number of Google+ users have started to change their profile picture to include the middle finger to show support to MG Siegler, who got his profile picture removed by Google."
Google

Google Deal Allegedly Lets UMG Wipe YouTube Videos It Doesn't Own 392

Sockatume writes "Ars Technica is reporting that Google has given music conglomerate UMG the right to arbitrarily eliminate YouTube videos. When UMG had Megaupload's 'Mega Song' removed from the site, it was assumed that they had made a DMCA claim, and that YouTube was responding under its 'safe harbor' obligations. Megaupload's legal response argues that UMG has no grounds to request a DMCA takedown. However in court filings (PDF), UMG claims that its licensing agreement with Google gives it the power and authority to unilaterally wipe videos from the site, bypassing the DMCA entirely. If true, that means that your activities on YouTube are not just curtailed by the law, but by the terms of their secret agreements with media conglomerates."
Google

Google To Discontinue Google Labs 165

kai_hiwatari writes "Today, Google has announced that they are closing down Google Labs. They say this will help them prioritize their product effort. Google says closing Google Labs means ending many of their experiments. However, not every experiment will be gone. Google will be incorporating the Labs experiments they have decided to continue in other product areas. Android apps such as Google Goggles, Google Listen etc. will continue to be available in the Android Market."
Android

Google Boots Transdroid From Android Market 276

fysdt writes with a TorrentFreak story that starts: "Google has pulled one of the most popular torrent download managers from the Android Market because of policy violations. Before Google booted the application, Transdroid had been available for two years and amassed 400,000 users during that time. Thus far Google hasn't specified what the exact nature of Transdoid's violations are, but it's not unlikely that they relate to copyright infringement."
Google

Google Admits To Collecting Emails and Passwords 157

wiredmikey writes "Alan Eustace, Google's Senior VP of Engineering & Research, just put up an interesting blog post on how Google will be creating stronger privacy controls. Right at the end is an interesting admission: that after Streetview WiFi Payload data was analyzed by regulators, their investigations revealed that some incredibly private information was harvested in some cases. Eustace noted that 'It's clear from those inspections that while most of the data is fragmentary, in some instances entire emails and URLs were captured, as well as passwords.'"
Google

Google and Verizon In Talks To Prioritize Traffic (Updated) 410

Nrbelex writes "Google and Verizon are nearing an agreement that could allow Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content's creators are willing to pay for the privilege. Any agreement between Verizon and Google could also upend the efforts of the Federal Communications Commission to assert its authority over broadband service, which was severely restricted by a federal appeals court decision in April. People close to the negotiations who were not authorized to speak publicly about them said an agreement could be reached as soon as next week. If completed, Google, whose Android operating system powers many Verizon wireless phones, would agree not to challenge Verizon's ability to manage its broadband Internet network as it pleased." Update: 08/05 20:03 GMT by T : nr3a1 writes with this informative update excerpted from Engadget: "Google's Public Policy Twitter account just belted out a denial of these claims, straight-up saying that the New York Times 'is wrong.' Here's the full tweet, which certainly makes us feel a bit more at ease. For now. '@NYTimes is wrong. We've not had any convos with VZN about paying for carriage of our traffic. We remain committed to an open internet.' Verizon's now also issued a statement and, like Google, it's denying the claims in the original New York Times report."
Censorship

China Says Google Pledged To Obey Censorship Demands 177

bonhomme_de_neige writes "China renewed Google's internet license after it pledged to obey censorship laws and stop automatically switching mainland users to its unfiltered Hong Kong site, an official said. Google promised to 'obey Chinese law' and avoid linking to material deemed a threat to national security or social stability, said Zhang Feng, director of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology's Telecoms Development Department, at a news conference." Update: 07/21 21:56 GMT by S : Changed headline to reflect that this is mainly just China trying to paint a better picture of the outcome. In a comment on the linked article, a Google representative said, "This piece suggests that Google has 'bowed' to censorship. That is not correct. We have been very clear about our committment [sic] to not censor our products for users in China. The products we have kept on Google.cn (Music, Translate, Product Search) do not require any censorship by Google. Other products, like web search, we are offering from Google.com.hk, and without censorship." If you go to google.cn, you can see the prominent link to the Hong Kong version of the site.
Google

At Google, You're Old and Gray At 40 543

theodp writes "Google faces an imminent California Supreme Court decision on whether an age discrimination suit against it can go forward. But that hasn't kept the company from patting itself on the back for how it supports 'Greyglers' — that's any Googler over 40. At a company of about 20,000 full-time employees, there were at last count fewer than 200 formally enrolled Greyglers working to 'make Google culture ... welcome to people of all ages.'"
Google

Google Toolbar Tracks Your Browsing, Even When Off 118

garg0yle writes "Google's Toolbar is supposed to allow the user to disable it. However, it was discovered by a researcher that it was still sending information even when disabled. A patch is now available, and Google claims this was just a bug, not a feature."

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