Blog Archives

Google Drive subscription billing starts migrating to Play Store

google-drive-logo-759A few weeks ago, Google announced that they will eventually be migrating your Google Drive subscription to the Google Play Store billing system, but didn’t exactly give a timetable as to when this will happen. But now it looks like it has already started as some users are reporting that they’re seeing the change in the system. While this change isn’t really a big deal, it does help to streamline all your subscriptions into just one place, if you’ve always wanted that to happen.

It actually makes perfect sense for Google to do this since the Google Storage page is only for the shared storage subscription. But all your other subscriptions to any games or apps are billed through your Google Play Store account. You will continue to be able to get customer support through the help center and the subscription prices and tiers remain the same. It also won’t change any access to files or basically anything, except for where you will be billed and where you can manage this subscription.

Google sent the email a couple of weeks ago to those who have a Google Drive subscription. In it they also state that the management of the subscription will be governed by the Google Play Terms of Service. But the Google Drive Terms of Service will remain the same and you don’t need to do anything or accept anything while this change happens.

So if you’re excited to have all your billings under just one digital roof, you can check your Google Play account page and see if that change has already rolled out to you.

VIA: Reddit

Google uses machine learning to help Gmail users get rid of spam

Google is working on ways to make sure that Gmail users get mails that they want in their inbox and the rest all the spam remains out of sight.

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“Less than 0.1% of email in the average Gmail inbox is spam, and the amount of wanted mail landing in the spam folder is even lower, at under 0.05%,” Sri Harsha Somanchi, product manager, said in a Google blog post.

“Even still, Gmail spam detection isn’t perfect. So we’re sharing some of the new ways we are supporting the senders of wanted mail, and using the latest Google smarts to filter out spam,” Somanchi further stated.

Google is launching Gmail Postmaster Tools that help qualified high-volume senders analyse their email, including data on delivery errors, spam reports, and reputation. This way they can diagnose any hiccups, study best practices, and help Gmail route their messages to the right place.

The company said the spam filter now uses an artificial neural network to detect and block the especially sneaky spam—the kind that could actually pass for wanted mail.

“We also recognise that not all inboxes are alike. So while your neighbor may love weekly email newsletters, you may loathe them. With advances in machine learning, the spam filter can now reflect these individual preferences,” the blog post reads.

“Finally, the spam filter is better than ever at rooting out email impersonation—that nasty source of most phishing scams. Thanks to new machine learning signals, Gmail can now figure out whether a message actually came from its sender, and keep bogus email at bay.”

Google wants to buy your inventions

Google Inc said it would launch an experimental portal that allows interested patent holders to sell their patents to the company.

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Patent holders can tell Google about the patents they’re willing to sell and the expected price through the portal, the company said on its blog.

The Patent Purchase Promotion programme will remain open from May 8 to May 22, the company said on Monday.

Google said it will let the submitters know of its interest in buying their patents by June 26 and expects to pay the sellers by late August.

Source: Economic Times

The truth about Google’s famous ‘20% time’ policy

One of Google’s most famous management philosophies is something called “20% time.”
Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin highlighted the idea in their 2004 IPO letter:

“We encourage our employees, in addition to their regular projects, to spend 20% of their time working on what they think will most benefit Google,” they wrote. “This empowers them to be more creative and innovative. Many of our significant advances have happened in this manner.”

Tech AnnouncementHuge 20% products include the development Google News, Gmail, and even AdSense.

However, whether or not 20% time actually exists anymore has been a matter of debate. In 2013, Chris Mims wrote for Quartz that 20% time was “as good as dead” because it became too difficult for employees to take time off from their normal jobs.

Yahoo CEO and formal Googler Marissa Mayer once bluntly denied its true existence.

“It’s funny, people have been asking me since I got here, ‘When is Yahoo going to have 20% time?'” she said on stage during an all-employee meeting at Yahoo. “I’ve got to tell you the dirty little secret of Google’s 20% time. It’s really 120% time.”

So, what’s really going on with 20% time?

Only about 10% of Googlers are using it, last time the company checked, but it doesn’t really matter, as long as the idea of it exists, according to Google HR boss Laszlo Bock in his new book, “Work Rules!”

Bock says that the use of the concept has “waxed and wanted,” over time. It’s not technically something that gets formal management oversight – Googlers aren’t forced to work on additional projects and there are no written guidelines about it. Typically, employees who have an idea separate from their regular jobs will focus 5 or 10% of their time on it, until starts to “demonstrate impact.” At that point, it will take up more of their time and more volunteers will join, until it becomes a real project.

“In some ways, the idea of 20 percent time is more important than the reality of it,” he writes. “It operates somewhat outside the lines of formal management oversight, and always will, because the most talented and creative people can’t be forced to work.”

 

Google announces plans to become telco

Google wants more people to get online so they can search around and click on its ads. And it’s shaking up the telecom world to do it.

Tech AnnouncementBARCELONA: Search giant, self-driving car developer, smartphone and tablet maker. Turned data plan provider?

Google wants more people to get online so they can search around and click on its ads. And it’s shaking up the telecom world to do it. The company said at the wireless show in Barcelona, Spain, that it will soon sell data plans for smartphones and tablets in the US. The announcement confirmed leaks and media reports in late January that Google planned to enter the telecom market.

More information will be released “in the coming months,” Sundar Pichai, Google Inc’s senior vice president of products, said during his presentation.

The move into the wireless market mirrors what Google has been trying to do for hard-wired internet access at home. The Mountain View, California, company currently sells an ultra-fast fiber-optic internet service in a handful of markets scattered across the US in an attempt to pressure long-established broadband providers to improve their prices and cut their prices.

Google conceivably do something similar for wireless by offering discounted data plans that would pressure major carriers such as AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications to offer better deals and services or risk losing customers to a powerful rival.

“Any time there is a new entrant with the resources and imagination of Google, it most definitely could shake up the market,” said Gartner analyst Bill Menezes.

Pichai downplayed the competitive threat that Google might pose.

“We don’t intend to be a network operator at scale,” he said. “Our goal here is to drive a set of innovations which we think the ecosystem should evolve and hopefully will get traction.”

Pichai compared Google’s latest move to its decision to launch its own line of Nexus smartphones, which he said Google uses not to compete with other smartphone makers, but to introduce innovations in mobile hardware.

Finding a way to provide a “seamless” internet connection when a device moves from Wi-Fi to cellular coverage as one example of goals Google would like to target, Pichai said. He also noted that Google is also working on “Android Pay,” a mobile payment system similar to “Apple Pay,” that will work across all Android-powered devices.

Google plans to be a “mobile virtual network operator,” which means it will lease space on an existing system. Pichai didn’t name Google’s wireless partners, but previous media reports have identified Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc. Neither of those carriers has confirmed those plans yet.

Selling Google access to their wireless networks would help Sprint and T-Mobile recoup some of their extensive investments. If Google’s entry into the wireless market is successful, the company may even try to take over Sprint or T-Mobile, Menezes said. “This could end up being a `try it and then buy it’ strategy,” he said.

T-Mobile already has been lowering its prices and rolling out other wireless plans that have undercut the status quo. Some of those changes have prodded AT&T and Verizon to take steps that have helped their existing customers save money.

Google is constantly looking for ways to get more people online in an effort to drive more traffic to its Internet-leading search engine, Gmail and YouTube video site. All those services display the ads that generate most of Google’s revenue. Google also collects commissions on millions of ads distributed to other sites.

The company is using solar-powered drones and a fleet of high-altitude balloons to beam Internet service in some parts of the world.

Source: etcio.com