Why Was Google Slapped With a$2.7 billion Fine?

Google fine

You know what they say about monopoly—it is business at the end of its journey. To think of Google here would sound exaggerated right now. However, there have been many cases recently where Google has been warned for misusing its position in the search market. Global economic forums and anti-trust agencies are keeping a close eye on their activities to prevent a global technology giant from creating ripples in the market.

Recently, the European Union’s competition commission slapped Google with a $2.7 billion antitrust fine, inquiries while blaming the popular search engine for giving out false shopping results. Google is being criticised for promoting its own shopping comparison higher than others.

European Commission first reported the matter to Google in 2015. It studied 1.2 Billi inquiries before arriving on the decision that Google was unfairly manipulating shopping results. There were hundreds of companies that complained about Google for displaying its shopping services inappropriately.

EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestages called it an abuse and illegal under European antitrust laws. According to European Competition Commission guidelines, Google should be unbiased and treat its rival services equal to its own when comparing prices.

In support of the internet giant, Google General Counsel Kent Walker said that Google’s shopping comparison is a service provided to customers. He explained his point using the example of Puma shoes that has links to five different European retailers.“Our data shows that people usually prefer links that take them directly to the products they want, not to websites where they have to repeat their searches,” said Walker. Clearly, Google completely disagrees with the fine imposed by the EU antitrust.

The search engine giant can appeal this decision to the bloc’s highest courts and they have 90 days to take any action. It can either try to end the conduct or pay the penalty amount, which accounts for up to 5% of the company’s average daily global revenue. Google has been asked to ensure that it complies with the EU antitrust guidelines and finds ways to implement the decision.

This is not the first time that Google is accused of an anticompetitive activity. In past, it was reported that Google has promoted its apps and services unfairly to suppress competition of Android devices.

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A Comparative Study- Google’s Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X

Google has launched Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X in India officially. Nexus 6P manufactured by Huawei would cost Rs. 39,999 for 32 GB and Rs. 42,999 for 64 GB variants. The LG manufactured Nexus 4X is available at a price of Rs. 31,900 for the 16 GB and Rs. 35,900 for the 32 GB models.
Both the smartphones would be available both online and through local retailers. While Nexus 5X is an Amazon exclusive, the Nexus 6P would be available only on Flipkart. Pre-order for both the devices have already started today and they are going on sale online from October 2. The smartphones would be available with retailers later this month.
Nexus 6P would come with a 5.7 inches WQHD AMOLED display and 518 ppi with Corning Gorilla Glass 4. Moreover, it would also have the fingerprint along with smudge-resistant oleophobic coating.
Google’s Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X
The Nexus 5X will have 5.2 inch LCD screen with FHD resolution and Corning Gorilla Glass 3. This smartphone like Nexus 6P will have fingerprint and smudge-resistant oleophobic coating.
The Nexus 6P has a all-metal body which is made up of “aeronautical grade aluminum” and Nexus 5 has a “molded polycarbonate” body.
Nexus 6P is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 Octa-core 64-bit processor, Adreno 430 GPU with 3 GB LPDDR4 RAM and Nexus 5X runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor hexa-core 64-bit processor at 1.8 GHz clock speed, Adreno 418 GPU with 2 GB LPDDR3 RAM.
The common factor is the presence of Android Sensor Hub in both the devices. This feature helps to detect movement on the smartphones and had a direct link with the camera sensors as well. This is believed to reduce power consumption as per Google. Another common thing is that both would have Nexus Imprint, Google’s new fingerprint sensor.
Both the smartphones also have the same 12.3 MP rear camera with IR Laser-Assisted autofocus and a 1.55 µm pixels size to ensure better pictures even in low light. However, they have different front camera. The Nexus 6P has 8 MP front camera and Nexus 5X has 5 MP front camera with f/2.0 aperture.
As far as battery is concerned, nexus 5X has 2,700 mAh and Nexus 6P has 3,450 mAh batteries. Moreover, while Nexus 6P has dual-front speakers, Nexus 5X has only one front speakers.
It is to be seen which one makes it mark in the Indian market.
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I recently wrote a column about the potential extinction of print newspapers and the recent news offering of Apple, Facebook and Google seems to be making my case stronger. Soon, news consumption will happen more on mobiles than any other platform and all big tech giants seem to be making the most of it.

AppleApple News is already here and the iPhone maker has tied up with major news providers across the world to provide news for smartphone users. Big media channels including Vogue, New York Times and Vanity Fair are also on the Apple News platform.

“Apple News is a brilliant way to read news. You can access news of your interest and can read it whenever you want. I like reading news on my phone in the morning time and no more subscribe to print newspapers,” says Ameesha Seth.

Google is also set to offer a new news app. It has tied with Twitter to develop an app to deliver news content. According to various reports, users will be able to load news on their phone in microseconds with the new Google app.

Facebook also wishes to find its feet in the news space. It has launched Instant Articles and promises to deliver news faster than any other digital outlet. It has also tied up with various media organizations.

With Apple, Google and Facebook already trying to make the most of digital news phenomenon, soon the news will be consumed on digital channels, as it is a faster and easier way to read news.

 “I am addicted to Flipboard. That is my go to news destination,” says Manan Sharma.

News is all about timeliness and with the expansion of digital media, it has found a new home.

 … Read the rest

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Google Looks To Rival Thomson Reuters & Bloomberg

Tech giant Google is all set to make a new investment in the field of communication by investing in Symphony Communication Services LLC, a messaging startup. Symphony offers a centralized platform to different individuals, corporate users and financial firms towards digital communications. Therefore, its collaboration with Google is expected to bring some significant developments in the world of communication.

Google takes interest to invest in Symphony Communication ServiceSpeculations are doing the rounds

According to the Wall Street Journal, Google has made a new round of investment for Symphony, which is now valued at $650 million. However, a source close to the deal told Reuters that talks between the two companies are in progress and they are yet to make a final decision on the terms.

While there is no confirmation from any of the companies involved so far, reports of the deal have already fueled up speculation. The service, which is backed by several banks along with the Goldman Sachs Group, is now touted to become a rival of Thomson Reuters Corp. and Bloomberg LP, as these are trusted sources for offering information and messaging services to investors, traders and bankers.

At present, Symphony’s services are available for small businesses as well as individuals for free while businesses which have more than 50 users need to shell out $15 per month for every user. … Read the rest

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Google Photos Update Makes Sharing Easier

Google Photos UpdateGoogle Photos has received a new update and it’s easy to get hooked to it this time. With the new update, Google has really pushed the envelope as it allows friends and family to add pictures to your albums.

This is the biggest update Google Photos has received in a long time. The new features allow you to share photos with friends and family in a jiffy. Lets take a detailed look at how one can share albums on this new platform. Once you click pictures and put them together in an album, you will be able to share it with others.

Friends and family with whom who have shared the album will have the option to follow album updates. When someone adds a picture to the album, members will receive a notification. More so, they can add pictures to the album as well. In this manner, the latest Google Photos works more like a digital photo book where you can interact with people through your photos. 

The new update also lets you label the name of the people. What I like here is that it lets you have your privacy. The labels can only be seen by the person adding the pictures.

You can now also broadcast images as Google Photos has been connected to Chromecast. All you need is a Wi-Fi network.

Google seems to be heading for a lot of new things. First the logo was changed and now this update. where you don’t need to attach and send photos anymore. One can simply share the album.

 

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Google Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P Prices Are Here

Google Nexus X5 P6On Tuesday, Google has announced the launch of Nexus 5x in partnership with LG and Nexus 6P with Huawei. With this, the Google’s India Store is providing the Nexus 5x at a starting price of Rs. 31,900 for 16 GB internal memory and Nexus 6P starting at a price of Rs. 39,999 for 32 GB internal memory.

Meanwhile, there is good news for people who have been eyeing the Google Nexus 6. The company has slashed its price to Rs. 33,800 for 32 GB and Rs. 37,600 for 64 GB internal storage variants. These are available at further lower prices at third-party mobile stores.

Also Read: Google Nexus 6: How To Make Most Of The Device With Simple Tips And Tricks

Accessories

As far as the price of accessories are concerned, the Nexus 5x Folio case is priced at Rs. 3,200 and Nexus 5x case at Rs. 2,800. The Speck Candyshell Grip Case will be available at Rs. 3,000 and Adopted Protective Case at Rs. 1,800 for this smartphone.

The Nexus 6P case is priced at Rs. 2,800 and the folio case at Rs. 3,900. The Speck Candyshell Grip Case and the Adopted Protective Case can be purchased by paying Rs. 3,000 and Rs. 1,800 respectively.

The prices of USB Type-C charger is set at Rs. 1,799.99 and Type-C to Type-C cable at Rs. 1,399.99. One needs to pay Rs. 909.99 to get a standard USB to Type-C cable from Google.

It is true that the prices of the smartphones and their accessories are slightly on the higher side but from a brand like Google in association with LG and Huawei, you can expect standard quality products.… Read the rest

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Apple CEO Tim Cook Visits Georgetown Store

Apple CEO Tim Cook makes surprise visit to Georgetown storeApple iPhone 6s is out in the stores. To raise cheer, CEO of the company Tim Cook made a surprise visit to the Apple store in Georgetown. Visitors who were at the store at that time say store employees were busy alerting each other. “Focus! Focus! Focus!”, they said. Meanwhile, customers queued outside were busy clicking pictures with Cook.

Although the CEO’s visit to the store came as a surprise for everyone present there, this is not the first time he has done something like that. Apple’s chief executives often make surprise visits to the stores, especially on the day a new phone is launched.

Cook last visited an Apple store in December 2014.

Expect Apple iPhones to sell in millions

This weekend is special for Apple as the company is expecting to sell over one million pieces of iPhone 6s and and iPhone 6s Plus and Cook’s surprise visit may boost the sales further.

While there has been an initial disappointment regarding the high price of the iPhone, it might not affect sales adversely. On day one, most Apple stores stocking the phone saw people lining up in large numbers.

Many users were there to move to an iPhone from Android phones. Apple iPhones have a great hold in the US market and the release of the latest range would establish them further. … Read the rest

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Hit Or Miss: Google Keep Now On iOS App Store

google keep on Apple iOSGoogle has now introduced note taking app Google Keep for the Apple iOS. The app was first introduced way back in March 2013 for web and Android users. It was then brought to Android Wear in 2014. All this while, it was not available for iOS users.

Now, the v1.0.4 version of Google Keep is available for download from the iOS App Store as well. It is compatible with the iOS 8 version and onward. With a size of 28MB, the app doesn’t occupy a lot of space. The only major turn off about this app is that it comes with the Material Design theme of Google, which may not be liked by ardent Apple fans.

One can make notes, lists and record voice reminders using Google Keep. They can even be categorized using labels, types and colors. This app also allows people set reminders based on date and location.

Another interesting feature of this app is that it allows users to share notes with other users in real time. Google Keep for iOS can transliterate voice memos and read the text from a picture to enable people find a note quickly by searching.

Though everything is pretty good about this app, the fact that iOS App Store already has EverNote and OneNote, will pose as a stiff competition for this late arrival. Moreover, the pre-instaled Notes app in iOS also got a major update recently.

We sure hope Google has thought through all the pros and cons of introducing this app on iOS and would have a vision for the prospect of this app on iOS platform that prompted its launch.… Read the rest

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What People Think Of Free Wi-Fi Access At Indian Railway Stations: Find Out

Free Wi-Fi at railway stations will soon become a reality. Indian Railways has collaborated with Google to create free Wi-Fi zone across 400 railway stations. The users will be able to browse on the go and chat/skype with the friends as they commute.

However, the flip side  to this free Wi-Fi access is that speed will be reduced after 34 minutes. The passengers will be able to connect to Wi-Fi after verifying their no. The project is at the moment in its initial stage.

Once implemented it will drastically change the way the Indians travel. We asked some daily commuters about the how they feell about free Wi-Fi facility. Here is what they have to say:

 Rikhil Singh who commutes daily from Ghaziabad to Delhi says, “ t will allow me to catch up on the latest news. I ama huge cricket buffand with free Wi-Fi. I will be able to stream the matches, without missing a single shot.”

 “Sometimes when I get late from work, I have to miss my favorite serial, with Wi-Fi I will be able to stream it and watch as I travel, “ says banker, Mrs Kusum who is a daily passenger.

For Businessman Karunesh Verma, maintaining work life balance will be easy. As with the ease of  free Wi-Fi, he will be able to finish the pending office work in the train.

The free Wi-Fi will also provide travellers the real time travelling information. The travellers will also be able to relax and chat with their family and friends as they wait to catch their respective trains.

Free Wi-Fi on railway station is just a step closer to modernisation… we are indeed evolving. … Read the rest

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Nextbit’s Smartphone Robin Offers Cloud-Based Storage

Nextbit has unveiled its much-anticipated Robin, the first Android smartphone of the company. Boasting of team of experts from HTC, Google and Apple, the company has introduced some ground-breaking features in their flagship phone and aims to deal with some of the most annoying problems of these phones in an effective way.

 Nextbit Robin takes smartphone technology to an all new levelCloud-based storage

According to the reports, the company has promised to deal with the storage issues faced by the smartphone users in an effective way by going for cloud-based solution. It has also been reported that the data or photos that are stored in the device will be automatically uploaded to the cloud instead of cluttering the phone memory. This is not all. Each user will get 100 GB private storage box for a hassle free operation. Yet, proper Wi-Fi connectivity is necessary for the process. Though cloud-based storage option is available for all users, the phone is supported with 32GB internal storage option.

Read More: Call Drop Issues: Indian Government Working To Sort Out The Issue

 Specs at a glance

Apart from this innovative feature, Robin also flaunts a display of 5.2-inch full-HD with1080x1920 pixels and a fingerprint sensor. Like most of the modern smartphones, Robin too features Qualcomm hexa-core Snapdragon 808 processor  along with a 3GB RAM. Available in Midnight and Mint color, the handset boasts of 13-megapixel rear camera along with 5-megapixel camera at the front. The device can be availed through Kickstarter. … Read the rest

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