Apple, Google release technology for pandemic apps

Apple and Google on Wednesday released long-awaited smartphone technology to automatically notify people if they might have been exposed to the coronavirus. The companies said 22 countries and a number of U.S. states are already planning to build voluntary phone apps using their software.

Google co-founders step aside as antitrust scrutiny heats up

Larry Page and Sergey Brin are stepping down as CEO and president, respectively, of Google parent company Alphabet. The move caps more than two decades during which the pair have shepherded the one-time startup they founded in a Silicon Valley garage. Pichai, who has been Google’s CEO since 2015, will now also head up Alphabet. The company isn’t filling Brin’s position as president.

Is your password strong enough?

At this point, anyone using a computer should know that they should use a different password for every one of their online accounts. But with an ever-increasing number of sites requiring us to create logins, devising and remembering unique passwords has become almost impossible. Now, however many passwords you have, Google’s new “password check” service will allow you to scan the internet to see which and how many of your passwords have been compromised. So far, over one million people have looked, discovering over 300,000 compromised passwords.

Google wins case over EU's 'right to be forgotten' rules

Handing Google a major victory, the European Union's highest court ruled Tuesday that the EU's "right to be forgotten" rules that allow people to control what comes up when their name is searched online do not apply outside the 28-nation bloc.

Google walkout

Google workers around the world walked off the job Thursday to protest the internet company's lenient treatment of executives accused of sexual misconduct. It was the latest expression of a backlash against men's exploitation of female subordinates in a business, entertainment and politics. A week ago, a New York Times story detailed allegations of sexual misconduct against the creator of Google's Android software, Andy Rubin, who denied wrongdoing.

Trump threatens Google

President Donald Trump lashed out at U.S. tech companies Tuesday, accusing Google and others of suppressing conservative voices and "hiding information" and good news. He cited no evidence for the claim, which echoes both his own attacks on the press and a conservative talking point.

Digital assistants and kids

Smart home devices with virtual assistants, such as Amazon Echo's Alexa and Google Home's Assistant, are creating challenges because some children are becoming too dependent on them. A wealth of information comes through a smart speaker that not only can answer questions and help with homework but can now make sure kids are polite and parents can control activities.

NYC girl is Google Doodle finalist

Chloe Chan was calm and cool when announced as the winner of a very big honor. This drawing she created for a chance to be on Google's homepage will now represent the State of New York in the final competition. Chloe entered the Doodle for Google challenge, where kids across the country designed original artwork under the topic "What inspires me."

Chatting digital assistants?

Ask Siri, the iPhone and now HomePod's digital assistant, if she knows Alexa, Amazon's competitor, and she'll respond with one of her pre-programmed responses. Often something like: "I'm sorry. I'm afraid I don't have an answer to that." That answer is a lie. And we can thank the YouTube user danrl, among others, for recording and uploading the proof to call shenanigans on Apple's duplicitous personal assistant, the first speaking machine many of us ever integrated into our lives.

Meltdown and Spectre hardware bugs

Your important data—passwords, photos, e-mails and instant messages—are at risk because of a design flaw in Intel's processor chip. The flaw leaves your personal devices vulnerable to attack. Fixing the flaw could result in your system slowing down as much as 30 percent. The security flaws are called Meltdown and Spectre.