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  • Showing only topics with the tag "google". Back to normal view
    1. Differential privacy code removed from Chromium

      In a discussion on Hacker News, Jonathan Mayer pointed out that the differential privacy code was removed from Chromium. It looks like they finished doing this in February. I haven't seen any...

      In a discussion on Hacker News, Jonathan Mayer pointed out that the differential privacy code was removed from Chromium. It looks like they finished doing this in February.

      I haven't seen any announcement, discussion, or explanation of this based on a brief web search, so I figured I'd note it here.

      At about the time this process finished, there was a Google blog post about how they're still using it in other products.

      We first deployed our world-class differential privacy anonymization technology in Chrome nearly seven years ago and are continually expanding its use across our products including Google Maps and the Assistant.

      (If you read this quickly, you might think it's still used in Chrome.)

      Reading between the lines, I suspect that some folks at Google are still advocating for more usage of differential privacy, but they lost an important customer. Why that happened is a mystery.

      11 votes
    2. Why does a completely local, self-contained html file need to access gstatic.com?

      So, I'm a privacy advocate (or paranoiac, depending on your perspective). I run both uMatrix and NoScript plug-ins (among others) in my Firefox browser, so I can see when and where websites send...

      So, I'm a privacy advocate (or paranoiac, depending on your perspective). I run both uMatrix and NoScript plug-ins (among others) in my Firefox browser, so I can see when and where websites send calls out to other locations, and block the ones I want ... google analytics, google fonts, google-apis, google tag manager, and gstatic are all ubiquitous out there, probably 99% of websites use at least one of them (PS: Tildes is in the 1%; yeay, Deimos).

      And note ... there may well be nothing at all wrong with any of those sites/services ... but Google has a global all-encompassing Terms and Conditions policy that says, you use anything of Theirs, and They are allowed to harvest your personal data and make money off of it.

      And I do not accept those terms.

      Okay, that's the prologue. The deal is, I have a small piece of documentation, just basic "how to use this" info, for a WordPress plug-in. It is in .html format, with bundled bootstrap and jquery and a few other assets.

      Nothing, anywhere in the entire folder, references gstatic. And yet when I open this local, on-my-computer-only html file ... my browser tells me that it is trying to connect to gstatic.com.

      Anyone happen to know why/how that is happening?

      4 votes
    3. SCOTUS sides with Google over Oracle

      @SCOTUSblog: BREAKING: In major copyright battle between tech giants, SCOTUS sides w/ Google over Oracle, finding that Google didnt commit copyright infringement when it reused lines of code in its Android operating system. The code came from Oracle's JAVA SE platform. https://t.co/vAK7jMPa8e

      46 votes
    4. Ubuntu sends http requests to Google cloud, here’s a fix

      Ubuntu has this package installed by default: network-manager-config-connectivity-ubuntu It's only purpose is to provide settings for NetworkManager to send requests to...

      Ubuntu has this package installed by default:
      network-manager-config-connectivity-ubuntu

      It's only purpose is to provide settings for NetworkManager to send requests to connectivity-check.ubuntu.com , and based on the result (AFAIK) detect redirection by captive portals and open an ISP's page (think public WiFi, or hotel rooms, where you need to authorize to access the net).

      Well, connectivity-check.ubuntu.com is hosted on Google cloud (you can check that by running:

      dig connectivity-check.ubuntu.com
      whois [the IP from previous query]
      

      ), so by default Ubuntu sends requests to a Google cloud page.
      I don't say Google counts daily active Ubuntu users (because many of those have the same IP), or that Google actively logs and analyzes that data. But some of you guys may not like that behavior.

      So what's the fix?

      Purge the package

      sudo apt purge network-manager-config-connectivity-ubuntu
      

      If you do need a captive portal detection, create your own config file to query some HTTP (not HTTPS) page of your choice, in the example below I have a Debian page used for the same purpose. Use your favorite text editor to create and edit /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/90-connectivity-custom.conf :

      [connectivity]
      uri=http://network-test.debian.org/nm
      

      Restart NetworkManager

      sudo systemctl restart NetworkManager
      

      If you run an Ubuntu derivative, please report if you have network-manager-config-connectivity-ubuntu installed in the comments.

      11 votes
    5. Help with Google accounts authentication on iOS/iPadOS

      Edit: This was resolved by @tomf (cf. this comment). Google’s account authentication appears to broken for me for some reason. I have several devices and several Google accounts accumulated over...

      Edit:

      This was resolved by @tomf (cf. this comment).


      Google’s account authentication appears to broken for me for some reason.

      I have several devices and several Google accounts accumulated over the years.

      Accounts:

      1. Work Google account (this was set up by IT staff at the company where I work as they are a paying enterprise Google services customer)
      2. Undergraduate University account (this was set up when I attended undergrad, where the University is a paying Google services customer)
      3. Graduate University account (this was set up when I attended for grad school, where the University is a paying Google services customer)
      4. Personal Google account (this was set up a long time ago, it’s just a non-paid, consumer Google account)

      Under iOS and iPad OS, Google apparently asks you to download the official Google app in order to sign in and “trust” devices, so that they can send you prompts to acknowledge when you sign in on other devices. There is also the Google Authenticator app that lets you do traditional 2FA.

      Further background, I got an iPhone 12 Pro circa October 2020. I gave my old iPhone handset to my dad (after signing out of everything and resetting it according to Apple’s instructions). Ever since, I’ve been having issues with logging into my Google accounts from the new iPhone, my iPad, and my Mac (provided by work). I’m actually afraid to log out of my work Google account on my work Mac, because I’m afraid I won’t be able to log in again, and that would prevent me from being able to get work done.

      For example, let me walk through the steps I would normally take to log in to my Undergraduate University Google account on my iPad:

      1. Open the Google app
      2. Tap user icon in top right corner
      3. From the modal menu, tap the downward chevron (circled in red)
      4. Tap “Add another account” (circled in red)
      5. Tap “Continue” on the confirmation widget when prompted
      6. Enter the Gmail address for the account in the provided “Email or phone” input box and tap “Next”
      7. At this point, I wait for the progress indicator (the blue bar with the red arrow pointing to it) to indefinitely traverse from left to right over and over again and I cannot progress further.

      Virtually the same steps can be reproduced from my iPhone by going to accounts.google.com from any browser (I’ve tried Safari and Chrome).

      The same sort of authentication redirect from accounts.google.com happens when trying to add my associated Gmail accounts to my iOS devices from the Settings > Mail > Accounts > Add Account, and similarly stalls at the same point.

      I’ve tried logging out of my accounts from my personal Mac where I can still log in from google.com, and also tried going into the security settings for the accounts and disabling, then re-enabling 2FA (I can receive the text message with the code to associate my iPhone as a second factor authenticator, so Google knows my phone number).

      Google’s support documents don’t provide any guidance on this situation where the accounts.google.com authentication hangs, and there seems to be no way to contact a human being at Google to provide technical support. I’ve searched their help portal/forums, and found nothing similar to my issue. They point me down a tree that ends here, which is not useful to me.

      If Google’s services don’t work for you, it seems to be your problem, not theirs. I get that I’m not paying for their services, so it is totally unreasonable for me to expect any sort of technical support from Google. But, at the same time, it seems very strange that I am alone in my use case of simply trying to log into my accounts that have worked for years in the past without issue.

      Anyone have advice on next steps?

      5 votes