TorrentFreak: Google Removes Official Kodi Download Page After “Bogus” Copyright Complaint (Updated). “Google has removed the official Kodi download page from its search results, following a complaint from a copyright holder. The team behind the perfectly legal open-source software is disappointed that they’re being inaccurately lumped together with pirate services. The same takedown notice also targeted the VLC media player, but those requests were rejected.” Google did restore the page. Eventually.
Reuters: Google Japan defends impartiality of search results amid lockdown rumors. “Google (GOOGL.O) on Tuesday defended the impartiality of its search results after users in Japan seeking to corroborate rumors of an imminent state of emergency declaration by the government were met with no results on its website. Climbing coronavirus cases in Tokyo have seen politicians call for residents to reduce social mixing and have led to a slew of messages circulating on social media asserting a broader lockdown is imminent.”
BetaNews: Click-fraud malware found lurking in more than 50 Play Store apps. “Researchers at Check Point have identified an auto-clicker malware family operating inside the Google’s Play Store. Disguised in over 56 applications and downloaded over 1,000,000 times globally, the malware — dubbed ‘Tekya’ — commits mobile ad fraud by imitating the actions of a user, clicking ads and banners from ad agencies like Google’s AdMob, AppLovin’, Facebook, and Unity.”
Hindustan Times: Google cancels its April Fools’ pranks this year due to the pandemic. “Google hasn’t officially announced it is cancelling this year’s April Fool’s joke. Business Insider (via The Verge) obtained an internal email which details the company’s decision to cancel the event.”
Neowin: Google announces more than $800 million in financial grants amid COVID-19 fallout. “Google announced today more than $800 million in total funding to help businesses, health organizations, and governments weather through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. CEO Sundar Pichai says the new financial grants will aid in providing small and medium-sized businesses with capital as well as offer free ad slots to health authorities in order to help disseminate information on the virus.”
The Verge: Google ups Duo group calling limit from eight to twelve. “Google is increasing the maximum number of people who can participate in a Duo call from eight to twelve, the company’s senior director of product management announced on Twitter. ‘We recognize group calling is particularly critical right now,’ Sanaz Ahari Lemelson wrote. ‘We have increased group calling from 8 participants to 12 effective today.’ The announcement did not mention whether the increase was permanent.”
Gizmodo: Google Boots InfoWars App Off Play Store Over Bogus Coronavirus Claims. “Google has finally kicked the Infowars app from its Play Store, the company confirmed to multiple outlets Friday. The tech giant’s app store was one of the last major bastions for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, as his show (and all the extremist views and tainted supplements it touts) has been booted from nearly every mainstream online platform.”