CNET: Google aims to show you how it uses your data. “If you’re tired of hunting aimlessly for privacy information in your Google account settings, this announcement is for you. Google has made account settings easier to navigate and understand, the company said Thursday in a blog post.”
A Virginia Tech Master’s Thesis: Trending in the Right Direction: Using Google Trends Data as a Measure of Public Opinion During a Presidential Election. “During the 2016 presidential election, public opinion polls consistently showed a lead in the popular vote and Electoral College for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Following Trump’s surprise victory, the political pundits and public at large began to question the accuracy of modern public opinion polling. Fielding a representative sample, convoluted and opaque methodologies, the sheer amount of polls, and both the media’s and general public’s inability to interpret poll results are among the flaws of the polling industry. An alternative or supplement to traditional polling practices is necessary. This thesis seeks to investigate whether Google Trends can be effectively used as a measure of public opinion during presidential elections. This study gathers polling data from the 2016 presidential election from states that were considered swing states. Specifically, this study examines six total polls, three from states that swung in the way the polls predicted they would – Nevada and Virginia – and three from states that swung against the prediction – Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.” Click on the View/Open link to get the whole thesis as a PDF.
CNET: Project Maven wasn’t alone: Googlers reportedly boycotted another military tool. “Google withdrew from Project Maven, a military initiative to use artificial intelligence to power targeted drone attacks, because of protests from its own employees. It turns out, it wasn’t the only government contract that elicited internal backlash.”
Municipalities and local governments, don’t get too comfy about using Google products. Case in point from the New Zealand Herald: Metlink upset over Google Maps price hike of $29,000 a month . “Wellington’s Metlink says a $29,000-a-month price increase for its use of Google Maps is unfair and it was not given enough notice of the change. The public transport provider was told yesterday that its monthly bill will increase from $1000 to $30,000, coming into effect in mid-July.”
Axios: Google launches Android app for podcasts. “Google has launched a new Google Podcasts app on Android, available globally in the Google Play Store, with the goal of driving adoption of podcasts among Android’s two billion users worldwide.”
Google Blog: Brush up on Chinese modern art with Google Arts & Culture. “For the last century, the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing has been the preeminent school of art education in China. Some of the most renowned masters of Chinese modern art trained at this hallowed institution and many of their works are stored in the CAFA Art Museum. For CAFA’s 100th anniversary, Google Arts & Culture is taking the masterpieces in its museum to the world, for a new generation of art aficionados to enjoy.”
Zee Business: Google to help govt in flood management across the country. “The government will team up with the global technology major Google for effective flood management in India. Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari said that collaboration with Google will help in better flood management in the country. Central Water Commission (CWC), India’s apex technical organisation in the field of Water Resources, has entered into a collaboration agreement with Google. CWC would use state-of-the-art advances made by Google in the in the field of Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and geo-spatial mapping for effective management of water resources particularly in the field of flood forecast and dissemination of flood-related information to the masses, a Water Resources ministry statement said.”