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Google is The Best Search Engine, Says Tim Cook

On a question on diversity at workplace, Cook said the Silicon Valley has been open to many different people from different walks of life

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Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during a data privacy conference at the European Parliament in Brussels. VOA

Google Search engine — the default platform for iOS users — is the best, Apple CEO Tim Cook has said, adding that the company has put proper controls in its Safari web browser to safeguard users’ data.

In an interview with Axios on HBO on Sunday night, Tim Cook defended Apple’s billion-dollar deal with Google that keeps Google Search a default search platform on its devices.

“One, I think their (Google’s) Search engine is the best. But two, look at what we’ve done with the controls. We have private web browsing, we have intelligent tracking prevention.

“What we’ve tried to do is come up with ways to help our users through their course of the day. It’s not a perfect thing, but it goes a long way in helping,” Cool told the Axios technology correspondent.

Google will reportedly pay Apple a whopping $9 billion in 2018 to remain the default search engine for iPhone’s Safari browser on iOS.

According to Goldman Sachs analyst Rod Hall (via Business Insider), this number would only continue to grow, potentially leading to a payment of $12 billion in 2019.

Cook has opposed privacy practices of some big tech companies, like Facebook, in the past, calling them a form of “surveillance”.

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Google best Search engine, we keep Safari safe: Tim Cook. Pixabay

When it comes to regulating the tech companies, Tim Cook said while he was “not a big fan of regulation,” but there comes time to “admit when the free market is not working”.

“I think it’s inevitable that there will be some level of regulation. I think Congress and the administration at some point will pass something,” Cook said.

“This is not a matter of privacy versus profits, or privacy versus technical innovation. That’s a false choice.

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“Your device has incredible intelligence about you, but as a company I don’t have to have that,” the Apple CEO added.

On a question on diversity at workplace, Cook said the Silicon Valley has been open to many different people from different walks of life.

“But I agree 100 per cent from a gender point of view that the valley has missed it and tech in general has missed it,” he said. (IANS)

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Google Maps Captures Over 10 mn Miles of Street View Imagery

The company collects street imagery via a fleet of Street View cars, each equipped with nine cameras that capture high-definition imagery from every vantage point possible

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Google Maps
There's also the Street View trekker on Google Maps, a backpack that collects imagery from places where driving isn't possible.

Google Maps have captured more than 10 million miles of Street View imagery – a distance that could circle the globe over 400 times.

The company announced on Friday that Google Earth now lets people browse more than 36 million square miles of high definition satellite images from various providers – covering more than 98 per cent of the entire population – to see the world from above.

“While these stunning photos show us parts of the world we may never get a chance to visit, they also help Google Maps accurately model a world that is changing each day,” said Thomas Escobar, Senior Product Manager, Google Maps.

The idea of Street View started as a side project more than 12 years ago as part of a goal to map the entire world.

The company collects street imagery via a fleet of Street View cars, each equipped with nine cameras that capture high-definition imagery from every vantage point possible.

“These cameras are athermal, meaning that theya�re designed to handle extreme temperatures without changing focus so they can function in a range of environments,” Escobar added.

Each Street View car includes its own photo processing center and lidar sensors that use laser beams to accurately measure distance.

There’s also the Street View trekker, a backpack that collects imagery from places where driving isn’t possible.

These trekkers are carried by boats, sheep, camels, and even scout troops to gather high quality photos from multiple angles, often in some of the hardest-to-map places around the world.

Google Maps
Google Maps have captured more than 10 million miles of Street View imagery – a distance that could circle the globe over 400 times. Pixabay

In 2019 alone, Street View images from the Google Maps community have helped the company assign addresses to nearly seven million buildings in previously under-mapped places like Armenia, Bermuda, Lebanon, Myanmar, Tonga, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe.

Once Google collects photos, it uses a technique called photogrammetry to align and stitch together a single set of images.

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“These images show us critically important details about an area-things like roads, lane markings, buildings and rivers, along with the precise distance between each of these objects. All of this information is gathered without ever needing to set foot in the location itself,” said Google. (IANS)