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Google Discontinues Manufacture of ‘Chromecast Audio’ Device

The tech giant first announced the device in 2015

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A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company's offices in Toronto. VOA

Google is discontinuing the production of its “Chromecast Audio” — a Wi-Fi enabled audio streaming dongle — that allowed users to play music on speakers that were not compatible with Wi-Fi connectivity.

“Our product portfolio continues to evolve and now we have a variety of products for users to enjoy audio and we have therefore stopped manufacturing our ‘Chromecast Audio’ products,” a CNET report quoted a Google spokesperson as saying last weekend.

Google’s present range of smart speakers including Google Home, Google Home Mini, Google Home Max and Google Home Hub.

Google discontinues manufacture of ‘Chromecast Audio’ device.

“Chromecast Audio” is, however still available for purchase on Google’s website until stock runs out.

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“We will continue to offer assistance for ‘Chromecast Audio’ devices, so users can continue to enjoy their music, podcasts and more,” the spokesperson added.

The tech giant first announced the device in 2015. (IANS)

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Google’s Censored China Search Engine Project Triggers Protests

Several Google employees, including former Senior Scientist Jack Poulson, resigned in September, citing lack of corporate transparency in the wake of the censored search engine project

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The Google name is displayed outside the company's office in London, Britain. VOA

Google’s offices in the US, UK, Canada, India, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Sweden, Switzerland, and Denmark witnessed renewed protests by human rights groups over its plan to re-enter China through a censored search application code-named “Project Dragonfly”.

The demonstrations were organised by coalition of Chinese, Tibetan, Uighur, and human rights groups outside the tech giant’s offices. The Tibetan advocacy groups that were protesting included Free Tibet and the International Tibet Network.

“They fear that a censored search engine would lead to further oppression of the Tibetans, as filtered searches would erase terms such as ‘Tibet’ and ‘Tiananmen Square’ in line with the official narrative of the Chinese Communist Party,” the Business Insider reported late on Friday.

The same concerns apply to the Chinese citizens, including other oppressed minorities such as Uighur Muslims and Southern Mongolian people, the report added.

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A Google logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

The Internet giant designed a censored version for China search engine to blacklist information about human rights, democracy, peaceful protest, and religion in accordance with strict rules on censorship in the country that are enforced by its Communist Party government.

The dispute began in August 2018 when reports surfaced that Google staffers working on “Project Dragonfly” had been using a Beijing-based website to help develop blacklists for the censored search engine, which was designed to block out broad categories of information related to democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest, according to The Intercept.

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Several Google employees, including former Senior Scientist Jack Poulson, resigned in September, citing lack of corporate transparency in the wake of the censored search engine project.

In December, Google was forced to shut down a data analysis system that it was using to develop the search engine and the teams working on “Project Dragonfly” stopped gathering search queries from mainland China. (IANS)