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Google Sends Email to Employees Asking Them to Delete China Search Engine Memo

The China search engine would link users' search history to their personal phone numbers, according to the memo

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In its bid to suppress a memo revealing information about a plan to launch a censored search engine in China, Google has sent an email to employees asking them to delete the sensitive document, The Intercept reported.

Authored by a Google engineer familiar with the project, the memo disclosed that the search system would require users in China to log in to perform searches.

Codenamed Dragonfly, the search engine would track the location of users and share the data with a Chinese partner who would have “unilateral access” to the data, said the report on Friday, citing the memo.

The news about Google’s plan to build a censored search engine in China broke in August when The Intercept reported that the search platform would blacklist “sensitive queries” about topics including politics, free speech, democracy, human rights and peaceful protest, triggering internal protests among some Google employees.

Two weeks after that report, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told the company’s employees that the China plan was in its “early stages” and “exploratory”.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai. (Wikimedia Commons)

A group of Google employees who were organising internal protests over the censored search system got access to the memo detailing information about the project.

The Google leadership, according to the The Intercept report, were furious when they discovered that the memo was being passed among employees who were not supposed to know about about the Dragonfly project.

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The China search engine would link users’ search history to their personal phone numbers, according to the memo.

This means if security agencies were to obtain the search records from Google, individual people could easily be tracked and users seeking out information banned by the government could potentially be at risk of interrogation or detention. (IANS)

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Google Introduces its Gaming Subscription Service with 22 Games on Board

Stadia is right now available in 14 countries -- Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the US -- with a monthly subscription of Stadia Pro costing $9.99 (Rs 690 approx) in the US

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

Taking on Apple Arcade, Google on Tuesday finally launched its gaming subscription service Google Stadia with 22 games on board.

“Stadia will continue to add features and updates in the coming weeks and months, as well as more games. Twenty-six titles are coming this year, with many, many more in development all around the world,” Phil Harrison, Vice President and GM, Google Stadia, said in a statement.

Harrison had earlier confirmed that the company’s game streaming platform Stadia’s launch day line-up has been expanded with 10 more games, bringing the total to 22.

Assassins Creed Odyssey, Destiny 2: The Collection, GYLT, Just Dance 2020, Kine, Mortal Kombat 11, Red Dead Redemption 2, Thumper, Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, and SAMURAI SHODOWN are the 12 games that were confirmed to be available on Google Stadia when it arrived.

Additionally, users will also be able to play Attack on Titan: Final Battle 2, Farming Simulator 2019, Final Fantasy XV, Football Manager 2020, Grid 2019, Metro Exodus, NBA 2K20, Rage 2, Trials Rising and Wolfenstein: Youngblood.

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Google Vice President Phil Harrison confirmed on Monday that company’s game streaming platform Stadia’s launch day lineup has been expanded with ten more games, bringing the total to 22. Wikimedia Comons

Over the next six weeks, Borderlands 3, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, Dragon Ball: Xenoverse 2, and Darksiders Genesis will be playable on Stadia.

Additionally, in 2020, more games will come to Stadia, including Doom: Eternal, WatchDogs: Legion, Gods & Monsters, and Cyberpunk 2077.

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Along with Pixel smartphones, Google’s game streaming service will also support Chrome OS tablets such as the Pixel Slate, Acer Chromebook Tab 10 and HP Chromebook X2.

Stadia is right now available in 14 countries — Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the US — with a monthly subscription of Stadia Pro costing $9.99 (Rs 690 approx) in the US. (IANS)