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How Google Protected Andy Rubin, the ‘Father of Android’

SAN FRANCISCO — Google gave Andy Rubin, the creator of Android mobile software, a hero’s farewell when he left the company in October 2014.“I want to wish Andy all the best with what’s next,” Larry Page, Google’s chief executive then, said in a public statement. “With Android he created something truly remarkable — with a billion-plus happy users.”What Google did not make public was that an employee had accused Mr. Rubin of sexual misconduct. The woman, with whom Mr. Rubin had been having an extramarital relationship, said he coerced her into performing oral sex in a hotel room in 2013, according to two company executives with knowledge…

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Google to Charge Phone Makers for Android Apps in Europe

LONDON — Google has always made its Android mobile operating system available free as a way of getting its search engine, web browser and other applications on as many devices as possible to collect data about users and to sell advertising.But on Tuesday, in response to a European antitrust ruling this year, the company said it would for the first time begin charging handset manufacturers to install Gmail, Google Maps and other popular applications for Android in the European Union.The new arrangement is the latest sign that global technology companies are adjusting their business practices in Europe to account for stiffer regulations there.Online privacy regulations adopted in…

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Tech Fix: The Google Pixel 3 Review: Phone’s Smarts Shine Through Its A.I.-Driven Camera

Apple and Samsung typically show off glitzy hardware innovations — dual-lens cameras; bigger screens — to mesmerize millions into buying their new smartphones. Google has taken a different approach: It wants to sell people on better software.That was abundantly clear with the Pixel 3, the search giant’s latest smartphone, with software features powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning. When you take a blurry photo, for example, the Pixel’s camera software can capture a series of alternate images and look for a clearer shot. When you get a call from an unknown number, you can use a screening tool to determine if it is a robocall. (I…

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Tech Fix: Samsung’s Galaxy Note9: Too Much Phone for Most of Us

AdvertisementTech fixThe new $1,000 device is aimed at power users who work, play, consume and create on their phone. For others, there are plenty of cheaper options.Aug. 22, 2018ImageThe Samsung Galaxy Note9 has new features like the ability to convert the phone into a personal computer. It also has a bold new starting price: $999.99.CreditSamsungApple’s iPhone X broke the pricing barrier for smartphones with a $1,000 price tag. Now Samsung’s new Galaxy Note device, which will be released this week, is joining the $1,000 Phone Club.That raises the inevitable question: Is this new phone worth spending that much money?After a week of testing, my conclusion is you…

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Tech Fix: Are Targeted Ads Stalking You? Here’s How to Make Them Stop.

Online ads have always been annoying, but now they’re worse than ever.Consider what happens when you shop online for a wristwatch. You peruse a few watch websites and the next thing you know, a watch advertisement is following you everywhere. On your computer, it’s loading in your Facebook feed. On your phone, it’s popping up on Instagram. In your web browser on either, it’s appearing on news sites that have nothing to do with watches. Even if you end up ordering the watch, the ads continue trailing you everywhere.They’re stalker ads.And they are a symptom of how online ads are becoming increasingly targeted and persistent. Tracking technologies…

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Tech Tip: Scrub Your Android Tablet Before Handing It Down

AdvertisementTECH TIPBefore giving your device to a family member or selling it to someone else, be sure to erase all the content and remove your accounts.Aug. 2, 2018Q. How do you fully erase all the personal information and stored credit-card numbers on an old Android Wi-Fi tablet before passing it on to a child?A. Erasing or “resetting” your Android device takes a few steps and some time, but first make sure you have backed up all your own personal data and photos, because the process wipes everything from the tablet. You should also sign out of any accounts for third-party services like Microsoft Office, Twitter or Yahoo,…

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Tech Tip: When You Want to Be Disturbed During ‘Do Not Disturb’ Time

AdvertisementTECH TIPAndroid and iOS have a setting to mute alerts, calls and notifications when you need some peace and quiet, but you can still let important calls ring through.July 27, 2018Q. I like the concept of the Do Not Disturb feature on my phone, but I’m afraid I’ll miss an emergency call from a family member. Is there a way to allow calls from specific people?A. The Do Not Disturb feature, found in slightly different variations on Android and iOS devices, mutes calls, notifications and alerts so you can have some peace — but you can adjust the settings to let calls from certain people through the…

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Google Shrugs Off $5.1 Billion Fine With Another Big Quarter

SAN FRANCISCO — European authorities took their best swing, but it appears that Google hardly felt it.Less than a week after the European Union fined Google a record $5.1 billion for abusing its dominance in the smartphone market, Google’s parent company, Alphabet, said on Monday it had already absorbed the cost of the fine and still made $3.2 billion in profits in its latest quarter.Alphabet’s stock rose 3.5 percent in after-hours trading, and some analysts recommended the company’s shares. With the regulatory issue settled, they said, Google could get back to focusing on selling ads across the internet.“It’s like a delivery company having to pay for a…

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Tech Fix: What Europe’s Google Fine Means for Android Users

You may have heard that the European Union punished Google with a record $5.1 billion fine on Wednesday for abusing its power in the mobile phone market.Specifically, the authorities dinged Google on its practices with Android, the mobile operating system that the company provides to makers of devices. The size of the fine and the remedies that regulators ordered Google to make were consequential, both symbolically and in how handset manufacturers may incorporate Android into mobile devices in Europe in the future.But what does that mean for you if you own an Android phone? Here’s a rundown.What’s the problem?Android is one of the most prevalent mobile operating…

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E.U. Fines Google $5.1 Billion in Android Antitrust Case

The case has parallels to a similarly significant action against Microsoft in the early 2000s, when it was heavily penalized in Europe for using its power in the personal computer market to stamp out rivals. In a reversal of fortunes, Google, then a young upstart, was among those to complain about Microsoft’s practices at the time.The long-anticipated ruling arrived at a politically delicate period, with Europe and the United States engaged in an escalating trade conflict in which both sides have imposed tariffs on an array of products, from alcohol to aluminum. Last week, on a trip to Brussels, President Trump reiterated his complaints that American businesses…

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