Google

Tech Companies Announce Quarterly Earnings

yellow bar chart

Episode 1459

Tech companies announced quarterly earnings last week, and everything was up. Alphabet's revenue was up 24%, but because of the new tax law, it actually lost money. Alphabet had an additional tax expense of $9.9 billion, but that money went toward taxes on funds that were kept overseas to avoid that tax. Ebay lost money because it had to pay $3.1 billion, and Lenovo lost money because it had to pay $400 million in taxes.

How can I track my family with my phone?

Episode 1450

Deena from Manhattan Beach, CA

Deena wants to track her family with her iPhone. Leo says that a smartphone has GPS, an always on internet connection, it's designed to be a surveillance device. Always remember to have permission of the person you're tracking. For the iPhone, there's Find My Friends. There's also Life360. But her husband's phone is on Android, so how does he keep track of their son? Google Maps will let you share your location. Open Google Maps, tap the blue dot and select share location. It will time out after awhile though. That's the best option because it's free and cross platform.

How can I keep my phone from always listening?

Motorola Moto Z

Episode 1452

Pat from San Gabriel, CA

Pat upgraded to a Motorola Moto Z with Android 7, but when he listens to music at home, it displays what he's currently listening to on the screen. How does it know? Leo says that the Android has an always listening feature that will pick up the ambient sound in the room and identify it. It's basically for the OK Google feature.

Pat had an issue with it playing a video unexpectedly as well. Leo says he can train it to just listen to only his voice, or he could even disable "OK Google" entirely. It'll be under Settings > Google.

Why is Google's voice command feature sending audio to my Gmail account?

Google Assistant logo

Episode 1451

Mark from Loris, SC

Mark has a low end Android phone running Marshmallow. Ever since the last update, any time he uses the voice command feature, he's noticed a message that says it's sending audio to his Gmail account. Leo says it's a normal function of Google voice command. It's just letting him know what account that service is associated with. It's not emailing him, it's just letting him know what account it's using. The phone isn't really doing the dictation, it's sending the voice data to Google servers. It looks like Google is being transparent about it.

Google's Latest AI Can Teach Itself How to Play Go and Chess

Chess

Episode 1447

Google's latest artificial intelligence, AlphaGo Zero, now has the ability to teach itself how to master board games after only knowing the rules, and without any human intervention. While previous AI took months to beat the world champion Go player, this latest system was able to master these games in less than a day.

Read more at engadget.com.

Does Apple CarPlay support Google Play Music?

Apple CarPlay

Episode 1443

Jonathan from New York, NY

Jonathan wants to know if CarPlay will support Android and Google Play Music. Leo says that Google Play Music will be coming to CarPlay soon. Although it's unclear when it will get seeded down to older models. Siri probably won't interact with it or control it, though. This seems counter to the very idea of CarPlay to begin with — that it's a handsfree experience when driving.

15% Report Email or Social Media Account Have Been Taken Over

Hacker

Episode 1443

According to a recent study funded by Google, 15% of users have reported that their email or social media account was taken over due to phishing scams. Leo says that over 25 million users were bit by an email phishing scam, while about 35,000 were victim to keystroke loggers. Leo says that this is the season for scams and that users may get emails from the "IRS" or even phone calls demanding personal information. It's always a scam and users shouldn't fall for it.

Why can't I use the arrow keys to select Google results?

Number pad on keyboard

Episode 1440

Chris from Sherman Oaks, CA

When Chris searches for something, he wants to be able to just use the arrow keys to select results, but it won't let him do that. Leo says that's the CSS. He can provide his own style sheet that would include this if he wants, but in order to do that he'd have to learn the syntax of CSS. If he searches for this problem and "CSS," there's probably somebody who has written his or her own style sheet. Then he can just download that and change the settings to use his instead. This could be helpful to someone who can't use a mouse.

Tech Bloggers Rush Out Reviews of Google Pixel 2

Pixel 2 XL

Episode 1440

Leo says that phone manufacturers like Apple and Google are taking advantage of the hyper-competitive nature of the tech blogging world by only giving out limited quantities of smartphones, and at the very last minute for only 24 hours. This strategy was pretty interesting because it gave bloggers limited hands-on time with their latest phones before they had to publish a review. As such, Leo says they didn't really have time to focus on bread and butter features like battery life or issues like screen burn-in. Instead, they're focusing on the newest features.