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Ford’s 2018 Mustang GT can do 0-to-60 mph in under 4 seconds

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GOOGLE APPEARS TO BE WORKING ON LETTING YOU SIGN INTO WINDOWS 10 W/ YOUR GOOGLE ACCOUNT

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Google’s focus when it comes to computers is definitely centered on Chrome OS, but the company has done a lot for macOS and Windows as well. Today, we’re seeing evidence that hints that Google may be working to let users log into Windows 10 using their Google accounts…

Sounds crazy, right? According to a commit first spotted by Chrome Story and since elaborated on by BleepingComputer, Google is working towards letting users log in to their Windows 10 machines using their Google accounts. Apparently, this feature is designed with enterprise/G Suite customers primarily in mind.

I’ll leave the more technical details to BleepingComputer’s article, but there’s clear evidence that Google is working towards this. The commit reveals the “Google Credential Provider” for Windows which would take advantage of Windows’ ability to use third-party credential providers in addition to the ones that a computer ships with – password, PIN, Windows Hello, etc. Google’s credential provider would simply let users sign in using their typical Google account email and password.

Apparently, this is something that can be installed manually by the end-user with a setup executable. After installing and setting things up, a reboot would reveal the Google sign-in option on the Windows 10 lockscreen which might look something like the concept below.

BleepingComputer further explains:

When a user logs in with their GAIA ID, the credential provider will authenticate the user using Google’s OAuth 2.0 api. If the credentials are correct, the provider will automatically log the user into their profile or create a new one.

It does appear that users will need to have Chrome installed in order to use this, and Google has not commented on the matter yet beyond the information available in the commit.

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Mobile Platforms

WHATSAPP CONFIRMS THAT MESSAGES BACKED UP ON GOOGLE DRIVE ARE NOT ENCRYPTED

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WhatsApp has been advertising their encryption policy for a while now. The company has left no stones unturned to make sure users understand that the messages are end-to-end encrypted and can’t be intercepted by anyone. However, it looks like the same can’t be said for Google Drive backups.

Recently, the company announced a partnership with Google to exempt WhatsApp backups from Google Drive free quota calculations. Previously the WhatsApp backups stored on Drive used to count within the 15 GB free space that a Google account offered. With the new partnership, WhatsApp also confirmed that the data stored on Google Drive is not encrypted. The company confirmed this in a blog post update about Google Drive- “Media and messages you back up aren’t protected by WhatsApp end-to-end encryption while in Google Drive”.

That said, security researchers did point out that it’s not mandatory to upload backups on Google Drive so in case you’re not comfortable then just choose the local backup option.

As a WhatsApp user you have the choice to not backup your data to Google Drive,” said. They (WhatsApp) are not forcing you to backup. It is a feature. So, if you trust Google, you can enable it. At the same time if law enforcement agencies requests Google for specific user data, they have to comply.

– Sai Krishna Kothapalli, an independent security researcher

WhatsApp has always promised complete end-to-end encryption and has confirmed on various occasions that even the company can’t access the messages. While this is true because the messages are stored on the phones of the users and not on WhatsApp servers, the company says they can’t guarantee the same for Google Drive backups. If you’re not comfortable then don’t upload WhatsApp backups on Google Drive. The feature is present but is optional so if you don’t like it then don’t use it.

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Business

AMAZON SETS ITS SIGHTS ON THE $88 BILLION ONLINE AD MARKET

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Verizon doesn’t sell its mobile phones or wireless plans over Amazon. Nor does it offer Fios, its high-speed internet service. But Verizon does advertise on Amazon.

On Black Friday last year, when millions of online shoppers took to Amazon in search of deals, a Verizon ad for a Google Pixel 2 phone — buy one and get a second one half off — could be seen blazing across Amazon’s home page. And on July 16, what Amazon calls Prime Day, an event with special deals for its Prime customers, Verizon again ran a variety of ads and special offers for Amazon shoppers, like a mix-and-match unlimited service plan.

Amazon, which has already reshaped and dominated the online retail landscape, is quickly gathering momentum in a new, highly profitable arena: online advertising, where it is rapidly emerging as a major competitor to Google and Facebook.

The push by the giant online retailer means consumers — even Prime customers, who pay $119 a year for access to free shipping as well as streaming music, video and discounts — are likely to be confronted by ads in places where they didn’t exist before.

 

In late August, some gamers were angered when Twitch, a video game streaming service acquired by Amazon in 2014, said it would soon no longer be ad-free for Prime members unless consumers paid an additional $8.99 a month for a premium service called Twitch Turbo.

Amazon derives the bulk of its annual revenue, forecast to be $235 billion this year, from its e-commerce business, selling everything from books to lawn furniture. Amazon is also a leader in the cloud computing business, with Amazon Web Services, which accounts for around 11 percent of its revenue but more than half of its operating income. But in the company’s most recent financial results, it was a category labeled “other” that caught the attention of many analysts. It mostly consists of revenue from selling banner, display and keyword search-driven ads known as “sponsored products.” That category surged by about 130 percent to $2.2 billion in the first quarter, compared with the same period in 2017.

Those numbers are a pittance for Google and Facebook, which make up more than half of the $88 billion digital ad market. But they come with big and troubling implications for those two giants.

Much of online advertising relies on imprecise algorithms that govern where marketing messages appear, and what impact they have on actual sales. Here, Amazon has a big advantage over its competitors. Thanks to its wealth of data and analytics on consumer shopping habits, it can put ads in front of people when they are more likely to be hunting for specific products and to welcome them as suggestions rather than see them as intrusions.

Amazon is gaining in advertising when the public perception of Google and Facebook has soured. In addition, some advertisers have yet to return to YouTube, a growing ad channel for Google, after brands like AT&T were found appearing adjacent to videos that promoted racism or terrorism.

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