Oct 29, 2019

Google taps satellites to offer clearer picture of wildfires

Photo: Google

With this week's wildfires, Google is using the power of two U.S. satellites to provide a clearer and more quickly updated view of how the blazes are spreading.

Why it matters: Official information can often be hard to find and presented in less than straightforward ways, especially for those trying to quickly assess their situation in an emergency.

What's new: Google is drawing on both near-infrared and visible spectrum images to create a map of the Kincade Fire in Northern California, which can be updated every 5-20 minutes.

It's then combining the map with other official information as part of its official page on the fire.

History lesson: Google has offered crisis response informally since at least 2005, with efforts growing and becoming more formalized over the years. Last year it began testing a flood prediction tool for India.

What's next: Google hopes to expand beyond the U.S. to offer similar alerts in other countries.

"We think natural disasters are only going to get bigger as climate change takes hold," said Pete Giencke, a product manager for Google search.

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Google fights to limit sharing of information in antitrust probe

Google turned to a Texas court for help Thursday, fearing that a multistate antitrust probe could allow its rivals to gain access to sensitive information.

Driving the news: Google sought a protective order to limit the sharing of its confidential information in the states' antitrust investigation.

Go deeperArrowNov 1, 2019

States to expand Google probe

Photo: Pedro Fiúza/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

The multi-state antitrust probe into Google will expand beyond the advertising business to search and Android, CNBC reports.

Why it matters: Google is already facing investigations into potentially monopolistic behavior on many fronts, and the expansion of the states' probe will further widen the scrutiny.

Go deeperArrowNov 14, 2019

Google fires 4 as internal tensions mount

Google's logo on an escalator on Sept. 11. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Google confirmed Monday that it has fired four workers for violating company policies on data access. Google had earlier put two of the employees on leave over the issue.

Why it matters: It's the latest salvo in an increasingly fierce battle between the company and employee activists.

Go deeperArrowNov 26, 2019