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Today: Google can translate 27 languages, instantly, using your phone’s camera; why a German court is forcing Facebook to allow pseudonyms; how the right to be forgotten might go global; why Mozilla isn’t happy about Windows 10; and a parrot who knows what’s awesome (spoiler: it’s everything).
Google’s Instant Translation Is Kind Of Magical
Traveling is fantastic, but not being able to read signs can be a bit of a problem – but Google has you covered, as TechCrunch reports. Google Translate for Android and iOS lets you point your phone at a sign for an instant, in-place translation – and now it supports 27 languages. Check out their (delightfully catchy) demonstration:
Of course, you’ll need Internet access for this to be useful, so look into staying connected abroad if you want to use this, or check out our guide for getting more out of Google Translate while traveling for even more details.
Isn’t traveling fun? Let’s keep this up, heading to Germany.
Germany Force Facebook To Allow Pseudonyms
On the Internet, the old adage goes, nobody knows you’re a dog. Unless, of course, you’re on Facebook, where using your real name is mandatory.
German dogs, and human for that matter, might have a little more flexibility this week, as Reuters is reporting that The Hamburg data protection authority ordered Facebook to stop requiring people use their real names – and stop asking Germans for IDs.
Facebook, for their part, argues that the ruling doesn’t apply to them because their European headquarters are in Ireland. German authorities disagree.
“Facebook cannot again argue that only Irish Data Protection law would be applicable … anyone who stands on our pitch also has to play our game,” said Johannes Caspar, the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection. Expect to hear more about this one.
Should The Right To Be Forgotten Go Global?
Speaking of ongoing European privacy stories, let’s move on to France.
The EU doesn’t exactly love big American Internet companies, and the ongoing fight for a right to be forgotten is a good example of this. While it’s not an idea many Americans feel very strongly about, many in Europe feel that people have the right to be removed from search results in some certain cases. For example: if you committed a crime, then served your time in jail, Google should remove all reference to the crime from search results.
Google disagrees, but a 2014 court ruling means that they do just this sort of purging…on the European versions of their search engine. So while requested results are pulled from Google.fr, they’re easy to find at Google.com.
Until, potentially, now. The New York Times reports that Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, a French privacy regulator, is arguing that Google should remove such results from all versions of Google – and will issue fines to enforce this.
Peter Fleischer, Google’s global privacy counsel, called this a “a troubling development that risks serious chilling effects on the web.”
“In the end, the Internet would only be as free as the world’s least free place.” Peter Fleischer, writing for Google
Again: expect to hear more about this one, because it’s far from over.
Mozilla Isn’t Happy About Windows 10
Firefox has encountered an unexpected problem with Windows pic.twitter.com/M2LAhInCp4
— Gabfire Themes (@gabfirethemes) July 12, 2015
Firefox fans upgrading to Windows 10 discovered this week that Microsoft’s Edge is their new default browser, and Mozilla CEO Chris Beard isn’t happen about it. He explained why in an open letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella:
I am writing to you about a very disturbing aspect of Windows 10. Specifically, that the update experience appears to have been designed to throw away the choice your customers have made about the Internet experience they want, and replace it with the Internet experience Microsoft wants them to have.
The letter goes on to ask that Microsoft change this behavoirs, so that Windows loving Firefox fans don’t have to jump through hoops to use the browser they love on the on the OS they prefer.
Not wanting to assume Microsoft will change tact, however, Mozilla is offering a post that explains how to change the default browser in Windows 10, complete with a video:
At some level Mozilla is probably afraid of losing
And Finally…, Just For You
We’ve been to Germany, France, and California together, but let’s take one last stop in Stuart, Florida, where at least one local resident knows precisely what is awesome. Lego fans: this one’s for you.
That’s right: this Yellow Nape Amazon knows your favorite song. It’s sure to be stuck in your head all day, because everything is awesome. Everything is cool when you’re part of a team.
Everything is awesome.
Your Thoughts On Today’s Tech News
So, what do you think? Is Google’s translation demo impressive? Do you feel entitled to us a pseudonym on Facebook, or do you think that company can do whatever it wants? Is the right to be forgotten at all practical? If you upgraded to Windows 10, will you be changing your default browser?
Do you miss Dave? Or are you just happy that I, a poor substitution for Dave, managed to remember the “And Finally” segment for the week? Let’s talk about all this and more in the comments below.