Google working on 'common-sense' AI engine at new Zurich base

Based in Zurich, the team will focus on three areas - machine learning, natural language understanding and computer perception.

Emmanuel Mogenet, who will head the unit, said much of the research would be on teaching machines common sense.

There was, he said, "no limit on how big I grow the team".

"We are very ambitious in terms of growth. The only limiting factor will be talent," he told journalists gathered in Zurich to hear more about Google's AI plans.

Google wants to help you find your lost phone

Google's search team has noticed that people regularly type the phrase "I lost my phone." Instead of just returning articles with conflicting advice on what to do when your phone is stolen or hiding under the bed, Google will direct people to a new Find My Phone page.

It's one a handful of features the company is adding to its My Account hub.

Twitter abandons the "buy" button and now you can eat your six-pack

1 – Twitter has stopped caring about “buy” buttons.

Twitter is said to have moved most of the staff working on its “buy” buttons initiative and many other have left the company, according tothis report.

Why this is important for your business:

Oracle judgment sets high bar for fair use

Had the verdict gone the other way, it could have cost Google as much as $9 billion. Oracle will appeal the decision, but if it stands it sets a lofty precedent for fair use.

“The ruling certainly sets a high bar for creativity before deserving protection from fair use,” declares Al Hilwa, program director of software development research for IDC. “In this sense, developers will broadly view this as a relief from the burden of copyrights in crafting or copying APIs to a certain degree.”

Google defeats Oracle in Java code copyright case

Oracle had argued that Google had infringed its copyright and had sought nearly $9bn (£6bn) in damages.

The outcome was eagerly awaited by software developers who feared that a victory for Oracle might encourage more such legal actions.

The company says it will appeal against the decision.

Google uses Java in its Android smartphone operating system which powers about 80% of the world's mobile devices.

The company had argued that extending copyright protection to pieces of code called APIs (application programming interfaces) would threaten innovation.

Google is going to start showing you more ads

Later this year, Google is going to start handing over more space to advertisers, and allow their ads to pop up in loads of new places: Google Maps ads could even start showing up while you're driving.

Drone delivery start-up Flirtey taking on Google, Amazon in race to satisfy safety regulators

It may sound far-fetched but it is closer to reality than you think. And a tiny Australian company called Flirtey claims to be at the front of the flying drone pack.

Flirtey has already made a commercial drone delivery, albeit under strictly controlled conditions.

"I see a not too distant future where seeing a drone delivering a package to you or your neighbour is more common than seeing a postman or Fedex van deliver packages today," Flirtey chief executive officer Matt Sweeny said.

Google searches for more eyeballs with live, VR videos

The videos can be viewed on standard personal computers or with virtual reality headsets via the YouTube app on Android phones that use the company's Cardboard technology.

YouTube has had 360-degree videos since March 2015. With the upgrade, people can now tune-in to live broadcasts of events like sports games and music concerts and turn their head to look around them. The video and audio changes as they move.

Google removes Taliban-developed smartphone app from Play Store

The launch of the app was reported by the US-based SITE Intel Group, which monitors jihadist social media, on April 2.

The Pashto language app includes content such as official statements and videos from the Taliban, which has waged a jihad in Afghanistan for more than 14 years since it was ousted in 2001 with help from the US.

Google's email prank backfires

The prank, called "Mic Drop", gave users the option of sending emails through a special send button that - if the person replied - did not show the response.

Users could ignore the feature, but some apparently clicked in error on the special button instead of the usual button.