Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive at an annual conference for Google developers

Google’s Privacy Project

Another tech giant is showing they care about our Privacy. At its annual conference for software developers on 7th May, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai announced a number of updates aimed to give customers more control over their data.

Google’s incognito mode is set to be introduced to Youtube and Google Maps. Incognito mode, which Google has had on its browser for a decade, stores no data or browsing history. The addition of the mode to Youtube and Google Maps will help to limit the amount of data Google can collect.

Google also plans to have customer data living on devices rather than the Cloud, and will soon release a feature where customers can erase their search and location history on smartphones after 3 or 18 months. They also want to limit the use of cookies on Chrome, which businesses use to monitor where customers have viewed websites and ads.

Read more here.

Real or fake?

The issue of deep fakes and doctored videos has come back into the spotlight after Samsung researchers were able to create fake image variations based on a single photo. Samsung researchers published the paper here.

Using AI, they were able to turn a single image of a subject into multiple images and an animated video. The researchers used facial expressions of real people to help create new fake images. They even managed to do this to the famous portrait of The Mona Lisa.

With technology rapidly advancing, fake photos and videos are more convincing than ever.  Companies and consumers will need to learn how to spot what is real and fake.

Watch the video here.

Women walking past IKEA products hanging on the inside of Paris Train Station

IKEA turns Paris train station into a showroom

Whether or not you think brands should be able to transform a public space into their own personal showroom is beside the point. IKEA did just that, turning Paris’ busy La Madeleine metro station into its very own pop-up showroom.

Thousands of unexpecting commuters were amazed to find 1,500 IKEA products hanging from the walls, along with signage and pricing. The stunt was all part of a promotion for the new city-centre IKEA concept store, which opened in the area on the 6th May.

Read more here.

Coffee cup circled in Game of Thrones Scene

How Starbucks gained 3.3 billion in unpaid advertising without spending a cent

Apparently, a Starbucks coffee cup was accidentally left in a scene of the world’s most watched television show “Game of Thrones”. Or was it?

When fans first noticed a modern-day cup amongst the show’s medieval props, social media blew up, the scene quickly went viral, and the rogue addition was quickly identified as a Starbucks cup.

Within days, Starbucks had earned itself 3.3 billion AUD worth of free advertising. Talkwalker, a social media analytics platform, counted over 193K mentions of Starbucks and Game of Thrones across social media, blogs and news websites within 48 hours of the show airing.

The strangest thing? It wasn’t even a Starbucks cup. Game of Thrones art director Hauke Richter said that the cup came from a local coffee shop in Bainbridge, Ireland, near where the show was being filmed that day.

Read more about it here.

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