An Apple Byte : Apple Gets 36 Per Cent Of Google’s Ad Revenue

During a recent court hearing where Google was trying to defend itself from monopoly claims, it was revealed that Google sends 36 per cent of the advertising revenue it makes on Apple’s Safari web browser to Apple.

The figure, which was revealed by an expert testifying on behalf of Google, could be damaging given that Google is trying to prove that its dominance of online searches is because they have a superior product and not down to any dealings that could be seen as restricting the competition.

In the case of Google Vs the US Department of Justice, it was reportedly revealed that Google has paid in excess of $26bn to other companies, such as Apple (paid an estimated $18bn), Mozilla, and Samsung so that it can be installed as the default search engine.

What Does This Mean For Your Business? 

Whereas some may consider these large payments simply to be evidence of the stiff competition in the market, such a revelation in a case where Google trying to counter any suggestion of anti-competitive practices could prove to be very damaging to its defence. If things go against Google, in addition to it receiving major fines, the effects could be felt across a tech industry that many say has always been dominated by a small number of powerful players.

Tech Tip – Filtering Video Searches In Google

If you need to search Google for a specific video, or for the best version of that video, Google Search lets you filter video results by duration, time, quality, source, and more. Here’s how it works:

– Type the words into Google Search that you’re looking for a video about.

– When the results are displayed, click on ‘Images’ (below the Google Search box).

– Click on the ‘Tools’ link (just to the right).

– Use the small dropdown menus to filter down and find the exact video you need.

Tech Tip – Use Google Translate To Check For Mistakes In Your Content

If you’ve written content such as blog posts, articles etc that you’d like to check thoroughly for any mistakes and hear more clearly how it sounds being read back, try using Google Translate. Here’s how.

– Go to Google Translate.

– Copy and paste your content (up to 5,000 characters) into the left-hand window and select English as the language.

– Click on the speaker (‘Listen’) icon in the bottom left of the left-hand window.

– Listen to your content being read back, keeping an ear out for any changes you’d like to make.

Featured Article : Google Tests Tool Against IP-Based Tracking

Google is testing ‘IP Protection’, a feature for Chrome that sends third-party traffic for a set of domains through proxies to mask their IP addresses, thereby boosting privacy by fighting IP-based covert tracking.

IP Addresses 

An IP address can be explained as being like a home address for your computer or device on a network. It’s a unique numerical identifier that helps in sending and receiving information correctly over the internet or local networks. Each device on a network has a unique IP address, which helps in identifying it among all the other devices. For example, just as the post office needs a physical address to deliver your post to the right house, computers use IP addresses to send and receive information to and from the right devices. Typically, your IP address is the one given to your router and is given by your ISP and although not permanently assigned, it tends to stay the same until you disconnect or turn the router off.

What’s The Problem With IP Addresses? 

As useful as an IP address can be in acting as your identifier on the network, it can also be misused when used as an identifier for anyone who wants to covertly track you across multiple websites. For example, because your IP address is unique to your internet connection at that moment, when you visit a website, it sees your IP address and can remember it. If you go to another website, that site can also see your IP address. If both websites share data (like through ads or tracking services), they can ‘connect the dots’ and realise that the same person visited both sites.

User Profile Built Over Time 

Over time, as you visit more and more websites, a ‘persistent user profile’ gets built up and although those tracking may not know your name, they know what the barcode equivalent of you is – your IP address. By looking at the websites you visit, trackers can figure out your interests, habits, and maybe even your location and by combining this information with other semi-permanent information from your browser, a fairly accurate ‘fingerprint’ of you can be built up.


Advertisers and marketers may use cookies, pixels, and other tracking technologies embedded in websites to track IP address to understand user behaviour, preferences, and demographics for targeted advertising and personalised content.

Other trackers of IP address may include websites and online services (e.g. to analyse traffic, understand user engagement, and improve the user experience) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for network management, troubleshooting, to ensure the security and integrity of their network, plus (perhaps) for law enforcement purposes. Other tracking entities can include government and law enforcement, cybersecurity professionals (monitoring for and respond to security threats), content providers and streaming services, and research and analytics companies tracking IP addresses.

It’s also important to remember that cyber criminals track IP addresses to find vulnerable devices or networks.

No Direct Way To Evade Tracking 

The key point is that although IP addresses are necessary and useful for routing traffic, preventing fraud and abuse, and for performing other important functions for network operators and domains, they can pose privacy concerns but, unlike third-party cookies, users currently don’t have a direct way to avoid being covertly tracked. An effective solution, which Google believes could be its IP Protection, needs to strike the right balance between retaining user privacy and not having too much of a negative impact on the normal running of the Internet and the online economy.

VPNs, Proxy Servers, and Secure Browsers 

Many people must resort to use a proxy server or a VPN to hide their IP address, both of which mask a user’s IP address with one of their own. There are also many private browsers available which use third-party ad blockers, onion routing, and other security features. These include Brave, DuckDuckGo, and the Tor Browser, among others.

Google’s IP Protection 

Google’s IP Protection feature, which it is currently testing with a view to rolling it out in multiple phases, sends third-party traffic for a set of domains through proxies, thereby protecting the user by masking their IP address from those domains.


The first testing phase is reported to be to ensure that the feature will work without impacting third-party companies, e.g. Google’s own Ad Services.  Google says this test will involve a single Google-owned proxy, will only proxy requests to domains owned by Google, and will allow to test its infrastructure while preventing impact to other companies, and gives it more time to refine the list of domains that will be proxied.

Google says that IP Protection changes how stable a client’s IP address is but “does not otherwise cause a breaking change for existing sites.” 


Google says that IP Protection will be opt-in initially to make sure there is “user control over privacy decisions” and that Google can monitor behaviours at lower volumes.

List Based Approach 

It’s understood that a list based approach is to be used by Google and only domains on the list in a third-party context will be impacted, and the focus will be on scripts and domains that are considered to be tracking users so as not to disrupt legitimate use of IP tracking.

What Does This Mean For Your Business? 

IP addresses play a vital and legitimate role in the functioning of the web and its economy.

However, user privacy is important and despite browser vendors trying to give users additional privacy, covert cross-site IP tracking enabled by IP addresses is a problem and is a threat to privacy. Most web users aren’t happy with the idea that their web activities can be secretly tracked and a profile of them compiled which is stored and used by faceless companies to target them with ads and offers – it feels like an invasion of privacy and a risk to user security.

Until now, users haven’t had a direct way to avoid being covertly tracked and have needed to proactively opt for measures like using VPNs and proxy servers. Google IP Protection (opt-in at first) could therefore provide a much more direct and effective background privacy-protection solution for users that could, along with ecosystem changes, expand over time to be effective at protecting users’ privacy from cross-site tracking. For companies, organisations, marketers, and advertisers that use IP tracking, however, this could represent a real threat to their operations. Indeed, it could represent a threat to Google’s own domains and ad operation if it doesn’t work properly (hence the testing). IP Protection, therefore, looks promising and the hope is that it will be able to strike the right balance between user privacy and the safety and protecting functionality of the web.

Tech Tip – Automatically Block Third-Party Cookies In Google Chrome

If you’d like to protect your privacy and prevent yourself from being tracked by websites other than the one you are currently visiting, there’s a way to automatically block third-party cookies in Google Chrome. Here’s how:

– In Chrome, click on the three dots (top right) and click on ‘Settings’.

– Click on ‘Privacy and security’.

– Click on ‘Third-party cookies’.

– Select ‘Block third-party cookies’.

Tech Tip – How To Get A Full Long Page Screen Capture In Chrome

If you’d like to capture long web pages in their entirety, e.g. for use in documentation, presentations, or competitor analysis, Google Chrome has a lesser-known but built-in way for doing this. Here’s how it works:

– Go to the web page you’d like to capture.

– Press Ctrl + Shift + I (or Cmd + Option + I on Mac) to open Developer Tools, then Ctrl + Shift + P to open the Command Menu (right-hand side).

– In the search bar at the top (next to ‘Run >’) type “screenshot” and select “Capture full size screenshot”.

– The screenshot will be saved in your ‘Downloads’ folder as a PNG file.

Featured Article : Bots To Bots : Google Offers Protection From AI-Related Lawsuits

Google Cloud has announced in a blog post that if customers are challenged on copyright grounds through using its generative AI products (Duet AI), Google will offer limited indemnity and assume responsibility for the potential legal risks involved.


With the many different generative AI services (such as AI chatbots and image generators) being powered by back-end neural networks / Large Language Models (LLMs) that have been trained using content from many different sources (without consent or payment), businesses that use their outputs face risks. For example, content creators like artists and writers may take legal action and seek compensation for LLMs using their work for training and which, as a result, can appear to copy their style in their output, thereby raising potential issues of copyright, lost income, devaluation of their work and more. Real examples include:

– In January this year, illustrators Sarah Andersen, Kelly McKernan, and Karla Ortiz filing a lawsuit against Midjourney Inc, DeviantArt Inc (DreamUp), and Stability AI, alleging that the text-to-image platforms have used their artworks, without consent or compensation, to train their algorithms.

– In February this year, Getty Images filing a lawsuit against Stability AI, alleging that it had copied 12 million images (without consent or permission) to train its AI model.

– Comedian Sarah Silverman joining lawsuits (in July 2023) accusing OpenAI and Meta of training their algorithms on her writing without permission.

– GitHub facing litigation over accusations that they have allegedly scraped artists’ work for their AI products.

– Microsoft, Microsoft’s GitHub, and OpenAI facing a lawsuit over alleged code copying by GitHub’s Copilot programming suggestion service.

Although all these relate to lawsuits against the AI companies themselves and not their customers, the AI companies realise that this is also a risky area for customers because of how their AI models have been trained and where they could get their outputs from.

What Are The AI Companies Saying In Their Defence? 

Examples of the kinds of arguments that AI companies being accused of copyright infringement are using in their defence include:

– Some AI companies argue that the data used to train their models is under the principle of “fair use.” Fair use is a legal doctrine that promotes freedom of expression by allowing the unlicensed use of copyright-protected works in certain circumstances. For example, the argument is that the vast amount of data used to train models like ChatGPT’s GPT-4 is processed in a transformative manner, which AI companies like OpenAI may argue means the output generated is distinct and not a direct reproduction of the original content.

– Another defence revolves around the idea that AI models, especially large ones, aggregate and anonymise data to such an extent that individual sources become indistinguishable in the final model. This could mean that, while a model might be trained on vast amounts of text, it doesn’t technically “remember” or “store” specific books, articles, or other content in a retrievable form.

– Yet another-counter argument by some AI companies is that while an AI tool has the ‘potential’ for misuse, it is up to the end-users to use it responsibly and ethically. This means that AI companies can argue that because they often provide guidelines and terms of service that outline acceptable uses of their technology, plus they actively try and discourage/prevent uses that could lead to copyright infringement, they are therefore (ostensibly) encouraging responsible use.

Google’s Generative AI Indemnification 

Like Microsoft’s September announcement that it would defend its paying customers if they faced any copyright lawsuits for using Copilot, Google has just announced for its Google Cloud customers (who are pay-as-you-go) that it will be offering them its own AI indemnification protection. Google says that since it has embedded the always-on ‘Duet AI’ across its products, it needs to put its customers first and in the spirit of “shared fate” it will “assume responsibility for the potential legal risks involved.” 

A Two-Pronged Approach 

Google says it will be taking a “two-pronged, industry-first approach” to this indemnification. This means that it will provide indemnity for both the training data used by Google for generative AI models, and for the generated output of its AI models – two layers of protection.

In relation to the training data, which has been a source of many lawsuits for AI companies and could be an area of risk for Google’s customers, Google says its indemnity will cover “any allegations that Google’s use of training data to create any of our generative models utilised by a generative AI service, infringes a third party’s intellectual property right.” For business users of Google Cloud and its Duet AI, this means they’ll be protected regardless against third parties claiming copyright infringement as a result of Google’s use of training data.

In relation to Google’s generated output indemnity, Google says it will apply to Duet AI in Google Workspace and to a range of Google Cloud services which it names as:

– Duet AI in Workspace, including generated text in Google Docs and Gmail and generated images in Google Slides and Google Meet.

– Duet AI in Google Cloud including Duet AI for assisted application development.

– Vertex AI Search.

– Vertex AI Conversation.

– Vertex AI Text Embedding API / Multimodal Embeddings.

– Visual Captioning / Visual Q&A on Vertex AI.

– Codey APIs.

Google says the generated output indemnity will mean that customers will be covered when using the above-named products against third-party IP claims, including copyright.

One Caveat – Responsible Practices 

The one caveat that Google gives is that it won’t be able to cover customers where they have intentionally created or used generated output to infringe the rights of others. In other words, customers can’t expect Google to cover them if they ask Duet AI to deliberately copy another person’s work/content.

The Difference 

Google says the difference between its AI indemnity protection and that offered by others (e.g. Microsoft), is essentially that it covers the training data aspect and not just the output of its generative AI tools.

Bots Talking To Each Other?

Interestingly, another twist in the complex and emerging world of generative AI last week were reports that companies are using “synthetic humans” (i.e. bots), each with characteristics drawn from ethnographic research on real people and using them to take part in conversations with other bots and real people to help generate new product and marketing ideas.

For example, Fantasy, a company that creates the ‘synthetic humans’ for conversations has reported that the benefits of using them include both the creation of novel ideas for clients, and prompting real humans included in their conversations to be more creative, i.e. stimulating more creative brainstorming. However, although it sounds useful, one aspect to consider is where the bots may get their ‘ideas’ from since they’re not able to actually think. Could they potentially use another company’s ideas?

What Does This Mean For Your Business? 

Since the big AI investors like Google and Microsoft have committed so fully to AI and introduced ‘always-on’ AI assistants to services for their paying business customers (thereby encouraging them to use the AI without being able to restrict all the ways its used), it seems right that they’d need to offer some kind of cover, e.g. for any inadvertent copyright issues.

This is also a way for Google and Microsoft to reduce the risks and worries of their business customers (customer retention). Google, Microsoft, and other AI companies have also realised that they can feel relatively safe in offering indemnity at the moment as they know that many of the legal aspects of generative AI’s outputs and the training of its models are very complex areas that are still developing.

They may also feel that taking responsibility in this way at least gives them a chance to get involved in the cases, argue, and have a say in the cases (particularly with their financial and legal might) that will set the precedents that will guide the use of generative AI going forward. It’s also possible that many cases could take some time to be resolved due to the complexities of the new, developing, and often difficult to frontier of the digital world.

Some may also say that many of the services that Google’s offering indemnity for could mostly be classed as internal use services, whilst others may say that the company could be opening itself up to a potential tsunami of legal cases given the list of services it covers and the fact not all business users will be versed in what the nuances of responsible use in what is a developing area. Google and Microsoft may ultimately need to build-in legal protection and guidance of what can be used to the output of their generative AI.

As a footnote, it would be interesting to see whether ‘synthetic human’ bots could be used to discuss and sort out many of the complex legal areas around AI use (AI discussing the legal aspects of itself with people – perhaps with lawyers) and whether AI will be used in research for any legal cases over copyright?

Generative AI is clearly a fast developing and fascinating area with both benefits and challenges.

Security Stop Press : Severe Browser Security Flaw Receives Emergency Updates

A severe browser security flaw, tacked as CVE-2023-4863 and then CVE-2023-5129, has led to emergency updates in Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla’s Firefox, and Apple’s Safari browsers.

The vulnerability, in the libwebp image format, which was made by Google to provide better image compression than e.g., JPEG or PNG, leaves any program using it, such as browsers, vulnerable to attack.

The advice is to check and make sure that you have the most up-to-date bowser version. For example, in Chrome, click on the three dots (top right), then on Help > About Google Chrome to reveal the version number.

Tech Tip – Google Chrome’s Link To Highlighted Text Feature

If you’ve found a specific passage of text in a web page that you’d like to show to another person, Google Chrome has a built-in feature that allows you to share a link that goes straight to that text. Here’s how it works:

– In Chrome, highlight the passage text in any web page that you’d like to show to, e.g. to a customer or colleague.

– Right-click.

– Select ‘Copy link to highlight.’

– Share the link.

Featured Article : Google’s Bard Now Manages Your Email

Google has announced that it is embedding its ‘Bard’ chatbot into its apps and services with the launch of ‘Bard Extensions’.


In a similar way to Microsoft’s Copilot, Google’s own ‘Duet’ (for Google Cloud users), and Salesforce’s Einstein Copilot, Google is giving users an embedded chatbot assistant that works across its apps to leverage them and improve productivity.


Google’s Bard is its generative AI service which used Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA), and more recently is using Google’s next generation PaLM 2 LLM. When first announced, Bard was seen as Google’s rival to OpenAI’s ChatGPT (probably because ChatGPT beat everyone to market).


Google says that its ‘Bard Extensions’ that will enable the Bard “helpful collaborator” to connect with Google’s apps and services. In a similar way to how OpenAI’s ChatGPT’s extensions enable to access other wider information sources, Extensions gives Bard to access information internally and from back-end systems as well as via Google tools like Google Maps, and Google Flights and hotels (as well as Gmail, Docs, Drive). In short, it’s a way for Google users to access multiple information sources in one place – tying everything together in what should be a fast and convenient way.

Manages Your Email, And More – Example : Planning A Trip 

As mentioned in the title of this article, one way you could use Bard is to manage aspects of Gmail, e.g. summarising emails to and from certain contacts. However, the point Google wants to make is that the embedded Bard can integrate, co-ordinate, and pull-in information from multiple sources, saving time and effort and boosting the capabilities and productivity of users.

One example Google gives to illustrate this is by suggesting using Bard to plan a trip by asking Bard to “grab the dates that work for everyone from Gmail, look up real-time flight and hotel information, see Google Maps directions to the airport, and even watch YouTube videos of things to do there — all within one conversation.” 

Bard can, of course, do many of the things ChatGTP users are familiar with plus users can also upload images and ask Bard to find information about them.


Google is also keen to make the point to businesses that if you choose to use the Workspace extensions, security and privacy will be maintained because the content from Gmail, Docs and Drive will not be seen by human reviewers, used by Bard to show targeted ads, or used to train the Bard model. For example, fears have been raised that sensitive company information shared with generative AI chatbots could conceivably be revealed as part of an answer to other users is the right prompts were used.

“Google It” Button To Check Reliability 

One issue with generative AI chatbots is that they can generate replies to questions that contain often plausible looking but fabricated or simply incorrect information. For example, OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman has been very open about ChatGPT’s deductive (fact-based) reasoning leading it to have ‘hallucination’ problems, whereby it confidently states things as if they were facts that are entirely made up. Relying on false information for decision-making or publishing false information could, of course, be very damaging for businesses.

To address this issue, Google says Bard’s “Google it” button will enable users to “more easily double-check its answers.” For example, clicking on the “G” icon, makes Bard read the response and “evaluate whether there is content across the web to substantiate it.” Where Bard’s statements can be evaluated, users can click the highlighted phrases and view the supporting or contradicting information found by Search.

Share A Bard Chat Link 

Google says that the new embedded Bard can also help with “conversations” about topics (e.g. business issues) between users by allowing users to share a Bard chat with each other through a public link. This allows users to continue a conversation and ask Bard additional questions about that topic or use it as a starting point for ideas.

What Does This Mean For Your Business? 

Along with Duet, the embedding of Bard in Google’s apps and the use of Bard Extensions provides with another way for Google to compete with and challenge its generative AI rivals Microsoft (with Copilot) and OpenAI (with ChatGPT). It’s the synergies and added value of being able to tie together and leverage so many apps, services, and information sources via one fast, convenient, easy to operate (just conversational language) AI assistant / collaborator that’s the advantage an embedded Bard, Copilot and other similar chatbot brings.

Businesses may need to access information from different places (internal and external) and in different Google apps in its suite, and Bard gives them the chance to save time, and generate valuable information and insights, and increase their capabilities (without extra training) way beyond what could be achieved without it. In the generative AI world, Bard’s been quite a long time coming, and for many people it remains to be seen and experienced how it stacks up against other chatbots. For Google, which has spent many years developing a whole ecosystem of apps, Bard offers a way to give users seamless way to harness their power in new and value-adding ways. Although this is another important step for Google, many commentators are already looking towards a time when generative AI will not just be good with text and pictures but will be able to connect and integrate with other business systems like CRMs and become more proactive in their assistance rather than just responding to questions and requests.