Google has banned CooTek, the developer of the Touchpal keyboard and hundreds of other apps, from its ad network and the Play Store. CooTek's apps contained a number of annoying ads that also appeared after closing the app.
The security company Lookout discovered just a month ago the terrible app practices of CooTek. CooTek has loaded annoying apps into hundreds of apps that can be viewed even when users close the app. The ads were so common that the phone could become unusable.
CookTek developers have tagged the ads with a BeiTaAd plug-in and tried to hide their activity and stopped the ads for a day or two after the app was first installed. If you suspend the ads, you may instead be held responsible for a newer installed app for the ad.
After Lookout has reported its results to Google, those apps have been removed from the Play Store. CooTek apologized, promised to stop the process, and uploaded "clean copies" of the apps with the ad code removed.
Although the company removed the BeiTaAd plug-in, Lookout noted that the apps were still able to serve equally annoying ads. And again CooTek tried to disguise what it did. Lookout reported its new findings to Google, which investigated and confirmed the presence of new code to load intrusive ads.
As a result of these discoveries, Google banned CooTek from both its advertising platform and publishing apps in the Play Store. In a statement to Buzzfeed, a Google spokesperson said, "Our Google Play developer policies strictly prohibit malicious and misleading behavior and annoying ads. When violations are detected, we take action. [The Verge]
In Other News:
- Microsoft automatically upgrades older Windows 1
- Apple may fund original podcasts: Spotify and other podcasting companies are currently funding original podcats (and thus exclusive podcats). Now Apple could jump into the fight. Bloomberg cites "sources" claiming that Apple was interested in acquiring exclusive rights to podcasts. Apple has a podcast app, so using only drives is a good idea. [Bloomberg]
- Google Maps now displays bike-sharing stations worldwide: About a year ago, locations of bike-sharing stations in New York City were displayed on Google Maps. Now the company is expanding this service in 23 cities around the world, from Barcelona to Zurich. Users can find the nearest station, whether they want to pick up or drop off a bicycle. [VentureBeat]
- Tesla Increases US $ 1,000 Option: Tesla offers an add-on for fully automatic driving, which you can purchase with your already expensive car. The option does not work, as driving with full confidence (or level 5 self-drive) is a dream of the future. As of August, the promise of a dream will increase by $ 1,000 to a total of $ 7,000. [Ars Technica]
- Nintendo Upgrades the Processor in the Switch for Longer Battery Life: When Nintendo announced the Switch Light, it included a better processor than the original switch. Now, Nintendo brings this processor to an updated version of the original switch. Prices remain the same, but the better processor adds 2 hours to your handheld's battery life – extra time for the tiny buttons to kill your thumbs. [ReviewGeek]
- Apple Automatically Patches the Latest Zoom Vulnerability: In an update to the current Zoom saga, Apple patches the vulnerabilities in the RingCentral and Zhumu apps. The apps use the Zoom software and are vulnerable to the same webcam hijacks that Apple has previously addressed. Apple's updates are automatic and silent, so you do not have to do anything to get the patch. [MacRumors]
When he's not building cars, firing missiles, or drilling holes in the ground, Elon Musk is apparently researching the technology of brain implants.
His newest company, Neuralink, came out of stealth mode last night to showcase a new thread-brain implant technology and a robot sewing it in the head. Scientists have been experimenting with brain-computer interfaces for some time, but the current technology is very invasive. The hope was to solve brain disorders and better understand the human mind.
Neuralink wants to solve the invasive part and works on thread-like chips with a thickness between 4 and 6 microns, about one third of the diameter of a human hair.
Finally, the company wants to use a robot to implant the threads with lasers and embed them deep in the brain tissue. With such a small technology so deeply hidden, Neuralink assumes that the threads can perform extremely high-volume reads and writes.
Neuralink also wants to offer the technology to healthy people to achieve "a kind of symbiosis with artificial intelligence. "No thanks. You. [TechCrunch]