Google Meet is getting breakout rooms, but only for some education customers to start

Elva Mankin

Google’s Meet videoconferencing service is getting breakout rooms, but they’ll only be available to G Suite Enterprise for Education customers at first, according to a Google blog post (via 9to5Google). With the feature, teachers and educators will be able to break their classes into smaller groups for things like projects or focused discussions.

Google will let you make up to 100 breakout rooms in a single call. Once you’ve decided how many breakout rooms you want, Google will randomly group up the people on the call into rooms, but moderators can manually add people to other rooms if they want. Meeting moderators can also hop between rooms to check in on groups.

If breakout rooms are something you might want to try out, but you aren’t an Enterprise for Education customer, you might be able to use them sometime soon — the feature will be coming to other G

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Google to Enforce Play Store Tax on the 3% of Apps Not Paying | Technology News

Elva Mankin

By Paresh Dave, Google, says, 3% and of

OAKLAND, Calif. (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google on Monday sought to rebut criticism that it selectively enforces its 30% mobile app store tax, demanding that the over 3% apps selling digital items without complying follow the rules within a year.

The change follows lawsuits by “Fortnite” video game maker Epic Games last month accusing Google and Apple Inc of anticompetitive conduct. Apps sold on the tech leaders’ stores are required to use their payment systems so they can collect a portion of sales, which developers describe as a tax. The companies are defending the allegations.

App stores are a fast-growing business as sales of Google’s search ads and Apple’s iPhone flatten out.

Google said under 3% of developers with apps on its Play store sold digital goods over the last 12 months, and nearly 97% comply with its payment system policy.

Dating

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This week in Android: LG Wing teaser, Google Pixel 4a giveaway

Elva Mankin

LG Wing Gaming Leaked Image

Can it fly? No, but the LG Wing is looking pretty slick.

We got an exclusive first look at the new LG Wing, a typical looking modern smartphone until you flip out the second display, or maybe you flip out the main display to reveal the half-sized second display underneath, we’re still unclear on that. Regardless the action, LG seems to understand that we often need more than just one display, but maybe don’t need two full displays, the LG Wing could be a fantastic solution.

Personally, I wonder if this is not an entirely new one-piece phone, but maybe an attachment that will clamp onto future LG devices? I can’t but think of Moto Mods and LG Friends, just as a display and extra speaker this time. 

In other news, it’s been about a fortnight since Fortnite announced it’s intent to split ways from Apple and then split ways

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Google hires South Bay students for yearlong IT apprenticeships

Elva Mankin

Google launched an apprenticeship program in August for San Jose City College students who are pursuing careers in information technology.

Google, one of the South Bay’s biggest employers, chose SJCC as its first partner college for the program in California, which began mid-August and will last a full year. Eight SJCC students were chosen for the apprenticeship, during which they will become certified through Google and work as IT specialists at the company’s Sunnyvale campus. Apprentices will be paid for their hours of on-the-job training and will also receive certain benefits.

In addition to the eight apprentices, Google is covering the tuition of 12 more SJCC students, whom the school will place in apprenticeships with other large companies. Lena Tran, the college’s vice president of strategic partnerships and workforce innovation, said she’s glad community colleges are being recognized as effective training grounds for jobs in the tech sector.

“Community colleges

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The 15 best Google Drive add-ons for customizing and streamlining your work on any Google application

Elva Mankin

Google Drive add-ons can help you work more efficiently.
Google Drive add-ons can help you work more efficiently.

Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

  • The best Google Drive add-ons give your Google apps new capabilities and, in those we’ve selected, allow you to work more efficiently or creatively.

  • You can add extra features to Google Drive apps using a library of add-ons available from the Add-ons menu in any of the Google apps. 

  • Most Google Drive add-ons are free, though some have paid features as well. 

  • Here are 15 of the best add-ons for getting the most out of Google Drive. 

  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Google Drive is a formidable alternative to Microsoft Office. Though its array of features may not be as extensive as Microsoft Office, Google Drive is free, always available online, and offers robust collaborative tools. 

Google Drive has another advantage too: A vast library of add-ons that can give it additional features and capabilities.

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Do lawmakers understand Google and Facebook enough to regulate them?

Elva Mankin

Many of us have had the feeling that technology, which continues to change at an ever-dizzying pace, may be leaving us behind. That was embodied this past week during a Congressional hearing, nominally convened to investigate antitrust concerns of four big tech titans: Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.

While the five-and-a-half-hour inquiry touched on a range topics from pesky spam filters and search results to how companies approached acquisitions, the House Judiciary subcommittee hearing laid one thing bare: A sizable disconnect appears to exist between the technology Americans are using and depending on in their daily lives and the knowledge base of people with the power and responsibility to decide its future and regulation.

“Consumers and investors walk away feeling like a lot of these lawmakers don’t really understand the business models to an extent that they could then navigate them and put laws in place that will dictate the

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Tech giants Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon to face Congress

Elva Mankin

Unprecedented is a dangerous word in journalism, but this really hasn’t happened before.

On Wednesday, four of the biggest names in tech will give evidence to members of the US Congress.

Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Sundar Pichai (Google), Tim Cook (Apple) and Jeff Bezos (Amazon) will all be grilled.

Jeff Bezos – the world’s richest man – has never testified before either house. They have never all been quizzed together.

How these tech bosses do, how they stand up to scrutiny, could be a defining moment in their future relationship with government.

Central to the interrogation will be whether these tech giants are simply too big.

The Covid pandemic has put this into sharp focus. Where other companies have struggled, Big Tech companies have thrived. Together they are now worth $5tn dollars. It’s led to accusations that – just like the banks – they are simply too big to fail.

The

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Why Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple are Bad for America

Elva Mankin

On Wednesday, four big tech CEOs — Apple’s Tim Cook, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg — will come face to face with Congress, in a hearing held by Antitrust Subcommittee Chair David Cicilline. The hearing is one result of a yearlong investigation by Cicilline’s subcommittee into whether these four companies regulate more of the U.S. economy than our public officials do.

For some, this hearing may seem like a series of technical questions about market power, and for others, a mere congressional spectacle. But the stakes are high. This hearing is part of the only major investigation into corporate power by any Congress in recent memory. How this hearing goes, and whether Congress over the next few years develops the confidence to break up and regulate these giants, will in many ways determine whether America remains a self-governing democracy.

That might seem like hyperbole, but

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What is Google Pay, and how do you use it?

Elva Mankin

Like everything else, the way you pay for anything, from a movie theater ticket to a new car, is changing. Google Pay completely takes your finances and makes them high-tech by allowing you to combine all your accounts in one secure place.

The best part is it turns your phone into your personal banking system, letting you make payments or transfer money in the blink of an eye. Learn all the steps you need to follow to get up and running with this service right now.

Google Pay for smartphones

In iOS or Android, you can use Google Pay within Gmail to send money to any email address — even a non-Google one.  While services vary according to country, you can also request or accept money using Gmail. Whether you’re paying or accepting payment, your information is encrypted and you can easily revoke access to your Google account on

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Inside Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google versus the Feds

Elva Mankin

Sometime very soon, four of the most powerful men on the planet will face off against a small congressional subcommittee. 

The stakes couldn’t be higher. 

Yes tech execs are called into D.C. regularly these days, but this time is different. These are the CEOs of the four mega-tech companies, starting with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, who’s never appeared before Congress. He’ll be joined by two other iconic personages: Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg (world’s fourth richest, worth $88 billion), and Apple’s Tim Cook. The fourth member of the quartet, Alphabet’s (Google’s) Sundar Pichai has a lower profile but carries no less weight.

Even more than all of that though, this hearing could mark a new beginning in the tug and pull between big business and society in America—for better or for worse. 

“This is the end of a one-year investigation where we’ve looked at these big tech platforms

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