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AdBlock Browser for Android launched, become a beta tester today!

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AdBlock Plus is a name that most people already are familiar with, as they’ve become accustomed to the great adblocking services and acceptable ads program that the add-on offers. Until now, AdBlock Plus was present on Android and on desktop PCs, but never have they announced a product like what they’ve announced today. The AdBlock Browser for Android is now official, although it’s not finished yet. Today, we can get a glimpse of what’s coming our way in terms of browsing experience.

The official AdBlock Browser for Android in its full, final version is still ahead in time, as Ben Williams, PR and Communications manager at AdBlock Plus has confirmed. According to him, the final version of the new mobile browser will be ready for release in a month or two, but until then we have good news: you can try it out for yourself. AdBlock Plus is looking to make the new AdBlock Browser for Android your browser, so if you want to make this the adblocking browser you’ve been dreaming about, go ahead and become part of the Google+ community and check out the beta app that is already live. Once in the community, click the red Join button then head over to the About section and opt in for the beta.

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AdBlock Browser for Android is a first for Eyeo, even though the AdBlock Plus for Android app has already been around for quite some time. The browser aims to be everything other browsers aren’t: it wants to eventually offer all the benefits of AdBlock Plus, including tracking blocking and of course, adblocking, all in one package. The team at Eyeo are set on making the entire concept of acceptable ads a given, and that’s what they are trying to popularize with the AdBlock Browser for Android.

If you’re curious about the new mobile browser for Android, you should definitely try out the beta and be sure to leave a lot of feedback for the team so that the finished app can be truly what users want. A lot of work went into the AdBlock Browser for Android and the team seems to be very confident in what they are trying to achieve. I’ve spoken to Ben Williams about the new app and there are some interesting things for it in the future, that’s for sure.

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“I’m not entirely sure, but the AdBlock Browser for Android might get a desktop version, too.” That would be quite a blast to Google Chrome and Firefox, even though the new adblocking browser is based on Firefox 37. the latest version of the browser. According to Ben, the team will keep updating their browser as Firefox progresses to newer versions as well, so the number of features you will have at your disposal will not change that much.

“Sync and add-ons will not be available on the AdBlock Browser for Android, and neither will developer tools. But as the beta testing concludes, developer tools will be added later on.” When it comes to the UX, “we will change the look and feel of the browser, based on user feedback”, so we’re definitely looking forward to a personalized experience for all participants in the beta program.

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Naturally, the first and biggest benefit of the AdBlock Android Browser is that it blocks ads automatically, as an integrated feature and it’s the first browser to do so. Nonetheless, the goal of the browser is to become a unified solution that will offer the user full control over their web experience, offer them acceptable ads if they choose, speeds up performance, lessens data usage and might even provide with better battery life.

Since AdBlock Plus is appreciated by both users and publishers for the Acceptable Ads program that they’ve instituted, this feature will be included in the AdBlock Browser for Android, and the criteria will remain the same, as well as the whitelisting process. “Publishers knew that we would eventually make a start in the mobile sphere and although they didn’t know it was a browser, it’s here and with it, it is easy to transplant the acceptable ads program onto mobile as a feature”.

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In the first phases of development, the AdBlock Browser for Android will be available in English, but in the future, the browser will support all 35 languages that Mozilla Firefox does. What is intriguing about the browser itself is that it will improve Android performance, most likely. “Ads can take up 23 % loading time, so by loading less ads with the AdBlock Browser for Android, you will go easy on your data connection and your performance”. according to Ben and a Microsoft Research study concluded by scientists from the University of California . That sounds like good news to me.

“We want as many testers as we can get to tell us how to improve our browser. We have to see what users think about it and feedback is very valuable to us.” That being said, I urge you guys to go ahead and try the beta and provide feedback to AdBlock so the final version can be the one that everyone wants. The team will be fixing bugs and following user feedback before releasing the final version in a couple of months, so we’re definitely looking forward to that.

As part of the editorial team here at Geekreply, John spends a lot of his time making sure each article is up to snuff. That said, he also occasionally pens articles on the latest in Geek culture. From Gaming to Science, expect the latest news fast from John and team.

Android

Pixel 8 Pro runs Google’s generative AI models

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Rick Osterloh, Google’s SVP of devices and services, says the Pixel 8 Pro will be the first hardware to run Google’s generative AI models.

At an event today, Osterloh said the Pixel 8 Pro’s custom-built Tensor G3 chip, which accelerates AI workloads, can run “distilled” versions of Google’s text- and image-generating models to power image editing and other apps.

Osterloh said, “We’ve worked closely with our research teams across Google to take advantage of their most advanced foundation models and distill them into a version efficient enough to run on our flagship Pixel.”

Google improved Magic Eraser, its photo-editing tool, to remove larger objects and people smudge-free using on-device models. Osterloh claims that this improved Magic Eraser creates new pixels to fill in shot gaps, producing a higher-quality image.

Osterloh says a new on-device model will “intelligently” sharpen and enhance photo details, improving zoom.

On-device processing benefits audio recording. The Pixel 8 Pro’s recording app will soon summarize meeting highlights.

Gboard will use a large language model on the Pixel 8 Pro to power smart replies. Osterloh claims that the upgraded Gboard will provide “higher-quality” reply suggestions and better conversational awareness.

Osterloh said an update in December will add on-device generative AI features except for Magic Eraser, which appears on the Pixel 8 Pro at launch.

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Telegram launches a global self-custodial crypto wallet, excluding the US

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Telegram, with 800 million monthly users, is launching a self-custodial crypto wallet. The move will solidify its presence in the vibrant crypto community that has grown from its chat platform and may attract more people to crypto.

Telegram and TON Foundation announced TON Space, a self-custodial wallet, on Wednesday at Singapore’s Token2049 crypto conference, which draws over 10,000 attendees.

Telegram has a complicated blockchain relationship. After the SEC sued Telegram over a massive initial coin offering, the chat app abandoned its Telegram Open Network (TON) blockchain project in 2020. The Open Network Foundation (TON Foundation), founded by open-source developers and blockchain enthusiasts, supports the development of The Open Network (TON), the blockchain powering a growing number of Telegram applications, including the wallet.

The Open Platform (TOP) and TOP Labs, a venture-building division, created the TON-based wallet.

TON Space will be available to Telegram users worldwide without wallet registration in November. The U.S., which has cracked down on the crypto industry and promoted many crypto apps to geofence users, is currently excluded from the feature.

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Google’s massive antitrust trial begins, with bigger implications

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The Justice Department’s landmark antitrust case against Google began in court today, setting off a months-long trial that could upend the tech world.

At issue is Google’s search business. The Justice Department claims that Google has violated antitrust laws to maintain its search title, but the company claims that it does so by providing a superior product.

The Justice Department sued Google for civil antitrust in late 2020 after a year-long investigation.

“If the government does not enforce the antitrust laws to enable competition, we will lose the next wave of innovation,” said then-Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen. “If that happens, Americans may never see the ‘next Google.’”

A large coalition of state attorneys general filed their own parallel suit against Google, but Judge Amit Mehta ruled that the states did not meet the bar to go to trial with their search ranking complaints.

The search business case against Google is separate from a federal antitrust lawsuit filed earlier this year. The Justice Department claims Google used “anticompetitive, exclusionary, and unlawful means” to neutralize threats to its digital advertising empire in that lawsuit.

Justice Department attorney Kenneth Dintzer set the stakes for the first major tech antitrust trial since Microsoft’s late 1990s reckoning on Tuesday. “This case is about the future of the internet, and whether Google’s search engine will ever face meaningful competition,” Dintzer said.

Beginning the trial, the government focused on Google’s deals with phone makers, most notably Apple, that give its search product top billing on new devices. Dintzer claimed that Google maintains and grows its search engine dominance by paying $10 billion annually for those arrangements.

“This feedback loop, this wheel, has been turning for more than 12 years,” he said. “And it always benefits Google.”

Google lawyer John Schmidtlein refuted that claim, hinting at the company’s legal defense in the coming weeks.

“Users today have more search options and more ways to access information online than ever before,” Schmidtlein said. Google will argue that it competes with Amazon, Expedia, and DoorDash, as well as Microsoft’s Bing search engine.

Google planted the seeds for this defense. According to internal research, Google Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan said last year that more young people are using TikTok to search for information than Google Search.

In our studies, almost 40% of young people don’t use Google Maps or Search to find lunch, Raghavan said. “They use TikTok or Instagram.”

Google will be decided by U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta in the coming months. We’re far from that decision, but the company could be fined heavily or ordered to sell parts of its business.

The trial could change Google’s digital empire if the Justice Department wins. Other tech companies that dominated online markets in the last decade are also watching. If the government fails to hold an iconic Silicon Valley giant accountable, big tech will likely continue its aggressive growth trajectory.

If the Justice Department succeeds, the next decade could be different. The industry-wide reckoning could cripple incumbents and allow upstarts to define the next era of the internet, wresting the future from tech titans.

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