Science

How to read the Popular Science archives

Check out all our anniversary coverage here. The first edition of Popular Science hit newsstands in May 1872, with founding editor Edward Livingston Youmans acknowledging the publication was “experimental” and hoping he, his staff, and the public would “give it a fair trial.” That experiment is still running 150 years later, and we’ve kept our records tidy. Anyone with an internet connection can flip through decades of issues and see exactly what we’ve observed across generations. Thanks to a 2010 partnership…

Science

Google is making it easier to scrub your personal info from search results

Google is now making it possible for people to ask them to remove sites from search results that list more types of personal information than they previously did, including details like your phone number or physical address. This is big as, until now, Google would only delist links with information that could actively be used to steal your identity or money, like your Social Security number or credit card details.  In a blog post yesterday, Google explained that it believes…

Science

How to safely share your phone with others

This story has been updated. It was originally published on February 3, 2020. You’re standing on the street when a total stranger walks up and asks if they can borrow your phone to make a call. Theirs died, you see, and they have to tell whoever they’re meeting they’ll be sitting in the back. Or you’re talking to a friend about the person you started dating, and when you pull up their Instagram to show a picture, your friend snatches…

Science

Google Chrome finally found a replacement for cookies

Google has a new method for tracking user interests on Chrome, the latest update in its years-long quest to ditch the cookies that are used to personalize ads. In a blog post Tuesday, product director Vinay Goel explained that the feature, called Topics, will assign websites into  broad categories such as sports or literature. The company currently has about 350 designations available with more anticipated in the future.  When users visit sites through Google servers, the relevant topic will be…

Science

How to avoid seeing yourself on video calls

If you would rather square off against 100,000 hungry Everglades mosquitoes on their home turf than see your own face on video, a “cameras must be on” mandate is enough to get you buzzing with anxiety. Sure, some people love to stare directly into their own eyes while someone else talks, but that’s not you. Thankfully, most major video calling platforms offer the ability to remove your own video feed from view, while keeping it visible to all others on…

Science

How to create your own new tab extensions for Google Chrome

Part of Google Chrome’s appeal as a web browser is its huge library of extensions—add-ons that cover page layouts, bookmark management, online security, and so much more Creating Chrome extensions usually requires some programming ability, but Google has launched a tool that gives anyone this power, no coding required. It’s called Tab Maker, and it focuses on the New Tab page in Chrome: the screen that loads up when you open a new tab. By default, that page shows a…

Science

How Chrome and Safari can help you strengthen your passwords

This story has been updated. It was originally published on November 4, 2019. Choosing a good password means finding a careful balance between something simple you won’t forget, and something complex that no one will ever guess. Reusing passwords across multiple accounts is a tempting way to ensure you won’t get locked out of your favorite platforms, but this is a dangerous tactic as far as your online security goes. If hackers gain access to one account, they can get…

Software

Google’s Futuristic In-Air Gesture Control System Could Replace Buttons

Google was recently awarded a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) covering its invention of an air-, motion- and radar-based gesture control system which could one day find its way into everything from computers, to smartphones, smartwatches, appliances and more, allowing “touchless control” of key features and functions. Now, Reuters is reporting that the Mountain View, California search-giant this week received Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval to begin testing this in-air gesture-based control system — dubbed Project Soli — at higher…

Smartphones

Google’s Pixel Camera Will Support External Microphones Starting This Week

One of the highlights of Google’s Pixel family of handsets is camera performance. If you have not done so already, check out some photos we recently took with the Pixel 3 as a preview to the full review. We like what we see so far, though like previous Pixel devices, the default camera app does not support external microphones. That’s going to change very soon. The lack of support for external microphones by the default camera app is a notable omission, in part because…

Technology

Google Says It’s Killing the Tired Social Media Platform Google+

Google will be shutting down their social media platform Google+ over a software bug that exposed the private personal information of around 500,000 users. The company announced Monday that it would permanently close down Google+ as part of their Project Strobe initiative, which aims to protect user data and improve third-party APIs. The decision comes after the company announced that it had kept the software bug hidden from the public for more than six months. According to Google’s Safety and Security release,…

Software

Google Lets Third-Party App Developers Read Your Emails

Google allows third-party developers to scan or read the contents of your emails on Gmail, according to a new report. While it’s been over a year since the Mountain View company pledged to stop scanning your inbox for ad targeting, Google still allows “hundreds of outside software developers” to scan the inboxes of millions of Gmail users, The Wall Street Journal reported. App developers who are part of Google’s Gmail program are allowed to read emails to create new app features or services. Most…

Software

Google Lets Third-Party App Developers Read Your Emails

Google allows third-party developers to scan or read the contents of your emails on Gmail, according to a new report. While it’s been over a year since the Mountain View company pledged to stop scanning your inbox for ad targeting, Google still allows “hundreds of outside software developers” to scan the inboxes of millions of Gmail users, The Wall Street Journalreported. App developers who are part of Google’s Gmail program are allowed to read emails to create new app features or services. Most…