Google to prompt Android users to choose preferred browsers to allay EU concerns

A 3D printed Android mascot Bugdroid is seen in front of a Google logo in this illustration. (REUTERS/File)
Updated 20 March 2019
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Google to prompt Android users to choose preferred browsers to allay EU concerns

  • The European Commission last year fined Google for using its mobile software to block rivals
  • Google will now try to ensure that Android users are aware of other browsers and search engines

BRUSSELS, Belgium: Alphabet’s Google will prompt Android users to choose their preferred browsers and search apps, a senior Google executive said on Tuesday, as the company seeks to allay EU antitrust concerns and ward off fresh sanctions.
The European Commission last year handed Google a record 4.34 billion euro ($4.9 billion) fine for using the market power of its mobile software to block rivals in areas such as Internet browsing. By pre-installing its Chrome browser and Google search app on Android devices, Google had an unfair advantage over its rivals, EU enforcers said.
Google will now try to ensure that Android users are aware of browsers and search engines other than its own services, Kent Walker, senior vice president of global affairs, said in a blog.
“In the coming months, via the Play Store, we’ll start asking users of existing and new Android devices in Europe which browser and search apps they would like to use,” he wrote without providing details.
The company, which introduced a licensing fee for device makers to access its app marketplace after the EU sanction, does not plan to scrap the charge.
Google could be fined up to 5 percent of Alphabet’s average daily worldwide turnover if it fails to comply with the EU order to stop anti-competitive practices. 

 


‘The Hummingbird Project’ leaves Jesse Eisenberg in awe of Salma Hayek

Updated 20 April 2019
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‘The Hummingbird Project’ leaves Jesse Eisenberg in awe of Salma Hayek

At 35, Jesse Eisenberg has already had an accomplished career, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, a published book of short stories and nearly defeating both Superman and Batman in “Dawn of Justice” (2016). Still, when Salma Hayek walked on the set of “The Hummingbird Project” (2019), his latest film directed by Kim Nguyen, Eisenberg did not know what to do with himself.

“To be frank, she’s intimidating to me. Not only did I grow up watching her, but she’s one of the actresses who transcends the profession. She’s almost more iconic than she is an actor, even though she’s a wonderful actor,” Eisenberg told Arab News.

The feeling was mutual. The Lebanese-Mexican actor, who has also found success as a producer, CEO, and activist, including spearheading an animated adaptation of Khalil Gibran’s “The Prophet,” saw something in Eisenberg as well.

“In person, she came up to me and said, ‘I suspect you have other ambitions, don’t you?’ I said, ‘yeah, I write plays, books, and I’m involved in other stuff.’ She said, ‘Yes, I can tell. You remind me of myself.’”

“I thought it was so nice, and I really admire what she’s doing. In fact, she’d written a piece for the New York Times about Harvey Weinstein that was coming out the next day and she asked me to take a look at it… It was phenomenal. She was able to write not just about assault, but the humiliating and constant whittling away of her own agency by this horrible person,” Eisenberg explained.

In “The Hummingbird Project,” Eisenberg and Hayek’s characters are competing to create a direct connection to the New York stock market, in order to get a competitive edge in high frequency trading. Hayek plays Eisenberg’s former boss, someone his character is still intimidated by, as art imitates life.

 “My character thinks of her as this icon. The fact that she personally carries so much power was very helpful to me and for the scene,” Eisenberg said.