Google to Close China Search Engine Project

Dragonfly project is closed due to employees' protests
20 December 2018   990

The Intercept site reports that Google abandoned the project called Dragonfly, a search engine for China with the censorship feature. The reason - protests from the Google team responsible for data privacy.

The Intercept found out that Dragonfly’s search algorithm was based on a large database of Chinese user requests that Google collected through 265.com. It is owned by a Google subsidiary registered in Beijing. The site shows news, horoscopes, allows you to search for photos, videos and other resources, however, it does not process requests, but redirects them to Baidu. The company's engineers used the collected data to tune the search algorithm.

Usually, the question of analyzing search queries is considered by the Google team responsible for data privacy. It is necessary that the company does not violate the rights of users. However, employees learned about collecting information through 265.com only after the publication of The Intercept. They went into conflict with the leadership, and after a series of discussions, it was decided to abandon data collection through this resource. According to insiders, this imposed a serious restriction on the developers.

Over the past few weeks, engineers have tried to use data that Google normally collects in other countries. However, requests for Mandarin Chinese people are different from those entered into the search in the same language residents, for example, the United States or Malaysia. This, according to insiders, has made the development of the project virtually impossible.

The publication noted that Google has recently completely transferred several development teams from Dragonfly to products related to other countries.

The closure of the project was hit hard by Google's top managers, including the company's CEO, Sundar Pichai. According to insiders, Pichai put the development of Dragonfly in priority for two years.

Rumors about the Dragonfly project first appeared in August and immediately caused protests from the public and Google employees. Outrage caused a possible change in Google’s freedom of speech policy. In 2013, it left the Chinese market, because the censorship required by the state was contrary to the principles of the company, and after a few years she wanted to return with a finished product fully compliant with Chinese law.

LineageOS Team to Report on Project Updates

Since March, the number of assemblies provided by the project replaced CyanogenMode has increased to 36 devices
03 July 2019   525

The developers of the LineageOS project, which replaced CyanogenMod after abandoning the project of Cyanogen Inc, published a report on the development of the LineageOS 16 branch based on the Android 9 platform. Since March, the number of assemblies provided by the project has increased to 36 devices. Recent changes are noted:

  • AOSP’s Night Display now controls night mode (on recent devices only, such as those with a Snapgragon 820 or more recent)
  • LiveDisplay remains available for all its other features
  • The volume panel can now be expanded to control all the various volume streams
  • The volume panel can now be optionally relocated to the left
  • Expanded quick settings are back
  • Detailed views for the following tiles are available: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Mobile Data, Location, Profiles
  • New default wallpaper and a new wallpapers app with many new, and old, wallpapers
  • Other than the usual nature, urban and abstract themed wallpapers, monochromatic and gradients wallpapers are now available
  • Privacy Guard now supports apps in the Work Profile
  • It’s possible to add up to two LockScreen shortcuts again
  • Circle battery is back after being missing since LineageOS 13.0
  • Notification ringtone level can be unlinked from phone calls ringtone level
  • GPS battery saving mode can now be enabled from the Settings
  • Vim has been updated to version 8.1
  • Nano has been updated to version 4.2
  • Fixed issue were using certain private DNS caused devices to crash thanks to backported fix from Q
  • Support for bluetooth SBC DualChannel HD has been added (both 15.1 and 16.0)
  • Performance improvements for Eleven (music player app) (both 15.1 and 16.0)
  • Updated call recording configurations (both 15.1 and 16.0)

Additionally, developers mark the termination of the formation of assemblies LineageOS 15.1 for Google Nexus 4, Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1, Nvidia Shield Tablet, Samsung Galaxy S9, Samsung Galaxy S9 + and ZTE Axon 7.

Get more info at official website.