EU goes after Google again, this time over Android contracts

Google is getting some pushback from European Union countries over what they claim are some heavy-handed tactics when it comes to Android phones. The EU has now filed suit, saying Google’s contracts hinder competition by requiring phone makers using Android to make Google Search and Chrome the default search and browser apps.

The EU also says Google went beyond those complaints, including contractual pressure points around the Google Play store, and forcing vendors to sign off on NOT building custom version of Android that might then become an alternative to the regular Android OS.

Following the announcement by WhatsApp that their app will feature end-to-end encryption, popular calling app Viber has also announced it will be doing the same thing. While Viber started out as a way to call and talk with anyone, anywhere, it also has a text chat feature for its over 700 million users. Viber says the strong encryption will work with both text and voice calls sent with the app.

Most messaging apps use some level of encryption, but with “end to end” encryption, not even the app makers can unscramble your messages if told to do so by authorities. This all comes on the heels of Apple’s fight the FBI over iPhone encryption, although the folks at Viber say they’ve been working towards implementing end-to-end encryption for years now.

It’s “4/20” and if you live in Washington, Alaska, Colorado, D.C., or Oregon – like we do – we’re sure your boss will understand if you knock off an hour early to go celebrate Marijuana Liberation Day, or at least, that’s what we’re calling it. Believe it or not, there’s a fair amount of tech out there for your smoking pleasure, and one of our favorite gadgets is the PAX 2 portable vaporizer.

It’s a small, sleek little rig that looks like it could have been designed by a computer company who’s founder may have dabbled with mind-altering substances a time or two. Did we test it? Of course we did! Repeatedly! And you can get all the details from our thorough investigation right here, and we also have a longer list of  other high-tech 420-ready options.

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