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Google says 250,000 Germans opt out of Street View

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Nearly a quarter of a million Germans have asked Google to block images of their houses, the US Internet giant said Thursday as it prepared to launch its Street View service in the country.

Google has already rolled out its navigation service in 20 countries but exceptionally, due to heightened privacy concerns in Germany, has offered to pixel out buildings before the pictures are published online.

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“We’re now close to launching Street View imagery for the 20 biggest cities in Germany and we’ve counted the number of households in those cities which decided to opt out,” said Andreas Tuerk, Google’s Germany product manager.

“Out of a total of 8,458,084 households, we received 244,237 opt-outs, which equals 2.89 percent of households,” Tuerk wrote on a blog nearly a week after the October 15 deadline passed.

Google had said in August that it expected tens of thousands of tenants and owners to respond to its offer to blur out pictures of homes, which are taken using specially equipped vehicles deployed throughout the country.

Tuerk, writing on Google’s European Public Policy blog, warned that the process was imperfect and that some homes might still be visible when the service launched in Germany later this year.

“We’ve worked very hard to keep the numbers as low as possible but in any system like this there will be mistakes,” he said.

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“In such cases the household can still ask us to blur the image using the ‘report a problem’ tool on Street View once imagery is published — and we’ll do it as fast as we can.

“The same is true of faces and car licence plates that our automatic blurring technology may have missed,” he added.

Although Germans are avid users of Street View images from other countries, the planned roll-out here caused alarm in a country particularly sensitive to privacy concerns due to the gross abuses under the Nazi and communist regimes.

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Nicolle Wallace tells Colbert why she cursed at Fox News host Laura Ingraham — and that she left the GOP

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MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace appeared on Stephen Colbert's "Late Show" Wednesday after spending hours analyzing the impeachment hearings that began that morning.

One of the first things Colbert asked about was the recent smackdown from Wallace about Fox News host Laura Ingraham and her guests going after Col. Alexander Vindman. Ingraham proposed that because Vindman was born in Ukraine that he was somehow a traitor to the United States for coming forward about President Donald Trump's admitted crimes.

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‘It takes a small mind to want to out a whistleblower’: Rachel Maddow blasts Trump and GOP

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In an analysis of the first day of impeachment, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow explained to late-night comedian Jimmy Fallon why the impeachment hearings were a lot more rational than she anticipated.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) switched committees just to appear and ask questions and Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) humiliated himself, but aside from that, Maddow said she was surprised there were reasonable questions, and everyone remained calm.

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Seth Meyers mocks Devin Nunes saying Dems wanted to find nude photos of Trump: ‘Literally no one wants that’

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"Late Night" host Seth Meyers ridiculed Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) for his absurd line of questioning that accused Democrats of the impeachment is the same as the Russia scandal.

Nunes said that Democrats want the world to forget about their efforts to obtain nude photos of Trump, something Meyers countered with actual sense.

"Hey man, I guarantee you no one wants nude pictures of Donald Trump," Meyers said. "I'm not crazy about clothed pictures of Donald Trump. Also, I have to believe that if there were nude pictures of Donald Trump, the first person to show them would be Donald Trump. He'd probably hold a press conference with a giant poster board."

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