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Google

  • Google promises to train one million Africans in digital skills

    There's no doubting that internet penetration, digital skills and economic growth are closely entwined. So it comes as no surprise to hear that Google has announced a "commitment" to train one million Africans in digital skills in the space of a year. Google confirmed the news in a blog post and a press statement, saying it is supporting non-profit Livity Africa to run two free digital skills programmes in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. "A group of 65 Googlers from nine different countries have helped Livity develop content, provide mentorship and, in some cases, deliver the training," it added. "The internet is at the heart of...

  • Google provides seed funding to Taiwanese renewable energy program

    Google is concerned about the well being of the environment and has provided seed funding to a renewable energy company based in Taiwan. This is not the first investment in a green company either. To date, Google has acquired about two gigawatts of renewable energy, an equivalent of taking nearly one million cars off the road, making it the world's largest non-utility purchaser of renewables. Google has provided seed funding to the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) in a bid to provide all of its data centers around the world with renewable energy, a commitment the company has made in which...

  • ‘Jacob Zuma’ more popular than ‘April Fools Day’ on Google

    President Jacob Zuma tonight took to the Luthuli House podium to comment on the Constitutional Court's ruling regarding upgrades made to his Nkandla homestead. He declared his innocence, and claimed that he did not deliberately act against the Constitution. He also stated that he acknowledges and respects the Constitutional Court's ruling, which will require him to pay for some of these non-security upgrades. Ultimately however, it seems that general sentiment of the country -- at least on social media -- was that the President would resign tonight. That definitely didn't happen. Instead, there's another takeaway, at least for the data lovers...

  • Google wins, loses on April Fool’s Day

    It's that time of the year, when tech firms and news websites decide to leap on the April Fool's bandwagon. As usual, Google decided to go all-out, delivering some hits and a rather unfortunate miss. Gmail offers a "mic drop" option  The mega-popular email service introduced a rather odd mic drop function button as an alternative to the "send" button. This allowed users to add a GIF of a Minion dropping a microphone into messages. The function also allows you to "have the last word" in email threads, banishing the thread to your archives. The prank proved to be short-lived however, as the Gmail team disabled...

  • Google updates its analytics suite for more insight, less data

    If you’ve only just gotten your head around what you need and don’t need from your Google Analytics dashboard (OK so maybe it’s just me), then it’s time to put your thinking cap back on again. The Wall Street Journal reports that “Google unveiled a new suite of marketing analytics and data products on Tuesday, called the Google Analytics 360 Suite.” The update from the search giant is designed to keep the company’s products in line with the more modern ‘cloud-based’ offerings from companies like Adobe, Salesforce and IBM. The suite comprises six separate tools, some brand new and some...

  • Mzansi Experience: Google gives virtual tours of SA’s national parks

    South Africa has some of the world's best, and most diverse, national parks. Thing is, not everyone can get to them and even those who can sometimes end up going to the same places because they don't know what else is out there. In a bid to change that, Google South Africa on Tuesday announced the launch of Mzansi Experience -- Discover South Africa. The new product, which is part of its Maps offering uses images collected by the Street View Tripod and Trekker and gives people the chance to explore some of South Africa's most beautiful locations in...

  • Google Play Movies officially available on South African screens

    Hot on the heels of Google Music's South African bow, Google has now announced that Google Play Movies is available in the country. The service will allow users to "to rent or purchase movies for watching on their phones, tablets, computers and smart TVs," explains the press release. It's not quite a streaming service however, and it doesn't offer any series at launch. There's also a massive hole left by the lack of local South African content, but Google SA "hopes to make these available soon." Read more: Google Play Music launches in SA at R50 a month The service does however offer...

  • Google Translate now supports over 100 languages

    Google Translate is turning ten this year and to celebrate coming of age it has added 13 new languages to its translating capabilities. When the service launched in 2016, it could only translate between English and Arabic, Chinese and Russian. From today, 103 languages will be covered which includes 99% of the online population, according to Google. The 13 new languages add 120-million new people to the billions who can already communicate with Translate all over the world, Googles notes. Late last year, Google announced that more than one million people speaking 117 languages had made 50-million contributions through the Google Translate...

  • Are Google’s tax chickens coming home to roost?

    A couple of years ago, a furore arose across the European Union and Great Britain in particular. The leaders of these countries, you see, had found out that some of the world's biggest tech companies -- including Amazon, Google, and Apple -- were paying tiny amounts of tax on incredibly large sums of revenue. In the UK, for instance, it emerged that it had paid just £6-million on £2.5-billion worth of sales in the country. That in turn led to a hearing in which a UK parliamentarian called Google “devious”, “unethical” and “evil”. A former Google UK executive...

  • Google Maps could soon figure out where you’re driving all by itself

    This is interesting. Google is reportedly working on a feature that will allow its Maps product to figure out where you're going without you having to input a destination first. Called Driving Mode, the feature uses your location history and web searches to make educated guesses as to where you might be going when you're driving around. Using that information, the service can provide you with information about traffic, your estimated time of arrival, and road closures. According to a report by Android Police, the new feature is pretty similar to Maps' already existing Commute option -- which feeds...

  • Android Lollipop adoption hits 32.6 %, Marshmallow at dismal 0.7 %

    Google has revealed its Android numbers for the period ending 4 January 2016. The data, collected from the Google Play Store app includes adoption figures for Android's latest operating system, Marshmallow, and previous versions. Android Lollipop adoption is now present on 32.6 % Android devices, up from 29.5 % in December. Android Marshmallow on the other hand is performing dismally. The latest Android OS is present in only 0.7 % of Android devices, from 0.5 % last month. Even with its impressive features, users have not taken to Marshmallow in a big way. It is worth noting that...

  • Google Photos gets collaborative shared albums feature

    Google today announced its new Google Photos feature dubbed Shared Albums, which allows users to share their Google Photos with friends and family. The feature helps in assisting users build new memories of an event. Instead of only looking at your own photos of that family gathering that took years to organise, people can now share the photos and videos right from within Google Photos. Shared Albums builds a link of the selected photos and videos and users can share it on Facebook, Whatsapp, Hangouts, and other platforms. Read more: Google Photos update lets you free up space, downgrade photos "With...

  • Google Play Music’s SA launch is a welcome one: here’s why

    Less than a month ago, I reluctantly had to close my Rdio account after the service was sold to Pandora. The new owners then promptly shut down my online musical gateway, forcing me to look elsewhere, however the search was grim and I knew there were no real alternatives. Until now. That’s because Google has now made its streaming music service Play Music available in South Africa. I don’t need to make a case for online music streaming services, as I’m sure most of you are aware of how handy they are. There is something to be said for...

  • Google Play Music launches in SA at R50 a month

    Google Play Music, the technology giant's music streaming service, is officially live in South Africa. Set to cost users R49.99 a month, the service has been live in other markets for some time now and arrives in South Africa considerably later than a number of other international players. Using the subscription model, Google says that Play Music allows users to create an ad-free, interactive radio station from any song or artist. As well as being able to curate your own playlists, you can browse recommendations from Google’s music team and explore songs by genre. Read more: Apple Music now...

  • Google Calendar gets Reminders, enables tracking to-dos in app

    The Google Calendar app, both for Android and iOS, is getting a new Reminders feature. According to Google, this feature will allow users to create reminders in Google Calendar, enabling the user to track all scheduled events and appointments. Google says that Reminders will stick around on users' calendars until they have been completed. Instead of going away when the set date passes, like normal events, Reminders will sit on top of the calendar, making it easy to see them, ensuring that users do not miss an important appointment. Once a task is completed, a user can swipe the...