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All posts tagged "Google"

  • 11 Google Now voice commands worth remembering

    Voice assistants are all the rage now but, alongside Siri, Google Now has played a major role in the current trend of smart, voice-enabled apps. There are loads of commands, queries and questions you can pose Google's effort, but which ones are worth noting? We already know commands like texting/calling contacts, weather forecasts and trivia answers, but here are some more interesting ones. Find sports scores Google doesn't care about the sports I like (MMA, Formula 1), but did you know you can ask it about scores/results for more traditional fare? "Who won Euro 2016?" or "what's the score between England and Pakistan?" will serve up...

  • Google Search improves for holiday makers, simplifies online shopping

    Google wants to make searching, booking and paying for your December holiday an easier affair, according to its new additions to Google Search. The company this week announced that it will "make travel planning and mobile shopping easier" thanks to a few new ad-centric features. Firstly, the company's beefing up its search algorithm to give users more acute holiday-making results tuned to specific queries. For instance, Google notes that it'll "now give people the option to filter Hotel search results based on specific needs". Google's simplifying jet-setting "For example, travelers can filter based on rating or price with one tap on their...

  • Google Hangouts for Android gains video messaging, loses SMS merging

    Google vehemently denied at its I/O 2016 conference that it would be ditching Hangouts in favour of its two new chat apps. And good news, because it doesn't seem that it was lying. The company has now added video messaging to Google Hangouts, which puts it in line with some of the other major chats apps. And speaking of major chat apps, the iOS version of Hangouts has had this feature since 2014. According to 9to5 Google, a non-official APK is currently available for those brave enough to dally with video messaging. The feature works similarly to sending a voice note...

  • Oscar Pistorius: social media slams sentence, global search spikes

    After three years of back-and-forth legal battles, Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to six-years behind bars for shooting and murdering Reeva Steenkamp. The legal journey's ups and downs, twists and turns is something South Africa, and the world, has been following attentively. The trial will likely be remembered as South Africa's first real public trial fuelled by social media reaction. But what does that mean? We asked the folk over at YouKnow, a South African social media analytics company, to scrub the depths of social media for reactions before during and post-sentencing. And well, the results are pretty interesting. Oscar Pistorius' sentence...

  • Want a RankBrain-friendly website? Here are 5 key pointers

    Google is now using the RankBrain machine-learning system to process each and every search query it receives. Fuelled by AI, RankBrain is a query refinement algorithm that helps Google to better understand the user's intent. If you have a website that's not optimized for the RankBrain algorithm, then you're likely set to lose traffic to your competitors. The first step is to get your site properly indexed as the real optimization starts after Google successfully crawls your website. After your site is properly indexed, it’s now time to follow these steps to jump-start to your journey to an optimized, RankBrain-friendly website. Have...

  • Google’s FASTER joins Japan, US with 60Tbps undersea cable

    The ocean -- yes, that big puddle on our planet's surface -- plays a pivotal part in our Facebook and Instagram selfie obsessions. Every day, millions of terabyes of data is transferred from place to play using cables buried beneath the sea bed. Now, because the world definitely doesn't have enough of these, Google (along with five other companies) recently switched on its latest cable -- a 60Tbps monster spanning the Pacific, connecting Japan to mainland USA. The aptly-named FASTER cable, and consortium, is the brainchild of "China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, Google, KDDI and Singtel," the latter's...

  • Newly discovered Symantec vulnerability is ‘as bad as it gets’, affects 25 products

    Symantec reps are probably having a horrible, horrible day today. A new report by Google's security collective Project Zero, suggests that Symantec anti-virus and security products have some huge and "critical vulnerabilities" that can affect the very kernel of the operating system. "These vulnerabilities are as bad as it gets," explains Tavis Ormandy on the Project Zero blog. "They don’t require any user interaction, they affect the default configuration, and the software runs at the highest privilege levels possible. In certain cases on Windows, vulnerable code is even loaded into the kernel, resulting in remote kernel memory corruption." It's so bad, that users...

  • Google now shows song lyrics within search, thanks to LyricFind

    If you annoy family members with your awful carpool karaoke sessions, blurting aloud the wrong words to Taylor's hit new song, Google can now help. Partnering with LyricFind, Google will now display lyrics directly in search results, negating the need to visit countless lyrics site. Although that does sounds pretty awful for those countless lyrics sites, it is great for artists. "I can’t get into the rates, but we expect it to be millions of dollars generated for publishers and songwriters as a result of this. It’s all based on usage. Royalties are paid based on the number of times a lyric is...

  • Google uses 700 trillion pixels to update Maps, Earth

    We often take Google Maps and Google Earth for granted, but the Mountain View company has updated its cloud-free mosaic with some wonderfully sharp images this week. Yep, the company has taken advantage of new processing techniques and the Landsat 8 satellite to deliver an updated global mosaic - and the results are rather impressive. Google said it sifted through over a petabyte of data to deliver this new mosaic, coming three years after its original Earth mosaic. It added that the petabyte of information was made up of 700 trillion individual pixels. "To put that in perspective, 700 trillion pixels is 7000 times more pixels than the...

  • Google CEO’s Quora account hacked by ‘OurMine’

    Google CEO Sundar Pichai is likely having a bit of a blue Monday after hackers-cum-security analysts infiltrated his Quora account earlier today. Netizens were first alerted of the breach after Pichai's Twitter account began logging auto-tweets from Quora. The three-hacker collective known as OurMine, is kind of what FSociety is to the real world. Instead of hacking high-profile targets and setting world financial markets into ruin, the group often leaves high-profile hacked accounts with this simple message: "we're just testing your security." These hacks do seem to be more of an odd advertising ploy than Robin Hood-like goodwill. The team has a...

  • How do tech giants contribute to the clean, green energy economy?

    Most of us consider the internet to be a virtual world in which we can learn, communicate, store data and perform a host of other useful activities without actually having much of an effect on the physical world. It's important to note, however, that the energy required to run the internet must come from actual, brick-and-mortar electricity suppliers. As the popularity of computing devices increases, particularly in the mobile and home automation spaces, we can expect there to be more Internet traffic and therefore a corresponding increase the the amount of energy expended. While the ink's still wet on December’s...

  • Google Play Music gets contextually active with Concierge in SA

    Google Play Music has officially launched its Concierge service in South Africa, bringing automatically generated, contextual playlists to the country. Play Music subscribers will receive playlists based on the time of day, mood or activity when they update the app on their Android or iOS device. "Choose an activity to get options for several music stations to make whatever you're doing even better -- whether it's a station for a morning workout, songs to relieve stress during traffic, or the right mix for cooking with friends," the company said in a press statement. Other possible contextual playlists include one for Monday morning, a...

  • The Greatest dead at 74: the internet pays tribute to Muhammad Ali

    Legendary fighter Muhammad Ali has today died in Phoenix, Arizona, aged 74. The Kentucky-born boxer with the golden gloves and the memorable quotes succumbed to a series of health issues that began back in 2014, further complicated by Parkinson's. He lived a fabled life, winning 37 of his 61 fights by knock-out, and earned a Gold Medal at the 1960 Rome Olympic Games for the US. Beyond the ring, Ali (born Cassius Clay) was known for his wisdom, his self-belief, paradoxically as a boxer, his immense kindness. Muhammad Ali. Sports Illustrated: "Sportsman of Century" BBC: "Sports Personality of Century" AP: "Greatest Heavyweight of 20th Century" —...

  • Google wins landmark legal battle against Oracle

    After almost four years of legal wrangling, a US jury has ruled in favour of Google in its long-running dispute with Oracle. The jury unanimously ruled that Google's use of Java APIs to create Android was indeed fair use. Oracle had reportedly been seeking $9-billion in damages. Oracle has indicated that it will appeal the decision however. "We strongly believe that Google developed Android by illegally copying core Java technology to rush into the mobile device market. Oracle brought this lawsuit to put a stop to Google's illegal behaviour. We believe there are numerous grounds for appeal and we plan to bring this case...

  • Google Hangouts won’t be culled, will remain ‘a standalone product’ – report

    In case you went to bed early last night, Google kicked off its I/O conference with a slew of new announcements, including two more chat apps. One, dubbed Allo, will use the company's machine learning savvy to make chats with friends a richer experience, while Duo, takes the company's server and bandwidth power to a whole new level, with live video chat capabilities. You can read about both of these here. But a question that wasn't quite answered by Google's Erik Kay, who demoed both apps, was this: what about Google Hangouts? According to a Business Insider report, Hangouts is here to...