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Google

  • This Google Doodle lets you create calming musical animations

    Today would have been Oskar Fischinger's 117th birthday, and Google is using its latest doodle to celebrate his abstract animations. The German-American was notable for his abstract musical animations long before computer graphics and the concept of music videos came into play. In 1936, Fischinger and his wife fled Germany when it became clear he could not pursue his art under Hitler's regime. When he arrived in the US, Paramount Pictures offered him a job. He went on to animate sequences for Disney's Fantasia and Pinocchio. The artist's work was largely created between the 1920s and 1940s -- and the lack of digital technology meant he often spent...

  • Google’s adorable Doodle celebrates the summer (and winter) solstice

    Google's doodlers really know how to capture a moment in an adorable GIF. And what might the latest moment be, you ask? The summer and winter solstice, of course. Depending on which side of the equator you're on, you'll today experience the longest day of the year (north) or the longest night of the year (south). Much like these two mice in Google's GIF. Celebrating the new season—in both hemispheres!—with a #GoogleDoodle for summer and winter solstices. https://t.co/ioInwGI6Fv pic.twitter.com/cZvjSOE0os — Google (@Google) June 21, 2017 "Today’s Doodle celebrates the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere," Google explains. "As the longest day of the year, solstice...

  • Here’s how Facebook and Google plan to fight terrorism

    Both Facebook and Google have revealed how they are countering terrorist activity on their respective blogs this past week. These posts come after UK Prime Minister Theresa May criticised the internet for providing a safe space for terrorists to communicate -- and after Facebook itself dodged a lawsuit that claimed it was the reason Palestinian terrorists were able to kill numerous Israelis. Facebook revealed it is looking specifically at how artificial and human intelligence can work together, as well as partnering with other companies, NGOs and governments to bring an end to terror. The company is working on software that identifies when a user...

  • South Africa: here’s how to get four free months on Google Play Music

    Google Play Music now offers a four-month free trial for those subscribing to its service. The streaming music platform headed by the Mountain View company houses over 30-million tracks, and allows users to upload their own to the cloud, usually comes with a two- or three-month trial. But Google's seemingly feeling a bit generous this week. First spotted by Android Police last week, the deal is still ongoing at the time of writing. And yes, it's available to those within South Africa's borders too. Interestingly, it seems that the deal comes in tow with South Africa's addition to Google Play promo codes supported...

  • Google Docs’ latest phishing scam was bad news for journalists

    A Google Docs phishing attack, that paraded as a genuine link to a shared document, caused widespread panic on the internet Wednesday. On the same day that Facebook's WhatsApp was down for the count, some Google users (Fortune's Jeff John Roberts suggests that the scam was targeted at journalists) received an email with a seemingly normal Google Docs link. Closer inspection revealed a few oddities. The sender of the mail is the rather hilarious "hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh@mailinator.com" but the consequences of clicking the mail aren't. Taking unsuspecting users to a faux OAUTH authentication page, suggesting that Google Docs requires authorisation to open the document. The...

  • These are the nominees for 2017 Google Play Awards

    The first Google Play Awards took place last year, highlighting a number of innovative and/or popular games and apps. So we're glad to see the event come back this year, with Google announcing its list of nominees this week. Who are the nominees then? Check out the full list below -- you might find a few gems. Standout Indie - Reigns, Kingdom: New Lands, Mars: Mars, Causality, Mushroom 11. Standout Startup - Hooked: Chat Stories, Discord: Chat for Gamers, Castbox: Free Podcast and Audio, Simple Habit Meditation. Best Android Wear - Lifesum: Healthy lifestyle app, Runtastic Running and Fitness, Foursquare City Guide, Bring!...

  • Google Maps remembers where you parked even if you don’t

    There are two problems with parking in any city (especially Cape Town). One, finding a parking, and two, remembering where it is you parked. Google Map's latest feature update ensures the latter comes a bit more easily. "Now, Google Maps for Android and iOS will not only help you get where you’re going, but it’ll help you remember where you parked once you’ve arrived," Google Map's project manager Jeff Albertson announces in a blog. For users who engage with Maps regularly, simply tapping the blue location dot with bring up a menu with "save your parking" an a new option. "You’ll see a...

  • Google doesn’t want you using adblockers, so its building its own

    Google's wildly popular Chrome browser could soon feature its own adblocker, according to sources quoted by the WSJ. "People familiar with the company's plans" suggest that this adblocker, built by Google itself, won't function entirely like uBlock or AdBlock Plus which allows users to block all ads on demand. Instead, it will filter ads that don't meet Google's specific criteria. The criteria, outlined in the Initial Better Ads Standards, deem around 12 current advertising systems and techniques to be unsuitable and downright annoying for users. Pre-content pop-ups, ads that just won't stop playing or shutting up, or ads that stick to...

  • Google Earth’s new facelift lets you explore the planet from your couch

    Google has redesigned Google Earth for Chrome and Android, with features meant to inspire you about humanity's "shared home." "Google Maps is about finding your way, Google Earth is about getting lost," a Google representative said. And it's not hard to see why. The most astonishing of the new features is Google Earth's 3D function. Whereas before views were restricted to aerial and street, now Google offers a full 360 degree view of any place on the map. This imagery is created by combining data from satellites, planes and depth maps to put together realistic 3D renderings. Another of the new features is the educational tool Voyager. Teaming up with...

  • Burger King’s ‘Connected Whopper’ ad is genius, but Google doesn’t agree

    Burger King just couldn't let Pepsi and United steal all the attention this week, could it? The fast food chain published an advertisement this week, touting the "fresh ingredients" included in its Whopper burger. Sounds fair right? Sure. But as the employee notes in the ad itself, 15 seconds is hardly enough time to sell a product. Burger King solved this by using seven sneaky but utterly brilliant words: "Okay Google, what is the Whopper burger?" This short line activated any Google Home devices within earshot of the ad, and read aloud the Wikipedia page for the burger. Some people labeled the ad intrusive...

  • Google AutoDraw is AI-powered autotune for your terrible doodles

    In November last year, Google launched its AI Experiments, a collection of simple AI software that allows anyone to play with the technology in hands-on ways. With the AIs that can emulate handwriting or even play the piano with you, Google has been encouraging coders and the average men alike to interact with AI software. And its latest may be the first to properly take off. AutoDraw is a piece of software from the technology that brought you QuickDraw (the AI that tries to be the best Pictionary partner in the world), and it is as fun as it is useful. Google Autodraw 'a new web-based tool that...

  • Google Trends charts the UEFA Champions League teams ‘winning on search’

    The UEFA Champions League quarter finals kick off this week, with the first matches taking place tonight. But who's going to win the most coveted trophy in club football? Well, that's a question we'll leave for the sporting buffs. Our interest though lies in a nifty visualisation published by the Google Trends team. "The map shows normalised search interest in each of the eight teams qualified to the Champions League quarter finals in every country," the company writes. Collating the swathe of searches on Google, the team has made it easy to see which Champions League team is currently the most searched-for...

  • Google accused of systemic pay discrimination by US Department of Labour

    Google has come under fire in the last few months, as the US Department of Labour seeks to prove that it systematically pays the women in its workforce less than men. In January, the DoL filed a lawsuit against the company, requesting that it release its salary data and documents to the government. And on Friday, the Department testified in court that it had significant evidence that proves Google is underpaying its female staff. "The investigation is not complete," Janet Herold, a DoL regional director, told The Guardian, "but at this point the department has received compelling evidence of very significant discrimination against...

  • Gen Z kids think Google is totally ‘lit’, Google’s study reveals

    How do you do, fellow kids? Google has released its study on what US Gen Z teens think is cool, and it comes as no surprise that it found teens are into Google. The study, cringily titled It's Lit: A Guide to What Teens Think is Cool, is meant to provide a glimpse into the lives of modern day teens and what they deem cool. "Cool is an indication of what people pay attention to, what gets them excited, and can often act as a manifestation of their hope and dreams," the study reads. According to Google, "cool" is anything Generation Z (born in the mid...

  • Google and Android partners reach patent peace

    Google and other major Android partners have joined an agreement that grants each other royalty-free patent licensing on all Android and Google Applications preinstalled on devices that meet Android’s compatibility requirements. The Android Networked Cross-License -- dubbed PAX, the Latin word for peace -- is meant to open the doors to innovation and healthy competition in an industry that doesn't benefit from patent wars. "This community-driven clearinghouse operations developed together with our Android partners," writes Google's VP of business and for Android and Google Play, Jamie Rosenberg, "ensures that innovation and consumer choice—not patent threats—will continue to be key drivers of our Android ecosystem." Android...