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Google

  • 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...

  • Google moves to demote offensive search results

    Google has launched an effort to flag and demote "upsetting-offensive" results on its search engine. According to Search Engine Land, the company employs 10 000 human quality raters to help rank its results -- and a new guideline has been added that allows for the flagging of content that is blatantly untrue. Senior engineer Paul Haahr told the publication that Google was avoiding the vague term "fake news," and was instead looking for results that featured "demonstrably inaccurate information". Quality raters' jobs entail searching real queries Google has seen and ranking the results based on a 200-page set of guidelines. The "upsetting-offensive" section has recently been added to...

  • Q&A: Google’s Bunmi Banjo chats Africa’s digital skills growth

    Google's African operations have had a week to celebrate, following the news that they've hit their goal of training one million Africans. The training sees citizens using Google's Digital Skills Programme, covering everything from social media marketing/strategy to analytics, advertising and online video. Bunmi Banjo has been at the forefront of the initiative, being Google's Growth Engine and Brand Lead for Sub-Saharan Africa. We conducted a Q&A with Banjo, focusing on the programme, entrepreneurship in general and more. Memeburn: You recently held an AfricaCom talk titled, 'Why technology providers and OEMs should be the strongest contributors to initiating new start-up businesses in tech and...

  • Google hits one million mark in training Africans

    Google has announced that it has reached its goal of training one million Africans as part of its Digital Skills programme. The Mountain View company said it reached its goal a month early, having committed to training one million Africans within a year on 16 April 2016. The company has added that it's set a new target. The tech company also revealed that it will provide offline versions of its training materials to people and businesses in areas of low access where it's not possible to hold physical training sessions. "Additionally, Google will provide offline versions of the content in languages like Swahili,...

  • Google honours women in heartwarming International Women’s Day doodle

    It's easy to list off men who have made history: Nelson Mandela, Neil Armstrong, Mozart. These names are drilled into us from day one. But to list women requires effort. The knowledge is rarely a given, and if you want to know, you have to go looking. But today Google wants to change that. On International Women's Day, Google sported a beautiful new doodle featuring a young girl learning of women around the world who have done remarkable things. It's #IWD2017 around the 🌍! Celebrate women pioneers who have shaped history in today's #GoogleDoodle → https://t.co/fWWhkbKLY3pic.twitter.com/PeCRDGprWc — Google Doodles (@GoogleDoodles) March 8, 2017 The...

  • Google Assistant hits Android 6.0, 7.0 devices

    The Google Assistant is essentially a supercharged take on Google Now, delivering reminders, answers to more specific questions and more. It was initially limited to the Pixel handsets, Android Wear 2.0 and Google's speakers, but now, Google has launched the tool for recent Android smartphones. As of yesterday (2 March), Google has been pushing the service to devices with Marshmallow or Nougat, the web colossus confirmed on its blog. "Your Google Assistant helps you get more done, in your world. And starting today, it's rolling out to Android 7.0 Nougat and Android 6.0 Marshmallow devices with Google Play Services. To get started, touch...