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Google

  • More of South Africa’s national parks, tourist hotspots available on Google Street View

    You can now explore even more of South Africa's famous landmarks, national parks and tourist attractions courtesy of Google's Street View and Drive South Africa. The two companies have captured "over 232 points of interest" across all 19 national parks and 17 nature reserves. Some reserves Google labelled as previously "untrekked". According to the company, over 200 volunteers trekked more than 900km across the country's wilderness areas with Street View cameras, officially named "Trekkers", fastened to their backs. "The Trekker camera is a 22kg custom-made backpack fitted with 15 cameras pointing in all directions," explained Andre Van Kets, one of Google South...

  • Google Trends uncovers America’s fascination with Halloween

    It's nearly Halloween, the time of year that dentists must absolutely love, and neighbourhood watch organisations absolutely hate. After all, how do you know if a criminal is dressing up for Halloween? Beyond these tough questions, the world -- and particularly the United States -- just loves preparing for the final day of October. The day has become as important as Thanksgiving and Christmas in the States (see below graph), and this year, Google Trends is shedding some interesting and spooky light onto people's habits taken from 3 October to the present. trends.embed.renderExploreWidget("TIMESERIES", {"comparisonItem":[{"keyword":"/m/03lq2","geo":"US","time":"today...

  • ‘Pay with Google’ simplifies mobile payments on Android

    Filling out forms completely suck, and even more so on mobiles. This is especially true when you just can't wait to part with your hard earned cash for that oh so cheesy pizza. But Google hopes to make this quarrelsome system a little simpler. Its "Pay with Google" service, previewed in May, is now live in the United States. The service should also be live in countries that support Google's Android Pay infrastructure. Replacing forms altogether, Pay with Google lists the credit and debit cards you've connected to your Google Account, or via its other services like Google Play or YouTube. During...

  • Google Play Store adding Instant Apps, more in upcoming update

    A number of changes are coming to the Google Play Store its parent company announced Thursday. Usually the unchanged bastion of the Google ecosystem, the Play Store will finally receive a much needed nip and tuck. As for an implementation timeline, the company remained as mum as ever. Nevertheless, sifting through the latest Google Developers Blog post, here are three standout interface and functionality tweaks heading to the Play Store sometime before the world ends. Revamped Editor's Choice Vineet Buch, author of the post and Google Play's director of product management, noted that a revamped version of Editor's Choice is now live in...

  • Got a cheap phone? Google now brings faster search to Africa

    Between the AMP project and data-saving features in Chrome, Google is providing a few solid solutions to data and speed constraints. Now, the search colossus announced the local availability of yet another solution in this regard. It announced that a faster Google Search experience is now available for most of the continent. It explains that nearly 40% of Android device owners on the continent could have a "slow or delayed" connection due to using devices with low RAM. So what does the solution entail, then? "Now for most of Africa, when you search on Google with a low RAM device via the Google...

  • Google Doodles is looking for an International Junior Doodler

    Ever spent hours doodling the letter G on some random famous person's birthday? Google may have a job for you all the way in San Francisco, USA. Google Doodles is looking for an International Junior Doodle Artist to join its team and provide some insights into non-US cultural experiences. The team says it would prefer applicants from South or Southeast Asia and the Middle East, but it will be accepting applications from around the world. The #GoogleDoodles team is looking for a Jr. Doodler w/ international experience to join our team! 👀 details → https://t.co/6YS1Zedj7k pic.twitter.com/pnnTaSzX41 — Google Doodles (@GoogleDoodles) September 28, 2017 Advertised on none other...

  • Google celebrates its 19th birthday with a glorious time-wasting Doodle

    Today is Google's 19th birthday. I bet you're probably feeling really old right now. But like the first season of Friends, the company only gets better with age. That is especially true if you're considering its Google Doodles. Rolling back all 19 years into one novel Doodle, the company is today debuting its Birthday Surprise Spinner. Open the page, and the spinner begins its whirring. When it stops, it'll give you the option to open one of 19 games or activities from previous Doodles. This includes golden oldies like its Pac-Man Google Maps mashup, and its Which animal are you? Earth Day quiz....

  • Women file pay discrimination lawsuit against Google

    Three women have filed a lawsuit against Google claiming systemic pay discrimination, according to The Guardian. The former employees claim the company consistently pays men more for doing similar work as women in similar conditions. They also allege that Google denies women opportunities for advancement. The class-action complaint, filed on behalf of all women employed by the company in California in the last four years, could see more employees stepping up as it continues. Leading the charge is former employee Kelly Ellis, who has provided detailed evidence of Google's alleged pay gap. Ellis says that when she was first hired, Google placed her in a "Level 3" job, typically reserved for...

  • Google Maps sees Florida’s road traffic spike as Irma draws closer

    Google Maps' traffic overlay is reporting abnormally high traffic movements in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina for a Thursday as residents prepare for Hurricane Irma's imminent landfall. Current forecasts suggest that the storm will strike Miami, and skirt along Florida's spine into Georgia. This has also prompted Florida authorities to issue evacuation orders for certain areas. Georgian authorities have today announced mandatory evacuation in effect from Saturday morning. MUST READ: Memeburn's extensive coverage of Hurricane Irma Traffic movements are heaviest on the interstates' right-hand side suggesting an exodus. Movements around Atlanta, Charleston and Jacksonville are markedly heavier than normal. ows Interstate-75 (upper left),...

  • Irma, Harvey and Google: analysing the hurricanes’ search impact

    Tropical weather is seemingly all social media users in the western hemisphere can talk about this week. With three named storms currently swirling in various regions of the Atlantic Ocean, it's unsurprising really. But how are the various regions and countries reacting to these storms in terms of search and online activity? To satisfy our curiosity, we hit up Google Trends, the company's extensive digest of how its users search for information online. We compared search requests between "Harvey", "Irma", "Tropical Storm Jose" and "Tropical Storm Katia" in a number of countries over a period of 30 days, a week and...

  • Miss the old Google News? This website could be the answer

    Judging by this article's comments section, people are really, really not warming to Google News's redesign. But don't ditch the service just yet. There is hope if you prefer the old layout. A website dubbed "The Old G News" is seemingly reviving the old version of Mountain View's news aggregation tool. And it's almost as though nothing as changed. According to a Reddit post by a user claiming to be the site's owner, the service is "more like a http proxy" than a complete Google News remaster. "I get your request and I forward it and give it back to you. No...

  • Google employee’s anti-diversity memo targets women’s ‘biology’

    A Google employee has come under fire for releasing a ten-page-long document on why diversity in the workplace is dangerous. The document, which was first reported by Motherboard, was circulated internally at Google before being released publicly by Gizmodo. In it, the author outlines how men and women differ biologically -- and how the company's diversity efforts should be examined in regards to its "costs and benefits". They argue that women are more people-oriented, anxiety-prone and less ambitious, and conclude that the workplace should not be made more comfortable for them because male employees would suffer. The document also claims that there are notable IQ differences between different groups of people...

  • Google Play Store will no longer suggest ‘lower quality’ apps in search

    Google Play Store has made it easier for users to spot the "lower quality" apps on its platform from the genuinely useful. According to a new blog post, the company is actively focussing on privileging apps that exhibit stellar stability, and penalising those that show "excessive battery usage, slow render times, and crashes". "As part of our continued effort to deliver the best possible Google Play experience, we recently enhanced our search and discovery algorithms to reflect app quality," Google Play's product manager Andrew Ahn explains. Google Play rewards well-built apps by pushing them further up search listings "This results in higher quality apps...

  • YouTube Red and Google Play Music to merge into one streaming service

    YouTube's head of music Lyor Cohen has confirmed that YouTube Red and Google Play Music will be merging into one streaming service, according to a report from The Verge. Speaking at a panel in New York, Cohen acknowledged that the services provide similar offerings and that it was important to combine them. YouTube's streaming services are complicated. YouTube Red costs US$9.99 a month, and includes an ad-free experience, offline watching, and access to original Red content. It also provides access to Google Play Music. Google Play Music offers ad-free music streaming, the ability to make playlists, and offline listening. It costs the same, and a...

  • Google implements SOS alerts for nearby crises

    Google has launched SOS Alert for search that provides information on ongoing emergencies. The SOS Alerts pop up whenever someone searches for the name of an event or location. It provides information like maps of the damage, top stories, and even statements from local authorities when available. If the user is close by, the Alert will provide emergency numbers. Users may even be sent a notification if their Google app is up-to-date and location is on. For those removed from the situation, information on where to donate might be provided. Google says that both natural and human-caused emergencies will be included The feature has also been implemented...