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Google

  • Google Chrome extensions will no longer mine crypto using your PC

    In case you had no idea, before April Fools Day, Google allowed developers of Chrome browser extensions to mine cryptocurrency using your computer's resources. The company deemed it acceptable provided users of said extensions (read: you) were made "adequately" aware of the behaviour, and that the extension was not bundled with "unrelated functionality" like email notifiers or additional downloadable files. But the big G has now completely changed its stance. Citing the abuse of its lenient guidelines, Google will will now cull Chrome extensions that mine cryptocurrency in any capacity. "Existing extensions that mine cryptocurrency will be delisted from the Chrome Web Store...

  • Google now owns GIF platform and search engine Tenor

    Here at Memeburn, we love a good GIF. And it seems Google does too. The company on Tuesday announced its purchase of GIF platform Tenor -- the service that doles out moving images to users on Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Google's GBoard keyboard app, and others. Google's reason behind the purchase -- of which the sum remains undisclosed -- seems entrenched in improving Google Images, especially as "mobile devices changed the way people search." "Most people now use Google Images to find more information about a topic, and to help them communicate and express themselves -- case in point, we see millions...

  • Google Maps is now available in isiZulu, Afrikaans and Swahili

    Mountain View internet tech Google has added 39 more languages to its Google Maps product "spoken by an estimated 1.25-billion people worldwide." For Africans who rely on the service daily, it's a massive update. Afrikaans, isiZulu and Swahili have been included in the refresh, alongside a slew of Eastern European and Southeast Asian dialects. Users can now switch to one of these languages within Google Maps on the web or the iOS and Android apps. The interface and place names will then be translated accordingly. The addition of new languages to Maps comes after the company improved the service's UX for wheelchair users....

  • Google Play Instant lets you try games on Android without installing them

    When Google Play Instant launched on the Play Store last year, users could experience apps without installing them to their devices. It's a novel idea, and saves users the time and space usually needed when installing apps. But now, the feature just got even more useful. Google this week announced that Google Play Instant is now available for a select number of games listed on Google Plays. "With Google Play Instant, you can just tap and try a game without having to download it first -- whether you’re looking to storm a castle on Clash Royale or become a wordmaster with Words with Friends 2,"...

  • Google Maps now highlights ‘wheelchair accessible’ transit routes (but not in SA just yet)

    If you've been wondering why Google Maps asks you about places and their wheelchair access, you finally have an answer. The company this week announced that it will highlight wheelchair accessible routes within the Google Maps app's transit navigation screen. "To access the 'wheelchair accessible' routes, type your desired destination into Google Maps," explains Rio Akasaka, Google Maps' project manager. "Tap 'Directions' then select the public transportation icon. Then tap 'Options' and under the Routes section, you'll find 'wheelchair accessible' as a new route type." And notably, the data Google asks from you adds to its public transit knowledge base. The company is...

  • Google Lens is now available on iOS via Google Photos

    Last week, Google slapped its AI-powered camera feature Google Lens onto all Android phones running its Photos app. Now, the company is peeking over the fence towards Cupertino, and giving its rival platform some of the augmented reality love. Google Lens is now available to "preview" on the Apple iOS version of Google Photos, the company announced in a tweet. "Starting today and rolling out over the next week, those of you on iOS can try the preview of Google Lens to quickly take action from a photo or discover more about the world around you," it wrote. Starting today and rolling...

  • Google Home speakers now pop location-based reminders to your phone

    Location-based reminders can now be requested through Google's Home devices, its Assistant-powered smart speakers. How is this news? For one, location-based reminders only worked when requested via Assistant on a phone. Now it works with Google's Home range too. And secondly, this means you can absentmindedly (and without touching a device) set a reminder while, say, cooking or working on the car. Users can now tell the speaker to "set a reminder to buy milk when I'm at the grocery store", and Assistant will pop through a reminder to your smartphone when requirements are met. If you hate being tracked on your...

  • Polony, football and The Oscars: SA’s biggest Google searches this week

    According to internet giant Google, polony, football and The Oscars were the most searched-for subjects in South Africa this week. Taking a break from land reclamation and President Ramaphosa's fitness regime, netizens turned to sport. The Soweto Derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates saw more than 100 000 searches on Saturday alone. Notably, that's more than five times the volume Google saw for any other term on the day. But football played second fiddle to polony as the week broke, and after the source of the listeriosis outbreak which has left more than 180 people in South Africa dead was...

  • Karabo Poppy’s Int’l Women’s Day Google Doodle is simply beautiful

    Google is celebrating International Women's Day with (you guessed it) Doodles, but not just any Doodles. "Last year Google celebrated the day with a Doodle honouring the female pioneers who’ve gotten us where we are today," it writes in a release. But this year, it's focussing on "the work of 12 extraordinary women artists". "Specifically, each story represents a moment, person, or event that has impacted their lives as women. While each artist tells a unique story, the themes are universal, reminding us of how much we often have in common," Google explains. "We hope that the combined power of words and...

  • Google Lens now live on all Android phones through Photos

    Google's funky new camera party trick, Google Lens, is now available on all Android phones with the Google Photos app installed. Google Lens, which uses AI smarts to recognise features within photographs, was previously exclusive to Google's own Pixel devices. "Rolling out today, Android users can try Google Lens to do things like create a contact from a business card or get more info about a famous landmark," Google Photos tweeted. Rolling out today, Android users can try Google Lens to do things like create a contact from a business card or get more info about a famous landmark. To start, make...

  • The Shape of Water bested by Get Out, Dunkirk on Google Search

    The internet and the big arts academies of the world don't always agree. We've seen this with the Grammys this year, and now the Oscars may have just joined in. Judging by Google Trends data taken from across the world for the past 12 months, the internet's most popular films don't have as much "fish porn" as this year's Best Picture winner. (Also, don't worry, that link is SFW.) "The most popular among all Best Picture Oscar nominees in the US this year was, without a doubt, Get Out," Google explains. "In much of the world, however, Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk proved to...

  • Google adds ‘jobs search experience’ to its Search pages

    Google wants to make it easier for those unemployed in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa to find a job online. This at least according to its "new job search experience" will it suggests will simplify the process of researching local job listings on Google when using mobile and desktop. Similar to searching for flights and products, when users search for jobs an additional box with more granular information will be displayed on the results page. Tapping on this box will provide users with more details on the listings, from the job title, location, duration and requirements. Google Maps data will also...

  • Bobsleigh is South Africa’s favourite winter olympic sport

    South Africa isn't known for memorable performances in the Winter Olympics. You likely won't see Wayde van Niekerk take up curling in years to come either. But apparently, the country isn't opposed to winter sports entirely. According to Google Search data, which tallied the most popular sport by the number of YouTube videos viewed within the past 12 months, South Africa's favourite winter olympic sport is bobsleigh. SA does have one representative in the Winter Olympics 2018, but Connor Wilson will be competing in the slalom skiing events, and definitely won't be doing that while controlling an aerodynamic tube hurtling down...

  • 21 times Google Arts tried to match selfies with artwork (but kinda failed)

    Bless Google's little heart. It tries so hard to not be evil, but still develops AI that pretends it knows what it's doing (and gathers a slew of selfies in the process for its facial recognition savvy). What am I talking about? Google Arts & Culture, of course. The app is only available in parts of the United States for now, but has nonetheless seen something of a viral boom on Twitter this past weekend. Thanks everyone for sharing your awesome #GoogleArts #selfie matches!🤳 This mobile experiment (accessible at https://t.co/DUuzxlMKCd) is currently available in parts of the US. Stay tuned as...

  • Google Doodle honours anti-apartheid activist Alan Paton

    Anti-apartheid activist and author Alan Paton, who wrote the novel Cry, the Beloved Country in 1948, is the subject of Thursday's Google Doodle as the platform celebrates what would have been his 115th birthday. The static Doodle features a painted Paton enjoying the train ride said to have inspired the now-classic novel that helped incite local and global anger at the apartheid regime. "I hoped to influence my fellow whites," Paton said of the novel before passing away in 1988 at the age of 85. "I still believe there is hope." Alan Paton wrote Cry, the Beloved Country to spur his "fellow whites" into action Cry, the...