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In a blog released recently by Google Product Manager, Satyajeet Salgar, we've been told that Google has now gotten even smarter - opening up the ability to recognize and process much more complex question than ever before.
Splitting up terms into different categories, a question such as 'Who was the US President when the Angels won the World Series' will be recognized in sections which include presidents, countries, baseball teams and world series winners by year. The example on this blog explains that Google will then search the two terms: 'presidents of the US' and 'year the Angels won the world series', placing them together to tell you that George W. Bush was in power.
This isn't limited to desktop searches either, you can now speak into the Google app on your smartphone with it working exactly the same way. There are some deeper explanations and more examples on the blog, head on over if you're interested.
Frank De Sa, CIO of Just Group, is responsible for overseeing brands such as Just Jeans, Jay Jays, Peter Alexander, Jacqui Em, Dotti and Portmans. Recently he has showcased online clothing retail at its most efficient - bragging that 1000 stores across four countries are managed by an IT team of just 45 staff, including their important online sales ventures.
Why such small staffing, you ask? De Sa says that "apparel retail knows how to do things efficiently," expanding that his extremely critical approach to IT support and infrastructure has helped the company get to wher it is today. It's not that De Sa doesn't value IT staff numbers as a whole, he says that these 45 staff are working within their means to offer brilliant service, stating that "IT is critical to the delivery of an online platform. If the culture of IT's not right, then we can only dream about a successful implementation."
Focusing on performance culture, De Sa explained that pushing workers to perform is key to success: "Whenever there's an online event like a Click Frenzy event, we basically watch with evil eye on every single transaction - what's being slow?"
Pornhub has just released some interesting statistics and analysis on the watching habits of those down under, showcasing some odd findings.
Not only is Kim Kardashian still the most searched for 'star', but Australian women watch more online, ranking at 25% of the total watcher population, compared with 25% average globally. With Monday the most popular time to watch and Friday being the least, Aussies are the 7th largest consumers of Pornhub material.
What's most interesting is a look at the percentage change based around events. While there is a 52% drop during New Year's Eve and a 28% decline on Christmas day, Good Friday sees a 2% rise and Easter Monday results in 7% more viewers.
With the sheer volume of users on the internet gaining by the minute, some comforting information has been published by Australia's Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman recently, stating that complaints are down across the board, seemingly meaning that many telco's are doing much better than before.
Overall there has been a reported 10.5 percent drop in complaints compared with 2014, seeing Vodaphone improve the most, showcasing a lower complaints figure over five consecutive quarters. Also on the mend is Telstra, experiencing a drop of 2500 complaints, however dwarfed by Vodaphone's two-thirds improvement.
Bringing up the rear is Optus, blaming it's increased 4G network usage and weather issues affecting cable network operations.
It looks like Google could be ushering in some big changes to the Play Store, with the latest Play Store v5.12 APK being torn down and dissected by Android Police, where they found Families, Family Library and Gifting options.
The Family Library is a big change for Google, as it would allow family members to buy and share content from the Play Store with their closest family members. We don't know how it would work exactly, but there would be a 'creator' for the Family Account, who would then be able to send invites to the group - similar to how the account sharing on Spotify works.
Next up is Gifting, where you can buy someone an app, enter in an email address, your name and a message - and voila, you've just gifted them an app, or a game. If the gift is rejected, you can send it to someone else, but we don't know if there'll be a refund or store credit option just yet. The new Play Store update should roll through soon, with these upgrades in tow.
Google is rolling out Smart Reply for Gmail later this week, a new feature that predicts what you want to respond with, allowing for quick responses. The idea, of course, is to make e-mail easier to handle when on the go, particularly on busy trips and such.
Google says The more you use Smart Reply, the smarter it becomes, so long-term use will pay off.
Smart Reply can be found on Google Play and the App Store in English when it launches.
Google has begun the process of bringing Fiber to three more US cities: Oklahoma City, OK, Jacksonville, FL, and Tampa, FL. Whether it will actually happen is another story (there is a lot of evaluation on the viability of construction to be done first), but they did have plenty of nice things to say about each location.
"These growing tech-hubs have a strong entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to small business growth," writes Jill Szuchmacher, Director of Google Fiber Expansion. "Their list of accolades is long-from Jacksonville's title as a top 10 city for tech jobs, to Tampa Bay's #2 spot on the list of best cities for young entrepreneurs, to Oklahoma City's recognition as the #1 city to launch a business. One of our goals is to make sure speed isn't an accidental ceiling for how people and businesses use the Web, and these cities are the perfect places to show what's possible with gigabit Internet."
The tally of cities equipped with or exploring Fiber right now is 15.
Google has been expected to launch its long-awaited video subscription service through YouTube for a while now, but it looks like it will be finally taking place on Wednesday according to the latest rumors.
YouTube's premium subscription model is expected to include ad-free viewing, as well as the ability to download videos for offline viewing. As for the cost, we should expect somewhere around the $10 per month range, which will have plenty of people jumping onboard so that they can secure an ad-free YouTube experience.
Two months ago, the New York Times published an expose on the work environment at Amazon, which it described as "brusing" from the get go, before detailing extremely long hours, annual staff cullings, and employees crying in the office, among other things.
Now, Amazon's Senior Vice President for Global Corporate Affairs Jay Carney has hit back, criticizing the piece as poor journalism on Medium.com (it should be noted Carney spent two decades as a reporter for Time, and has served as White House Press Secretary).
The jist of Carney's position is that the sources in the article are not credible (one, he says, later resigned when confronted with evidence of him attempting to defraud and conceal vendors, and another later clarified her long hours were self-imposed), and they were lied to about how the piece would turn out (nuanced versus what he feels is sensationalist).
It looks like Google is making big progress in its Twitch competitor, with YouTube Gaming v1.1 being torn down by Android Police. The outfit found that the latest app includes background and offline playback, and so much more.
With YouTube's background and offline playback still not here, it shows the progress that the team has had with YouTube Gaming, pushing out these two big features into the app virtually instantly. We should hopefully expect the normal YouTube app to feature offline playback and background play in the next few revisions.
Google is including VR support for YouTube Gaming through Cardboard, allowing 360-degree videos to be played through the YouTube Gaming v1.1 app. If you want to download the YouTube Gaming v1.1 APK, you can grab it here.