Technology
Pichai unveils 'Google Assistant' to help with daily tasks
Taking on intelligent virtual friends like Apple's Siri and Microsoft's Cortana, Indian-born Sundar Pichai has announced "Google Assistant" which will help you with daily tasks like booking movie tickets.
 
Pichai also unveiled "Google Home" - a voice-activated product that brings "Google Assistant" to any room in your house, a new messaging app called "Allo" and video calling feature "Duo" as the company kicked off "Google I/O," its annual developer conference in Mountain View, California, on Wednesday.
 
The "Google Assistant" is conversational - an ongoing two-way dialogue between you and Google that understands your world and helps you get things done.
 
"It makes it easy to buy movie tickets while on the go, to find that perfect restaurant for your family to grab a quick bite before the movie starts, and then help you navigate to the theater. It's a Google for you, by you," Pichai wrote in a blog post.
 
"The Assistant is an ambient experience that will work seamlessly across devices and contexts. So you can summon Google's help no matter where you are or what the context. It builds on all our years of investment in deeply understanding users' questions," he added.
 
"Google Home" lets you enjoy entertainment, manage everyday tasks and get answers from Google - all using conversational speech.
 
With a simple voice command, you can ask Google Home to play a song, set a timer for the oven, check your flight, or turn on your lights.
 
"It's designed to fit your home with customisable bases in different colors and materials. Google Home will be released later this year," Pichai informed.
 
The messaging app "Allo" comes complete with the "Google Assistant" so you can interact with it directly in your chats, either one-on-one or with friends.
 
"Because the Assistant understands your world, you can ask for things like your agenda for the day or photos from your last trip. If you're planning a dinner with friends, you can ask the assistant to suggest restaurants nearby, all in one thread," Pichai further wrote.
 
Allo includes "Smart Reply" which suggests responses to messages based on context and comes with fun ways to make your chats more expressive, including emojis, stickers and the ability to get creative with photos.
 
"Duo" is a companion app for one-to-one video calling.
 
"With Duo, our goal is to make video calling faster and more reliable, even on slower network speeds. We also introduced a feature called 'Knock Knock' which gives you a live video of the other caller before you answer," the Indian-born executive posted.
 
Best of all, both Allo and Duo are based on your phone number, so you can communicate with anyone regardless of whether they're on Android or iOS. Both apps will be available this summer.
 
"We are sharing details about what's coming in Android N, including better performance for graphics and effects, reduced battery consumption and storage, background downloads of system updates, and streamlined notifications so you can power through them faster, and updated emojis including 72 new ones," Pichai said.
 
On top of Android N, Google has built a new platform for high-quality mobile VR called "Daydream".
 
"Together with Android manufacturers, we're working on upcoming phones and sharing designs with them for a VR viewer and controller that will be really immersive, comfortable and intuitive to use," Pichai added.
 
Google also previewed "Android Wear 2.0", including a revamped user experience and stand alone apps that run right on the watch, no matter where your phone is or even if it's off.
 
"Finally, we're introducing Android Instant Apps - which let you run Android apps instantly, without requiring installation," he said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Ad or Not: Google Search Results for 'Silicon Valley'
Google “Silicon Valley.” Go ahead, we’ll wait. You might expect some interesting news about the tech center of the universe to pop up. Sure enough, it does.
 
Notice these “headlines” in a slider on the page:
  1. Stanford Robotics Reports “Bam-Bot” Damaged in Field Testing 
  2. Are Hooli shares on a tear? 
  3. Introducing Jack “Action Jack” Baker!
Perhaps you should invest in Hooli, if only that were a possibility. In reality, which is to say on HBO, Hooli is a fictional company that satirizes Google on the tech comedy “Silicon Valley.” Business Insider has the scoop about these Google search results:
 
These aren’t real news stories; they are satirical posts based on events in the television show “Silicon Valley,” whose third season began Sunday night.
 
The fake headlines link to Silicon Valley’s Google Posts page. Google describes Posts as “an experimental new podium” that allows individuals and organizations to connect with people searching for them on Google. Right now Google says the feature is “invite-only,” though there’s a waiting list that interested parties can join.
 
Business Insider reports that Posts “is not for ads, and Google is not charging businesses and brands for the privilege of posting, nor forming official partnerships with any of them.” Not for ads for now maybe. What else do you call promotional material embedded among non-promotional content?
Find more of our Ad or Not posts here
 

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What's in a name! Rishi Kapoor sparks Congress outcry
Veteran film actor Rishi Kapoor on Wednesday sparked off a Congress outcry after he launched a scathing attack against the grand old party of India for naming Indian assets and government projects after its icons from the Nehru-Gandhi family.
 
In a series of tweets, Rishi Kapoor urged the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government to re-name the assets that the Congress has named after the Gandhis -- Indira and Rajiv.
 
“We must name important assets of the country (after those) who have contributed to society. Har cheez Gandhi ke naam? (Everything is in the name of the Gandhis?) I don't agree. Sochna log! (Think people!)," Rishi Kapoor tweeted.
 
"Change Gandhi family assets named by (the) Congress. Bandra/Worli Sea Link to Lata Mangeshkar or J.R.D. Tata Link road. Baap ka maal samajh rakha tha."
 
He also questioned why Delhi's airport was named Indira Gandhi International Airport. "Why not Mahatma Gandhi or Bhagat Singh, Ambedkar or on my name Rishi Kapoor. As superficial."
 
The Bollywood actor apparently took a thread from Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh’s demand on Tuesday that New Delhi's Akbar Road, where the Congress headquarters is located, be renamed after Maharana Pratap.
 
“If (names of) roads in Delhi can be changed, why not Congress assets/property ke naam? Was in Chandigarh, wahan bhi Rajeev Gandhi assets. Socho! Why,” the actor said.
 
The 63-year-old actor demanded that "Film City (in Mumbai) should be named (after) Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Ashok Kumar ya Amitabh Bachchan? Rajeev Gandhi udyog kya hota hai?"
 
The comments sparked off a furore in the Congress, with Gandhi loyalists slamming the actor.
 
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said the actor had no “role to play in the public life”.
 
“Last time I heard of him was in the movie ‘Bobby’. It is not worth to comment on,” Tewari told reporters in Delhi.
 
Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam in Mumbai said that Rishi Kapoor needed to learn history as he apparently had failed to realize the contributions the Gandhi family had made to build the nation.
 
He said he had sent Rishi Kapoor a list of Indian airports that have been named after Maharana Pratap, Shivaji Maharaj and Lal Bahadur Shastri.
 
“There are some who open their mouth for the sake of power and such people have a narrow mindset,” Nirupam added.
 
Congress spokesperson P. C. Chacko didn’t name the actor but said people were targeting the Gandhis "to get into the good books" of the ruling BJP.
 
“They want to please somebody in power. They can have it but not at the expense of the Congress. We don't take it seriously and it is not worth any comments at all," Chacko said in Delhi.
 
Rishi Kapoor said his father Raj Kapoor, a legendary Indian showman, has made the country proud more than “what has been perceived by politics”.
 
The actor’s view was supported by his Bollywood colleague Anupam Kher, known for airing his views rather brazenly. He stressed the importance of recognising "legends" from other fields like the arts, cricket and cinema.
 
Anupam Kher lauded the Narendra Modi government, saying that they don't 'have any yojna (scheme) after any political leaders".
 
“Rishi Kapoor is a very forthright person. He has not necessarily said all the right things but why should we attribute a reason behind it and make it less important by immediately coming to a conclusion that this is a political statement. It is not a political statement.”
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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COMMENTS

Bapoo Malcolm

9 months ago

For those who wish to find me, here is my latest address. 31, Krantiveer Vasantrao Narayan? Path, originally Krantiveer Vasantrao Narayan? Road, aka K V N Naik Path, originally Forjett Street, off Jaojee Dadajee Marg, aka J D Marg, originally known as Tardeo Road, (Yes, It was named after a DEITY!), Mumbai, originally known as Bombay, India, aka Bharat, aka Hindustan.

Just name them by numbers, North south 1,3, 5, and East West, 2, 4, 6, etc. in Block A, B, C, etc. Those will remain forever, no matter what they are called with every change of Government.

Quality of life? Deteriorating, aka Who cares?

Many years after our street was renamed, a taxi driver, staying there for long years, was surprised that is was actually his own Forjett Street!

Bapoo Malcolm

9 months ago

As for Chaco's comment, could not agree more. But then, we need to have an Uncle Tom's Road. In every place. Multiple remembrances. All inclusive; film stars, journalists, poet dads, fawning NGO heads, ex-Armywallas, political 'rebels', laid-off babus, et al.

Bapoo Malcolm

9 months ago

Jawaharlal had categorically stated that no monuments be named after him. It was not followed.

All parties are in the naming mode. Even when not in power, as a quid pro quo. Not only that, the names are so terribly long. The effect then gets lost. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus is CST; a corporator even demanded that no tickets be issued to those who used the abbreviation! But then we have a fascination for verbosity. In the end we have MG Road, SV Road, (originally GB Road for Ghodbunder Road). VP Marg, for both Vitthal and Vallabh. I stay on KVN Naik Path. For Krantiveer Vasantrao N Naik Path. I believe the second 'N' stands for Narayan. Thirty years later, it still goes by its old name, Forjett Street.

The best thing to do is to not name anything after anybody, until 100 years after they are dead and gone. If they are remembered then, they deserve to be named.

AND KEEP THEM SHORT.

Param

9 months ago

i always used to wonder what a pilot like sanjay gandhi had in relation to borivli national park, or pm like jawahar lal nehru had in relation to hyderabad zoo or even indira gandhi had in relation to vizag zoo. did they fund it, build it, sanction it or even visit it???

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