The annual event of Google for Developers is named Google I/O. Google I/O 2013 is currently happening. On internet there are plenty sites about Google I/O but I wanted to give one specific project my special attention.
Google wants to create the ultimate results machine. Not just a search engine which finds some results for you but one which will find on the right moment and location what you want and need.
Do you know the computer of Star Trek?
A place where you can ask questions and have answers for everything… exactly that kind of computer wants Google to built. When Amit Singhal from Google said this is exactly what they are working on now I was thinking… NERD PORN. That’s why this title of this article.
This will change a lot for us, users, if they can serve results faster and better. Some will now think what to think about Apple Siri. Siri is nice but it’s too limited. Imagine that all data and information Google has can use for this cause. The possibilities that can arise.
Soon searching via Chrome will come available with hot words and no interface which will imply you can do this without a keyboard and mouse. The system will react when you say the words : “OK, Google and you can ask you question.
By using Google Now you are already able via iOS and Android devices to try this, but you still have to push the mic-icon.
I had the Google-voice search language already on English US but I changed also Android UI to English US. I didn’t see the correct cards when using Dutch. I wanted to try the just introduced new card Reminder but it didn’t work when I was speaking English. When I changed all the language settings from Dutch to English it was working and I had the new features.
When Google has a search result in a Knowledge Graph this can be spoken as answer. This can be for eg how many people live in China or how much is 100+1. In stead of search results Google shows you the result specially made/calculated for you.
Google Now is an important part in this. If you ask a question Google will try to answer it. Like the Star Computer did in the 1960s TV series.
I tried several things to get an impression. They are working a lot to expand it’s features and I think later expand it to other countries. It’s a begin, but I found it an impressive begin. I did all in English.
How much people live in China?
How much people live in China is a statistic Google has and can answer you when you ask for it. Eventually it’s also meant you could compare this between other statistics like comparing it with India, China and USA inhabitants.
Maybe you already used Google to make a simple calculation. You can also ask how much is one hundred euros in dollars.
You noticed that Google calculates its currency-exchange and pronounce the numbers correct. Google doesn’t say one, two, eight, point, two, six dollar but hundred and twenty eight point two, six dollar. You hear that after the point Google stops reading in a natural way. This will I presume getting fixed in the future but it’s a lot better than in the past.
The question how many meters in one yard works also :
The question every nerd knows to answer is of course What is the speed of light :
Google knows and shows the answer but it’s not read yet. I think this will also come in the near future.
Another Nerd-question : Who is the creator of Star Trek.
I believe Gene Roddenberry would be proud on this begin.
When was Marilyn Monroe born?
That went well with a nice photo and complete date.
When did Elvis die?
Google comes with the correct date and photo again. What I like about this is that Google presume I meant Elvis Presley. I didn’t ask the question literaly. I said Elvis, not Elvis Presley. On this natural way of asking Google is going to bet for the future according Amit.
What is the time in New York now?
That also done well by Google Now.
Now something we need location services. The weather forecast. I ask What is the weather.
Google reads the weather forecast of Maastricht. Maybe you notice this is done in Fahrenheit in stead of Celsius. I was not able to change this. When I change my language to UK it doesn’t understand me well. I believe we can change this more later or even better speak in Dutch in the future. Google does first the US market and later the others.
I asked Google What is the next match of Real Madrid.
The integration with Google+ will be mind-blowing I will now give some voice search command which show you some photos from Google results. You can also let Google search within your own photos. The question I now ask is Can you show me some pictures of Camino de Santiago.
It’s all impressive but we are not yet there. I ask How much is one megabyte in bit.
The result is correct. The speech is not good enough. The figure is not spoken in an natural way like we humans would do (eight million etc….).
Google is really doing good efforts to create the ultimate Star Trek computer.
You can also check out the complete Google I/O 2013 Keynote.
Some other interesting news I want to mention aside the nerd porn :
– 900 million activated Android devices, a lot to go said Sundar with 7 billion people
– APIs with new features: Geofencing, Activity recognition (are you walking, running, cycling, driving, etc…) and Google+ Single Sign-On
– GCM which has the nice new feature to synchronize notification. At the moment 17 billion messages per day with a latency of maximum 60 ms are being processed. Incredible achievement.
– Gaming. Cloud Save. Game till a certain level and continue playing another device. Announced multiplayer.
Then they showed us Racer. A game which remembers me of slot-racing A demo showed how data are being synchronized between applications and devices If you look well you see it’s Android and iOS devices mixed (iPhone, iPad and android phone and tablet). Really nice to see this technically possible, now.
Nice proof of concept… curious what developers can make for this.
– Google+ has 41 new features like related hash-tags whereby they analyse photos and add a hash-tags automatically. A photo with a famous person which doing a sport will get hash-tags with his name, teamname and sport. Photos in Google+ can be easily organised. I tried and tested it three times but I was not able to upload 10 photos so I stopped trying, but it looks promising.
– Hangouts is nice new feature. Messages can be sent to each other despite the platform being used. Works nice. I’m going to make a test with several persons and devices. It looks better than Skype and Whatsapp combined and also more platform freedom.
Last month Microsoft introduced the latest Windows version named Windows 8. With Windows 8 Microsoft is going to true to conquer also the tablet market. In this article I will first discus some casual user interests. Later on I will show some indepth information which is interesting for business users and tweakers.
I’m not going to explain the differences between Windows 8 and Windows 8 RT, see Microsoft article.
Fast after the introduction I got some requests for migrate some Windows 7 computers to Windows 8. Microsoft had on their site that all Windows 7 application will work on Windows 8.
Download Windows 8 or buy the retail box?
At first I wanted to buy the retail upgrade DVD box in the shop. Windows 8 Pro cost in this case € 59,99 (Dutch price in Euros). Then I went to search for the Windows 8 Upgrade Advisor tool and found out when this tool is finished checking your computer you can order Windows 8 by legally download it for € 29,99. I didn’t want a DVD and also saved the time for going to the shop and had an extra saving of 20 20 euros.
You can start the tool by visiting Microsofts site Buy Windows page (you now know for sure you have legal and genuine software) and choose “Download Pro for € 29,99”.
Migrate Windows 7 to Windows 8
I checked it myself several times and I have to say that the migration process till now works flawless. The setup program checks whether it is ok to migrate and what to do step by step.
Of all the migrations I did till today 75% were companies who had Small Business Server 2008 running with Windows 7 computers while the other 25% had notebooks/laptop which weren’t connected to a domain controller. All versions were 64 bit. Application works all flawless. Accounting programs like KING work well on Windows 8. Unit4 has even support for Windows 8 and also supporting tiles in Modern UI.
Getting from 64 bit Windows 7 you can easily upgrade to Windows 8 Pro 64 bit. I don’t expect problems with this, Microsoft did a good job.
New in Windows 8
Most discussed topic regarding Windows 8 is ofcourse it’s new user interface. The UI. In test version this UI was named Metro but now Microsoft is naming it Modern UI. With this new approach Microsoft wants to achieve you experience using your device more easy. How many people do start their computer to check email or read facebook messages? Not many people do this. More and more people are using smartphones and tablets. It’s good Microsoft tries to uniform the UI on those different devices. For current computer users the UI is maybe strange but new users will take advantage of seeing the UI on more and more devices and so can use it easier.
The discussion if Windows 8 is going to be a success or not starts to get a century old topic. Last century users were complaining about the transsition from Windows 3.x to Windows 95 but it was easier to use. The same happened from Win95/98 to Vista and from Vista to Windows 7. People, read users, do not like change. But till today I have to admit that everytime Microsoft had done it right. Everytime I think wow… Microsoft did saw that trend ready for mainstream users. I think, after while working with Windows 8, that they made a strong OS which is able to stay number 1 in desktop OS but also has the power to win a lot of tablet and smartphone users. Well done.
What in it for business users of Windows 8?
Windows 8 Pro is the business version of Windows. You are able with this version to connect your device to the domain of your company server. At the moment this will be most likely the Windows 2008 Server solutions like Windows 2008 Server, Windows 2008R2 server or Small Business Server 2008. Soon the succesor of SBS2008 is released and this will be named Windows 2012 Essentials. As Windows upgrade you get temporary Windows 8 Pro for € 29,99 liked mentioned above. If you bought a notebook, tablet or PC with Windows preinstalled it can be version Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro. In the case you have Windows 8 installed you can get for a temporary discounted price an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro. I found this when I found this link on the Microsoft website.
Windows 8 for tweakers
Often Windows 8 is mistaken by reviewers as a beginners operating system for dummies, but the truth is different. If I check out the detailed features I see a lot of happy system administrators and tweakers who will not go back to Windows 7. I show a little example like the new Windows 8 task manager.
Windows 7 backup file recovery in Windows 8 ?
When I had migrated a few Windows 7 Ultimate systems to Windows 8 Pro I was thinking why it’s using Windows 7 backup system and not the new Windows 8 version.
You have to disable manually the Windows 7 backup system and activate yourself the new Windows 8 file history. File history is almost the same then Apple’s TimeMachine or LaCie time explorer solution.
Due to a project I wasn’t able to write earlier about this. The dutch NOS.nl had yesterday mentioned that Aldi in The Netherlands… going to sell A-labelled brands (here).
I already wrote in my last article let the retail war start. Professor Molenaar didn’t saw (or still not see) as he didn’t believe the possibilities yet.
Odd that the next dat Aldi came with their change in market approach. That’s exactly entering the market in which AH supermarkets are being active. AH wants to fill in the gap they have towards the market of Aldi/Lidl. Aldi lost marketshare to Lidl and start to compete directly now with AH. The combination of internetactivities of food and non-food purchase dept will only strengthen my thoughts.
I find it kind of humor that the newspaper still not make this relation….
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