Director of Product Management for Google Now, Aparna Chennapragada, has announced at SXSW that an open API will soon be available to all developers to include in their apps. This means that Google Now will have the ability to search for information in more apps that just the ones allowed by Google.
The idea came when Chennapragada went to Disneyland and show how queues can eat up most of your day. This is why she now has the Google Now team working on displaying cards that would show how long the average waiting time is at various theme parks. But the feature will not stop here, having Google Now focusing on personalized user experience. This means that, for example, an individual wants to arrive at the airport early to catch a flight, the knowledge can be built in Google Now cards.
There is still the matter of what Google Now would display if it finds the same information from different sources. This is where “individual user app usage patterns” comes in, comparing the app’s personal usage and determining from which app to display the information based on the individual’s preferences.
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Even with all its power, the UK government has admitted that it’s at a point where simple tasks, such as sharing information or data between two different departments, has become a burden. This is mostly due to the fact that there are a wide range of databases controlled by each government department.
However, the cabinet’s data sharing policy team came up with a plan back in April that would have all departments link all of their databases. This means that local authorities, emergency services, schools and even government departments would merge their databases into a single ‘super database’.
The resulting database then said to be able to handle huge amounts of data and provide more accurate information. Other benefits that might follow are said to include a saving of up to £37 billion in error, dump and fraud.
Another beneficial outcome from all of this is the government’s ability to understand a person’s life and help him with their money problems. For example, if an individual is in debt to various departments, the payment can then be structured and manageable on a low-income.
To be noted is that the policy is still just a proposal and the government is now looking for the people’s opinion in order to find out if they support the plan or not.
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Gamers have always been thought to be comprised mostly by loners and rejects, the so-called nerds who live in their parent’s basement and play video games all day long. However, a recent study has shed light on this dilemma, revealing that only one perception is true from the previously mentioned, which is that gamers are truly nerds.
A study commissioned by the video game streaming network Twitch and conducted by social researcher Neil Howe revealed an entirely fresh perspective of the gaming community by suggesting that gamers are more successful, social and more educated than the non-gamer society. The company is said to have surveyed more than 1,000 people via the Internet regarding their gaming habits while also extracting some demographic information. For the case study at hand, it has been said that a typical ‘gamer’ was defined as an individual who has played a game on a digital device in the past 60 days, having over 60% of surveyed individuals in total fitting the profile.
According to The Washington Post, who received a copy of the case study, gamers are more likely to be living with others, such as family, friends or significant others, and are more likely to agree with the following statement: “My friends are the most important thing in my life”, having 57% of gamers agree with the statement. The study also reveals that gamers are also divided more evenly by gender, with 52% identified as being male and 48% female, compared to a similar study back in 2004 revealing an estimated 40% of female gamers.
Another aspect extracted from the case study is said to reveal that gamers are slightly more likely to be employed full-time, having 42% of gamers employed full-time, compared to the 39% non-gamer full-time employees. In terms of media habits, it has been identified that gamers spend more time using their gadgets and also tend to spend a lot of time with media through popular video streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu.
Though most modern gamers already are familiar and agree with the provided information, it is nice to see Twitch and Neil Howe providing some actual hard facts and truthful information regarding the definition of a ‘Gamer’ and hopefully diminish the false rumors which have been roaming around the non-gamer community for some time now.