Google releases new Gboard, but only for iPhone so far

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Yesterday Google unveiled a new way to access Google Translate that did not require constant app switching using a new feature called Tap to Translate. Today they are revealing a new feature that works in a similar manner to super power search inquiries. Instead of a chat head type interface, access is embedded in the new Google keyboard called Gboard. Inexplicably, Google decided to release this only for the iPhone at this time. Read more

The sun is setting on Sunrise

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This is hardly a surprise to those familiar with how mergers and acquisitions work out in the real world, but popular calendar app Sunrise will be shutting down in just a few more months. This announcement from the development team that built Sunrise comes a little more than a year after it was revealed that Microsoft was purchasing Sunrise. Since that acquisition by Microsoft, the members of the Sunrise team have joined the Outlook development efforts where their work is being rolled into that product. Read more

Google’s new Tap to Translate takes us a step closer to universal translator

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Google rolls out updates to their apps and services on a regular basis, sometimes with great success and sometimes to cries of anguish from users. A new update that is rolling out for Google Translate on Android and iOS devices should fall firmly in the former category as Google is moving to make translation a much easier process, although they are not quite to the level of a universal translator. Read more

Senate chairman digs into Facebook over political bias in Trending Topics

facebook_app_ta_pageThe US Senate Commerce Committee has publicly opened up an inquiry into Facebook and it’s potential manipulation of political posts in the social media site’s Trending Topics. Senate chairman John Thune is leading the questioning, asking Facebook to clarify reports that the teams of people managing Trending Topics were actively suppressing certain stories. In this case, the Senate believes those suppressed stories had a conservative slant.

Thune claims that Facebook’s political manipulation was a strike against an open and fair internet, which is interesting coming from a guy that publicly decried the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules. Read more

Google wants to help put local news sources on the front page

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Google announced today that they are adding a new “Local Source” tag to their Google News platform to help readers around the globe identify news sources that may be especially close to a news subject. Often these local news sources can provide additional context and perspective. A problem can rise up though when a local story goes viral and national publishers end up drowning out the local sources. Read more