September 01, 2013
What Google Knows!

Looking through recommendations for apps for my new Android device informed me of Google Now.

Google Now recently earned our pick as the best virtual assistant for Android, and for good reason. No other tool we’ve seen proactively offers the wealth of relevant and useful information that Google Now does that specific to your current location. If you’re traveling, Google Now will show you the weather in your location before you get off the plane, open up a translation card so you can make sense of the local language, and show you directions to the hotel you booked a room in, all within moments of you arriving at your destination, without you having to do anything. Even if you’re not traveling, Google Now will proactively tell you when you need to leave to get to an appointment on your calendar, how long the commute home will be before you leave work, and more.

There, in a paragraph, is the paradox of the full-information state. Cool and scary. Given that this much information is available to Google, it is of course also available to the NSA and from there to who knows where. But still, it’s pretty cool that we have devices with that kind of power. It’s not a tricorder yet but it will be.

Oh, the image is meaningless, I just thought it was cute. No disrespect to Applites.


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Posted by Chuck Dupree at September 01, 2013 06:13 PM
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You need an app for this? Google is already doing this, on just plain, vanilla Google searches at google[dot]com, done on a boring old desktop. And it's infuriating and more and more often is making Google searches useless without a lot of extra fussing around. It somehow decides that it "knows" where you are and "tailors" the search results whether that's what you want or not. It also assumes all sorts of other things, like that your search words you put in must relate somehow to the latest blockbuster at the local cineplex and that's what you "really" wanted. It even brings up, in searches where you specify all the words be found, links where only some of the words are found -- in the first page of results.

I'm sure these search results have nothing to do with them getting money for it to happen that way, and that I'm just doing it wrong.

Posted by: Tim on September 3, 2013 12:12 PM
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