Can Google’s Revamped Google Earth Fortify its Presence in Tourism?

Google has recently introduced its newest version of Google Earth, a software combining topographic maps, satellite imagery, and 3D cities. The new update for Google Earth will be shortly made available for Android and web, announced Google. The new update will feature Knowledge cards and guided tours, apart from its signature “I’m feeling lucky” button”.

Voyager, a novel route planner that aids in the planning of fastest routes for travelling to multiple locations, is a key feature of the new version. Presently featuring around 50 stories, this showcase of engaging stories is developed in collaboration with some of the most prominent scientists, non-profits, and storytellers.

For instance, Natural Treasures is a tour by BBC Earth that can take us to a number of natural habitats across the globe such as jungles and mountains, where one can experience the wonders of wildlife. Hosting a tour to Gombe National Park in Tanzania, Jane Goodall discusses the conservation efforts and chimpanzee research initiated by her team. Not only Sesame Street, but also NASA has been working on Google Earth.

Travel-related Products by Google might Witness More Demand

Moreover, the ‘I’m feeling lucky” button featuring on Google Earth is not without a purpose. A database containing at least 20,000 different locations across the world which are worth visiting are curated. These can be universally famous tourist attractions or the lesser explored scenic paradises, among several other places. On reaching the desirable spot, the ‘Knowledge Card’ feature gives additional information about that particular place.

Although this feature is fascinating in itself, more importantly, it can instill travel inspiration and help people figure out which place they would like to visit. This might ramp up Google’s position in the travel-related products and services market, where a plethora of solutions such as Google Trips, Google Flights, and Google Destinations are likely to gain popularity.

EBay Fails to Narrow Gap with E-Commerce Giant Amazon in Sales Growth

Despite consistent efforts and change is marketing and designing plans, EBay was unable to convince investors that these efforts were taking shape, especially as its reporting sales growth continued to trail e-commerce goliath Amazon.com Inc.

Among the recent changes made in the way the firm functions, the key decisions taken by Devin Wenig, EBay’s Chief Executive Officer, include redesigning the website’s homepage so as to make it more personalized for visitors, up its expenditure on marketing, and making navigating through 1 billion listings much easier. These efforts resulted in a sales gain of 3.7 per cent in Q1, which is almost similar to that registered in the previous period. EBay parted ways with PayPal Holdings Inc. nearly two years ago and since then, CEO Devin Wenig’s aim has been to make the firm a place where customers go to for novel items otherwise not found on Amazon.

An industry analyst is of the opinion that the company has been struggling to present consistent results and even though the previous quarter exhibited promising growth, this quarter has been rather uninspiring, only affirming its inconsistency.

What the Numbers Reveal

In the first quarter of the current year, EBay earned 2 million new active buyers to reach a total of 169 million. This is a rise of 4 per cent from the same period the year before. As far as the gross merchandize volume is concerned, the company reached US$20.9 billion, reporting a 2.4 per cent increase in terms of the value of goods via transactions. However, this is almost similar to the growth reported in the last quarter. The e-commerce company’s shares dropped 4.5 per cent after wrapping up at US$33.85 at the New York Stock Exchange.

Algorithm Designed to Help Curb Terror Attacks and Hate Crimes

With random terror attacks and other forms of hate crimes on the rise worldwide, authorities are hard pressed to find a solution to save innocent lives. While police and secret service agencies are continuously upping monitoring, scientists have come up with another solution. They have devised a method to keep a tab on the movements of hundreds of individuals at the same time and uncover suspicious behavior.

What differentiates the software from others so far and how does it work?

The research developed by Mubarak Shah and Afshin Dehghan and to be published in IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, leverages a mathematical function to study five factors that will aid in finding out where a person will go next. The software registers appearance, neighbor motion, target motion, spatial proximity, and grouping to find out how an individual will move around in a crowd and even predict their likely actions.

The developers of the algorithm studied nine crowd videos, in which the number of people ranged from 57 to 747. The program’s effectiveness in tracking every person was between 67% and 99%. The program is still being tested before it can be launched in the market. Once it happens, it shall hopefully go a long way in thwarting untoward incidents in crowded places.

So far, computer-based studies have only been able to monitor one person at a time in recorded videos and mostly rely on appearance. The latest algorithm, however, is slated to change all that by enabling surveying the entire crowd at a time.

AMD Announces Launch of Radeon RX 500-series Graphic Cards

In addition to AMD’s new Ryzen 5 processors, the company has announced a new lineup of graphic cards called Radeon RX 500-series. In accordance to Radeon RX 400-series which was released by AMD 2016, RX 500-series comprises a new low-end GPU which focuses essentially on e-sports as well as home theater PCs, aspiring to justify the tagline, “Polaris refined and evolved.”

Refresh Issues Addressed
Refresh rate has been a cause of concern for enthusiasts since long, and AMD made striking progress with RX 400-series, and has made further improvements with RX 500-series, which is a reflection of combat issues addressed by the original cards. Radeon RX 480 was very well received by the enthusiasts, but its limitation was reached at a maximum of 1,266MHz boost speed. RX 400-series and now RX 500-series are two steps in positive direction, overcoming power-draw controversy that emerged during the launch, which was later readily fixed by AMD.

RX 500-series
AMD has powered the Radeon RX 500-series with its third generation 14nm process, capable of achieving much higher clock speeds managed by its predecessors. Besides a 1,340MHz boost clock in addition to 1,257MHz base clock, AMD has included a new power state in the Radeon RX 500-series, which allows it run at significantly reduced power when idle, using multi-monitor setups, and while watching video. With Radeon, AMD aspire considerable temperature and power gains in games that support the Radeon Chill.

While Radeon RX 580 can crank up clocks from 150W to 185W, Radeon RX 560 provides notable increment over the RX 460, reaching 1,175MHz base and 1,275MHz boost speeds. On the other hand, Radeon RX 550 is an entirely fresh model targeting home theater PC aficionados and e-sports gamers, with 2GB memory, running over a 128-bit bus. A limited number of models are also expected to offer 4GB capacity.