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.

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.

Now Make Cashless Payments by Simply Waving your Smart Phone

Contactless payment is such a relief in countries such as India where strategic government moves such as demonetization are in the run. And for developed nations, this not-so-new but hot payments concept is an escalation in the world of commerce that tellingly widens up the customer service portfolio. Falling on similar lines, Samsung Pay is currently making the news columns with its “revolutionary way to pay” mobile payment setup. However, tech newbies might find it surprising to know that contactless payment has always been around, since two to three years.

Contactless payment is just what it reads, meaning you can complete cashless payments without even swiping or inserting your card into a point of sales (PoS) device. All you need to do is wave your smartphone at a PoS machine.

Contactless Payment Works on Three Types of Technology Platforms

Magnetic secure transmission (MST) is a cost-effective technology that allows merchants to process contactless payments without the need to make a new hardware investment. It simply emits a magnetic signal from customer’s smartphone which can be read by a conventional PoS terminal magnetic strip card reader.

Contactless payment on ICICI’s Pockets app is a perfect instance of the host card emulation (HCE) technology. You need an Android operating system on your mobile phone to use HCE at any near-field communication (NFC)-enabled terminal. It converts physical debit or credit cards into virtual cards.

The NFC technology is the most average of all as it mandates both merchant’s PoS terminal and customer’s card to be NFC compliant. However, transactions can be completed even using stickers and tags besides cards. The Tap & Go Debit Card of the State Bank of India is a practical example of the NFC technology.