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It looks like Google users are prime targets for pranks on April Fool’s Day.
Google has gone all out with an array of pranks beginning with Google Nose – the newest addition to the search engine’s capabilities.
Google Nose apparently allows users to search the “Aromabase” of more than 15 million Scentibytes then catch a whiff of everything from wet dog to dumpsters.
Google has gone all out with an array of pranks on April Fool’s Day beginning with Google Nose
There is also the announcement that YouTube is shutting down at midnight – to allow a panel of experts to pick the best video ever for when the site re-launches in 2023.
The hilarious clip includes comments from some of the site’s biggest stars including the little boy who had a dazed conversation with his father following a dentist appointment and Judson Laipply from “Evolution of Dance” clips.
In Google Maps, there is also now a treasure hunt mode after the site allegedly found scrolls at the bottom of the ocean belonging to Captain Kidd with directions to finding his stash of gold bars.
Google Australia also came up with SCHMICK – Simple Complete House Makeover Internet Conversion Kit – offering homeowners the chance to spruce up their houses on Google Street View with different themes and features.
The search engine offers an example of a home spruced up with a fountain, green lawn and Australian flag flying proudly.
Google is not the only one breaking out a sense of humor for the start of the month.
Twitter announced that from April 1 would become Twttr as the micro-blogging site canceled the use of vowels. If you want the use of a,e,i,o, or u, then it will cost five dollars a month.
Scope has launched bacon-flavored mouthwash with the tagline “for breath that sizzles”, just in time for April 1.
Google has published for the first time mapping information on North Korea, a country that has so far been mostly blank on the popular website Google Maps.
The data was compiled on Google’s Map Maker tool which allows ordinary people to contribute information mainly using satellite images or local knowledge.
Map data is not widely available for the reclusive nation.
Launched in 2008, Map Maker data has been migrated to Google Maps for many countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
“This effort has been active in Map Maker for a few years and today the new map of North Korea is ready and now available on Google Maps,” said Jayanth Mysore, senior product manager at Google Map Maker.
“As a result, the world can access maps of North Korea that offer much more information and detail than before.”
The move comes after a private humanitarian visit to North Korea by Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt.
Google has published for the first time mapping information on North Korea, a country that has so far been mostly blank on the popular website Google Maps
In the case of North Korea, satellite images, not local knowledge, were the main source of data. North Koreans cannot access Google.
Google said a large number of South Koreans contributed information to create usable maps for the North.
“While many people around the globe are fascinated with North Korea, these maps are especially important for the citizens of South Korea who have ancestral connections or still have family living there,” said Jayanth Mysore.
However, at least one contributor is from Australia, and doesn’t speak Korean.
“I wanted to go to North Korea and because it was not yet mapped I decided to start mapping so I could at least see how easy it would be to travel within the country,” said Sebastiaan van Oyen who works as a risk manager for a financial trading firm in Sydney.
Sebastiaan van Oyen explained that he used satellite images to get his data saying they “are good enough to cover the whole country, although the quality and date of the data varies”.
“For a basic map you will be fine, but it will take time to get reliable street level navigation.”
However, he said that the biggest obstacle towards creating a more detailed map was to get enough local knowledge to name all the features.
“Keep in the back of your mind that there are restricted areas and not much (readily available) local knowledge outside of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.”
Sandy Island in South Pacific, shown on marine charts and world maps as well as on Google Earth and Google Maps, does not exist, Australian scientists say.
The supposedly sizeable strip of land, named Sandy Island on Google maps, was positioned midway between Australia and French-governed New Caledonia.
But when scientists from the University of Sydney went to the area, they found only the blue ocean of the Coral Sea.
The phantom island has featured in publications for at least a decade.
Scientist Maria Seton, who was on the ship, said that the team was expecting land, not 1,400 m (4,620 ft) of deep ocean.
“We wanted to check it out because the navigation charts on board the ship showed a water depth of 1,400m in that area – very deep,” Dr. Maria Seton, from the University of Sydney, told the AFP news agency after the 25-day voyage.
“It’s on Google Earth and other maps so we went to check and there was no island. We’re really puzzled. It’s quite bizarre.
“How did it find its way onto the maps? We just don’t know, but we plan to follow up and find out.”
Sandy Island in South Pacific, shown on marine charts and world maps as well as on Google Earth and Google Maps, does not exist
Australian newspapers have reported that the invisible island would sit within French territorial waters if it existed – but does not feature on French government maps.
Australia’s Hydrographic Service, which produces the country’s nautical charts, says its appearance on some scientific maps and Google Earth could just be the result of human error, repeated down the years.
A spokesman from the service told Australian newspapers that while some map makers intentionally include phantom streets to prevent copyright infringements, that was was not usually the case with nautical charts because it would reduce confidence in them.
A spokesman for Google said they consult a variety of authoritative sources when making their maps.
“The world is a constantly changing place and keeping on top of these changes is a never-ending endeavor.” the Google spokesman told AFP.
While most explorers dream of discovering uncharted territory, the Australian team appears to have done the opposite – and cartographers everywhere are now rushing to undiscover Sandy Island for ever.
Inaccuracies and misplaced towns and cities in Apple’s new map software have sparked anger from users.
In June, Apple announced it would stop using Google Maps in favor of its own system, created using data from navigation specialist TomTom.
Apple is yet to comment on the complaints about the software, which comes already installed on the new iPhone.
TomTom said it provided only data and was not responsible for how it worked.
The software is packaged with iOS6, the latest version of Apple’s operating system, which runs on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
Inaccuracies and misplaced towns and cities in Apple new map software have sparked anger from users
Previously, the system had an app running mapping software from Google.
But users are now forced to use Apple’s new maps once they upgrade or buy the latest iPhone – which goes on sale on Friday.
There is not currently a Google Maps app available in Apple’s App Store, although Google’s system is still accessible via the phone’s web browser.
Among the UK user complaints regarding Apple’s maps were:
• Some towns appear to be missing, such as Stratford-upon-Avon and Solihull.
• Others, like Uckfield in East Sussex, are in the wrong location.
• A search for Manchester United Football Club directs users to Sale United Football Club, a community team for ages five and above.
• Users also reported missing local places, such as schools, or strange locations. Another screenshot showed a furniture museum that was apparently located in a river.
TomTom, which also licenses data to a range of other mobile manufacturers, defended its involvement.
A spokesman said its maps provided only a “foundation” to the service.
“The user experience is determined by adding additional features to the map application such as visual imagery,” a spokesman said.
“User experience fully depends on the choices these manufacturers make.
“We are confident about our map quality, as selling 65 million portable navigation devices across the world and more than 1.4 m TomTom apps for iPhone in the past two years reaffirms this quality.”
Prior to the release of iOS6, several developers had expressed concerns over the capability of the mapping app, in particular its ability to find businesses via search.
“This is incredibly different from using Google Maps,” one Denver-based blogger wrote on 13 September.
“It’s a tremendous step backwards and something that cripples iOS for Apple’s customers.
“I [searched] <<iPhone Repair>> and <<iPad Repair>> since that’s relevant to our business. The results broke my heart.
“All of the work I’ve put into our local recognition is completely gone.”
Apple has unveiled its latest mobile operating system, iOS 6, at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco.
The operating system, which runs on its iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices, will no longer include Google Maps software.
Apple will instead run its own mapping app, which has a high-quality 3D mode, on the platform.
Google announced its own 3D mapping software last week on its competing mobile platform, Android.
Both companies have used fleets of planes to capture the imagery, drawing concerns from some privacy campaigners.
Apple’s updated iOS software is being released in beta on Tuesday, and will be available for general consumers by the autumn, chief executive Tim Cook said.
It will be a free update for owners of either an iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 or iPhone 3GS – as well as users of the latest iPad, the iPad 2 and fourth generation iPod touch.
Apple has unveiled its latest mobile operating system, iOS 6, at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco
Additional features include “eyes free”, a feature on which Apple said it had worked with car manufacturers to integrate a “Siri button” to activate the iPhone’s voice-operated assistant.
For the first time on Apple’s devices, video calls will be able to be made over a cellular connection, rather than relying on wi-fi or another mobile internet source.
The switch to its own mapping platform will provide Apple with even more opportunities to monetize its users, said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst for Gartner, who attended the event in San Francisco.
“Maps got the biggest cheer [from the audience],” she said.
“The opportunity that controlling maps gives to Apple for learning more about what their users are doing, keeping that information, and then being able to leverage that for advertising purposes is huge.”
Carolina Milanesi said the announcements appeared to be warmly received by the developers in attendance.
“iOS6 is a continued evolution,” she said.
“I think the whole operating system is getting more clever. It’s learning from what consumers are doing and improving the experience.”
Apple also announced revamped models in its Macbook Pro and Macbook Air ranges.
Its new Macbook Pro is 0.71 inches thick, with a high-resolution Retina display. It utilizes Intel’s Ivy Bridge processor.
Its slimline Macbook Air range has also been upgraded with enhanced graphics and processing capabilities.
Both will offer a free upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion, the latest version of the Mac operating system which is set for release in July.
Among its features is enhanced synchronization between desktop, laptop and mobile, thanks to iCloud, the company’s cloud-based storage service.
Once again, predictions that Apple was set to announce a long-rumored television failed to materialize.
Google has presented new mapping technologies in an effort to reassert its position as a market leader.
While it boasts one billion users, Google Maps has recently seen defections by some key developers and partners.
Reports suggest Apple may abandon Google Maps next week at its annual developer conference.
They suggest Apple may announce its own mapping application to replace Google Maps on its smartphones and tablets.
To counteract any negative publicity, Google executives held a media event on Wednesday in San Francisco to preview new mapping features and trumpet a decade of achievements in digital mapping, including its use of satellite, aerial and street-level views.
Among the stand-out features were 3D enhancements to Google Earth, a portable device for taking “street view” panoramic photos and offline access to Google Maps on Android phones.
“It’s much more than finding a way home,” said Brian McClendon, vice president of engineering for Google Maps.
Google has presented new mapping technologies in an effort to reassert its position as a market leader
Google Imagery, the company’s most sophisticated 3D rendering to date, makes use of an automated process to generate very detailed models from 45-degree aerial photos. Google has actually commissioned a fleet of planes to do the job. The end result is zoomable, three-dimensional cityscapes, complete with top and side level views of buildings, streets and landscaping.
Fly-over views of San Francisco’s Civic Center, City Hall, AT&T Ballpark and waterfront were shown during Wednesday’s demonstration.
“We are trying to create magic here,” said Peter Birch, program manager for Google Maps, who compared the offering to “Superman wings.”
“It’s almost as if you are in a personal helicopter hovering over the city,” he said.
The feature will be available on both Android and iOs devices in a matter of weeks, said Peter Birch.
He would not be drawn on the possibility of a snag with Apple if Google Maps is de-bundled from Apple’s smartphones and tablets: “I can’t really speculate on what the rumors may be… Apple is a good partner of ours.”
“We have a lot fantastic applications already on the platform. Google Earth is one of the top applications, and we’ve been on Apple devices since 2008,” he said.
“It’s a really fantastic showcase for the platform and we’re really excited to be offering new features.”
Google aims to bring the new 3D imagery to desktops later this year.
By the end of the year, the California-based company anticipates 300 million people will be able to look at their communities using this technology. The initial metropolitan areas were not specified, but Peter Birch indicated both American and international cities would be part of the initial rollout.
Should Apple actually divest Google Maps from its mobile screens later this year, as the Wall Street Journal first reported, experts say it would be a strike against the search giant.
“It’s a negative for Google, but it’s not going to have a big revenue impact, and it may in fact motivate them the create a more powerful mapping application that people can download from the iTunes store if Apple doesn’t try to block it,” said Greg Sterling, a long-time Google watcher and contributing editor at Search Engine Land.
“It’s a platform battle,” according to Di-Ann Eisnor, a social mapping expert and vice president of Waze, a commuter tool that relies on real-time crowdsourced data from its 18.5 million users to inform its mobile mapping application.
But the war goes beyond Android versus iOs.
Google created a backlash of sorts when it began charging for commercial use of its API last autumn. Developers and publishers like Foursquare, the location-based, mobile check-in app with 20 million users, opted to go with the free and volunteer-driven OpenStreetMap, the world’s largest crowdsourced atlas, as its baseline mapping technology, instead of Google Maps. So did the mobile version of Wikipedia.
With 600,000 registered users, OpenStreetMap also has the support of Microsoft. As more big players start working on OpenStreetMap, Di-Ann Eisnor and others say it could be another “viable alternative” to Android and iOs.
John Jackson, a technology analyst with CCS Insight in Boston agrees with the notion of platform wars, calling it “an epic battle for the future of mobile computing”.
Between Apple, Google and Microsoft, “we may end up with three centres of gravity”, he said.