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Google’s 2015 Global Candy Cup has begun

Google’s 2015 Global Candy Cup has begun

This morning the Halloween Google Doodle was launched, bringing on the company's Global Candy Cup 2015. This is a contest of champions, to be sure. Not at all like Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Except basically the same thing. Pick your house, then get to brooming. You'll be able to play this game on your desktop machine - your laptop, that is - or on your mobile device in the Google Search app. You'll be flying a broom through spooky ghosts and creepy bats on your way to victory - capturing candy along the way.

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Facebook Search Update goes Public: here’s how you hide

Facebook Search Update goes Public: here’s how you hide

Today Facebook updated their Facebook Search feature to include ALL public posts. Before today, this feature only searched through your friends posts and those posts you and your friends were tagged in - now it's everyone, everywhere. This might freak a few people out. But don't worry! There's a (relatively) simple way of pulling your content from the public eye, and part of it can be done from your smartphone or tablet.

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Facebook Search expands to near-universal coverage

Facebook Search expands to near-universal coverage

The entirety of Facebook just became search-friendly from within. Facebook's indexing of their own posts - private and public - began back around this year with Facebook's first big search update. Now the advice we gave you back then becomes doubly important - if you have anything embarrassing in your extensive history of Facebooking, that is to say. Now is the time to delete everything terrible you've ever said, attached to the keywords you hope no one will ever associate you with, if you haven't already.

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Try this: Google app now supports offline Voice Commands

Try this: Google app now supports offline Voice Commands

Perhaps in preparation for full smart home utilization, Google has begun allowing offline voice commands on Android devices. This feature is only available for Android smartphones and tablets using the official Google (search) app, and commands are relatively limited. This feature will appear when a user has the Google app open without internet connectivity, showing a number of commands available offline. Lucky you, one intrepid Android user happened to be speaking to his device while it wasn't connected to the web.

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Google voice search now better, faster, stronger

Google voice search now better, faster, stronger

Google updates their voice search software, making speaking with the search engine far faster and more accurate than before. The Google Speech Team have announced that they're improving their neural network acoustic models using two new sets of features. One part of this equation is Connectionist Temporal Classification (CTC), while the rest consists of sequence discriminative training techniques. Go on a try a Google voice search with "OK Google" now - you'll notice the quickness. And the accuracy. And the ability to be heard in slightly more noisy environments.

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France orders Google to apply ‘right to be forgotten’ removals globally

France orders Google to apply ‘right to be forgotten’ removals globally

French privacy watchdog CNIL has denied Google's appeal against applying "right to be forgotten" removals to all of its global sites. Google was protesting a June decision from CNIL (Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés), which saw the regulator threaten the search giant with sanctions. Google has been following recent European court decisions that gives individuals the right to file removal requests for certain information. However, Google was only removing search results from its European domains, such as Google.fr or Google.de.

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Sorry France, Google says “non” on privacy demands

Sorry France, Google says “non” on privacy demands

Google has rejected France's calls for the "right to be forgotten" program to be applied worldwide, risking the wrath of the European Union in the process. The French data protection regulator, CNIL, had issued Google with a formal notice in June demanding that any links ousted from Google's European search sites under the program should also be delisted from indexes globally. That, Google argues, is a path with potentially dangerous implications.

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Google app outs “busiest times” for local shops

Google app outs “busiest times” for local shops

The latest update to Google's search system on Android and iOS devices is a meter that says when they're busiest. It's a "Popular times" meter, and it'll show you when you'd be best to head in - and when the best time is to avoid. Popular times are listed for each individual day of the week, with a meter that'll likely show you how you'll want to avoid a coffee house near the start and the middle of the day - just get your coffee at supper time, that's all.

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Bing Pong is Microsoft’s own search engine game

Bing Pong is Microsoft’s own search engine game

At some point Google thought it would be fun to turn its logo into a game, and since then we’ve seen different browser-based games that can be played directly on the search engine’s website. Microsoft has decided to do something similar with its own search engine, but it is starting small: with Pong, which involves just two paddles and a square ball bouncing between them. It is the same as the classic game, and can be found simply by searching for it.

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Study says Google degrades search results to prefer its own

Study says Google degrades search results to prefer its own

It probably doesn't come as a surprise that Google's promotion of search results would promote those coming from its own services, like Google+. The search giant has always justified its manipulation of results to give users a better experience, but that excuse might no longer fly if a recent study is to believed. Yelp commissioned a research headed by Tim Wu, credited for coining the term "Net Neutrality", and their conclusion minces no words. Google, they claim, is intentionally degrading search results in order to push content from its services, inevitably harming users along the way.

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Microsoft strikes deal with AOL over its ad business

Microsoft strikes deal with AOL over its ad business

Microsoft is narrowing its focus, and as such has been pushing some of its extraneous efforts toward others. Earlier today word surfaced that Microsoft has struck a deal with Uber that will see workers and assets being transferred, and now it is being followed up with another announcement: AOL is getting the brunt of Microsoft’s advertising operations, as is advertising tech company AppNexus. The AOL deal in particular is said to involve a 10 year partnership, and under it AOL is going to be carrying search results from Bing instead of from Google.

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Yahoo teams up with Oracle to one up Google

Yahoo teams up with Oracle to one up Google

When a former search giant trails well behind even something like Microsoft's Bing, you know that it is in a world of trouble. That might be the situation that Yahoo has continually found itself in, and CEO Marissa Mayer is not shy about taking drastic, even unpopular, steps to change that image. In a shareholder meeting, Mayer revealed that the company struck a deal with Oracle to rope in more users to use its search services. How? By asking users if they want to change their browser's default search engine whenever they install or update Java.

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