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Steam Interactive Recommender just out-Googled Google

Steam Interactive Recommender just out-Googled Google

After spending just a few minutes with Valve's new Interactive Recommender for Steam, I can already see the massive improvement. I've been using app stores and game stores since before they were digital, and I've never experienced such a smooth process. This is a positive, well-planned, thoughtful, non-intrusive way to use machine learning, and I'm glad it was a gaming company that had to be the first to make it happen.

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Google didn’t remove photos of Clinton and Epstein that never existed

Google didn’t remove photos of Clinton and Epstein that never existed

As the entity with the biggest influence on what we discover on the Internet, Google is seen both as custodian and also censor of the Wide Wild Web. The latter is an especially thorny subject when it comes to political topics, with the search giant accused of favoring either left or right wing agendas. One of the latest controversies involves images of former US President Bill Clinton and Jeffrey Epstein that certain parties claim have been removed by Google from its search results. The truth, however, might be too simple to be believed.

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Google Images makes it easier to share the GIF to express yourself

Google Images makes it easier to share the GIF to express yourself

Once the bane of the Web and proper web design, GIFs, specifically animated GIFs, have not only returned but also became the Internet’s darling. These short, looping animated clips are often used to comically express sentiments and reactions in ways emojis and even stickers could not. Unless you keep a library of such GIFs categorized by emotion or reaction, searching for the right one can be a hassle. Fortunately, Google Image Search is coming to the rescue.

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Google Search redesign puts brands to the front

Google Search redesign puts brands to the front

Google Search is getting a makeover, with results set to add recognizable brands and more in order to make finding your answer even quicker. The update will be showing up in mobile results first, Google says, though it coincidentally arrives in the midst of an indexing glitch that has left the search giant ignoring new content.

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Google search surfaces podcast episodes, but not by topic (yet)

Google search surfaces podcast episodes, but not by topic (yet)

Back in March, we caught wind of a small-scale Google test that surfaced individual podcast episodes in Search results. Today, that Google Podcasts functionality is rolling out to Search on both desktop and iOS. This, importantly, is a way for iOS users to tap into Google Podcasts, as the company still hasn't launched the official app for that particular platform.

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I/O 2019 Takeaways: Google is no longer after your data (sort of)

I/O 2019 Takeaways: Google is no longer after your data (sort of)

Facebook, and more recently Amazon, may be at the center of most privacy-related reports these days but there was a time not too long ago when it was Google who was always on the hot seat. Reports, regulations, and sanctions have made Google change much of its processes, at least the public ones, and is slowly turning its image around. At I/O 2019, the pervading theme, more than AI and technology, is privacy. It's not that Google is no longer interested in your data. It's just making it a lot easier for users to opt out. If they remember or know how to, that is.

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Action Launcher v40 brings new search powers to Android

Action Launcher v40 brings new search powers to Android

Once upon a time, home screen widget and replacements were all the rage on Android. These days, most Android users have settled on just a few app launchers and even fewer widgets, many of which seem to settle for being a "better Pixel launcher". There are a few that do try to build an identity and brand of their own, which is exactly what the latest version of Action Launcher is trying to achieve. But, in doing so, it may ironically come off as trying to out-Google Google instead.

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Android to ask European users their preferred browser, search app

Android to ask European users their preferred browser, search app

While it remains mostly unchallenged in the US, Google has been facing tough opposition in Europe. It has fought and lost not a few legal battles with the European Commission, forcing it to change many of its practices and business strategies just for that region. Those changes aren't done yet and the latest might be more of a nuisance rather than an inconvenience. Without going into much detail, Google says that Android users in Europe will be asked which browse and search app they'd like to use, even if the majority of them will probably answer "Google" anyway.

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Google Search activity cards continue your past searches

Google Search activity cards continue your past searches

Google remembers everything, especially if you’re logged into your Google account. But while it conveniently keeps track of your searches, it does so in a very “flat” way, simply a list of past queries. Sometimes, however, you may want to continue searching for a topic without having to start from scratch all over again or wasting time on sites and queries you’ve already seen. That’s where Search’s new activity cards come in, letting you quickly go back to the past and take off from there.

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DuckDuckGo sets new record for private searches, still trails behind Google

DuckDuckGo sets new record for private searches, still trails behind Google

The internet is a huge place, and while there's a variety of search engines available, it's undeniable that Google is the top player: it handles roughly 77% of web searches around the world. But with that in mind, it's still an impressive feat when an underdog reaches a milestone, especially one with goals different from the entrenched leader. That's the case this week, as the anonymous search engine DuckDuckGo hit 30 million direct searches in a single day.

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Microsoft Search taps your personal results to battle Google

Microsoft Search taps your personal results to battle Google

Today Microsoft Search was introduced - or re-introduced - with an eye on searching everywhere, in all things, at all times. This is Microsoft's biggest effort to take on Google and its all-in integration of services, but with Microsoft's strong points. That means search in Office 365 documents as well as on-machine and on the web. "Getting pages of results with hyperlinks to other information is simply not enough," said Jeff Teper, Corporate Vice President for OneDrive, SharePoint, and Office.

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Google Search puts local event information front and center

Google Search puts local event information front and center

For a lot of people, summer means spending time outside at local events, whether those are concerts, festivals, art shows, or theater. Google has been working on improving event discovery within Search for a while now, but today, it announced a pretty significant update that will put information on events front and center. The idea is to surface information on events right in your search results, saving the trouble of visiting different websites to find the idetails you need.

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