16 March 2016

Google's Blogs Move to a Custom Domain


Last week, John Mueller announced that Google is moving all of its blogs to a custom domain: googleblog.com. For example, Gmail's blog has a new URL: gmail.googleblog.com, which replaces gmailblog.blogspot.com.

"Google is moving its blogs to a new domain to help people recognize when they're reading an official blog from Google. These changes will roll out to all of Google's blogs over time. The previous address will redirect to the new domain, so your bookmarks and links will continue to work."

A long time ago, many people thought that this is an official Google blog and I had to keep explaining that the blog is not affiliated with Google. I added more and more disclaimers, but that's still not enough for everyone. Now that Google's blogs move from blogspot.com to googleblog.com, it's much easier to tell things apart.

Smart Reply in Desktop Google Inbox


If you're getting a lot of emails and you're tired of writing replies, Google's Inbox service has a feature that suggests 3 short replies. It was first added to the Inbox mobile apps and now it's available in the desktop site. Apparently, 10% of all the replies on mobile already use Smart Reply.


Smart Reply uses machine learning to figure out if a short reply is appropriate and then predicts likely responses. "The Smart Reply System is built on a pair of recurrent neural networks, one used to encode the incoming email and one to predict possible responses. The encoding network consumes the words of the incoming email one at a time, and produces a vector (a list of numbers). The second network starts from this thought vector and synthesizes a grammatically correct reply one word at a time, like it's typing it out. Amazingly, the detailed operation of each network is entirely learned, just by training the model to predict likely responses."

{ Thanks, Jonah Langlieb. }

15 March 2016

Metronome Card in Google Search


Google shows a special card when you search for [metronome]. The default beat rate is 120 BPM, but you can change the value from 40 to 208 BPM by pressing the "+" and "-" buttons. Google plays a sound, shows an animation and changes the color of the UI, depending on the selected value.



According to Wikipedia, "a metronome is any device that produces regular, metrical ticks (beats, clicks) — settable in beats per minute. (...) The metronome is used by musicians to help keep a steady tempo as they play, or to work on issues of irregular timing, or to help internalize a clear sense of timing and tempo."

{ Thanks, Mukil Elango. }