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Othar Hansson
engineering lead, Google Now
engineering lead, Google Now


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Good article on today's Android announcements and improvements to Google Now.  Quoting:

"Google also has added a number of other service features, most prominently a 25% improvement in speech recognition, on top of a 20% improvement last year, and the ability carry on a dialogue through Google Now, its personal assistant service. An example Google provided: “Text Jennifer.” Answers “Which Jennifer?” “Jennifer Fitzgerald.” “Mobile or work?” “Work.” “What do you want to say?” And so on.

Moreover, the results Google brings up on a search can tap both the Web and apps that are installed on the phone. For instance, if you search for a restaurant and have OpenTable installed, the results will show the app and with a click bring up a screen to make a reservation there. Available in about two weeks, this is a pilot program for now with about 10 apps, including Trulia, IMDB, moviefone, Etsy, Expedia, OpenTable, and “We are beginning to bring apps and the Web together,” Pichai said. “Regardless of where the information is, we want to bring it together for you.”

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Google Glass now does Sound Search, thanks to my ingenious teammates.  There are no easter eggs (afaik), so go ahead and test it on Nick Lowe's "Breaking Glass" or any other songs you hear while you're wearing Glass.

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More awesomeness  from my teammates in Android.  This solves a search problem that is otherwise extremely hard: "what's this song?"
The next time you hear a catchy tune on the radio and don't know the artist or title, have Google Voice Search lend an ear. Just tap the microphone on the Google Search App and when it recognizes that a song is playing, Listen for music with a music note next to it will appear. Tap the note and Google Now will identify the song, artist and album. If you're digging the tune, click the Google Play icon to buy the song or the whole album.

#searchtips   #googlesearch  
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Airing April 8 on HBO, on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

HBO Documentary Films: 50 Children - The Rescue Mission Of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus

"50 CHILDREN: THE RESCUE MISSION OF MR. AND MRS. KRAUS tells the dramatic, previously untold story of Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus, a Jewish couple from Philadelphia who followed their conscience, traveling to Nazi-controlled Vienna in spring 1939 to save a group of children...." including the father of one of my oldest friends.

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happy groundhog's day!

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i'm surprised that no one in the media has commented on the other odd aspect of Romney's abortion statement: "There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda." ... how exactly does something "become part of your agenda" if you're running for president?  It seems so oddly and disturbingly passive.

And I think it gets to the root distinction in this election.  Barack Obama is running for President.  The Republican Party is running Mitt Romney for President.  His agenda is not his own to set.  I'll tell you what: when i run for President, I'm controlling what becomes part of my agenda.

Read more:

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On Oct 6, I'll be at Kara's "Walk to Remember 2012" in memory of my father (Othar) and first wife (Elly I-Chun Lin). Just over 10 years ago, I-Chun died by suicide after decades of struggles with depression. I called Kara the next day (thanks to the advice of a police chaplain), and started 1-on-1 peer counseling and joined a support group.

Along with a few close friends and family, Kara was one of the main sources of support during what was the most difficult time in my life. I'm very grateful, and quickly came back to Kara as a volunteer, helping to run groups in the Youth & Family program. I also served on Kara's board for about 8 years, including roles as Treasurer and Board President.

My story has been repeated, with variations, in thousands of families and individuals that Kara has served. We've also served local schools and companies reeling after unexpected deaths.

Remember those who grieve, and those they grieve for. Join me in the walk or make a donation to keep these services available to others.

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