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Google releases reCAPTCHA with new API




San Francisco, June 10: Google which until now used to prompt users to confirm whether they were robots is now rolling out a new application programming interface (API) that will radically simplify the reCAPTCHA experience.

Google’s reCAPTCHA is a free service that protects website from spam and abuse. reCAPTCHA uses an advanced risk analysis engine and adaptive CAPTCHAs to keep automated software from engaging in abusive activities on your site.

The company is also bringing its bot-fighting programme to Android and the mobile version will launch with “Invisible reCAPTCHA”, meaning websites will be able to tell you are not a bot automatically.

“On websites using this new API, a significant number of users will be able to securely and easily verify they are human without actually having to solve a CAPTCHA. Instead, with just a single click, they will confirm they are not a robot,” said Vinay Shet, Product Manager, reCAPTCHA, Google, in a blog post.

Today’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology can solve even the most difficult variant of distorted text at 99.8 per cent accuracy. Thus distorted text, on its own, is no longer a dependable test, the post added.

To counter this, last year Google has developed an “Advanced Risk Analysis” backend for reCAPTCHA that actively considers a user’s entire engagement with the CAPTCHA — before, during, and after — to determine whether that user is a human.

With the new API humans can just check the box and in most cases, they are through the challenge of typing the text.

“This new API also lets us experiment with new types of challenges that are easier for us humans to use, particularly on mobile devices. Early adopters, like Snapchat, WordPress, Humble Bundle, and several others are already seeing great results with this new API,” added Shet.



‘Secret police’ chasing information leakers at Facebook: Report



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San Francisco, March 17: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly deployed “secret police” to catch and punish information leakers at his company.

According to a report in The Guardian, an unnamed employee was called to a meeting in 2017 under the guise of a promotion. However, he found himself face to face with the secretive “rat-catching” team led by Sonya Ahuja, the company’s head of investigations.

The team had records of screenshots he had taken, links he had clicked or hovered over.

The “secret police” also accessed chats between him and a journalist dating back to before he joined the company.

“It’s horrifying how much they know. You go into Facebook and it has this warm, fuzzy feeling of ‘we’re changing the world’ and ‘we care about things’.

“But you get on their bad side and all of a sudden you are face to face with [Facebook CEO] Mark Zuckerberg’s secret police,” the employee told The Guardian.

According to the report, Zuckerberg hosts weekly meetings where he shares details of unreleased new products and strategies in front of thousands of employees.

“When you first get to Facebook you are shocked at the level of transparency. You are trusted with a lot of stuff you don’t need access to,” the employee was quoted as saying.

During one of Zuckerberg’s weekly meetings in 2015, said the report, he had warned employees: “We’re going to find the leaker, and we’re going to fire them.”

According to a Facebook spokesperson, “companies routinely use business records in workplace investigations, and we are no exception”.

Not just Facebook, James Damore, the software engineer who was fired from Google after writing a controversial anti-diversity memo, “suspects he was being monitored by the company during his final days”.

James Damore stopped using his personal Gmail account after being fired, said the report.


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Google Maps introduces ‘wheelchair accessible’ routes




San Francisco, March 16: To make public transit work for the differently abled, Google on Friday introduced “wheelchair accessible” routes in Maps at major metropolitan transit centres around the world.

The feature is rolling out in London, New York, Tokyo, Mexico City, Boston and Sydney.

In city centres, buses and trains, often the best way to get around presents a challenge for people who use wheelchairs or with other mobility needs.

Image result for Google Maps introduces 'wheelchair accessible' routes

“We’re looking forward to working with additional transit agencies in the coming months to bring more wheelchair accessible routes to Google Maps,” Rio Akasaka, Product Manager, Google Maps, said in a blog post on Friday.

To access the “wheelchair accessible” routes, type your desired destination into Google Maps.

Image result for Google Maps introduces 'wheelchair accessible' routes

Tap “Directions” then select the public transportation icon.

Then tap “Options” and under the Routes section, the users will find “wheelchair accessible” as a new route type.

“When you select this option, Google Maps will show you a list of possible routes that take mobility needs into consideration,” the blog post said.

“Additionally, we’ve been busy capturing and updating Street View imagery of transit stations and city centres so people can preview a place or transit station ahead of time,” it added.

In 2017, Google Maps added the feature to see if a space is accessible by wheelchair under the “amenities” tab.


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Namaste! Google Assistant now available in Hindi




New Delhi, March 15: Google on Thursday rolled out Hindi support for its virtual assistant Google. The Assistant in Hindi will be available on Android phones 6.0+ (Marshmallow and above) and will soon come to Android 5.0 Lollipop, iPhones as well as Android Oreo (Go edition) devices.

Google Assistant is already available in Hindi in the instant-messaging platform Allo and in a special version on Reliance Jio feature phones.

“In order to make it even more useful to Indians over time, developers and businesses can now build Actions for the Hindi Assistant through the developer platform Actions on Google,” said Purvi Shah, Technical Programme Manager, Assistant.

“Once an action is built, you can just say “Ok Google, talk to” and access the service or content straight through your Google Assistant,” she added.

To try it out, just touch and hold the Home button or say “Ok Google” on eligible smartphones and your personal Google Assistant will be ready to help.

To access the Hindi Google Assistant, set your device language to Hindi and update your Google Search app to the latest version.

Google Assistant will be available in more than 30 languages by the end of this year.

“The Assistant is already available in eight languages, and by the end of the year it will be available in more than 30 languages, reaching 95 per cent of all eligible Android phones worldwide,” Nick Fox, Vice President of Product, Google wrote in a recent blog post.


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