Trending December 2023 # Google Rolls Out New Eco # Suggested January 2024 # Top 20 Popular

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New filters in Google Search can help users find the most eco-friendly options when it comes to planning travel and buying appliances.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced a number of green initiatives his company is working on, which includes enhancements to Search and Maps among other projects.

Here’s more about the updates announced this week.

Find Flights With Low Carbon Emissions

An update to Google Flights will display information about carbon emissions directly in search results.

Starting today, Google will display a carbon emissions estimate for nearly every flight.

This information will be displayed in the SERPs right next to the price and duration of the flight.

In addition to cost and time, travellers can now factor carbon emissions into their decision-making process.

Google will display associated carbon emissions per seat for every flight, allowing searchers to find lower-carbon options if they prefer.

When users search for hotels they will now see information on their sustainability efforts, such as waste reduction and water conservation measures, and whether they’re Green Key or EarthCheck certified.

Find Environmentally Friendly Appliances

An update to Google Shopping will allow searchers to find the most environmentally friendly options when shopping for appliances.

Searches for energy-intensive products like furnaces, dishwashers, and water heaters will return suggestions in the Shopping tab regarding the most sustainable options.

Eco-friendly Routing in Google Maps

Starting now in the U.S., and in Europe in 2023, Google will highlight the most fuel-efficient route when searching for a location in Maps.

“Thanks to AI and insights from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), eco-friendly routing is rolling out now in the U.S. on Android and iOS, with plans to expand to Europe and beyond in 2023.

We estimate that eco-friendly routing has the potential to prevent over one million tons of carbon emissions per year — that’s the equivalent of removing over 200,000 cars from the road.”

Google Maps will continue searching for the fastest route. If it happens to differ from the most fuel-efficient route then Maps will present two options. Users can then decide which route they want to follow.

Coming Soon: Lite Navigation for Cyclists

Google says the use of biking directions on Maps have increased by up to 98% in cities around the world

To make it easier to get around via bike, Google is introducing an alternative to the standard turn-by-turn navigation called “lite” navigation.

Lite navigation mode makes it possible for cyclists tosee important details about their route needing to constantly look at their screen.

At a glance cyclists can see their trip progress, their ETA in real-time, and the elevation of the route. Lite navigation starts rolling out in the coming months wherever cycling navigation is live on Android and iOS in the coming months.

Coming Soon: Updates to EV Search

Google is making it easier to see hybrid and electric vehicle options, compare them against gas-powered models, directly in search results.

Those features will start to roll out in the U.S. this year, with more to come in 2023.

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Knoll Systems Gsz67 And Gsz44 Eco

Knoll Systems GSZ67 and GSZ44 eco-friendly multiroom amps

The “earth friendly” juggernaut continues, with even high-end home automation specialists feeling the need to slap some green on their spec sheets.  You’d find it pretty hard to fault the range of amps and control panels from Knoll Systems generally, but if the one factor stopping you was concern for the livelihood of the Crested Grebe then their new GSZ44 and GSZ67 controller-amplifiers should salve your conscience.

That’s because Knoll’s Eco-System amps can shut off unused channels or the full system, which according to the company adds up to hundreds of dollars in saved energy bills over a year, and an idle power draw of under 2W compared to the 40-80W of a standard amp.  As a handy benefit of this selective shut-down, the GSZ44 and GSZ67 channels left active can actually use some of the freed-up rail voltage to boost their own output.

Available now, the GSZ67 has an MRSP of $2,199 while the GSZ44 has an MRSP of $999.  Crested Grebe sold separately.

Press Release:

The GSZ67 has a12-channel class A/B amplifier that produces 50 watts per channel at 8 ohms and 70 watts per channel at 4 ohms. The smaller GSZ44 has an 8-channel class A/B amplifier that produces 30 watts per channel at 8 ohms and 35 watts per channel at 4 ohms. While offering unparalleled reliability, power and sound quality these GSZ systems offer the Knoll exclusive Eco-System™ circuit. This patent-pending circuit determines which of the 8 or 12 stereo channels (in pairs) are in use and delivers power only to those channels needing it. The channels that are “off” are truly off, not in “standby” or “mute”. As an added bit of ingenuity, the circuit enables the active channels to share more rail voltage resulting in more reserve power for the stereo channels in use.

Given today’s energy-conscious consumers, the most timely benefit of the Eco-System™ circuit is the electrical savings that the owner gets over what a comparable class A/B amplifier would cost to operate. The typical home owner will enjoy a savings of hundred dollars or more per year in electrical costs and that can be multiplied when taking into account the increased costs of air conditioning to extract unwanted heat produced by a typical multi-channel amplifier. Comparable amplifiers without the Eco-System™ circuit would use about 14 times (40 – 80 watts) the amount of power while idling in standby. By comparison the GSZ44 with Eco-System™ uses under 2 watts while idling!

According to Knoll Systems VP of Marketing and Sales, Richard Hanson, “These Eco-System multi-room audio systems are perfectly timed for today’s marketplace. Homeowners that want multi-room audio as a part of the everyday lifestyle want great sound. The 8 and 12-channel Eco-System amps sound fabulous, thanks to Kevin Knoll’s years of experience and design savvy. But these same customers also want to be responsible and only put in systems that are energy-efficient at the same time. These Eco-Systems let the homeowner fill their homes with great sound, while showing their appreciation for energy conservation. It’s the perfect entertainment match for today’s economy.”

The new GSZ systems are aiming to be record breaking product for Knoll Systems by virtue of their Eco-System™ technology, ease of installation and affordable cost. Knoll’s experience with the custom installation channel also means that these new systems offer unparalleled reliability, power and sound quality.

For nearly 10 years Knoll multi-channel amplifiers have sold around the world because of their legendary reliability and unparalleled sound quality. The GSZ Series takes the next logical step by being eco-friendly as well.

Top 6 Ios 16 New Features Worth Checking Out

When the update is eventually available, installation of this update will take a simple process. To install iOS 16, open the Settings app on your iPhone and tap General – Software Update. After updating your iPhone to iOS 16, you can experience the features of the system. Even before the official announcement of this system, we already have a list of features to expect. Now that the system is official, here are the top six iOS 16 new features that users may want to check out. However, it is important to note that the features are not listed in order of importance.

Six iOS 16 features worth checking out 1. Customize the lock screen

The main new feature in iOS 16 is the ability to personalize the lock screen with multiple layers of wallpapers, widgets, custom fonts for date and time, and more. Users can also choose a set of photos to shuffle on the lock screen throughout the day. The new lock screen gallery showcases a range of lock screen options, including new weather wallpapers with real-time weather conditions and astronomy wallpapers that provide views of the Earth, Moon, and Solar System. iOS 16 includes support for multiple lock screen designs, allowing users to switch between favourites with a swipe.

The status bar will also change as the available space at the top of the screen increases. The cellular signal indicator will move to the left, and the notification center will redisplay the full screen. When the screen locks, the device also locks and there will be no display of the status bar. Notifications will be part of the always-on display experience. Like a normal lock screen, notifications will scroll in from the bottom each time and remain vaguely visible for 10 seconds. Once the display is woken up, the notification will animate from the bottom and continue with user-defined settings for how the notification is displayed on the lock screen (such as count, stack, or list).

2. Edit or unsend iMessage

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3. Use a full-screen music player

iOS 16 reintroduces a full-screen music player on the lock screen, with large album art and colour-matched wallpapers. Apple last offered a full-screen music player on the lock screen in iOS 10 in 2023. If users don’t like the feature, they can tap the bottom of the display to minimize the music player and revert to the standard lock screen wallpaper.

4. Support Nintendo Joy-Cons gamepad

Apple’s iPhone supports many Bluetooth game controllers on iOS 16. This includes the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Cons and Pro controllers. iPhones running iOS 16 can be used with a single left or right Joy-Con, or as a single controller at the same time. This is a change from the iPhone’s existing compatibility with PS5 DualSense and Xbox Series X controllers since iOS 14.5 was released last year.

5. Track Apple Pay orders

Apple Pay on iOS 16 provides new built-in order tracking information in the Wallet app. This tracking feature works for online orders that users complete through Apple Pay. The tracker provides an estimated delivery date for the order and indicates when the package will be delivered. This is a feature that many Apple fans will appreciate because of its convenience.

6. Use fitness apps without an Apple Watch

Starting with iOS 16, all users can use fitness apps on their iPhones even without an Apple Watch. The app features a daily activity ring that relies on the iPhone’s motion sensor. This enables the phone to estimate how many calories and steps an individual burns each day. During the iPhone 14 event, Apple announced its Fitness+ service. According to users, it will be available to iPhone owners without an Apple Watch later this year. Also, this feature is currently available in 21 countries. A Fitness+ subscription is priced at $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year.


There is a long list of iOS 16 features and it will take some time for users to get details on all the upgrades. While some features are new, others only have tweaks that make them feel new. Either way, there is a whole lot to explore on the iOS 16 system.

Google And Levi’s Built A New Gesture

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The left sleeve on the blue denim jacket I’m wearing looks like a normal textile. But if I brush my right hand over that small part of the garment, moving inwards, a robotic voice announces the time through my Bluetooth headphones. Moving my hand across it outwards—like I’m pushing crumbs off the sleeve— prompts the Google Assistant to tell me the weather. If I double-tap it, any song I’m listening to skips back to the beginning.

The jacket emerged from a collaboration between Levi’s and Google; it’s part of a Google project called Jacquard. Conductive fibers in one portion of the sleeve connect to a chip, also in the sleeve, and a 1.5-inch black electronic component plugs into a portal at the cuff. That acts as a Bluetooth bridge between the garment and your phone.

Using the corresponding app, you can determine what the different gestures you make on the sleeve actually do (the jacket is mostly meant to be used with headphones on). If you want that “brush in” to announce the name of the song playing, it can do that, too. Likewise, the “brush out” and “double tap” motions can perform various functions, like skipping ahead to the next track or just playing or pausing what you’re listening to. If you want, the black component that plugs in can display a blue blinking light if someone calls or texts you, or a green light when your Uber arrives.

Make no mistake: this product does not need to exist, and you shouldn’t buy one unless you’re absolutely in love with the idea of owning one and have money to spare. Jackets that are not smart still keep you warm and looking stylish, and your phone and Bluetooth headphones work just fine without a smart textile in the loop. Apple’s AirPods, for example, allow you to customize what a double-tap on either the left or right bud accomplishes, like playing or pausing your tunes, meaning that some of the jacket’s functionality already exists in the buds in your ears.

But in a tech landscape where the main products are smartphones with glass screens designed for precise motions that require you to stare at a glowing display, or smart speakers you bark orders at, this jacket deserves a moment of attention. That’s because it enables a different way of interacting with the rectangular device in your pocket: simple gestures, like double-tapping your sleeve, to accomplish something equally basic. And using the jacket in addition to the headphones like the AirPods allows you to incorporate additional touch controls, beyond what you’ve already mapped to the your earbuds: double-tap either the left or right AirPod to execute tasks like pausing the song or summoning Siri, then double-tap your jacket cuff to skip a track ahead.

A version of this jacket first went on sale in October of 2023, and in the two years since, Google and Levi’s have dramatically improved it. The generation-one product relied on a 4.5-inch black connector that protruded noticeably from the sleeve, resembling the kind of theft-protection devices you might see in a clothing store. And the touch-sensitive interface on the jacket itself was more noticeable. Now, the black connectivity gizmo protrudes from the sleeve by less that half an inch, and the touch-sensitive bit of fabric is indistinguishable from the rest of the garment. Gen-one was clunky. Gen-two is streamlined.

“The main benefit of this is the immediacy of the interaction,” says Chris Harrison, an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute. “You don’t have to pull out the phone, or roll back your sleeve to use a smartwatch.” Instead, you’re doing something just by touching a piece of fabric.

Gestures like these, he notes, are similar to the real-world ones that humans intuitively do with each other, like a wave of the hand to tell someone you’re on the phone and you want them to talk to you later. “We don’t really have that intuitive behavior for a phone,” says Harrison—but brushing your sleeve outwards to skip a song is in that realm. In fact, Google baked gestures like that into its Nest Hub Max smart home display—a hand-raise silences a timer.

And while touch-sensitive fabric seems like a very 2023 idea, the concept dates back to at least 1997, and a key paper out of MIT that stated, in its abstract, that “Wearable computers can now merge seamlessly into ordinary clothing.” More than twenty years on, and that vision is happening in a way now that is indeed basically seamless. It’s fun to think about, and even imagine a future where Star Trek-style communication badges are just woven into clothing. You just probably don’t need to buy one of these jackets—they cost either $198 or $248, depending on which version you want—today.

New Functions In Google Sheets For 2023

Google announced Named Functions and 9 other new functions on 24th August 2023.

The biggest news here is the new feature called Named Functions. Named Functions let you save and name your own custom formulas, built with regular Sheets functions, and then re-use them in other Google Sheet files. It’s a HUGE step toward making formulas reusable.

Let’s look at the named functions and the 9 new functions:

1. Named Functions

Named Functions in Google Sheets let you save and name your own custom formulas, using all the built-in functions.

That complex financial formula you created… sure, turn it into a named function called =BENFINANCE(input1,input2,…) and use that instead!

And best of all, you can re-use these named functions in other Google Sheet files.

Here’s an example of a named function I created, called STARCHART, that draws mini star rating charts and can be reused in other Sheets:

Learn more about Named Functions

2. LAMBDA Function

The LAMBDA function in Google Sheets creates a custom function with placeholder inputs, instead of the usual A1 type cell or range references.

The main use case for the LAMBDA function is to work with other new lambda helper functions, like MAP, REDUCE, SCAN, MAKEARRAY, BYCOL, and BYROW.

LAMBDA functions are also the underlying technology for Named Functions, which we saw above.

Here’s an example LAMBDA function to calculate percent change:

In this case though, you’d be better off creating a named function called PERCENTCHANGE rather than creating this lambda function explicitly.

Learn more about the LAMBDA function

3. MAP Function

The MAP function in Google Sheets creates an array of data from an input range, where each value is “mapped” to a new value based on a custom LAMBDA function.

It’s the same idea as the MAP function in programming, a way to loop over an array of data and do something with each element of the array.

I think this formula is going to be super useful!

Here’s how the MAP function works, showing a silly transformation of values into emojis using an IF function as the lambda expression:

Learn more about the MAP Function

4. REDUCE Function

The REDUCE function in Google Sheets operates on an array (like the MAP function). It turns that array input into a single accumulated value, by applying a custom LAMBDA function to each element of the array. I.e. it reduces an array down to a single value.

For example, this simple REDUCE function calculates a cumulative total (yes, using the SUM function is easier, but this reduce example is just for illustration):

Learn more about the REDUCE Function

5. MAKEARRAY Function

The MAKEARRAY function in Google Sheets generates an array of a specified size, with each value calculated by a custom lambda function.

It’s like the SEQUENCE or RANDARRAY functions, except that in this case a lambda function is applied to each value in the array, so you can generate more complex arrays.

The lamba function has access to the row and column indices for each value.

Here the lambda evaluates the max of the row and column indices and then I added a heat map to that.

Learn more about the MAKEARRAY function

6. SCAN Function

The SCAN function in Google Sheets scans an array by applying a LAMBDA function to each value, moving row by row. The output is an array of intermediate values obtained at each step.

The most obvious application to create running totals of your data, like so:

Learn more about the SCAN Function

7. BYROW Function

The BYROW function in Google Sheets operates on an array or range and returns a new column array, created by grouping each row to a single value.

The value for each row is obtained by applying a lambda function on that row.

For example, we can use a single BYROW formula to calculate the average score of all three rows in the input array:

Learn more about the BYROW function

8. BYCOL Function

The BYCOL function operates in the same way as the BYROW function, but groups each column to a single value and returns a new row array.

In this example, the BYCOL formula outputs a row of average values:

Learn more about the BYCOL function

9. XLOOKUP Function

Yes! We have the awesome XLOOKUP function in Google Sheets now!!

It’s a more powerful and flexible version of the VLOOKUP function. It shares some similar capabilities to the INDEX/MATCH combination formulas.

XLOOKUP can lookup to the left, from the bottom up, and even use binary search if you’re working with really large datasets.

Here’s an example of the XLOOKUP performing a leftward lookup:

Learn more about the XLOOKUP Function

10. XMATCH Function

Last but not least is the XMATCH function, a more powerful and flexible version of the MATCH function.

It has more matching modes and search options than the plain MATCH function.

Here’s a simple XMATCH example:

Learn more about the XMATCH Function

Hollywood Finds Fake Fans In Bots! The Snyderverse Phenomena Rolls

There are certain patterns that bots give off. Sometimes, they can be traced to unusual servers in remote countries

A social media platform can do what perhaps the greatest media publicity campaign cannot do. We can find not one but hundreds of examples when the digital community takes forward a cause successfully and make us say – Can’t get better than this. What if fake AI bots are part of the campaign? Will the campaign hold its ground even if it lacks the element of originality even though the cause is worth fighting or otherwise? How far such campaigns can be accepted, in view that they might harm the long-term goals? When you see the Hollywood movie Justice League returning to screens after a long-drawn battle on Twitter it feels like justice is finally delivered. However, the ground facts tell a different story. Courtesy: The Rolling Stones report that deciphered AI bots’ planned mischief.

Justice League, a 2023 movie, removed Zack Snyder from credits to replace it with Joss Whedon after Snyder had to step down due to a tiff with WB. The huge fan base of Snyder went on a rampage with #ReleaseSnyderCut on Twitter, because they believed the movie had more of Whedon, the new director’s voice than that of Snyder’s. When the SnyderCut was finally released in 2023, it was a huge success, as expected. A 2023 report by the production company, Warner Bros found that the ‘Snyder Cut’ movement was fuelled by phony bots. It was found that around 13% of the followers are fake, though not a significant number compared to the general trend or the huge original fan base Synder has, social media experts and digital marketers are left in awe.  The report mentions, “One identified community was made up of real and fake authors that spread negative content about Warner Media for not restoring the SnyderVerse”. Rolling Stones came down heavily on making up SnyderCut with fake bots and making it a huge success apart from removing the producer’s names in the re-released version. It contended that the released version was re-made, for the most part with a fresh investment of around $60 billion. Rolling stones, citing the Cybersecurity reports mention that Snyder deliberately used bots as fake fans right from the beginning, to generate speculation around its existence and the release. From the very beginning of 2023, hashtags were trending on social media raking up hundreds and thousands of tweets to pursue WB to release the director’s cut and the released cut garnered millions of views in a day only to drop to 40,000 views in subsequent days, a trend which is uncommon with organic traffic. Rolling Stones quotes Becky Wanta, the Chief Information Officer, Q5id, the research firm engaged by Rolling Stones, who says, “There are certain patterns that bots give off that we saw here. They arrive at almost the same time in huge numbers. And many times, the origin of thousands or even millions of messages can be traced to a single source or two. Sometimes, they can be traced to unusual servers in remote countries. And their content will be precisely similar.” 

The story doesn’t end here. As per a report published by Wrap in May 2023, the bots might have ramped up support, leading to Snyder winning two awards in the fan-favorite category. Considering the fact that the released movie is a hit with the majority of fans who are not fake, the WB’s act can be justified because it well serves the cinema’s purpose. The only mistake on WB’s part would be releasing it as a director’s cut, that carries meaning in itself and legacy, a violation of which would definitely amount to sheer injustice to the cinema. Nevertheless, the way fake artificial intelligence bots are used, though in minority, to amp up support doesn’t augur well for Just League’s lineage, particularly when fans are left wanting for more of it.

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