Author: Frederic Lardinois

Google Search’s new featured snippet panel saves you more clicks

TECHCRUNCH Google is introducing an additional format for featured snippets in its search results today. For years, these snippets have appeared at the top of the search results page and featured both images and text that Google thinks are relevant to your query. They are all about Google saving you a click. Today, Google is going beyond this single answer for some queries and introducing a panel that also features relevant subtopics, saving you even more clicks. Google’s canonical example for a query to trigger this new panel is ‘quartz vs. granite.’ This query brings up the usual snippet,...

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Google Firebase adds in-app messaging, JIRA integration, new reports and more

TECHCRUNCH Firebase is now Google’s default platform for app developers and over the course of the last four years since it was acquired, the service has greatly expanded its feature set and integrations with our Google services. Today, it’s rolling out yet another batch of updates that bring new features, deeper integrations and a few design updates to the service. The highlight of this release is the launch of in-app messaging, which will allow developers to send targeted and contextual messages to users as they use the app. Developers can customize the look and feel of these in-app notifications,...

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Credit Karma acquires mortgage platform Approved

TECHCRUNCH Credit Karma, the service best known for providing free credit score monitoring and other financial advice (mostly to millennials), is getting into the mortgage business. The company today announced that it has acquired Approved, a mortgage platform that brings modern technology to a process that even today often still involves faxing documents back and forth. The companies did not disclose the financial details of the transaction. At first glance, this may seem like a bit of an odd acquisition, given that Approved is mostly a service for banks and mortgage brokers. But it also makes perfect sense for Credit...

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Arm wants to power your next laptop

TECHCRUNCH Arm, the company that designs the chips that power virtually every smartphone and IoT device, published its roadmap for the next two years today. That’s the first time Arm has done so and the reason for this move, it seems, is that the company wants to highlight its ambitions to get its chips into laptops. So far, Arm-based laptops are far and in-between, though Microsoft recently made a major move in this direction thanks to its push for always connected Windows laptops. While that sounds great in theory, with laptops that only need a single charge to run all day, there’s still a performance penalty to pay compared to using an x86 chip. Arm says that gap is closing quockly, though, while offering a better performance/battery life balance. Indeed, Ian Smythe, Arm’s senior director of its marketing programs, doesn’t shy away from comparing the next generations of its architectures with Intel’s mid-tier Core i5 processors. “I think it’s clear that we’re on a transformative path,” Smythe said during a press conference ahead of today’s announcement. “It’s a compute journey that is changing the way that computers are able to be delivered in large screen form factor devices. And our vision is very much around how we’re going to be driving laptop performance from that mobile innovation base and how we’re going to be working with foundry partners to...

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Descartes Labs launches its geospatial analysis platform

TECHCRUNCH Descartes Labs, a New Mexico-based geospatial analytics startup, today announced that its platform is now out of beta. The well-funded company already allowed businesses to analyze satellite imagery it pulls in from NASA and ESA and build predictive models based on this data, but starting today, it is adding both weather data to its library, as well as commercial high-resolution imagery thanks to a new partnership with Airbus’ OneAtlas project. As Descartes Labs co-founder Mark Johnson, who you may remember from Zite, told me, the team now regularly pulls in 100 terabytes of new data every day. The company’s clients then use this data to predict the growth of crops, for example. And while Descartes Labs can’t disclose most of its clients, Johnson told me that Cargill and teams at Los Alamos National Labs are among its users. While anybody could theoretically access the same data and spin up thousands of compute nodes to analyze it and build models, the value of a service like this is very much about abstracting all of that work away and letting developers and analysts focus on what they do best. “If you look at the early beta customers of the system, typically it’s a company that has some kind of geospatial expertise,” Johnson told me. “Oftentimes, they’re collecting data of their own and their primary challenge is that the folks on their team who ought to...

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Google One is now open to all

TECHCRUNCH A few months ago, Google announced Google One, its new subscription program for getting more Google Drive storage and other perks. Over the course of the last few weeks, Google slowly rolled existing Drive subscribers over to a Google One membership and starting today, new users can sign up for a One subscription, too. Google One plans start at 100 GB for $1.99. There’s also a 200 GB tier for $2.99 and a 2 TB option for $9.99. If you need even more storage space, Google will happily sell you 10 TB, 20 TB and 30 TB plans for between $99.99 and $299.99 per month. One nice feature of these new plans is that you can share your storage allotment with up to five family members. While storage is the main feature here, Google also promises additional perks. The most important of these may be access to live 24/7 support. These Google experts at the other end of the line will help you with figuring out any question you may have about a Google product. Another perk here is that you get deals on hotels when you search for them in Google Maps. Recently, Google also gave all One members credits on Google Play and the company today said that it’ll soon offer members deals for purchases in the Google Store and through Google Express, too. It’s worth...

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Trulia crowdsources neighborhood reviews so you won’t regret your move

TECHCRUNCH Trulia, the online real estate site owned by its former rival Zillow, wants to give you a better idea of what a certain neighborhood feels like before you move there. To do this, the company today launched Neighborhoods, a feature that brings together direct reviews and feedback from residents based on the existing What Locals Say tool, data and images from Trulia’s own team (including drone shots), as well as more general information about other neighborhood highlights and safety info. This new feature is now available for 300 neighborhoods in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Austin and Chicago, with 1,100 more...

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Nvidia’s new Turing architecture is all about real-time ray tracing and AI

TECHCRUNCH In recent days, word about Nvidia’s new Turing architecture started leaking out of the Santa Clara-based company’s headquarters. So it didn’t come as a major surprise that the company today announced during its Siggraph keynote the launch of this new architecture and three new pro-oriented workstation graphics cards in its Quadro family. Nvidia describes the new Turing architecture as “the greatest leap since the invention of the CUDA GPU in 2006.” That’s a high bar to clear, but there may be a kernel of truth here. These new Quadro RTx chips are the first to feature the company’s...

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