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How the Google App can help you

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There are thousands of apps that provide features like planning a day or checking on the weather or even planning a route. The problem is these are all individual apps and they end up clogging a device. The Google App offers many of these features and more.

Manage your work day

With Google calendar synched to your Gmail and Google Plus accounts, crafting your schedule becomes much easier. Stay on top of what’s happening in your life: know what you need to do, where you need to be, and how to get there. Reminders of when and where your next appointment is ensure you’ll never be late again (just keep your finger off the snooze button!).

Plan your outfit

Google provides a ten day weather forecast of any city of your choosing, enabling you to plan your outfit for the day, or your packing if you’re travelling.

Be informed.

There’s always a lot going on the world, and you don’t want to be left in the dark. Up-to-the-minute reports of news breaking locally and internationally mean you’ll be be able to keep track, from your phone.

Be multilingual.

Break through any language barrier with Google Translate – ideal whether corresponding with locals with another home language or overseas business partners in Europe. Convert entire web pages into English or simply learn how to ask “where is the nearest pub?” while wandering the streets of Madrid.

Be a local.

Whether you’re looking to get out and about in your hometown or find yourself in a foreign city with nothing to do, Google will list all the popular events taking place in your vicinity – from concerts to art exhibitions to night club parties.

Know what your money is worth.

If you’re an avid traveller, online shopper or investor, you need to know if you’re getting good value for your money. Find the exchange rate for everything from the US Dollar to the Bhutanese Ngultrum, updated in real-time

Calculate your restaurant tips

Calculating the bill is everyone’s least favourite part of dinner, and there’s always someone who skimps on the tip. By typing “calculate tip” into Google, you’ll be presented with a tool that will split the tab for you. (Yes, it calculates in dollars, but the numbers are still applicable to any other currency).

Explore.

Find your way around a new city on foot, using public transport or by car using Google Maps voice-guided, turn by turn navigation.

View art galleries from around the world.

Google Art Project lets you view high quality images of artworks from nearly 600 international galleries.

Take a virtual tour.

Google’s Cultural Institute has many of the world’s historical and cultural treasures mapped – you can take an interactive tour of places like Robben Island, guided by a former political prisoner (https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/u/0/exhibit/robben-island-prison-tour/mQIim-e6wopSJw), the Kenya National Archives (https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/u/0/collection/kenya-national-archives) or Machu Piccchu (https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/u/0/entity/%2Fm%2F0krfy) amongst many others.

Cruise Control

Before you leave the Google app can remind you of flight times, to check in online, remind you to confirm your accommodation and even warn you of any expected delays. On your way to the airport, you can get information about the quickest route with the least traffic, as well as your estimated time of arrival at your destination.

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Kenya tool to help companies prepare for emergencies

After its team members survived last week’s Nairobi terror attack, Ushahidi decided to release a new preparedness tool for free, writes its CEO, NAT MANNING

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On Tuesday I woke up a bit before 7am in Berkeley, California where I live. I made some coffee and went over to my computer to start my work day. I checked my Slack and the news and quickly found out that there was an ongoing terrorist attack at 14 Riverside Complex in Nairobi, Kenya. The Ushahidi office is in Nairobi and about a third of our team is based there (the rest of us are spread across 10 other countries).

As I read the news, my heart plummeted, and I immediately asked the question, “is everyone on my team okay?”

Five years ago Al-Shabaab committed a similar attack at the Westgate Mall. We spent several tense hours figuring out if any of our team had been in the mall, and verifying that everyone was safe. We found out that one of our team member’s family was caught up in the attack. Luckily they made it out.

At Ushahidi we make software for crisis response, including tools to map disasters and election violence, and yet we felt helpless in the face of this attack. In the days following the Westgate attack, our team huddled and thought about what we could build that would help our team — and other teams — if we found ourselves in a similar situation to this attack again. We identified that when we first learned of the attack, nearly everyone at Ushahidi had spent that first precious few hours trying to answer the basic questions, “Is everyone okay?”, and if not, “Who needs help?” 

People had ad-hoc used multiple channels such as WhatsApp, called, emailed, or texted. We had done this for each person at Ushahidi (their job), in our families, and important people in our community. Our process was unorganised, inefficient, repetitive, and frustrating.

And from this problem we created TenFour, a check in tool that makes it easier for teams to reach one another during times of crisis. It is a simple application that lets people send a message to their team via SMS, Slack, Voice, email, and in-app, and get a response. It also works for educational institutions, companies with distributed staff, as well as part of neighbourhood networks like neighbourhood watches.

This week when I woke up to the news of the attack at Riverside, I immediately opened up the TenFour app.

Click here to read how Nat quickly confirmed the safety of his team.

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Kia multi-collision airbags

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The world’s first multi-collision airbag system has been unveiled by Hyundai Motor Group subsidiary KIA Motors, with the aim of improving airbag performance in multi-collision accidents.

Multi-collision accidents are those in which the primary impact is followed by collisions with secondary objects, such as other vehicles, trees, or electrical posts, which occur in three out of every 10 accidents. Current airbag systems do not offer secondary protection when the initial impact is insufficient to cause them to deploy. 

However, the multi-collision airbag system allows airbags to deploy effectively upon a secondary impact, by calibrating the status of the vehicle and the occupants.

The new technology detects occupants’ positions in the cabin following an initial collision. When occupants are forced into unusual positions, the effectiveness of existing safety technology may be compromised. Multi-collision airbag systems are designed to deploy even faster when initial safety systems may not be effective, providing additional safety when drivers and passengers are most vulnerable. By recalibrating the collision intensity required for deployment, the airbag system responds more promptly during the secondary impact, thereby improving the safety of multi-collision vehicle occupants.

“By improving airbag performance in multi-collision scenarios, we expect to significantly improve the safety of our drivers and passengers,” said Taesoo Chi, head of the Hyundai Motor Group’s Chassis Technology Centre. “We will continue our research on more diverse crash situations as part of our commitment to producing even safer vehicles that protect occupants and prevent injuries.”

According to statistics by the National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System (NASS-CDS), an office of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in USA, about 30% of 56,000 vehicle accidents from 2000 to 2012 in the North American region involved multi-collisions. The leading type of multi-collision accidents involved cars crossing over the centre line (30.8%), followed by collisions caused by a sudden stop at highway tollgates (13.5%), highway median strip collisions (8.0%), and sideswiping and collision with trees and electric poles (4.0%). 

These multi-collision scenarios were analysed in multilateral ways to improve airbag performance and precision in secondary collisions. Once commercialised, the system will be implemented in future new KIA vehicles. 

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