Tuesday November 13, 2018
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‘Good morning’ messages are cluttering smartphones in India

According to Google, there has been a 10-fold rise in the number of searches for "Good Morning images."

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'Good Morning' messages clutter smartphones.
'Good Morning' messages clutter smartphones.
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  • ‘Good Morning’ messages are the reason for cluttering of smartphones
  • These messages make smartphones run out of memory
  • Google is trying to weed these messages out

With millions of “good morning” texts, spiced with colourful images and even videos sent and received every morning across India, one in three smartphone user in India runs out of space daily, as compared to one in 10 in the US, the media reported.

According to Google, there has been a 10-fold rise in the number of searches for “Good Morning images” over the past five years.

'Good Morning' messages are eating out your smartphone's memory. Wikimedia Commons
‘Good Morning’ messages are eating out your smartphone’s memory. Wikimedia Commons

It is because Indians have a habit of sending millions of ‘good morning!’ texts along with sun-dappled flowers, adorable toddlers and birds to friends, family and strangers, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

Inexpensive smartphones and data plans have brought an unlikely group of users online who begin their typical day — before sunrise and reaches a crescendo before 8 a.m. — by sending good morning greetings.

“We were trying to deconstruct what is the DNA of a good morning message for months. It’s been a lot of hard work to get it right,” Josh Woodward, the Google product manager in Mountain View, California, was quoted as telling the Wall Street Journal.

Also Read : India now the leading market of smartphones in Asia

Currently, there are nearly 400 million Internet users in India, along with over 300 million smartphone users and about 650 million mobile phone users.

The company used its giant image database and artificial intelligence tools to train the app to weed out good morning messages.

Google is trying to weed images with this message out. Pixabay
Google is trying to weed images with this message out. Pixabay

The key to spotting them was looking for a certain size and type of image file, Woodward said, adding that early versions were picking out photos of children wearing T-shirts with words on them.

To counter such storage problem, Google in December launched a new app called “Files Go” that will help free up space, find files faster and share files offline on smartphones that come with less internal storage.

Also Read : Top 5 smartphones trending in India in 2016

“The average ‘Files Go’ user is saving 1GB of space so they can do more on their phone. It was built for Android Go devices, but we’re also making it available on the Google Play Store,” the company said, at the launch of the product in New Delhi.

The app has more than 10 million downloads so far, with more users in India than any other country. It has cleared up on average more than 1 gigabyte of data per user, Google said. IANS

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Sexual Misconduct Cases Will Be Handled Better: Google

Google isn't addressing another one of the protesters' grievance because it believes it doesn't have merit.

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google, sexual misconduct
Workers protest against Google's handling of sexual misconduct allegations at the company's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters. VOA

Google is promising to be more forceful and open about its handling of sexual misconduct cases, a week after high-paid engineers and others walked out in protest over its male-dominated culture.

CEO Sundar Pichai spelled out the concessions in an email sent Thursday to Google employees. The note of contrition came a week after the tech giant’s workers left their cubicles in dozens of offices around the world to protest management’s treatment of top executives and other male workers accused of sexual harassment and other misconduct involving men. The protest’s organizers estimated about 17,000 workers participated in the walkout .

“Google’s leaders and I have heard your feedback and have been moved by the stories you’ve shared,” Pichai wrote in his email. “We recognize that we have not always gotten everything right in the past and we are sincerely sorry for that. It’s clear we need to make some changes.” Pichai’s email was obtained by The Associated Press.

Google, Web summit, sexual misconduct
Google employees fill Harry Bridges Plaza in front of the Ferry Building during a walkout, Nov. 1, 2018, in San Francisco. Hundreds of Google employees around the world briefly walked off the job in a protest against what they said is the tech company’s mishandling of sexual misconduct allegations against executives. VOA

Google bowed to one of the protesters’ main demands by dropping mandatory arbitration of all sexual misconduct cases. That will now be optional under the new policies. It mirrors a change made by ride-hailing service Uber after the complaints of its women employees prompted an internal investigation concluding its rank had been poisoned by rampant sexual harassment

Google will also provide more details about sexual misconduct cases in internal reports available to all employees. The breakdowns will include the number of cases that were substantiated within various company departments and list the types of punishment imposed, including firings, pay cuts and mandated counseling.

The company is also stepping up its training aimed at preventing misconduct, requiring all employees to go through the process annually instead of every other year. Those who fall behind in their training, including top executives, will be dinged in their annual performance reviews, leaving a blemish that could lower their pay and make it more difficult to get promoted.

Google, Web summit, sexual misconduct
Google employees walk off the job in a protest against what they said is the tech company’s mishandling of sexual misconduct allegations against executives. VOA

The reforms are the latest fallout from a broader societal backlash against men’s exploitation of their women subordinates in business, entertainment and politics — a movement that has spawned the “MeToo” hashtag as a sign of unity and a call for change.

Google got caught in the crosshairs two weeks ago after The New York Times detailed allegations of sexual misconduct about the creator of Google’s Android software, Andy Rubin. The newspaper said Rubin received a $90 million severance package in 2014 after Google concluded the accusations were credible. Rubin has denied the allegations.

Like its Silicon Valley peers, Google has already openly acknowledged that its workforce is too heavily concentrated with white and Asian men, especially in the highest paying executive and computer programming jobs. Women account for 31 percent of Google’s employees worldwide, and it’s lower for leadership roles.

Google, sexual misconduct
Google employees gather in a courtyard as they take part in a walkout from their jobs at the Google campus in Kirkland, Washington. VOA

Critics believe that gender imbalance as created a “brogammer” culture akin to a college fraternity house that treats women as sex objects. As part of its ongoing efforts, Google will now require at least one woman or a non-Asian ethnic minority to be included on the list of candidates for executive jobs.

Also Read: Silicon Valley, Google Walk Off to Protest Against Mishandling of Sexual Harassment Cases

Google isn’t addressing another one of the protesters’ grievance because it believes it doesn’t have merit. The protesters demanded that women be paid the same as men for doing similar work, something that Google has steadfastly maintained that it has been doing for years. (VOA)