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Shakuntala Devi Gets a Google Doodle for Her 84th Birthday

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Google has created a Doodle to celebrate Shakuntala Devi’s 84th birthday.

Devi became well-known for her ability to generate complicated mental calculations which earned her the nickname, “the Human Computer.” Through her lifetime, she wrote and published novels, cookbooks, and nonfiction titles. Here’s more from the Times of India:

Shakuntala Devi figured in the Guiness Book of World Record for her outstanding ability and wrote numerous books like Fun with Numbers, Astrology for You, Puzzles to Puzzle You, and Mathablit. At the age of six, she demonstrated her calculation skills in her first major public performance at the University of Mysore and two years later, she again proved herself successful as a child prodigy at Annamalai University.”

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Google Search Can Now Answer Cultural Questions

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The search engine can now answer questions like “Tell me about magical realism” or “Tell me about abstract art.”

AppNewser has more details about the search engine update:

Google has turned 15 today and to celebrate the company has reformulated its search engine. The updated version is called Hummingbird and it is designed to deliver better search results for questions … Google has also marked the occasion by creating a Google Doodle of the Google logo which turns into a video game piñata. You can hit it to knock candy out and earn points. Follow this link to work on your high score.

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Google To Boost Starbucks Wi-Fi

Do you use Starbucks as your writing base? You are about to get a Wi-Fi boost as Google brings new Wi-Fi infrastructure to 7,000 Starbucks outlets.

AppNewser has all the details:

The internet is getting faster at Starbucks now that Google is replacing AT&T at the nation’s largest coffee chain and home away from home workstation. Google is promising a 10x boost in speed with up to 100x boost in speed in Google Fiber cities like Austin. The transition will start in August and take about eighteen months to complete. Just look for the “Google Starbucks” SSID.

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Google Can Translate Your Handwriting

The next time you are reading a book or a sign with foreign words, you can let Google Translate help you.

Someday, Google hopes to have a device that can translate your speech as well. AppNewser has all the details:

Have you ever struggled to read a sign written in a foreign script? Now you can draw the characters and let Google Translate help you read the sign. Google Translate recently rolled out handwriting support, allowing readers to input handwriting in 45 languages, including Chinese, Japanese and Korean. You can even download a Google Chrome app to help with the process.

Google Glass Gets an RSS Reader

How will we read ten years from now?

A developer has just created the first RSS reader for Google Glass, perhaps pointing towards the kind of interface readers will need on wearable computing devices.  AppNewser has all the details:

Google Reader may be shutting down, but now you can get RSS news feeds directly to your  Google Glass, thanks to a new app from developer Applied Analog. The app is called GlassFeeds and it is an RSS feed for Google Glass. It lets users choose push news feeds from multiple news sources directly to them on Google Glass or store them to read later. Users can can send the stories to Pocket or email them to themselves to be read later.

Maurice Sendak Gets a Google Doodle for His 85th Birthday

Google has created an animated Google Doodle celebrating Maurice Sendak‘s 85th Birthday. The literary world mourned Sendak’s passing last May.

You can watch the full animation at this YouTube link. Here’s more from Slate:

It begins, of course, with Max sailing to the land of Where the Wild Things Are, but soon also ventures to the surreal cityscape of In the Night Kitchen and ends, appropriately, with the birthday party from Sendak’s 2011 book Bumble-Ardy. Happy birthday, Mr. Sendak.

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Most Searched Authors & Books on Google

This month, William Shakespeare is the most searched for author on Google and The Bible is the most searched for book. Below, we’ve posted the top ten most searched for authors on Google.

Google has started automatically updating monthly charts for the top trending books and the top trending authors on the search engine.  TNW has more about the new tool:

Today, Google releases a new and improved version of the product with new charts, updated monthly, of the most-searched people, places and things in more than 40 categories with the ability to filter by 11 countries. PR companies and their customers now have another metric to be highly aware of. Everything from business people through to cars are ranked for the world to see. Each category goes back to 2004.

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Host a Google Hangout on Your Smartphone

If you have an iPad or an iPhone, you can now host a video Google Hangout on your mobile device–connecting with your writing group, book club or editor in a face-to-face chat.

Simply download the free Hangouts app and sync with your Google+ contacts. Once your circles are loaded, you can quickly launch a hangout. AppNewser has more:

Users on iOS devices can finally start using Google’s new chat app, appropriately call Hangouts, allows you to do what you’ve always done with Gmail’s desktop experience: text friends, start videos, and share photos in seamless conversations across multiple devices. The best part about the new Hangout app is how easy it is to continue a video chat from a text chat in seconds. If that feature doesn’t impress you, Google’s also putting in 850 emojis for all of those emotions you can’t express.

You Can Read The New York Times on Google Glass

Would you read the news every morning on a pair of Google glasses? The New York Times has released a Google Glass app, bringing news reading to the eyewear-based computer.

It’s hard to imagine reading in this radically different format, but it could be the future. AppNewser has more about the app:

The app lets users read the news on their glasses while walking around town, scrolling through stories by tilting their head up and down. And users can, “tap to have article summaries read aloud,” boasts the app’s description. The media giant first demoed the app back in March at SXSW. To get access to the app, you have to allow The Times access to your name, photo, gender, birthdate, country, language, timezone, your Google Glass timeline, the ability to view your location and receive notifications when your location changes. And they request permission to do all of this when you are not using the app.

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Google Game Inspires eBook Series

Google will publish a series of eBooks based on its Ingress game, a game that interacts with the real world through an augmented reality app. Watch the video embedded above to learn more about the game.

AppNewser has more:

Niantic Labs, the startup that lives inside of Google and has produced projects like the Google Field Trip app, has plans to launch a line of eBooks based on the augmented reality game Ingress. Ingress is an augmented reality game that Google launched this past November and it is currently in the invite-only beta stage. Ingress’s website boasts,”the world around you is not what it seems,” and Nianticproject.com is full of cryptic messages and codes.

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