Apps

Microsoft adds new spellcheck system for Chrome on Windows

Embracing an open-source ecosystem

Published

on

There’s no error in the headline, Microsoft is indeed helping Google’s Chrome browser work better thanks to a new spellcheck system. This move will not just help Chrome though, it’ll also enable Edge browser with improved spellcheck. Getting too confusing? Here’s a simple explanation.

The Chromium project is a free and open-source repository, just like Android. Anyone can use it, edit it, or build upon it. Google’s Chrome browser is based on this project, and so is Microsoft’s Edge. Other browsers utilizing this backend technology are Torch, Brave, Amazon Silk, and many more.

How is Microsoft helping Google? It’s bringing a new spell checker on Windows 8.1 and newer for all Chromium browsers.  Until now, Chromium browsers were leveraging open-source proofing tools for spell checking. By collaborating directly with Google’s Chromium engineers, Microsoft has enabled Windows Spellcheck for all Chromium browsers.

The new Windows Spellcheck will support URLs, acronyms, email addresses, additional languages along with various dialects, and a shared custom dictionary. The new system replaces Microsoft’s Hunspell Spellcheck tool.

The update is among more than 1,900 such changes Microsoft has contributed to the browser’s project. The new spell checker is live on Edge with version 83.

While this announcement may not seem to be very exciting, it underlines an essential change in Microsoft’s strategy. The software company has a notorious reputation of being against open-source. However, it has radically changed its position in the last handful of years. After the fall of Windows Mobile, it was a clear lesson that the future is about embracing an open eco-system instead of a partial one.

Apps

Google will blur NSFW photos soon

Turned on by default

Published

on

When I search for “food porn” in Google, I’m looking for enticing photos of food to whet my appetite for dinner. Sometimes, Google has other plans and shows me more than what I bargained for. Finally, the search engine is implementing a way to save us from those awkward moments. Google will soon blur explicit images from search results.

For Safer Internet Day, Google has announced the feature to help protect users from accidentally seeing graphic images — including both gore and pornography — from a search. The feature, which will start rolling out in the coming months, will turn on by default. Instead of showing the images directly, users will face the blurred version and a prompt to view the image despite the warning.

If you don’t mind an accidental shower of NSFW imagery, you can turn the feature off at any time. Alternatively, as always, users can also choose to filter out all explicit search results, blurred or otherwise.

Though the feature is easily adjustable, Google will not offer the same flexibility to supervised accounts. Any accounts supervised by a parent or a school will not be able to change how they view explicit content. Parents can add supervision to the accounts of their children.

SEE ALSO: Google is working on a ChatGPT competitor called Bard

Continue Reading

Apps

Google is working on a ChatGPT competitor called Bard

Potentially more info on Wednesday

Published

on

ChatGPT is taking the world by storm. Amid all the controversy of the technology’s capabilities, the language learning software has everyone talking about it. ChatGPT isn’t the only player out in the market, though. After enjoying a few months of unrivaled dominance, the software now has competition. Google is officially working on its own ChatGPT alternative called Bard.

Today, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced Bard, an “experimental conversation AI service.” Powered by Google’s own Language Model for Dialogue Applications (or LaMDA, for short), Bard aims to leverage a gap in ChatGPT’s framework: the lack of connection to the web.

Unlike ChatGPT, Google’s software will connect to the internet. Besides offering uncannily realistic conversations, Bard will likely use information available on the web to complement output with up-to-date results. Since it’s a Google product, that should come as no surprise.

Now, Google’s history with language learning software is interesting. Even before Bard’s introduction, Google was already a huge proponent in AI and language learning. The company is even instrumental in developing GPT-3.5, the underlying technology behind ChatGPT. Currently, Google’s AI is also at the forefront of the Pixel’s camera, especially through the Magic Eraser tool.

Though the announcement seems definitive already, Google is holding an event on Wednesday, presumably to unveil more information about the software.

SEE ALSO: Google is working on a way to read a doctor’s handwriting

Continue Reading

Apps

Instagram possibly letting users pay for a blue badge

Copied from Twitter’s playbook

Published

on

Twitter got the internet into an uproar after implementing a way to pay for a coveted blue checkmark. Despite the controversy, other social media platforms are potentially introducing similar systems soon. As spotted in new code, Instagram has started referencing paid badges, hinting at a similar feature in the future.

First noticed by developer Alessandro Paluzzi (who spotted other unannounced developments in the past), Instagram’s coding includes mentions of an “IG_NME_PAID_BLUE_BADGE_IDV,” via TechCrunch. Additionally, Paluzzi found references to a Facebook version of the same code. To cap things off, he also discovered a few references to an upcoming subscription product from the current code.

A word of caution, though: Small references inside code might not mean much for the platform’s future plans. Paluzzi himself says that the feature is essentially unconfirmed for now, especially without a prototype.

Given the controversy surrounding the paid blue checkmark, it’s likely that Facebook and Instagram are waiting if Twitter’s experiment translates to better revenue in the long run. Though the initial Twitter Blue brouhaha simmered down for now, the new feature — along with Musk’s other changes to Twitter — are still experiments to test the new ownership’s vision for the platform.

For their part, both Facebook and Instagram have experimented with additional features to expand their offerings to their users. It’s not unheard of for either platform to draw inspiration from the winning features of other social media platforms.

SEE ALSO: Twitter reverses Facebook, Instagram ban

Continue Reading

Trending