Google Talk Is Officially Dead, Switch to Hangouts Complete

It was inevitable that Google would one day start cutting down its confusing array of chat-based applications, and the Internet search giant has done just that. The company has finally killed off its Google Talk service and has replaced it with Hangouts, keeping true to the promise made back in March.

Google Talk, aka Gchat or GTalk, which came into existence back in 2005, is among the company’s oldest messaging applications that has been in a state of limbo given the various new messaging apps that the company has introduced including the more recent Google Allo. Killing off GTalk essentially means that anyone who was still using Google Talk rather than Hangouts will now be forced to shift to the latter to continue messaging on Gmail. The transition will go through smoothly and you’ll find all your chat contacts now in Hangouts.

Google Talk Is Officially Dead, Switch to Hangouts Complete
Even though Gchat may be gone now, you’re still left with a number of chat-based services from Google to suit your needs. It’s also perhaps not a bad thing as not only does Hangouts cater to modern sensibilities with chat bubbles and GIF support, but also allows Google to focus more of its resources on its remaining apps. It’s a major step in the company’s effort too streamline its services.

Google in March also announced that it would drop support for carrier SMS on Hangouts and would instead be shifting it to Android Messages. The company in recent months has been trying to rewire Hangouts to serve G Suite and enterprise users, much like Slack or Microsoft Teams, and making it the default chat for Gmail is an effort towards the same. The same month, the company also rolled out Hangouts Meet video conferencing service along with text-based messaging service Hangout Chat for enterprise users.

 

Google’s Daunting Challenge With Alphabet Is How to Organise Itself

Google’s self-professed mission is to organise the world’s information. But a company known for engineering excellence is still trying to solve the very human problem of how to organise itself.

Nearly two years ago, Google co-founder Larry Page announced the tech giant would be remade as Alphabet, a holding company whose units would include Google and an array of unrelated pursuits in areas such as healthcare, self-driving cars and urban planning.

Wall Street cheered. Previously those riskier ventures had been lumped into Google’s overall financial results. Investors would now see Google’s performance independent of its so-called “Other Bets,” an eclectic collection of 11 ventures.

They include Nest, a maker of Wi-Fi enabled thermostats; Calico, which seeks to prolong the human lifespan; and X, the company’s secretive research lab.

Alphabet’s top management also aimed to boost accountability by appointing chief executives to head each of the Other Bets. Few people in Google’s constellation of ventures had ever held the title prior to that.

But so far Alphabet has failed to show it can convert its Other Bets from experiments to businesses with the reach, impact and money-making potential of Google’s core search and advertising operations. Interviews with two dozen former Alphabet executives and employees reveal an organisation grappling with how much time and resources Other Bets deserve in the pursuit of profitability.

In the first quarter, which ended March 31, the ventures lost a combined $855 million (roughly Rs. 5,511 crores); that’s on top of a collective $3.6 billion loss for 2016. As a whole, Alphabet generated $90.3 billion (roughly Rs. 5,82,082 crores) in revenue in 2016. Google’s share of that revenue was $89.5 billion, while its 2016 operating income was $27.9 billion.

Alphabet’s early days have seen more pruning than expansion of its holdings.

The company has skinned back plans for Google Fiber, which delivers rapid Internet service in 10 metro areas. This month, Alphabet agreed to sell robotics company Boston Dynamics to Japanese multinational SoftBank Group. It unloaded its Terra Bella satellite imaging business in February.

At one point last year, it was even looking to sell Nest, the largest of the Other Bets, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters. Google paid an eye-popping $3.2 billion for the startup in 2014.

Meanwhile, a series of executives have departed since the reorganisation, including the heads of Nest, an Internet operation called Access and a venture capital firm known as GV.

Google's Daunting Challenge With Alphabet Is How to Organise Itself

An Alphabet spokeswoman declined repeated requests for comment or to make executives available for interviews. Supporters of the restructuring frame the early struggles as typical growing pains.

For now, Wall Street isn’t worried: Alphabet’s stock is near an all-time high, having reached $1,000 per share in June. Ruth Porat, the no-nonsense chief financial officer who has steered the restructuring, has won rave reviews from investors for enforcing financial accountability across Alphabet.

Some Other Bets have made notable strides. Life sciences initiative Verily recently attracted $800 million in outside investment. Self-driving car project Waymo is considered among the leaders in the burgeoning industry.

Still, it’s not yet clear the structure will enable Alphabet to do what most companies cannot: conceive the next wave of innovation in-house or through the development of key acquisitions. That goal is central to both the company’s mission and investor expectations, analysts say.

“The reason Google gets to trade at a decent multiple… is because there’s a growth story beyond advertising,” said analyst James Wang of ARK Investment Management.

CEO or COO?
The Alphabet structure is Google’s stab at an age-old corporate conundrum: sustaining innovation within a giant enterprise.

Alphabet’s strategy is to give entrepreneurs the autonomy of a startup, coupled with the discipline of a traditional corporate structure.

Roughly once a quarter, Other Bets leaders meet with the Alphabet board – comprised of Porat, Page, Google co-founder Sergey Brin and David Drummond, Alphabet’s senior vice president of corporate development – to discuss funding and performance, according to two former employees.

At the same time, Alphabet is establishing separate compensation plans for the Other Bets to reward employees if their ventures succeed, mirroring startup incentives.

The formula has primed Alphabet’s emerging businesses for “global impact,” Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said this month at the annual stockholders meeting at the Mountain View headquarters.

“There is one solution that we know works well in capitalism, which is boards, shareholders, CEOs,” Schmidt said. “My bet is that the traditional lessons of business organisation will in fact result in success at Alphabet.”

Still, Alphabet top brass continue to hold sway over key strategy and financing decisions, a dynamic that has chafed Other Bets chief executives who’ve complained they are treated more like chief operating officers than shot callers, according to people familiar with the situation.

In addition, scrutiny from Wall Street limits how generous Alphabet can be in extending Google’s resources to Other Bets, said Brian McClendon, a former vice president of engineering at Google.

“As of yet, the restructuring hasn’t provided what I think is one of the immediate benefits, which is risk-taking investment,” he said.

Nickeled and dimed
Some companies acquired by Google found that being part of Alphabet wasn’t what they’d bargained for.

Two former Nest employees said they were promised generous funding and time to achieve profitability following the company’s acquisition by Google in 2014. But after the restructuring, Alphabet executives were keenly focused on revenue, one former employee said.

Pricey overhead has made the path to profitability tougher. After the restructuring, Alphabet began charging Other Bets for their portion of shared services such as security and facilities, ending what had previously amounted to a subsidy, people familiar with the situation said. The units also felt pressure to maintain Google perks such as free employee meals.

“One of the pitfalls (of Alphabet) is that those companies are asked to stand on their own two feet, but they may inherit the cost structure of Google,” said Nest investor Peter Nieh, a partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners.

In early 2016, Alphabet explored selling Nest in an effort code-named Project Amalfi, according to three people familiar with the matter. No deal materialised, and Nest co-founder Tony Fadell departed last year. Fadell declined to comment.

Boston Dynamics, acquired in 2013 during a robotics shopping spree led by Android creator Andy Rubin, enjoyed generous funding at first. But it was adrift after Rubin’s departure, two former employees said. Rubin did not respond to requests for comment.

Grumpy Googlers
The creation of the Other Bets has also changed what it means to work for Google.

Some grumble that their role now is to subsidise innovation at their sister companies, rather than to innovate themselves.

“It did sort of send the message to people who stayed back at Google, whether in search or in ads: Your job isn’t to push the envelope,” one former Googler said.

Employee transfers to X, the illustrious “moonshot factory,” are more complicated now that it’s a separate entity, former employees say.

That’s a striking shift, especially for high-performing employees accustomed to moving about the company almost at will, said Punit Soni, a former Google employee who is now chief executive of Learning Motors, an artificial intelligence startup.

“A basic premise of Google was people could do whatever they wanted,” Soni said. “I can see why people will feel like it’s no longer the old Google.”

In the meantime, co-founder Page is pursuing yet another “moonshot”: flying cars.

He is the primary investor in Kitty Hawk, a startup in the field that is entirely outside the Alphabet umbrella.

 

GTA V PC Modding Tool Open IV Is Back After Negative Reviews During Steam Summer Sale

GTA V PC creator Rockstar has had a tumultuous couple of weeks. Following Rockstar owner Take-Two’s heavy-handedness in dealing with user created modifications to GTA V’s single-player mode which resulted in the removal of popular PC modding tool Open IV, the studio had to step in to make things right.

According to a support post from Rockstar, Take-Two “generally will not take legal action against third-party projects involving Rockstar’s PC games that are single-player, non-commercial, and respect the intellectual property (IP) rights of third parties.”

It goes on to say that this will not apply to the following:

(i) multiplayer or online services (ii) tools, files, libraries, or functions that could be used to impact multiplayer or online services (iii) use or importation of other IP (including other Rockstar IP) in the project.

GTA V PC Modding Tool Open IV Is Back After Negative Reviews During Steam Summer Sale

Last week, Take-Two had handed a cease and desist letter to Krivoruchko. After this, Rockstar got in touch with Yuriy “Good-NDS” Krivoruchko the creator of popular GTA V modding tool Open IV to bring it back online, which it is right now.

Nonetheless, the move of taking down Open IV has hurt the Steam user reviews for GTA V. For a game that’s one of the best-selling on the platform, it’s sitting at a largely Overwhelmingly Negative rating at the moment, a point of concern considering that all this took place during the Steam Summer Sale, which doesn’t help Rockstar’s or Take-Two’s image.That hasn’t stopped it from being the second biggest seller on Steam though, right behind Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds.

Pokemon Go Raid Battles and Gym Tracking Is Now Easier With GymHuntr

Pokemon Go has seen some massive changes with the past few updates. The latest adds Raid Battles, new gym features, and new items to name a few. And with all things Pokemon Go, comes third-party support to aid the experience. GymHuntr is one of these. It’s a live Pokemon Go Map that shows you updated Gym information from around the world.

Now, GymHuntr lets Pokemon Go players click a Gym to see its Raid Boss as well as show Gyms that currently have a Raid active. It lets you scan every 90 seconds with orange timers showing off active Raids and pink ones indicating those which would be starting soon. Its a handy way to let players get the most out of this new feature without having to coordinate with friends. Keep in mind that you’ll still need certain pre-requisites before checking out a Raid.

Pokemon Go Raid Battles and Gym Tracking Is Now Easier With GymHuntr

“Before you can battle the Raid Boss, you’ll need a Raid Pass. You can get one free Raid Pass per day by visiting a Gym, but you can only hold one at a time. You can also get Premium Raid Passes from the in-game shop,” explained Niantic in a post. “Upon using your pass to join the battle, you and up to 20 other Trainers work together to defeat the Raid Boss. If you successfully defeat the Raid Boss within the five-minute time limit, you’ll have the chance to catch an extra powerful Pokemon of your own.”

 

 

Is GM Diet Healthy? 6 Popular Doubts About GM Diet Answered Here

Youngsters are crazy about GM diets and crash diets and follow them blindly without knowing the consequences. GM diet being a fast-paced weight loss diet does not encourage to have nutritious foods or it does not mention about physical exercise.

Read on some of the queries answered about GM diet.

What is GM diet plan?

GM stands for General Motors diet plan or GM diet plan, a 7-day plan for the employees of the said company in the 1980s. The company is said to have collaborated with both the Food and Drug Administration and the US Department of Agriculture.

GM diet plan
GM diet plan

Indian GM diet plan

The GM diet chart has been very popular and it is a strict set of diet instructions. The GM diet Indian plan starts from-

Day 1, Which is all about eating fruits except bananas

Day 2, You move on to vegetables

Day 3, Combination of fruits and vegetables except bananas and potatoes

Day 4, Is when you can consume low-fat milk and bananas and soup for lunch and dinner

Day 5, Is lean red meat and tomatoes, brown rice. Vegetarians can replace red meat with a paneer. In addition, you can add cucumbers and curd.

Day 6, Is reserved for lean red meat with any type of vegetables and brown rice.

The 7th day of the week is reserved for fresh fruit juice with brown rice and veggies

If you are thinking of starting a GM diet plan, to look good at a wedding, a function or a festival. You should be aware of the pros and cons too.

What are the GM diet pros and cons?

The GM diet is flawed in many ways however, it has its pros and cons.

Pros:

  1. It cleanses the body and flushes out the toxins
  2. Improves one’s mental state and attitude for a short term.

Cons:

  1. GM diet starts when the body makes use of the glycogen to store in the liver and the muscles needed to sustain.
  2. Once, if your body starts using all the stored carbs, it then starts entering the hunger mode where protein present in the muscles is used by the body to sustain itself.
  3. It leaves you feeling exhausted and losing all the muscle protein while trying to lose weight.
  4. The GM diet doesn’t advocate the need to be physically active.
  5. Doesn’t talk about healthy cooking techniques which can help weight management after the diet is done.

GM diet review: Does it suit everyone?

GM diet is a restrictive diet and while you are on this diet, you will lose all the muscle protein because the muscle tissues are not allowed to absorb the adequate amounts of protein during the first few days of the diet plan. It will result in muscle weakness.

GM diet does not suit everyone
GM diet does not suit everyone

What are the GM diet side effects and after effects?

You must be happily continuing your GM diet, but you don’t know what are the dangerous side effects that follow. The diet is high in fiber and low in protein, fat, and carbohydrates, which leads to quick weight loss. Though, GM diet chart is a low-calorie diet, you might encounter metabolic slowdown in your body which will prevent you from maintaining your weight. You may also suffer from dehydration as the body uses the fluids for metabolism. The other GM diet side effects will include headaches, weakness and hunger pangs.

Will you gain weight after following a GM diet plan?

The GM diet lacks in physical activity, it doesn’t speak about healthy cooking techniques or incorporating foods from different food groups. After you are done following a seven day diet plan and get back to your regular eating habits. You will regain all the pounds that you have lost because the metabolism will not be able to process the calories consumed. Therefore, the body will store the fat and will eventually make you fat.

Does the GM diet work?
Does the GM diet work?

After GM diet how to maintain weight?

Crash diet is unhealthy and it does not aim at long-term weight loss. It lacks in essential nutrients leading to tiredness, lethargic, depression and eating disorders. Truweight does not believe in any crash diet, it will let you lose weight by letting you eat foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals, protein, carbohydrates, and fats. The truweight diet plan is not like any other diet, it fortifies a holistic health by helping you to lead a positive life. It ensures that you to eat the right kind of foods, keeping you mentally and physically strong.

To end it all GM Diet is not at all healthy. If you don’t eat food you will lose weight in short term. So, GM diet is not the right way to lose weight.

 

 

DORIE GREENSPAN’S FROZEN CHOCOLATE MOUSSE RECIPE IS THE DESSERT TO MAKE ALL SUMMER LONG

This dessert—a fudgy, frozen or semifrozen chocolate mousse that’s sometimes coated in ganache, then sliced—likely came from the 17th or 18th century, when royal pastry chefs lived large.

Do you like frozen candy bars? Of course you like frozen candy bars. For the same reason we love frozen chunks of candy in ice cream: nothing else gives that perfect mix of chewy, crunchy, and creamy texture. Here, then, for your frozen candy needs, is the deluxe version to make at home. One you’ll turn to on every warm day of summer.

Marquise au Chocolat

Dorie Greenspan calls it a marquise au chocolat, which is a Frenchy-French way of saying frozen chocolate mousse. It’s a pillowy rectangle of fluffy, creamy, intensely rich chocolate that’s set in the freezer and then left to soften slightly like melty ice cream. It’s coated in an even richer layer of chocolate ganache. It’s full of stuff, like crushed cookies or candied ginger or nuts or whatever else floats your boat. In other words, it’s a giant ice cream bar full of candy bits, or a giant frozen candy bar full of ice cream.

HERE IS THE EASIEST PIE YOU’LL EVER MAKE

This nearly forgotten recipe comes to us from the beloved Ships Diner in Los Angeles that closed in 1995. The whipped cream filling doesn’t require any cooking—no custard here—while some slices of banana and toasted almond add texture and flavor. A fast, easy-to-make pie from a bygone era that deserves a comeback.

Pie is patient. Pie is kind. Pie is humble. (See: humble pie.) Pie should not cause anxiety, let alone pie anxiety. Yet time and again we know it does. The dough is finnicky; rolling it even and neat takes practice; fillings break or sog up your crust or fail to capture the fresh essence of the fruit or custard they’re based on.

The conspiracy-theoretical among you may consider that august food publications like this one deliberately make pie appear as difficult as possible, so we can more easily sell you on our One Neat Trick to zap all your troubles away. There’s truth to this. Which is why this pie recipe, which we do feel comfortable calling The Easiest Pie You’ll Ever Make, doesn’t rely on tricks—just old-fashioned simplicity. It’s a vintage recipe with a basic but forgiving crust and, most importantly, a filling that requires a mere five ingredients and no actual cooking. Once you’ve baked your crust, you’ve basically done all the work.

Classic French Banana Cream Pie

This banana cream pie unearthed by dessert detective Valerie Gordon is a cream pie in the truest sense: sweetened heavy cream whipped until billowy, flavored with just vanilla and salt. Sliced bananas give it heft and flavor without whopping you over the head with banana-ness, while a dusting of slivered almonds add a pleasant crunch to contrast all the soft cream.

That’s really all there is to it: whipped cream, bananas, some almonds. Substitute ripe berries for the bananas if you like, or sliced peaches, or chunks of mango. The cream takes it all, a neutral but luxurious canvas for fruit that you can whip together any night of the week.

Of course the trickiest part of any pie is the crust, and there’s really no shortcut other than some basic practice and mastering the art of blind-baking. But the shortening in this recipe makes for a forgiving, pliable dough that resists overworking while coming together more easily than an all-butter crust. And if you use a store bought one to make life a little easier? No one will care when you serve them a slice.

Using Painkillers During Periods, Is It Good Or Bad?

How many of our women folk pop painkillers in their mouths to alleviate pain during menstrual cramps? Well! Though this action may give them some temporary relief, in the long run its effects are not as good and encouraging as we think!

A quick peek into the ill effects of painkillers taken during periods will certainly make one think twice before having them to reduce the pain.

Before proceeding further, let us enlighten ourselves as to what causes those cramps, the most annoying part of our cycle. The pain is caused by the temporary cut off of oxygen supply to the uterus, when the muscles in there, contract a little too abruptly resulting in pressing of the nearby blood vessels.

side effects of painkillers during periods

What Do Painkillers Do? There are many non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) available in the market which give instant pain relief. These drugs are supposed to temporarily stop the production of prostaglandin, an important hormone, whose over production during periods can result in cramps.

This hormone helps in a large way in performing some of the vital functions of our body. So inhibiting them frequently can cause many ill effects to our system. Meanwhile, check the diet tips to follow during your periods.

side effects of painkillers during periods

Cons Of Painkillers:

The list of side effects of taking painkillers during periods may be long and some of them may include liver damage and bleeding disorders, diarrhoea, nausea, gastric problems, etc.

Some painkillers may leave you with worsened pain if the real cause of the cramps is not diagnosed properly.

If one has these painkillers frequently, chances are that she may become addicted to them.

One serious health problem which women may encounter with the frequent usage of these painkillers is the Alzheimer’s disease.

Other Safe Ways To Alleviate Pain During Those Times:

One may not become disheartened on knowing the above-mentioned frightening ill effects of painkillers. There are many other safe ways to combat this discomfort.

Array

Shifting To A Low Fat Diet:

A low fat diet not only helps in the overall upkeep of the body but it also helps in the visible reduction of pain during the menstrual cycle.

Array

Fortifying With Vitamin Supplements: According to a research, the natural way to alleviate the pain is to take vitamin supplements fortified with B1, D3 and magnesium.

Array

Keeping The Abdominal Region Warm:

This is one sure remedy to this menstrual-related problem. Placing a hot water pack over the abdomen and lower back will bring a lot of comfort.

Array

Stretching Exercises:

Certain yoga poses and stretching exercises are a good and healthy way to reduce pain.

Array

Massaging With Essential Oils: Essential oils like clary sage oil, lavender oil, cypress oil to name a few, have profound effects on massaging and bring some relief.

Array

Having A Herbal Tea: If ayurvedic herbs like ginger and cinnamon are used to make a nice cup of hot tea, then there is nothing to match it to soothe the discomfort.

If the above techniques cannot ease your pain then there might be some underlying medical problem and would need a specialist’s attention. Abnormal conditions such as the growth of fibroids, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory diseases, etc. can cause painful periods. Consulting a doctor is the wise thing to do in such situations.

So, next time when you encounter painful periods think twice before gulping a painkiller and if you have to really do so, then take it strictly under a gynaecologist’s supervision.

Also, for every medical problem, there is a solution in this modern era. Rest assured, there is nothing to fear about our health when we tread the path of caution under an expert’s guidance.

 

THIS COLD YOGURT SOUP IS INSTANT AIR CONDITIONING

 Rice and garbanzos add body to this vegetarian soup laced with fresh greens and herbs. Serve it chilled—as we have done—or, if you prefer, just slightly warmed. 

With swampy weather just around the corner for much of the U.S., it’s time to turn to foods built to cool us down. Part of that involves food that requires no heating up in the first place: no-cook dinners, salads, and ceviche. And then there’s dishes like this one, a cold soup that you do have to heat up first, but then get deep chilled to something that, as you slurp, cools you down like instant air conditioning.

Cold Yogurt and Herb Soup with Chickpeas

It’s a Ukrainian dish shared with us by the London-based chef Olia Hercules, who considers soup to be her home country’s national soul food. “My mum says she couldn’t live without having some kind of rich broth daily,” she says, and once you taste this delicate yogurt soup, it’s easy to see why.

Cooking with yogurt is tricky business—push the heat to high and the yogurt will break, leaving grainy nubs of coagulated protein in what should be a creamy broth. Slow, gentle heat is the first safeguard for this dish, but so is the egg that gets whisked in with the yogurt and water base. The egg helps emulsify the soup as it heats up, as does the starch that leaches out of the raw rice you cook in it. If you take your time you’re rewarded with a bright, creamy, undeniably yogurty soup with delightfully chewy bits of rice and chickpeas. To finish it off, blitz it with herbs—sorrel if you can find it, mint, and cilantro. Or whatever’s in your garden; we wouldn’t say no to tarragon or perilla.

 

Xiaomi Redmi 4 is now available through offline retail stores in India

 

The news comes from 91 Mobiles and the publication claims that Xiaomi Redmi 4 (Review) is being sold at a Rs. 500 premium over their online prices. As such, the 2GB RAM variant is priced at Rs. 7,499, and the 3GB RAM variant is priced at Rs. 9,499. However, pricing may vary depending on the retailer. While the demand is huge for Xiaomi smartphones in the Indian market, this move is a welcome relief.Many have been disappointed with the flash sales as the device are sold in minutes and many fail to actually fail to buy the device. Now they can head over to a retail store and purchase the device easily.

And who knows, this new strategy might help Xiaomi actually boost up the sales of Redmi 4. In any case, the Xiaomi Redmi 4 comes in three memory/storage variants which are 2GB RAM/ 16GB storage variant priced at Rs. 6,999, the 3GB RAM/ 32GB storage variant priced at Rs. 8,999, and the top-end one with 4GB RAM/ 64GB storage priced at Rs. 10,999. Separately, pre-orders for Redmi 4, Redmi Note 4, and Redmi 4A have also been opened and buyers can also pre-order the device through the company’s website.

Xiaomi Redmi 4 is now available through offline retail stores as well

Jus to recall, Xiaomi Redmi 4 comes with a 5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) 2.5D curved glass display. The smartphone is powered by a 1.4GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 SoC which is paired with 2GB/ 3GB/ 4GB of RAM. Xiaomi Redmi 4 will be available in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB inbuilt storage options. The storage can be further expanded up to 128GB via microSD card.

In terms of cameras, the smartphone sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 aperture, PDAF, and LED flash. On the front, it bears a 5-megapixel front camera with f/2.2 aperture. The dual-SIM (Micro+Nano) handset is backed by a 4100mAh battery and it runs on MIUI 8 based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow.

The device offers connectivity options like 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS/ A-GPS, Micro-USB with OTG, Bluetooth v4.1, 3.5mm audio jack, and an infrared sensor. It measures 139.2×69.6.x8.6mm and weighs 150 grams.