My Five: Five things worth sharing from the last week (or so), brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.
This week’s My Five is by Katie
Google launched its own version of voice search (handily named Google Voice Search) on iOS this week, after previously only being available on select Android devices and the Google Chrome browser. Google have outsmarted Apple by having their voice recognition remember historical data and allowing follow-up questions by understanding the context. The technology is based around the Hummingbird update that began rolling out in August. It can also give directions based on live traffic updates, give a reminder based on a location, and allows you to ask Google to identify a song that is being played.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has already admitted that the Android search is superior to Siri, so it’ll be interesting to see what Apple come up with to rival it….
Katy Perry has dethroned Justin Bieber as the most popular Twitter user in the world. Perry has just over 46.8 million followers, while Bieber has only 46.6 million – as his spray painting, groupie selfie and chicken nugget party fails to get him any additional followers. Lady Gaga comes in third with 40.4 million followers, Barack Obama is fourth with 39.27 million, and Taylor Swift is fifth with 36.25 million.
I have a number of problems with this information – the most mind blowing is how many more people care about the Beebs antics than what the President of the United States has to say. But more importantly, I tweeted Katy Perry a while ago and I’m still waiting for a reply. I have a feeling my ‘Katy Perry metal remix tribute act’ idea might have to wait a little bit longer for her approval.
Some of us at Browser Media have been taking part in a social experiment (or possibly a bet – I forget how it started) where we have been going for a week without Facebook (more about that soon), but I have still managed to surround myself with weirdly odd news stories. Between having my mind blown by the local news stories of how Colchester General Hospital has been ‘amending’ cancer patients records and that Elton John is going to be playing at the Colchester United ground, Alex sent me a story about how a blogger has worked out that currently there are anywhere between 10 and 20 million people with a Facebook profile who have since died. According to the blogger by either 2130 (if young people keep signing up) or 2065 (if the social network starts to bomb) the dead will outnumber the living on Facebook. Wow, just wow.
This week someone told Matt Cutts on Hacker News that they have no option but to buy links. Cutts hit back with ‘That’s a really bad long term strategy’. Now although we all know Google frowns on bought links, they also don’t seem to be dishing out punishment to anyone buying them. They certainly haven’t managed to stop bloggers demanding a fee for featuring awesome content, and it currently seems to work very well for certain companies, which in turn creates a problem when trying to explain to people why it pays to be whiter than white. So I’m looking forward to the day that Cutts & co. announces an update that properly punishes those not playing by the rules.
Don’t let me down Cutts.
Apparently British people are more stupid than chimps. Swedish professor Hans Rosling says that when he presented 1,000 Brits with questions about population growth and the state of the world, the Brits did so badly that Rosling feels he would have gotten higher test scores by letting a bunch of chimpanzees pick from bananas with the possible answers for each question on.
I think a far better test would be to give the chimps bananas with pictures of Obama and Justin Bieber on and see how many choose the Beebs banana. You can see if you are more stupid than a chimp here.