Tech News

Google Diagnoses Your Symptoms, Microsoft Condemns Chrome… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 21-06-2016

Google helps you determine what’s wrong with you, Microsoft condemns Chrome’s battery life, Facebook pulls a sneaky Messenger trick, Google makes 2SV suck less, and the first trailer for Westworld.


Google Solves Your Symptoms


Google is improving the results it shows people who search their symptoms online. We have probably all done it at some point in our lives, but it’s no fun trawling through websites and forums trying to pinpoint the exact thing we have wrong with us Where Can You Find Reliable Medical Advice Online? Read More . Which is why Google has acted.

According to Google, roughly 1 percent of all searches made are symptom-related, as people turn to the web first when they get an intense headache or a nasty rash which won’t go away. Google’s new symptom search will show you a list of conditions related to the symptoms you search for, and advise you whether it’s worth a visit to the doctor.

Google manages all this with a combination of health conditions mentioned across the web and actual information colledted from healthcare professionals. Regardless, Google is keen to point out this is only meant as an informational guide based on data, and not medical advice you should follow to the letter.

To be perfectly frank, I wouldn’t advise searching for symptoms online The Dangers Of Searching For Medical Information Online Searching for and relying on online medical information to diagnose/treat yourself, someone you know, or even a pet, can prove costlier than you think. Here's why... Read More in the first place, as no good can come of it. You could end up scared at the worst-case scenarios painted online, or be led to believe you’re perfectly fine when you’re really not. The only person who can really determine your condition based on your symptoms is a doctor. And not Doctor Google.


Microsoft Claims Edge Beats Chrome

Google Chrome may be the most popular web browser Chrome Overtakes Internet Explorer, Solving Windows God Mode Malware... [Tech News Digest] Chrome is the most popular Web browser, Windows God Mode gets hit with malware, Apple thinks you'll be upgrading soon, Google Keyboard gets a major update, and Apple Watch is improved immeasurably by Windows 95. Read More in the world, but being popular doesn’t necessarily equate to being the best. In terms of power consumption, Chrome is certainly not the best, with users having complained to Google for years about Chrome sucking the life out of their batteries.

In an effort to promote its Edge browser, Microsoft has conducted some power consumption tests of its own, pitching Edge against Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. And, lo and behold, Edge comes out on top across the board, with Chrome’s reputation for greedily eating away at batteries confirmed.

Microsoft conducted a number of tests, including the one seen in the video above. Four identical laptops were set off streaming a movie, with the moment their batteries died recorded. The laptop using Chrome dies first, followed by Firefox, then Opera, and lastly Edge. The results were the same when the laptops were set to opening tabs and scrolling through articles.

Absolutely no one who has ever used it will be surprised to find Chrome kills batteries, but the impressive results for Edge should prompt more people to give it a try A Microsoft Edge Review From A Die-Hard Chrome User Make no mistake, I am a die-hard Chrome user. But my curiosity got the better of me, so I took the plunge and tried Microsoft Edge. Read More . As long as they have already bitten the bullet and upgraded to Windows 10, of course.


SMS in Messenger Is Not Mandatory

Facebook now lets you send and receive your SMS text messages from within Messenger, at least on Android. This integration means you can keep all of your messages in one place, helping Facebook grow its platform, and, potentially, helping users keep track of everything. That is, if you don’t like the idea of Google Jibe Google Jibe Is Here: Say Goodbye to SMS & MMS Messages Google Jibe is set to revolutionize the way we send and receive mobile text messages. Here's what you need to know. Read More .

However, it’s important to note that SMS in Messenger is an entirely optional feature. Unfortunately, there has been some confusion because of the aggressive way Facebook has offered the feature to users. Rather than asking users if they want to turn the feature on or not, clicking “OK” to acknowledge you have read the notice turns the feature on. You have to click the smaller, less visible “Settings” to decline.

After fears this slightly underhanded behaviour contravended Google Play policies, Facebook told Engadget:


“SMS in Messenger is an optional feature. People can choose whether or not they wish to use it. When they first see the prompt, they can choose to start seeing their SMS messages in Messenger by turning on the feature, or they can decide not to by tapping ‘Settings’. If they decide to see SMS messages in Messenger and to also reply to messages from Messenger, we’ll ask people to approve any new device permissions that are required. Messenger doesn’t modify any device settings without people agreeing to it.”

Google Improves 2-Step Verification

Google has enacted a change to the way 2-Step Verification Can Two-Step Verification Be Less Irritating? Four Secret Hacks Guaranteed to Improve Security Do you want bullet-proof account security? I highly suggest enabling what's called "two-factor" authentication. Read More (2SV) works, and it makes the whole process much simpler. Google formerly required most people to confirm their identity by entering a verification code sent via text message to their phone. But no longer.

You can now choose to verify your identity by interacting with a direct push notification. After enabling the option, you’ll see a notification when you try to sign in, and can just choose, “Yes, Allow Sign-In” to continue. If you’re not trying to sign in you choose, “No, Deny Sign-In” instead.

This new option is available both on Android and on iOS. Android users need to have Google Play Services installed, and can enable the feature thusly: My Account > Sign-in & security > Signing in to Google > 2-step Verification. iOS users need to have the Google Search app installed.


Watch the First Westworld Trailer

And finally, while the latest season of Game of Thrones may be drawing to a close after the epic Battle of the Bastards, HBO has a new show ready to fill the void. Westworld, a TV show based on a 1973 film by Michael Crichton, is “a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin.”

Westworld is set in a futuritistic theme park which imitates the American Old West. People go to live out their cowboy fantasties of gunslinging and whoring, but things start to go awry when the robots populating Westworld start to develop sentience. Westworld is due to air in October 2016.

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Have you ever Googled your own symptoms? Does Chrome drain your battery? Do you use SMS in Messenger? Do you use Google’s 2-Step Verification? What do you think of HBO’s Westworld?

Please let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.

Image Credit: Tony Webster via Flickr

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  1. Anonymous
    June 23, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    I'm a regular at MUO ~ love it! I come here (and at how-to geek) often to learn, learn, learn! The Tech News section is a really great and fun feature. Thanks! Now to this article (And I wouldn’t advise searching for symptoms online either):

    I'll volley a few thoughts concerning MS & the browser battle. In the comparison video (which MS Edge produced) they used MS Surface Books and so the operating system is Win-10 on all laptops tested. Now, if I were even half as tech-savvy as all the techs working at MS, I'd create hidden code or some other method (again; not a geek, though I am a dork :-) that would make any non-native browser run slower than my own product (Edge).

    A true comparison would have to be the exact same laptop; and one's not built exclusively for any specific OS, and then with complementing operating system's: Chrome OS for the Chrome browser; Linux for Firefox; Win-10 for Edge (and Opera too, since it was developed in Norway originally for the Windows platform). I'd like to see that test!

    But since no one parks in front of any laptop (on Earth) and then unplugs it with the intent of viewing a 7 hour video, the test is more hypothetical or theoretical than real-life: It's subtle corporate-bashing more than anything. But it's fun; tech is fun unless it rules your life!

    E.g. I own an Acer 15.6" Chromebook (CB5-571, w/ Intel Celeron 3205U dual-core 1.50 GHz, 4g RAM, 16g SSD) and it's the fastest laptop I've ever used, when browsing the Web, and as you can see it's not running top-of-the-line anything! It's a browser-based OS but then it does most of what I did on my Win-OS laptops. I also have an Intel NUC (w/ 6th Gen i3; 16g RAM) and it also runs the Chrome browser super fast: But it's a PC, so no battery.

    Finally: The Chrome browser is technically more than a mere browser like Edge & Fox & Opera. Anyone who uses the full power of all the integrated Google products availed, which fully utilizes the Chrome OS & browser (even when excluding the world of Android); these people know what I'm saying here. And since the Chrome OS & Android will slowly melt into one thing, this entire topic of conversation will need change with it (and I was born in 1958; tech things have/will change radically and quickly).