Google Current Affairs - 2019

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Google Maps launches new public transport features in India

Google Maps has announced three India-first public transport navigation features with an aim to ease daily commute of users. Starting from 5 June 2019, Google Maps users will be able to see bus travel times from live traffic across ten Indian cities, get live train status for Indian Railways and even get mixed-mode commute suggestions which now combines auto-rickshaw and public transport.

About Three New Feature for Commuters

  1. Real-time bus travel information
  • This is first of its kind product feature, launched first in India. It will enable commuters to know how long bus trip will take from their starting location to destination, by factoring in live traffic conditions.
  • This feature is now live across ten cities in India including Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Lucknow, Chennai, Mysore, Coimbatore, and Surat.
  • Indicators: The bus travel times from live traffic will show results in green (when running on time) or red (when delayed).
  1. Real-Time train information status for long-distance trains
  • With this India-specific feature Google Maps can now help users know real-time live running status of a train and check if it is delayed. This feature it will work only in case of a long distance train journey.
  • This feature was developed in partnership with ‘Where is my Train’ app that was acquired by the Google in 2018.
  1. Mixed-mode navigation Guidance with auto-rickshaw recommendation
  • This new feature will tell users if taking an auto-rickshaw is better or a different mode of transport such as metro, local train, or a bus when taking a journey.
  • It will indicate from/to which station or stop users should take an auto-rickshaw and their total journey time. It will also tell users what station/stop will be the most suitable for switching to other means of transport.
  • Users can also see rickshaw meter estimate and departure times for their transit connection.
  • Currently this feature will rolled out only in Delhi and Bangalore before being available to more cities later.

Month: Categories: Science & Technology

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India Signs ‘Christchurch Call to Action’ Initiative

India has recently joined a major global initiative called ‘Christchurch call to action’ to combat extremism and terrorism online and make internet a safe and secure place. It was signed by a group of governments and major tech companies at a summit in Paris.

  • Background: New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron recently launched an ambitious new initiative called “Christchurch Call”, which is aimed at curbing extremism online. The initiative was pushed by Ms Ardern in backdrop of extremist attacks on two mosques in New Zealand city on 15 March 2019, in which a white supremacist gunned down 51 people and broadcasted live footage on Facebook. This gave rise to growing realisation that current abuse of social media by extremists must be countered.
  • Participants: A total of 18 countries including European Union (EU) supported the initiative along representatives of online giants like Facebook, Google, YouTube, Microsoft, Amazon and Twitter.
  • Objective: To curb online extremism by stopping abuse of Internet by extremists. It also calls for an open, free and secure internet to foster economic growth, enhance social inclusiveness and promote connectivity.
  • Argument: The dissemination of such extremist content online has adverse impacts on the human rights of victims, on collective security of individuals involved as well as people all over the world.

About Christchurch Call Agreement

  • It is a non-binding set of agreements to combat spread of hate and violent content online. It was signed by a group of governments and major tech companies at a summit in Paris
  • Unique: It is believed to be first document of its type like one which is signed by both major governments and private companies.

Mandate:

  • All signatories pledge to eliminate violent, terrorist and extremist content on social media as well as other online platforms. But pledge does not contain any regulatory or enforcement measures, and it would be completely up to each individual country and company to decide on how it would honour its voluntary commitments.
  • The pledge also does not include the definition of ‘violent extremist content’, and it is up to individual companies to decide on what constituted objectionable material.
  • It asks member nations to adopt and enforce laws which ban objectionable material, and set guidelines on how each countries traditional media can report acts of terrorism without amplifying them.
  • It asks tech companies to comply with their terms of service, and re-evaluate their algorithms which direct online users towards extremist content and at the same time commit to redirecting people looking for extremist material online.

NOTE:

The United States declined to join the Christchurch call to action initiative. Following are the signatories Nations:

Month: Categories: International

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