TIME Google

Google Android Is Getting This 1 Awesome New Feature

Android Apps
Bloomberg / Getty Images

Location, location, location

The Android version of Google Hangouts, Google’s video chat app, is getting some helpful new features today. If a friend you’re talking with through the video chat app asks “where are you,” Google will recognize the phrase and allow you to immediately share your location with the press of a single button. The app is also adding “last seen” timestamps to users so it’s easier to tell whether friends are available to talk or not.

The visuals of Hangouts are also getting an update with 16 new sticker packs that feature penguins, koalas and cats, among other creatures. New video filters like sepia and black and white have also been added.

The Hangout changes are exclusive to Android for now, but an iOS update is also in the works.

[The Verge]

TIME Companies

This Is Why Google Is the Best Place to Work in America

Larry Page, Google co-founder and CEO speaks during the opening keynote at the Google I/O developers conference at the Moscone Center on May 15, 2013 in San Francisco, Calif.
Larry Page, Google co-founder and CEO speaks during the opening keynote at the Google I/O developers conference at the Moscone Center on May 15, 2013 in San Francisco, Calif. Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

The search giant ranks at the top of the best places to work list in both the U.S. and the U.K.

Google earned top honors in workplace review site Glassdoor’s annual ranking of the best places to work in the U.S. and UK. The search giant topped businesses such as Chevron and In-N-Out Burger to earn the accolade. An anonymous review highlighted in the ranking that claims to be from a Google program manager calls the company “world class” in terms of benefits and care of employees and “almost unmatched” in terms of compensation. A lot of voters agreed with the person, shooting the technology company to the top of Glassdoor’s list. However, the reviewer also points out that bureaucracy and internal politics have become bigger hindrances to work life as Google has gotten bigger.

Check out the full list of top 50 places to work here.

TIME Startups

This Startup Wants to Make Your Next Move Less of a Nightmare

Moving
Man moving boxes Alistair Berg—Getty Images

Updater helps you manage all those address changes and utility switches

Moving to a new home can fill homebuyers with excitement—and dread.

The laundry list of companies that a person needs to inform about a move can feel daunting. Forgetting just a couple can mean your magazine subscriptions are lost in the mail, your bank statements wind up in a stranger’s mailbox or your lights won’t turn on the day you arrive in the new house. A new startup is aiming to help avoid these headaches by streamlining the entire process.

Updater, based in New York, allows people to quickly inform magazines, charities, alumni associations and other types of businesses of their change of address all at once from a single Web interface. Users can quickly see what utility companies offer services in their new neighborhood. The website can also help people find moving companies to make the physical move easier. Overall, the company claims it can save users five hours worth of paperwork during the moving process.

Company founder David Greenberg got the idea for Updater, unsurprisingly, when he was moving within Manhattan. “The process was just incredibly inefficient,” says Greenberg, who was a merger-and-acquisition lawyer before becoming a CEO. “I was literally making a list of the 20 businesses I need to reach out to.”

Founded in 2011, the company initially marketed its services to individual movers, but failed to gain much traction. But Greenberg had a breakthrough in 2013 when he instead decided to sell the service to real estate brokerages, which could in turn get their agents to offer it to all of their customers whenever they moved.

Updater partnered with the National Association of Realtors, which placed the startup in its tech incubator and eventually participated in an $8 million funding round as well. Courting realtors has proven to be a winning strategy: Updater is now being used at 150 real estate brokerages across the country by more than 15,000 real estate agents. In total, about 50,000 moves are now being aided with Updater each month, which the company says comprises about 5% of the total moves in the United States.

The company is still unprofitable, but Greenberg says he expects to close another funding round in the first half of 2015 and double the company’s market share by the end of the year.

Updater is one of a growing number of tech startups aimed at bringing more efficiency to the world of real estate, which can seem oddly archaic to young homebuyers used to used to making all kinds of purchases via the Internet.

“The new homebuyers who are young are really expecting a great client experience and they’re expecting great technology to help them through the transaction,” Greenberg says.

For now, the range of businesses that can be used through Updater is limited. You can’t transfer your power bill with Con Edison, for instance, or change the address on your American Express card. The startup also doesn’t handle especially sensitive info, like bank account numbers or social security numbers, which means some updates still have to be made the old-fashioned way. But the company has 10,000 businesses on board so far and expects to lure in more big fish as its user base grows. It’s also beginning to work with property managers so apartment renters can start having more seamless moves as well.

Agents say the tool is useful for keeping homebuyers happy even after signing on the dotted line, which can help boost referrals.

“Buying a home is so exciting, but once the reality sets in that you have to move all your stuff, it completely kills the joy,” says Anne Marie Gianutsos, the digital director for the real estate brokerage Houlihan Lawrence, which uses Updater to help movers in the suburbs north of New York City. “It’s stressful. Anything that’s going to make life easier for our clients, we are thrilled to offer to them.”

TIME Airlines

‘Seat Kickers’ Voted Worst Passengers on Airplanes

airplane passenger
Jason Hetherington—Getty Images

Inattentive parents are almost as awful

Kicking the seat of the passenger in front of you is the gravest transgression off of a long list of things people can do to annoy others during flights, a new survey found.

When 1,000 people were asked by Expedia and research firm GfK what they thought was the most annoying plane habit, 67% of respondents ranked “rear seat kickers” as the worst passengers on a flight. The battle over leg room garnered intense debate this year after the Knee Defender, a controversial device that passengers were using stop the seat in front of them from reclining, was banned by major airlines.

Besides intrusively long legs, there are plenty of other mid-air activities that passengers hate. Inattentive parents who let their annoying kids scream or run through the aisles ranked second, with 64% of respondents calling that annoying airplane behavior. Overly fragrant passengers, who either have too much perfume or body odor, ranked third. Notably, “Seat-Back Guy,” the person who reclines his seat back into another passenger’s leg space, ranked all the day down at ninth, implying that kicking the seat in front of you is a graver sin than reclining your chair into the vicinity of someone else’s legs.

(MORE: 5 Ways to Be an Airplane Aggravation)

Check out the complete ranking, and try your hardest to not be one of these people as you’re traveling this holiday season:

  1. Rear-Seat Kicker – 67%
  2. Inattentive Parents – 64%
  3. Aromatic (smelly passengers) – 56%
  4. Audio Insensitive (plays music too loud) – 51%
  5. Boozer – 50%
  6. Chatty Cathy – 43%
  7. Carry-On Baggage Offenders – 39%
  8. Armrest Hog – 38%
  9. Seat-Back Guy – 37%
  10. Queue Jumper – 35%
  11. Pungent Foodies – 32%
  12. Seat-Back Grabbers – 31%
  13. Playboy Readers – 30%
  14. Amorous Couple – 29%
TIME Soccer

Pelé Discharged From Hospital Following Kidney Surgery

The 74-year-old soccer star says he's ready for the Olympics

Soccer legend Pelé quipped that he may still be ready to take to the field, after he was released from the hospital following a procedure to remove kidney stones.

The 74-year-old Brazilian star had contracted an infection during the operation and was placed in semi-intensive care, but he received his own room on Saturday and left the hospital in São Paulo Tuesday, the Guardian reports.

“It is gratifying and good to know that I had the support of so many people around the world who were hoping the situation improved,” he said at a press conference, according to the Brazilian newspaper O Globo. “Now I am preparing for the Olympics!”

The soccer star underwent haemodialysis after suffering a urinary tract infection.Pelé had one of his kidneys removed when he was still a professional athlete.

[The Guardian]

TIME Retail

Supreme Court Rules Amazon Workers Don’t Have to Be Paid for Security Checks

Workers had argued that security screening lines amounted to extra work time

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that workers in Amazon’s warehouses don’t have to be paid for the time they spend waiting in security screening lines after their shifts end.

The 9-0 ruling reverses a federal appeals court ruling in 2013 which found that workers should be paid during the waiting time because the screenings were a necessary part of their jobs that benefited their employer, Mashable reports. But the Supreme Court said that because the security screenings were not part of the tasks employees had been hired to perform—picking up products from shelves in Amazon’s massive warehouses—workers did not have to be paid for the time spent in line.

“The security screenings at issue are noncompensable postliminary activities,” the Justices wrote. “The workers were employed not to undergo security screenings but to retrieve products from warehouse shelves and package them for shipment.”

Workers for Integrity Staffing Solutions, an Amazon contractor, had said they had to wait as long as 25 minutes in security screening lines after work before they could leave the warehouses. But an Amazon spokesperson said the screenings require “little or no wait.”

[Mashable]

TIME movies

Finding Dory Will Reportedly Take Place at a Marine Institute

Finding Nemo
Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) in Finding Nemo Pixar/Disney

After the documentary Blackfish, the movie was changed to show that the sea creature characters have the ability to leave the park if they want to

We’re beginning to learn a little more about Disney’s upcoming Finding Nemo sequel, Finding Dory.

The 2016 Disney film will apparently take place in part at the Marine Biology Institute of California, a Pixar executive revealed at the Comic Con Experience in Brazil, according to Slashfilm. That’s where Dory was born, and she will venture back to the site of her nascence to try to learn more about her childhood and family.

The plot of the film was reportedly changed after the documentary Blackfish brought to light the way killer whales are treated at SeaWorld. According to the New York Times, the ending was reworked to make it clear that the sea creatures in the marine park have the ability to leave if they want to.

Ellen Degeneres and Albert Brooks will return as Dory and Marlin in the sequel, while Diane Keaton will voice Dory’s mother and Eugene Levy will play Dory’s father. The film debuts June 17, 2016.

[Slashfilm]

TIME Media

These Were the Most Popular Videos on YouTube in 2014

A mutant spider dog takes the crown

A cute puppy playing with a Clydesdale, an overly flexible iPhone 6 Plus and a deranged robotic baby were among the videos we watched most on YouTube this year. The Google-owned website has released its annual list of the most popular videos of the year, and they cover a wide range of topics. At the top of the charts is the much-feared Mutant Spider Dog, a video in which a Polish prankster dressed his dog up as a giant tarantula and terrified unsuspecting passerby.

The top 10 wasn’t determined by view count alone, but rather by a more nebulous formula that includes “views, shares, comments, likes and more,” according to YouTube. That means that some videos that didn’t earn an eye-popping amount of views, like the recording of a woman being catcalled in the streets of New York, still made the list because they sparked so much interest on social media. The list also speaks to the increasing power that brands have on social networks. Four of the videos on the list are ads, including spots by Nike and Budweiser.

Here’s the full list:

1. Mutant Giant Spider Dog (SA Wardega) by SA Wardega

2. Nike Football: Winner Stays by Nike Football

3. First Kiss

4. The Voice IT | Serie 2 | Blind 2 | Suor Cristina Scuccia – #TEAMJ-AX

5. iPhone 6 Plus Bend Test

6. Bars & Melody – Simon Cowell’s Golden Buzzer act | Britain’s Got Talent 2014

7. Budweiser Super Bowl XLVIII Commercial — “Puppy Love”

8. Devil Baby Attack

9. Goku vs. Superman. Epic Rap Battles of History Season 3

10. 10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman

YouTube also ranked the top 10 music videos of the year, which included hits by Katy Perry, Shakira and Taylor Swift. Full list below:

1. Katy Perry – Dark Horse ft. Juicy J

2. Enrique Iglesias – Bailando (Español) ft. Descemer Bueno, Gente De Zona

3. Shakira – Can’t Remember to Forget You ft. Rihanna

4. Shakira – La La La (Brazil 2014) ft. Carlinhos Brown

5. Jason Derulo – Wiggle ft. Snoop Dogg

6. Iggy Azalea – Fancy ft. Charli XCX

7. Sia – Chandelier

8. Taylor Swift – Shake It Off

9. Meghan Trainor – All About That Bass

10. Nicki Minaj – Anaconda

 

TIME movies

Check Out Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Philippe Petit in First Trailer for The Walk

Petit gained fame when he walked on a wire between the World Trade Center's Twin Towers in 1974

Joseph Gordon-Levitt does quite the balancing act as star of the 2015 film The Walk.

Sony Pictures unveiled Tuesday the first trailer for the upcoming movie, in which Gordon-Levitt plays tightrope walker Philippe Petit, who successfully walked between the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers in 1974 (which was the subject of the 2008 Oscar-winning documentary Man on Wire). In the trailer, we see Gordon-Levitt on the roof of one of the towers, peering out over the New York skyline. He takes a tentative step out onto a metal beam, then confidently poses on one leg as triumphant music blares.

The movie, helmed by Forrest Gump and Back to the Future director Robert Zemeckis, is slated for an October 2015 release. Check out the full trailer above.

TIME Media

Netflix Wants New Original Content Every Three Weeks

House of Cards, season 2. Nathaniel E. Bell—Netflix

Next up is the historical epic Marco Polo

Expect to see a whole lot more “Netflix Originals” like House of Cards or Orange is the New Black in the near future.

The company’s long-term goal is to premiere a new original show or season every two and a half weeks, Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said at a media conference Monday, Ad Age reports. That would equate to about 20 new shows or seasons per year.

Netflix’s pace of releasing new shows is steadily increasing as it invests more in original content. Next on the docket is Marco Polo, a big-budget historical epic premiering Dec. 12. It’s expected to be Netflix’s most expensive series to date. Other upcoming shows include a talk show hosted by Chelsea Handler and a series of superhero shows based on the Marvel universe.

Whether any of these upcoming shows will be a hit is an open question. According to research conducted by CBS, less than 10 percent of Netflix viewing is dedicated to its original shows. David Poltrack, CBS’s chief research officer, said the data shows that Netflix’s batting average for making hit shows is worse than traditional networks, the New York Times reports.

[Ad Age]

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