Google Stadia’s internet speed requirements are just the beginning

Google Stadia on Thursday unveiled its pricing and some of the video games you can play on its all-new service set to launch in 2020. The company also offered up some guidelines as to the types of network speed requirements it has for various qualities of gameplay: 10Mbps  for 720/60fps stereo, roughly 20Mbps for 1080/60fps HDR with 5.1 surround audio, and 35Mbps for 4K/60fps HDR video with 5.1 surround.

That’s all well and good, but don’t assume that meeting Google’s internet speed requirements means you’ll be able to play at the stated quality. They’re the minimum, but not necessarily sufficient, conditions.

Google — like many of the PC cloud-gaming services — doesn’t mention the other, more important issues that usually affect your experience as exemplified by Nadia Oxford’s tweet: the network. If you’re getting potato streaming, then local network congestion is what’s mashing it.

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

Think of it as being able to drive 75 mph on the highway, but then you hit the city and your speed unavoidably drops to an average of 25 mph. That number encompasses a lot of stop and go. While these services will test your network, and even in some cases include jitter and other types of network latency data in its calculations, like stop-and-go traffic it can bottleneck by surprise at any moment. And none of it even factors in a given device’s connection stability.

In other words, even if you’re getting 500Mbps with no latency when Google checks your network, at any point while you’re playing, the entire block may start streaming some random playoff game in 4K HDR and those packets interweave with your game packets, interrupting how smoothly they’re flowing. Google fails to lay out any of the details, such as maximum jitter and latency, that you’d want to see before plopping down your $130/£119 for a Founder’s Edition preorder.

When latency rises, frames and frame-rates drop, audio stutters, image quality degrades visibly, your trigger pull registers a millisecond too late and you end up dead in a puddle of your own blood while screaming at the cats in frustration. (OK, maybe that last one’s just me.)

While Google has an advantage over many competitors in that it owns a lot of the network infrastructure between its game-hosting cloud servers and the edge servers which are the last point of delivery between Google and your internet service provider or cellular carrier. But there’s only so much it can do to optimize packet delivery once they leave your ISP. And while many of these services have algorithms to gracefully fall back to lower levels when network issues arise, but that’s not always executed well.

And none of this even includes the irritation of excitedly trying to launch a game, only to be told that your network isn’t up to snuff at the moment — bandwidth great but too much jitter, please try again later. I participated in the Project Stream Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey trial. The first time I ran it, it was great. The second time, unplayable. Both times Speedtest told me I had more than enough bandwidth. And that problem’s not limited to Google.

Everything announced at WWDC: Get the latest on iOS 13, iPad OS, Dark Mode for iPhone and more.

New Mac Pro makes its debut: The long-awaited update to Apple’s flagship desktop starts at $5,999, available in the fall.


5 steps to make your blog rank higher on Google


Blogging can be a complicated task to take on thanks to the always fluctuating landscape of search engine indexing, like Google. Here are five things every blogger should be doing to stay at the top of the results page.

Websites with blogs rank higher on search engines like Google than those without because they’re an immensely powerful on-page SEO asset. This makes blogging an indispensable tool for any marketer or website owner who wants to grow their organic traffic.

Blog writing comes with its own set of challenges, however. It’s not about getting a couple of paragraphs on a page just to have something there. There’s a lot of planning and thought, not to mention strategy, that goes into creating high-ranking blog posts. Therefore, it is important to do it right from the start. Or risk wasting hours toiling over something that won’t pay off.

This article won’t cover everything there is to know about blogging and SEO. Rather, the list below contains five basic steps that every writer and blog owner should already be following.


Google has been emphasizing the importance of intent within blog posts in recent years. This means that they not only look at long-tail keywords but also at LSI keywords. They then factor in how relevant the blog is to the reader (through their search keywords, but also other online habits and location).

The reader’s experience is now a priority for search engines like Google, and every blog should share that sentiment. Which means finding topics that the reader cares about and providing them with interesting content.


Keywords are still one of the most influential factors in a blog’s ability to rank in searches. But keyword stuffing has become a major issue, which has led to a change in the way Google looks at them.

Instead of placing keywords as often as possible, place them in these six strategic areas:

  • The Title Tag: This is the title of the blog and is the first thing a reader will see. It’s the piece of text that will show up in the search results and on the opened browser tab.
  • The Meta Description: The meta description is a paragraph of text that shows up under the title in the search results. It describes what the post is about.
  • The URL: The primary keyword or long-tail keywords should always appear in the URL, so Google’s crawlers can easily index the post.
  • The Header: This is the title of the blog post that shows up on the page and other places on the website.
  • The First Paragraph: It’s important that the primary keyword(s) of the post feature in the first few sentences of the text.
  • The Body of the Text: The primary keyword(s) should feature again once or twice in the rest of the blog post.

All in all, keywords shouldn’t feature more than two or three times in the text.

Be sure to go back and update old blog posts.


It’s such a shame to keep old blog posts unchanged when they get outdated as search engines evolve. These posts can still be relevant, and a lot of effort was put into creating them.

Blog owners should go back and update their old posts to optimize them for current SEO trends.


It’s not a hard rule that websites should move to HTTPS, but it is very beneficial for them to do so. An SSL certificate helps keep a website’s visitors safe from outside attack. Making it not only important because of security reasons but also for search engine ranking. Because Google has stated that they care about online safety and this factors into their SEO decisions.

Getting an SSL certificate requires a dedicated IP address, so make sure to get one.


It’s important to keep blog posts related to each other and the business’ interests. Most people do this through blog tags and interlinking. But it’s important to differentiate between each blog post and their topics because Google penalizes duplicate content.

Do not use tags that are too similar to one another, like “run, running, and runner.” Instead, focus on using tags that are related but not the same. Such as “advertising, marketing, and social media.”


Search engine optimization can be complicated, but blogging doesn’t have to be. Save time by following these and other expert tips to start creating engaging and SEO-focused content right now.


Update your Google Chrome NOW – tech giant warns over dangerous bug ‘that lets hackers hijack your computer’

GOOGLE is warning Chrome users to update their browsers immediately due to a security bug that could let hackers hijack your computer.

The tech firm was forced to make an announcement because hackers managed to uncover the bug before Google found it – which is a major cause for concern.

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Chrome users should update their browsers immediately

Google regularly fixes bugs that can exploit your computer software and reduce computer security.

But sometimes, these bugs are known as ‘zero-day’ – that’s when cyber-crooks work out how to exploit the glitch before Google itself.

It means the firm had zero days to prepare to tackle the problem because they didn’t know it could happen.

That’s the case with this latest bug, which means hackers have had a head-start – and that’s bad news for you.

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Cyber-criminals could exploit the vulnerability to remotely take over computers

Chrome users don’t need to panic though as they can simply update their browser to protect themselves.

Detailed information about what will happen if users don’t update their software has not yet been revealed.

Google said: “Access to bug details and links may be kept restricted until a majority of users are updated with a fix.

“We will also retain restrictions if the bug exists in a third party library that other projects similarly depend on, but haven’t yet fixed.”

However, some tech experts are theorising that the security vulnerability could allow hackers to implant malware without any warnings or popups, read files and potentially even take over computers remotely.

Chrome security researcher Justin Schuh wrote on Twitter: “Also, seriously, update your Chrome installs… like right this minute.”


OnePlus 5, OnePlus 5T gets OxygenOS 9.0.4 update; brings Google duo integration, Android security patch & more

OnePlus has started rolling out a new software update (OxygenOS 9.0.4) for OnePlus 5 and 5T users. The latest update for OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T brings network stability, Google Duo deep integration and more.

Oneplus 5, OnePlus 5T gets OxygenOS 9.0.4 update

Oneplus 5, OnePlus 5T gets OxygenOS 9.0.4 update

OnePlus has started rolling out a new software update for OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T users and the new OxygenOS 9.0.4 update brings in some major improvements, bug fixes and January Android Security Patch. OnePlus in a blog post announced on Saturday that the OxygenOS 9.0.4 update has been released for a limited number of users as of now and the broader rollout will reach to all users in the coming days which means if you haven’t received the update notification yet, then you may receive it in the next couple of days.

The biggest highlight of the latest update is the deep integration of Google Duo and network stability. The integration of Google Duo video calling feature has been made across call logs, contacts, dialling pad and messages. The update will make Duo the primary video calling app on the device and the best part is, if users wish to disable it, they may do so by heading to the settings option.

In addition to this, the update brings in network stability, improved stability for OTA upgrades, bug fixes, system improvements and Android Security Patch.

The changelog of OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T OxygenOS 9.0.4 update includes-

  1. Updated Android security patch to 2019.1
  2. Improved stability for OTA upgrade
  3. General bug fixes and system improvements
  4. Deep integration with Google Duo
  5. Improved network stability

OnePlus 5 and 5T users will directly get a notification once the OxygenOS 9.0.4 update is ready for their devices. If you haven’t received the notification then you may head to settings, then tap on System and click on Software updates. Separately, the company recently also revealed that both the devices will also get Android 9 Pie update really soon.


Week In Tech: Google I/O 2019, Amazon Scout, Google Maps Car Accidents Update And More

This week in Tech witnessed quite a few important updates. Google’s  I/O developer conference is going to be held between May 7-9. What’s more, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg may be planning to merge WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger. So here’s a quick roundup of all the important stories we covered between January 21-27, 2019.

Google I/O 2019 developer conference scheduled for May 7-9

Google I/O 2019 developer conference is scheduled for May 7-9. Google is expected to make some key announcements around Android, Google Assistant, Search and Maps, in addition to engaging with developers from around the world to discuss the future of AI, machine learning and more. Folks over at Google are likely to introduce Android Q.

Zuckerberg reportedly plans to merge WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger

According to the New York Times, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg is planning to merge WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger. Given that WhatsApp supports end-to-end encryption, Facebook will have to integrate make Instagram Direct and Messenger services compatible with end-to-end encryption protocol.

Amazon Scout, a new fully-electric autonomous delivery system

E-commerce giant Amazon has started testing a new, fully-electric autonomous delivery system called Amazon Scout. Initially, will deliver packages to customers in a neighbourhood in Snohomish County, Washington. However, these vehicles will initially be accompanied by Amazon employees.

Samsung unveils world’s first 4K OLED display for laptops

We all know that Samsung supplies their OLED display panels to Apple. Now, Samsung is building the world’s first 4K OLED display for laptops. We are expecting brands such as Dell and Lenovo to opt for these 4K OLED panels for laptops for their XPS and Yoga series respectively. Samsung’s first UHD OLED laptop display panel will enter mass-production next month.

Facebook Moments to shut down next month

Facebook has decided to put an end to their “Moments” app from February 25 citing lack of users as the reason. Facebook Moments is a standalone app designed to let users privately share photos and videos. Facebook hasn’t shared the exact number of users using the app. But Facebook is shutting it down because not a lot of people are using it.

Google Maps can now show car accidents too

Google Maps is testing a new feature that shows users if there’s been an accident on the way to their destination. We were able to spot this feature in Google Maps for Android beta version 10.7.2. So Google would soon expand its reach to more users, presumably on both Android and iOS.


Google My Business App Redesigned, Brings New Features for Small and Medium Businesses

Google My Business App Redesigned, Brings New Features for Small and Medium Businesses

Google on Wednesday released a revamped version of an app – Google My Business – meant to help small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) manage profile on-the-go and boost customer engagement.

The Google My Business app is a simple and free tool for SMBs to start their digital journey through listings on Google and keep their business presence up-to-date on Google Search and Google Maps, the company said. The new app allows businesses to update their profile, converse with customers on-the-go. It is now available for Android and iOS.

New features such as the new post button, a customer tab and the bottom navigation bar, allow businesses to follow and message customers directly from the app, enhancing engagement between both the parties.

“The new Google My Business app deepens our commitment to help businesses grow online. The new app will encourage businesses to manage their presence on Google in real time, make their profiles more appealing and interact with customers,” Shalini Girish, Director, Marketing Solutions, Google India, said in a statement.

“For instance, if you’re a restaurant owner and have a packed house on a Friday night, the app allows you to create a post with a picture of the restaurant to engage with prospective customers on Maps and Search,” Girish said.

“It’s this real-time presence that we hope will go a long way in helping businesses attract new customers and bring back existing ones,” Girish added.


Google shuts down Google+ following massive security flaw

Google exposed the data of hundreds thousands of Google+ users due to a faulty API, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. As part of reparations, the company is permanently shutting down Google+.

The API in question, allowed developers access to the public data of the users who signed up to use the app that used that API. The bug in the API allowed the developers to not just access the private, non-public data of the users who signed up as well as people they are connected to.

Google found up to 438 apps that used this API and 496,951 users may have been affected by this bug.

The data being stolen includes full names, email addresses, birth dates, gender, profile photos, places lived, occupation and relationship status. There were no phone numbers, email messages, timeline posts, direct messages or any other type of communication data.

This issue has existed 2015 until Google found out about it in March 2018 and decided to fix it. Google then had a choice to inform its users but chose not to because it wasn’t legally required to and secondly, because it would draw regulatory attention towards itself. Google was afraid it, too, would become the center of attention following Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, and as such chose not to disclose the information to its users.

Google’s excuse is that it found no evidence of any of the data being misused, however, it also has no way of being sure of that. The company did not check up with any of the developers of the aforementioned 438 apps.

Google also said the consumer version of Google+ had low usage and engagement and 90% of user sessions are less than five seconds long, essentially trashing its own product to cover up. The company is henceforth shutting down Google+ to consumers.

Google is also said to working on improving security elsewhere, including restricting developer access to things such as SMS, call logs, and contact data on Android and add-ons for Gmail.


Trips App by Lonely Planet: Where Instagram Meets Google Photos

Trips App by Lonely Planet: Where Instagram Meets Google PhotosTrips App by Lonely Planet: Where Instagram Meets Google Photos


  • Trips by Lonely Planet is available on iOS
  • It lets you create a curated version of your holiday
  • You can follow other people for travel ideas

Lonely Planet – well-known for its travel guidebooks – is stepping out into the social realm. Its new app, Trips, wants to help you share your travel experiences with fellow travellers, while being inspired by trips other people take. Essentially, it wants users to create their own guides for each other, and help foster a community in the process.

It’s not so much a social network in the traditional sense, but rather a curated way to present your travels. Sure, you could create a Facebook album for all to see, but it’d be buried amongst thousands of other pieces of content. Or like millions of others, you could put your vacation photos up on Instagram, and make use of its album feature for a slightly-more curated feel. The lack of easy navigation still persists with Instagram though, undercutting the experience.

Neither will give you what Trips attempts to offer. The Lonely Planet app creates a chronological feed out of your vacation pictures and videos, replete with headers, captions, text, location tags, and maps. Think of it as Instagram meets Google Photos albums, albeit minus the former’s size, and the latter’s AI-smarts.

At first start, Trips will recommend you to follow a bunch of fellow travellers, curated by Lonely Planet itself. Later, you can add your friends, or select from other strangers whose holidays appeal to your liking. Your home page will then be populated by trip cards, all of which are a virtual scrapbook in themselves.

lonely planet trips home discover Lonely Planet Trips

The home page and Discover tab of Lonely Planet’s Trips

Then there’s the Discover tab, which lets you pick from a variety of holiday types to browse through. There’s Adventure, Wildlife and Nature, Cities, Ruins, Road Trips, Festivals and Events, Art and Culture, and so forth. Each of these contain trips shared by the community or the Lonely Planet team, such as “The Wilds of Namibia”, “Crossing the Romanian Mountains”, or “A Week Around Iceland”.

To create your own trips, you select the blue-coloured plus symbol button in the middle, which takes you to your photo library. If you only use your iPhone to take pictures, this will suit you fine. But if you carry a professional camera with you, and those pictures are on Google Photos, Dropbox, or some other cloud service, you’ll need to import them yourself first. It’s a restriction baked in by Apple, one that will hopefully be lifted with the introduction of Files in iOS 11.

Once your pictures are in the app, Trips will attempt to sort them on its own, and use embedded geotags to create a map and name. It creates new sections whenever you change location, and then hands it off to you to make further additions, such as changing the title, adding an intro, and putting captions or tips in between your pictures.

lonely planet trips view Lonely Planet Trips

The opening page and inside look at a trip in Lonely Planet’s Trips

The option to collect your pictures in one place is what separates Trips from Instagram, while the ability to add captions is how it adds onto the Google Photos album experience. After you’ve finalised the look of your curated trip, you can choose it post it publicly, or share it privately with people you know.

This brings us to one shortcoming of Trips that people may not like. Although Trips allows you to view your well, trips, on a desktop, you can’t make any changes or create new ones from the browser. In fact, you can’t even view someone’s profile on a computer. By contrast, Google Photos is a full-fledged experience on both desktop and mobile. Plus, Photos’ map widget (below) – which creates two points and a dotted line to signify travel – is a lovely touch that helps visualise your journey.

In itself, Trips is a pretty way to browse through vacation ideas, glean some tips, and offer your own experiences. It’s a digital magazine that’s continuously updated, but it doesn’t do anything more that. You can’t edit your images inside the app, and you can’t leave comments on trips created by people you know.

lonely planet trips edit google photos Lonely Planet Trips

Map widget in Lonely Planet’s Trips, and Google Photos respectively

There’s some work to be done here, and it’s definitely worth the effort, considering the size of the travel market. Studies have shown that millennials are more interested in saving up for travel than in buying a house. At the same time, people spend 85 percent of their time with just five of the apps on their phones, so it’s going to take some convincing to make people choose Trips over Instagram.

The latter doesn’t offer the former’s level of curation, but it’s where all your friends and family are. And that counts for a lot.

Trips by Lonely Planet is now available on iOS.


Kimbho, New Messaging App by Patanjali Group, Said to Be a ‘Security Disaster’; Taken Down From Google Play

Kimbho, New Messaging App by Patanjali Group, Said to Be a 'Security Disaster'; Taken Down From Google Play

Screenshots of Kimbho app from the Apple App Store


  • Kimbho is a “swadeshi” alternative to WhatsApp
  • It is said to be plagued with security issues and bugs
  • Users say they are unable to send messages, make calls

Patanjali Ayurved Limited, a company promoted by Baba Ramdev, has launched an instant messaging app named Kimbho as a “swadeshi” alternative to WhatsApp. However, the Kimbho app – which surfaced on Android and iOS sometime late Wednesday – has been derided as a security nightmare by well known French security researcher who goes by the pseudonym Elliot Alderson on Twitter. In fact, the app has already been taken down from Google Play, the app market place for Android, though it is still available for download on the Apple App Store. While Patanjali Ayurved’s promoter Baba Ramdev has not yet said anything about Kimbho, his official Twitter handle has retweeted a tweet about the app’s launch.

According to a screenshot shared on Twitter by the security researcher going by the name Alderson (@fs0c131y), the Kimbho app stores user data in easily readable JSON syntax. Calling the app a “joke” and a “security disaster,” he says he was able to access the messages of all users. He also showed in a video how easy it was “possible to choose a security code between 0001 and 9999 and send it to the number of your choice.”

Another Twitter user has pointed out that the new app is built on another app called Bolo, and the Patanjali team did not even replace Bolo’s name with Kimbho’s at various places within the app. Even the app description found on the Kimbho listing is the same as that of Bolo, except that the names have been replaced there. As mentioned above, the app is not available on Google Play anymore, but can still be found on Apple App Store. In fact, it is ranked fourth in the Social Networking category for free apps on the App Store, behind WhatsApp, Facebook, and Facebook Messenger.

Earlier, SK Tijarawala, reportedly a spokesperson of Patanjali Ayurved, had announced the launch of Kimbho on Twitter. According to him, Kimbho is a Sanskrit word that means “How are you? or What’s new?” Interestingly, while the Android app was developed by Patanjali Communication, the iOS version lists Applies Inc as the developer.

Unsurprisingly, may users who downloaded the app are unhappy with it. One tweeted about getting server errors, while another said even the messages were not being delivered. On the App Store reviews for Kimbho, users say the app shows ‘Connecting’ for long periods, not allowing them to send messages to contacts. The calling option doesn’t seem to be working either, and users say there is no option to sign out of the app.

Faisal Kawoosa, Head — New Initiatives, CyberMedia Research (CMR), tweeted, “Can #kimbho create a space dominated by @WhatsApp just on being #swadeshi So far just around 5k installations and reviews are full of issues and concerns. Nevertheless, seems Patanjali is getting serious about communications.”

WhatsApp has over 200 million users in India.


Google Awards Uruguayan Teenager a Bug Bounty of Over $36,000 for Finding Severe Security Flaw

Google Awards Uruguayan Teenager a Bug Bounty of Over $36,000 for Finding Severe Security Flaw


  • Ezequiel Pereira’s sporadic poking around has finally paid off
  • Vulnerability would have allowed him to make changes to internal systems
  • I’m glad that I found something that was so important: Pereira

Google has awarded an Uruguayan teenager a “bug bounty” of more than $36,000 (roughly Rs. 24.3 lakhs) for disclosing a severe security flaw.

Ezequiel Pereira’s sporadic poking around has finally paid off in a big way: Google just awarded the Uruguayan teenager $36,337 for finding a vulnerability that would have allowed him to make changes to internal company systems, CNBC reported on Saturday.

“I found something almost immediately that was worth $500 (roughly Rs. 33,700) and it just felt so amazing. So I decided to just keep trying ever since then,” Pereira was quoted as saying by CNBC.

“It feels really good – I’m glad that I found something that was so important,” he added.

Although, Pereira found the bug earlier this year, he only just got permission to write about how he discovered it this week, after Google confirmed that it had fixed the issue, the report said.

It marks Pereira’s fifth accepted bug, but it’s by far his most lucrative.

Pereira was about a month shy of 17 when he first got paid for exposing a Google security flaw through its bug bounty programme.

Pereira got his first computer when he was 10, took an initial programming class when he was 11 and then spent years teaching himself different coding languages and techniques.

In 2016, Google flew him to its California headquarters after he won a coding contest.