Google Now available for iOS

Google Now is about giving you just the right information at just the right time. It can show you the day’s weather as you get dressed in the morning, or alert you that there’s heavy traffic between you and your butterfly-inducing date—so you’d better leave now! It can also share news updates on a story you’ve been following, remind you to leave for the airport so you can make your flight and much more. There’s no digging required: cards appear at the moment you need them most—and the more you use Google Now, the more you get out of it.

via Official Blog: Google Now on your iPhone and iPad, with the Google Search app.

Ok, as much as I admire Google for making such a thing work, I am seriously creeped out.

I got used to the fact that (some of) my phone apps know my location1, but Google Now knows so much more. It learns my habits by analyzing search history (on every device on which I’m logged in), it extracts information from my emails (flight tickets and such), and in general provides me with information it knows I might be interested in. And all this from one of the biggest advertising companies in the world.

The fact that Amazon starts to know what kind of music I might be interested in better than me is one thing, but what Google Now does is just a bit too scary for me. My friends think I’m nuts because I’m using DDG as my search engine, and I pay for my email service instead of using free GMail, but somehow I’m starting to feel those were good choices…


  1. Not sure how this works on Android, but iOS apps always explicitly ask whether they can know my location. I like that.

LaTeX environment for specifying computational problems

I’m wondering if there’s some standard and neat way of typesetting computational problem definitions in LaTeX. Here’s what I came up with just a moment ago:

\newenvironment{compprob}[1]{\smallskip\noindent\textsc{#1:}}{\smallskip}

and it seems to work pretty well:

compprob

But perhaps there’s a better way to typeset it? An obvious problem with mine is that it’s not a theorem-kind of environment, and there’s no way of referencing it with \ref{}, but then again you usually reference computational problems simply by their name. Anyways, suggestions for making it better are welcome.

What Happens When You Live Abroad

The anxiousness that was once concentrated on how you’re going to make new friends, adjust, and master the nuances of the language has become the repeated question “What am I missing?”

via What Happens When You Live Abroad | Thought Catalog.

Good post, good observations. As an ex-pat since around 2008 I’d like to add a few of my own. Continue reading “What Happens When You Live Abroad”