MASH MY WEEK! Review of the outstanding Media, Technology and Social Media news for the week 12-17 March
Welcome to a new edition of Mash My Week!
Among the big news of the past week, was the announcement by the publishers Encyclopedia Britannica that they are going to cease printing their traditional encyclopaedia and offer their services in a digital format.
Also, the expansion of smart devices continues, not only are more people choosing to buy them, but the possibilities that they offer are increasing. In this review we tell you about PayPal Here, a service for making credit card payments using a smartphone or tablet.
Finally, Google is going to adjust its search engine to offer direct answers and results based on the semantics of the words entered. Find out everything here:
End of the paper edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica
As announced last week by Jorge Cauz, president of Encyclopedia Britannica Inc., the encyclopaedia is going to end publication of its printed editions and offer its services in a digital version in order to adapt to current demands.
The new digital edition will allow information to be kept up to date, and there will be more of a focus on multimedia tools to create educational material, it will include additional material with its articles and facilitate interaction with users.
The Encyclopedia Britannica has been in print since 1768, and after 244 years on the market it has had to adapt to the growth of the Internet or disappear. The printed version weighs 58 kilos and costs $1,395 and has had to face competition from free online encyclopaedias such as Wikipedia.
In addition, the encyclopaedia was obsolete as soon as it left the printers, as Jorge Cauz said of the new digital version, “Today it is up to date because we can revise it anytime we need to, expand the number of topics and the depth with which they are treated without the space restrictions of the print set.”
Faced with the comparison between the Encyclopedia Britannica and Wikipedia, Cauz told the New York Times, “Britannica is going to be smaller, we can’t deal with every single cartoon character, or the love life of every celebrity. But we need to have an alternative where facts really matter. The Britannica won’t be able to be as large, but it will always be factually correct.”
The subscription to the digital version will cost $70 a year, and the material will also be available on DVD for $39.95.
PayPal Here:The new Paypal service for mobile payments
PayPal has launched its mobile payment service, PayPal Here, together with a small credit card reader for payments using smart devices.
The reader is a small dongle that plugs into the audio jack of smartphones and tablets and enables credit card payments. The information on the buyer’s credit card is encrypted and transmitted directly to the application on the mobile device to make the corresponding payment.
Users will also be able to use the ‘Local’ feature to find the nearest stores where Paypal Here is accepted.
For the use of the service, PayPal will charge a 2.7% transaction fee, while for debit cards there is a 1% cash back feature, which means the fee will effectively be reduced to 1.7%.
At the launch, which took place in San Francisco, the company demonstrated its desire to launch the PayPal Here service internationally, given that for the moment it will only be available for selected merchants in the United States, Canada, Australia and Hong Kong.
According to David Marcus, general manager of the mobile payment area at PayPal, “Helping the success of small businesses is in PayPal’s DNA,” and “There is a new kind of consumer, people who want to shop any time, any place and get the best deal.”
Google promises to implement a ‘more human’ search engine
Google promises to make big changes to its search engine during the next few months through the restructuring of its search results. The company will place a bigger emphasis on offering real answers to its users, instead of a list of links. This means that the answer to a query could be included in the search results instead of offering a link that redirects you to it (as seen in the image).
The Wall Street Journal spoke to Amit Singhal, one of the most important executives at the company, as well as to other internal sources. Apparently the actual search system for key words isn’t going to disappear, but it will be accompanied by information from the Google data base. This means the implementation of a ‘semantic search‘ service through which the search engine will understand the meaning of words according to their semantic context. For example, it will recognise the difference between a search for ‘apple’ and Apple the company, thus generating different search results.
In the interview, Amit Singhal confirmed that Google’s intention is to offer search results better suited to the way humans understand the world, this implies that the search engine will adapt itself to users’ search queries and respond to their needs by understanding what they are trying to find.
With these actions, Singhal announced the beginning of “a new generation of searches.”
I hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of Mash My Week!
See you next Monday!