American student wins Google Doodle prize – Xbox One revealed – Man lists call centre shortcuts
Xbox One console unveiled
Details of the next generation Microsoft gaming console were released this week, with the Xbox One containing a number of new innovations.
The Xbox One is clearly intended to be more than 'just' a console, with television, music and cinematic features also included. One of the most innovative and interesting elements revealed was the fact that the Xbox One can be controlled through voice commands. From switching the system on to loading a game or starting a film, the user simply has to talk to the console for their desired action to take place. The console is also designed to be more social, allowing users to talk on Skype or share their best gaming moments instantly with the Game DVR feature.
As well as the console itself, details of major releases such as FIFA 14, Call of Duty Ghosts and Forza 5 Motorsports were also hinted at, with these titles likely to be amongst the most significant available at launch.
The unveiling of the Xbox One comes in the wake of the recent Playstation 4 announcement, with the next generation Sony console sure to be Microsoft's main contender for dominance of the market.
Google Doodle contest winner revealed
The 2013 Google Doodle competition has come to an end, with a female 12th grade student triumphing with an emotional entry.
The contest theme this year was 'My Best Day Ever', with Sabrina Brady from Wisconsin winning with a beautifully illustrated depiction of her father returning home from military service. In addition to seeing her work displayed to millions of people on the Google homepage, Sabrina will also receive $30,000 (£20,000) towards her college education and $50,000 (£33,000) for her school.
Details on the 2014 contest will be released on January 14th, with the theme a closely guarded secret until this date.
This is far from the first time the Google Doodle has caught the imagination of the public, with the Google Pacman game reportedly costing the global economy millions due to the extra time spent playing the retro arcade classic. Google Doodle's have celebrated everything from St. David's' Day to the anniversary of the moon landings, with millions intrigued by the various ways of displaying Google's logo.
Discover the secrets of the call centre shortcut
The days of call centre waiting time misery could soon be at an end, with the invention of new online service Please Press 1.
The idea is the creation of Neil Clarke, a man so frustrated by the time consuming process of contacting major companies that he resolved to do something about it. Users can search a vast database of companies for the exact numbers they need, including such major brands as Aviva, EasyJet and British Gas.
The concept has been nicknamed 'press ahead', providing users with the exact order of numbers they will need to press to reach the desired department, without the need to wait for the automated messages to inform them of this information. Clarke hopes that this service will save callers a great deal of time, as well as helping to reduce their phone bills.
The service has already attracted a number of users, with Please Press 1 hoping that in the future companies will provide them with the relevant data themselves as the service becomes fully integrated into the call centre process.