Tag Archives: Free

Google Maps Platform arrives with pay-as-you-go billing, free support, and Cloud requirement starting June 11

Google today announced a massive revamp of its Google Maps business: The new Google Maps Platform promises streamlined API products, a simplified customer experience, a single pricing plan with pay-as-you-go billing, free support, a single console, and new industry solutions. The catch? Starting on June 11, you’ll need a valid API key and a Google Cloud Platform billing account to access the core Google Maps APIs.

Google opened Google Maps to developers way back in June 2005. The Maps APIs business has largely stayed the same since, despite the mapping problems solved using the APIs having become more and more complex.

Google Maps Platform is supposed to address this for developers by scaling as their business grows (or their usage spikes). And of course, what Google charges will scale with you.


The core Google Maps APIs help developers create location-based apps and experiences. This release is meant to make the APIs simpler, easier to use, and scalable as your project grows. The changes are designed to work with your existing code — no changes are required on the developer’s end.

Google has streamlined 18 individual Google Maps APIs into three core products, based on what it believes are the most common developer use cases: Maps, Routes, and Places. Here is the breakdown of the three:

  • Maps: Helps developers build customized, agile experiences that bring the real world to users through static and dynamic maps, Street View imagery, and 360-degree views.
  • Routes: Gives your users the best way to get from A to Z with high quality directions and real-time traffic updates.
  • Places: Helps users discover the world with rich location data for over 100 million places, enabling them to find specific places using phone numbers, addresses, and real-time signals.

Google hopes this grouping will make it easier to find, explore, and add new maps features to apps and sites.

Pricing and billing

The previous Google Maps business standard and premium plans have been consolidated into one pay-as-you-go plan. Developers pay only for what they use, with Google promising no annual payments, up-front commitments, termination fees, or usage limits. There is a “free tier” in the form of a $ 200 monthly credit for all developers, which Google expects will cover the usage of 98 percent of its current customers.

Below you can see the pricing breakdown for the three products. All prices are based on your monthly usage, determined at the end of each month.

The Google Maps Platform has also been integrated with the Google Cloud Platform Console, billing, and website. The goal is to make it easier for developers to track usage, manage projects, and of course “discover” other Cloud products.

All developers will now have access to online support 24 hours a day during the week, with Google committing to 1-hour response times for critical issues. Support will not be offered on weekends.

Industry offerings

Google already announced the first new such offering in March — a gaming product which lets developers build massive real-world games with Google Maps data. Two more products are being announced today, one for ridesharing and one for asset tracking.

The former allows ridesharing companies to embed Google Maps navigation into their apps — Lyft started using this experience for its driver app in October. The latter is an asset tracking product to help companies locate vehicles and assets in real time, visualize where assets have traveled, and route vehicles with complex trips. Google promises more such solutions are in the pipeline and that the company will naturally be focusing on areas “where we’re positioned to offer insights and expertise.”

Google notes its programs that help nonprofits, startups, crisis response, and news media organizations will not be affected by the Google Maps Platform changes. “We’ve put new processes in place to help us scale these programs to hundreds of thousands of organizations and more countries around the world,” the company explained.

If your business depends on Google Maps APIs, you’ll want to check out Google’s Guide for Existing Users. If you’re just getting started, make sure you can fit into that $ 200 free monthly credit before launching anything.

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Big Data – VentureBeat

Free Hotel/Motel Shampoo Is Racist

blank Free Hotel/Motel Shampoo Is Racist

That free stuff hotels and motels have in their bathrooms for those either too stupid or lazy to bring their own is considered racist by Singer Halsey.

Halsey opened a tiny, fancy-smelling can of worms on Friday.

The singer, 23, complained about hotels not providing shampoo for people of color, which quickly descended into a full on Twitter rant.

‘I’ve been traveling for years now and it’s been so frustrating that the hotel toiletry industry entirely alienates people of color,’ she first tweeted. ‘I can’t use this perfumed watered down white people shampoo. Neither can 50% our customers. Annoying.’

Her 9.6million followers swiftly divided into two factions: and those scoffing at her for making such a trivial complaint, and those agreeing hotel shampoo was indeed racist.

Some of these idiots even complain about FREE stuff.


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Free new tutorial: Quickly uploading files with Big Data Manager in Big Data Cloud Service

Sometimes the simplest tasks make life (too) hard. Consider simple things like uploading some new data sets into your Hadoop cluster in the cloud and then getting to work on the thing you really need to do: analyzing that data.

This new free tutorial shows you how to easily and quickly do the grunt work with Big Data Manager in Big Data Cloud Service (learn more here) enabling you to worry about analytics, not moving files.

bdmgr tutorial 2018 Free new tutorial: Quickly uploading files with Big Data Manager in Big Data Cloud Service

The approach taken here is to take a file that resides on your desktop, and drag and drop that into HDFS on Oracle Big Data Cloud Service… as easy as that, and you are now off doing analytics by right clicking and adding the data into a Zeppelin Notebook. Within the notebook, you get to see how Big Data Manager enables you to quickly generate a Hive schema definition from the data set and then start to do some analytics. Mechanics made easy!

You can, and always should look at leveraging Object Storage as you entry point for data, as discussed in this other Big Data Manager How To article: See How Easily You Can Copy Data Between Object Store and HDFS.

For more advanced analytics, have a look at Oracle wide ranging set of cloud services or open source tools like R, and the high performance version of R: Oracle R Advanced Analytics for Hadoop.

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Oracle Blogs | Oracle The Data Warehouse Insider Blog

FREE Training on Insights for Dynamics 365

FREE Training – Microsoft Insights for Dynamics 365 powered by InsideView Technologies, Inc.  

Jan 18, 2018 1:00 PM Eastern Time 

Microsoft Insights powered by InsideView is included in most Microsoft CRM/Dynamics 365 subscriptions and is one of the most powerful tools in the system.  Join us for a free training webinar on how to get the most out of Insights for Dynamics 365. Guest speaker Jeff Brenot from InsideView will co-present.

Topics for the training session – 

-Update Lead, Account and Contact records with just a single click

-Add new contacts to Accounts

-Place Accounts on your watchlist to be notified automatically when new information is released about them

-View ownership and family tree information -View posts your leads, customers, suppliers, and competitors publish on social media

-Build and import lists of precisely targeted prospects based on a wide variety of criteria: demographics, firmographics, business triggers, and common connections


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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

New White Paper! Mainframe Data as a Service: Setting Your Most Valuable Data Free

Enterprises across the globe still run critical processes with mainframes. Estimates range as high as 80% of transactional corporation data is in mainframe systems. Unfortunately, in most cases the mainframe data in these enterprise organizations remains inaccessible to new data analytics tools that are emerging on a variety of open source and cloud platforms, including Hadoop and Spark.

There is a tremendous opportunity to surface mainframe data into this new world of fast-moving open technology. Organizations that have freed up mainframe data for cross-enterprise consumption are achieving greater agility, flexibility and lower costs.

Our latest white paper, Mainframe Data as a Service: Setting Your Most Valuable Data Free, dives deeper into the complex challenge of connecting Big Iron to Big Data and explores how extending Data as a Service (DaaS) to mainframe data opens up a large and often impenetrable source of valuable corporate information.

blog banner whitepaper MF DaaS New White Paper! Mainframe Data as a Service: Setting Your Most Valuable Data Free

Download the white paper now!

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Syncsort + Trillium Software Blog

FREE Webinar – Microsoft Dynamics 365 July 2017 Update – What’s New

strava80 FREE Webinar – Microsoft Dynamics 365 July 2017 Update – What’s New
Email |

Dynamics 365 White 300x92 FREE Webinar – Microsoft Dynamics 365 July 2017 Update – What’s New

There is exciting new functionality ready to be rolled out to Dynamics 365 customers. Join us on Tuesday September 5th at 1pm EST for a free webinar where we will demonstrate the new features being rolled out.

Top new features include:

  • Unified User Interface
  • Virtual Entities
  • Customer Insights experience
  • Mobile Improvements
  • Business Edition
  • LinkedIn Integration – Relationship Sales

See our blogon the July Update for more information

Join us on Tuesday September 5th at 1pm for a firsthand look at the new features and functionality being released in the July update. Hope you can join us! CLICK HERE to reserve your seat (space is limited and advanced registration required).

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

Free AI Chatbot Goes to Bat for Beleaguered Consumers

DoNotPay, an AI-based chatbot app created to help fight parking tickets in the UK, now addresses roughly 1,000 consumer concerns and is available throughout the United States as well as across the pond. The app’s creator, Stanford University student Joshua Browder, announced the expansion last week.

Powered by IBM Watson, DoNotPay has about 1,000 bots capable of tackling a variety of legal and service issues, ranging from fighting one’s landlord to appealing against unreasonable warranties, to getting a refund when a company doesn’t fulfill its promise.

The app lets users use a feature similar to instant messaging to get help.

When opened, the app presents a blue screen that asks what it can help the user with, and offers a search field in which the user can type a response.

It then triggers a series of options. The user selects the appropriate one, and a bot fills in PDFs or generates letters based on the information entered by the user.

DoNotPay also offers an extra help option. Clicking on it triggers a blank email addressed to DoNotPay support in the UK. Users supply their own details and are promised a response within 24 hours.

The app apparently can connect users to outside help, such as selected agencies, as well.

“Though DoNotPay focuses specifically on guiding consumers through commonplace but complex legal forms and issues, it’s easy to see how the company’s approach to using a bot-enabled infrastructure might be applicable in related circumstances,” observed Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.

“Pursuing small-time fraudsters and broken device contracts are areas where the complexity of the process subtracts substantially from the potential benefits,” he told CRM Buyer. “If [the app] can fix that, more power to them.”

How the App Works

The app does a reasonable job interpreting natural language requests on the whole.

For example, typing in the word “warranty” in the search field triggered a bot that would help file a demand for a refund for an item with impractical and unreasonable warranty guidelines, and the extra help request field.

Consumers whose needs aren’t met by the 1,000 bots still can get assistance directly from DoNotPay. For example, typing in “medical bill” or “bank overcharges” triggered the extra help field, which lets users email the app’s support staff with their problem.

“We’ve needed something like this for a while,” said
Laura DiDio, principal analyst at ITIC.

“A lot of people don’t have the time or energy or the type of personality where they’re going to keep [pursuing a solution].” she told CRM Buyer, “and this app will be very useful there.”

Some Tweaking Needed

The app automatically verifies a user’s location and provides the relevant information for that locality.

For example, typing in the words “parking dispute” from a San Francisco location triggered options to dispute a parking ticket in Los Angeles, San Francisco and two other California cities.

It also served up an option to appeal parking tickets in Washington, D.C.

In response to a “landlord dispute” search, DoNotPay served up options for fixing unrepaired property and retrieving an unreturned security deposit in California, along with parking dispute options for California.

Need for Consumer Protection

The current political climate could mean more consumers soon may be seeking DoNotPay’s help.

For example, the U.S. House of Representatives
has passed the Financial Choice Act, which
will reverse the Dodd-Frank banking reforms put into place after the global banking crisis of 2008.

“Some companies and bad actors are actively exploiting loopholes in regulations and laws meant to protect consumers,” King noted. “If DoNotPay can help close those off, the company deserves ample success.”

There’s “always a need for services where an organization can cut through red tape,” DiDio remarked. “I could see where [this app] could change the landscape quite a bit.”
end enn Free AI Chatbot Goes to Bat for Beleaguered Consumers

Richard%20Adhikari Free AI Chatbot Goes to Bat for Beleaguered ConsumersRichard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including Information Week and Computerworld. He is the author of two books on client/server technology.
Email Richard.

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CRM Buyer

My Favorite All-Time Talk is Free on YouTube

upload 2 My Favorite All Time Talk is Free on YouTube

This past week in Seattle, I presented at the Microsoft Data Insights Summit.  It was an intense week – I co-presented a full-day preconference session on Sunday, gave a talk on Monday, and then two more talks on Tuesday.  Then I taught a 2-day class over at Microsoft campus on Wednesday/Thursday, followed by a full day of biz meetings at Microsoft on Friday.  Phew!  Let’s just say that I’ve been catching up on sleep ever since.

One of those talks was a “live” version of myTen Things Data Can Do For You article that I shared in January.  That article proved to be quite popular (in terms of page views), AND it happened to be one of MY personal favorites, so the opportunity to convert it into a talk was too much to resist.

The folks at Microsoft were good enough to record the talk and put it on YouTube, so if you want to see/hear it, it’s all yours…

Let me know what you think!

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“We’ll Fight Till We’re Dead Or We’re Free”

According to reports on Twitter, Denis Johnson has died. 

He was forever annoyed that reporters overwhelmingly wanted to ask him aboutJesus’ Son, his brief, perfect 1992 volume of connected stories. It was a strange thing to be bothered by. Who wouldn’t want to repeatedly lay claim to such greatness?

Additionally, Johnson authored Angels, a bruising, heartbreaking 1983 novel about a single mom toting her at-risk family through the underbelly of America. It does not have the lightness of tone that JS has. Not at all. It leaves a bruise. The writer also turned out some fine journalism. The following re-post is about one such offering.

· · ·

ja09090 “We’ll Fight Till We’re Dead Or We’re Free”

There will always be some who retreat from the culture, go off by themselves or in pairs or groups. They’ll disappear into their own heads, create their own reality. For most it’s benign, but not for all. The deeper they retreat, the harder it will be to reemerge. There are those who don’t even want to live parallel to the larger society and come to believe they can end it. They sometimesexplode backinto their former world, committing acts of domestic terrorism.

Such groups were addressed by Johnson in the chilling reportage “The Militia in Me,” which appears in his 2001 non-fiction collection, SeekThe violence of Ruby Ridge and Waco and the horrific Oklahoma City bombing had shocked the nation into realizing the terror within, so Johnson traveled the U.S. and Canada to find out how and why militias had come to be. The writer, paranoid about both the government and the anti-government movement in 1990s America, couldn’t have predicted at the time the mainstreaming of conspiracists like Alex Jones and his ilk. He was fearful of attacks from the margins, unaware that the sideshow would soon take its place in the center ring.

Three brief excerpts from the article.


The people I talked with seemed to imply that the greatest threat to liberty came from a conspiracy, or several overlapping conspiracies, well known to everybody but me. As a framework for thought, this has its advantages. It’s quicker to call a thing a crime and ask Who did it? than to call it a failure and set about answering the question What happened?


I’m one among many, part of a disparate–sometimes better spelled “desperate”–people, self-centered, shortsighted, stubborn, sentimental, richer than anybody’s ever been, trying to get along in the most cataclysmic century in human history. Many of us are troubled that somewhere, somehow, the system meant to keep us free has experienced a failure. A few believe that someone has committed the crime of sabotaging everything.

Failures need correction. Crimes cry out for punishment. Some ask: How do we fix it? Others: Who do we kill?


They told me they made furniture out of antlers and drove around anywhere and everywhere, selling it. For the past month I’d been reading about the old days, missing them as if I had lived in them, and I said, “You sound like free Americans.”

“No,” the smaller man said and thereafter did all the talking, while the other, the blond driver changed my tire. “No American is free today.”

“Okay, I guess you’re right, but what do we do about that?”

“We fight till we are,” he said. “Till we’re free or we’re dead, one or the other.”

“Who’s going to do the fighting?”

“A whole lot of men. More than you’d imagine. We’ll fight till we’re dead or we’re free.”•

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Google removes restrictions from free version of Data Studio, its tool for creating customized reports

Google is making its data analytics and visualization tool Data Studio infinitely more appealing this week with the news that it’s removing the five-report limit from the free version of the software.

First unveiled as part its Google Analytics Suite 360 announcement in March 2016, Google Data Studio serves enterprises with a data analysis and visualization tool that integrates across a range of Google products and data sources to create attractive and interactive reports and dashboards. Users can combine data from Google Analytics, Google Sheets, AdWords, BigQuery, YouTube, and Attribution 360, drawing from the raw data to create user-friendly reports.

GoogleDataStudio Google removes restrictions from free version of Data Studio, its tool for creating customized reports

Above: Google Data Studio

Image Credit: Google

Two months after the initial product launch, Google unveiled a free version of Data Studio aimed at individuals and smaller companies. Though both versions of Data Studio were largely the same, the free version had a five-report limit per account imposed on it, as opposed to the 1,000-report restriction on the enterprise incarnation.

So does this mean that Data Studio is now entirely free for everyone, regardless whether they’re part of a small business or global enterprise? It appears not — there are still some additional benefits to paying for the premium Google Data Studio 360 product. For example, on the paid version there can be up to 200 “owners” who can edit and manage the reports, whereas the free version only permits single account ownership. Also, the enterprise edition offers full customer support.

“This change, combined with a very exciting roadmap for 2017, is designed to accelerate our goal to help you fully leverage all your data across your organization and to ultimately make better decisions,” said Nick Mihailovski, Google Data Studio product manager, in a blog post.

For those without the resources to pay for the full version, the five-report limit made it difficult to garner full value from the product, which is why Google now allows anyone to create as many reports as they like without paying. And, importantly for Google, the change encourages small businesses to remain within the Google app ecosystem and away from competitors, such as Microsoft’s Power BI.

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Big Data – VentureBeat