Euro coins are seen in front of a Google logo in this picture illustration taken in Zenica, April 21, 2015. — Reuters pic
BRUSSELS, April 18 — Google today said users of its hugely popular Android devices would be offered a choice of five browsers and search engines as part of the company’s effort to meet EU competition concerns.The European Commission last July hit Google with its biggest-ever fine, imposing a €4.34 billion (RM20.8 billion) penalty, one of three major EU decisions against the company.Brussels accused Google of using the Android system’s dominance of smartphones and tablets to promote the use of its own Google search engine and Chrome browser and shut out rivals.Google has appealed the decision, arguing that the EU’s accusations were unfounded, but Thursday’s changes were part of the firm’s effort to avoid further fines.Users of Android devices in Europe who open the Google Play app store will now be shown screens with options to download different search apps and browsers, Paul Gennai, Google product management director, said in a blog.“These new screens will be displayed the first time a user opens Google Play after receiving an upcoming update,” the executive wrote.With the change, “two screens will surface: one for search apps and another for browsers, each containing a total of five apps, including any that are already installed,” he said.Apps not already installed on the device will be chosen based on their popularity and shown in a random order, Google said.Crucially, when a user downloads a search engine other than Google, he or she will be asked whether that option — such as Qwant or DuckDuckGo — should be become the default search app on the phone.Illegal promotion of Google’s hugely profitable search engine was the heart of the case against the Sillicon Valley giant.Android, which is used on around 80 per cent of mobile devices both in Europe and worldwide, was accused of shutting out rivals by forcing major phone makers to pre-install the Google search engine and Chrome browser.They were also made to set Google Search as the default, as a condition of licensing other Google apps, the EU said. — AFP [...]
Glamping can be more than just tents. It can be in pods, cabins, yurts, motorhomes, igloos, and even an old aircraft. Here are some places where you can try glamping in the world.
Balgownie Estate Bendigo in Victoria, Australia
If the thought of living in a vineyard appeals to you, Balgownie Estate Bendigo offers both bell tents and safari tents in the Bendigo wine region of Victoria, Australia.
The tents feature queen-sized beds, air conditioning and plush furnishings. Some tents even come with an eco-friendly hot tub!
Guests can dine at Balgownie Estate’s restaurant and sip wine from their private deck. The place is just a two-hour drive from Melbourne.
RiverBeds Luxury Wee Lodges with Hot Tubs in Glencoe, Scotland
Said to be “set in a woodland glade” in the Scottish village of Glencoe, these rustic pods come with a verandah that faces a “bubbling brook”, as described in their website.
They are plush and comfortable on the inside with amenities such as central heating, WiFi, television, and mini pantry. Some of the pods also come with a hot tub outside.
The place is close to the Dragon’s Tooth estate, where you can enjoy activities such as Segway Tours, archery, cycling, and golfing. There is also a view of Loch Linnhe in the distance.
Quirky Nights Glamping Village in Collooney, Ireland
This one is still under construction, but worth a mention for its “quirkiness”. In fact, visitors have already been flocking to the site to check it out.
Your accommodation options include a decommissioned aircraft, more specifically a Boeing 767, a train, a tank, a helicopter, a double decker bus and a Black Cab.
Said to comprise all these and also a marina, the glamping village is located in Collooney, Ireland. There is also going to be an “Airport Terminal Building” which houses a cafe, bar, and meeting rooms. We sure hope they will be operational soon!
Florence Springs in Tenby, Wales
Florence Springs Yurt Camping Village offers not just nomadic luxury in these yurts, but also hobbit homes, and treehouses. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Six-metre yurts let you enjoy that nomadic experience with posh furnishings at Florence Springs. Located in the harbour town of Tenby in Wales, these cosy yurts even have an eco wood burner hot tub.
Interiors are furnished with a double bed and single futons, as well as rugs, cushions, and sheep skins. There is a fully equipped, covered camp kitchen outside each yurt, as well as a campfire and picnic bench. You even have your own private garden.
Besides hanging out at your yurt, you can go on a coastal walk or spend time at the beach nearby. If you want more, there are also hobbit homes and treehouses at the site.
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Finland
Glass igloos at Kakslauttanen, Finland. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Tarja Mitrovic
If you’d like to make like an Eskimo and live in an igloo, you can do so at Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort. Even if it’s –40°C outside, the ice cool snow igloo keeps the cold and noise out; It is –3°C to –6°C inside. If that still sounds cold to you, don’t worry, you’ll be provided with down sleeping bags.
Alternatively, if you’d prefer something warmer but still want the experience of staying in an “igloo”, there are also glass igloos available. These come with a toilet and beds.
What’s interesting about this place is that if you come during the right season, you can go Aurora (Northern Lights) hunting. Other activities include husky safaris, reindeer safaris, snowmobile rides, skiing, and snowboarding.
Website: kakslauttanen.fi/ [...]