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Google Search’s new featured snippet panel saves you more clicks

Google is introducing an additional format for featured snippets in its search results today. For years, these snippets have appeared at the top of the search results page and featured both images and text that Google thinks are relevant to your query. They are all about Google saving you a click. Today, Google is going beyond this single answer for some queries and introducing a panel that also features relevant subtopics, saving you even more clicks.

Google’s canonical example for a query to trigger this new panel is ‘quartz vs. granite.’ This query brings up the usual snippet, plus subtopics like cost, benefits, weight and durability. Those topics are automatically chosen based on what Google’s algorithms understand about this topic.

You don’t need a [vs.] query to trigger this, though. If you look for something like ’emergency funds,’ you’ll also see a similar panel.

For now, I was only able to trigger these new panels on mobile, but Google says it is rolling this feature out over the coming days, so it may be a while before you spot one in the wild. I was also unsuccessful in triggering them with any other query I tried, but maybe you are luckier than me.

Google notes that today’s announcement is part of an ongoing effort to provide more comprehensive results to your questions. This February, for example, Google started showing multiple featured snippets when its systems think that a query has multiple interpretations.

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Uber joins Linux Foundation, cementing commitment to open-source tools

Uber announced today at the 2018 Uber Open Summit that it was joining the Linux Foundation as a Gold Member, making a firm commitment to using and contributing to open-source tools. Uber CTO Thuan Pham sees the Linux Foundation as a place for companies like his to nurture and develop open-source projects. “Open source technology is the backbone of many of Uber’s core services and as we continue to mature, these solutions will become ever more important,” he said in a blog post announcing the partnership. What’s surprising is not that they joined, but that it took so long. Uber has been long known for making use of open source in its core tools, working on over 320 open-source projects and repositories from 1,500 contributors involving over 70,000 commits, according to data provided by the company. “Uber has made significant investments in shared software development and community collaboration through open source over the years, including contributing the popular open-source project Jaeger, a distributed tracing system, to the Linux Foundation’s Cloud Native Computing Foundation in 2017,” an Uber spokesperson told TechCrunch. Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin was certainly happy to welcome Uber into the fold. “Their expertise will be instrumental for our projects as we continue to advance open solutions for cloud native technologies, deep learning, data visualization and other technologies that are critical to businesses today,” Zemlin said in a statement. The Linux Foundation is an umbrella group supporting myriad open-source projects and providing an organizational structure for companies like Uber to contribute and maintain open-source projects. It houses sub-organizations like the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Cloud Foundry Foundation, The Hyperledger Foundation and the Linux operating system, among others. These open-source projects provide a base on top of which contributing companies and the community of developers can add value if they wish and build a business. Others like Uber, which uses these technologies to fuel their backend systems, won’t sell additional services, but can capitalize on the openness to help fuel their own requirements in the future, while also acting as a contributor to give as well as take.

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