Google confirms it’s rolling out new reviews format for hotels

Google has confirmed with Search Engine Land that it is now rolling out a new user interface and feature set around local reviews for hotels. Earlier this month, we saw Google begin testing new hotel reviews features, and now Google has begun to roll them out. Sergey Alakov was the first to notice these beginning to roll out.

A Google spokesperson confirmed this with us just now and said in a statement:

Google is continually improving the information shown to people to help them make decisions about where to go. When people are searching for a hotel to stay at, we want to ensure we make it easy for people to find useful and relevant web reviews about that place to help them make informed decisions.

The new hotel reviews interface added some core features. Here are a few:

  • Third-party reviews show in a carousel for some of the listings.
  • The review overview section has a more robust interface showing stronger colors and reviews also by attribute.
  • The detailed review section will show a graphical user interface based on type of travel.

Here are some screen shots we are able to see now of the new interface:


Photographs of Manchester bomb parts published after leak

The pictures indicate it was carried in a blue rucksack made by the Karrimor outdoor company.

Extraordinary details about the bomb used in the Manchester atrocity have been published in the New York Times, almost all of it forensic evidence gathered by the British police at the scene.

A series of photographs of the remains of the bomb, the detonator and what appeared to be a rucksack were leaked. The preliminary investigation by the police is extremely detailed, down to the belief that the killer, Salman Abedi, held the small detonator in his left hand.

Suspicion on who leaked it to the US-based reporter rested on US officials, who have been feeding a series of details about the Manchester bombing to American journalists.

Leaking such inside information from the investigation will add to tensions between the US and UK over the extent to which much of the investigation is being leaked by authorities in America.

The latest revelations came hours after the home secretary, Amber Rudd, expressed irritation with the US and expressed hope that the leaks would stop.

An image of what is believed to be the detonator, released by the New York Times.

“The British police have been very clear that they want to control the flow of information in order to protect operational integrity, the element of surprise. So it is irritating if it gets released from other sources and I have been very clear with our friends that should not happen again,” the home secretary said.

Although her language was mild, it is rare for a UK politician to issue such a rebuke to the Americans.

Rudd called the US secretary of homeland security, John Kelly, on Tuesday to ask for the leaks to stop. UK officials were stunned and angry on Wednesday when the crime scene photographs appeared in the New York Times.

The photographs suggest the bomb was relatively sophisticated, requiring a degree of expertise. It contained a powerful explosive in a lightweight metal container. The pictures indicate it was carried in a blue rucksack made by the Karrimor outdoor company.

Such was the power of the blast that nuts and screws packed round the bomb penetrated doors and walls. Abedi stood in the middle of a crowd. The upper part of his body was thrown towards the entrance to the arena.

It was not a crudely made bomb, as among the evidence recovered was a Yuasa 12-volt, 2.1 amp lead-acid battery, which is more expensive than normal over-the-counter ones. The detonator appeared to have a small circuit board soldered inside one end.

There seemed to have been several options for detonating it, such as a simple manual switch or possibly remotely by a radio signal.

The latest disclosures come on top of a series of leaks from US officials about the British investigation, including the naming of the killer.

The leak of the British information, as well as demonstrating a lack of respect for a US ally at an emotional time, will have hindered the investigation, where it is deemed essential to control the release of details.

UK counter-terrorism specialists said they needed to keep secret the name of any perpetrator or suspect for at least 36 hours to ensure there was an element of surprise in approaching relatives, friends and others.

The home secretary reflected the frustration and dismay of the UK security services in a series of interviews on Wednesday morning.

Adding to the sense of anger in the UK were further leaks from an NBC reporter who quoted US intelligence officials providing other details about the killer.

Tributes to the victims in St Ann’s Square in Manchester. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

The reporter Richard Engel of NBC tweeted details not released by the UK. Engel said US intelligence officers told him family members of the the killer, Salman Abedi, had warned UK security officials about him and had described him as dangerous.

The intelligence community has long been uncomfortable about revelations from its recent past made in books and articles, but the release of details of a live investigation on the scale of those by the US and France is a relatively new phenomenon.

It comes on top of Donald Trump’s release of intelligence to Russia that had been passed on by Israel, which had obtained it from an Arab country.

American officials in Washington briefed US journalists early on Tuesday about the number of dead, confirming that it was a suicide bombing and – hours later – the name of the killer. The UK had not been planning to release the name on Tuesday.

The UK’s reluctance to identify the assailant was evident because it took hours after his name was circulating in the US media before Greater Manchester police confirmed it.

One of the basic tenets of intelligence sharing is that other agencies do not disclose it. The problem is that those intelligence agencies, whether American or French, pass it up to their presidents, prime ministers and departmental ministers. In the past, that secrecy was respected.

After the leaks, it could be tempting for UK police and intelligence services to stop sharing sensitive information, although Britain relies heavily on the US sharing its intelligence and benefits from intelligence, especially on counter-terrorism, from European colleagues such as France and Germany.

Adding to the impression of western security services as uncoordinated and amateurish, the French interior minister, Gérard Collomb, then told French television on Wednesday that Abedi had been in Libya and possibly Syria, information UK police had not disclosed.

Soldiers and armed police patrol near the Houses of Parliament. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

The top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, Adam Schiff, said he did not know the source but insisted it was not from Congress, as members and their staffs had not been briefed.

Schiff, who is a driving force behind the congressional investigation into the Trump campaign’s links with Russia, said: “We should have been very careful and respectful of the British investigation and the timing which the British felt was in their investigative interests in releasing that. That should have been their discretion not ours. If that is something we did, I think that’s a real problem.”


Black to white: How money becomes legitimate

Black to white: How money becomes legitimate

Moneycontrol News

Renukamata Credit Society, located in one of the oldest areas of Kalbadevi in Mumbai, has seen more than Rs 2,000-crore worth inflow and outflow of cash.

The small group accepts cash deposits of any amount and transfers it to anyone in any city on the depositor’s instructions. They follow a strict ‘no-question policy’ – which means no questions are raised on the funds, depositor or where the funds go.

According to a report in the Economic Times, there are no clues about the identity of the depositors. The IT wing has passed on the details to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for further investigation. However, tailing it might prove to be a tough task.

The task of keeping these transactions ‘layered’ lies with intermediaries or handlers on the lookout for people, mostly small labourers or workers, who willingly share their personal details for a meagre Rs 2500-3000.

Some deposit slips have initials and first name of people who deposited the cash. But while there is an upper limit of Rs 9 lakh for deposits, there is no limit on number of transactions by an account holder. So multiple transactions worth Rs 9 lakh are common.

There are also no defaults here – the depositors fill e-KYC (know your customer) and admit to depositing the money.

This is not the only branch of Ahmednagar-headquartered Renukamata Society. The Society has various branches across Maharashtra and also in Chennai and Hyderabad.

Chairman, Prashant Bhalero told ET the credit society is registered under the Multi-State Societies Act, 2002.

He said people who want to avail their services have to first become the Society’s member by submitting photo ID, residential proof, thumb imprint and photograph. They also have to pay entry fee and share subscription amount.

Considering these multi-state co-operatives societies are safe haven for money launderers, there have been suggestions to bring them under the newly-introduced statement of financial transactions that record high-value transactions.


New Volkswagen Tiguan Launch: Highlights

New Volkswagen Tiguan Launch: Highlights

Volkswagen Tiguan SUV has been launched in India at Rs. 27.98 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The new VW Tiguan premiered in 2015 at the Frankfurt Motor Show before making an appearance at the 2016 Auto Expo in Delhi last year. The SUV went into production at the company’s facility in Aurangabad, Maharashtra in March 2017. Offered in two variants, the SUV comes loaded with features such as electrically adjustable driver seat with memory function, LED tail lamps, reverse camera, illuminated scuff plates, etc.. As far as its rivals go – the Tiguan SUV faces competition from established names such as the Ford Endeavour, Toyota Fortuner, and the upcoming Skoda Kodiaq in India.

Built on the company’s MQB platform, the Tiguan comes powered by a 2-litre TDI turbocharged diesel engine. Paired to a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission, the motor develops 147 bhp and 330 Nm of peak torque.

Volkswagen Tiguan has been launched in India at Rs. 27.98 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The SUV, available with only a diesel engine, will be offered in two trim levels.

Volskwagen Tiguan Vs Competition: Size Vs Price
Volskwagen Tiguan Vs Competition: Dimensions Comparison
Volkswagen Tiguan: Price
Volkswagen Tiguan has been launched at Rs. 27.68 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai)

Volkswagen Tiguan SUV: Feature Highlights
Volkswagen Tiguan: Engine And Drivetrain
Volkswagen Tiguan SUV: Safety Features
Now that the launch is underway, we finally have more information about the Tiguan SUV.

May 24, 2017

12:07 PM

Volkswagen Tiguan: History
a. First generation Tiguan SUV was launched in 2007

b. It used the PQ35 platform which was shared with the Golf

c. It was a five door, five-seater configuration with various engine and transmission options

d. The Tiguan SUV received fron wheel drive (FWD) or all wheel drive (AWD)

e. VW Tiguan was originally manufactured in Wolfsburg

f. Subsequently, it was also manufactured in China and Russia

g. Volkswagen has sold 3.5 million Tiguans worldwide

May 24, 2017

12:03 PM

Volkswagen Tiguan: Dimensions
Length: 4,486 mm

Width: 1,839 mm

Height: 1,672 mm

Wheelbase: 2,677 mm

Ground Clearance: 149 mm

Kerb Weight (with 90% fuel): 1,720 Kg

Fuel Tank Capacity: 71-litres

Boot Capacity: 615-litres with all seats up, 1,655-litres with rear seat folded

Active hood

Easy open boot with one touch close

Driving mode selector

Hill descent control

Panaromic sunroof with LED surround lighting

Volkswagen Tiguan Features: Pictures
4MOTION technology

Its cabin receives additional features such as keyless entry with push button start/stop function, panoramic sunroof, illuminated scuff plates, Dark Grid inserts for dashboard and front door panels, ambient lighting, eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and reverse parking camera.
Volkswagen Tiguan Highline: Features
In addition to the Comfortline’s provisions, Highline gets 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome inserts for the front bumper, and silver roof rails.
Other provisions include hill descent control, front and rear disc brakes, automatic headlamps, tyre pressure monitor, six airbags, ABS with EBD, and park distance control.
Volkswagen Tiguan Comfortline: Interior Features
Inside, it receives three-zone climate control, five-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, electrically adjustable front seats with memory function for the driver, footwell lamp, and an electrically operated tailgate with adjustable opening angle.
It also gets 17-inch diamond cut alloy wheels, rain-sensing wipers, electrically operable outside rear-view mirrors, and black roof rails.
Volkswagen Tiguan: Features
Comfortline, the base trim, is fairly well-equipped. It gets a chrome-accented grille, LED headlamps with daytime running lights, LED foglamps, and LED taillamps.
Volkswagen Tiguan: Specs
Engine: 2-litre TDI

Power: 141 bhp

Torque: 340 Nm

Transmission: Seven-speed DSG

VW Tiguan: Equipment

New Volkswagen Tiguan: Rear Row

VW Tiguan SUV: Boot

Volkswagen Tiguan SUV: Profile

Volkswagen Tiguan: Images
VW Tiguan Front Quarter

And from what we know so far, All-wheel-drive (AWD) will be standard across all variants.
The four-cylinder turbocharged engine will be paired to a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission.
The SUV will be powered by a 2-litre TDI diesel engine developing 147 bhp and a peak torque of 330 Nm.
The platform allows the new Volkswagen Tiguan to shed 50 kg.
Volkswagen Tiguan is built on the highly adaptable MQB platform.
In the meanwhile, read our 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan review here.

While more details about the VW Tiguan are awaited, we can tell you that it will be offered across two trim levels: Comfortline and Highline.
The Tiguan went into production at Volkswagen India’s facility in Aurangabad, Maharashtra in March 2017 as the company braced for the SUV’s launch here.
The SUV made its Indian debut next year at the 2016 Auto Expo.
The new Tiguan first premiered in 2015 at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
The Volkswagen Tiguan SUV, currently in its second generation globally, will be launched in India later today.