Ever since day one of Apple, Steve Wozniak was very much at odds with how Steve Jobs wanted to run the company. Wozniak was all about free and open source, Jobs was about design and marketing and making money. So a couple times a year, Woz makes some comment that completely goes against what Apple is all about now, so it’s not surprising when he recently commented that Apple would be smart to make varieties of iPhone with Android. The problem with that is that Android is becoming less and less open source every day, with only the most basic OS framework as part of the current version, and that’s all mostly from 1.0 or 2.0, everything else is slowly being rolled into the Google Play powered closed-source you-gotta-pay-to-put-it-on-your-phones chunk of code. The future is quickly turning into whose ecosystem you’re buying into and Google’s not giving that away for free.
You ever wanted to see what you look like having sex in real time? Me neither. But if you have Google Glass now or in the future, there’s apparently an app called Glance that lets you watch yourself doing the nasty. Because that’s what everyone wants. The app lets you watch yourself have sex during the act, from a variety of angles, while wearing Google Glass. You direct the app verbally to let you watch the deed from multiple angles by saying, “Okay Glass, it’s time” and when you’re done, just say “Okay Glass, pull out.”
Google is busy once again with the creepy Skynet-like acquisitions, this time buying London based artificial intelligence startup Deepmind. The startup’s placeholder site outlines its work on “general purpose learning algorithms,” with its first projects encompassing games, e-commerce and simulations.
If you thought that Google Glass would be all about pretentious hipsters live-blogging their brunches, not so. Firefighter Patrick Jackson has been working to develop Google Glass apps that would give firefighters a HUD to see floor plans, estimated number of people inside, external conditions and any other relevant data that could make their jobs easier and more awesome and save lives. And it’s not just firefighters— think how something like this could greatly benefit surgeons, police officers, nurses, and other professions where the speed at which you get your information can save lives.
Last night, Google announced its acquisition of smart, cool thermostat maker Nest for a whopping $3.2 billion. With Nest’s growing popularity and expanding product line, this puts Google in an amazing spot when the war for the smart digital home begins in earnest. That, or you can take the tack that since Google is in the data mining and selling business, this is one more step towards Skynet— that it’s bad enough that one day, your Motorola powered, Boston Dynamics built, Android brained robot overlords will be spying on you everywhere else, Google will also be peeking at you through your thermostat and smoke detector. But Nest insists its string commitment to privacy is intact, not that you would know if it wasn’t.
"1999… if you can hear me, this may not make sense now, but it will… you must travel to Palo Alto and stop Google. It was was them, it was Google…"
Every now and again, someone on the internet likes to make the Google = Skynet joke, because with all the information Google is hell-bent on acquiring, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes self-aware and creates an army of robots to destroy humanity. But ha ha Google doesn’t make advanced walking robots. THEY DO NOW. They do. Now.
For over 120 years, National Geographic has not only been documenting the world through gorgeous photography, but through stunning maps. Now, with a partnership with Google, you can explore 500 National Geographic maps spanning decades and decades of NG cartography.
Off the coast of San Francisco and Maine, two nearly identical barges have been built over the course of several weeks, each with gigantic rectangular buildings made from shipping containers, covered in black netting. While most people have speculated that this was Google’s doing, but the speculation centered around the idea of a floating data center. Instead, it appears these floating buildings will be invitation-only showrooms for Google X, Google’s research unit that has produced things like Google Glass and Google’s self-driving cars.
Last week, Cecilia Abadie made history when she was pulled over for speeding by a California highway patrolman and ended up getting the world’s first ticket for wearing Google Glass while driving. The ticket doesn’t single out Google Glass specifically, but California is one of several US states that do have laws prohibiting video display screens from being visible to a driver, excluding GPS navigation. Abadie says the Glass wasn’t on, and in court, it’s going to be impossible to prove whether it was on or off or if it was on, whether she was using Google Maps… but congratulations Cecilia, you’re a trailblazer.
Motorola hasn’t really set the world on fire since it was acquired by Google a few years ago. Yeah, the Moto X is a pretty damn good Android phone, but it’s not a game changer. But with Ara, they haven’t just launched a single smartphone, but an entire open hardware smartphone platform that very well could set the world on fire, by opening up smartphone development in the way that Android did and on the same grand scale.
Right now when you get a new smartphone, you have to choose between the best camera, best processor, screen size and resolution, battery life, etc etc. But with the Ara platform, you’ll be able to upgrade your smartphone bit by bit cheaply and easily just like you can with a PC. Swap out the camera, swap out the battery, swap out a screen, swap out the processor just as easy as popping together pieces of Lego.
Even though a very thorough repair manual for the Nexus 5 leaked last week, so we know every bit of technical information, until a few days ago, we hadn’t seen the phone itself or the price. Thanks to some butter-fingered person behind the Google Play store, images of the Nexus 5 have hit the web, including a small home screen look at Android KitKat and a price of $349.
You know how people like to talk about how tablets are slowly killing the desktop and laptop, and have definitely almost killed off the netbook? Fact is, tablets are cool and convenient, but when you need the speed and spark of a tablet with the broader functionality and workstation-ness of a laptop, I’ve really fallen in love with netbooks, especially Chromebooks. Right now, while I still have a Mac laptop as my main piece, most of the content on IHC for the past few weeks has been done on a Chromebook. It’s got a little more oomph than a tablet, less bullshit than a full laptop.
So, what I’m trying to say is that I’m kind of excited about Google announcing a new line of Chromebooks, some pretty black or white plastic HP built Chromebooks. So, what I’m trying to say, is if you think you need a tablet for its quickness and lightweight interface, but you want something that operates more by the rules of a desktop or laptop, consider a Chromebook. Not a paid endorsement or anything, just something to discuss.