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.
Google is hard at work at the newest Nexus phone, partnering with LG to build the device, but it appears that a leaked service manual has already revealed practically everything you would possibly want to know about the LG Nexus except for the price. That’s a big fucking leak.
Android Police has reported on a document that presents itself as a draft internal Service Manual for the LG-D821 — revealing a 4.95 inch Nexus device with a 1080p display that runs on a Snapdragon 800 processor and a 2300mAh battery. Memory-wise it comes with 2GB RAM and 32GB internal storage, while for photos it has an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 1.3 megapixel front camera.
Yesterday evening in New York City, Google’s Glass team threw a party. It brought together “Explorers” and “Influencers”—the lucky few people who got to try out the computerized glasses Google is developing. Over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, the diverse crowd gushed about the joys and dissected the drawbacks of the device, which they’ve been wearing for the last few months.
Today Google went all crazy on some product and software updates. In addition to the Chromecast, Google also announced a brand new Nexus 7 that is thinner and sports an HD screen. And they announced Android 4.3, which is already available for all Nexus devices.