Google X tried to conquer space elevators, hoverboards and teleportation

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Over the years Google has produced some unbelievable products and the search giant shows no signs of slowing down. This has led to some heavy rumors claiming that the company’s super secret innovation lab, Google X has been working on a space elevator. As far-fetched as it may sound, guess what? It’s true! Well, sort of. Not only did Google kick around the idea of building a space elevator, it’s X lab also entertained the thought of building a hoverboard and the reality of teleportation. Recently, a group of members from Google’s hush-hush R&D group opened up to the folks at Fast Company about some the team’s wildest ideas.

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Reminder: Registration for Google I/O 2014 lottery opens tomorrow

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Update: Registration for Google I/O 2014 is officially open!

Google I/O 2014 registration was originally slated to begin last week, but in a post on Google+, the company announced that it was pushing the registration window back a week in order to further perfect the registration process. Registration for Google I/O 2014 will officially open tomorrow, April 15th at 4:00 PM PDT and will run through April 18th at 2:00 PM PDT.

While in past years Google has run I/O registration on a first come, first serve basis, it will be adopting a new strategy this time around. This year, people interested in attending can sign up during the 4 day window and once the window closes, Google will randomly select who will get the opportunity to purchase an actual ticket. This is very similar to the process Apple used for WWDC signups this year, as well.

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Google reportedly considering boosting search rankings of websites with encryption

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Google is considering giving higher search rankings to websites that use security encryption, according to The Wall Street Journal. If true, this could force more websites to adopt a secure setup, possibly making it harder for cyber criminals to spy on web users. This new idea was recently mentioned at a conference by Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam team. Still under consideration, if Google decides to move forward with this process, a change reportedly won’t happen for quite a while. 

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Google buys Titan Aerospace, makers of solar-powered high altitude drones

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The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is purchasing Titan Aerospace, makers of high altitude, solar-powered drone aircrafts, and a company that the report notes Facebook was rumored to be in talks with earlier in the year. Google is said to be using the technology for a few of its still early in development projects but also possibly Maps and other consumer facing products:

Google said the Titan team will work closely with Google’s Project Loon, which is building large, high-altitude balloons that send Internet signals to areas of the world that are currently not online. Titan may also work with Makani, another early-stage Google project that is developing an airborne wind turbine that it hopes will generate energy more efficiently.

Titan says its drones will be able to collect real-time, high-resolution images of the earth, carry other atmospheric sensors and support voice and data services. That type of technology could also help other Google businesses, including its Maps division.

There were no financial details disclosed, but Google provided the following statement to the WSJ: Read more

Not content with biggest building space in New York City, Google plans additional expansion for 3000 more employees

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Not enough space?

Google owns the biggest building by square footage in New York City, the 111 Eighth Avenue building previously owned by the Port Authority and one of the most wired buildings in the world. Google finalized the $1.9B purchase at the end of 2010 and has continued to also occupy office space in the Chelsea Market building across the street.

The WSJ reports (paywall) Google now…

wants to expand further in the city, launching a search for enough space to hold more than 3,000 employees, according to several real-estate executives familiar with the hunt.

The Internet firm has been in discussions with several landlords about leasing at much as 600,000 square feet in Manhattan—about half the size of the Chrysler Building. A space that large would represent a roughly 80% expansion for the company, which first established a small outpost in New York in 2000.

What’s interesting about this expansion plan is that Google hasn’t even filled out its Chelsea offices, still leasing many offices out to other companies and data centers that signed leases before the 2010 purchase.

Samsung Chromebook 2 now available for preorder with limited time free case offer

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The new faux leather stitched Samsung Chromebook 2 is now available for preorder from Amazon and Samsung direct. The 11.6-inch model comes in two colors, jet black (ships 10-14 business days) and classic white (ships early May), and costs $319.99. The faster 13.3-inch model is only available in luminous titan grey (ships 14-21 business days) and costs $399.99. Head below to see a detailed comparison of the two models.

Samsung direct is doing its best to lure customers away from authorized resellers by offering a free case with the purchase of any Chromebook 2 through April 27th.
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