Google’s Garage: How putting wheels on office furniture and hanging power outlets from ceiling helps collaboration

Google HR Press release from Fast Company.

I’m not sold. Why aren’t these things floating in space? Why does there even need to be wires? Come on Google, try harder.

Google’s BufferBox self-serve pickup service comes to San Francisco

bufferbox

After first acquiring the Waterloo, Ontario self-serve package pickup startup Buffer Box last year, Google today announced plans to expand the service. The company has been making its self-serve pick up boxes (pictured above) available for deliveries in the Toronto area close to its home, but today Google announced the BufferBox service is coming to San Francisco for online purchases:

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Review: HTC One on Verizon – the best hardware on the best network and why I’d pass

Verizon began carrying the HTC One in August a full 4 months after it was released in the US and over month after the Google Play Edition graced our reviewers’ hands. 

We’ve already reviewed the HTC One in its many forms and came away singing its praises. There’s no doubt it is a great phone, made much greater when you strip away HTC Sense overlay. Its 4.7-inch 1080P display is glorious. The feel of its rounded aluminum case feels great in the hand and it performs amicably.  Even the camera, which we loved in the Google Play edition version is the best we’ve seen.

Nothing has really changed here on the Verizon version. Same great build quality, great screen and great camera. Same awful Sense overlay.

Add the universally-loved Verizon’s LTE 4G network and you’d think you’d have one of the best smartphones on the market. Not so fast.

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Google celebrates 15th birthday with new doodle and 1998 homepage

1998

As Google turns 15, it is celebrating with an animated doodle and an Easter Egg that takes us back to its birth in 1998. Simply google google in 1998 to see the page as it looked then.

The 1998 page is fully-functional, but the time travel doesn’t last long: any search conducted on the page is carried out using today’s index and with the results returned in today’s design …  Read more

FAA committee recommends allowing use of some electronics during takeoff

airplane

A committee created by the Federal Aviation Administration recommended earlier today that airline passengers be allowed to use specific types of consumer electronics during takeoff and landing. Under the panel’s advice, usage of devices like cell phones, tablets, and ebook readers would be allowed as long as those devices are switched to airplane mode, which disables internet and cellular connections to prevent calls and data transfers.

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Google Search gets Now-like card mobile results, new iOS app w/ cross platform notifications & filter/comparison tools

Today Google is celebrating its 15 birthday and to help celebrate it’s making the search experience on mobile devices even better with a redesign and new features. Google ran down a few of the new features that it showed off today at a small event on its Inside Search blog today. New improvements to search on mobile devices include cross platform notifications for search and Google Now, new search tools for filtering and comparisons, and a refreshed design that puts search results on Google Now-like cards.

On top of a refreshed look for Google Search and ads on smartphones and tablets pictured above, the first new improvement you’ll notice in Google search on mobile devices is new filter and comparison tools that can also be initiated with voice:

You can pull up your phone and say to Google: “Tell me about Impressionist artists.” You’ll see who the artists are, and you can dive in to learn more about each of them and explore their most famous works. If you want to switch to Abstract artists, you can do that really easily with our new filter tool… Or let’s say you want to compare two things: How much saturated fat is in butter versus olive oil? Now you can simply tell Google: “Compare butter with olive oil.” Our new comparison tool gives you new insights by letting you compose your own answer.

Google also announced that it will be rolling out a new Google Search app for iPhone and iPad in the coming weeks that will enable notifications for reminders & more across platforms: Read more

Nexus 5 to “match or beat” iPhone 5s graphics performance – preliminary benchmarks

nexus5

The Nexus 5 appears set to match or beat the iPhone 5s in graphics performance, according to benchmark data posted on the the GFXBench website, achieving 23.1 frames per second in a key test.

The GFXBench T-Rex tests are one of the most demanding tests of the graphics performance of a phone, and provide a particularly good guide to how well a handset is likely to fare when paying graphics-intensive games. The just-released iPhone currently tops the T-Rex scores, but one of the four tests appears to show that the Adreno 330 expected to be used in the Nexus 5 will at least equal that performance …  Read more

Of course Samsung is making a Gold Galaxy S4

Gold-Galaxy-S4

With Apple’s new gold iPhone 5s getting a lot of attention since its launch earlier this month, it’s not that surprising that Samsung is moving to introduce gold models of its flagship smartphone. It previously announced its Galaxy Golden, $700 dual-screen flip-phone for the Korean market, and today it is teasing two gold variants of its flagship Galaxy S4 on SamsungMobileArabia Twitter account and Samsung Gulf Facebook page. The two new colors (pictured above), include Gold Brown and Gold Pink, although Samsung isn’t actually showing off much of the device’s gold plated backside. No word on pricing or availability, but we’re assuming these won’t be making it to the US market.  Read more

Google apologizes for Gmail delivery issues, explains what happened

Gmail_Icon

Google has apologized for Gmail delivery delays experienced by some users yesterday. Google says that whilst most messages were not affected, 29% of messages were delayed by a couple of seconds, with only 1.5% of messages being critically delayed, by as much as two hours. The issue lasted for about 8 hours, starting at around 5:30 am PST.

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Google launches new “Constitute” online tool for searching the world’s constitutions

ConstituteGoogle today announced that its Ideas think tank is teaming up with the Comparative Constitutions Project to build a new online tool called “Constitute” that aims to digitize all the world’s constitutions and make them searchable to everyone online.

Constitute enables people to browse and search constitutions via curated and tagged topics, as well as by country and year. The Comparative Constitutions Project cataloged and tagged nearly 350 themes, so people can easily find and compare specific constitutional material. This ranges from the fairly general, such as “Citizenship” and “Foreign Policy,” to the very specific, such as “Suffrage and turnouts” and “Judicial Autonomy and Power.”

Google Ideas Product Manager Sara Sinclair Brody says the company hopes the new tool will help citizens learn more about their own constitutions, but also “arm drafters with a better tool for constitution design and writing.”  Read more

Apple’s new iPhones score below Moto X in durability tests, but beat out Galaxy S4

We’ve enjoyed seeing the new iPhones get smashed to pieces in the inevitable drop tests that followed the launch of Apple’s two new smartphones this month, but what we really want to know is how it holds up against some of its Android competition. SquareTrade has just completed a durability test (via AllThingsD), and found that not only are the new iPhones not performing as well as last year’s models, the new 5s and plastic-backed 5c were both beat by Motorola’s new flagship Moto X:

“We were expecting that at least one of the new iPhone models would up its game but surprisingly, it was the Moto X that proved most forgiving of accidents,” SquareTrade marketing chief Ty Shay said in a statement. “This is the first time we’ve tested the breakability on a Motorola phone, the only phone we’ve ever tested that’s made in the USA. We were pleased to find that it withstood our drop, slide and dunk test with only the slightest dent. It looks like Google is giving Apple and Samsung a run for their money.”

The new iPhones did, however, beat out Samsung’s Galaxy S4, which was also included in the durability test. Read more

New leaked shots show redesigned Android 4.4 KitKat phone & messaging apps?

Update: Two more shots after the break.

The images above might be our first look at redesigned stock apps in Google’s upcoming Android 4.4 “KitKat” update. We’ve been reporting on a lot of Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 leaks since we first discovered an unannounced Nexus device in Google’s promotional video for the upcoming OS update. While images of the Nexus 5 have leaked several times– we posted exclusive photos and video of the device earlier this week— we have yet to get a good look at Android 4.4 KitKat. Today another reader reached out with the photos above claiming to show redesigns of the phone dialer and messaging apps on KitKat.

The images show new lighter color, grey icons on the status bar, which lines up with our leaked video of the Nexus 5 and a screenshot for a Google Keyboard update spotted by AndroidPolice yesterday.

The images also appear to show a colored status bar that changes depending on the color scheme of the app.

We can’t see any new functionality, but the shots do show extremely streamlined redesigns for the phone app and messaging app on Android 4.4. Controls in the messaging app get bumped up to the top right hand corner, and the phone dialer gets a much cleaner, and flatter look with a new light blue color scheme. Read more