A first look at Google’s planned new London HQ

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AHMM, Google’s London architects, have submitted plans for Google’s proposed new $1.6b London HQ, to be built alongside St Pancras International station which serves as the Eurostar terminus for high-speed rail services to Paris, Brussels and Lille. Google bought the 2.4-acre plot back in January.

The artist impressions of the building look surprisingly conservative given the client and a city that has approved some pretty funky buildings, among them the Gherkin and the Shard, though AHMM’s description of the vision for the building does make it sound more interesting than it appears.

Google’s new workplace sits upon a retail plinth punctuated by three generous light filled volumes. These entrance halls serve up and into a looped three dimensional promenade that wraps its way along, around, through and up the building’s six to ten office floors, connecting cycling ramps, cores, workplaces, major shared amenities and a large roof garden in an easy and enjoyable journey that encourages encounter.

More photos below …  Read more

Google developing gaming console, wristwatch, TV products as it eyes hardware competition from Apple

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The Wall Street Journal has issued a large report today that details several new hardware products that Google has in the pipeline. According to the report, Google’s latest hardware efforts are being developed in order to match rumored upcoming hardware offerings from Apple (like new entries into the TV and wearable computing spaces). Some future Google hardware, according to the report, includes:

Also in the cards is a next-generation of the Android OS that is designed to appeal to low-cost devices for emerging markets. As for Apple, the Cupertino-based company is shipping a redesigned iOS 7 this fall and is also rumored to be working on a lower-cost iPhone. The WSJ report also notes that this new version of Android could appear in new devices like notebook computers and home appliances such as refrigerators. Google is said to also be working on various other hardware, though this will be separate from the Google-owned Motorola Mobility.

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‘Google has a very active R&D programme with regard to electric vehicle technology’

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From Electrek,net:

Interesting bit from a BBC Interview of Lord Drayson of Drayson Racing who had just set a record of over 200MPH in his lightweight electric car. In discussing a conversation with Google Chairman Eric Schmidt ahead of the record breaking run, Drayson said:

“Google has a very active R&D programme with regard to electric vehicle technology so it’s great that one of the world’s leading technology companies came to our event today,” Lord Drayson added.

Will Google be giving Tesla a run for its money or is the former Parliament member confusing self driving car and mapping technology with that of electric vehicles? It would seem silly at this point to count Google out of any industry but we’re thinking there probably won’t be too many Electric Vehicles coming of of the X Labs.  Except maybe this one:

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The ins and outs of Google, infographics on Google buying and then killing

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It’s no secret that Google has a tendency to buy a lot of companies and it is now getting a reputation for shutting a lot of products down. In fact, we’re just a few days away from its biggest closure to date in Google Reader. iGoogle, the customizable Google homepage, is also set to shut down this November. Earlier this year, the company closed up Google Talk and replaced it with Hangouts. Google has always said, however, that it “celebrates its failures,” and there have sure been a lot of them. Marketing company WordStream has put together an infographic breaking down all the services Google has closed up, including the dates they were shut down…then be sure to check the new companies Google has been buying up below… Read more

3 million HD videos at the same time – the capacity of a new Google-backed fiber link in Asia

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Google is one of the consortium members behind a new 28Tbps undersea fiber link connecting China, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore and Brunei with Japan – where it connects to the existing transpacific fiber to the U.S. The total length of the link is 5,530 miles.

The six fiber pairs have a combined capacity equivalent to simultaneously streaming three million HD videos. That’s quite a lot of bandwidth.

While most of the investors are local telecoms companies - China Telecom, China Mobile, Hong Kong’s Donghwa Telecom, Globe in the Philippines, SingTel, and TOT in Thailand – Google has its own reasons for wanting the link …  Read more

Here’s a really cool Google Maps development that Google made sound dull

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On the same day that Google updated all its mapping products, it also demonstrated the gentle art of making a really cool piece of new technology appear deathly dull.

Today we’re announcing a new way for developers to visualize and interact with data hosted in Maps Engine: DynamicMapsEngineLayer. This class performs client-side rendering of vector data, allowing the developer to dynamically restyle the vector layer in response to user interactions like hover and click.

Sure, the blog entry is aimed at software developers, so can be forgiven its language, but the example they use to promote the feature seems more suited to a dusty geography textbook than an illustration of something that could really transform the way we use Google Maps. What it actually means is that you can mouse-over a map to really quickly and easily explore anything from tourist info to property ownership. Read on for more …

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Google overtakes Apple as world’s most valuable tech company – by ‘underlying value’ measure

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While Apple remains the most valuable tech company in the world, it retains that status thanks to its large pile of cash – $145b worth. Discount that, notes the Wall Street Journal, and its underlying value – its market cap minus the cash – is $223b, leaving it now behind Google with $241b on the same measure …  Read more

Google flagging 10,000 phishing and malware sites per day

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Google’s latest Transparency Report reveals that the company is flagging 10,000 websites a day as unsafe due to phishing and malware, with around a billion people protected.

So in 2006 we started a Safe Browsing programto find and flag suspect websites. This means that when you are surfing the web, we can now warn you when a site is unsafe. We’re currently flagging up to 10,000 sites a day—and because we share this technology with other browsers there are about 1 billion users we can help keep safe …  Read more

Facebook phone experiment over as AT&T clears stock and nobody else steps forward

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The final nail in the coffin of the Facebook phone seems to have been hammered into place as AT&T has sold the last of it’s HTC First handsets and has no plans to purchase any more, reports CNET.

AT&T had earlier denied that any plans had been made to discontinue the handset, but there had seemed little doubt about the handset’s future after the carrier dropped the price from $99 to 99 cents. Even Facebook itself went as far as telling users that the  front-end could be switched off … Read more

Google retires old Groups interface, makes new version available to everyone

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In a post on the official Gmail blog, Google has announced that the new Google Groups interface is now available to everyone and it is retiring the old look effective today. The new design is totally different than before and with the new look comes a host of new features. For example, you can now create an inbox that lets you share and track responsibilities with other team members.

One of the recently improved features is the ability to create an inbox that allows you to collaboratively share, distribute and track responsibilities with others. Imagine you and a few friends are organizing an event for your school and want a single email address to coordinate with vendors, parents, and volunteers. Members of the group can work together to manage email, assign items to each other, and mark items resolved. This can be a great feature for teams seeking a really simple way to get things done without sharing passwords or losing track.

The experience for moderating a Google Group has also gotten much better and faster. Moderators can now browse and manage their group on the go via the new mobile site design. They can also now use canned responses to make the moderating process even quicker.  Read more

Follow Google Street View inside the world’s tallest skyscraper

Google Street View is famous for the mapping cars, but the company also uses Trekker backpacks (seen on video here) and panoramic cameras to reach less-accessible areas of the world and to take us inside buildings. The latest building to see some Google Trekker love is the world’s tallest skyscraper, the 2,722-foot tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai … Read more