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.

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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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