February 2

GOOG: 764.65

Stock Chart

Google’s self-driving cars have notched up almost 1.5 million miles in autonomous mode since the project began in 2009 – but they drive twice as many miles every single day in the lab. Google’s latest monthly report reveals that every software change is tested by using it to simulate driving the entire driving history of the fleet, autonomous and manual.

One benefit of teaching a computer to drive is that it has great memory and recall. With our simulator, we’re able to call upon the millions of miles we’ve already driven and drive those miles again with the updated software. For example, to make left turns at an intersection more comfortable for our passengers, we modified our software to adjust the angle at which our cars would travel. To test this change, we then rerun our entire driving history of 2+ million miles with the new turning pattern to ensure that it doesn’t just make our car better at left turns, but that the changes creates a better driving experience overall …

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February 1

GOOG: 752.00

Stock Chart

A few months ago, as soon as it was officially launched in the UK, I checked out the Moto X Play. Price and spec-wise it stood halfway between the Moto G and the Moto X Style/Pure. Although it undoubtedly had its positives, there were some elements of the experience that left me disappointed. It intermittently stuttered and lagged during transitions, and very often refused to load data within apps. It wasn’t all the time, but it was enough to leave a less-than-great feeling.

With Android Marshmallow, the experience is so vastly different, it’s pretty difficult to believe. In fact, it’s so much better, I felt the phone should be revisited…

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According to a report from The Guardian, Google is currently in the process of testing solar-powered drones at Spaceport America in New Mexico. The company is reportedly testing the possibility of using these solar-powered drones to deliver high-speed internet from the air. Google, of course, also has its Project Loon effort, which uses high-alitude balloons to beam down internet service to the areas below. It’s unclear, at this point, if the two efforts are related or will be used in different scenarios.

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