Google’s new Street View image algorithm can crack most CAPTCHAs

CAPTCHAs

Although most human eyes struggle to see them clearly, Google has developed a software that can crack most CAPTCHAs. In a paper published earlier this week, Google researchers from its Street View and CAPTCHA teams discuss a new algorithm capable of solving the company’s jumbled text security puzzles with an accuracy rate of 99.8 percent.

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Google says that it has no current plans for Fiber in New York City

google-fiber-brick

Earlier this week, a job listing emerged regarding Google Fiber in New York City. This led many people to speculate that Google was working to launch its fiber network in the Big Apple. Fiber rollouts have been sparse so far, with the service only hitting a few markets, including Austin and Kansas City, so the idea of it launching in a city as massive as New York was certainly surprising. Although the company did recently announce a larger-scale rollout to nine new metro areas.

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Google announces Q1 earnings: $15.42B revenue, $6.27 EPS, $3.45B net income

Google has shared its first quarter earnings result announcing consolidated revenue of $15.42 billion, up 19% since Q1 2013, earnings per share of $6.27, and net income of $3.45 billion. For comparison, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters predicted $15.58 billion in revenue at $6.33 a share.

“We completed another great quarter. Google’s revenue was $15.4 billion, up 19% year on year”, said Larry Page, CEO of Google.  “We got lots of product improvements done, especially on mobile. I’m also excited with progress on our emerging businesses.”

Today’s earnings report marks the first quarter since Google offloaded Motorola to Lenovo in a surprising exchange announced a day ahead of Google’s previous quarterly earnings report. That transaction is referenced below as “Net loss from discontinued operations.”

Google is scheduled to host its live earnings call with investors and analysts to discuss today’s report at 1:30 PM (PST) / 4:30 PM (EST).

Google’s full press release follows: Read more

Google’s Chrome Remote Desktop Android app now available to all

Chrome-Remote-Android

After arriving in beta earlier this month, Google today released the Chrome Remote Desktop app for Android to all users through the Play Store. Google has long had its Chrome Remote Desktop app for desktop users to access a laptop or computer remotely for free, and the new Android app brings that same experience to mobile devices starting with Android.

If you haven’t used Chrome Remote Desktop in the past, you can get started by enabling your Windows or Mac machine for remote access through the Chrome Web Store app. Next, simply launch the Android app on your phone or tablet, tap on the computer’s name and start using your remote machine as if you were sitting right in front of it.

The Chrome Remote Desktop app is available for all to download from Google Play starting today and Google notes that an iOS version of the app is on the way sometime in 2014.  Read more

Google’s new Android Camera app arrives on Google Play Store

Google-Camera-app-01

Following a report at the beginning of this month that Google was about to release a new, standalone Android camera app, today the app has officially made an appearance on the Google Play Store. Google announced the camera app today and in a separate blog post explained the technology behind the new lens blur features:

That all changes with Lens Blur, a new mode in the Google Camera app. It lets you take a photo with a shallow depth of field using just your Android phone or tablet. Unlike a regular photo, Lens Blur lets you change the point or level of focus after the photo is taken. You can choose to make any object come into focus simply by tapping on it in the image. By changing the depth-of-field slider, you can simulate different aperture sizes, to achieve bokeh effects ranging from subtle to surreal (e.g., tilt-shift). The new image is rendered instantly, allowing you to see your changes in real time. Here’s how we do it. First, we pick out visual features in the scene and track them over time, across the series of images. Using computer vision algorithms known as Structure-from-Motion (SfM) and bundle adjustment, we compute the camera’s 3D position and orientation and the 3D positions of all those image features throughout the series.

Some of the features that were reported previously are present, including the lens Blur option, a 100% viewfinder, and a high-resolution panorama mode. We also get a good look at the completely redesigned UI in the gallery below. Here’s the full list of features from Google: Read more

Googlers talk designing Glass, Search, and Maps in new videos

Ahead of its Google I/O developer conference this summer, Google today posted three new videos to its Google Developers YouTube page giving us a taste of how the conference will be more focused on design this year. The company announced today that “design will be an important focus at this year’s conference” and it wants to get the conversation started with the new videos. 

At Google I/O this year, we will have sessions and workshops focused on design, geared for designers and developers who are interested in design. We’re looking forward to exchanging ideas with you both at the conference and online afterwards. Remember, registration is open until Friday and details on Google I/O Extended events are coming soon. 

In the first video, Google designer Isabelle Olson talks how she and team took the original Glass prototypes and turned them into the product you know today. Two other videos (below) have Googlers walk through recent redesigns of Maps and Search while talking design philosophy.  Read more