Redesigned, more immersive Google Maps seemingly coming soon with Google+ integration

new-google-maps

The unofficial Google Operating System blog posts some screenshots and details of a supposed upgrade to the Google Maps website that is nearing launch.

The experience is redesigned and more immersive due to a greater focus on the map content instead of navigation buttons. The new map tiles also look similar to the interface included in Apple’s proprietary iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Maps software…

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Google updates Hangouts On Air: Rewind & autoplay live broadcasts, higher quality video & faster YouTube uploads

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Google has updated Google+ today with a couple notable and highly requested new features for Hangouts on Air users. The first big new feature is the ability to rewind live broadcasts, allowing users to navigate back to the beginning of a broadcast regardless of when they started watching. Other improvements include higher quality video for those joining Hangouts on Air from a mobile device, as well new auto-playing broadcasts that don’t require users to refresh the page when aHangout starts.

Google did note that “it may take longer to set up your Hangout On Air. For example: the ‘Start broadcasting’ button may be grayed out for a bit, before it turns red.” That change is to provide users with enough time to get everything in place before starting the Hangout.

Google appears to have been able to implement the changes by now processing the video in real-time rather than after the fact, which also means it’s promising Hangouts will be instantly uploaded and ready to watch on YouTube the second you go off air:
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Report says Samsung planning 4.3-inch Galaxy S4 Zoom with 16 megapixel camera

Samsung Galaxy Phone

Samsung must have received a good response with its Galaxy Camera that we first got a look at last year during IFA in Berlin, as new reports suggest the company is getting ready to introduce a new camera/smartphone hybrid dubbed the “Galaxy S4 Zoom”. The report comes from the often reliable SamMobile, and suggests that Samsung is preparing to introduce the device as its first “camera phone” with a 16 megapixel camera similar to that included in the Galaxy Camera:

SamMobile says the Galaxy S4 Zoom will include a slightly smaller 4.3” qHD SAMOLED display, 8GB of onboard storage, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, A-GPS, and the latest version of Jelly Bean alongside Samsung’s Touch Wiz UI. The report also claims the device will run dual or quad-core processor but CPU and RAM specs aren’t yet finalized.

According to the report Samsung is hoping to launch its new Galaxy S4 Zoom camera smartphone sometime in June and July in both while and black variants.

Tesla’s Elon Musk in talks with Google over self driving vehicle tech, says sensor system still too expensive

Sergey-Brin-Pink-Model-S-Tesla

(Googlers turned Sergey Brin’s Tesla Model S into a pink Batmobile for April Fool’s Day)

According to a report from Bloomberg, Tesla’s Elon Musk has discussed with Google the possibility of adding self driving vehicle technology to its fleet of all-electric cars. The problem, says Musk, is that Google’s approach to the technology is currently too expensive compared to camera-based systems:

“The problem with Google’s current approach is that the sensor system is too expensive,” Musk said. “It’s better to have an optical system, basically cameras with software that is able to figure out what’s going on just by looking at things… “We’ve had some technical discussions with Google” about its Light Detection and Ranging, or Lidar, laser tracking system, Musk said last week, noting that it’s an expensive approach that may not prove feasible, Musk said.

While it’s possible Google could contribute to bringing the driverless features to future Tesla vehicles, Musk told Bloomberg it’s more likely the company will develop its own “autopilot system”. That’s something that other automakers are already doing with Toyota, Lexus, and Audi all showing off self-driving car technology at CES back in January: Read more

Talking Schmidt: I propose that at the age of 18, you should change your name [Video]

via edudemic.com

via edudemic.com

Wow, that didn’t take long. Last week we debuted our new series Talking Schmidt where we take a moment to celebrate some of the Google chairman’s more colorful statements, and today Schmidt already delivered the next round of material.

Eric Schmidt spoke today (as he has been doing an awful lot lately) at New York University’s Stern school of business where he jokingly suggested that young people should change their name at the age of 18 as a general policy to address growing privacy concerns that Internet services present.

We can probably expect more of these unforgettable lines as Eric Schmidt promotes his new book The New Digital Age with his coauthor Jared Cohen.

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Asus to offset declining Windows PC business with Chromebooks and already brisk Android tablet biz

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Asus CEO Jerry Shen revealed today that the company plans to ship Asus notebooks running Chrome OS later this year.

Acer, HP, and Samsung have already shipped Chromebooks ranging in price from $199 to $449, as PC World notes, which gives an idea at where Asus could price their hardware.

The Asus CEO expects Chromebook’s success to be in government and education as well as commercial use rather than with consumers.

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Days after getting Google Play, Barnes & Noble Nook HD and HD+ receive heavy price cuts for the holiday week

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From 9to5toys.com (Twitter, Feed, Facebook):

Just days after Barnes & Noble reversed course and began allowing NOOK owners access to over 700,000 apps and games (and books?) from the Google Play Store, both the HD and HD+ versions have received heavy price cuts.  For the next week, you can pickup a NOOK HD tablet starting at just $150 (25% savings) and a NOOK HD + for $179 (34% savings).  These savings are also available online and in-store from Best Buy.  As of right now Barnes & Noble are saying these price cuts are temporary but we’re getting the feeling that they could become the new norm.

There is a good chance these price drops are in response to the Kindle Fire HD sale Amazon launched over the weekend.

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