Head of Google Glass Babak Parviz talks what is next for the platform

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As 2013 kicks off, Babak Parviz, head of the Google Glass project that launched in spring of last year, sat down in an interview with IEEE Spectrum to give word on what to expect next.

We saw several prototype versions of Google Glass, as it readies shipping to the mainstream, and today, Parviz gave some insight into what has changed. “We constantly try out new ideas of how this platform can be used. There’s a lot of experimentation going on at all times in Google,” said Parviz. “We’re also trying to make the platform more robust. This includes making the hardware more robust and the software more robust, so we can ship it to developers early this year.” The early 2013 shipping time was announced at Google I/O 2012. It is nice to see Google is still on-track; however, new features for the platform have not been revealed. “The feature set for the device is not set yet. It is still in flux,” Parviz said.

Parviz also covered how Google will make a business out of Google Glass, and, maybe as a surprise to many, the Mountain View company currently doesn’t have plans to include advertising—its bread and butter. The business model is still being worked on: “This is still being worked on, but we are quite interested in providing the hardware…At the moment, there are no plans for advertising on this device.”

Other revelations in the interview include a cloud-based API so developers can integrate their Android apps into Google Glass. An example given was email and calendar services. Lastly, Parviz said the Glass team has worked hard on battery life and making sure the device is safe on the eyes. You can read the full interview for more. [IEEE Spectrum] Read more

Google details energy efficiency of Google Apps and the cloud

Google’s reduction of energy use for servers and server cooling.

Google wants businesses to make Google Apps their primary productivity suite, so the company is recruiting at full swing today with a new blog post that discloses a few stats about its energy efficiency.

Google Apps is a Google service that features several Web applications like traditional office suites. The services vary per edition but generally include Docs, Gmail, Calendar, Talk, Sites, Groups, Video, and Marketplace. Its popularity among businesses and academicians is rapidly increasing due to enhanced sharing features, accessibility, and cost.

According to Senior Vice President for Technical Infrastructure Urs Hoelzle on the Official Google Blog:

At Google, we’re obsessed with building energy efficient data centers that enable cloud computing. Besides helping you be more productive, cloud-based services like Google Apps can reduce energy use, lower carbon emissions and save you money in the process. Last year, we crunched the numbers and found that Gmail is up to 80 times more energy-efficient than running traditional in-house email. We’ve sharpened our pencils again to see how Google Apps as a whole—documents, spreadsheets, email and other applications—stacks up against the standard model of locally hosted services. Our results show that a typical organization can achieve energy savings of about 65-85% by migrating to Google Apps.

Hoelzle further explained how lower energy use equals less carbon pollution. The executive supported this statement with an anecdote about the U.S. General Administration. It switched to Google Apps for Government to save $285,000 annually at a 93 percent cost reduction, and it reduced energy consumption by 90-percent and carbon emissions by 85-percent.

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Google tosses 9 products in ‘focus is crucial’ spring cleaning

Spring is finally here, and Google announced it wants to clean house again with the seasonal change by killing a slue of products.

“Focus is crucial if we are to improve our execution. We have so many opportunities in front of us that without hard choices we risk doing too much and not having the impact we strive for,” explained Cloud Services Director Matthias Schwab on the Official Google Blog. 

Here is a list of products being nixed:

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Leaked video reveals Microsoft is combating Google Apps with cloud features in upcoming ‘Office 15′

A leaked video suggests Microsoft’s world-renowned productivity suite will soon feature cloud-like options in an effort to curb Google Apps’ growing market share with its alternate offering.

The 30-second promo above is hosted on YouTube by Within Windows. It emphasizes “Office 15″ as the suite’s newly re-branded name. It also focuses on the accessibility of the next iteration through remote access to documents, which is enabled by a normal sign-in procedure. The cloud options will tracks and store all of a user’s virtual papers in Microsoft’s cloud-based Sky Drive service.

Microsoft Office is dueling many cloud-based productivity suites, such as Google Apps, and it is steadily losing market share. The downward spiral even caused the once-great Word processing giant to embark on a smear campaign against Google, where it lambasted the Mountain View, Calif.-based Company as a shady advertiser with alternative motives.

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YouTube adds 3D viewing for all short 1080p videos, says 4D is around the corner (Videos)

YouTube now automatically allows short 1080p videos to convert to 3D.

The video-sharing platform just announced on the official YouTube blog that it is expanding a beta feature released last year, which gives users the option to convert YouTube videos to 3D with just a click of a mouse. Since the beta launched, creators have converted hundreds of thousands of videos to 3D.

The popularity of the feature encouraged YouTube to implement 3D viewing in the Quality settings under the gear icon on the YouTube player.

“Then pop on your 3D glasses and see YouTube in another dimension (like the video above),” explained Technical Staffer Deb Mukherjee and Software Engineer Chen Wu in the blog post.

The Googlers even recommended watching “YouTube Rewind 2011″ to get the full YouTube 3D experience (below).

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