Watch Adam Savage interview Google X’s Astro Teller & discuss cars, smart contact lenses, more (Video)

Adam Savage of MythBusters fame gave an interesting interview with Google X’s Astro Teller back in October and you can now view the full video thanks to Tested. In the 25-minute video interview, which can be seen above, the two talk about a variety topics, ranging from Astro Teller’s childhood to Google’s self-driving cars. Another interesting topic discussed are the smart contact lenses the company is developing, as well as its goal to bring internet connectivity to everywhere.

Adam Savage welcomes Astro Teller to The Talking Room! Astro is Google’s ‘Captain of Moonshots’, directing the Google X lab where self-driving cars, smart contact lenses, and other futuristic projects are conceived and made real. Adam sat down with Astro at the Tested Live Show this past October to chat about the benefits of thinking big and failing quickly.

You can view the full video interview above.

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DuckDuckGo has grown 600% since 2013 due to its privacy-focused search & NSA revelations

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Speaking in an interview with CNBC, DuckDuckGo CEO Gabe Weinberg said that the company’s traffic has grown 600 percent over the past two years. A variety of factors likely played a role in this explosion of growth, but it is mainly attributable to the NSA’s surveillance program, which was revealed two years ago. It has been reported in the past that the NSA tapped into Google servers and accessed the data of millions of users.

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Google confirms the addition of a “buy” button in search results is imminent

Speaking at the Code Conference in California, Google’s chief business officer Omid Kordestani confirmed that the company is in fact planning on adding a “buy” button to search results. This feature has been rumored for several months and is a way for Google to compete more seriously with the likes of Amazon and eBay.

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Google design head Matias Duarte: Wearables will soon become as ubiquitous as apps

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Google’s head of design, Matias Duarte, recently gave an interview at the Bloomberg Businessweek Design 2015 conference during which he discussed the future of wearables. Duarte, who was wearing an Android Wear device during the interview, compared smartwatches to a variety of other inventions throughout history that have been welcomed by many, but not required.

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Startups like kiddoEMR could change lives using Google tech, but this one desperately needs Google Glass 2.0

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Dr. Joseph “Joe” Cohen has been a pediatrician for 15 years, and he saw a need in the medical workplace. Current EMR (electronic medical record) solutions are ridiculously expensive, antiquated, offer little support for pediatrics, and require hours of rigorous training before doctors can use them to efficiently document and organize patient information. Seeing this, Dr. Joe (as his young patients call him) developed a pediatric solution of his own, and deployed an early version in his own practice, Cedar Park Pediatrics, with the added bonus of bringing down the average cost of processing patients from $58 to around $20 per visit.

And while the system is of course platform-agnostic for the most part, Google technologies like Chrome and Glass are a key players in the kiddoEMR product despite downfalls that Dr. Joe says make the current generation of the latter completely impractical for the workplace. The system of course will mostly be interacted with via an in-browser interface on a desktop computer, but Glass provides some robust functionality that would make it a no-brainer for pediatricians. Doctors like Joe, though, need to be able to use their hands, and the old saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words” is especially true when diagnosing patients.

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Google reveals plans for kid-friendly versions of Chrome, YouTube, Search, and more

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Earlier this year, a report emerged claiming that Google was hard at work making its services more appropriate and accessible for children. The report noted that the company wanted to overhaul its online products to allow children to legally use them. USA Today has now published a new report, confirming the rumors earlier this year regarding specific services catered to young kids. Google VP of Engineering Pavni Diwanji told the news outlet that Google is currently working on versions of its most popular products, such as Search and YouTube, for kids aged 12 and under.

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Google’s head of social reiterates Google+ is not going away, ‘very happy’ with progress

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Re/code has posted an interview with Google’s ‘new’ head of social at the company, David Besbris, after taking over from Vic Gundotra. The interview ranges in scope, but most notably it opens with a direct question about the future of Google+ with many rumors circulating that Google intends to kill off the ‘failure’.

Unsurprisingly, Besbris denies the claims and says that Google made a long-term bet. It has no intentions to drop Google+ from its offerings.

Is Google+ going away anytime soon?

We’re actually very happy with the progress of Google+, [CEO Larry Page] said this at the time that Vic transitioned that he’s going to continue working on building this stuff, that he’s very happy with it. The company is behind it. I have no idea where these rumors come from to be honest with you.

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Chris Dale, PR head of Google Glass, says it’s a ‘living experiment’ and that feedback trumps surprise

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Google Glass has had a mixed bag of reception, and it worries some that Google has made clear that it’s still more of an experiment while Android Wear devices have already gone on to be full-fledged products. And that’s probably because it’s simply not ready for the public, yet. The device’s roller coaster of good and bad press is definitely an example of this, but Tom’s Guide got a chance to sit down with Chris Dale, head of communications and public affairs for Google Glass, who says nothing we’ve seen is really a surprise.

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HTC wants to own the selfie market, go after DSLRs with future devices

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HTC’s future imaging plans revolve around the selfie market and optical zoom coming to smartphones, according to the company’s camera expert Symon Whitehorn. In an interview with Vodaphone (via Android Central), Whitehorn made various points, including his thoughts on 4K in smartphones, future applications of optical zoom, and the importance of the front-facing camera in the company’s attempt to clench the “selfie market.” Read more

Google exec Vint Cerf says real-name authentication ‘sparked intense debate’ among executives

vint-cerfVint Cerf, “father of the internet” and Google’s chief internet evangelist, is speaking out about Google’s decision to push users toward using their real names across services. In a recent interview with Reuters, the Google executive said the initiative to get users using their real names across profiles on various services such as Google+ and YouTube has “sparked intense debate” at the company:

Over the past year, the company has strongly encouraged users to merge their accounts on YouTube, Gmail and other Google properties into a single Google+ identity, the company’s social network offering that asks users to use the “common name” they are known by in the real world.

“Using real names is useful,” Cerf said. “But I don’t think it should be forced on people, and I don’t think we do.”

Vint said not using real names is “perfectly reasonable” in certain situations, especially in countries with governments seeking to ban anonymity: Read more

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt continues media tour with hourlong Bloomberg interview (Video)

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt sat down with Bloomberg to talk Android vs. Apple, and the former CEO seems to think Android is leading over Apple at a rate similar to Microsoft’s growth in desktop software during the 90s.

“This is a huge platform change; this is of the scale of 20 years ago — Microsoft versus Apple,” said Schmidt to Bloomberg. “We’re winning that war pretty clearly now.”

Google cofounder Larry Page succeeded Schmidt as Google’s chief executive officer in April 2011, and now Schmidt, among many other tasks, acts as a kind of executive spokesperson for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company. During the last year alone, Schmidt talked publicly and candidly about Google’s position on free speech and privacy, the fearful repercussions of the Internet, and even robots and holographic telepresence.

During Schmidt’s hour-long interview with Bloomberg (see video above), he discussed—aside from Apple—everything from economic growth in the United States and China and tax shelters to Google+ and spectrum sharing. Schmidt is a member of a White House advisory group and supports a proposal that urges federal agencies and commercial users to share airwaves.

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Google CEO Larry Page says Steve Jobs’ fury over Android was just to rally troops

In a recent interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Google’s Chief Executive Officer Larry Page talked at length about his new role as chief and his plans for the future of Android, Motorola, and the rest of the company. Much the interview revolved around Android and Google’s relationship with other companies, and Page was asked about his relationship with Steve Jobs towards the end. He was also asked about the state of Android tablets and his thoughts on Apple’s recently announced dividend.

When the interviewer mentioned Google and Jobs had their “differences” about Android, presumably referring to Jobs’ claims that Android is a “stolen product,” Page claimed Jobs’ anger towards Android/Google was “actually for show”:

I think the Android differences were actually for show. I had a relationship with Steve. I wouldn’t say I spent a lot of time with him over the years, but I saw him periodically. Curiously enough, actually, he requested that meeting. He sent me an e-mail and said: “Hey, you want to get together and chat?” I said, “Sure, I’ll come over.” And we had a very nice talk. We always did when we had a discussion generally… He was quite sick. I took it as an honor that he wanted to spend some time with me. I figured he wanted to spend time with his family at that point. He had a lot of interesting insights about how to run a company and that was pretty much what we discussed.

He continued when encouraged to elaborate on his “for show” comment:
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