Page Stories January 22, 2016

Google rolling out HTTPS cached website pages for HTTPS-enabled sites

HTTPS has become the rule, rather than the exception to the rule, in recent years. And in an effort to usher in the encrypted and more-secure communication protocol, Google announced last month that it would begin prioritizing HTTPS sites over HTTP sites when indexing the web. Unsurprisingly, Google is also slowly-but-surely making sure all of its own web properties use HTTPS over standard HTTP. Google’s cached pages available on the search site are now part of the club…

Page Stories June 23, 2015

PSA: You can now tweak which apps & services show up in Google notifications

Google has lately been shuffling around its notification menu, most recently adding separate Google Photos notifications that tell you when the newly-launched “Assistant” has made a collage, video, or GIF from your library. But there might be some people who don’t want to see their Google Photos notifications (or perhaps more likely, those who don’t want to see their Google+ notifications), and Google has today launched an accommodation for those circumstances. There’s now a familiar gear icon in the notification drop-down that lets you access a new “Settings” page for toggling which notifications you want to receive…

Page Stories December 19, 2014

Google testing new layout for Play Store app pages

 

Some have started to notice yesterday and this morning that Google has apparently begun testing a new layout for app pages on the Play Store (via Android Police), and the new look seems to do away with the full-width layout of old, replacing it with a more traditional 3-column look. I don’t see the new version of the Play Store when using the latest stable build of Chrome, but when using the latest Beta, it pops right up.

Here’s what it looks like:

The new looks compacts some of the previous information into a thinner middle column, making room for a new column on the right that offers suggestions for similar apps. In addition to apps that are simply similar, there’s also a new section that shows apps that were created by the same developer. I haven’t noticed any other changes to the Play Store after clicking around for a little bit, but if you notice something else, feel free to let us know in the comments below.

 

Page Stories May 22, 2013

Bloomberg goes inside Google’s X research lab

Bloomberg published a nice read this morning following a tour of Google’s secretive X lab and a chat with some of the employees that work there. In the story Bloomberg talks Google Glass development, driverless cars, and lesser known X projects, speaks with Mary Lou Jepsen who heads up the Google X Display Division, and provides some insight into how the whole thing got started.

Some of the real projects in Google X sound almost as outlandish. Makani Power’s newest airborne turbine prototype, called Wing 7, is a 26-foot-long carbon-fiber contraption with four electricity-generating propellers that flies in circles at altitudes of 800 to 2,000 feet, sending power down a lightweight tether to a base station. “If we’re successful, we can get rid of a huge part of the fossil fuels we use,” says Damon Vander Lind, the startup’s chief engineer. Vander Lind acknowledges it might not work, but: “If you don’t take that chance, and put a decade of your life trying to do it, no progress will get made.”

Then there’s X’s still-secret project to bring Internet access to undeveloped parts of the world. A decade ago, David Grace, a senior research fellow at the University of York, spearheaded a project to mount broadband transmitters on high-altitude balloons, as part of a multicountry initiative backed by the European Commission, called the Capanina Consortium. The initiative never progressed beyond the experimental stage. Grace now says that he has heard that Google is working on such balloon-based broadband technology.

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