Technology Stories January 26, 2016

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Sony will be acquiring an Israeli chip maker called Altair Semiconductor for $212 million, the handset maker announced in an official press release this week. Altair Semiconductor is known for its advancements with LTE (Long Term Evolution) modems. They’ve been working on making LTE chips that are faster, with lower power consumption, all while at a lower cost. This possibly means that Sony can deploy LTE technology to markets that may not have it as of yet. The acquisition is slated to be all wrapped up early by February 2016, just a few weeks away.

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Technology Stories June 23, 2015

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Every so often, Google officially comes out and tells the world about a project they’ve been working on inside Google X. In recent years we’ve heard about the glucose contact lens for diabetes patients, Google Glass, the self-driving car, and more. Now, Google has debuted (via Bloomberg), a new health-tracking wristband capable of monitoring heart rate, heart rhythm, skin temperature, and other useful information such as light exposure and noise levels… expand full story

Technology Stories April 27, 2015

Google Glass head Tony Fadell talks Internet of things, proactive technology in recent essay

Tony Fadell, CEO of Nest and head of Google’s Glass division, recently published an essay at The Wall Street Journal highlighting his thoughts on the future of the Internet:

Today, most technology is reactive. We ask a question and get an answer in return. It’s useful, but it’s also limiting. What if we don’t ask the right question? What if we don’t know we need to ask a question in the first place?

In the future, more conversations will happen proactively. In the case of my water-skiing accident, my smartphone could have combined existing information—including GPS data (on a lake, moving quickly), my medical history (four joint-related surgeries), the temperature of the environment (cold) and flexibility data from my fitness tracker—to predict that I was considering water skiing, calculate the odds of my getting injured, and advise me against it before I even got in the water.

The whole essay is wroth a read, with Fadell telling the story of how he tore a hamstring while water skiing and how a more connected Internet could have prevented it. He doesn’t make any comments on Glass, but he does call out Google’s Project Loon in reference to technologies that will help bring an Internet connection to the 4.4 billion people without one.

Technology Stories February 4, 2015

Google partners with Disney on new series aiming to get kids interested in tech

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnQ5gE4Rbxo&ab_channel=disneyjunior]

Google and Disney teamed up to create a new kids show with a focus on getting young viewers interested in computer science, the LA Times noted in a report today. The show, Miles from Tomorrowland, was created by Disney Junior with Google engineers sitting in as consultants.

The two companies are especially focused on getting girls interested in technology by featuring female characters designed to change kids’ perception of the industry. From the Times report:

In “Miles From Tomorrowland,” Loretta is a super cool older sister/computer whiz sidekick who records data from the adventures and discoveries and can find the answer to almost anything with the assistance of a special wrist device known as “the bracelex.”

One episode has Loretta writing code that helps her find another planet.

The show’s creator says that his cooperation with Google has shown him that “you can do anything with coding”—a message Disney hopes to instill in its audience. Miles from Tomorrowland premieres on February 6th.

Technology Stories January 8, 2015

Google Education Access

Google today released what it calls “a guide to activating technology in schools” as part of its education efforts. Intended to assist teachers and IT administrators, Google says the new guide based on what other schools processes provides schools with the following frameworks to bring the web into the classroom. expand full story

Technology Stories December 29, 2014

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It’s no surprise, the Consumer Electronics Show 2015 is right around the corner and we’ve been prepping our gear and getting ready to hit the show floor. The whole thing kicks off on Jan 5, 2015 and we’re excited to dive in and bring you coverage of the latest gadgets and accessories that 2015 has to offer.

That being said, it takes a bit of work to put together the content that you’ll see and a backpack full of gear. Most of us try to pack light, but there are very important things that are necessary to make sure the job gets done. Today, we’re taking a look at the gear I’m lugging around the show floor. I may not have everything I’m used to, but these essential tools help make the coverage a bit easier…

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Technology Stories December 17, 2014

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So you’ve waited until the last minute to pick up gift, eh? Well don’t worry, we’ve put together a handful of great gifts for the techie in your life. This gift guide isn’t going to be Android-specific, but it’s definitely aimed at all of the tech fans out there…

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Technology Stories April 7, 2014

I’d find this video hard to believe were it not for its credentials. The WSJ reports that StoreDot, the start-up behind the technology, has its background in the Nanotechnology department of Tel Aviv University, and it’s been demonstrated at Microsoft’s Think Next conference.

Ultra-fast battery charging has been seen before, but using special (and not very portable) battery technology. This system charges batteries compact enough for smartphones. It’s demonstrated here with a Samsung Galaxy S3, but the company says that it plans to make versions for other phones …  expand full story

Technology Stories March 12, 2014

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ER doctors at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have been using Google Glass as way of quickly pulling up data on patients, monitoring vital signs, and more while examining patients in the emergency department. Dr. John Halamka from the medical center described the system in a blog post today (via Ars Technica): expand full story

Technology Stories June 28, 2013

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Google-News-Sports-ScoresGoogle announced today on the official Google News blog that it’s rolling out new features for Google News users including an expanded 4-day weather section built into the right side of the homepage, more Editors’ Picks throughout various News sections, and sports scores:

For avid sports fans, a newly introduced “Sports Scores” section on the News homepage and the Sports page will give a snapshot of live, recently concluded and imminent sporting activity. From this summary, it’s easy to dive in further and do things like click on a score for details of the match or on a specific team to get recent news about it. The section is customizable; for example, if you prefer not to see hockey scores, you can turn hockey ‘off’ while keeping the other sports ‘on’. You can also remove the entire section if you prefer. At the outset, we’re launching in the US, with the big four sporting organizations covering basketball, football, baseball and hockey. Over time, this section will expand to other countries and sports. Stay tuned.

Google notes that the new weather section will automatically adjust to your current location and it is now including more Editors’ Picks sections across Technology and Business pages instead of just on the News homepage.  expand full story

Technology Stories May 22, 2013

Google's Eric Schmidt in Burma

In the fifth installment of our continuing series Talking Schmidt we bring you the most insightful lines from Google Chairman Eric Schmidt.

Schmidt, who is promoting his new book The New Digital Age with his coauthor Jared Cohen, responded to UK politician Ed Miliband’s call for “responsible capitalism” earlier this week.

He reminded Miliband that Google is a country… ahem, company powered by profit and projects like wearable computing and self-driving cars better serve Google than forfeiting more of its profits to various governments.

“Google is a capitalist country … company,” he corrected himself, to laughter from the audience. “It’s easy to say you would like us to have to have less profits and have that somewhere else. We will comply with the letter of the law, but we’re trying to avoid being doubly and triply taxes, which would prevent us investing in some of the wilder things we do.”

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Technology Stories May 16, 2013

Samsung has received criticism for the amount of storage its flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone allows users to access out of the box, but CNET reports that Samsung may be considering ways it could optimize the operating system and free up more space for users.

Samsung’s Galaxy S4 smartphone runs a custom variant of Android, which allows the company to include features not on other Android phones including Google’s own Nexus phones, but the feature-heavy OS comes at the cost of using half the capacity on a 16GB device.

We’re quite fond of the software featured on the Galaxy S4 as it allows it to stand out from other comparable smartphones, and the Galaxy S4 allows users to add to its storage with microSD cards which you can buy for less than 10 bucks in many cases, something the Apple iPhone and HTC One compromise on for design.

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Technology Stories May 13, 2013

(Businessweek / Peg Korpinski)

(Businessweek / Peg Korpinski)

In our continuing series Talking Schmidt we bring you the most insightful lines from Google Chairman Eric Schmidt.

Schmidt, who is promoting his new book The New Digital Age, spoke with NPR over the weekend on the Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! program in a rather lighthearted appearance.

NPR host Peter Sagal asked the executive chairman how much Google knew about its users at the top of show, which prompted Schmidt to admit, “Well, as much as you’ll let us know.”

Schmidt also mentioned that the company really doesn’t quite know the definition of evil, from its famous slogan “Don’t Be Evil,” and that he thought it was “the stupidest rule ever” when he joined the company.

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Technology Stories April 25, 2013

Google adds ability to open Microsoft Office files directly in Chrome on Mac & PC

Previously only available to Chromebook users, Google announced today on its Chrome blog that Mac and Windows users will now have the ability to open Microsoft Office files directly within Chrome. The functionality works for users running the latest Chrome Beta and requires installation of the Chrome Office Viewer (Beta) extension.

In addition to saving you time, the Chrome Office Viewer also protects you from malware delivered via Office files. Just like with web pages and PDFs, we’ve added a specialized sandbox to impede attackers who use compromised Office files to try to steal private information or monitor your activities.

LG smartphone with flexible display before the end of the year

LG has promised a smartphone with flexible display in the final quarter of the year. But don’t expect anything too exciting – as The Verge points out, the battery and circuitry are unlikely to be flexible, suggesting nothing more than a chamfered edge much like the Samsung prototype shown above.

And no, we’re not sure what the benefit is either.

Technology Stories April 17, 2013

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We brought you the best quotes here:

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt talks Android activations, Chinese government, social change, and privacy

Check out the full video via AllthingsD expand full story

Technology Stories April 16, 2013

Google Fiber speeds already doubled by Japanese ISP

Google Fiber’s 1Gbps Internet service, billed on launch as “100 times faster than broadband”, has already been beaten by Japanese ISP Nuro, reports Engadget. Not only is this twice as fast as Google Fiber, it’s also twice as fast as most local-area Ethernet connections. Japanese subscribers can get the service for 4,980 Yen ($51) a month.

Technology Stories April 12, 2013

From 9to5Toys.com:

We don’t normally see Google Chromebooks on sale but today at Staples, HP’s version is a whopping $75 off putting it near the price of the much smaller ARM Samsung 550s.

Not only is the HP Pavilion 14-c01us Chromebook more expensive, it’s also heavier than Samsung’s offering at 4lbs compared to 2.5lbs. Battery life is unfortunately the same story with an approximate 4.25 hours quoted compared to the 6.5 hours Samsung’s Chromebook offers. If you can get past that, the new HP device packs in a 14-inch diagonal HD BrightView LED-backlit (1,366-by-768-pixel), 1.1GHz Intel Celeron 847 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB SATA SSD, HDMI, USB 2.0, as well as an Ethernet port.

Staples is offering the HP Pavilion Intel Celeron 847 14″ Chromebook for $330.  Enter the coupon code: 45582 and get an additional $75 off at checkout making the total only $255 before tax with free shipping. (Expiring Soon)

Update: Throw in another $50 via rebate to get it down to $205.

Read more.

Technology Stories April 9, 2013

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Following Google’s announcement that it will bring its speedy Google Fiber network to Austin, Texas, in mid-2014, AT&T has created competition by announcing it plans to bring fiber-optic internet connectivity to the Lone Star state as well.

Today, AT&T announced that in conjunction with its previously announced Project VIP expansion of broadband access, it is prepared to build an advanced fiber optic infrastructure in Austin, Texas, capable of delivering speeds up to 1 gigabit per second.  AT&T’s expanded fiber plans in Austin anticipate it will be granted the same terms and conditions as Google on issues such as geographic scope of offerings, rights of way, permitting, state licenses and any investment incentives. This expanded investment is not expected to materially alter AT&T’s anticipated 2013 capital expenditures.

AT&T says it believes it will be granted the same privileges as Google in this regard. The full press release is available below:

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Technology Stories April 8, 2013

WhatsApp says it’s not holding sales talks with Google despite earlier rumor

This past weekend, a rumor had claimed that Google is holding talks with WhatsApp to acquire the messaging service for around $1 billion. Tonight, WhatsApp has told AllThingsD that it is not holding sales talks with Google. Meanwhile, Google is rumored to soon be launching its own “Babel” messaging service.

Technology Stories July 5, 2012

First hands on at I/O

Make no mistake; the Nexus 7 is a game changer. Google has. hit. it. out. of. the. park. this time. I have no doubt that Google’s first Nexus Tablet will be the best-selling 7-inch tablet this summer and might actually give the iPad a run for its money if marketed well and in enough places.

Frankly, as did many in the audience at Google I/O, I knew a lot of what was coming beforehand. A 7-inch Jellybean tablet from Asus was rumored for months. The devil is in the details, however…

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Technology Stories April 17, 2012

Oakley could soon give Google’s Project Glass a run for its money.

The eyewear maker told Bloomberg that it is developing technology for integrating smartphone elements into its products. The science is only in the preliminary stage, however, as Oakley’s Chief Executive Officer Colin Baden (picture, left) would not even validate plans to launch such spectacles. He did explain his company’s stance on the project, though, while detailing how the public is yearning for a heads-up display:

“As an organization, we’ve been chasing this beast since 1997,” explained Baden. “Ultimately, everything happens through your eyes, and the closer we can bring it to your eyes, the quicker the consumer is going to adopt the platform.”

Colin then described a few features he would like to see in the product, such as voice-controlled display information in conjunction with a smartphone via Bluetooth. The company actually has a few patents in place that detail its vision (available here, and pictured above). Oakley’s augmented-reality glasses would obviously not be cheap for consumers— especially because its initial target audience consists of athletes and eventually the U.S. military:

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Technology Stories October 9, 2011

Google has released a new extension this weekend for Chrome fans. Chrome Remote Desktop Beta (what a mouthful) allows you to connect to other computers across the network in a Chrome window.

Where we can see this coming the most in handy is with a Chrome OS laptop. Being able to connect to your main computer when you’re away from it is definitely necessary for numerous tasks. When it comes to security, each session has to be granted each time you connect.

Interested in how this all works? Check it out after the break:

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Technology Stories June 24, 2011

Richard DeVaul, a PhD. scientist from MIT with a focus on building wearable technologies, was snared from Apple this month by Google.  At Apple he was rumored to be working with SVP of Industrial Design, Jonny Ive in Apple’s secret labs building the next big thing.

Besides his having knowledge of the inter-workings of Apple, it is also interesting that DeVaul is a hardware person who has focused on building wearable products for the past decade.  Google has been a software company for all of its existence, but more and more it appears that it will enter the hardware business…but probably in smart accessories rather than phones.

He’ll likely join two former Danger hardware experts in a new Google lab called Google Hardware where his Job Description of “Rapid idea evaluation and prototyping for new projects at Google. ” seems to fit in with Joel Britt and Matt Hershenson are doing.

I wrote about DeVaul’s transition to Apple at Computerworld 18 months ago, excerpted below:

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