Texas Stories September 12, 2015

When Google originally showcased the newer low-speed “cute-mobile” self-driving car, it mentioned a goal of having about 100 of them on the road for testing within a couple years. Now, as the company is bringing its low-speed electric prototypes to Austin a year later, Sarah Hunter, head of policy for Google [X], has revealed that the company is expanding production of the cars (via The Guardian). Hunter says that Google is now producing at least a “few hundred” and hints at a potential future of mass-production… expand full story

Texas Stories August 28, 2015

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The accident record of Google’s self-driving cars speaks for itself, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still bugs to be worked out. Ironically, though, one of those bugs demonstrates just how capable the cars are.

When one of the cars encountered a cyclist doing a trackstand (balancing while stationary by making tiny back-and-forth movements) at a four-way stop, the car came to a halt every time the cyclist moved forward an inch or so. The recent encounter in Austin, Texas, was described by the cyclist on web forum Road Bike Review …  expand full story

Texas Stories August 5, 2015

Google announces Fiber coming to San Antonio, the ‘largest Fiber city to date’

Google has announced today that the company is bringing its Fiber Internet service to San Antonio, the second city in Texas to get the service and the company’s “largest Fiber city to date”:

Fast growing cities need Internet speeds that can keep up with their progress. For the 1.4 million residents of San Antonio, one of the biggest and fastest growing cities in the country, this is truer than ever. Which is why, today, we’re proud to announce that Google Fiber is coming to San Antonio—the largest Fiber city to date.

Rollout of Fiber even in the Austin area — which has been an official Fiber city for quite a while — has been very slow, and Google says that it is only just now entering the “design phase” of building out Fiber in the San Antonio area. It’s going to be a while before residential customers can actually get on board.

Most recently, Google announced  that it is launching a program to bring completely free internet access to public and affordable housing residents in four of its Google Fiber markets — part of President Barack Obama’s ConnectHome initiative. San Antonio was recently selected for ConnectHome as well.

Texas Stories July 7, 2015

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If you live in Austin, Texas, and thought you spotted one of Google’s self-driving cars, you weren’t imagining things: the company confirmed today that it has chosen the city for the next phase of testing. Google said in a G+ post that it was important for the software to be tested in a variety of different driving environments.

We’ve chosen Austin, Texas, as a new testing location for our project, and one of our Lexus SUVs is there now, with safety drivers aboard, driving a few square miles north and northeast of downtown Austin. It’s important for us to get experience testing our software in different driving environments, traffic patterns and road conditions—so we’re ready to take on Austin’s pedicabs, pickup trucks, and everything in between.

Google first demonstrated the car to the city’s mayor, chief of police and other officials back in 2013 …  expand full story

Texas Stories June 18, 2015

Big Android BBQ 2015 2015-06-18 12-15-13

IDEAA, the International Developer Education and Advocacy Alliance, has for several years now been running the Big Android BBQ in Hurst, Texas. Featuring sessions run by some of the most knowledgable people the field, challenges, and — of course — some great food, the event has a reputation as one of the biggest and best Android developer events of the year. Now, the company says it’s taking BABBQ to new heights, as Google Developers has officially gotten on board to team up with IDEAA to make the event better than ever… expand full story

Texas Stories April 21, 2015

PSA: Big Android BBQ 2015 is scheduled for October 22-23 in Hurst, Texas

The annual Big Android BBQ is scheduled to take place October 22nd and 23rd 2015 in Hurst, Texas. The developer-focused event, which is sponsored by Google Developers, brings several programming and networking sessions across two days and—obviously—plenty of BBQ.

The Big Android BBQ (BABBQ) is a developer event like no other; an Android combo-meal that delivers super-sized portions of education and entertainment.

Learn ‘tricks-of-the-trade’ from thought leaders and senior developers in our mouth-watering sessions and get your hands greasy with newly acquired knowledge in the Code Kitchen. End each evening with fellow developers and sponsors at our exciting networking sessions filled with happy meals and frosty beverages. The 2015 Big Android BBQ delivered by Google Developers will leave you exhausted and inspired.

You can pre-order tickets for the event on Eventbrite now, with Early Bird pricing (which is $55 + fees) running until May 22nd. We’ll be there to make friends, eat some food, and have some healthy Android and tech-related discourse. It should be a good time.

Texas Stories November 26, 2014

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Google today has finally revealed its pricing plans for Fiber in Austin, Texas. The company plans to open up sign-ups for the internet service next month in the city, and while it was previously believed that Fiber in Austin would cost the same as it does in Kansas City and Provo, the company announced today that there are some slight variations (via Multichannel).

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Texas Stories May 30, 2014

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Motorola Mobility, still owned by Google until the sale to Lenovo completes, announced today that it’s closing the Texas-based manufacturing plant that it opened in May of last year to build its Moto X smartphone. The plant, which employees approximately 700 employees, is said to be closing its doors by the end of the year, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal: expand full story

Texas Stories September 11, 2013

The Verge has a great behind-the-scenes look at Motorola’s Moto X factory in Texas that is currently pumping out around 100,000 units of the new flagship device per week. We reported this morning that Motorola is currently shipping a disappointing 100k units a week, so it’s not that surprising to learn that around 200,000 square feet of the factory is not being used.

To accomplish this, Motorola partnered with Flextronics to refab a factory in Texas formerly used by Nokia. In a mere six months, the factory was completely updated and transformed to Motorola’s specifications, which including the hiring of 2,500 workers to make it run. Motorola did not actually make a final call to do manufacturing in the US until late 2012, but the factory was operational by August 6th of this year. The factory currently puts out about 100,000 devices per week, but Motorola says that it’s possible to scale it to tens of millions of units. Given that more than half of the over 400,000 square foot factory floor sits unused right now, that’s not too hard to believe.

It also spoke with Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside about why bringing assembly to the US was crucial for the Moto X’s MotoMaker customizations features.  expand full story

Texas 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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We already knew that Google was getting set to announce its Gigabit Google Fiber Internet service for Austin, Texas today after an initial successful launch in Kansas last November. Reports claimed invites started going out this month, but today Google has officially announced Google Fiber will be coming to Austin, Texas by mid-2014.

Google noted that pricing would be similar to Kansas, and it will also be offering customers in Austin the same free Internet connection at 5 mbps for 7 years with a one time installation fee: expand full story

Texas Stories October 22, 2012

We noted last week that carrier-backed Google Wallet competitor Isis was nearing an official launch when we noticed the T-Mobile ISIS app on Google Play. Today, the app officially launches on all three of its major carrier partners in Salt Lake City, Utah and Austin, Texas. ISIS issued a press release on its website today to confirm the service would be available to nine “Isis Ready” handsets through Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. It will also land on a total of 20 devices by the end of 2012.

“Today’s launch of the Isis Mobile Wallet is a significant achievement in terms of enabling consumer adoption of mobile payments,” said Suzan Kereere, senior vice president and general manager, American Express, Global Network Business.  “Mobile commerce holds the promise of dramatically enhancing consumers’ shopping experience, and American Express’ first priority as a network is to provide choice and flexibility for all industry participants as we work together to influence the speed and growth of mobile NFC payments in the U.S.”

The service will be made available to compatible devices, which the press release failed to list, and it can be activated with a secure element SIM card at one of the partner carrier’s retail stores in Austin and Salt Lake City. We know on T-Mobile you’ll be able to use at least the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Relay 4G. You can see Verizon’s selection here. Isis also has a full list of participating merchants here.

Like T-Mobile, ISIS apps for both Verizon and AT&T are now available on Google Play.

The full press release from Isis is below: expand full story

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