Wired Stories February 24, 2015

9to5Toys Last Call: LG G2 (unlocked) $210, Kindle Fire tablets 15% off, Bluetooth speaker bundle $25, more

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Today’s can’t miss deals:

LG G2 w/ 32GB flash storage, factory unlocked for GSM carriers: $210 shipped (Reg. $300)

15% off Amazon Kindle Fire tablets: Fire HD 6 $84, Fire HD 7 $118, Fire HDX 8.9 $322, Fire HD Kids Edition $126

Lumsing 4-port USB wall charger $11, Bluetooth speaker and dual USB car charger $25 Prime shipped

Belkin Secured Wired Keyboard for Samsung Micro-USB Tablets: $10 shipped (Reg. $30)

One-year magazine subs from $5/yr: Architectural Digest, Wired, Dwell, Runner’s World, more

More new gear from today:

Headphones: Klipsch X11 in-ears $100 (Reg. $132+), Sennheiser HD205-II over-ears $25 (Reg. $50)

More deals still alive:

New products & more:

Wired Stories June 25, 2014

GoogleGlassVSiPad-edit

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Lowell have demonstrated an interesting (and slightly scary) technique for using Google Glass to detect phone PINs with 83 percent accuracy from across a room – even when the screen wasn’t visible.

The technique used applies an image-recognition algorithm that doesn’t need direct sight of the screen. Instead, it uses a reference image of the target device to detect the angle at which it’s being held, then tracks the shadows from finger taps to detect which on-screen keys are being pressed …  expand full story

Wired Stories December 31, 2013

Seth-sergey-google-glass

I’m not always in full agreement with Wired’s Mat Honan, but his I, Glasshole piece definitely struck a chord with me and my mostly similar experiences with Google Glass.  I can agree with almost everything he’s said on the experience of owning and operating them, at least to an extent.

The biggest point to bring home is the outward awkwardness, but I wouldn’t characterize it as 100% negative across the board like Honan’s experience. He said that even in a room full of Wired writers he’s still ostracized for wearing them. That may be true, but at certain events like his Google event image, they felt pretty normal. I wasn’t at the one pictured, but at Google I/O every 4-5 people at the show were wearing them, even if Google’s own presenters weren’t.  No one was uncomfortable in that environment. I imagine it isn’t uncomfortable at Google or any number of the places that are beta testing the Glass in large numbers relative to the population.

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At home or in the general public, I agree – it is definitely jarring wearing them around. You get the same kind of attention that you’d get if you had a massive headwound at the grocery store or if you were waving a light saber around on the way to the coffee shop.  The attention isn’t entirely negative, but it is certainly one of discomfort and curiosity.  Some people ask about them and want to find out what the experience is like. I’ve let tons of people wear mine, and those who’ve tried have usually thought they were ‘cool’.

I’ve found a good way to mitigate the attention is to wear a low lying baseball cap coupled with the Oakley Blades wrap around shades attachment. With this setup, about 90% of the people don’t notice the Glass and just think you are some dork wearing Oakley Blades from 1987. Clearly, Google could innovate here – getting them on normal glasses hides the appearance. They’ve already promised a prescription lens attachement and even shown off some demos.

Screenshot 2013-12-31 08.49.48

The 2014 model Glass, as I am now calling them, won’t do much for the appearance.  The inclusion of a mono or stereo headset is just going to complicate the setup rather than simplify it.  Note the left stereo earpiece  comes out of the same right side hole as the right side ear piece.

I feel a little claustrophobic looking at them, and I imagine the final consumer version will have the earpiece coming out of either the back or the other side of the glasses.

Appearances aside, how does it work? expand full story

Wired Stories December 19, 2013

Grabbing the attention of customers in the wireless industry these days requires some slick moves and a creative mind. Well, Motorola has done exactly that with a brand new interactive ad in January’s Wired magazine.

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Wired Stories June 6, 2013

Google-Reader-1

With just over three weeks until Google officially puts its RSS service Google Reader out to pasture, the Mountain View company has decided to offer the widely respected product a few commemorative last words as it rests on its death bed.

Google News and Social Products Senior Director Richard Gringras told Wired.com that Google Reader represented an old model of news consumption in an age where news is being constantly consumed throughout the day.

“As a culture we have moved into a realm where the consumption of news is a near-constant process,” says Richard Gringras, Senior Director, News & Social Products at Google. “Users with smartphones and tablets are consuming news in bits and bites throughout the course of the day — replacing the old standard behaviors of news consumption over breakfast along with a leisurely read at the end of the day.”

No matter the reason for Google Reader’s demise, alternatives have made a timely bubble up to the surface leading up to Google’s July 1 deadline. Apps like Reeder that relied on Google Reader for backend syncing have since opened up support for alternatives like Feedly and Feed Wrangler (which we reviewed at launch). expand full story

Wired Stories May 13, 2013

Sundar Pichai

I’m not going to lie, this is a bit depressing. Among other boilerplate-type of answers to good questions that Wired’s Steven Levey threw at him, Sundar Pinchai said:

What can we expect from I/O this year?

It’s going to be different. It’s not a time when we have much in the way of launches of new products or a new operating system. Both on Android and Chrome, we’re going to focus this I/O on all of the kinds of things we’re doing for developers, so that they can write better things. We will show how Google services are doing amazing things on top of these two platforms.

We’ll be on hand this week to see exactly what that means.

Some other tidbits from the interview: On Firefox OS: “It isn’t surprising. If we don’t do ChromeOS, someone else will”. On Google-branded hardware: “Any hardware projects we do will be to push the ecosystem forward”. expand full story

Wired Stories May 6, 2013

Google’s chief internet evangelist Vint Cerf talks interplanetary internet protocols

Wired has published an interesting interview with Vint Cerf, “Father of the Internet” and Google’s chief internet evangelist. The interview focuses on Vint’s work with NASA to develop protocols for the “interplanetary internet”:

Working with NASA and JPL, Cerf has helped develop a new set of protocols that can stand up to the unique environment of space, where orbital mechanics and the speed of light make traditional networking extremely difficult. Though this space-based network is still in its early stages and has few nodes, he said that we are now at “the front end of what could be an evolving and expanding interplanetary backbone.”

…it’s actually not new at all – this project started in 1998. And it got started because 1997 was very nearly the 25th anniversary of the design of the internet. Bob Kahn and I did that work in 1973. So back in 1997, I asked myself what should I be doing that will be needed 25 years from then. And, after consultation with colleagues at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, we concluded that we needed much richer networking than was then available to NASA and other space faring agencies.

Head over to Wired to check out the full interview. 

Wired Stories May 29, 2012

Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page have sported a pair of Google Glasses while appearing on just about every major talk show/news outlet across the country at this point, but the company’s cofounders seem to do a lot of talking and not much showing.

However, Brin finally took the first step and let a non-Googler experience the augmented reality handset last week. He appeared with his wife, Anne Wojcicki, on California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom’s Current TV show on May 23 and briefly let the politician in on the secret. A video of the interview is above.

“You can easily forget you have them on, and sense the capacity of use in the future,” Newsom later told Wired, while detailing how the headset felt “incredibly light, comfortable and inconspicuous” on his head.

During his demonstration on “The Gavin Newsom Show,” Brin subsequently gave the world a glimpse as to how the space-age spectacles work. According to Wired:

In the video, Brin navigates the system via a touchpad on the right side of the headset behind the display. He slides his finger forward and back to locate a photo he took of Gavin Newsom with the contraption. He then places the headset on Newsom’s face, and continues to navigate until the photo is located. […] ‬After returning the glasses to his own face, Brin swiped down on the touchpad of the glasses and continued the interview. The down-swipe could possibly be used to exit the photo album he was demoing to Newsom. Whatever the case, Brin’s swipes answer questions about how the interface is navigated.

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Wired Stories March 15, 2012

A story from Wired today interviewed Chris Sharp, the GM of content and cloud at data center Equinix where Google happens to lease space alongside some of its biggest competitors. Sharp told an interesting story about Google removing all the light bulbs above its server cages a couple years back. The company then required those working on the servers to wear helmets with lights:

About two years ago, Chris Sharp says, Google unscrewed all the light bulbs inside the hardware cages it occupied at that Equinix data center. “They had us turn off all overhead lights too, and their guys put on those helmets with lights you see miners wear,” he tells Wired. “Presumably, they were bringing up custom-built gear they didn’t want anyone else to see.”

The reason Google did this, according to Sharp, is “there’s a lot of valuable intellectual property.” He added that many companies try to conceal equipment, but he was “always amazed by Google and the helmets.” As Wired pointed out, Google builds its own servers and associated gear and most likely does not want competitors leasing space at Equinix to get a look. expand full story

Wired Stories March 12, 2012

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O.K., really that headline is a bit misleading. We have no idea what the now-former DARPA head has been hired to do at Google, and the department would only tell us the scripted:

“Regina is a technical pioneer who brought the future of technology to the military during her time at DARPA. She will be a real asset to Google and we are thrilled she is joining the team.”

Besides pulling off designer jeans, Wired profiled her other qualifications:

Dugan’s emphasis on cybersecurity and next-generation manufacturing earned her strong support from the White House, winning her praise from the President and maintaining the agency’s budget even during a period of relative austerity at the Pentagon. Her push into crowdsourcing and outreach to the hacker community were eye-openers in the often-closed world of military R&D. Dugan also won over some military commanders by diverting some of her research cash from long-term, blue-sky projects to immediate battlefield concerns.

“There is a time and a place for daydreaming. But it is not at Darpa,” she told a congressional panel in March 2011 (.pdf). “Darpa is not the place of dreamlike musings or fantasies, not a place for self-indulging in wishes and hopes. Darpa is a place of doing.” For an agency that spent millions of dollars on shape-shifting robots, Mach 20 missiles, and mind-controlled limbs, it was something of a revolutionary statement.

You will recall that Google’s Driverless cars were born from the DARPA Grand Challenge, so perhaps we will see her join the ranks of Google’s X team. The videos below of Dugan talking feature her deep knowledge on the type of cyber-hacking that Google has accused China of in the past.

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