By Mark Hachman
Posted 10.19.2012 at 9:00 am 0 Comments
In late june when Google introduced the Nexus Q, an Android-powered device that ports music and video from the cloud to home theaters, critics immediately set to tearing it apart. They called it “baffling” and “overpriced” and generally decried its lack of features. But, as so often happens with something truly unusual, the critics may have missed the point.
Our friends at Pop Photo talked to Connie Zhou, who took absolutely stunning photos of what might seem horribly boring: Google's server centers. Zhou is typically an architectural photographer, and one day got an offer from Google to come take photos of places never seen before--though they have been the subject of some criticism. Check out the story here.
America’s space shuttles may be settling into their retirement roles as national artifacts, but for space fans who miss their presence at Kennedy Space Center, Google has a new offering — Street View images of the entire complex, shuttles and all. The web giant unveiled the new images this morning, and we have a preview.
The Nexus Q is Google's first media streamer, a sphere proudly made in the U.S.A. that streams audio and video to speakers and/or TVs, using an Android device as a remote. It's also horribly restrictive and limited in functionality--but it has potential, providing either Google or industrious hackers put in some hard work.
Recent events have shown how social networks can help world unrest get witnessed globally. YouTube was a major player in sending videos of Arab Spring protestors out to masses across the world, but it had its drawbacks: the person protesting in a video was seen everywhere, but they were also seen back at home, where losing anonymity to a despotic government could become dangerous.
The Nexus 7, built by Asus with close oversight from Google, is the best Android tablet and the best seven-inch tablet. If you have already convinced yourself that you want either of those, this is the one you want. It's nice to be able to say that so concretely! But where the best seven-inch, or even the best Android tablet falls in the overall tablet market is the more important question.
Kickstarter can be a great way for people to help out with projects they care about. Make a small donation, and maybe even get a little trinket for your time. But what about the rich eccentric with money to burn? For 10,000 bucks, they too can help out with a project--and in exchange get their DNA on the moon.
At Google I/O, the annual Google tech conference, corporate heads let everyone know they're further ahead on Google Glass--those neat virtual reality glasses you may have seen--than anyone thought. They're available now for pre-order, but for the time being will only be sold to U.S.-based developers attending the I/O conference.
Google (probably accidentally) leaked some details of the Nexus Q before today's I/O event even started. It's a streaming...I almost said box, but it's actually more like an orb. It's somewhere between a Sonos system, which streams music to stations in different parts of your house, and an Apple TV, which streams music and video to your TV. And I think it's very exciting. Here's why.
As intelligent as computers continue to get, it's still a lot of work for them to perform tasks many humans do on a regular basis--like, say, enjoying cat videos on YouTube. In an attempt to bridge that gap, scientists from Google's X laboratory created a simulated human brain by putting 16,000 computer processors together and having them browse around the Internet, learning facts about the world as they went. And the simulated human brain successfully found YouTube's cats.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.