It seems like everyone in the twitterverse, the blogosphere, and tumblrdom is getting fed up with so-called content farms--those mostly-useless text generators that turn out articles based on the terms people most commonly search for.
Today, Google fully demonstrated the next version of Android, version 3.0--also known as Honeycomb--to the press, finally showing off the completely redesigned interface, the new app strategy, and the first tablet to use Honeycomb: the Motorola Xoom. This is the first tablet to really offer a challenge to Apple's iPad, and one of our favorite gadgets from this year's CES, so it's really exciting to see both hardware and software in action.
Google’s Street View technology lets you stroll faraway boulevards and take in the architecture of distant cities. Now it will let you wander some of the world’s great art galleries, sampling a smattering of the world’s most popular artworks in super high-res.
Near-field communications, or NFC, is one of the more promising up-and-coming technologies in the mobile world. In the near future, we'll be able to make secure mobile payments or send files over a short distance with our phones--but nobody has taken that first big step to make NFC a common reality. According to a rumor, Apple may be the one to do it.
Learning a new language is hard. All those new grammatical rules, the new spellings, new tenses, irregular verbs--it's a serious pain. Luckily, Google Translate just issued an update to enable what Google's calling "Conversation Mode." Basically, it translates a multi-language conversation in real-time, spitting out a translation just as soon as you finish speaking. Now you can quit those painful language classes!
Google has mapped just about every traffic artery you could ever want to locate on Google Maps, but what if the thruway you’re looking for isn’t on any road atlas? To help you tell your axillary artery from your common carotid, Google has created a G-Maps-like search-able guide for the human body that lets you zoom, scroll, and search for every muscle, gland, nerve, bone, or organ in our common physiology.
Everyone loves apps, right? Google is the first to launch a desktop app store (though Apple and Microsoft aren't far behind), the Chrome Web Store, expressly designed for their Chrome browser. It looks pretty much like any other app store, with games, utilities, news, and other categories, except Chrome apps run right in your browser, in their own tab. There are hundreds already, so combing through the lists to get to the good stuff can be tricky. Here are ten of our favorites.
Opting out of Google Maps’ Street View in Germany will blur the image of your building on the photographic map, and make you hideously uncool. So says a group of vandals who egged homes in Essen that appear pixelated on the search engine’s map, leaving notes that say “Google’s cool” (in English) on the privacy-lovers’ doors and mailboxes.
Getting the internet on your TV used to be so complicated that all but the most savvy tech-lovers (or struggling, geriatric WebTV users in 1997) didn't even bother. But now that we get more of our video from the Web than ever before, the Powers That Be have deemed it time to bring the two worlds together yet again. The first Google-ready home-theater equipment is rolling out now, so we spent a couple days with Logitech's Google-TV-ready Revue set-top box so see what happens when worlds collide. All told, Google has done what it's advertised in a more seamless way than anyone has before, but a few hiccups keep it from playing nice with everything you'll wanna watch.
So there's this company called Microsoft. Perhaps the name rings a bell. Pretty good at software, services, that kind of thing. They've spent the last five years getting absolutely obliterated on the most important software platform of our time: the mobile phone. Just obliterated, as arch competitors Google, Apple, even Palm (Palm!) have whizzed past, slipping the occasional kick in the ribs to Windows Mobile 6.5, laying in the gutter there. Bleeding pretty badly.
But it seems as if the hemorrhaging may have finally stopped.
Last night, Google announced that it has agreed to invest heavily in a proposed $5 billion, 350-mile power transmission backbone that would provide infrastructure for future offshore wind projects along the mid-Atlantic coast. But even with the backing of one of the world’s mightiest tech companies, various financial investment firms, and many important officials in government, the transmission line is going to be something of a technological trick.
When it comes to artificial intelligence Google has a head start, what with all that free data we give them every time we search for a 30 Rock clip. So perhaps it’s no surprise that the search giant is the latest enterprise to pursue a future where cars drive themselves via complex, decision-making artificial intelligence software. Over the weekend it was revealed that Google has seven test cars that have driven 1,000 miles each without any human intervention whatsoever.
Logitech just announced the very first Google TV box, to be called the Revue. With video calling, a full QWERTY remote, and lots of apps, it's much more capable than the Apple TV (which is either "streamlined" or "barebones," depending on who you ask). But to get the full Revue package, you'd have to spend enough to buy four--yes, four--Apple TV units. Eeep.
Apple's new Apple TV has been overhauled. It's been shrunk to a tiny black square, with a new interface and some great new features. But while it does some things very well, it's severely lacking in both content and functionality.
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.