In an effort to gain firmer control over the quality of Android smartphones, Google announced this morning that it has agreed to purchase Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. Google would also gain a nice fat portfolio of technology patents in the deal.
According to China Daily, back in July, a Chinese driverless car traveled about 175 miles, at around 55 mph, on an expressway laden with other cars. Even more impressive, the car needed no GPS assistance, instead relying on only video cameras and radar sensors to see the road and the other drivers.
Google's self-driving cars have apparently had their first fender-bender — and it was a person's fault, the company says.
The car blog Jalopnik posted the above photo of one of Google's self-driving cars, which they identified by the rack on the roof that resembles a smaller version of the Street View setup. It appears to have rear-ended another Prius, to the obvious dismay of the people gathered around it.
You might have heard of Google's Chrome OS, and how it's essentially a computer with a web browser...and nothing else. How can a web browser replace all the other elements of a computer? It turns out, with more ease than you'd think.
Google's experiments with social media have largely landed with a particularly embarrassing thud--Buzz was a security nightmare, Wave was incomprehensible, and Orkut is only popular in Brazil, for some reason. But Google is nothing if not determined, and today announced its biggest social push ever: Google+. It is definitely similar to Facebook at first glance, but there's a fundamentally different idea underlying Google+ that separates it from the pack.
About a month ago, we reported that Nevada (with a healthy dose of lobbying by Google) was considering legislation that would effectively legalize self-driving cars in that state. Today, Assembly Bill No. 511 passed, granting the Department of Transportation the authorization to draft a set of regulations and rules governing autonomous cars. Pop goes the champagne in Mountain View.
Google just announced the NFC-based mobile payment scheme we all knew was coming: Google Wallet. Leveraging the wireless NFC chip in (some, with more to come) smartphones, Google Wallet allows you to tap your phone on a point-of-sale system to pay with your credit card account, as well as a host of coupons and loyalty cards and other retail-friendly stuff Google showed off today.
Google’s self-driving cars aren’t even close to being commercially available, but that doesn’t mean the company isn’t paving the way for their eventual rollout. Google is lobbying for legislation in Nevada that would make that state the first in which their cars could legally be driven on public roads, the NYT reports.
During Google's I/O conference yesterday, in which they announced (among other things) a DIY-friendly developer kit pairing Android with the Arduino microcontroller, we'd heard mention of a labyrinth controlled by a Motorola Xoom tablet. "Pretty cool!" we thought. "Labyrinths are always fun." Then we saw a video today of the labyrinth in action. Um, why did nobody mention it's a giant version, using a bowling ball instead of a marble?