Inside Google's Age of Augmented Humanity
. Wade Roush of Xconomy interviews Google researchers working on speech recognition
, machine translation
, and computer vision
. [CEO Eric] Schmidt talked about "the age of augmented humanity," a time when computers remember things for us, when they save us from getting lost, lonely, or bored, and when "you really do have all the world's information at your fingertips in any language"—finally fulfilling Bill Gates' famous 1990 forecast. This future, Schmidt says, will soon be accessible to everyone who can afford a smartphone—one billion people now, and as many as four billion by 2020.... It's not that phones themselves are all that powerful, at least compared to laptop or desktop machines. But more and more of them are backed up by broadband networks that, in turn, connect to massively distributed computing clouds (some of which, of course, are operated by Google). "It’s like having a supercomputer in your pocket," Schmidt said in Berlin. "When we do voice translation, when we do picture identification, all [the smartphone] does is send a request to the supercomputers that then do all the work."
posted by russilwvong
on Jan 20, 2011 -
We expect even more rapid innovation in the web media platform in the coming year and are focusing our investments in those technologies that are developed and licensed based on open web principles. To that end, we are changing Chrome’s HTML5 <video> support to make it consistent with the codecs already supported by the open Chromium project. Specifically, we are supporting the WebM (VP8) and Theora video codecs, and will consider adding support for other high-quality open codecs in the future. Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies.
- Google's Chrome is will be joining Firefox in no longer licensing the MPEG-LA H.264 video codec
favoured by Apple and Microsoft for use in the HTML5 <video> tag (previously
). Not everyone is seeing this as a good thing
posted by Artw
on Jan 13, 2011 -
It was December 14
when Twitter first received the sealed order to turn over information on several of its users. Twitter could simply have provided the information requested, instead of acting, on January 5, to have the order unsealed. The unsealing of the subpoena allowed the Twitter users in question to become aware of the situation, and it allowed them an opportunity to dispute the order--an opportunity they would not otherwise have had.
US wants Twitter details of Wikileaks activists
WikiLeaks demands Google and Facebook unseal US subpoenas
. One of the subpeoned accounts
it that of Birgitta Jónsdóttir
, activist and Icelandic Member of parliament.
A resolution proposing the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative
(IMMI), has already been unanimously passed by the country's parliament.
Icelands intention is to become an international transparency haven
posted by adamvasco
on Jan 8, 2011 -
, I type many things – sincere and not – that I would never say in person because it’s easy, when typing certain things into a box, to forget whom you are typing to." From Thought Catalog
, writer Caroline Bankoff lists 45 things she thinks about when she thinks about google's chat service. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue
on Jan 6, 2011 -
Google is known to ask the following question in job interviews: In a country in which people only want boys every family continues to have children until they have a boy. If they have a girl, they have another child. If they have a boy, they stop. What is the proportion of boys to girls in the country?
Think you know the answer? If so, Steve Landsburg may be willing to bet you up to $5000. [more inside]
posted by gsteff
on Jan 1, 2011 -
Google's sheer size and power is staggering - and of course a little disconcerting. But ultimately are they ensuring the internet remains open and user friendly? CBC Radio had a great piece on the Algorithm That Changed World
on how Google has helped keep the internet useful and spammers at bay. As a user, I have not found any other search engine that come close in giving me useful results. Intelligent Life's take on Apple vs Google
, shows how this open system vs closed system philosophical differences plays itself out with product strategy. Of course, Google's user-centric world can suck if you have ever written a book
posted by helmutdog
on Dec 28, 2010 -
Getting to advanced reading level content.
As pioneered by Adrien Chen of Gawker, by far the most interesting application of the tool is its ability to rate the overall level of material on any given site, simply by dropping site: [domain.com] into the search box.
posted by Muirwylde
on Dec 21, 2010 -
, the new Google eBooks store that will compete with Amazon on price and selection. Introducing Google eBooks
(video). Launch USA only. NPR
: "..independent booksellers will get a cut of the revenue when people buy e-books on their local seller's website instead of directly from Google."
posted by stbalbach
on Dec 6, 2010 -
A little ahead of schedule, Yahoo
have released their lists of items most often searched for in 2010. Google hasn't released their list but you can see popular searches using their Insights
posted by morganannie
on Dec 2, 2010 -
“The customer is always right — not here, you understand? I hate that phrase — the customer is always right. Why is the merchant always wrong? Can the customer ever be wrong? Is that not possible?” Gaming Google's PageRank algorithm, one online glasses merchant's prime directive seems to be
Don't Be Evil
posted by ocherdraco
on Nov 27, 2010 -
Anyone driving the twists of Highway 1 between San Francisco and Los Angeles recently may have glimpsed a Toyota Prius with a curious funnel-like cylinder on the roof. Harder to notice was that the person at the wheel was not actually driving. SLNYT
posted by chavenet
on Oct 9, 2010 -
"With your permission you give us more information about you, about your friends, and we can improve the quality of our searches," [Google CEO Eric Schmidt] said. "We don't need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you've been. We can more or less know what you're thinking about... We can look at bad behavior and modify it.
" The Atlantic
's editor James Bennet discusses with Schmidt how lobbyists write America's laws, how America's research universities are the best in the world, how the Chinese are going all-out in investing in their infrastructure, how the US should have allowed automakers to fail, and ultimately Google's evolving role in an technologically-augmented society in this broad, interesting and scary interview
(~25 min Flash video) [via
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on Oct 4, 2010 -
In August, Google added a feature to Gmail that lets you make phone calls
— for free, if you live in the US or Canada and you're calling someone in the US or Canada. When you make a call, your number shows up as 760-705-8888. Judging by the nine pages of complaints found here
, the service is often being used to prank, harass and scam people. [more inside]
posted by defenestration
on Oct 2, 2010 -
"With the midterm elections in the U.S. Senate just six weeks away, everyone is wondering how the balance of power between Republicans and Democrats will shake out after November 2." Wonder no more with Google's 2010 U.S. Election Ratings Map
. Information can be filtered by state, type of race (senate, governor, house), and by source. A Google Maps blog entry
has more detailed info for those who want to dig deeper into the application. [via TechCrunch
posted by bayani
on Sep 21, 2010 -
A Google engineer was recently fired for spying on several teens
through their GTalk, Gmail, and Google Voice accounts. He accessed contact lists and chat transcripts, and in one case quoted from an IM that he'd looked up behind the person's back... In another incident, Barksdale unblocked himself from a Gtalk buddy list even though the teen in question had taken steps to cut communications with the Google engineer.
confirming the shenanigans.
posted by swift
on Sep 15, 2010 -