Items tagged with Google

Early adopters who pounced on the Daydream View VR headset at launch for $79 should hightail it out of here, you will not want to read this next bit. Now just over a month later, Google has taken a chainsaw to the price of the Daydream View and shredded it down to $49. That's roughly a not-so-insignificant 38 percent price reduction, though for existing Daydream View who disregarded our warning, at least the initial selling price was far from being a king's ransom, especially in the VR space. By comparison (and this is by no means apples to apples, it's more like apples to a field of apple trees),... Read more...
It often seems as though Google has its hands in an endless stream of projects, many times not being able to keep a focus on what’s truly important to its core. Google’s wandering eye is what led the company to spin off its self-driving car project into a separate company, Waymo, and now the company appears to be poised to use its newfound focus to take on the likes of Uber and Lyft. A new patent filing that has been uncovered describes the company’s efforts to deftly (and autonomously) navigate certain pickup and drop-off scenarios that could be handled with aplomb by human drivers, but could... Read more...
In early 2014, both Google and Facebook battled to acquire Titan Aerospace in an attempt to use its technologies to beam the Internet from the sky through the use of aerial drones. Ultimately, Google won, and has since worked hard to accomplish its initial goal. However, as we now learn, Google apparently doesn't see much success in the immediate future with this particular take on things, so it's pulling the plug on the entire project. While this could be disappointing news, what makes it interesting is the fact that the project had actually been canned for a while. According to an Alphabet spokeswoman,... Read more...
Late last year, Alphabet (Google’s parent company) spun off its self-driving car division into a new company: Waymo. As the year came to a close, we learned more details about its self-driving fleet, which has grown to include 100 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans. These newer vehicles join Waymo’s existing fleet of autonomous Lexus RX 450h Hybrids. Google this week announced that the sensor suite used on the Pacifica Hybrids has been completely designed in-house. That means that the cameras, sensors and software used to power the self-driving vehicles have Google’s Waymo’s fingerprints all... Read more...
The self-driving car evolution is coming and we had better be prepared for it. Google/Alphabet has formed a new company, Waymo, which will plot a course forward for autonomous vehicle operations. The company already has a fleet of 100 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans coming online, and it is currently in talks with Honda to add even more vehicles to the fray. This is in addition to Google’s existing fleet of Lexus and Toyota hybrid vehicles and efforts from other tech companies like NVIDIA, which just got authorization for testing for its Drive PX2 systems in California, various auto manufacturers... Read more...
It appears that the initial euphoria stemming from the launch of Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones may be starting to wane for some owners. There have been growing complaints of hardware problems with the smartphones, with the latest being attributed to complete system freezes that leave the devices unusable. In some instances, the device freezing lasts for just a few seconds, which can be a minor annoyance. However, some report that their devices are locking up for as long as several minutes. A common thread among many of the members that have posted in Google’s product support forum is that they... Read more...
It's been a very rough year for the folks at Cyanogen, and it doesn't look like anything is going to be changing about that any time soon. At the end of last month, it was revealed that Cyanogen wanted to consolidate all of its employees to Palo Alto, California, which as an announcement on its own might not have seemed so bad, but it came at the same time that co-founder Steve Kondik decided to pack it up and move onto other ventures. Alcatel's POP Mirage shipped with Cyanogen OS Now, we learn that Cyanogen's OS and services are going to be shuttered at the end of this year (aka: one week from... Read more...
It’s not free, but it’s pretty darn close to it. Both Amazon and Google announced today that they are offering customers a single movie rental for the low, low price of $0.99 starting today. For those that simply want to veg out on the couch during the lead-up to Christmas Day, these promotions offer a quick and cheap escape. If you prefer to go the Google route, you can make a quick trip over to the Google Play Movies & TV section and select from thousands of eligible movies (including some 2016 blockbusters). Just a quick glance over the list shows some popular films like Pets, Jason Bourne,... Read more...
Earlier this week, Waymo gave us all an early look at its Chrysler Pacific Hybrid minivan that is outfitted with all the hardware necessary for fully autonomous driving. We first learned of the partnership between Alphabet (the parent company of Waymo) and Chrysler back in early May, and now all 100 vehicles have been delivered. It now appears that Waymo has another suitor — Honda. The Japanese auto giant announced that it has begun talks with Waymo to provide vehicles that will be used for self-driving trials. So far, Honda has only entered into “formal discussions” with Waymo, and no agreements... Read more...
Are smartwatches going out of style? Google does not think so, and to help prove it to consumers, the Mountain View outfit plans to launch a pair of flagship smartwatch models running its upcoming Android Wear 2.0 platform sometime in the first quarter of next year. The smartwatches will be the first ones to feature the updated platform, according to Jeff Chang, product manager of Android Wear at Google.Though Google will be making a push to convince consumers that wearables are still relevant, and specifically smartwatches, the two flagship models it has planned will not bear its own branding... Read more...
Google finds itself at the receiving end of a lawsuit, a not uncommon thing for the sultan of search, only this one is comes from within. One of the company's product managers is suing the firm over allegations of illegal confidentiality agreements and employee policies that run afoul of California's labor laws. The employee even accuses Google of promoting a culture of spying on one another. At dispute are the policies that Google puts in place to prevent leaking confidential information. However, the lawsuit alleges that the policies go to far and in essence restrict employees "from speaking... Read more...
Google said several months ago that it was partnering with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to build 100 autonomous Pacifica Hybrid minivans, a move that would double Google's self-driving fleet. Now it is about to make good on that arrangement. Chrysler announced today that production of all 100 Pacifica Hybrid minivans has been completed and delivered to Waymo, the new self-driving division created by Alphabet (Google's parent company), where they will be outfitted with autonomous hardware and software. "The Pacifica Hybrid will be a great addition to our fully self-driving test fleet. FCA's product... Read more...
Google did a good designing (and HTC building) its Pixel and Pixel XL handsets. Perhaps too good of a job. That's evidenced by how difficult it has been obtaining one of Google's hot new flagship smartphones based on its equally new Android 7.1 Nougat operating system. The larger Pixel XL has been especially difficult to grab hold of, though as of this writing, both models are in stock from the Google Store. That is, if you're okay with 32GB of onboard storage.The Pixel and Pixel XL come with two onboard storage options: 32GB and 128GB. Unfortunately, the significantly more capacious 128GB option... Read more...
Google has taken a small but potentially important step towards improving Internet speeds in Cuba. To that end, the Mountain View firm announced today that it has signed an agreement with Cuba's state-run telecommunications company to deploy servers in the region to boost speeds to Google's services, such as Gmail and YouTube. The deal will provide Google's Global Cache service to Cuba. By allowing the government-run telecommunications company ETECSA to use its technology and local servers, it can serve up access to Google's services at reduced latencies by caching some of its more popular high-bandwidth... Read more...
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