Items tagged with Google

Google's philanthropic arm, Google.org, is partnering with NetHope to help Syrian refugees in Germany get acclimated to their new environment and take advantage of educational opportunities. The effort consists of a $5.3 million grant to support and fund the launch of Project Reconnect, a program designed to equip nonprofits working with refugees with Chromebooks. Chromebooks have found a niche in the education sector due to their low cost of ownership and ease of use. They thrive when connected to the Internet, as Chromebooks rely heavily on Google's many cloud-based services, like Gmail, Google... Read more...
We've been talking about Apple's secret automotive project for what feels like forever, and despite all that's been reported up to this point, the company has stuck to its guns and remains quiet on the matter. At this point, though, we must imagine that Apple has just about given up on trying to keep things a secret, as it seems we can't go a single day without seeing more proof of it. The latest bit of "proof" comes from Daimler's CEO Dieter Zetsche who recently paid a visit to Silicon Valley with other senior management members. In talking to German weekly Welt am Sonntag, Zetsche said that during... Read more...
Google’s long-needed quest to untangle its core services from the mediocre web of Google+ is finally picking up the pace. The exodus continues today, as you will no longer need a Google+ account in order to access the Play Games service. Google notes that gamers will only have to sign-in once using their standard Google account and will no longer have to sign-in for future games, as this process will become automatic. This means that gamer will no longer be presented with an annoying popup telling them to sign-in for each title. If you’re not a fan auto-sign-in, you can always disable the feature... Read more...
Nest Labs hoped to spark an Internet of Things (IoT) revolution with the introduction of the Nest Learning Thermostat. After all, many homeowners had never encountered a thermostat that was so adept at maintaining heat/cooling levels using a bevy of sensors and software magic while shutting off when you left the room and turning back on when you returned. Nest’s achievements with its thermostat (and later, the Nest Protect) were enough to attract the attention of Google, which bought the company for $3.2 billion in 2014. While no one expects that a Nest thermostat should be locked down as securely... Read more...
We've talked a lot about "machine-learning" over the past couple of years, and it's for one good reason: small and large companies alike are taking it very seriously. Just a couple of weeks ago, we reported that Yahoo released a huge 13.5TB trove of data to be used for machine-learning, and at the same time, we recounted a couple of other good recent examples as well, such as Microsoft teaching computers to have a sense of humor and improved emotion detection. If you're new to the machine-learning world and don't completely understand what it actually is, the simplest description is "teaching computers... Read more...
There's a good reason why Google is the default search engine in Safari on iOS, Apple's mobile operating system. It's all about the Benjamins, which collectively totaled $1 billion in 2014, the amount Google paid Apple as part of a revenue sharing agreement to keep its search engine as the default on iPhones and iPads. To put that into perspective. Dr. Evil initially wanted to hold the world ransom for $1 million before upping the ante to $100 billion.The fact that Google pays big time bucks to hardware and software partners to feature its search engine as the default option has long been known.... Read more...
There was once a time when Google Chrome was the fast, fresh-faced browser on the market. Now, seven years after it was first introduced in beta, Chrome has become a lot more bloated and not as lithe as it used to be. Google hopes to change that with its new Brotli compression algorithm, which will take the place of its current Zopfli counterpart. Brotli was first discussed back in September 2015, and uses a “new data format” to allow for 20 to 26 percent higher compression ratios than what’s possible with Zopfli. “We show that Brotli is roughly as fast as zlib’s Deflate implementation,” said Google... Read more...
A little over a week ago, officials from the Obama administration met with some of the biggest names in tech, including senior executives from Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo. Administration officials in attendance included Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey, National Intelligence Director James Clapper and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough. Although the meeting was primarily focused on “[Cyber] efforts to counter radicalization” and to “Make it harder for terrorists to use the Internet” to coordinate attacks, the controversial topic of device... Read more...
When it comes to virtual reality technologies, the consensus is that seeing is believing. However, VR isn't just about treating your eyeballs to a plethora of realistic visuals, it's about bombarding the senses as a whole for a truly immersive experience. With that goal in mind, Google today announced the addition of spatial audio support to its Cardboard SDKs for Unity and Android. What spatial audio does is allow users to hear where sounds are coming from. It goes beyond simple left and right side audio and attempts to let developers produce sounds the say humans actually hear it, including above,... Read more...
Google seems to have gotten the memo that a price cut for its Nexus 5X handset would be much appreciated, and so the powers that be in Mountain View made it happen. The Nexus 5X is now permanently lightened by $30, bringing the cost down for $349 for the 16GB model and $399 for the 32GB version, both unlocked and off-contract. For what it is, the LG-build smartphone wasn't overpriced to begin with. However, it went on sale for $299 on Black Friday, and after that, several retailers had it listed for $330. Google's price cut isn't quite as steep, but it's enough that a potential buyer may now pull... Read more...
It should strike no one as a surprise that digital video has become big business. Let be more accurate; it's a huge business. When Google purchased YouTube almost ten years ago, there were few people who truly understood what it'd become. Today it's one of the most popular websites on the planet, ranking 3rd globally (behind Google.com and Facebook.com). It's also no doubt responsible for a lot more bandwidth than most other sites out there, so it's of little surprise then that the company's Chief Business Officer sees a bright future. At CES, Robert Kyncl reiterated a couple of predictions... Read more...
   It may have sounded outlandish when Tesla CEO Elon Musk made the bold visionary claim that some day "human drivers could be outawed," but the latest study out of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute doesn't exactly paint a rosy picture for us modern homo sapiens. Alphabet's Google business unit commissioned a study from the research group and the results show perhaps exactly the trend Musk was referring to. The report focused on minor collisions that Google's 50 vehicle strong self-driving car fleet had logged over the last 6 years. Google's robot AI powered cars racked up just... Read more...
After making waves at IDF 2015 in August, Project Tango is closer to appearing on consumer phones. In fact, Google and Lenovo announced at CES 2016 that they already have a prototype phone that features the augmented reality kit and plan to launch it this year. Google released renderings of a Lenovo phone with Project Tango, but cautioned that the images are not images of the “official” Lenovo phone. Still, they provide an interesting look at how the necessary hardware (a motion-tracking camera and depth-sensing technology) will affect the appearance of a consumer phone. “By adding... Read more...
ASUS designed its new Chromebook C202 to be a particularly tough computer, and with good reason: the Chromebooks are headed to classrooms across the U.S. Rough treatment is to be expected and the occasional drop to a tile floor is a given. After performing what it describes as “military-grade” testing, ASUS thinks it has a laptop rugged enough for school. The Chromebook C202 features an 11.6-inch anti-glare display at 1366 x 768. That’s not much screen real estate, but not unexpected for a student laptop. The system is powered by an Intel Celeron N3060 and integrated Intel HD... Read more...
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