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Google opposes compensation for those suing over wifi snooping

Posted by wicked September - 1 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

GoogleStreetViewCar Wired.co.uk

Google is currently being sued for allegedly “snooping” on WiFi transmissions that were collected by Google’s Street View cars dating back from 2010. In 2012, the Federal Communications Commission fined Google $25,000 for refusing to cooperate with an investigation into this collection. Google claims that they intended to destroy the collected data.

According to documents filed by Google, those people who have filed a class-action lawsuit against Google shouldn’t be entitled to a “windfall” because they are the ones who failed to secure their networks.

“Plaintiffs configured their Wi-Fi networks to be open and to broadcast data at least as far as the public street, but now claim that they are entitled to a windfall as a result of that very activity,” Google says in papers filed this month with U.S. District Court Judge Charles R. Breyer in San Francisco.

Google also claims that people in the lawsuit waived their claims by using networks that weren’t password-protected.


Source: MediaPost;

HTC_One_VX_Back_HTC_Logo_TA

It is only a matter of time before HTC announces its upcoming T1 tablet that will have beastly specifications. Being that all signs point the T1 as the Nexus 8, an October launch seems likely as Android L is expected to arrive then. From Google itself, accessories for Nexus devices have remained scarce. With this tablet, however, Google and HTC are making sure they offer plenty of accessories. Leaked information reveals that a Magic Cover will be available in either leather or thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). The leather material will come in Natural or Black choices. The TPU Magic Cover will be offered in Coral Amethyst, Mint Indigo, Lime Stone, Indigo Black. In addition to this, a folio keyboard will be made specifically for the tablet.

Like the Nexus 7, the T1 tablet will have both WiFi and LTE-enabled variants. The source, @upleaks, claims that a ton of countries will be getting the WiFi variant including Japan and Korea. That part is expected. For the LTE variant, it will be “coming to Europe, Russia, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, Taiwan, Australia(include NZ), Korea, HK.” Of course, the market also dictates what kind of internet connection the tablet can have. So not all of the aforementioned places will have a device capable of LTE speeds. It will work on GSM and WCDMA networks.

Source: @upleaks (1) (2) (3)

Come comment on this article: HTC T1 tablet will have a slew of accessories upon being available, LTE variant on the way as well

Google Chrome Beta for Desktops Introduces Easier Multi-user Switching

Posted by Tim-o-tato August - 29 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

For desktop users, Chrome Beta is receiving an update this week, one which will allow users to switch between accounts signed into Chrome more easily. There is a new button labeled You in top right hand corner, and through that, you can add accounts while also switching to a Guest account. 

With Guest accounts, all activity done through Chrome is deleted once the session is ended, meaning you won’t have to manually wipe your browser data after your friends are done browsing the web.

The Beta is available for most desktop users at this moment, so go give it a try.

Chrome Beta

Via: Google Chrome Blog

Google Chrome Beta for Desktops Introduces Easier Multi-user Switching is a post from: Droid Life

Google has Been Working on Delivery Drones for Two Years, This is Project Wing

Posted by Kellex August - 29 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Yesterday, in a surprise unveiling, Google introduced the world to Project Wing, a Google [x] initiative that aims to put drones to work delivering anything from consumer goods to products needed for relief efforts in isolated areas. If it sounds a lot like Amazon’s Prime Air drone service, that’s because it is. 

Project Wing has been in the works for two years without public knowledge. Google has been testing its drones down in Australia, where the company claims there are much more “progressive” regulations surrounding drone use. In other words, they can test away without much interference while they work to convince the US that delivery drones should be a thing.

Google is mostly selling their drones on being able to deliver goods in disaster relief situations. The idea is that a constant wave of drones could deliver medicine or batteries or any other helpful product to an area that may be difficult to reach by conventional vehicle. The drones can take off and land without a runway, and are pre-programmed with a destination that allows them to fly automatically without someone controlling them remotely. As can be seen in the video, the current drones have the ability to lower packages to the ground securely.

Of course, Google also mentioned that these could eventually deliver consumer goods as well, just like Amazon plans to do. Google continues to expand its Shopping Express service, which drone delivery could easily be tied into, assuming they could ever get government approval for their use.

Drones are obviously a hot topic in this country, but would you be interested at all in having either Google or Amazon deliver things via drone to your doorstep?

Via:  BBC

Google has Been Working on Delivery Drones for Two Years, This is Project Wing is a post from: Droid Life

Project Wing: Google’s drones could one day drop your groceries from the sky

Posted by wicked August - 29 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

google project wing drone

Google’s latest moonshot could revolutionize the way we move stuff from point A to point B. As Google [X]’s Captain of Moonshots Astro Teller puts it, “Project Wing aspires to take a big chunk of the remaining friction out of moving.”

To achieve this lofty goal, Google has developed delivery drones that are able to carry a small package, fly autonomously to their destination, and lower the package to the ground through a thin cable. The drones are 1.5 meters wide and 0.8 meters tall and can take off from a fixed spot, like a helicopter, and then switch to flying like an airplane midflight.

google project wing drone WSJ

According to an extensive profile in The Atlantic, a few dozen Googlers have been involved with the project since its inception two years ago. In its initial phase, Project Wing was led by Nick Roy, a roboticist on a sabbatical break from MIT; following Roy’s return to his regular job, drone expert Dave Vos took over.

Over the past year, Google has tested Project Wing in Australia, a country that has more permissive regulations concerning drones compared to the US, where the FTA issued a blanket ban on commercial development of unmanned air vehicles. The video below is a glimpse of the testing – Australian cattle rancher Neil Parfitt “orders” a package including dog food, from project lead Nick Roy, who promptly dispatches a drone with the package.

As you can see, Google is pretty confident that it solved all the major challenges of the project, though delivery drones are in no way ready for commercial deployment yet. Google still has tons of technical issues to solve, from designing a software interface for users to call drones, to finding a way to avoid dangerous obstacles like power lines, to tweaking the drone’s navigation software for a myriad of edge cases.

One of the biggest problems that Google needs to surmount is obtaining clearance to operate the drones. To do so, the company says it “wants a seat at the regulatory table.” Commercial drone operation may be illegal for now in the US, but Google has experience in clearing regulatory hurdles – see self-driving cars and smart contact lenses for proof.

What’s the end goal for Project Wing? Google says it initially thought about speeding up the process of delivering defibrillators to victims of heart attacks in remote places. But it found that integrating drone delivery in the emergency response system would cancel the speed advantage offered by using a drone in the first place.

Imagine receiving your Play Store order in 30 minutes or less

So Google is now focusing on speedy delivery of goods – the company’s Shopping Express retail service could greatly benefit from super-fast deliveries. Customers could order their groceries (or, why not, a smartphone from the Play Store) and have them in their front yards within minutes. Amazon is exploring the same idea, while Domino’s experimented with drones for pizza deliveries. But we’re still probably years away from scenarios like these.

For an in-depth look at Project Wing, check out The Atlantic’s article by Alexis Madrigal.


Source: The Atlantic;

Google unveils ‘Project Wing’, a drone-based delivery system

Posted by wicked August - 29 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Google_Project_Wing_Delivery_Drone_01

Amazon already unveiled their future drone-based delivery system a few months ago, but you didn’t think Google didn’t have something similar planned did you? It’s seems to be the perfect application for Google X Labs, and it is.

They just unveiled “Project Wing” which is exactly that. Apparently they have already conducted 30 test flights in mid August as part of the first phase. The video below shows successful deliveries to farmers in Australia.

Google’s drone design during this phase consists of a hybrid plane and a helicopter called a tail sitter. It takes off vertically, then flies around after rotating to a horizontal position. When it’s ready for delivery, it hovers and winches packages down to the ground. An “egg” detects when the package has hit the ground, then releases the delivery, and goes back up into the body of the drone.

Of course, this system isn’t completely reliable just yet, but Google feels they are well on the way to making this happen. Check out the video below and let us know what you think.

Click here to view the embedded video.

source: The Atlantic

Come comment on this article: Google unveils ‘Project Wing’, a drone-based delivery system

Project Wing revealed to be Google’s drone deliver moonshot

Posted by wicked August - 29 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Google, or to be specific, Google X, really loves stretching the boundaries of technology, and maybe the law as well. Seemingly taking after Amazon’s own drone-powered delivery plans, Google X has revealed it has its own “Project Wing” delivery system already in the works, with a slight twist.

To be fair, Wing isn’t really an imitation of Amazon’s drone dreams. Project Wing was said to have been in development for already two years now. And it wasn’t initially conceptualized to deliver packages. It was first intended for emergency situations, delivering defibrillators to heart attack victims, where speed of deployment is of the essence. Unfortunately, the red tape involved in integrating it with a 911 system and other considerations negated whatever speed benefits Project Wing had to offer. And since Google has already started its own same-day express delivery service, why not reuse Wing for something less life critical and more sensational?

Project Wing neatly ties into Google’s latest obsession: automation and robots. Unlike most commercial drones in the market, though, Project Wing is quite unique, part plane, part helicopter. Like a helicopter, it takes of vertically, almost like a rocket with its nose pointed up. Then it rotates on its pitch to a conventional lateral position as it flies to its destination. You might imagine it would then fly down to your door (and maybe even ring your doorbell) to deliver the package, but not so. It remains hovering in the air and will instead lower the package to the ground with a cable.

The public reveal of Project Wing was prompted by growing rumors and leaks, but Google hasn’t said yet if it’s ready to be delivered. Even if it technically ready, it still has to pass one of the hardest and most painstaking hurdle of all: getting it legally certified. At the moment, Google X is conducting its Project Wing tests in Australia, where drones aren’t yet the subject of government scrutiny the way it has lately been in the US.

SOURCE: The Atlantic
VIA: SlashGear

Good Read: History of Motorola – From Marty Cooper to the OG DROID and Sanjay to Today

Posted by Kellex August - 28 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

If you were looking for a solid article that covers the history of Motorola from its glorious days of inventing the first mobile phone to its eventual fall, rise again thanks to the original DROID, to its landslide decline again before being sold to Google and then to Lenovo, Chicago Magazine has you covered. In a piece released at the beginning of the week, the story of one of America’s most innovative companies is detailed from the good times to the bad. We’re talking from its founding days in 1928 as Galvin Manufacturing Corp to its current up-in-the-air status with a Lenovo acquisition looming over their new downtown Chicago headquarters.

You should really go read the full article if Motorola’s history interests you at all, but for the sake of saving a bit of time and grabbing your attention, we have pulled out a couple of excerpts on events that stood out to us, starting in the 70s.  

The introduction of the first phone by Marty Cooper:

Of all Motorola’s inventions, none were as transformative as the cell phone. A request from Orlando Wilson, Chicago’s police chief from 1960 to 1967, provided the impetus. Violent crime in the city was surging. Wilson wanted his patrol officers out of their cars and on foot, but he didn’t want them on the street without a way to stay connected.

Cooper, among others, envisioned a solution: a handheld phone that functioned on a wireless cellular network. Bob Galvin realized that the market for such a device could extend well beyond law enforcement. So he committed $100 million to developing it. In 1973, Cooper made his first call—to a rival at AT&T’s Bell Labs—on a boot-size prototype.

On the massive success that Motorola once had in the cellphone business, before being lapped by Nokia:

Indeed, thanks largely to its still-growing cellular business, in 1994 Motorola rose to 23rd on the Fortune 500 list of the nation’s biggest public companies, with revenues of $22 billion and profits of nearly $2 billion. By 1994, 60 percent of the mobile phones sold in the United States were Motorolas, with the wireless business making up nearly 65 percent of the company’s revenues.

But Motorola was about to fall off a cliff. Because Finnish rival Nokia had wisely retooled for digital, by the time Gary Tooker’s four-year run as CEO ended in 1997, Nokia had surpassed Motorola as the world’s largest mobile phone maker. It had become a newly powerful competitor in building networks, too. Nokia would remain the world’s largest maker of mobile phones by volume—if not by revenue—for the next 15 years.

On Motorola essentially teaching Steve Jobs how to make the ultimate smartphone:

Meanwhile, in arguably one of the worst decisions ever made by a major corporate CEO, Zander struck a deal with his Silicon Valley friend Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple. Together their companies created a Motorola iTunes phone, the first phone connected to Apple’s music store. “We can’t think of a more natural partnership than this one with Apple,” Zander said at the time. Named the Rokr, the phone launched in the fall of 2005. Jobs, who introduced it, called it “an iPod Shuffle right on your phone.”

Zander says he believed that by working with Apple, Motorola could become cool again. But much as it had taught the Chinese to compete with it years before, Motorola was teaching one of the most creative, competitive, and consumer-savvy companies of all time how to make a phone.

On choosing Android for the original DROID:

The presentation, held in early 2009, grew heated. One top Motorola executive declared that choosing Android over Windows Mobile was madness. Google’s system wasn’t ready for prime time, he argued, whereas Microsoft was one of the most powerful software companies in the world.

Jha would not budge. Motorola’s board faced two options: go with Jha’s recommendation or shut down the mobile phone business altogether.

By a vote of 4 to 3, the board members chose the former. Quickly, Arshad handpicked a team of 200 in-house engineers to work closely with a Google team led by Andy Rubin, who had created the Android system. “They wanted Motorola to be successful and to prove everyone wrong,” says Arshad. “To save the company.”

The article goes on and on, so this is just a taste. It’s good stuff, again, especially if you are interested at all in the history of Motorola.

To read the whole article, head over to Chicago Magazine.

Cheers Robert!

Good Read: History of Motorola – From Marty Cooper to the OG DROID and Sanjay to Today is a post from: Droid Life

Google Glass gets access to Pandora

Posted by wicked August - 28 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

pandora_google_glass

Google Glass owners now have access to Pandora Internet Radio via their wearable device. Users get access to their existing stations or they can create a new station using voice commands. However, several other controls still require the use of the touchpad, including play/pause controls, favoriting tracks and dismissing tracks.

The Glass version of Pandora was spawned by a Hack-a-thon earlier this year. The hack ended up working well enough that Pandora decided to share it with Google so it could be made available to Glass owners.

If you have Google Glass, just head over to the Glassware page or use the MyGlass app to find Pandora. Turn the app on, sign in and grant the requested permissions, and it will be added to your device.

source: Google Glass

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Google could launch two Nexus smartphones this year

Posted by wicked August - 27 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Nexus_5_Nexus_Logo_TA

It just might be the last year of the Nexus, and if it is, it could go out with a bang. We already know about the Nexus X, but is it going to be a 5.2-inch model or a 5.9-inch model?

It’s expected that the Nexus X will in fact be 5.9-inches, but we also know that Motorola is testing two Moto S devices, a 5.2-incher and a 5.9-incher. It’s unclear whether Motorola will release both devices, but a source close to the supply chain is saying that Google is readying the unused device. So If Motorola releases the 5.9-inch version under the Moto S name, Google would then take the 5.2-incher and make it a second Nexus device.

I’m not really sure why it matters what Motorola does here. If Google wanted to release both the 5.2 and 5.9, I don’t see why it makes a difference whether Motorola releases it under the Moto S name or not. More importantly, what would Google call it? They already used the Nexus S name a few years ago.

I guess we will have to wait and see. Google has never released two Nexus smartphones in the same year so this would be a big change. I think it makes sense to offer two sizes though since 5.9-inches won’t be attractive to a lot of people. What do you guys think?

source: Phone Arena

Come comment on this article: Google could launch two Nexus smartphones this year