Google decided that today was a good day to do what its does best: make progress. So, Google Now just got updated for all Android 4.1 smartphones, via an update for the Google Search app. The update brings several new features: asking for the weather at your destination, automatically pull up your boarding pass at the airport (albeit only for United flights, at the moment), inform you about nearby events, and offer more information about things like artwork at museums using Google Goggles.
A number of additions were made to the voice search component, including the ability to search for the name of a track that’s playing by saying “what’s this song?” or look up additional information on a product by saying “scan this barcode.”
Via: Official Android Blog, Google Play
Needless to say, Eric Schmidt was once the CEO of Google, and is rather idealistic. But his points made about Google and Apple in a recent Wall Street Journal interview make some sort of weird sense: ”How has Google’s relationship with Apple changed in the past year?”, and Schmidt answered:
“It’s always been on and off. Obviously, we would have preferred them to use our maps. They threw YouTube off the home screen [of iPhones and iPads]. I’m not quite sure why they did that.
“The press would like to write the sort of teenage model of competition, which is, ‘I have a gun, you have a gun, who shoots first?’
“The adult way to run a business is to run it more like a country. They have disputes, yet they’ve actually been able to have huge trade with each other. They’re not sending bombs at each other.
“I think both Tim [Cook, Apple's CEO] and Larry [Page, Google's CEO], the sort of successors to Steve [Jobs] and me if you will, have an understanding of this state model. When they and their teams meet, they have just a long list of things to talk about.”
This all does make sense, to a degree. But you can never truly know how it is if you’re on the outside, looking in (as press or consumer). And with that quote, it’s well worth noting the rest of the interview is something you should read.
Via: Wall Street Journal
The British government is taking a proactive stance on internet security, as well as the well-being of their technology. Starting next year, a nationwide Computer Emergency Response Team will sprout to deal with — dun dun dun – cyber-threats. Alongside it, will be a new Cyber Reserve, which will call upon the exquisite talents of the Brit’s finest cyber-minds in times of crucial cyber-need. In the meantime, the United States is somewhat slow and quiet on the whole idea of having a cyber defense division.
Via: WSJ, Tech Week Europe
Nokia needed some extra cash. So, Nokia sold its headquarters on the Baltic Sea, in Espoo, Finland. But on the contrary, Nokia isn’t moving out of the massive building, instead, they’ve entered into a long-term lease with the new owner, Finland-based Exilion, which ponied up $220 million for the sleek set of corporate offices. As Nokia puts it:
“We had a comprehensive sales process with both Finnish and foreign investors and we are very pleased with this outcome. As we have said before, owning real estate is not part of Nokia’s core business and when good opportunities arise we are willing to exit these types of non-core assets. We are naturally continuing to operate in our head office building on a long-term basis.”
OK, then. But a mere $220 million cannot save Nokia from its Lumia line not selling, can it? We think it cannot.
Interested in the latest and greatest for the Galaxy S III? Android 4.1.1 is now available for the Galaxy S III via Samsung’s Kies desktop app. Specific features added can only be confirmed by AT&T, who haven’t yet detailed the entire update as it has just recently gone live on servers. Users will be immersed in the goodies of Google Now and the performance enhancements from Project Butter, all part of Android 4.1, including other features come to be expected from the Jelly Bean version of Android. Word from members of xda-developers reveals that the update weighs in at a heavy 738MB.
Ready for it? Go ahead and see if your download is ready.
This doesn’t mean that Mars has organic, carbon-based life. In fact, NASA has an idea that this came from previous missions on Mars’ surface, but the fact of the matter is that several organic comounds were found on Mars. What’s Mars made of? Well, after scooping up some loose sand, Curiosity’s Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite and the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instruments found a couple of chemicals, including sulfur, chlorine, and traces of carbon-based materials.
NASA will continue to work to determine of the carbons Curiosity detected are actually indigenous to Mars, and not something that slipped off of the Curiosity rover and into the sand by conducting a drill test before the rover travels to Mount Sharp early next year.
In a display of both authority and maintaining public image (as well as upholding the law, ironically), the NYPD has arrested the artist responsible for several posters around New York City illustrating the NYPD taking out New Yorkers using a UAV Predator drone, weapons-free and projectile inbound. Since his arrest, the artist has been identified as Essam Attia, and he used fake uniforms and a fake Van Wagner maintenance van to appear as if the crews pinning up the posters were actually working for the city. Crafty indeed, yet dangerous with high implications? Yes.
What really makes this story interesting is that the posters were a response to the NYPD’s increased surveillance arsenal: officers can now create fake social networking profiles to track down potential targets. Ironically, the NYPD last Wednesday successfully tracked down and arrested the 29-year-old art school vandal, who identified himself in the video as a former “geo-spatial analyst” serving US military operations in Iraq. He is currently being charged with Attia now faces 56 counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument and grand larceny possession of stolen property, as well as an unlicensed weapon.
Long live the NYPD and surveillance technology?
In San Diego International Airport, with the help of Adobe Premier, Cy Kuckenbaker took five hours of plane landings on Black Friday and condensed them down into just thirty seconds using composite and timelapse techniques — creating an amazing display of technology and traffic into a rich HD video. Like, this is really cool.
That’s the traditional price point for an unlocked white or black, 16GB iPhone 5 on a GSM carrier like AT&T, or similar networks overseas. It is expensive after all, and a similarly unlocked smartphone called the Nexus 4 by Google is available unlocked for a much more moderate $349, but lacks the LTE. Both devices have their pros and cons, with each leaning towards different advantages that make one more appealing than the other. Either way, unlocked smartphones are more expensive in this day and age than their carrier subsidized variants, so get used to it.
Today, Microsoft gave the Surface Pro, a Windows 8 tablet that is more powerful than the Surface RT, a release date and price. Starting from $899 and up, the Surface Pro will get you 1080p HD display, Windows 8 Pro, approximately half the battery life of the RT model, and of course the ability to run legacy (meaning literally every Windows app), something the RT version can’t do because its kernel is based off of AMD architecture. Other than all of that, it’s powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, and will launch in January of next year, with no specific date mentioned — yet.
The full price range is as follows: a 64GB model will cost $899, while a 128GB edition will be available for $999. The tablet includes a USB 3.0 port and a Mini DisplayPort, which can drive a screen of up to 2560 x 1440 resolution, and always comes bundled with a Surface Pen.