Archive for category Google

Google’s self driving car could enable my independence

If you watch the video above, you’ll see that Google put a blind person behind the wheel of a self driving car. This is amazing. Being blind myself, I will never be able to drive. I will always have to depend on someone else if I need to go to the store or to an appointment. I could take public transportation, but that’s only available in cities mostly (where I live currently doesn’t have much public transportation).
If Google could make these cars mainstream, I would probably try to get one as soon as possible. The only issues I could see would be liability issues and potentially issues with the sensors causing accidents and such, but accidents would be much less common with self driving cars (especially if every car was self driving and could communicate with each other).

Leave your thoughts on this in the comments below.

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Would you buy Cable TV from Google?

Last week sometime, Google filed for a “video franchise license” in Missouri, right around where they have been offering their Fiber optic internet service. If Google is granted this license, it would allow them to sell Cable TV service in this area. If you would like more details, check out the source link below, but I wanted to share my options on this.

When I first read this news, I was somewhat confused as to why Google would want to get into the cable TV market. With all of the online TV and movie services, it seems that people are trying to move AWAY from cable, not towards it. The only reason I can see is advertising. The majority of Google’s income is from ads, so it makes sense that they would want to make commercials for some extra money, and with the new fiber lines being installed in that area, it would be fairly simple to give users cable TV. Also, Google could integrate this service very nicely with their Google TV’s and possibly YouTube (maybe with the new privacy policy, they’ll use YouTube videos for the commercials?)

I’m not sure that I would actually sign up for cable TV from Google. I’m not planning on having actual cable TV in the future, since I don’t watch much TV anyway (pretty much just one or two shows a night, and I can watch those online). The only way I’d sign up is if it came bundled with Google’s Internet service (which is only available in Kansas City, and I don’t think there are any plans for it to come to my area soon).

Would you sign up for cable TV from Google if it were offered in your area?

The New York Post

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Google Chrome: Updating done right

Many people, myself included, use Google Chrome as their default web browser. There are many good points about Chrome, such as it’s speed and support for the latest HTML5 features. But I would like to focus on just one: how it updates. For me, I have almost never actually upgraded Google Chrome in the traditional sense. It updates completely in the background without displaying anything to the user. This is why it’s so great. In almost all other application’s I’ve used, when a new version is released, a box pops up and you have to spend time downloading and installing the new version. This is especially annoying with web browsers, because it mostly happens right when the browser launches, and usually, you never want to upgrade when it first opens (because you opened it for a purpose).

With Chrome, you can just open and use it like normal, without any interference, and always be at the latest version. “It just works.”

This is especially important to less tech-savvy users. Typically, many prompts to upgrade their software will result in frustration and they might just cancel the upgrades and keep using out-of-date versions. This is potentially dangerous, as updates patch security holes which prevents viruses and malware from entering the user’s computer. Chrome allows you to always have those holes patched, and never have to take time to upgrade.

 

To all other software manufacturers, PLEASE adopt Google’s strategy of updating in the background automatically.

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Google Chromebooks and Chrome OS


Embedded video via Google’s Youtube channel.

Today, Google announced Chromebooks at Google I/O. If you’ve never heard of Chrome OS, it’s basically an operating system that’s just Google Chrome. Everything is on the web. The video above shows this. Google is also allowing schools to rent Chromebooks for $20 a month, and businesses for $28 a month (per netbook).

I can see how these would be useful when you constantly have internet access, but what happens when you don’t? Sure you can use the 3g connection, but what if you don’t want to pay for a data plan? This can be a big problem, since the netbook is pretty much useless without internet access. What would be very nice is if Google enabled offline access for most (if not all) of their apps (such as Google Docs and Calendar). Then any new data could be synced once you have internet access again.

What are your thoughts on Google’s Chromebooks?

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Would you spend 1,200 bucks on a tablet?

According to Engadget, the Motorola Xoom will be available to preorder at Best Buy on Thursday, Feb. 17. The only catch is that it will apparently be $1,199! The article on Engadget says that it may be a placeholder number but there will be a mandatory 1 month activation requirement with Verizon. The updated post states that the price will instead be $800, which is quite a bit cheaper. However, I find this price to be pretty high as well. For $800 you could buy a pretty decent laptop, or an even better desktop. Considering that the iPad starts at $500, they are going to have a hard time selling the Xoom over the iPad unless they lower the price a little.

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How To: Get the bookmarks bar back in Chromium 6.0.458.0

In the latest nightly build of Google Chromium (version 6.0.458.0), the bookmarks bar appears to be gone. After tinkering around, I noticed that it appears when you open a new tab:

I Googled around but couldn’t find an answer on how to get it back to the way it was. I decided to look around in the options. Still no luck.

It’s actually very simple to get the bar back. Open a new tab to show the bookmarks bar. Then right click anywhere on the bar and select “Always show bookmarks bar”

Now your bookmarks bar should be back to normal.

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HTC Aria on AT&T

A new android device has finally been released on AT&T. The first Android device, the Motorola Backflilp, was loaded with bloatware and had an older version of Android. The Aria has Android 2.1 (with the HTC Sense UI on top) and doesn’t have nearly as much bloatware as the backflip. Yes, there are AT&T specific apps but that should be expected. AT&T has also blocked the ability to download non-market applications from being installed, but that can be explained (even though it is an inconvenience).

Here are the specs copied from HTC’s website:

Operating System Android™ 2.1
Touch Screen Yes (Capacitive)
Screen Size 3.2 inches
Band HSPA/UMTS/EDGE/GPRS/GSM; Dual Mode UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA (1900/850MHZ) & GSM/GPRS/EDGE (Quad band 850/900/1800/1900MHZ); HSDPA/UMTS (3GPP Release 5 Compliant; 7.2 Mbps Enabled) EGPRS Functionality
Integrated GPS Yes (GPS/AGPS)
Camera Resolution 5 megapixels
Video Camera Yes
Speaker Phone Yes
Expandable Memory Capability 32GB
Memory Card Type microSD
Bluetooth® V2.1
Hearing Aid Compatible HAC M3 – T3 Class
MP3 Player Yes
Napster Mobile Compatible Not preloaded
Mobile Internet Yes
E-mail Sync Yes
FM Radio Yes
Talk Time Hours (up to) 6 hrs
Stand By Days (Max) 15.5 days
Weight 115g
Ford Sync Yes

Also, the Samsung Captivate was announced, which will have a bigger screen and much better specs.

Operating System Android™ 2.1
Touch Screen Yes (Capacitive)
Screen Size 3.2 inches
Band HSPA/UMTS/EDGE/GPRS/GSM; Dual Mode UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA (1900/850MHZ) & GSM/GPRS/EDGE (Quad band 850/900/1800/1900MHZ); HSDPA/UMTS (3GPP Release 5 Compliant; 7.2 Mbps Enabled) EGPRS Functionality
Integrated GPS Yes (GPS/AGPS)
Camera Resolution 5 megapixels
Video Camera Yes
Speaker Phone Yes
Expandable Memory Capability 32GB
Memory Card Type microSD
Bluetooth® V2.1
Hearing Aid Compatible HAC M3 – T3 Class
MP3 Player Yes
Napster Mobile Compatible Not preloaded
Mobile Internet Yes
E-mail Sync Yes
FM Radio Yes
Talk Time Hours (up to) 6 hrs
Stand By Days (Max) 15.5 days
Weight 115g
Ford Sync Yes

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