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Tag Archives: Google

DailyTech – Google Teases at Android 4.4 “KitKat”, Device Giveaway

Google says too few people knew how Key Lime Pie tasted to name it thatfp__Android_KitKat_Thumb

After being stuck on “Jelly Bean” (Android 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3) for over a year, people were starting to wonder when the next major name change might land for the world’s most used mobile operating system.

I. Android 4.4 is Android “KitKat”

Well the wait is over, with Google Inc.’s (GOOG) Android chief Sundar Pichai posting a picture on Twitter that confirms that the next version of Android will be dubbed “KitKat” and will have the version number Android 4.4.
KitKats are popular chocolate bars with a crunchy biscuit inside stick shaped pieces. The confection is made by Swiss candy and beverage company Nestle SA (VTX:NESN). The announcement took many by surprise as the rumor was that Google was going to adopt the more brand agnostic dessert “Key Lime Pie“.  Google was also rumored to bump the version number to 5.0.

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II. No Key Lime Pie For You

John Lagerling — Google’s director of Android global partnerships — told BBC News in an interview today that the branding was indeed a corporate tieup, but that Google was not paid to use the name.  He says that the decision was meant to be “fun and unexpected”, remarking, “This is not a money-changing-hands kind of deal.”
Source: DailyTech.

Google reportedly wants to launch its own online pay TV service — paidContent

Google is talking to media companies about licensing live TV programming and streaming it on the internet, the WSJ reported Tuesday afternoon, citing unidentified sources.
The article doesn’t say how far the discussions have gotten or which networks Google is talking with, but “in at least one case, Google has provided a demonstration of the product.”
Google already has Google TV, a product that provides access to apps like Pandora and Redbox Instant and is powering certain smart TVs as well as a separate set-top boxes. But Google TV is largely meant to be complementary to an existing pay TV subscription, whereas this new offering would compete directly with subscriptions offered by cable and satellite TV companies.
Other companies also want to compete with cable providers and transmit TV over the internet. Intel plans to launch its own service, OnCue, this yearSony, Apple andFanhattan are also working on such services, but have had difficulty getting them off the ground. Apple, for instance, has pursued a piecemeal strategy to get networks to stream their content through apps on Apple TV, but is also reportedly working on a live TV product that would allow ad-skipping.
Google reportedly wants to launch its own online pay TV service — paidContent.

Google H840 Media Player Spotted In FCC Testing

Google H480 FCC EUT

Earlier this year, Google decided to discontinue the social streaming media player known as the Nexus Q.  However, a new Google media player gadget has been spotted in FCC testing documents with the product name H840.  The product code is the H2G2-42, which is a play on the The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

The wireless report confirms that the device “functions as a media player.”  Some of the specs of the device includes a 2.4GHz WiFi b/g/n connectivity.  The FCC report does not contain test photos so we do not know what the device looks like.  It is likely that the H840 will support Google Play Music All Access and will have similar functionality as a Sonos media player that can be connected to external speakers.

The Google H840 will likely have a much more friendly user interface than the Nexus Q with more features.  The Nexus Q was essentially a way to play YouTube videos, music, and other content to a TV using Android-powered phones and tablets.  Essentially, the Nexus Q was Google’s own Apple TV.  Earlier this month, Google Play stopped supporting the Nexus Q after the All Access subscription music services was integrated into the marketplace.  Another disadvantage of the Google Nexus Q is that it was manufactured in the U.S., causing it to have a high price.  The Apple TV retails for around $99 currently and the Nexus Q was priced at $299 when it was launched.

Another reason why the Nexus Q had low demand is because it was linked exclusively to Google Play content.  There were no options to connect to Netflix, Hulu Plus, or Amazon Instant Video.  This is why I suspect that the upcoming H840 will have options to connect to these other video services.

FCC Sample Label:

Google H480 FCC Sample Label

Read more @ Pulse 2.0.

VentureBeat: Google announces its third Google Fiber city: Provo, Utah (aka Silicon Slopes)

Just weeks after officially revealing that Google Fiber would expand into Austin, Tex., Google is announcing its third U.S. Fiber city — Provo, Utah.

Google Fiber offers download and upload speeds that are 100 times faster than the average consumer broadband Internet connection, and at a much cheaper price. The service launched in the Kansas City area back in July, which instantly prompted competing services from Time Warner Cable to boost their own offerings. The announcement of Google Fiber coming to Provo validates Google chairman Eric Schmidt’s  previously statement that this is not a side project for the company.

So why Provo? Google Fiber general manager Kevin Lo explains:

“Utah is already home to hundreds of tech companies and startups, and many of them are based in Provo. In fact, the Provo area ranks second in the nation in patent growth, and is consistently ranked as one of the top places to live and do business in the U.S. We believe the future of the Internet will be built on gigabit speeds, and we’re sure the businesses and residents of Provo already have some good ideas for what they’d build with a gig”

Read more at VentureBeat

Engadget: HBO and Cinemax come to Google Fiber, cable companies shaking in their boots

4-16-2013googlefiberhbo

Google Fiber has a lot going for it, both as an ISP and a pay-TV platform. There was was one gaping hole in the service though: no HBO. Lets be honest with ourselves, its the big geeks that are looking to hop on that 1Gbps service first. And what do geeks love almost as much as blazing-fast Google-branded internet? Game of Thrones. Now Kansas City (and soon Austin) based nerds will be able to watch Joffrey become an even bigger monster live, rather than wait for some torrent site to get an illegal copy of it up (or, if they’re smart, mooch off of someone’s HBO GO account). Alongside HBO, Google Fiber has also added Cinemax: Home Box Office’s less cool sibling. The branded families of channels are both available today for $20 a month or $10 a month respectively. Or, if you’re a real premium TV fan, you can get both, plus STARZ and Showtime for $40 a month. Hit up the source for a few more details.

Source: Engadget

Why you want Google Fiber

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(CNN) — This week, tech giant Google made it official: Google Fiber is coming to Austin. Residents of the hip Texas city will be the beneficiaries of Internet speeds of 1-gigabit, roughly 100 times faster than current speeds.

In Kansas City, where the service launched last fall, 1-gigabit service costs $70 per month. For $120 per month, consumers get Google’s TV service in addition to gigabit speeds. The company also offers seven years of free Internet service at current (5 mbps) speeds, after a $300 installation fee.

It’s entirely possible that Google Fiber could cost more in the future, but for now Google says it expects prices in Austin to be “roughly similar to Kansas City.”

Here are five reasons why you should want Google Fiber to come to your city as well.

Goodbye buffering: It’s the bane of Internet users everywhere. How many times have you been watching a video on YouTube or elsewhere on the Web, only to have the stream freeze up, forcing you to sit there like a chump while you wait for the video to resume?

Slate’s Farhad Manjoo describes a Google Fiber demonstration in which a company official played five high-definition YouTube videos simultaneously without a hitch. Most users are unlikely to watch five videos at the same time, but the point stands: With Google Fiber’s gigabit speeds, say goodbye to buffering.

And it’s not just YouTube: Imagine being able to download a full-length high-definition movie in a matter of seconds.
(MORE: Report: Google Fiber heading to Austin as cities race to boost Web speeds)

The price is right: It’s hard to beat free. Let’s say you’re content with your current broadband speeds and if you don’t want to pay for a gigabit. Google is offering at least seven years of free Internet service at current national average broadband speeds of 5 mbps, after a one-time $300 installation fee.
Now, suppose you pay $60 per month for your current broadband service. That’s $720 per year, or more than $5,000 over the course of seven years. With Google Fiber’s basic service, you’re saving more than $4,700.

Needless to say, this could go a long way toward making broadband service affordable in low-income communities, which, in turn, could help close the digital divide.

Read more @ CNN

Google Is Forking WebKit to Create a New Rendering Engine For Chrome and Opera

chrome

Google announced last night that it’s going to stop using WebKit—the rendering engine currently used by the likes of Safari and Chrome to display web pages—in favor of its own solution which will be called Blink.

That is, admittedly, super-nerdy news, but it’s important. Google claims that WebKit has been slowing down the way it develops its web browser. That’s mainly because of the way Chrome uses different methods to display web pages compared to other browsers—each tab in Chrome is a separate process—and WebKit doesn’t quite fit the mold. That means you can expect to see Google’s Chrome get better, quicker in the future. Google explains:

This was not an easy decision. We know that the introduction of a new rendering engine can have significant implications for the web. Nevertheless, we believe that having multiple rendering engines-similar to having multiple browsers-will spur innovation and over time improve the health of the entire open web ecosystem.

What it actually means for the rest of the internet is unclear. WebKit is certainly the dominant rendering engine for the mobile web, thanks in the most part to its use in Safari which dominates mobile browsing. That means that, since Blink is a fork of WebKit and not a reinvention of the wheel, developers likely won’t have to do much to support the change. At least, in the first instance.

Elsewhere, Opera has announced that it’s joining Google in the shift, explaining that “the new engine that will power Opera’s browsers.” It could also be good news for Microsoft and Mozilla: currently, many mobile websites cater entirely for WebKit, and this shift might be enough to convince developers to shift to a more inclusive regime in the future. As for Apple, the major user of WebKit—well, it seems unlikely it will bother it at all.

Of course, it’s going to be a while before this has any major impact on the internet we all use. Blink’s still being developed, and will be first appear in Chromium before it eventually makes its way into Chrome. [Google via Verge]

Google Is Forking WebKit to Create a New Rendering Engine For Chrome and Opera.

Google announces first major Fiber expansion, but it’s still in the Kansas City area | VentureBeat

Google announces first major Fiber expansion, but it’s still in the Kansas City area

Google will add Olathe, Kan. to the list of cities that will get its blazing-fastGoogle Fiber Internet speeds, the company said in a blog post Tuesday.

The Google Fiber initiative brings super-fast gigabyte download and upload Internet speeds to homes, but it doesn’t yet offer a business option. Previously, Google chairman Eric Schmidt said that Fiber was not an experiment and that Google would likely expand the project outside of its first two cities — Kansas City, Kan. and Kansas City, Mo. So it looks like that’s finally happening.

Olathe is part of the Greater Kansas City area, but this at least shows Google wasn’t kidding around and will bring Fiber to more areas. Choosing another city near Kansas City makes sense because the company will be able to move resources easily to sites there. Google also thinks Olathe, like Kansas City, fits the mold for places that will take advantage of Google Fiber.

“Olathe has become one of the fastest-growing cities in Kansas and has attracted an influx of new businesses and residents,” Google Fiber community manager Rachel Hack wrote in a blog post. “They’ve all noticed what a great community Olathe is, and so have we. We think that Fiber and widespread Internet access will help to create jobs, grow local businesses, and make Olathe even stronger as it grows.”

Consumers will be able to sign up for the service during a pre-registration period. Google has not announced when it will begin taking pre-orders for Fiber in Olathe and said that installation schedules in Kansas City will not be affected by the announcement. Plan pricing ranges from $0/month for basic Internet service (which comes with a one-time $300 “construction fee”) to $70/month for Gigabit Internet and $120/month for Gigabit Internet and TV.
Source: VentureBeat.

Google Launches Drive Realtime API To Let Developers Build Apps With Real-Time Collaboration | TechCrunch

Google just announced the launch of its Google Drive Realtime API, a new tool for developers that will allow them to bring the same real-time collaboration features that power Google Drive to their own apps. The API, Google writes, “handles network communication, storage, presence, conflict resolution, and other collaborative details so you can focus on building great apps.” Google partnered with three-developer focused tools, the collaborative code editor Neutron Drive, the project scheduling tool Gantter and the diagraming tool draw.io to test and launch this API.

To show off the power of the API, Google also developed a cube puzzle that uses the Realtime API, as well as a Drive Realtime API Playground for testing the API. Developers, of course, also need tosign up for the Drive API before they can use the Realtime API, too.

The API, Google writes, provides “collaborative versions of familiar data objects such as maps, lists, strings, and JSON values and automatically synchronizes and stores modifications to these objects.” In addition, developers can also add custom objects and references.

Because the API tracks the collaborators’ presence, developers can alert users when others join, leave or make changes to a document.

Just like on Drive, the Realtime API also ensures that local changes are immediately reflected in the local document thanks to Google’s use of operational transformation (OT) at the core of the system. This means your local app will continue to feel responsive, even on high-latency networks.
Source: TechCrunch.

“Money Can’t Buy Everything”

Yesterday, I have been browsing the web as usual. Looking for what’s new out there, something interesting when I stumbled upon this article on TechCrunch. The article was called “For the Single Founder Who Can’t Code”. I am in the market. Single Founder and want to code but I am still rather noobish, maybe I can learn a thing or two. Of I go to read.
It is not “A hitchhikers Guide to Coding stardom” which is what I expected and hoped for but rather some well thought out words of wisdom to entrepreneurs. The article was written by  who is a guest host at TechCrunch but that’s not all. Mike Hagen is also founder and CEO of Undrip. He was previously the founder of Zinch which was acquired by Chegg last year.
The article was insightful and informative so I kept reading. About the 5th bullet down this header came up “Money Can’t Buy Everything”. Now how often do you hear this phrase? Frequently touted as a myth and idealism this phrase is often quickly dismissed as crazy talk. Like Mike, I urge individuals as well as enterprises to rethink the strategy. Don’t be so quick to dismiss this idea.

Money Can’t Buy Everything

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When you can’t inspire people to join you, it’s very tempting to use that cash in your piggybank to hire a contractor/freelancer to do the work. You want to pay to play.
That rarely works.
I was a design freelancer in college. I would ask for as much money as possible, and I would try to spend as little time on it as possible. That was the name of the game. Contractors just aren’t invested in the long-term success of your product. They’re gypsies moving from one thing to the next. The lack of ownership and commitment will cost you more money, more time and more heart ache in the long run.
What happens when your freelancer is “done”? We all know products are never done. So soon you find yourself back at square one, having to pay someone to fix bugs, tweak features, etc. That hole in your pocket gets larger and larger.
For most that’s just not sustainable. Sooner or later you’re gonna need to inspire people to join you. You’re gonna need partners, owners, motivated team members. A little contract work is never bad when you’ve got people who can maintain, manage, and build the product where it leaves off.
Something struck me in these words. I have been working for a few enterprises, fortune 500’s and cooperation’s and explored the self employed realm as well as the small business side of things. I certainly noticed that the larger an organization gets the less this idea is valued.
Why is it that primarily the small players actually care about what is going on in their business and how it’s is run?
Because they still have a vested interested in their business and product and it is not always money.
It has almost become custom for large companies, growing small business and fast growing internet companies to outsource everything for the sake of growth. To give people the the power to make decisions about your creation that have no vested interest in your business other then capital. A lot of capital, preferably with as less effort as possible and with a as large as possible return on investment. Don’t expect them to remember what the actual product is.
Now this is a very general statement and certainly does not apply to every business and company out there but there are many of them. I also noticed that companies that are rather established and have history are more likely to return to this “Employee value” concept and understand that someone who is not only working for you but also can see his/her life improve and plan for a future will be more likely to provide quality work and won’t mind to go the extra mile every now and then to give your product the little bit of extra “humph” that makes it stand out from the rest.
By employing someone to do the same job that would otherwise be outsourced and by reimbursing that person properly and with adequate benefits you create not only a healthy work environment and a good relationship but also a team with vested interest in your organization and your product. Keeping somebody happy, healthy and secure can be a very impressive motivator.
At the end of the day, it is about covering someone’s basic needs.

“Money Can’t Buy Everything” | “You get what You pay for” | “You receive what You give”

Big business and growing business do not believe in karma it seems.

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