Startup and Technology News
Last feed update: Saturday May 18th, 2013 11:48:26 AM
Saturday May 18th, 2013 10:33:22 AM
Google is facing another competition investigation, according to the Financial Post. The Canadian Competition Bureau has informed Mountain View of its plans to launch a formal investigation of its Canadian operations. It has not yet requested any information or documents from Google but has informed the search giant of its intention to launch a probe.
Saturday May 18th, 2013 01:14:10 AM
Google made a relatively quiet announcement today regarding how it's pushing the developer ecosystem forward around Google Now, its intelligent personal assistant for Android devices. The company has begun extending mark up tools for emails from select partners, which help highlight flight schedules, hotel bookings and various types of reservations, to make sure that Gmail can spot that information and use it to auto-generate helpful reminders in Google Now.
Friday May 17th, 2013 10:09:07 PM
Google's Vikram Aggarwal, a software engineer working on the Android platform, revealed today that Gmail and Email, the native Android client that still ships on Android devices as well, now has a combined user base of over 100 million across the Android install base. It's an interesting stat, because although Gmail and Email only represent two of a multitude of email clients available on Android, it's likely that those two represent the email clients of choice for a wide swath of Android users.
Friday May 17th, 2013 08:28:53 PM
Google's major developer conference, Google I/O, went down this week. Was it a bit of a letdown? Probably. Did cool stuff still come out of the event? Eh? Maybe? We discuss these topics and more this week on the TC Gadgets podcast. In fact, we even had Frederic Lardinois join as a guest, along with John Biggs, Matt Burns, Jordan Crook (that's me!), Romain Dillet, and Darrell Etherington as Bob McKenzie.
Friday May 17th, 2013 07:58:21 PM
About a month and a half ago, Google switched to its own WebP image format in its Google+ Android app, the company revealed at its I/O developer conference in San Francisco today. This, Stephen Konig, a Google product manager who focuses on WebP and Chrome Remote desktop, and Make the Web Fast team member and Chrome developer advocate Ilya Grigorik said in today's presentation, is saving Google - and its users - about 50% in bandwidth.
Friday May 17th, 2013 07:11:45 PM
Google unveiled its completely redesigned Google Maps product on the web at I/O 2013, and at a panel dedicated to the new Maps experience, Maps User Experience Design Lead Jonah Jones and Engineering Director for Maps on the web Yatin Chawathe took us through what went into creating Maps and the engineering effort behind the considerable change seems prodigious.
Friday May 17th, 2013 03:06:47 PM
Google impressed a lot of people when it debuted its Grand Canyon Street View imagery in October. The Trekker backpack used to capture that imagery, which is essentially a backpack-mounted version of the same all-seeing eye that sits atop the Google Street View car.
Friday May 17th, 2013 12:57:22 AM
One of the most interesting product demos on display at Google I/O this year was a virtual sky-diving simulation built using eight separate computers running Chrome, along with a Kinect-like motion sensor made by ASUS called the Xtion Pro. The Maps Dive experiment was created by Portland-based independent digital agency Instrument.
Thursday May 16th, 2013 10:31:17 PM
Leap Motion was showing off its still unreleased gesture motion controller for computers at Google I/O 2013. The demo unit allowed you to use the controller to navigate Google Earth, and the functionality felt ready for prime time to me, as this was the first time I'd ever used the Leap Motion. The controls seemed intuitive, and within a few minutes I was flying around the globe pretty handily, though I did have some trouble drilling down to San Francisco.
Thursday May 16th, 2013 10:15:12 PM
Google's underwater Street View launched last September, but Google's Ocean program actually started six years ago when one of the founders of Keyhole (which, after being acquired by Google, later became Google Earth), was inspired to also look into mapping the ocean. For several years now Google has been mapping the oceans, but bringing Street View underwater is still very challenging.
Thursday May 16th, 2013 10:02:07 PM
There has been a lot of talk about rooting your Glass device, or if it’s even possible. Well, it is. During a Hacking Google Glass session today, the team shared the steps to go through to gain root access for your Glass device. Only the Fastboot tool for UNIX works, but there have been issues with using the OS X one. An official native dev kit will be available, too, which was announced earlier. If you can’t wait for an SDK to port your apps from Android to Glass, then get your root on. This will void your warranty, so beware: The entire process seems to take about 10-15 minutes, giving you warning messages along the way: After you’ve run through all of that, bam, you get access to the entire data partition. You’re rooted and your device is worth nothing: One developer has run Ubuntu on Glass, something that only a handful of geeks will try, but fun nonetheless: “This isn’t the recommended Glass team way of building apps,” said the team, but hacking is worth it, right? When you root the device, Google’s support team will no longer help you if you get stuck. If you’re worried about voiding your warranty, the Glass team also discussed the device’s debug mode, which is much safer.
Thursday May 16th, 2013 07:52:21 PM
Google and Facebook working together? They're actually friends, in no small part thanks to Erick Tseng. The former Android leader, now Facebook's head of mobile, today launched the official Facebook For Glass app. Here he tells me about how a tiny team designed the app around simple photo sharing, and Facebook's strengthening relationship with Google.
Thursday May 16th, 2013 04:10:46 PM
Google revealed Hangouts, its unified text, video and multimedia messaging platform yesterday during its epic three hour I/O keynote, but while the platform pulls in Google Talk, Google+ and other sources, it was apparently missing SMS integration. Incorporating texts from your carrier is on the way, however, according to Hangouts and Chat community manager Dori Storbeck, who said as much in a reply to a question (via 9to5Google)about SMS integration on Google+.
Thursday May 16th, 2013 04:07:42 PM
Mobile app developers using Google's AdMob ad network will start seeing a new version that has been rebuilt "in a ground up sort of way," according to Jonathan Alferness, director of product management for mobile ads.
The update, which starts rolling out today, also brings AdMob more in line with Google's other ad platforms. That's something the company has been working on since it acquired AdMob in 2010, for example by integrating AdMob with AdWords, but Alferness said today is the "culmination" of all that work, and that the new AdMob can be more easily extended with new features, setting the stage for future improvements.
Thursday May 16th, 2013 03:48:03 PM
Google's decision to fork WebKit and launch its own Blink rendering engine came as a surprise when the company made the announcement just over a month ago. Yesterday, at the Google I/O developer conference, the Blink team provided an update about the state of the engine. As Alex Komoroske, a product manager on Chrome's Open Web Platform told the audience, the team has already removed 8.8 million lines of code from the original WebKit repository.
Thursday May 16th, 2013 06:30:40 AM
Google I/O, the company's sixth annual developer conference, got officially underway in San Francisco on Wednesday, and it was an eventful day. It took the company every minute of its epic three-hour keynote to unfurl a laundry list of announcements and updates, seemingly across every product category in its arsenal -- from Android, Chrome and Search to Maps, Google+ and Hangouts -- each with a fresh coat of paint. We even saw the arrival of Google's very own subscription music service, today, which is already being touted as a potential Spotify killer.
Thursday May 16th, 2013 05:19:23 AM
Sebastian Rodriguez waited in line 90 minutes to be the first person at Google I/O to get the Google Chromebook Pixel, the premium laptop given to all conference attendees today. Rodriguez is a a software engineer with Thales, a data security company. He humored us and did an “unboxing” of his new Pixel. He was hoping to get Google Glass as were most of the people we talked to at the event but he said the Pixel will be fine around the house. We caught up with a few other people today at the Moscone Center who were happily walking out with their new machines. One woman plans to give the Pixel to her six-year-old daughter. A man from the Philippines said he was hoping for an Android. Another attendee said he wants to use the Pixel to develop apps. Nonetheless, these attendees are pretty lucky to get such a sleek machine. Here’s Frederic Lardinois’ review from earlier this year.
Thursday May 16th, 2013 12:59:48 AM
Today's three-hour-long Google I/O keynote came with plenty of announcements, but the company mostly assured us that it is focused on building frameworks that can benefit developers and consumers.
We saw a more unified company that needed three hours in one session to get their message across. Breaking today's keynote up into two days would have disrupted the momentum coming out of a company that closed the day at an all-time high on the stock market. Key areas of the business saw updates, all relaying the important foundation necessary to move Google forward over the next 10 years.
Thursday May 16th, 2013 12:35:32 AM
Google’s stock price came close to its 52-week high on the first day of Google I/O today, hitting $915 per share at close. In comparison, Apple today dropped 15 points to close at $428 per share, 277 points off its 52-week high. This morning, Google stock jumped to $909 per share from its opening price of $895 when Co-Founder Larry Page hit the stage at around 11:45. It is now trading at $916.50 in after-hours trading. One analyst I talked to attributed the increase to Google’s announcement of its “all access” streaming service and the rotation out of hardware makers such as Apple and HP. The difference between Google and Apple’s share price is a barometer of the tech landscape. Google is a data company. Apple is more about design, creating beautiful devices. The difference is evident here at Google I/O. Google has built its infrastructure to manage more data than arguably any company in the world. It uses ths data to provide services that it highlighted today in its keynote. This includes its Google Translate APIs and the next generation of its Google Maps. The iPhone will always be elegant. As my colleague Josh Constine points out, the beauty of a device is just not as important, as the entire world becomes a fabric of data objects.
Wednesday May 15th, 2013 11:43:57 PM
Google+ is getting a big update for its photos experience, which is rolling out to users now. Initial impressions show a work flow that makes it easier to tweak pictures quickly and even automatically, without requiring that you learn a huge amount about Photoshop or other editing software.
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