Tag Archives: Google

Google Pixel XL Review: Hal 9000 Includes the Best Smartphone Camera

Android smartphones have come an incredible distance since their origins in Verizon-exclusives, like the first “DROID” devices in 2009. From plastic, chunky, and cheap flip-out keyboards (Motorola DROID) and trackballs (HTC DROID Eris),  Android devices have evolved into polished art pieces made with aluminum and glass. And although Apple’s attention to detail definitely inspired the emulation, it’s difficult to argue the flattery of repeating such design concepts is a negative thing.

Confirmed: SpaceX to Receive $1 Billion from Google

5:00 pm EST Update: SpaceX has officially confirmed receiving a $1 billion investment from Google and Fidelity today. Below is the press release offered on a “financing round” page of their website.

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has raised a billion dollars in a financing round with two new investors, Google and Fidelity. They join existing investors Founders Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Valor Equity Partners and Capricorn. Google and Fidelity will collectively own just under 10% of the company.  

SpaceX designs, manufactures, and launches the world’s most advanced rockets and spacecraft. This funding will be used to support continued innovation in the areas of space transport, reusability, and satellite manufacturing.

It looks like Christmas came a little late for SpaceX, but better late than never: Google is said to be finalizing its investment of 10 figures in one of Elon Musk‘s many projects. In this case, it’s towards a spacecraft.

SpaceX was founded in 2002 by Musk to advance space technology, with the ultimate goal of colonizing other planets. Currently, SpaceX has a contract with NASA and has 3 vehicles under its belt, the most important and recent is the Falcon 9. So far, Musk has yet to launch a crew with the Falcon 9, but he is trying to make Earth more technologically savvy in the meantime.

Aside from the Falcon 9, SpaceX’s Seattle office has been busily manufacturing a fleet of about 700 satellites to provide global internet service, targeting rural and developing lands. So far, it seems like the most viable option to provide stable internet connection all over the globe, no offense to Mark Zuckerberg’s drone idea. As for how and when these satellites will be going up, Musk has declined to answer, along with any more information about Google’s investment.

This appears to be an ideal investment for Google, because it will provide more potential customers for its service. This also could mean Project Loon‘s airborne-wifi balloons aren’t making the cut for rural internet service. However, the lack of explanation from Musk may mean that the global internet satellite project isn’t quite ready for the public eye yet. Google’s investment may just be the beginning of this project while SpaceX is still busy working with NASA.

Via: Gizmodo
Source: The Information


Made w/ Code: Google Invests in Future Female Developers

“And when you learn to code, you can assemble anything that you see missing.”

Above is a line from the landing video of the new Google initiative, Made w/ Code, appeals to young women to consider what they can do by studying computer science. Created by Google, along with a collection of strong women’s rights activists ranging from Chelsea Clinton and Mindy Kaling to Girls Inc., the video, the initiative, and the activities on the site are compelling and creative. The basis for this project stems from a lack of female representatives currently participating in the computer science field. In fact it’s reported that only 1% of high school girls are interested in pursuing a computer science degree and only 12% of computer science graduates are women.

Tech Industry Leaders Partner to Improve Internet of Things

“The internet of things (IoT),” a new tech phrase that’s somewhat reminiscent of the “the dot- com boom,” has been bouncing around a lot lately. It refers to the recent push by companies like Nest, acquired by Google in January for 3.2 billion dollars, to connect daily electronics in homes and businesses to the internet. This would allow homeowners or authorized users to control devices from their smartphones. Daily chores like getting up to turn off the lights before bed would be a thing of the past.

And despite the inherent creepiness that comes along with being able to turn on your blender from another room, it’s become remarkably obvious how serious tech companies are about this new idea. And no one wants to be left behind.

Five Best Travel Sites You’ve Never Heard Of

Summer is here, and that means—VACATION TIME! Whether you’re taking that bucket list trip to Fiji or need to find a hotel for that pesky summer wedding, here’s a list of travel websites you’ve never heard of with interesting and unique features that will help you plan your trip mo’ betta.

1. Momondo

I LOVE Momondo. It has a sleek interface and has some serious analytical power. Not only will it tell you what flights are cheapest for your selected dates, it will show you a price calendar that tells you what the average price for flights is on surrounding dates. So, if your dates are flexible, you can easily see which dates you should be flying on. Results can be sorted using the tabs “Cheapest” “Quickest” and “Best,” best being the combined shortest and cheapest flight. Click on “flight insight” next to “Price Calendar” at the top by your flight results. Here Momondo gives an overview of the cheapest airline, cheapest time of the year to fly, how many days/weeks ahead you should book to get the cheapest price, cheapest time of day and the cheapest airport. Enough price data for you?

For penny-pinching travelers (and most of us are), this website is a godsend. No longer do you have to rely on friends or TripAdvisor forums to tell you “Oh, it’s pretty cheap to fly to Europe in the fall.” Now you know for sure! Nothing makes a girl’s heart patter quite like like a plethora of travel graphs.

2. Routehappy

As many tall people know, not all flights are created equal. You may pay the same price for a completely miserable flight where the service is horrible and you have to shell out extra for drinks and snacks versus a flight where flight attendants are angels and you have ALL the legroom (and arm rests) in the world. Routehappy helps you find the best bang for your buck with its flight search service. The site will tell you which plane has the most legroom, wifi, outlets, and entertainment, giving users a happiness/smile score for each flight. You can also read thorough reviews about airline—from the food to the crew—as well as reviews on the arriving and departing airports.  Even topics like baggage claim and security are covered. If having the best flight ever is your goal, Routehappy is for you.

3. Google Hotel Finder and Google Flight Explorer

Your next hotel or flight booking is just a Google search away—seriously. Type in your departure airport and arrival airport, or city name and hotel, and you’re good to go.

Google Hotel Finder is a meta hotel search engine. The nice thing about Google Hotel Finder is that you can price compare right in the search engine with an easy click of “Book” with fees and taxes included, unlike some competitors. You can also read Google reviews to help you narrow down your choice. For example, Google shows Expedia is offering a room for $380, while Booking.com is offering the same room for $390. Another cool feature is the direct integration of Google Maps. For certain cities, you can find hotels for a specific neighborhood (expand map and select a neighborhood from the Location drop-down menu) and search for hotels that are only within a certain area. While you can’t actually book hotels on the site, it’s still just one click away.

Google Flight Explorer will show you cheap flight comparisons from various airlines and booking sites, although they’re sometimes sponsored. Nevertheless, the coolest feature of Google Flights are its useful facts. If you want to know how often a flight is delayed, if it has outlets, personal entertainment, or if its a prop plane, Google knows all. However, Google Flights seems to book more often directly through airlines than travel deal sites, which is a bummer. The benefits of Google Flight Search are super-fast search times and a sleek, easy-to-understand interface. Google Flights also has an awesome map tool, where users can compare pricing on flying to different cities. Clicking on Google’s familiar “I’m Feeling Lucky” button will take you to a random location, where you can check a Momondo-like graph telling you when the cheapest flight dates are.

4. LoungeBuddy

Ever been stuck in Detroit for hours on end due to unforeseen circumstances? The LoungeBuddy app will help you find a comfy airport lounge to spend those murderously long hours waiting for a plane to defrost/hurricane to pass/airline get its s*** together. LoungeBuddy has a slick and easy to manage interface and is also free. Even better, LoungeBuddy will tell you where to find all of hot airline clubs inside an airport, whether they are accessible to you and how much they cost. Pro-tip: Sit outside to get their free and fast wifi if you’re not a paying member. You can also view lounge ratings and user photos, depending on your level of lounge snobbery. And of course, you’ll be able to see if your lounge offers the things you care about—amenities like cocktails, newspapers, snacks, printers and copiers. This is app is a definite must for frequent travelers who find themselves stuck in airports all too often.

5. Tingo

Tingo is a TripAdvisor company with a very unique service. Say you booked a hotel room. If the price drops in between the time of booking and the time you arrive, Tingo will automatically drop your previous booking and book for the lower rate “hassle-free.” This service works well because a lot of hotels offer free cancellation. However, the average consumer doesn’t have the time to watch hawk-eyed over hotel price fluctuations. Tingo does this automatically, so you don’t have to spend an ounce of energy on this tedious task. According to Tingo, their site saved the average traveler $54.30 last year. Check it out for yourself.


Al Jazeera Claims Emails Show Cozy Relationship Between NSA and Google

According to emails obtained by Al Jazeera, the relationship between the NSA and Google was far cozier than previously known.

The 2012 emails between then-NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander and Google executives Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt show that Google was working closely with the NSA, and was on very friendly terms with the government administration.

The emails, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, do not reveal anything outrageous. However, they show a relatively friendly relationship between the two parties that could be a red flag to some. Ever since Edward Snowden leaked über top-secret documents last year revealing the extent the NSA is watching us, tech companies have been walking on eggshells and have tried hard to convince the public that they are against unnecessary surveillance.

Schmidt writes: ““General Keith.. so great to see you.. ! I’m unlikely to be in California that week so I’m sorry I can’t attend (will be on the east coast). Would love to see you another time. Thank you !”

You can see the emails in the documents below.

Source: Al Jazeera