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See How Google, ‘Minecraft,’ Others Got Their Start

Posted In Fun, Living in Tech
Notch Minecraft Launch
Everybody had to start somewhere—even tech luminaries whose websites and platforms have radically altered how we live and work. Carlcheo.com dug up some early postings by Google CEO Larry Page, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and Linux creator Linus Torvalds, all asking for help on their respective projects. Those tiny undertakings eventually snowballed into gargantuan efforts, something that none of the three could have predicted at the time. (The possible exception is Bezos, who refers to his nascent startup as having… continue…

SXSW Session Shows Diversity Issues in Tech

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Improving the male-to-female ratio in the technology industry emerged as a big theme at South by Southwest this year—especially after a panel in which a prominent female executive, United States CTO Megan Smith, found herself repeatedly interrupted by Google executive chairman (and former CEO) Eric Schmidt. The session, titled “How Innovation Happens,” also included Aspen Institute CEO and author Walter Isaacson, perhaps most famous for his controversial biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. The event was advertised as a “conversation”… continue…

Google’s Latest Shot in the Online Storage Wars

Posted In Data, Living in Tech
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Google believes that no company can afford to destroy any of its data. And while the price of storage has crumbled in recent years, companies can still find it expensive to retain massive amounts of data over the long term, especially when you throw in the costs and infrastructure associated with analyzing it. In its bid to compete with Amazon, which offers archival storage in the cloud via its “Glacier” service, Google has introduced Cloud Storage Nearline, a long-term storage… continue…

Google Will Now Make You a Drink

Posted In Fun, Living in Tech
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In its quest to make all the world’s information accessible and useful, Google has added a feature sure to appeal to anyone who ever had to host a party: Type in a cocktail-related query such as “How do I make a screwdriver?” and the search engine’s Knowledge Graph will spit back a recipe. Given the number of people Googling the recipes of obscure drinks, such an addition seems logical. Google’s Knowledge Graph already offers up information on everything from famous… continue…

R.I.P. Google+?

Posted In Cloud, Living in Tech
Google Plus
Google’s Google+ social network, touted by some as a potential “Facebook killer” upon its 2011 release, could end up split into multiple parts. “Just wanted to confirm that the rumors are true—I’m excited to be running Google’s Photos and Streams products!” Google Vice President Bradley Horowitz wrote on his Google+ page. “It’s important to me that these changes are properly understood to be positive improvements to both our products and how they reach users.” Check out the latest social networking… continue…

Welcome to the Jungle, Google Street View

Posted In Fun, Living in Tech
Google Street Jungle View
Google’s Street View started out as a road-mapping system, with imagery provided by cameras attached to cars. Then the search-engine giant decided to record walk-throughs of some of the planet’s most iconic (and car-inaccessible) spots, so it began strapping cameras to hikers’ backpacks. Now comes the next step: taking Street View into the trees. In order to capture the teeming, thick canopy of the Amazon rainforest, Google dangled its sophisticated, bulbous Trekker cameras from zip lines dozens of feet above… continue…

What Android Pay Could Mean for Developers

Posted In Living in Tech, Mobile
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Apple has enjoyed some success with its Apple Pay platform, although some retailers have balked at the idea of allowing consumers to buy things using their iPhones. Given that success, it’s perhaps inevitable that Google would launch a new, competitive e-payments platform, one reportedly built from the ground-up for developers. Check out the latest Android jobs. According to Ars Technica, which drew its information from an anonymous source “close to the matter,” Google plans on introducing a new e-payments API… continue…

Will Anyone Care About Android for Work?

Posted In Working in Tech
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Android remains the most popular mobile platform in the world, despite a recent market-share surge by Apple’s iOS. But that’s evidently not enough for Google, which wants more businesses to adopt Android as a vital tool. As part of that broader aim, Google has launched Android for Work, an initiative to push the OS into the hands of more hardcore enterprise users. It’s not just about interoperability with Exchange and other, rival platforms; the latest version of Android can partition… continue…

Google’s New AI Will Beat You at Video Games

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Google has created artificial intelligence software that can play video games better than you. The project originated in DeepMind Technologies, a machine-learning startup that Google acquired in 2014 for $500 million. Of course, Google didn’t blow a cool half-billion on a company whose sole goal is building software capable of playing retro Atari games with the speed and skill of an over-caffeinated 15-year-old; in theory, a system capable of mastering a game like Pong on its own can also learn… continue…

Linux Kernel’s Biggest Backers: Corporations

Posted In Programming
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Corporations love Linux. That’s the conclusion of a new report released by the Linux Foundation, which suggested that some 11,800 individual developers from 1,200 companies have contributed to the kernel over the past decade. “The Linux kernel, thus, has become a common resource developed on a massive scale by companies which are fierce competitors in other areas,” the report summarized. Intel is the top corporate developer by number of contributed changes to the kernel, followed by Red Hat, Linaro, Samsung,… continue…