Tolkien’s the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are just about the most intense works of fiction and fantasy to ever be written. After the movies, the stories have brought so much more details to what we imagined in our readings of the tales. The locales and vast spaces of Middle Earth – Trollshaw, Dol Durdul, Rivendell and other places in Tolkien’s fantasy realm were reimaged on screen and gave us a perspective unlike we’ve seen before. Google, in all its goodness, has sought to make the stories even more entice and, keeping with today’s technology traditions, have made it more interactive as well with their – Journey Through Middle Earth page.
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The Google Glass GDK (Glass Developer Kit) has been updated and with it comes a whole new set of goodies for the glasses. The app developers are testing five news apps for the wearable technology by the search giant. The new GDK tool kit has opened up new horizons for developers and could make things more exciting for the consumers when the product finally hits the shelves.
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Google Now is undoubtedly much faster than Siri when it comes to returning search results but it badly lacks in finesse. Right on schedule, Google rolled out updates for its Search app for Android on Wednesday evening which powers the Google Now. In addition to new features which include update cards for websites you follow, a news topic card and recommendations for currently playing movies and televisions shows, the update has brought a more noticeable change to Google Now. It has become more interactive and for the first time will ask users for clarification when their queries are too vague.
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Google released a heartwarming ad on the 13th November which has already crossed half a million views within 24 hours of being uploaded on Youtube. The three and a half minute emotional ad is hugely refreshing from the usual adverts that come from the immensely competitive tech world featuring playful banter or even resorting to murky mud-slinging between rivals. The video advert named ‘Reunion’ is a part of a series has gone viral on Youtube and other social networking sites. It shows how Google helps two childhood friends separated by the 1947 India-Pakistan partition are reunited. Those who are unaware of the demographics and the politics of the subcontinent: The two countries, post-partition, share a love-hate relationship, clipping only the extremities of the spectrum, and Google India has tried to hit a soft spot by picking up this topic.
[catch the ad after the jump]
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The ultra-competitive technology industry sometimes becomes the breeding ground to historic rivalries. Some of these rivalries spawn amazing marketing campaigns like the recent ‘thanks for copying us’ twitter meme created by Nokia mocking Apple iPhone 5C. But at times things go overboard and rivalries get nasty with bad-mouthing each other, running attack ads and filing lawsuits which unearths the murky side of the business. Recently, Microsoft has launched a scalding attack on Google by creating a website that criticizes the privacy issues of Gmail. The website with a snappy name ‘www.keepyouremailprivate.com’ accuses Gmail of spying every email sent or received to look for keywords and target Gmail users with paid ads.
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Google’s next generation Nexus handset i.e. the Nexus 5, has been launched alongside the 4.4 update for the Android OS aka KitKat (include link to previous post). Although it bears a sticking resemblance to the Nexus 4, also manufactured by LG, there are quite a few hardware upgrades to compliment the updated OS.
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Google does manage to create an unignorable buzz, every time a nexus smartphone is announced. While details of the upcoming flagship phone hailing from the Nexus line have been pouring into technology gossip streams time and again, we’ve come across leaked images of the smartphone that seem genuine! The photo of a white Google Nexus 5 smartphone was leaked onto webspace by Evleaks. The phone’s front, its back and its side are shown off in this picture and from the looks of it, the upcoming Nexus seems to be a sure winner, at least as far as aesthetics are concerned.
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On the Nexus 5 front the latest news coming through the wire is that a listing of the soon-to-be-made-official handset sowed up on the Play Store a little ahead of schedule. Of course there’s nothing new about a listing showing up like that, a little teaser always gets the masses riled up. Although the Nexus 5 listing isn’t there anymore, some swear by it and reported that a 16GB Nexus 5 was listed with a price tag of $349. The Nexus 7 and 10 were also showcased on the same listing page.
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There’s switching to auto-pilot on incredibly vacant freeways that do not have too many turns and then there’s a dashboard that understands your gestures and moves a mega-machine to obedience with every flick of your finger. It has come to pass that Google has applied for a gesture-based automotive control patent. This will automate some interesting things within the car as well, including fan speed, temperature, radio volume, windshield wipers, driver’s seat and window position. The patent application goes on to detail how one three-dimensional depth camera in the ceiling of the vehicle paired with a laser scanner can record drivers who execute these motion controls. Gestures can be conveyed to the system by swiping in a designated region. Speaker volumes can be dropped by simply tapping your speakers and raising your fingers to your ear would turn off the audio system completely. (I wonder if a bad ear itch would result in everyone in the car missing their favorite drum roll.)
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It’s an obvious fact that Google will surely house more data on their storage drives than anyone else in the world. Of course, most of it is secretly swept under the carpet and the carpet’s rolled and stored away in the attic. But that’s the way it rolls. The company spends over $12 billion on building ‘stuff’. The total power consumption is something that can shed some light on how many data centers the company actually operates. Back in 2010 it was established that Google consumed 258 megawatts of power. A little math keeping in mind their energy efficiency policies, cooling facilities and the number of total data centers reveals that they may be consuming a total power of 215 watts per server. Power usage and data center spending estimates bring about an approximate number of 1.8 million to 2.4 million servers, alive and serving Google. If each server had around 4 TB to offer we can draw a figure of up to 10 exabytes of storage space! That’s 2 exabytes more than what the commercial storage industry produces annually.
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