The Verbalizer connects wirelessly to a personal computer via Bluetooth. When you trigger it, it opens google.com in a new tab and activates Voice Search. An audio notification is played, signaling when google is ready for your queryYou speak into the mic, and the query starts. Breakfast released all the plans and firmware appropriately, and left some I/O pins open for those who want to play with it.
Like the T-1000 standing in a sea of Arnolds, the Galaxy Nexus is better, faster and smarter than any other Android phone on the market.
Not that current Android phones fall short in machine power. Rather, much like the androids of the silver screen, the operating system has been the weak point. Previous versions of Android have lacked some intangible spark. A human element, perhaps — a missing je ne sais quoi that has been keeping many critics and users from fully engaging with the platform.
It’s a debatable point, but I’d argue that “special something” can be found in Android’s biggest competitor, Apple’s iOS. Siri, the voice-activated digital servant on the iPhone 4S, is a great example of a feature that marries technical prowess with a human touch: We speak to “her”, not to “it.”
Android, on the other hand, has always been sold on the strength of its robotic nature. Power, hardware specs and hackability were the reasons why we were supposed to buy an Android. It’s not a posh concierge, it’s a Swiss Army Knife.
But with the Galaxy Nexus, Google has put a little soul into the machine
Read more @ Wired
Google is making plans to turn its +1 button into a crowdsourcing tool that helps it re-order search results and fight web spam.
While not surprising, the move would bring Google’s search engine into the social networking era, while simultaneously creating a new avenue for blackhats to manipulate search results and potentially incurring the wrath of trust-busting authorities.
Google confirmed its plans in an e-mail to Wired.com.
“Google will study the clicks on +1 buttons as a signal that influences the ranking and appearance of websites in search results,” a spokesman wrote. “The purpose of any ranking signal is to improve overall search quality. For +1’s and other social ranking signals, as with any new ranking signal, we’ll be starting carefully and learning how those signals are related to quality.”
Read more at Wired
Google Inc.’s $12.5 billion bid for Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. was a welcome development because it may bring “stability” to a recent slate of smartphone patent disputes.
Verizon was the first U.S. wireless carrier to make a big bet on Google’s Android software, and it relied heavily on Motorola’s Droid smartphone lineup to combat the iPhone, which was exclusively distributed by rival AT&T Inc. for four years. Even though Verizon started selling the iPhone earlier this year, it has a lot at stake since it still distributes millions of smartphones from Motorola Mobility and other device makers that support the Android system.
By gaining Motorola’s roughly 17,000 patents in the deal, Google said it could more easily protect its Android mobile software from lawsuits. Apple, Microsoft Corp., and Oracle Corp. have sued Google, Motorola and device-maker HTC Corp. over allegations of intellectual property violations.
Google is buying cell phone maker Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in cash in what is by far the company’s biggest acquisition to date.
Google will pay $40.00 per share, a 63 per cent premium to Motorola’s closing price on Friday.
The companies say the deal has been approved by the boards of both.
Google CEO Larry Page says that the deal with “supercharge the entire Android ecosystem.”
The deal gives Google direct control over the maker of many of its Android phones.
This post first appeared on The Hindu
Facebook on Tuesday debuted a step-by-step online guide aimed at helping small businesses use the social networking site. The company is billing the new webpage, found at Facebook.com/business, as an “online education center” that gives directions on such things as how to set up a profile page, create targeted ads and deals, and interact with customer feedback online.
The timing is interesting, as it comes just a week after Google began shutting off all company profiles on its Google+ social network. The search engine giant says it’s just company policy to restrict Google+ access to individual users, a stance that has inspired a good deal of controversy in recent days.
Facebook’s new business webpage does not come along with any new features — it simply puts a lot of information that may be handy for small businesses in one place. Perhaps most importantly, it serves as a nicely timed reminder that unlike Google+, Facebook encourages companies to use its service for company branding.
Google Inc has been ordered by city police to suspend its “Street View” service in the Indian IT hub of Bangalore, the company said on Tuesday, in the latest setback to its global mapping project that has been hit by privacy fears.
The technology giant has sent a fleet of cars around the globe to capture millions of images used with maps as part of its panoramic Street View service, but faces regulatory challenges from authorities across the world on data protection concerns.
“We received a letter from the commissioner of police regarding Street View. We are currently reviewing it and have stopped our cars until we have a chance to answer any questions or concerns the police have,” Google said in a statement.
The commissioner of police declined to elaborate on the reasons for the letter when contacted by Reuters.
Bangalore is the leading IT hub in Asia’s third-largest economy, where Google employs thousands nationwide and where global technology giants such as Microsoft, Yahoo and Intel also have offices.
Google began collecting images three weeks ago in Bangalore, the first Indian city targeted by Street View.
Google will announce a new mobile payments system, adding even more urgency to the all-out arms-race taking place in the point-of-sale digital money space. The announcement will include news of a partnership with mobile service provider Sprint to roll out a mobile-payments system based on Near Field Communication, or NFC, technology.
NFC-fans believe the technology will become the standard format for mobile payments. Google’s plan to begin testing its own mobile-payments system was reported months ago, and will install thousands of NFC units made by VeriFone Systems at merchant locations in New York and San Francisco.
The executive chairman of Google has warned governments against facial recognition technology – saying it is ‘too creepy’ even for the search engine.
Eric Schmidt said that the technology has advanced rapidly in recent years and that it could be rolled out across the internet.
But the controversial technique has angered privacy campaigners who claim that it would be a further erosion of privacy and civil liberties.
Now Schmidt has dispelled any suggestions that internet giant Google would be the first company to employ the system.
But he warned that there were likely to be other organisations who might ‘cross the line’ and use facial recognition.
Speaking today at Google’s Big Tent conference on internet privacy, technology and society, in Hertfordshire, Schmidt said that the accuracy of such technology was ‘very concerning’.
Facial recognition would work by scanning in a photograph of somebody’s face in order to potentially reveal personal information about them.
Crime fighters argue that it could be used to trace suspects who have been recorded on CCTV. But civil liberties groups say it is an invasion of privacy.
Bing announced that it has integrated Facebook Likes within its regular search results, similar to a move that Google made with social “shares” from Twitter and other services last week.
Facebook Likes Previously Separated
In October, Bing added Facebook Likes to the bottom of its search results page. If you searched for something that one of your Facebook friends has liked on Facebook, Bing would display this after all of its “regular” results.
Facebook Likes Meet “Regular” Results
Bing has announced that Facebook Likes will be more tightly integrated. Now, if the regular search results displayed are also liked by one of your Facebook friends, that will be shown.
Keep in mind, the search results themselves are not changing in order based on your Facebook data. Bing is simply marking up the results with your Facebook data.
Here is a screen shot of the Facebook likes directly in the Bing results. You can see it showing for the last result.
Google’s Similar Integration, But Without Facebook
Last week, Google made a similar move. However, rather than integrate Facebook Likes into regular results, Google is integrating whether something was shared on Twitter and some other social services. Shares can also impact the ranking of regular results, unlike the situation with Bing