Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Google- The Spending Never Ends

Recently, Google has been acquiring company, after company, after company, after- you get the idea.

Aardvark was the first acquisition Google made this year. Aardvark is a social search engine that connects friends by having them answer their friends questions correctly to verify they are actually friends.Google spent $50 million to get this company. It may seem like a lot of money, but that's just the beginning.

Then there was reMail. reMail automatically downloads your mail to your iPhone and allows you to search through those emails rather quickly.

Following that came Picnik, an online photo editing that allows you to get all your photos from Picasa,  Flickr, and other photo sharing siets.

DocVerse was the next acquisition, and it brought major improvements to the collaboration in Google Docs.

Episodic is a company that specializes in online video streaming. They were the ones that introduced the advertisements and and the analytics that you see on YouTube now. Well, now you know who to rage against.

To get the knowledge for the Visual Search in Google Goggles, they purchased Plink Art, a startup company focusing on visual search.

Then Agnilux back in April.This wasn't the start of the spending spree, but this company was actually pretty interesting. Agnilux focuses on server technology and has been helping Google to maintain their servers and keep them protected from floods (massive amounts of connections).

LabPixies was one of the first developers to create gadgets for iGoogle, so it makes some sense that Google ends up buying them.

BumpTop was a pretty cool thing back when it first came out. It was changing the desktop environment on a computer to one that's more like an actual desktop.

Here's a demonstration.

But since Google acquired them, they haven't released anything new for the desktop, and they took down the old programs. Oh well, at least they put it to good use in Android.

Global IP Solutions worked on sending voice and video over IP, allowing for the Google Talk and Google Video Chat we have now.

Simplify Media was next. A startup that allowed for iTunes music syncing across multiple platforms. So Google used this to sync music with Android.

InviteMedia was another company that focused on advertising, and  you can probably guess what Google's using that for.

Then ITA Software, a travel industry software, was also acquired by Google. Recently Google has been purchasing a lot of software in the travel industry. Hm...

Anyways, that's not even all of the software they've acquired this year. There have been others such as BlindType, and they're even considering shelling out 5 BILLION to purchase Groupon. In my opinion, that's a stupid idea, since Google will probably not make that much revenue back. If you bought Groupon for 1.5 Billion dollars, and got 300 million dollars back per year, that's 5 years before you make the money back. Then there's the competition.

For a complete list, check here.

That's all for now, and probably the last post from our blog.
Have fun anybody that reads our blog.



THIS IS MASONasdvfdsxz! heLlp me i'm being eatedsw by somEQA2 MONSTER. ITS THe Ezine monstER. Beofre I go I must tELL YOU THAT THERE IS SOME COOL STUFF. MAn! TherE Are soM E ArsenIC BAseD LiFeFORMs nNOW  BRO. dSDSfsFSSFSSDSDSsdsdsdsdssfsfs. woops that was the bomb exploded. Thi IS THE END FOR ME. I amACtuAlly BEing Devoured by TEH Sci TECh MONseter. AnywY1 there are some arsenic based lifeforms that were discovered in a California lake. They are different from any life we have ever encountered before, for they live off of arsenic, not phosphorus, carbon etc. ALSO NASA discovered a TON of life sustaining planets relatively close to us. It would only take around 20 years to fly there at near light speed. Also, WikiLeaks has information on UFO's! Too bad that he turned himself in for charges of rape... ANNNND, there are some really awesome mods for the Xbox Kinect.
This is just about the coolest thing EVER!
It makes me actually want a Kinect!
Well I hope that whoever reads this blog enjoyed it, and I hope you had as great a time in eZine as I did.

Enter the Nexus S

At the Dive Into Mobile conference in San Francisco, Google unveiled one of its newest ideas, the Nexus S. Cooperating with Samsung, Google has designed a slimmer, more effective tablet designed for everything Google. Its based off of the Gingerbread tablet (Android 2.3), but modified to fit Google's needs, plus some additional features as well. This new Tablet fixes the slugishness of some older Androids, while incorporating a large amount of new features, so that it feels slightly like using an iPhone in both speed and reaction time. Along with the release of this new tablet, Google put an advertisement out simaltaineously. The add is shown below, and in my opinion its not Google's greatest work. The video is just a 2 minute long epogy of someone looking at his feet, spinning, changing clothes, and sort of demonstrating what the phone can do, but with no context and without explaining. There's even one spot where the dude randomly starts flying through the air, along with other things. Although I can't wait for this new tablet to come out, I'm a bit concerned as to how many people will buy it as a result of this video. This is Karl J., signing off for the last time (hooray?). For more information about this product, watch the video and look here. Do it now.
Introducing Nexus S from BULGARI on Vimeo.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Winter Survival Guide: How to build an Igloo

In my quest to help Austinites prepare for the harsh winter that seizes central Texas every year, I have stumbled across an article from Wired Magazine that explains how to build an igloo. An igloo is a ice shelter that I know is very vital to everyone's survival during winter. Igloos have been used for ages, and are used now by the Inuit. This article describes the process that takes about five hours. It doesn't take many tools, as the only tool that is really needed is a knife for cutting the blocks of ice used to make the igloo. The blocks of ice are what make up the wall of the igloo, and are taken from the frozen tundra that will cover the Austin area in the coming months. Tools that could aid in the construction of your ice shelter are a saw and shovel. A saw can help cut ice in a different way than the knife can, and a shovel can help with excavating ice.

After making the ice blocks, all that is needed is to construct the igloo itself. To do that, you must layout the first ring of ice, and then cut down part of it to give the igloo its spiral shape. From there, you must just follow the new curve of the igloo and continue lining the blocks up until you get to the top. The last step is to simply fill in any holes between blocks of your igloo so that the frigid wind that blows across Texas does not enter the shelter. Now you are ready to sleep in the ice house for the long nights that come with Austin winter.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nissan Leaf is 'Car of the Year' in Europe.

Nissan's new all-electric car has taken the automobile industry by storm. It is the first relatively inexpensive electric car that has been mass-marketed, and this is big news. “Nissan Leaf is the first EV that can match conventional cars in many respects," Hakon Matson tells Wired. In one charge, the Nissan Leaf can drive 80-100+ miles. This makes it great for anyone who isn't on a road trip, or drives 40+ miles to work. An electric car is also a much more spacious ride. Without the gas engine, and all the components that it requires, than there is enough room for more seats, and a hatchback. That is exactly what the Leaf is. It is a 5-seat hatchback, but it is a rather small sedan. The only real issue that could arise with such a car is the lack of charging stations. This would really be an issue for people who drive for 80+ miles in one sitting. Obviously, this is not that common, but it would be a nice to have charging stations integrated into gas stations. All I know is that this is my dream car, and a breakthrough for the automobile and technological worlds.

tech dudes' man caves

Here is an article about the houses and mansions belonging to the kings of the technological universe. It shows a personal view into their lives, one that we don't get very often. I am dissapointed that the pictures are mainly from satellites and not very good quality, although that is also impressive because we can the the immense size  the homes. The nearest to all of us in ATX is of course Micheal Dell's mansion nicknamed "The Castle." It is truly an awesome display of wealth. From the image, you can see a swimming pool and a basketball court combined with a tennis court. His house is just across the lake from downtown, and is perched atop a hill.

The most impressive house in my opinion belongs to the Microsoft giant and multi-billionaire Bill Gates. He is worth 54 billion dollars, and his house rounds up to a mere $145,000,000. It houses 25 bathrooms, an 1,000 square foot dining hall, and six kitchens. It is right on the water, and looks very impressive against the California landscape near Seattle.

Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder of Facebook has a very interesting house compared to the rest displayed in the article. He seems to have a normal house. It is pretty small compared to all the other mansions, but is close to his Facebook headquarters where he works. 

Google Under Investigation

Today, the European Union (EU) announced an investigation towards Google about abusing the rules of the EU relating to online search. Specifically, the spokesperson claimed that due to Google's monopoly over the search industry, that they had a biased view against European users, and tended to favor their own products. This investigation does not imply that there is any proof to these allegations, and Google chose to cooperate with the EU in this investigation. A Google spokesperson announced that "But there's always going to be room for improvement, and so we'll be working with the Commission to address any concerns". A commission was formed to lead the investigation, saying that it will focus on whether Google lowers the ranking of unpaid ads, and raises the level of paid ones. Additionally, they claim that Google lowered the quality score of unpaid ads, forcing them to be displayed even lower than before, along with adding a better score to the paying users. Finally, they intend to investigate whether or not Google discriminates against a site based on the advertisements present. Specifically, that Google will force one company with the same content as another company, to pay more because they are running a specific add from say, a rival search engine, or a company that Google doesn't approve of. The time this check up on Google will take is unknown, as the Commission said that they will make this "probe" last as long as necessary to ensure that Google conforms to the regulations of the EU.

--Karl J.