Tag Archives: google

Google Maps adds underwater imagery – go diving in Hawaii, Australia, & the Philippines

Maps go underwater now as Google has added panoramic imagery of Hawaii, Australia, and the Philippines. From the Google Maps Blog:

Find a sea turtle swimming among a school of fish, follow a manta ray and experience the reef at sunset. in the Great Barrier Reed. At Apo Island, a volcanic island and marine reserve in the Philippines, you can see an ancient boulder coral, which may be several hundred years old. And in the middle of the Pacific, in Hawaii, you can join snorkelers in Oahu’s Hanauma Bay and drift over the vast coral reef at Maui’s Molokini crater.

The images are stunning as seen in this video.

 

 

The feature works like Street View in Google Maps. And the images were captured using an SVII specialized camera while traveling at 4 kilometers an hour.

View the full collection of 12 dive sites at Google Maps Ocean.

Apple Maps workaround – maps.google.com – get the features of Google Maps

From David Pogue:

You can still use Google’s maps — on the Web. Visit maps.google.com…You won’t get spoken directions, but you’ll get written directions, public transportation details, live traffic reports and, of course, Google’s far superior maps and data.

He also says Google’s Street View will be coming to iOS devices, and for local restaurants there is the app – Google+ Local. And that should make this a complete workaround.

iPhone owners are rooting for Apple Maps to be a winner, but in the meantime we need to get where were going.

Visit Google Maps for more features available in this workaround.

 

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Google Maps vs. Apple Maps

In one corner you have the heavyweight, Google Maps, with a seven-year head start and a vast amount of data. In the other corner you have the underdog with a very big bank account, Apple Maps.

Round one begins with the iPhone 5 – loaded with iOS 6 – removing all traces of Google Maps and replacing it with Apple Maps. So how do they compare?

From Mel Martin of TUAW:

Make no mistake. Maps for iOS 6 is a great achievement for Apple. Starting from basically a blank slate and making some strategic acquisitions and partnerships (TomTom, Placebase, C3, Poly9, Waze) in map data, POI information and 3D fly-over images, Maps is amazing for what it does. On the other hand, comparing it to Google Maps, which has been around since 2004 and leverages the company’s experience and expertise in mapping, is going to leave Apple coming up short.

Another reviewer, Brian Proffitt of ReadWriteWeb:

There are many new features getting introduced in the iOS 6 version of the Maps app, such as turn-by-turn navigation and a new “flyover” mode. But already many reviewers are missing the one thing that the new Maps doesn’t have: Google Maps data.

Instead, Apple’s mapping data is coming from vendors TomTom and Waze, with search data tied in to the Yelp location-based review service. And the new dataset may not just be lacking a little - there could be big gaps.

Which makes this a feature and data war. Who will have the best turn-by-turn navigation and the most useful innovation. And how will Apple complete their data set without using Google’s, which they have sworn to never use.

Of course, Google is firing back with their own update, on the same day Apple Maps is released. From the N.Y. Times Bits Blog:

The Google Maps for Android app (update) will make it easier to search for places on Android phones and personalize searches on maps. (It will also) sync across devices. Say you are making lunch plans and you search for a restaurant on your computer. Later, you pull out your phone to look up its location on Google Maps. If you were logged in to Google on your desktop computer earlier it will suggest the restaurant.

The battle begins with Google far ahead in terms of features and data, but Apple always has a strategy for winning and it usually involves a liberal arts twist. We can expect Google to continue its rapid improvement of Google Maps, like a car accelerating downhill. While Apple goes slowly uphill, working out the bugs in release one, then updating twice a year at their hardware and software Keynotes in September and January.

 

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Wind is cheaper than coal? — Fact checking this statement

The other day I heard in passing, “wind is now cheaper than coal.” If true, this symbolizes the holy grail of renewable energy. It would mean that a turning point for not only cleaner energy, but global warming, climate change, pollution, foreign oil dependence, and more.

To fact check this, I pulled up the top 20 results from Google and narrowed them down to the below articles (most were duplicates pointing at these 5 stories).

Not at all definitive but it does give you an idea of the state of the industry. Just keep in mind that the prices may or may not include subsidies or tax breaks, which can drastically change the costs quoted below.

 

Jul 2012 - In India, wind is cheaper than coal in Indi (w/out subsidies) (Bloomberg Business)

The cost of wind power has dropped below the price of coal-fired energy in parts of India for the first time as improved turbine technology (from GE) and rising fossil-fuel prices boost its competitiveness, Greenko Group Plc (GKO) said.

 

Mar 2012 – In Michigan wind is cheaper than coal (American Wind Energy Assoc.)

The Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) recently issued a report that finds that electricity generated from renewable energy sources, at an average cost of $91 per megawatt-hour (9.1 cents/kilowatt-hour), is almost one-third cheaper than the cost of electricity from a new coal-fired power plant ($133 per MWh, or 13.3 cents/kWh).

Further, the report notes, “The actual cost of renewable energy contracts submitted to the Commission to date shows a downward pricing trend.

 

Feb 2012 – In California, prices doubled in the first decade of 21st century, since 2011 are dropping to parity with natural gas (SF Gate)

The price of renewable power contracts signed by California utilities more than doubled from 2003 through 2011 but has now started to plunge…

The cost of buying electricity from a new natural gas power plant…(in 2011) ranged from 7.5 cents per kilowatt hour to 12 cents per kilowatt hour, depending on the length of the contract…The cost of renewable power from wind and solar facilities averaged between 8 and 9 cents per kilowatt hour.

 

Nov 2011 – Investigation of Bill Clinton’s claim that wind/solar are cheaper than nuclear (Politifact)

  • Conventional Coal – 94.8 (dollars/MWh)
  • Wind – Onshore – 97
  • Nuclear – 113.9
  • Solar – Photovoltaic – 210.7
  • Wind – Offshore – 243.2
  • Solar – Thermal – 311.8

Source: DOE’s Energy Information Administration

 

Nov 2011 – Google retires its initiative RE

It’s not clear here if Google feels this is already won and moving on, or if they have had enough and are quitting. One thing is certain, Google invested nearly a billion dollars ($850 million) in renewable energy last year.

This initiative was developed as an effort to drive down the cost of renewable energy, with an RE<C engineering team focused on researching improvements to solar power technology. At this point, other institutions are better positioned than Google to take this research to the next level. So we’ve published our results to help others in the field continue to advance the state of power tower technology, and we’ve closed our efforts.

 

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Google Chrome now owns the internet – most popular web browser in the world

The Next Web is covering the massive rise of Google’s web browser, Chrome:

 

Remember when Google’s Chrome browser overtook Internet Explorer as the world’s most popular browser for a week back in May? And next, for a full calendar month?

 

Now, it’s on top and looking to stay…

 

For July 2012, StatCounter pegged Chrome’s global market share at 33.8 percent, up from 32.8 percent in June and from 22.1 percent in July 2011.

 

That’s a pretty meteoric rise in one year, or a precipitous drop by the others. Rankings by market share:

 

  • Chrome – 33.8%
  • Internet Explorer – 32%
  • Firefox – 23.7%
  • Safari – 7.1%

 

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Google puts its self-driving cars to use as commuter vehicles

Technology is at its best when it makes people’s lives better, and that’s precisely what we’re going for with our self-driving car project. We’re using advanced computer science to try and make driving safer and more enjoyable.

Our vehicles, of which about a dozen are on the road at any given time, have now completed more than 300,000 miles of testing. They’ve covered a wide range of traffic conditions, and there hasn’t been a single accident under computer control.

We’re encouraged by this progress, but there’s still a long road ahead. To provide the best experience we can, we’ll need to master snow-covered roadways, interpret temporary construction signals and handle other tricky situations that many drivers encounter. As a next step, members of the self-driving car team will soon start using the cars solo (rather than in pairs), for things like commuting to work. This is an important milestone, as it brings this technology one step closer to every commuter. One day we hope this capability will enable people to be more productive in their cars. For now, our team members will remain in the driver’s seats and will take back control if needed.

With each breakthrough we feel more optimistic about delivering this technology to people and dramatically improving their driving experience. We’ll see you on the road!

 

Source: Google - The self-driving car logs more miles on new wheels

 

 

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What is a virtual photo walk? — Watch this video and you will want to go on one

 

“As a photographer you’re in a special place taking pictures, and now you can share that with others”

 

Photographer John Butterill discovered a way to share his photo walks through Google+ Hangouts. Almost immediately photographers around the world began volunteering to share their view of the world with people whose mobility was limited.

 

// Thx – Jimmy Gardner

NASA jumpstarts the electric airplane industry with ultra-efficient flights – 400 mpg

This story is a bit old (October 2011), but in light of Chip Yates project to create the first all-electric transatlantic flight, is worth reading about:

 

NASA has awarded the largest prize in aviation history, created to inspire the development of more fuel-efficient aircraft and spark the start of a new electric airplane industry. The technologies demonstrated by the CAFE Green Flight Challenge, sponsored by Google, competitors may end up in general aviation aircraft, spawning new jobs and new industries for the 21st century.

The first place prize of $1.35 million was awarded to team Pipistrel-USA.com of State College, Pa. The second place prize of $120,000 went to team eGenius, of Ramona, Calif.

“NASA congratulates Pipistrel-USA.com for proving that ultra-efficient aviation is within our grasp,” said Joe Parrish, NASA’s acting chief technologist at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Today we’ve shown that electric aircraft have moved beyond science fiction and are now in the realm of practice.”

The winning aircraft had to fly 200 miles in less than two hours and use less than one gallon of fuel per occupant, or the equivalent in electricity. The first and second place teams, which were both electric-powered, achieved twice the fuel efficiency requirement of the competition, meaning they flew 200 miles using just over a half-gallon of fuel equivalent per passenger.

“Two years ago the thought of flying 200 miles at 100 mph in an electric aircraft was pure science fiction,” said Jack W. Langelaan, team leader of Team Pipistrel-USA.com. “Now, we are all looking forward to the future of electric aviation.”

 

Source: NASA Awards Historic Green Aviation Prize

 

 

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Fantasy Football gets Google Hangouts – live draft parties, meetups, trades

Google announced today a pretty major deal with the NFL which will help it to grow adoption of Google+ Hangouts. With a full rollout coming later this month, NFL.com will soon be offering one-click access to Google+ Hangouts, allowing fantasy football players to video chat with their league in real-time. This is big news not just for  Google+ itself, but also for the NFL.com website, since it means that players from  all over get to have the same experience of hosting live draft parties and meetups, even when they’re too far to travel back and forth between people’s houses.

Hangout members can also chat, perform trades, or host other meetings via the feature, which later this month will include a live indicator on NFL.com/fantasy that indicates whether or not anyone in your league is online and hanging out. And the feature will work from the Google+ Android and iOS apps, too, says Google.

 

Source: TechCrunch - Take That, Yahoo Fantasy Football: NFL Adds Google+ Hangouts To Its Fantasy Football Site

 

 

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