September 29, 2010

The World's First Internet Television Unvieling by Sony on October 12

Get ready for more details on Google TV.

Sony has just dispatched an invitation for a New York City media event slated for October 12 that promises the introduction of "the world's first Internet Television." Sony's "Internet Television" is one of the first home video products that will include built-in support for Google TV, the new Web video service from the search giant that promises to integrate Google search and any Web-based Flash video directly into the TV.

The product was first announced at the Google I/O conference in May, and subsequently demoed at the IFA show in Germany earlier this month (see photos below). In addition to the Sony TV, there have been persistent rumors of a Google TV-enabled Sony Blu-ray player as well. The Sony products will compete with the Google TV-powered Logitech Revue set-top box, which is also scheduled to be released this fall.

CNET will be covering the October 12 event live, and we're hopeful that we'll be getting details on pricing and availability on Sony's products. For Sony and Google, it's certainly a case of the sooner, the better. These streaming TV products will be going head-to-head with the already refreshed Roku line, the soon-to-be-released Apple TV update, and the much-anticipated Boxee Box--not to mention Sony's own SMP-N100

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September 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Google

If you're wondering what that cake was for when you opened Google this morning, let us inform you that it was today, 12 years ago, that the company was born.

Founded then by two Phd students (now billionaires) Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the website is arguably the most common and most visited website on the planet. Google has since then "diversified" from being a search engine to becoming a mail provider (Gmail), photo sharing site (Picasa), maps service provider (Google Maps) and even social networking platforms (Orkut, Buzz). It is also now a big player in the mobile smart phone operating system segment with its Android OS which is fast becoming the OS of choice for many. It also has a Web Browser, Chrome and also an upcoming PC Operating System sharing the same name - Chrome OS.

Most of Google's services were roaring successes except for a few exceptions like Wave and even its latest social networking platform, the Buzz. Google had also released a mobile phone called the Google Nexus One (as if you don't know!) which did see moderate success.

As for the "actual" birthday of Google, the debate is still on as to what can be considered the real birthday of the site. The domain was registered on September 15, 1997 and in the past, Google has celebrated its birthday on September 7 and of late, mostly on September 27. The company seems to have more or less fixed September 27 as its "official birthday" and it could well be the way forward in the coming years.

Anyway, here's wishing Google a very happy birthday!  


Project 10^100 Winners

Thousands of people from more than 170 countries submitted over 150,000 ideas. Final list is out. Following are the projects which got funded by Google under Project 10^100.
Idea: Make educational content available online for free
Project funded: The Khan Academy is a non-profit educational organisation that provides high-quality, free education to anyone, anywhere via an online library of more than 1,600 teaching videos. We are providing $2 million to support the creation of more courses and to enable the Khan Academy to translate their core library into the world’s most widely spoken languages.
Idea: Enhance science and engineering education
Project funded: FIRST is a non-profit organisation that promotes science and maths education around the world through team competition. Its mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders by giving them real-world experience of working with professional engineers and scientists. We are providing $3 million to develop and jump-start new student-driven robotics team fundraising programmes that will empower more student teams to participate in FIRST.
Idea: Make government more transparent
Project funded: Public.Resource.Org is a non-profit organisation focused on enabling online access to public government documents in the United States. We are providing $2 million to Public.Resource.Org to help bring legal materials of the United States online, so that they are accessible to all.
Idea: Drive innovation in public transport
Project funded: Shweeb is a concept for short-to-medium-distance, urban personal transport, using human-powered vehicles on a monorail. We are providing $1 million to fund research and development to test Shweeb’s technology for an urban setting.
Idea: Provide quality education to African students
Project funded: The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) is a centre for maths and science education and research in Cape Town, South Africa. AIMS’ primary focus is a one-year bridging programme for recent university graduates that helps build skills and knowledge prior to Masters and PhD study. We are providing $2 million to fund the opening of additional AIMS centres to promote graduate-level maths and science study in Africa.

September 9, 2010

Google Announces Google Instant - Streaming Search Results

Google Instant is a new search enhancement that shows results as you type. We are pushing the limits of our technology and infrastructure to help you get better search results, faster. Our key technical insight was that people type slowly, but read quickly, typically taking 300 milliseconds between keystrokes, but only 30 milliseconds (a tenth of the time!) to glance at another part of the page. This means that you can scan a results page while you type.
The most obvious change is that you get to the right content much faster than before because you don’t have to finish typing your full search term, or even press “search.” Another shift is that seeing results as you type helps you formulate a better search term by providing instant feedback. You can now adapt your search on the fly until the results match exactly what you want. In time, we may wonder how search ever worked in any other way.


Faster Searches: By predicting your search and showing results before you finish typing, Google Instant can save 2-5 seconds per search.
Smarter Predictions: Even when you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, predictions help guide your search. The top prediction is shown in grey text directly in the search box, so you can stop typing as soon as you see what you need.
Instant Results: Start typing and results appear right before your eyes. Until now, you had to type a full search term, hit return, and hope for the right results. Now results appear instantly as you type, helping you see where you’re headed, every step of the way.
Source: Google

September 3, 2010

Google introduces new mail experience "Priority Inbox"

Priority Inbox can help save you time if you’re overwhelmed with the amount of email you get. It attempts to automatically identify your important incoming messages and separates them out from everything else. Gmail uses a variety of signals to prioritize your incoming messages, including who you emailed most frequently and which messages you’ve recently opened as opposed to which messages you’ve deleted.
When you click the Priority Inbox navigation link on the left-hand side of your mail, you’ll see messages grouped in three sections: Important and unread, Starred, and Everything else. This is the default setup, but you may customize your sections on the Priority Inbox in Settings.
If Priority Inbox mistakes an email as important or doesn’t flag one that’s important to you, you can teach it to make better selections. Just select the message in question, and click the “mark as important” or “mark as not important” button; they’re the buttons with plus and minus icons just to the left of the Move to and Labels drop-down menus.
When you mark a message as not important, it will move out of the Important section. Over time Priority Inbox will learn what’s important to you and incorporate the feedback you give via these buttons.
The signals that Gmail uses to prioritize your email are never surfaced to other users -- they’re only used to prioritize your mail for you. So if you always ignore email from Bob and those messages are marked as “not important” in your inbox, it won’t affect how Bob sees the conversation in his inbox.

Source: Gmail

September 1, 2010

Google launches Health Speaks: Online health information in local languages

Google has introduced a new initiative called Health Speaks that aims to help increase the amount of high-quality online health information in local languages. To begin with, the company has launched pilot projects to support community-based, crowd-sourced translation of health information from English into Arabic, Hindi and Swahili.

“Language should not be the barrier that denies millions of people worldwide the opportunity to improve their health with valuable health information,” Jennifer Haroon, manager, health initiatives,, has said. “We encourage anyone with health knowledge who is bilingual in English and either Arabic, Hindi or Swahili to take part in the pilot projects for Health Speaks.”

Google has also decided to provide a donation incentive to encourage community translators to participate. “For the first 60 days, we will donate 3 cents (US) for each English word translated to the Children's Cancer Hospital Egypt 57357, the Public Health Foundation of India and the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) for the pilots in Arabic, Hindi and Swahili, respectively, up to $50,000 each,” Jennifer Haroon has added.