FARHAD MANJOO DISCOVERS THAT GOOGLE‘S OBSESSION IS REAL
(NEWSER) – For years, when Google employees likened their projects to the Star Trek computer, Farhad Manjoo dismissed it as a convenient media metaphor. “Google is very likely the nerdiest large company on earth; of courseits employees like Star Trek,” he writes in Slate. But after many, many references, he started to wonder if there was more to it—and, amazingly, there is. “The Star Trekcomputer is not just a metaphor,” search chief Amit Singhal tells him. “It is the ideal that we’re aiming to build.”
Singhal says that the team constantly compares its work to the Enterprise’s chipper, voice-activated assistant. Captain Kirk didn’t need a keyboard, so Google’s been pushing voice recognition. The computer could sometimes predict crew members’ needs, hence the Google Nowproject. “Stop thinking about Google as a ‘search engine,'” Manjoo writes. “That term conjures a staid image: a small box on a page.” Google’s ideal is nothing like that—it’s a machine so smart it can answer your questions, anticipate your needs, and answer completely unanticipated questions. Click for Manjoo’s full column.
SOURCE SAYS COMPANY IS ASKING $1M FOR SINGLE-DAY RUN
(NEWSER) – Facebook video ads are due to arrive this summer—and while some of the technical details remain uncertain, two things are clear: They won’t be cheap, and they will likely be annoying. The site seeks to go live with the ad placement in June or July, say executives who heard the pitch; one tells Ad Age each of four daily “slots” will cost more than $1 million; another cites a figure approaching that sum. Slots are divided into four demographics, divided by sex and age (over or under 30). Ads can’t be longer than 15 seconds, and no user will encounter more than three in a day.
Observers say the ads are likely to be autoplay, appear in a player that stretches beyond the news-feed area, and play when the desktop version of Facebook is accessed; how mobile versions could work is less clear. So will this be a slam-dunk for Facebook? The ads “could be eagerly sought after by agencies that have plenty of TV ad creative on their hands and not enough TV-like web inventory to place it in,” writes Cotton Delo. Adds an exec: “Aside from a YouTube front page or a Yahoo front page—which certainly isn’t what it used to be—this could be the answer.”
Netflix Now Has More Subscribers Than HBO
IT ALSO INTRODUCES NEW $12 ‘FAMILY PLAN’
NEWSER) – Qwikster? What’s a Qwikster? Netflix appears to have solidly put that debacle behind it, posting a strong earnings report yesterday that included this interesting tidbit: Netflix now has 29.17 million paid subscribers. That, Forbes observes, is more than HBO, which at the end of last year reported 28.7 million subscribers. So if Netflix were a premium television channel, it would be No. 2, behind Encore.
Netflix followed up the report today by announcing a new “family plan” that, for $11.99 a month, will allow up to four people to stream content simultaneously. The current $7.99 streaming package only allows up to two simultaneous viewers. In other Netflix news, its subscribers watched a whopping 4 billion hours in the first quarter of this year.
HP Adding 3D Motion Technology to Computers
COMPANY TEAMS WITH LEAP MOTION
(AP) – Leap Motion says its 3D motion controllers will be included in some computers from Hewlett-Packard this year. The Leap Controller tracks people’s fingers and hand motions as they gesture, swipe, and point at their computer screens. Applications developed for it let people control games, work on office tasks, paint pictures, or design 3D objects.
At first, the controllers will be bundled with PCs and other devices from Hewlett-Packard. But Leap said the companies plan to eventually integrate the controllers and Leap’s software more deeply into HP products. The move comes as PC sales are declining as people and businesses are moving on to smartphones and tablet computers.(All creditation for the articles below belong to http://www.extremetech.com/category/extreme)
After almost 20 years, GPU benchmarking is moving past frames per second
- By Joel Hruska on April 23, 2013 at 1:12 pm
- (Credit: ixbtlabs.com)
In gaming, frame rate — measured in frames per second, or fps– is king. That’s been true for the 12 years I’ve been reviewing computer hardware and then some. Frames per second has ruled the roost, virtually unchallenged.
April 23, 2013 at 11:41 am
Good news, prospective robot overlords: Researchers in Germany have proven that humans do indeed feel empathy for robots. This empathy exists for robots irrespective of their form — a dinosaur-shaped robot and humanoid robot both elicited the same empathetic response.
Microrocket ‘Innerspace’ medical devices begin to take shape April 23, 2013 at 9:24 am
Last week, at the meeting of the American Chemical Society, researcher Joesph Wang and his lab presented some new concepts for microrockets that can operate inside the body. These self-propelled devices are able to fuel themselves using the surrounding natural environment. These new devices are the first successful implementation continuous-thrust bubble propulsion with the potential at least for indefinite service life in the body.
April 23, 2013 at 6:27 am
A collaboration of Swiss institutions, including IBM Research, has announced that it’s developing a highly efficient, low-cost photovoltaic system that’s capable of concentrating “the power of 2,000 suns.” The collaboration claims that the system, which is targeted at dry regions such as southern Europe, Africa, the south west of North America, South America, and Australia, will have an overall efficiency of 80% — and, miraculously, be able to provide a source of fresh water, too.
SpaceX has competition: Orbital’s Antares rocket completes test launch April 22, 2013 at 1:49 pm
Orbital Sciences Corporation has completed the first test launch of its Antares rocket, successfully deploying a dummy 3.8-tonne spacecraft into low Earth orbit (LEO). The next test flight, due in June, will see the launch of Orbital’s Cygnus spacecraft, which will resupply the International Space Station. If that goes well, Orbital will begin a $1.9-billion contract with NASA to deliver eight resupply missions to the ISS.
April 19, 2013 at 11:16 am
Researchers at the University of New South Wales in Australia have created the first quantum bit (qubit) based on the nuclear spin of an atom, within a silicon transistor. This breakthrough is significant for two reasons: The qubit produced by the researchers is highly stable — and it’s in silicon, meaning it can be wired up and controlled electronically, just like a conventional computer chip.
April 18, 2013 at 3:53 pm
NASA announced today that the Kepler telescope has detected three new Earth-like planets within the habitable zone of their parent stars. These are the smallest and most Earth-like objects Kepler has identified to date, and all three of them could host life.
HAVE A NICE DAY!
FAIR USE NOTICE: These Videos/Articles may contain copyrighted (© ) material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available to advance understanding of ecological, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. It is believed that this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior general interest in receiving similar information for research and educational purposes.