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Google’s update Wednesday was a big one

Published by on Dec 4th, 2014, No Comments

Google-apps-updatesGoogle’s app update Wednesdays has become a bit of a tradition. Each week millions of Android users look forward to news from Google regarding updates to their favorite apps. Whether its is just a small tweak, bugfix, or new feature here and there, Google always seems to deliver. While most update Wednesdays aren’t really something to write home about, this week’s lineup is a bit larger than most, with at least a dozen Android apps seeing updates become available yesterday. (more…)

Watch Google’s robot do Karate Kid moves

Published by on Dec 1st, 2014, 1 Comment

The Atlas

Most of us will remember the iconic movie that is the Karate Kid. The wholesome family film has touched the hearts of generations.

One thing that will forever be remembered about this film – besides the wise words of Mr. Miyagi – is the ‘crane’ pose which shows the young karate Kid balancing, with one leg, on a pole.

The movie was released in 1984 and now, 20 years later, robots are doing that exact same move. Say hello to the future.

A humanoid robot built by Google seems to have mastered the famous pose, and the best part is, he doesn’t even flinch and keeps his composure – just as Miyagi would have wanted it. (more…)

Apple may dump Google as Safari’s default search engine

Published by on Nov 26th, 2014, No Comments

apple-vs-googleApple and Google have had a long standing partnership where Apple piggy-backed off of Google’s map and search functions. Since iOS 7 we have seen Apple introduce their own mapping software (which has come a long way since its disastrous debut) but Safari has always used Google as its default search engine. The partnership is due to expire early in 2015 and Apple has not yet made it known whether or not they are going to stick with Google. Music to Microsoft’s and Yahoo’s ears… (more…)

Google Balloon crashes down in small Karoo town

Published by on Nov 21st, 2014, 1 Comment

Project Loon

Imagine waking up to a crashed Google balloon in your backyard. They are big, odd-looking and contain pieces of technology that looks like something from NASA. Now imagine you are a sheep farmer from the Karoo, and you wake up to a crashed Google balloon in your backyard – having no idea what in the world it is.

This is what happened to Urbanus Botha, a farmer from the small town of De Aar in the Karoo.

A self-described technophobe, Botha had no idea what the huge, plastic thing was that came crashing down on his farm and gave his sheep (and no doubt himself) a fright.

The Google balloon was unlike anything he had ever seen, and the fact that it was so big caused a lot of confusion.

“The enormous piece of plastic took up the whole of my sheep trailer,” Botha said.

After making the unusual discovery, Botha called over his neighbour, Stoffel Visagie, to come and have a look at the enormous, deflated balloon.  (more…)

Hassle free unlocking with Google’s trusted places

Published by on Nov 20th, 2014, No Comments

android-lollipop1android-lollipopWhat is the one action you perform the most on your smartphone. Posting on facebook? Checking mail? Nope, in most cases the most frequently repeated action is unlocking your phone. Before you can do anything on your device you have to go through the unlocking ritual (if you have that type of security enabled – which you should!). The average user probably unlocks their phone around a hundred times per day and can become quite a chore, especially when you are in a safe place such as your own home. Thus Google introduces “trusted places” with Android 5.0 Lollipop. (more…)

Why Wearable Tech Just Isn’t Ready

Published by on Nov 10th, 2014, 3 Comments

g-watch-r

“Gimmick” is a strong word that’s all to easily thrown around when talking about technology. As consumers, we’re quite quick to disregard any new product on the market as a shameless cash-in preying on ignorance and hype. Even the greatest bard of them all, Shakespeare, was quick to weigh in. As his eponymous character, Richard the III, says of wearable tech in his famous monologue, Deformed, unfinish’d, sent before (its) time. Into this breathing world, scarce half made up. And that so lamely and unfashionable, That dogs bark at me as I halt by them 

OK, I hear you. Shakespeare decidedly never raised his voice on wearable tech. However, I shall – and I decree the entire category as gimmickry released before its time. Allow me to explain. (more…)

Google Maps receives material design makeover

Published by on Nov 6th, 2014, No Comments

GM2Many of us have been using Google Maps for a number of years now. The trusty navigation app (& website) has evolved from a mere online map to a go-anywhere tool with turn-by-turn voice instruction, traffic updates and alternative route suggestion. The application is popular across Android, Apple and Windows phone platforms and has almost entirely replaced stand alone GPS devices and apps. So this tireless workhorse deserves some pampering and Google has stepped up by giving Google Maps a material design revamp. (more…)

Google and LG sign 10 year patent licensing agreement

Published by on Nov 6th, 2014, 2 Comments

google

Cross-licencing deals are becoming much more common than in years past, especially in the tech industry. This is mostly to prevent companies having to slug it out in court for years at a time, but also a show of good faith. (more…)

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