Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Digital Summit 2012 heads to Hotlanta

Huffington Post, Gilt, Klout, Google… Looks like all the online heavyweights are headed to the A-T-L next month for Digital Summit 2012 at the Cobb Galleria.

This is the second annual summit, presented by TechMedia. Thank goodness they jammed both words together and capped the second or else we wouldn’t know they were a hip, tech company. They all do that. I’ve blogged about it before so I won’t bore anyone here.

Anyway, this should be a great conference. So mark your calendars and, in the meantime, check out the event here:

Google’s self-driving car challenge

An awfully confident Google has enlisted an arguably even more confident blind man to get behind the wheel of its self-driving car. Check it out:

Auto-mobile: A WSJ blog on robotic cars

  • October 12, 2010, 2:00 PM ET

Google’s Robot Cars: A Coming-Out For Automated Vehicles

By Jonathan Welsh
Google’s automated cars drive themselves with help from video cameras and numerous sensors. They also carry people who can take over in case of emergency.

For many car fans, people in the auto business and technology enthusiasts, the revelation of Google Inc.’s test fleet of robotic cars is not a big surprise.

But for those of us who love driving, the development of automated vehicles like those depicted in the 2002 film “Minority Report,” seems like a mixed blessing. While it promises to make automobile travel safer, it could take away an activity many people find pleasurable.

We’ve seen it coming. Car makers have been developing technology using cameras, radar sensors and global positioning systems to prevent collisions and keep cars from getting off course. A Google spokesman says systems in the company’s automated cars are “almost like an extension of the technologies” already available in production cars.

Even before the Tom Cruise movie showed vehicles driving themselves, the auto industry was selling cars with features like adaptive cruise control, which uses radar and laser range finders to monitor the proximity of other cars. More recently cars have rolled out with lane-departure warning systems that are one step away from guiding them without any driver input. Braking systems on some new cars can stop them short of an obstacle if the driver is too inattentive to do so.

Still, the Google project is an eye-opener for people who assumed driverless cars were decades away. The company says its cars have driven themselves more than 140,000 miles including trips on California’s Pacific Coast Highway, the Golden Gate Bridge, down Lombard Street in San Francisco and around Lake Tahoe.

Read more at the WSJ blog Driver’s Seat.

News by Google. And that’s not a bad thing.

I told you so. Whoever was listening, anyway, that someone will figure out a solution to the news business. And whoever does will profit. And the rest of us will probably all say, duh, why didn’t we think of that?

Well, maybe we won’t think we’d have thunk it. But surely it’s no surprise who would. Here’s a hint. Whatever you’re googling right now is amateur night. You see, Google wants to bring back the news business.

And its Silicon Valley sensibility has what I think the industry needs. To be honest, I’m probably one of the few former print journalists who doesn’t lament the crumbling of the industry. I think the system got fat and arrogant. And when it faltered, it appealed to the lowest common denominator, compromising its value and credibility.  I think the shake-up will mean a reborn industry that will be thrilling and beneficial in unforeseen ways.

Google’s motivation is partly self interest. Searching works as long as there’s something worth searching for, as James Fallows explains in the cover story of this month’s “The Atlantic.” 

A strong, free society hinges not only on the free flow of information, for which the Web and Google have done wonders, but the particular expertise of watchdogs and analysts. Given the dissolution of today’s press and its increasingly fractured form, I don’t know whether those voices will stand alone or represent an institution. In other words, does  Tom Friedman need The New York Times, or does The New York Times need Tom Friedman? Speaking of which, check out Friedman’s column framing the oil spill as President Obama’s 9/11 moment to galvanize a national clean energy policy.

I’d argue that Friedman could stand alone, that he has enough draw to be his own media brand.  You may rightly point out: “But Friedman’s a columnist. What about the reporting of good old-fashioned facts? ” Well, here’s my prediction, and hope.  Maybe the democratization of the Internet means the cream will eventually rise to the top, whether one provides fact or opinion.

I believe Americans — not all of them, but enough of them — will value those who deliver consistent, credible information. Meanwhile, there will be those who value salacious nonsense. Fine. I’m not worried that news judgement is best left to reporters.

For one, we’ve got Google now. And with that comes plenty of sites for the rank and file to rank and review. Let it all roll out there, and let ’em all weigh in.

God bless democracy. God bless innovation. And God bless America.

Gadgets Galore

Gadget-lovers, brace yourselves.

The new e-century has arrived. The Chevy Volt will sync its OnStar in-vehicle communications with Google’s Android operating system. The linchpin: a 2.0 version of the Volt mobile app that uses Google know-how. Details will be revealed at the Google I/O conference that starts tomorrow in San Francisco, according to’s Josie Garthwaite.

“Our whole goal here is to put together a great vehicle for customers, not just a battery on wheels,” said Andrew Farah, the Volt’s chief engineer who is quoted by Garthwaite. She notes that the GM-Google arrangement follows Ford’s smart charging deal with Microsoft and hints at a future deal between GM and Google’s PowerMeter.

On a humbler scale, pedal pushers can re-cycle their own energy, so to speak. Fred Flintstone was on to something. You can now use your own feet to power your mobile devices while biking with the E-Werk.

Urban Daddy has the word:

These days, everything old is new again. Or it’s just new.