Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!
An “overwhelming” percentage of cyberattacks on U.S. corporations and government agencies seem to originate out of a 12-story Chinese Army complex in a rundown neighborhood of Shanghai. [NYT]
Microsoft says it has signed up 60 million active users for its free, web-based Outlook email service, and that one-third of those users switched over from Gmail. [Bloomberg]
The liquidation of Ecomom was precipitated, at least in part, by aggressive bets on how much merchandise the ecommerce site could move. [PandoDaily]
A handful of developers in San Francisco and New York had a chance to play with Google Glasses earlier this month, as Google engineers sought feedback on their API. [ArsTechnica]
Finally, the true tale of Times reporter’s John M. Broder and Tesla’s Model S sedan. [AllThingsD]
This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can reach him at gary [at] garysguide.com.
Sooooo…it’s that time of the year again. SXSW (a.k.a. Spring Break for Geeks) is right around the corner, running March 8 to 12 in Austin, Texas. And you know what that means: Parties, parties ‘n more parties!! So, once again, we’re putting together what we hope will be THE definitive guide to all this year’s SXSW Interactive parties. We’ll be updating this list regularly, so check back often. And email me if you’re organizing an event or a party.
The Future Will See You Now
We’ve all done it: An argument breaks out at the bar/dinner table/book club meeting, about a half-remembered line of poetry or factoid about the American Revolution. What was Mick Jagger’s childhood nickname? Only Google can tell you for sure. So someone hauls out a smartphone and lickety-split, the matter is settled. Back to brunch!
Well, the matter isn’t settled as far as Google is concerned, reports The New York Times. Rather than being a mere 30-second in-case-of-emergency argument ender, the company wants its search products integrated ever-deeper into your socializing, like that one dude who doesn’t know when to stop dropping Trivial Pursuit factoids at the cocktail party.
According to the Times:
Apple in Your Eye
Good news for Ray Kurzweil and his fawning, would-be immortal groupies: wearable computing like the Nike fuel band and Google’s Project Glass are basically sentient technologies, so we should be merging our souls with robots any day now.
Network World published an in-depth look at the future of wearable computing yesterday, and apparently many analysts believe wearable devices will be a dominant industry within the next three years. And not only that, but technologies like vibrating tattoos and video goggles will eventually learn our basic wants and needs, predicting and serving our desires without us programming them to do so.
And so it begins.
In the race to bring a computer to your face, Google has a clear lead, with Google Glasses expected on shelves by 2013. But if Jobesian history has taught us anything, we assumed that when iGlasses (iEyes, if they want to make it easier to discuss) comes out in, oh, let’s say 2014, it will be a sleeker, more socially-adjusted affair. So we were surprised to come across a patent sketch that depicts them as anything but.
Bonkers sky-diving demos really have a way of invigorating your competition, don’t they? Not long after Google showed the world just what its Project Glass headsets can do, Olympus, the Japanese camera manufacturer, has announced its reentry into wearable computing with a prototype called the MEG4.0.
15 Minutes Into the Future
In this month’s MIT Technology Review, journalist Farhad Manjoo got a chance to talk with a technology lead for Google’s Project Glass, Thad Starner. An associate professor at the Georgia Institute for Technology, Mr. Starner has been experimenting with wearable technologies since the mid-90s, and was tapped by Google to advise them on issues surrounding Project Glass, the company’s attempt to commercialize computerized glasses.
Ever the skeptical journalist, Mr. Manjoo went into the meeting expecting to find the glasses polarizing and detrimental to social interaction. Also: dorky and vaguely creepy. Instead, Mr. Starner successfully convinced him that Google’s glasses will actually amplify social interaction, stripping it of those awkward phone-checking asides and lulls in conversation when we go to respond to a text. In short, Google glasses could be a socially awkward person’s best friend. Sign us up!
Googlers are swanning about all over the place wearing their Project Glass specs, snapping pics with the president of Turkey and showing them off to Charlie Rose. And sure, it’s a pretty cool prototype. But can it help the search behemoth’s more awkward employees make sense of human emotions? Didn’t think so, Mr. Brin.
In a blog post yesterday (h/t Technology Review), Mark Changizi, director of human cognition at research outfit 2AI Labs, announced that the company has just received its first shipment of 02Amps, described as “patented eyewear that amplifies one’s view of the emotions and health visible in the color and pallor of other people’s skin.”
And they didn’t even have to raise money on Kickstarter.
The future isn’t quite as streamlined as GOOG might have us believe. Promotional photos for Google Glasses have revealed prototypes for Project Glass to be a little awkward, sure. Perhaps even a smidge La Forgian, if you will.
But new evidence uploaded by Sergey Brin on his very own social network highlight some undeniable heft in the posterior region where, presumably, the battery is stored. “Look how big Google Glasses are behind the ear,” wrote one alarmed commenter who posted the photo on Hacker News.
You know when people say ” . . . not until they figure out how to put computer chips in our brains”? Well this is one step closer. We would smash our iPad 2 on the floor right now if we could get our money back and spend it on this instead.
Yesterday evening, the New York Times‘ Nick Bilton reported that Google is planning to put its heads-up display [HUD] glasses, which “stream information to the wearer’s eyeballs in real time,” to the public by the end of the year at somewhere between $250 and $600.