Google made no attempt to top last year’s I/O keynote, featuring skydivers. Instead, viewers were treated to a long, rambling meditation on progress from Google CEO Larry Page, who seemed none too keen on talking about Google Glass.
“Technology should do the hard work,” Mr. Page informed us all, “so that people can get on with doing the things that make them happiest in life.” He also suggested that, “being negative is not how we make progress.” Somehow we doubt that outlook inspires Mr. Page to let his underlings off lightly when they screw something up.
The closest thing to a skydiver was when Robert Scoble popped up at the front of the line for Q&A, announcing himself as ”one of the first glassholes.” “Robert, I didn’t appreciate the shower picture,” Mr. Page replied.
But there were a few big announcements.
It’s the first day of spring, and the first day New York has truly seen the sun in what feels like weeks. And guess what? It’s also Macaron Day.
Hard on the heels of Google chairman Eric Schmidt’s jaunt to North Korea, the World’s Most Isolated Country™ is letting a bit of Internet breeze in. The AP reports that foreigners in the country will soon have access to 3G connections, meaning they’ll now be able to fact-check anything their government-assigned tour guides tell them. Be warned, however, that your surroundings are probably bugged six ways to Sunday.
It’s not easy to find a giant patch of land that can be used as a cornucopia set for the upcoming film Catching Fire, part of the young adult sci fi trilogy The Hunger Games. The set, which requires a circular beach with thick jungle encircling it to stay true to the novel, also isn’t easy to replicate in a stuffy Hollywood studio. So the producers headed to a location with more space, with the cornucopia used for the games rumored to be in the Atlanta area.
Shortly after Google Chairman Eric Schmidt returned from his much-ballyhooed trip to North Korea, his daughter and traveling companion Sophie published an extended diary of the adventure, revealing, among other things, that her father’s response to staying in a bugged hotel room was simply to leave his door opened wide.
At the time, that Read More
Apple in Your Eye
All teenagers know that the best way to dethrone the popular kid is to not invite him/her to your party. Anyone needing proof of this needs only to look at the climax of Mean Girls, when Cady Haron doesn’t invite Regina George to her house party. Following that principle, it comes as no surprise that Apple, the akward new kid, might not give app store approvalto a new Google Maps app that works with iOS 6. Apple Maps is the newer and less popular kid at school and it wouldn’t want the homecoming king to come back anytime soon.
iPhone users can still bookmark the Safari page for Google Maps, but a standalone app would be better than any mobile web version, and definitely better than Apple’s flawed offering.
Keeping Google out might be good for Apple’s popularity, but is its inferiority complex hurting users?
Google Maps isn’t all confusing strings of highways or kids pointing guns at you. There’s also an undeniable whimsical note to the whole project, marked by the endearingly dorky desire to chronicle the entire physical world. Now, Google has taken that whimsy a step further to include underwater streetview in its canon of maps. And there are pictures of sea turtles!
Apple is reportedly attempting to poach members of the Google Maps team. You know what they say: If you can’t beat ‘em, steal ‘em. [TechCrunch]
The latest boat lifted by the rising tide of the New York tech boom: accounting firms. [Crain's New York]
Apparently NYPD officers were stationed outside Apple’s Fifth Avenue flagship, asking new iPhone 5 owners to register their serial numbers in case of theft. [Yahoo]
Meanwhile, in New Zealand: A court has ordered an investigation into whether Kim Dotcom was the victim of “unlawful spying.” [BBC News]
There's a Map for That
A few days ago Waze CEO Noam Bardin kvetched that Apple’s native mapping app would stink up iOS 6. If The Amazing iOS 6 Maps Tumblr is any indication, he was right.
The screengrabs posted on the site come from iPhones and iPads. While many are self-explanatory, some come with pithy commentary, like this image, captioned, “Freiburg, Germany. Seem to be authentic World War II sattelite (sic) images”:
It would be so fun to drive around in one of those Google street view cars, wouldn’t it? Happily capturing the world around you so it can be carefully digitized and archived for everyone with an Internet connection to see. Except for like, when you drive through a rough urban area and happen to have a large gun pointed at you.