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Planet Google

Planet Google

Google Reportedly Enlists Warby Parker to Make Glass Look More Hipster, Less Neckbeard

Who cares about fashion, you're in a hot-air balloon! (Photo: Screencap)

Google Glass certainly isn’t lacking in the whiz-bang factor. The gadget was publicly introduced with a skydiving stunt; just yesterday, the company released a video from the point of view of a user, demonstrating how seamlessly the spectacles can capture your exciting life of hot-air ballooning and snake charming.

But now comes the hard part: Getting normals to want the damn things. Unlike many software developers and/or Betabeat reporters, most of America isn’t likely to be sold on the pitch that hey, it’s just like what Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge wore on Star Trek TNG!

Hence, step one is to make the things a little sleeker. The New York Times reports today that sources say, as part of a stab at style, Google is currently in negotiations with Warby Parker to get some design help with the project. If the company plans to start selling Glass to the wider world later this year, such a partnership would come not a moment too soon. Read More

Planet Google

Here’s What It Feels Like to Wear Google Glass

Pfft, American. (Photo: Google)

Attention fellow wannabe cyborgs: Google Glass can soon be ours! As long as you have $1,500 and are willing to use Google Plus. So, ya know, there’s that.

In a new video, the notoriously tightlipped Project X team released some fresh details about Google’s attempt at wearable technology. The video, which–yes–includes skydiving, shows users saying “OK glass” to get the attention of the system before sending it commands, such as “Take a picture,” “Record a video” and “Say ‘delicious’ in Thai.” The system also sends speech-to-text messages and livestreams video. Read More

Planet Google

Google Is Funding Drones That Track Rhino Poachers

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Debate all you want about whether Google has put aside its one-time mantra about not being evil–the search giant wants to save the rhinos. On Tuesday, Google gave the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) $5 million so the organization can use more drones to monitor poachers hunting endangered animals.

Mother Jones reports that the WWF was already using unmanned aerial drones in Nepal, where they act as eyes in the skies for park rangers on the hunt for poachers hiding in remote destinations. Now the WWF’s drone program will expand across the world: Read More

Planet Google

Thousands of Muslims Protest Anti-Muslim Film Outside Google’s London H.Q.

Still from a trailer for Innocence of Muslims

Muslims protested at Google headquarters in London on Sunday, expressing outrage over the search giant’s refusal to remove Innocence of Muslims from YouTube.

One of the men behind the event, Masoud Alam, told the Telegraph that there will be more protests “at the offices of Google and YouTube across the world.” Muslims wish to ban the film, said Mr. Alam, because it is an “insult of the Prophet.”

Some in attendance on Sunday said they want to expand their protests: Read More

Planet Google

FTC More Serious Than Ever About Federal Action Against Google

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The FTC has been examining Google’s business practices for a while and tonight the New York Times reports that the commission has prepared a memo recommending the United States file suit against the company for allegedly massaging search results to favor Google products, among other things.

It’s not a done deal that the government and Google will end up arguing the case in court, but a memo currently being prepared by the FTC is a big step in that direction: Read More

Planet Google

Google Rolling Out Micropayments for Web Content

Google Wallet for Business (Screengrab)

Oh, yay, Google is set to implement a micropayment system for online content. CNET reports the search giant has confirmed that users will be able to purchase articles for prices between $0.25 and $0.99 apiece.

Google isn’t trying subvert free content, it says the project is experimental and intended to promote creation of “high-quality content” online.

As CNET notes, micropayment systems have never fared well: Read More