DonAithnen (donaithnen) wrote,

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Google's IO Press Conference

I learned a new word today (or at least a new variation on an old word) thanks to Google and Gizmodo.

You know how search engines have robots that crawl the internet, digging up all the useful information they can? Well when they do the same thing to your personal history, that's creeping. Because it's just like crawling, but creepier.

This is relevant because one of the new things Google announced today at their IO conference was "Google Now," which creeps your history so it can give you useful advice. It will let you know if there's heavy traffic at the time you normally commute, it will tell you how your favorite sports team is doing, etc. If you're out for a walk it will tell you what restaurants are near you, if you have an appointment later in the day it will tell you when you need to leave for it, or if your flight has been delayed, and presumably more "useful" things they didn't get around to describing.

As has been pointed out, it's not like Google didn't already know all these things about you, so at least this way you get some personal benefit out of having been creeped. Which is good... right?

More significantly, the Nexus 7 tablet was announced, just like everyone knew it would be. It will be a 7 inch tablet (duh) with a 1280 x 800 screen and a Tegra 3 chipset with a quad-core CPU and a 12 core GPUm, and will cost $200 for a 8 GB version and $250 for the 16 GB version. So pretty much exactly like all the leaks have been saying. I think the only important thing i'm still not sure about is if it has an SD card slot or not.

So do i want to get one of these? I already have a Nook Tablet, so it would be a little redundant. It would kick the Nook's ass in terms of power of course, but i could get an Asus Transformer instead, and have a full size tablet in addition to the mini-tablet. On the other hand that would cost a couple hundred more, and i kind of like the ability to stick a 7" tablet in my pocket (at least when wearing cargo pants or shorts.)

Oh, wait, there's one more incentive! If you get the Nexus 7 tablet you also get... a copy of the newest Michael Bay Transformers movie? Wait, that's supposed to be an incentive? =P

The Nexus 7 will ship in mid-July and come with Jelly Bean, which they also just officially announced (after numerous leaks over the past few weeks confirming it.) Aside from the "Google Now" thing from above, the biggest improvement is supposed to be a much smoother UI, in part due to triple-buffering. (I admit, i've never taken long enough to figure out what benefit triple-buffering gives you over double-buffering.) Apparently the improvements to the UI are part of something called "Butter", which i guess is a sub-component of Jelly Bean? Not sure exactly how that works. They've also added the voice processing system to the OS itself, meaning you can now do voice input for anything without having to wait for it to get processed over the internet.

They also announced something called the "Nexus Q", which is some kind of media streaming device. It's not the same as Google TV, and i'm not sure what it does that, say, a Roku box doesn't. And i'm also not sure why it costs $300.

Google Play is getting a number of things (magazines, the option to purchase movies as well as rent them) but nothing that exciting.

For Google+ the big new thing is the ability to send out event invites, which i know some people have been clamoring about for awhile.

The final thing (for anyone who wasn't there at least) was a demo of Google Glass(es), starting with some extreme sports people doing some live skydiving and repelling and motorcycling while wearing them.

On the one hand, as someone with a really poor biological memory i'm all for some Robert J Sawyer-esque virtual memory that records everything in my life, at least in theory. On the other hand though, i'm not sure how well that will mesh with the common Facebook philosophy of "put everything online" and the modern corporate and government philosophies of punishing people for what they "accidentally" reveal about what they do in their free time. The current Google tech is still both a little clunky and rather overpriced ($1500 for current preorders) but i don't forsee any other part of the equation changing before technology marches on enough to make these things ubiquitous.
Tags: android, google

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