News from Google

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A few links about evolutions in some Google services, and a brand new idea for cellphones selling:

  • Google CEO: free cellphones for all - Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, sees a future where mobile phones are free to consumers who accept watching targeted forms of advertising. Schmidt said Saturday that as mobile phones become more like handheld computers and consumers spend as much as eight to 10 hours a day talking, texting and using the Web on these devices, advertising becomes a viable form of subsidy.
  • Google Earth in 4D - Google skipped right past the third dimension and landed directly in the fourth (time) by offering historical maps on Google Earth. Don't expect detailed high resolution photography from days gone by, but it's still interesting to see old maps overlaid on the satellite imagery of today.
  • New Gmail Features - There are a couple of new Gmail features being currently rolled out: dropdown menu at the top right; new icons; embarrassment-reducing message notifications; The details menu has been revamped; and a "forward all" feature to keep others up-to-date if they missed a conversation. A visual clue on the next picture (stolen from Google Blogoscoped).

Hand gesture control

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A camera points down towards the user's keyboard from above, letting the user control on-screen windows with hand movements. See it in action here:

I wonder how it works with a white keyboard...

Via New Scientist Technology Blog.

RoboCup 2006

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RoboCup is an international joint project to promote AI, robotics, and related field. It is an attempt to foster AI and intelligent robotics research by providing a standard problem where wide range of technologies can be integrated and examined. RoboCup chose to use soccer game as a central topic of research, aiming at innovations to be applied for socially significant problems and industries. The ultimate goal of the RoboCup project is By 2050, develop a team of fully autonomous humanoid robots that can win against the human world champion team in soccer.

This year tournament was held in Bremen, Germany, and here is one video (3m53s) covering a little bit of every competition:

If you want to, you can watch all the videos from the tournament, or learn more about this in the RoboCup website. See you in Atlanta 2007.

The new friday song

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In honour of all who work in cubicles, with a lousy job, the new Friday song:

Note: I don't subscribe the opinion expressed in this video.

Sync Google Calendar & iCal

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In a few days, a great tool will born: Spanning Sync. It allows a full syncronization between Google Calendar & iCal. Watch the screencast by clicking the picture below: