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Vehl

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Member since: Wed Feb 25, 2009, 02:07 AM
Number of posts: 1,915

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UC,Microsoft, Google folks are top sources for Obama funds While WallStreet tops Romney's list

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Democratic President Barack Obama gets campaign support from the tech community while Republican challenger Mitt Romney courts Wall Street.

President Obama's campaign is getting financial help from people associated with two big tech firms: Microsoft and Google.

Following the University of California, those companies were listed as the second and third top contributors to his re-election campaign by OpenSecrets.org, followed by the lawfirm of DLA Piper and Harvard University.
Mitt Romney's list is a who's who of Wall Street: Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, and Credit Suisse Group.

Obama's ties to the tech community go back to his first presidential campaign, when then Google CEO Eric Schmidt (now executive chairman) campaigned for him, and served as an adviser. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer also backed Obama four years ago.After the election, several Googlers left the company to join the Obama administration, Schmidt became a member of the Transition Economic Advisory Board and he and Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer at Microsoft, were named to the president's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.


more here
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57503053-38/microsoft-google-folks-are-top-sources-for-obama-funds/

source for image
http://www.opensecrets.org/pres12/

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Interesting and telling split between President Obama and Romney.

An Interactive Visualization of Government Authorized small-arms sales across the globe

I think this is relevant given the recent happenings. Click on countries in the globe to see their small arms imports and exports.Keep in mind that this only tracks small arms though and only uses data from 1992-2010.


link
http://workshop.chromeexperiments.com/projects/armsglobe/

Source:
Google's Chrome labs

Google Fiber shows speeds 100 times faster than regular a cable Internet,has Free broadband plan too

(CBS/AP) Google unveiled its long-awaited, ultra-fast Internet service in Kansas City Thursday for an affordable price of $70 per month.

The service is intended as a showcase for what's technically possible. Bypassing the local cable and phone companies, Google has spent months and an unknown amount of money pulling its own optical fiber through the two-state Kansas City region.

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(an Internet speed test shows that Google Fiber clocks in at over 900 megabits per second versus an average broadband connection, which gets about 5 megabits per second in this demonstration.)

more here
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-501465_162-57480836-501465/google-fiber-shows-speeds-100-times-faster-than-regular-a-cable-internet/




Google just kicked its Google Fiber efforts into overdrive. The company's Kansas City effort is getting a full launch and now includes Google Fiber TV -- a "real" TV service with recognizable channels and its own, fully searchable interface that mixes DVR results with Netflix and YouTube. As many as 500 shows can be stored in full 1080p HD, and several TVs within the home can tune in at the same time.. Not surprisingly, there's also a major mobile component taking advantage of that 1Gbps fiber link, as users will have the option of browsing, sharing and eventually watching live TV directly from tablet apps. The company is also promising an ever-evolving service that includes Google+ video hangouts. For hardware, Google has its own dedicated Network Box with a four-port gigabit Ethernet router and 802.11n WiFi, a TV Box with live viewing and a WiFi access point as well as a Storage Box DVR with 2TB of data and the ability to record eight shows at once. Your remote control? A free, bundled Nexus 7 tablet, naturally.

The overall service will come with 1TB of Google Drive space, although it's expensive to get started: there's a $300 "construction fee" (currently being waived) to wire a home for the fiber optics. Three packages will be on offer, starting with a Gigabit + TV package that includes the essentials, all major channels and "hundreds" of fiber channels (plus on-demand content) for $120 a month. Skip traditional TV and it costs $70 a month -- and if you're a local resident willing to pony up the construction free, you can get 5Mbps internet access for free for "at least" seven years. Key institutions are getting the full gigabit access for free, as well. Only small slices of Kansas City in both Missouri and Kansas state should have access at first, but Google is conducting a six-week "rally" where the most people paying a $10 pre-registration fee dictate where Google Fiber goes next. Now if only other cities would go the same route.

http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/26/google-fiber-gets-formal-launch-adds-google-fiber-tv/#disqus_thread



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I love this. The ISP's are now charging insane prices for internet/cable tv.


In the bay area Comcast charges about 70$ for 25Mb/s internet(with like 1MB/s upload). For cable tv +internet the price goes up above 100 (around 130).Other ISP's Cable providers do the same, even though storage and internet service costs have dropped exponentially over the years.

I cant wait for Google Fiber to spread to other states/cities. I would guess that they would provide this first to areas with denser populations, like East Coast cities, and the bigger cities on the west coast before moving out to the rural areas.

And the best option? Free internet of 5mb/s speed for 7 years(after construction cost of 300) at least. Believe me...5Mb/s is more than enough for most people!

Additional benefits i can see

Free 1Tb cloud storage for those to sign up for tv
Free Set top box with 2TB storage at home.
Free Nexus 7 Tablet for them, which doubles as wireless remote.
Free DVR capability with the ability to record 8 shows at once

And full 1080p streaming video (not the 720p streaming others provide)


The only winner I see in this is the consumer. If this service comes to my city I'm switching for sure (for example, businesses that need high speed internet have to pay 299$ per month for Comcast for its 300mb/s speeds...Google fiber would provide 3 times the speed for 1/4rth the cost). ISP's have been pretty much ripping the consumers off with their insane prices for internet/Cable tv.

Remember when Gmail first came out? till then Yahoo and Hotmail were giving only pretty low storage...and soon they all raised the storage allocations to match. Unless there is some challenger who is going to drastically change the game, most companies will not make any changes....right now we are all cash cows for the ISP's and phone carriers.

This is a welcome shakeup to the ISP and Cable industry which was long overdue.


Related links
https://fiber.google.com/about/

PS: pardon me if I sound over-enthusiastic...I'm addicted to tech

PPS: Schools and libraries will get Google Fiber connection Free of charge(No 300$ Fiber construction fee either)

The interactive story of Ramayana in Google Chrome

cross posted from Du lounge


The story of Ramayana is a timeless Sanskrit narrative cherished by Indian culture, but what does it have to do with Google Chrome? As one of Google's newest Chrome Experiments, The Story of Ramayana is an interactive tech demo that lets you to play your way through the narrative using mini-games, draggable windows, and even Google Talk chat rooms. Divided into seven parts, this collaborative effort between Google, Fantasy Interactive, and OgilvyOne demonstrates the versatility of Chromes' developer tools. To follow Prince Rama's journey through a world made of HTML5 and JavaScript give Google's take on the story of Ramayana a try.

http://www.theverge.com/2012/7/13/3157554/google-chrome-story-of-ramayana


Link: http://ramayana.sites.f-i.com/

password: LwGvPj ( This passwords expires today, but you can always get a new password emailed from the site)

^^ PS: Link Only works in Google Chrome Browser.

I found this interactive demo to be pretty awesome. Ramayana is the second largest literary work in the world (Second only to the other Indian epic, the Mahabharata) and has influenced South Asian as well as East/South East Asian cultures for millenia. The version of the Ramayan in this demo is the Indonesian one, thus Sita becomes Shinta and Ravana becomes Rahwhana.


A screenshot from my play-through

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For an in depth-look at the technologies used to create this fascinating interactive experience, check the developer's web site.
http://www.f-i.com/google/ramayana/



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Watch this: the interactive story of Ramayana in Google Chrome


The story of Ramayana is a timeless Sanskrit narrative cherished by Indian culture, but what does it have to do with Google Chrome? As one of Google's newest Chrome Experiments, The Story of Ramayana is an interactive tech demo that lets you to play your way through the narrative using mini-games, draggable windows, and even Google Talk chat rooms. Divided into seven parts, this collaborative effort between Google, Fantasy Interactive, and OgilvyOne demonstrates the versatility of Chromes' developer tools. To follow Prince Rama's journey through a world made of HTML5 and JavaScript give Google's take on the story of Ramayana a try.

http://www.theverge.com/2012/7/13/3157554/google-chrome-story-of-ramayana


Link: http://ramayana.sites.f-i.com/

password: LwGvPj ( This passwords expires today, but you can always get a new password emailed from the site)

^^ PS: Link Only works in Google Chrome Browser.

I found this interactive demo to be pretty awesome. Ramayana is the second largest literary work in the world (Second only to the other Indian epic, the Mahabharata) and has influenced South Asian as well as East/South East Asian cultures for millenia. The version of the Ramayan in this demo is the Indonesian one, thus Sita becomes Shinta and Ravana becomes Rahwhana.


A screenshot from my play-through

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For an in depth-look at the technologies used to create this fascinating interactive experience, check the developer's web site.
http://www.f-i.com/google/ramayana/



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Google Announces Worldwide Campaign To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage



Today, Google has announced an ambitious effort to legalize same-sex marriage across the globe. The project, called “Legalize Love,” was annouced earlier today at an event in London focusing on LGBT issues in the workplace.

Dot429.com has the details:

The “Legalize Love” campaign officially launches in Poland and Singapore on Saturday, July 7th. Google intends to eventually expand the initiative to every country where the company has an office, and will focus on places with homophobic cultures, where anti-gay laws exist.

Google’s Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe outlined the initiative at a Global LGBT Workplace Summit in London earlier today. “We want our employees who are gay or lesbian or transgender to have the same experience outside the office as they do in the office. It is obviously a very ambitious piece of work.
Their strategy involves developing partnerships between companies and organizations to support grass-roots campaigns.


The project will initially focus on Poland and Singapore before expanding to other countries. Palmer-Edgecumbe explained that Google will impress on these countries that “being a global center and a world leader means you have to treat all people the same, irrespective of their sexual orientation.”

more here
http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/07/07/512554/google-announces-worldwide-campaign-to-legalize-same-sex-marriage/?mobile=nc



on related news

Google has indicated its support of the issue before. In 2008, the company published a blog post opposing a California amendment that would ban same-sex marriage (the amendment passed).

And on Valentine's Day of this year, the company ran a gay-marriage themed Google Doodle.







It's impressive that such a huge company would take a pro same-sex rights position knowing that it will alienate a considerable segment of its customers.(the fundie group)

“Designed and Manufactured in the U.S.A.” Google releases Nexus Q, made entirely in America

Google released the Nexus Q, its first ever consumer electronics product designed AND built by Google. It also did something no one else does nowadays....not only was it designed in America, but built entirely in the USA!



Introducing the Nexus Q(Manufacturing+features)







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Google Tries Something Retro: Made in the U.S.A.

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Etched into the base of Google’s wireless Nexus Q home media player, introduced on Wednesday, is its most intriguing feature.

On the underside of the Magic-8-ball-shaped device reads a simple laser-etched inscription: “Designed and Manufactured in the U.S.A.”

It has become accepted wisdom that consumer electronics products can no longer be made in the United States. During the last decade, low-cost China labor and looser environmental regulations have virtually erased what was once a vibrant American industry. Since the 1990s, one American company after another, including Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Apple, have become design and marketing shells, with huge work forces deployed at contract manufacturers in Shenzhen and elsewhere in China.

..
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Google’s Q links a TV or home sound system to the Internet cloud in order to play video and audio content downloaded from the Internet. The engineers who led the effort to build the device, which is based on the same microprocessor that is found in Android smartphones, and which contains seven printed circuit boards, said they had been able to almost completely source components from manufacturers in the United States.

Google was able to find a company to make the metal base in the Midwest and another supplier for the molded plastic components like the case in Southern California. Semiconductor chips are more of a challenge. In some cases, the chips are made in the United States, but then shipped to Asia to be packaged with other electronic components.

Google did not take the easy route and encase the Q in a black box. The dome of the ball-shaped case is the volume control — you twist it — a feature that required painstaking engineering and a prolonged hunt for just the right bearing, said Matt Hershenson, an engineer, who is a member of an a small team of consumer product designers who have worked together at companies such as Apple, General Magic, Phillips N.V., Web-TV and now Google.

read the entire article here
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/28/technology/google-and-others-give-manufacturing-in-the-us-a-try.html?pagewanted=all


Go Google! This is what companies should be doing.
And suck that Apple, who pours billions into Chinese companies like Foxcon.

Android, now made in America. Apple, made in China.


PS: Btw this is a full featured Android computer, with wifi,bluetooth, NFC and other stuff built in for wireless connectivity + is also an Amplifier .

link
https://play.google.com/store/devices/details?id=nexus_q


PS: pics and tech-specs added

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Texas teen lesbians thought to be targeted in fatal park shooting


Police in a small Texas town are investigating the shooting of a female couple who may have been targeted.

The women were found lying in "knee-deep" grass in a park in Portland, Texas, early Saturday. Mollie Judith Olgin, 19, was pronounced dead at the scene. Her girlfriend, 18-year-old Mary Christine Chapa, was hospitalized with a single gunshot wound to the head. Chapa was listed in critical but stable condition on Monday.


The women were believed to have been shot sometime late Friday or early Saturday.
Investigators told KRIS-TV that the women likely "walked with their assailant down a trail into knee-deep grass, where they were shot with a large caliber handgun."

According to the Corpus Christi Caller Times, a resident who lives adjacent to the park "heard two loud bangs just before midnight Friday but thought they were firecrackers."

more here
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/texas-teen-lesbian-shooting-151041847.html


I bet their sexual orientation was a major factor in this crime. I hope Christina recovers and brings the culprit's identity to light.


The Endangered Languages Project: Supporting language preservation through technology & collaboratio


The Miami-Illinois language was considered by some to be extinct. Once spoken by Native American communities throughout what’s now the American Midwest, its last fluent speakers died in the 1960s. Decades later, Daryl Baldwin, a citizen of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, began teaching himself the language from historical manuscripts and now works with the Miami University in Ohio to continue the work of revitalizing the language, publishing stories, audio files and other educational materials. Miami children are once again learning the language and—even more inspiring—teaching it to each other.

Daryl’s work is just one example of the efforts being made to preserve and strengthen languages that are on the brink of disappearing. Today we’re introducing something we hope will help: the Endangered Languages Project, a website for people to find and share the most up-to-date and comprehensive information about endangered languages. Documenting the 3,000+ languages that are on the verge of extinction (about half of all languages in the world) is an important step in preserving cultural diversity, honoring the knowledge of our elders and empowering our youth. Technology can strengthen these efforts by helping people create high-quality recordings of their elders (often the last speakers of a language), connecting diaspora communities through social media and facilitating language learning.

The Endangered Languages Project, backed by a new coalition, the Alliance for Linguistic Diversity, gives those interested in preserving languages a place to store and access research, share advice and build collaborations. People can share their knowledge and research directly through the site and help keep the content up-to-date. A diverse group of collaborators have already begun to contribute content ranging from 18th-century manuscripts to modern teaching tools like video and audio language samples and knowledge-sharing articles. Members of the Advisory Committee have also provided guidance, helping shape the site and ensure that it addresses the interests and needs of language communities.

Google has played a role in the development and launch of this project, but the long-term goal is for true experts in the field of language preservation to take the lead. As such, in a few months we’ll officially be handing over the reins to the First Peoples' Cultural Council (FPCC) and The Institute for Language Information and Technology (The LINGUIST List) at Eastern Michigan University. FPCC will take on the role of Advisory Committee Chair, leading outreach and strategy for the project. The LINGUIST List will become the Technical Lead. Both organizations will work in coordination with the Advisory Committee.


more here
http://googleblog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/endangered-languages-project-supporting.html

http://www.endangeredlanguages.com/





Of the 7000 languages currently spoken, 50% will not survive the turn of the century; if nothing is done to preserve them.

This project aims at creating/providng the resources and tools required to keep these endangered languages alive. This includes an online repository of high quality recordings of people speaking these languages, copies of historical manuscripts, e learning options and also niche-language social networking opportunities, on top of research and other documentation.

Google now supports Google searches in Cherokee, and plans to roll out similar features to other endangered languages as well. All in all I think this endeavor is definitely worth it, considering the fact that many of these languages are part and parcel of human heritage.

PS: A point which the video makes, and I think is important is "language loss is often related to oppression and injustice"

Google now warning users of 'state-sponsored' web attacks


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Are government-backed hackers trying to compromise your Gmail account? If so, Google wants to warn you. In an online security blog post, the company has said it will start issuing warnings for users it believes are being targeted by "state-sponsored attacks" on Chrome or Google's web services. According to Google, the message "Warning: we believe state-sponsored attackers may be attempting to compromise your account or computer. Protect yourself now" will appear for a subset of users who it believes "may be a target" for malware, phishing, or other attacks. We're not sure exactly where the "protect yourself now" link leads, but the post recommends users set stronger passwords and update software and plugins.

Overall, the company is maddeningly vague about what's going on. Vice President of Security Engineering Eric Grosse says Google "can’t go into the details without giving away information that would be helpful to these bad actors, but our detailed analysis — as well as victim reports — strongly suggest the involvement of states or groups that are state-sponsored." That's likely to refer to a trojan like Flame or the almost certainly US- and Israel-created Stuxnet, but it still doesn't explain how Google decides when to deploy the warning. It's also interesting to see this right after Google starting warning users in China when their searches might be censored. We're not sure whether this is a solid warning or more of a political statement, but we'll certainly be watching for it in the coming weeks.

more
http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/5/3066290/google-state-sponsored-malware-attack-warning


good

PS:
related news

Google Warns China Users on Searches That May Break Connection
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-01/google-warns-china-users-on-searches-that-may-break-connection.html
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