Sidewalk Labs could initiate the City of the Future

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Where will the City of the Future be founded?

Google does seem to have its fingers on the pulse of everything.  But the purpose in keeping tabs is not just to play “Big Brother”.  Google’s goal the a search engine company is to “Organize the World’s Information*“. Via a sister company Sidewalk Labs (owned by Alphabet Inc), it could build the City of the Future.

Sidewalk Labs has already begun to make some attempts at improving current city life.  One of the projects that it engaged in was called LinkNYC wherein old pay phones were replaced with free gigabit WiFi for voice and video calls.   Another project that involved the US Department of Transportation was called Project Flow.  The intent herein was to improve the quality of transit in major cities of the US.

The founders and employees of Alphabet, Google, Sidewalk Labs, and much of the Googlesphere are daily dreaming up ways to improve themselves and their world.  And the next step appears to be the creation of a real place labeled the “City of the Future”.  The idea appears to have been not merely a concept, but likely an actual location somewhere on the planet.  Sidewalk Labs appears to be actively seeking a local government who is interested in offering space to the purpose.  Of course Alphabet would purchase the land, but it would give Google X and other companies a chance to test out new ideas like Google Autonomous vehicles and the like.

The City of the Future could be a legitimate living space with real people who daily live in the future of testing; taking the brunt of the technological learning curve for the rest of the planet.  Although it might be good to have some non-technical persons in the mix as a control measure.   There might not be any need to drive in the future city. All communications might be fluid and contiguous between normal conversation and digital.  Sensors would be a natural part of life and could monitor nearly every aspect of it.

Here’s to the Future!

Google Fiber Wireless?

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Get Google Fiber Wireless where Fiber won’t run

You’re probably wondering how Google can construct wireless fiber and you wouldn’t be wrong in pondering.  The name Google Fiber Wireless comes from the transmission of Google Fiber data speeds without wires. Google is beginning testing of this new technology in it’s starting place of Kansas City.

One of the major issues faced by all TelCos in the United States is the mandate to provide telecommunication services to people do not live in a city.  For literally decades the rules have been on the books that this must be part of the roll-out.  But for those who live in the boonies, it’s only just barely begun to get better.  One of the ways that people who currently live remotely get telecom is via wireless.

The cost is in the distance

Running fiber cable out to Uncle John in RemoteTown, KS; 45 miles off the beaten path, is not economical.  But with a wireless signal it might be.  Google Fiber Wireless aims to point their antennas in John’s direction in order to cover his need without the massive cost. But to get started, Google Fiber needs a test bed.  Utilizing lamp posts in Country Club Plaza and a few other places, the Internet / Search Giant will test the effectiveness of the 3.5 Ghz frequency spectrum.

Peace of Mind

There is also a saving grace to the ideal of Google Fiber Wireless in that there will be far less trenching and disruption.  Many people are upset with the changes both to the street and to their yards, and reasonably so.  But with this new gigahertz frequency band, the speeds may finally be offered without all the hassle of massive undertakings.  This new idea may also be a cost savings ideal that can be passed on to the customer.

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The document offered up from the meeting of the City Council of Kansas City seems to show that it may take up to two years to get this project up to the level of end-user viability.  It’s good to note that Google Fiber is trying to make it possible.  Although the small chart doesn’t specify any specific location info, knowing Google Fiber we can estimate that if it works in Kansas City, they will likely roll-it-out in other cities as soon as it is viable.



Google Translate Restaurant

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In New York City, for four days only, a Google Translate Restaurant

Staring today (Friday, April 15th) and going until April 18th, a Google Translate Restaurant has opened in NYC on the Lower East Side.  Three master chef’s will be creating their own brand of special treats for those fortunate enough to get a reservation.

The idea is unique in that it offers patrons the chance to translate the menus into their own language using the Google Translate app for smartphones. Both text and visual text can be translated in real-time using the app, alleviating the embarrassment of having to show one’s ignorance of a foreign language.

Each Chef gets one evening to impress and provide two meals sessions to the guests.  Below are the list of chefs and their particular cuisine.

  • April 15: Gerardo Gonzalez, Mexican cuisine
  • April 16: Joseph “JJ” Johnson, Afro-Asian-American cuisine
  • April 17: Danny Bowien, Asian cuisine
  • April 17: Einat Admony, Israeli cusine

Google hasn’t left everyone out of this exclusive event, consolation donuts will be provided (3 – 7 pm) prior to the two dinner sessions.

Presuming you live in the area, it may already be too late to get a reservation according to TheNextWeb.  The restaurant may have already been completely booked for the 4 days.

Check out the whole deal at Small World Restaurant

Google Photos, More Views

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More Views of your pictures in Google Photos

Ever since the break out of Google Photos from Google Plus, the features just keep coming.  Now that Google has separated the photo app from its social media, your photos are free to be shared anywhere, and easily.  But thanks to Google’s ideal of constant feature adds, we’re seeing more views for our images.  Google Photos 004

For users of Google Photos when it was still part of Google Plus, the feature set wasn’t bad, but it was somewhat restricted.  Sure you could search all the way back to the beginning (which was always much more deft than most competing utilities), but how you viewed the images was only by each day.  And so this seemed to make sense as the time.  If you began to scroll back, you could change the scroll exponentially and step up the change to months and years.  But what if you wanted to see your images by the month or by the year as a default?

Google Photos changed the app UI recently to break out of the menu, the three main features Assistant, Photos, and Albums into permanent icons.  But now they’ve added to the menu new layout features; Day view, Month view, and Year view.  And now additionally a “Comfortable view” where images flow more freely rather than be restricted to particular periods of time (days, months, etc).

Lastly, it is now possible to also selectively upload your images to Google Photos.  Previously, uploading was an all-or-nothing proposal.  If you selected for images to be moved to the cloud, they all went and you would then have to remove those that you didn’t want.  But now Google Photos gives you the option to upload; this may be for the sake of data charges.

Before Google IO 2016, Nexus 5X stays low, longer

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Get your Project Fi Nexus 5X before Google IO 2016

Google IO 2016 is coming up in mid-May (18-20) and that likely means that the next Nexus product will debut.  So in the meantime, you can still get a Nexus 5X for $200 on Google’s own dual-band mobile network (AKA Project Fi).  Some sellers still have the 5X for $300.

As it has been observed, when Google is about to announce the next of it’s line of Nexus devices, the prices of the prior set tend to drop.  The Nexus 5X was already a decently priced device, but it’s much more affordable for the nearly half price of $200 with a subscription to the also already inexpensive Project Fi.

The next Nexus 7 (2016) is expected at Google IO 2016 and the rumored next two Nexus phones.  Google appears to have been quite pleased with the performance and sales of the Nexus 6P by Huawei and will continue with the latest edition of the Nexus 7.  But as if there actually will be any phones at Google IO, there’s nothing definite about either the manufacturer or whether the devices even exist.

Fortunately, we all no longer need a special invite to gain access to Google’s Project Fi, it’s open to the world (you will need a Google account).  However, you will need a sizeable chunk of change (at $1250) and a little luck (or just be a student) in order to get access to the physical parts of Google IO 2016.  Although, it may be less so this year as, at least at Moscone Center in San Francisco there are a limited number of human spaces, at Google HQ there’s a great deal more room.  Nevertheless, Google IO is coming and the Nexus 5X is inexpensive.

Check out Google Fi