Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Android founder Rich Miner to head Google venture fund

Posted in Venture Capital on March 31st, 2009 by Justin – Comments

google ventures 300x97 Android founder Rich Miner to head Google venture fundGoogle has announced Google Ventures, the company’s new venture capital arm that will invest in early-stage startups.  Google says it plans to invest $100 million over the next 12 months across a wide range of industries including internet, cleantech, life sciences, and health care.

Android founder Rich Miner will co-manage Google Ventures with Google employee William Maris, and the fund will be overseen by Google’s senior vice president of corporate development and chief legal officer, David Drummond.

Google says the purpose of the fund will be to turn a profit and its first two investments are Silver Spring Networks, a company that develops technology to manage electric grids, and Pixazza, a startup that connects online images to product purchases.  Google hasn’t disclosed how much it invested in either company.

Given Google’s interest in location-based services it’ll be interesting to see if it makes any LBS investments over the next year.  You can find more information at Google Ventures.


New: Add your location to Gmail messages

Posted in Geospatial Technology on February 11th, 2009 by Justin – Comments

Now I just know there will be a privacy advocate out there that says something about this, but a new Gmail Labs feature allows you to add your location to your email signature.  Yep, in your Gmail account just add Location in Signature in the Labs tab under Settings, then head to your signature preference and check “Append your location to the signature.”

Underneath your signature you’ll see the city, region, and country you’re in when you send the email.  For the time being the experimental feature uses IP address to detect location so accuracy might be an issue, but if you install Google Gears, its location module can find your location from Wi-Fi access points-much more accurate.

As you can see, this is a obvious opt-in process that allows you to delete your location from any email you choose, and the location signature does not show your exact location.  Hopefully these means we don’t see any disruption from privacy groups in the blogosphere tomorrow-oh please.

I’m not exactly sure why this hasn’t been implemented into Google’s location-aware Latitude social application, but should the uptake in Gmail be encouraging I’m sure will see it implemented at some point.

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Would you read a book on a mobile phone?

Posted in Apps, Mobile on February 6th, 2009 by Justin – Comments

reading Would you read a book on a mobile phone?Can you imagine reading an entire book on a mobile phone?  I can’t, but I’m sure some people would.  I mean, after all, writing books via text message is a popular trend in Japan.

Google and Amazon hope to spark a trend, announcing that each will make books available for mobile phones.  Google’s library of 1.5 million public domain books will be formatted for cellphone reading, and Amazon is working on making its Kindle titles available as well.

Amazon currently only offers 230, 000 titles, but many are newer and often-bestselling.  Google’s library consists of much older titles with expired copyrights.  Only time will tell, but this is one trend I can’t see catching on.

via nyt

(Image Credit: margolove)

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Google Latitude launches: A friend-finder for your mobile phone, desktop

Posted in Apps on February 4th, 2009 by Justin – Comments

google latitude a Google Latitude launches: A friend finder for your mobile phone, desktop

Google has announced the launch of Google Latitude this morning, a new feature in Google Maps for mobile and iGoogle that lets you share your location with friends and family.

It’s very simple to use.  Just ‘opt in’ to Latitude via your Google account and then you’ll be able to see icons of your peeps on Google Maps on your mobile or desktop.  If you click on an icon, you’ll have the option to call, IM, text, or otherwise make contact.

google latitude b Google Latitude launches: A friend finder for your mobile phone, desktop

Google allows you complete control over your privacy in Latitude.  Only friends and family you’ve selected at any given time will be able to see your location, and the icon location is only approximate.  If you click on the icon, Google will return a precise location of you or your friend with turn-by-turn directions to get there.

Google Latitude is currently available in 27 countries and works with most popular handsets and your iGoogle homepage.  Handsets include T-Mobile’s G1 or other Android-based phone, iPhone/iPod Touch, Blackberry, Windows Mobile 5.0+, and Nokia Symbian S60 devices.  T-Mobile G1 users will have access rolled out over the coming days in the United States and overseas access will come soon after.  Apple devices have a short waiting time as well.

You can download Google Maps for mobile with Latitude from your mobile device or browser by heading to  Check out the demo video below and more screenshots after the jump.

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Google’s Checking You Out From 423 Miles Away (GeoEye-1)

Posted in Mapping on September 8th, 2008 by Justin – Comments

While most of today’s privacy concerns revolve around personal information on both the internet and mobile devices, you now have another privacy concern thanks to the launch of the GeoEye-1 satellite on Saturday.

The satellite is part of the NextView program, a national security initiative focused on collecting satellite information launched by the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.  So far this doesn’t sound particularly threatening; the US military already has plenty of satellites circling the Earth that can focus on the most subtle facial features.

What will be threatening to some however, is that Google has exclusive rights to the satellite imagery for both Google Maps and Google Earth.  In fact, the GeoEye-1 can clearly see images as small as 16 inches in length, and in near-perfect color thanks to the high-res imaging technology used.  Thankfully, Google won’t have access to the highest of high-res pictures, but if you’re in the habit of doing publicly inappropriate things, now might be the time to rethink your behavioural strategy.

Moving at 4.5 miles per second 423 miles above our planet, the GeoEye-1 will take both black-and-white and color images, the first of which will be available sometime this fall.

via cnet


Is Android Delayed Until 2009 Because Google Plans To Acquire Sprint?

Posted in Android on August 8th, 2008 by Justin – Comments

Rumors are flying once again about another Google Android delay.  This time Barron’s Tech Trader Daily is reporting that the HTC’s Android handset, probably the first one to market, will be delayed until sometime in the first quarter of 2009.  This information was apparently gleamed from “contacts” of Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities Research who told him that HTC is having troubles implementing the Android feature set on its phones and is demanding guaranteed minimum revenues from Google, indicating the company is worried about a possible lack of demand.  Complicating the issue further is the abundance of other mobile operating systems in the game which already attract huge numbers of developers.  This is just a rumor though; a CNET email to Google was returned with the reply “we remain on schedule to deliver the first Android-based handset this year and we’re very excited to see the momentum continuing to build behind the Android platform among carriers, handset manufacturers, developers and consumers.”

Just days ago HTC said that their Android based handset was on route to a 4th quarter release this year, so why such a change in less than a week we’re not sure, but if the latest delay rumor is true we think their might be more to the story than hardware implementation problems.

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Mike Arrington Brings Back The Google Gphone, But Does The Gphone Really Make Strategic Sense?

Posted in Android, Mobile on July 15th, 2008 by Justin – Comments

It’s absolutely no surprise to me that Google’s previously rumored Gphone has found itself to be at the center of more rumors now that Apple 3G iPhone has hit shelves causing all kinds of waves in the mobile marketplace.  Techcrunch is reporting that even though Google themselves killed rumors of the supposed Gphone near the end of last year with the announcement of the Open Handset Alliance and the Android OS and a denial of any upcoming mobile phone release this year, co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin apparently made some predictive statements regarding the possibility of Google’s own branded mobile phone at a press conference a couple of days back.  Not only is this possibly quite significant, but Techcrunch has also caught wind of another rumor that San Francisco-based Ammunition Design Group which has previously worked with mobile companies such as Palm may be working with Google on a possible Gphone design.  Apparently this rumor comes from a reliable source, so we’ll keep you updated as we find out more.

In the meantime though, Mike Arrington and his crew have had some opposition in the form of the phandroid blog.  One phandroid writer says while Techcrunch tends to be a reliable source of information, it would make no sense for Google to release their own phone as it would end up competing directly with members of the Open Handset Alliance.  phandroid says this would be a stupid move because it would effectively kill any hope of the Android operating system succeeding.  By referring to a Google-branded mobile device, phandroid says Google’s co-founders are simply referring to any mobile device running on Android.  Definitely a valid point here, but would Arrington really report something he didn’t think with almost absolute surety, was true?

Nokia Gets Approval To Purchase NAVTEQ, Looks To Battle Google

Posted in Navteq, Nokia on July 3rd, 2008 by Justin – Comments

Look for Nokia’s planned purchase of NAVTEQ to officially go through in the next week or so after the $8.1 billion deal received unconditional approval from the European Commission yesterday.  This in itself isn’t so interesting, but with Google signing a 5 year deal with TomTom’s recent acquisition TeleAtlas last week granting full access to the company’s mapping data, Google’s Android and the Open Handset Alliance will look to be pitted directly against Nokia and its Symbian Foundation come later this year.

via nokia

TeleAtlas And Google Partner For The Greater Good Of Maps: User-Generated Map Edits Key To Deals Success

Posted in Mapping on June 30th, 2008 by Justin – Comments

TeleAtlas LogoFor the next five years, any Google map-based or navigational services for the mobile, desktop, or web environments will use TeleAtlas maps.  This includes popular Google properties such as Google Maps and Google Earth.  The deal nets Google access to TeleAtlas maps and dynamic content for more than 200 countries around the world, and TeleAtlas will receive access to map edits from Google’s huge user base, in essence crowdsourcing the accuracy and relevance of future TeleAtlas maps.  Exactly how much money will change hands is undisclosed so far, but this deal is worth a pretty penny in value to the end user-you and me.  This partnership will mean better maps from TeleAtlas, owned by TomTom, which will run the gamut from Google Maps on the web to TomTom PND’s firmly mounted on your car’s windshield.  We’ll keep you updated as we hear more.

via teleatlas

Pioneer’s AVIC-F Series Gets A Couple Of Google Enhancements

Posted in Pioneer on June 14th, 2008 by Justin – Comments

Pioneer’s line of AVIC-F series in-dash GPS units will feature a couple of new Google-based features, according to a recent press release from the company.  The AVIC-F500BT, AVIC-F700BT, AVIC-F900BT, and the Premier AVIC-F90BT will all feature a dedicated icon allowing one touch access to GOOG-411 through a connected Bluetooth cellphone.  This is a great feature, allowing a quick and easy speech-based search which really enhances the usability of the new Pioneer GPS units.  You’ll also be able to send Google Maps info such as points of interest and business addresses to your AVIC-F GPS as well.  This will be done via AVIC Feeds, a software application that’ll be available for download from the Pioneer website later this summer.  Google Maps info will be transferred to the AVIC-F device as a “custom POI”, then it can be accessed and used like an embedded POI.