A day out and about and a visit to Google

Yesterday I got the olde carcass out and about, cranked up the old TWBrit CofC2 (car of character) and pottered (close to the speed of take off) down to Bletchley train station and collapsed on a train to London.

40 minutes later and I’m bouncing on the wonder of ancient innovation i.e. the Tube to the banking heartlands and monumental proof that crime can pay – Canary Wharf. Arriving exactly at 3pm to meeting none other than @Ritchhh for coffee and a good old laugh and chat. It was the first time I met Richard, and he has been a massive influence on my life during this past 12 months. Of which I took the opportunity to thank him properly while having an awesome chat about twitter, the web and the future… Richard is not a small guy (17ft 11inches) and certainly someone to whom a new world beckons considerably.

Onwards, and back on the olde Tube heading for Victoria and another coffee as I contemplate the actual concept of the thing I’m heading towards… The Luvvies and Boffin’s bash at the UK Google headquarters.

It was an interesting concept, something lost in the initial talk about it, but an opportunity to meet movers and shakers in the various fields. I did come away with a lot on my mind, I also had a what? why? and don’t already?

You see there a lot of unsung people in technology, in fact there several parts to the collective industry and no one part is more important than the other. Sadly though, people in a given field do one of two things, forget about the importance of all other fields and in doing so become blinkered and therefore ultimately limited by what they can achieve, and end up being way off the mark when something changes elsewhere. Obviously that situation (which I witness ALL THE TIME) is highly detrimental for the business end. It’s actually one of the reasons some companies have a far higher staff turnaround in order to keep the ideas fresh.

So what are these parts?

  • Software (writers/engineers)
  • Hardware (design and builders)
  • Network (Administration, design and build)
  • Infrastructure (designers, optical fibre, satellites, data-centre)

Then there other fields that cross over

  • Matte Artists (people who do that awesome artwork in games and all the way through to TV and Film)
  • Soft tech and end product aesthetic design
  • The Sales out put
  • The End User

In many respects, when I took a little time out of the industry I heard a phrase repeated several times; “Another thing that is apparently vital, that we can’t live without and no one wants”

This had an impact on me. It’s strange how so many people disagree about Steve Jobs – the techs know that Mr Jobs was NOT a tech genius, infact he WAS a marketing genius – and good for him! But to the end user and person in the street, he is a guy that created their cool gadget. He made “Bling” more expensive and wanted than the actual power and bang for buck. Apple simply has a great OS which you, the end user is not allowed to tinker with!! He didn’t invent the smart phone, he along with every other manufacturer was in a race to provide an almost PC power level handset ready for the 4G revolution… And you wanna know something – they failed… So much so, 4G isn’t going to be the power and bandwidth originally designed because of the problem with all the industry in this field tripping over the latest gadget and not getting on with thinking and working far enough ahead.

Now I’m not gonna sit here and give a lecture in the real truth that has been going on, or how many people try to get on the band wagon, because frankly there are now too many people sitting around and talking about and not making a decision and getting a job done – we are now becoming our own hindrance (me included).   Here is the problem – we can’t teach passion… especially when the teacher has the blinkers on… Art in tech is already there… Apple proved it and for the most part, artists don’t sit around talking, they sit around imagining things….

And that is the future – the joining together of Luvvies and Boffins to change the world and walk freely into the future with eyes wide open.

I must thank Dr Sue Black for dragging me along, to see PJ Bryant again was fantastic and also to thank him sincerely for the exercise advice when we had previously met when I’d ripped all the ligaments on my left shoulder.

I was going to add a gruesome story to my journey home… but alas, nah ;-)

So finally a few pics of inside Google itself… I took these on purpose because they stopped me from taking a picture of reception – the visitors end and the bit they apparently no longer wish to show off ;)

Toilet Lighting

Emergency Gurl Ammo or Extreme First Aid

Well, I use a HTC, I find these a little clumbersome on the car suspension

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Published in: on 2 December, 2011 at 03:46  Comments Off  
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YouTube at 5 yrs old

Yes, no one would have thought that a video sharing website would have been so popular, but five years on it’s one of the most successful sites to date with over 2 billion hits a day!
Google, realising that within Youtube’s first year of operation that it had already become a household name on a global scale moved to and purchased the site from it’s co-founders Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, who were all early employees of PayPal for a cool $1.65bn

So yes, good for Chad, Steve and Jawed and of course Google and ultimately – good for us… Oh! and thank you :)

Published in: on 17 May, 2010 at 15:36  Comments (1)  
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The Google Phone? It’s HTC!!

Yep, again third party companies i.e. like Apple and now Google are claiming they manufacture phones – they DON’T!!
The new Google phone is a HTC phone running Android, the Google Operating System.
Since November when I received my HTC HD2 fone (running windows 6.5) I have been stunned at HTC’s work.
It’s taken time to learn it because they are very few instructions with it being so intuitive.
HTC are fast becoming market leaders in the smart phone world and it’s quite obvious the between HTC and Samsung, they have got the smart phone edge.

Hardware ready? I think so

For those of you that have known me for about more, well, longer than 5 minutes. You’ll know that for years I have been talking about what is coming in the technology field due to my original work in the 4G field – now some four years ago.
The biggest issue from the outset was the end user hardware. We knew that we needed smart phones. We knew Microsoft’s TouchLite needed to come of age and my belief for the last 6 years is that we’ll all have some form of tablet and ear piece. The tablet would be a pc, have full 4G connectivity and also be a phone and whole host of other things.
Four years ago, peoples eyes glazed over when I told them, others simply thought I was talking out of my butt. But then, I had not been working in the field of ‘cutting’ edge technology, rather ‘Over the Edge’.
If I never get remembered for anything in this world, well that’s ok, but to me, seeing and knowing what comes next and the path in which we prepare a public for it with Nokia smart phone or even the iPhone, has been enthralling.

This next two years will change the way you compute, the way you interface with other and the world wide web.
Shows like the BBC’s ‘click’ are normally months if not years behind the given trend in technology.

Now starts the introduction to the next generation and I hope (while 4G starts to roll out) that you’re all ready for it.
And just so that you all know, the form factors will be PC and Linux variants.

This year we’ll see the large scale introduction of the ‘Slate’ PC and the last 4/5yrs will disappear into history.
The iPhone will only have a small part of that history because the only first they achieved was the screen – NOTHING else!!
For those that have bought several of them and there are people who did, you could have saved an awful lot of time, money and effort if you’d listened to me LOL

So here is the basic things that ALL smart phones should have if you’re in any doubt;

Minimum 1ghz processing
Connectivity ;
Wifi
Blue Tooth
USB connectivity
Laptop ‘tethering’ i.e. blutooth, wifi or cable attached to the laptop and internet connectivity via the Phone’s modem.
Quad Band
3G
GPRS
GPS
HSPDA
Memory card support of at least 8gig upwards

If one of these things are missing – then don’t get it. Oh and the new iPhone 3G-S does not have all the stuff listed here.

twb-button

Published in: on 8 January, 2010 at 13:38  Comments (8)  
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Google “Dashboard” Latest Privacy Control

google-cool

Google is offering a new privacy control that will make it easier for people to see some of the information being collected about them.

The “Dashboard” feature unveiled Thursday pulls together all the data that pour into Google’s computers whenever Web surfers log in to one of the company’ services.

That includes summaries of an individual’s e-mail, search requests and viewing habits on Google’s video site, YouTube. Before, a user would have to check multiple places for all that.

The snapshot doesn’t include any activity that occurs when a person isn’t logged into a Google service.

Dashboard represents Google Inc.’s latest step to give its users more control over their personal information and appease privacy watchdogs.

 

Published in: on 8 November, 2009 at 18:21  Comments Off  
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Bing or Caffeine?

bing_logo

I have mentioned previously that Bing was a refreshing change in the Search Engine wars and that Google was becoming too ‘advertising-efficient’. It is sadly true, Google’s search engine has been proliferated to death and it has now became harder and harder to find exactly what you want.
googleMicrosoft launched Bing which, while it is a refreshing change offers far better video and picture search facilities.
Well the wonderful people at Mountain View, California have been working on a new Google search engine for some time and have been calling it ‘Caffeine’ – no guesses to why lol.
It’ll be a while until we see this war truly heat up, but it’s about time these things were sorted out, because they’re frankly starting to become frustrating.

Published in: on 13 August, 2009 at 16:52  Comments Off  
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Microsoft’s Virtual Earth

vearth

I downloaded this a while ago and never really got around to looking at it.  I’m very used to using Google Eartlogo_virtualearthh which has been around for quite some time now and for the most part, it appears quite a polished product. Well, not always – you see they recently went live with the UK version of street view and skipping from one image to the next can actually turn the whole thing into a mashed up nightmare.

Virtual Earth from Microsoft is a little more simple to use, appears to have more recent ariel shots and while the transition from high altitude to up close and personal mapping is a little clunky (assume net speed to be the problem) I’m lovinggoogle-earth it. I’m not sure for why, may be it’s because you can see so many differences between a placgoogle-hqe on Google Earth and Microsoft.

There is one thing I have found odd though; if you zoom in to the Google HQ, the 3d of the draw buildings is really very good, while a look at the Microsoft HQ is not good at all… But, to be completely fair here – MS have over laid images of the buildings onto the 3d faces – they’re just not very clear.  

mshq

The future of this style of mapping/cartography is huge, yet sadly it’ll never be ‘real-time’ – unless there is an individual satellite for every user. That said, they is a possibility in a handful of areas where this will be possible.

Now all they have to do is get all the webcams and public CCTV hooked into the systems and we’ll be rocking!

 

twb-button 

PS. Hi, Bothell

Published in: on 21 March, 2009 at 18:54  Comments Off  
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It just had to happen

google-cool

Only this morning I was reading about a couple who tried to sue Google because there house had appeared on Google Earth. Claiming it was a violation of their privacy, the judge had simply thrown it out of court.

Then it turns out that the Pentagon has banned Google Maps from all US military bases after clear images became available of Fort Sam Houston army base available on Google maps.

But just to add insult to injury this;pakistanuav

While the US military has consistantly and persistantly stated that it does not fly drone aircraft from Pakistan – Google Earth proved they do!  In fact a 2006 image of Shamsi airbase in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Baluchistan proves that is exactly what they did.

The United States has been using a base in Pakistan to station unmanned Predator drones that have been used to attack terrorist targets inside the country’s tribal areas, a senior U.S. official told FOX News Thursday. 

The confirmation contradicts a stream of previous denials from officials and comes after the Times of London published a Google Earth image apparently showing three U.S. drones at the Shamsi airbase.

The Image has since been removed from Google Earth (no sh*t!)

 

twb-button

Published in: on 19 February, 2009 at 15:21  Comments (1)  
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