Category Archives: Announcements

Google Officially Launches Google Drive

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

 

We’ve heard the rumors for weeks, and seen leaked versions during an Android developer’s Google+ Hangout and in one employee presentation. But now Google Drive, Google’s 5GB cloud-storage service, is official.

Announced on the company blog Tuesday, the service will integrate with Google Docs and will allow you to access files from anywhere and collaborate on documents with colleagues.

Google Docs is built right into Google Drive, which means you can work with others in real time on documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Once you’ve shared content with someone else, you can add and reply to comments on anything (PDF, image, video file, etc.) and you’ll receive notifications when other people comment the items you’ve shared.

One interesting feature of the service is smart tagging, which allows you to tag items stored on your drive. So if you’ve uploaded a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge to your drive, the next time you perform a search for the bridge, your photo will show up along with other results.

Google Drive also uses image recognition — so if you drag and drop photos from your recent vacation into Drive, you can later search for locations you’ve visited and those photos will show up.

Using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, Drive can also recognize text in scanned documents. That means if you’ve scanned in a page from an old book, for instance, you can search for words in that document.

When it comes time to access your files, the service can open a variety of different files types – 30 of them to be exact – within your browser, regardless of whether or not you have the required software installed. Supported file types include PDFs, HD video, and images from Illustrator and Photoshop.

You can install Drive on your Mac or PC , and use the service via an app on your Android phone or tablet. Google also has plans for an iOS app in the future. Blind users can access Drive with a screen reader.

Google is offering all users 5GB of storage on the service for free. If you need more than the 5GB, then it is offering several tiers of storage options.

You can choose to upgrade to 25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month or 1TB for $49.99/month. When you upgrade to a paid account, your Gmail account storage also expands to 25GB.

Source: Mashable

Russian Troops Land In Syria

Archived image - Russian troops

A Russian anti-terror squad has arrived in the port city of Tartus on the Iman oil tanker, according to ABC News. The Russian gov’t news agency, RIA Novosti‘s Arabic language site announced the arrival. The Russian embassy in the U.S. had no comment. Russia is one of Pres. Bashar Assad‘s strongest allies and has blocked numerous U.N. resolutions that call for Assad to step down.

source: Investors

Ashton Kutcher to play Steve Jobs in movie

Ashton Kutcher at Time 100 Gala

Ashton Kutcher at Time 100 Gala (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Actor Ashton Kutcher, who got his break on “That ’70s Show,” will go back to the 1970s to play tech visionary Steve Jobs in an indie film about Jobs’ early life and the founding of Apple.

Production on the film, “Jobs,” is scheduled to begin in May while Kutcher is on hiatus from his hit CBS series “Two and a Half Men,” reports Variety, the film-industry trade publication. It will be directed by Joshua Michael Stern (“Swing Vote”) and “will chronicle Steve Jobs from wayward hippie to co-founder of Apple,” according to Variety.

The timing of the story, which was published Sunday on Variety’s website, combined with Kutcher’s well-known love of pranks, led some to dismiss it as an April Fools’ joke. But CNN confirmed Monday through a representative for Kutcher that the actor has signed on for the role.

Jeff Sneider, the reporter who wrote the Variety article, said on Twitter on Sunday that the movie will follow Jobs from when he and Steve Wozniak founded Apple in 1976 to when Jobs returned to the company in the late 1990s after being forced out. It won’t cover Jobs’ later years, he said.

Jobs, who died in October after a struggle with cancer, dropped out of college and backpacked across India before launching the company that would make him one of the world’s most acclaimed entrepreneurs.

Kutcher, 34, is one of the more tech-savvy actors in Hollywood. He was an early and enthusiastic user of Twitter, where he has 10 million followers, and has invested in several Silicon Valley startups.

Kutcher’s movie will face competition from Sony Pictures, which is developing its own Jobs biopic based on the best-selling book by Walter Isaacson. A CNN.com report last fall speculated on which actor might play Jobs in that movie and threw out some names — James McAvoy, Crispin Glover, Stanley Tucci, Noah Wyle — but failed to mention Kutcher.

source: CNN

Google Unveils Project Glass Augmented Reality Eyewear

The eyewear appears to have a streamlined design despite all the functionality it is suggested to include

Google has revealed details of its research into augmented reality glasses.

It posted a brief introduction to Project Glass, photos and a concept video at its Google+ social network.

The images show a minimalist design with a microphone and partly-transparent video screen that places information over the view from the users’ right eye.

The product’s developers said they wanted feedback on the idea.

They did not give any indication about when the device might go on sale or what it would cost.

“A group of us… started Project Glass to build this kind of technology, one that helps you explore and share your world, putting you back in the moment,” said a statement from Google X – the firm’s experimental lab.

“We’re sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input.”

Guided walks

The video suggests icons offering 14 different services will be offered to the user when the glasses are first put on, including information about the weather, their location and diary appointments.

It appears that several of these services are either triggered by an action taken by the user or the situation they are in.

The film shows one user being reminded he has a date that evening when he looks up at a blank wall, and then warns him that there is a 10% chance it will rain when he looks out of the window.

The device would involve a GPS chip to help deliver location specific alerts (Google glasses warn the subway service is suspended)

An alert pops up when a friend sends a text asking if he wants to meet up later in the day. When the user dictates a reply a microphone symbol is superimposed over much of his view.

Other functions include Google Maps showing a route to the wearer’s destination with small arrows keeping him on track, the ability to take a photo of what he is looking at with an option to share it with friends, and a video conference service.

The glasses are also shown to allow music and other audio to be heard, although they do not appear to include earphones.

Shrink to fit

There had been lots of speculation about the project with some reports describing it as an “open secret”, but this is the first time Google has confirmed details of what it was working on.

The New York Times had previously suggested that the first set of glasses would go on sale before the end of the year for somewhere between $250-$600 (£157-£378) – but experts say that the technology shown in the video may still be some way off being ready for market.

Chris Green, principal technology analyst at Davies Murphy Group Europe, told the BBC that other tech firms such as Brother had attempted to pioneer the concept – but became unstuck because their versions had required users to carry separate processing and battery equipment that plugged into their glasses.

“There are huge opportunities for tailored advertising with augmented reality systems – especially if they have in-built GPS location tracking,” he said.

“The monetisation opportunities would be enormous – but there are still big issues involved with shrinking the technology and making the computer that receives and processes the data truly portable.”

Rival eyewear

Google may have competition if it works out how to shrink the electronics involved.

Google suggests the glasses could help users find where products are located in shops

In 2008, Apple patented a laser-based “head mounted display system” that it suggested could stream video from its iPod among other features.

More recently, Patent Bolt revealed that Sony and Microsoft have patented ideas to create miniture displays to go over users’ eyes.

They were described as being suitable for “gaming and beyond”.

Google has previously revealed details of futuristic concepts years before they are ready for market.

The firm announced in 2010 that it had tested a self-driving car on the streets of California – but has not said when it might start selling such vehicles.

source: BBC

Carla Loves Frank – Abeer Ali’s First On ZOKI

Three years ago, the buds of her love were planted, when Frank carried her to sit on the swing of their garden, her heart was beating and beating; it was running in a race, once Frank’s hands left her the beating heart slowed down. She remembers that moment when he touched her hand, while building a sandcastle, spontaneously his hand skimmed her…..read more.

 

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Windows 8 Coming in October

Microsoft could finish Windows 8this summer, with a possible release date in October, Bloomberg reports citing sources familiar with the matter.

Furthermore, according to the same sources, Microsoft’s new OS will support both Intel and Arm processors from the get go. However, as much as 40 Intel devices will be supported in the initial rollout, compared to “fewer than five” ARM devices, Bloomberg reports.

The company will likely host an event in April, in which it will reveal the release date and marketing details for Windows 8.

The October time frame is pretty much the last possible date for Microsoft if it wants tablet manufacturers to ship devices sporting Windows 8 in 2012. A recent report claimed Lenovo plans to launch a Windows 8-based tablet device as early as October 2012.

From what we know, Windows 8 development is on schedule. In February, Microsoft released a Consumer Preview version of the OS; we had a chance to try it out, and it was quite polished — and Microsoft still has plenty of time in 2012 to work on the details.

source: Mashable

Twitter Now Available in Right-to-Left Languages

Thanks to the efforts of 13,000 volunteers worldwide, Twitter is now available in Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and Urdu, according to a company blog post. Twitter had been working on translating and localizing these right-to-left languages since January 25.

These languages posed unique challenges for Twitter. To overcome technical barriers, Twitter’s engineering team had to build a new set of special tools to ensure that these tweets, hashtags and numbers would behave as their counterparts in left-to-right languages.

Not only that, but some of these languages are spoken — and therefore will be tweeted — in locations where Twitter is officially blocked.

Twitter was a recognizable force in the Arab Spring — but given that there wasn’t yet an Arabic interface, most of the users who tweeted from those regions did so in non-native languages.

And Twitter’s numerous volunteer translators for these right-to-left languages —from Lebanese teenagers to Egyptian college students to IT professionals in Iran and Pakistan, among others — live in these areas as well. “Their efforts speak volumes about the lengths that people will go to make Twitter accessible and understandable for their communities,” the company said in its blog post.

Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and Urdu join Thai as the only right-to-left languages in Twitter’s translation center. Their incorporation means the service is now available in 28 languages.

What do you think of the addition of these languages? Do you think more people from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia will start tweeting? Let us know in the comments.

source: Mashable

Apple iPad 3 expected on 7 March following press event

Apple has announced an event on 7 March at which the company is expected to launch its latest iPad tablet.

Invitations sent to journalists read: “We have something you really have to see. And touch.”

While not officially confirming the product’s launch, the message was accompanied by an image showing what looked to be an iPad touchscreen.

The iPad range, which first launched in 2010, has sold more than 50 million units worldwide.

It is not yet known when the new device will be available for sale.

Last year, sales of the iPad 2 began in the US nine days after the launch announcement – which also took place in March.

Apple’s first two versions of the iPad transformed the market for tablet computers and made it one of the fastest-growing sectors of the computer industry.

Patent woes

However, recently Apple’s dominant position in the tablet market has been challenged by a string of tablets powered by Google’s Android operating system.

Later this year, industry experts expect a new category of tablet devices powered by Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows 8 operating system.

Microsoft will announce details for the consumer versions of Windows 8 at an event in Barcelona on Wednesday evening.

The tablet market – just like the smartphone market – has been subject to intense patent wars, chiefly between Apple and its key challenger Samsung.