Google Flu Trends, the search giant's metric for estimating the percentage of a country's population suffering from influenza, falls in line with everything we dream the company capable of. By monitoring the frequency and geographical spread of keywords for flu-related queries, the tool is supposed to provide an accurate estimate for the propagation of the virus.
The only problem: it was wildly wrong last year, providing a flu estimate of 11 percent of the population, nearly double what the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) ended up estimating.
Now doubling back on last year's flu outbreak, scientists at … Read more
All too often in public life, prude defeats rude.
It infects the world of electronics. Steve Jobs always wanted you to know that there was no, never, any possibility of porn on Apple products.
Try typing "f***" into your iPhone and see it chastely insist that you must mean "duck."
Now Android's KitKat has released its latest rigorous list of words that are not automatically de rigueur. These are words that when you start to type them don't exist in your phone's life experience -- which in the case of 4.4 KitKat is 165,000 English words.
Unsurprisingly, "gonadotrophia" is on the list. Any suggestion of stimulation to private parts must be kept in private. Your Android phone is far too public for such talk.… Read more
Consumers can now purchase a pair of smart glasses for $1,000.
Dubbed the first commercially available "Smart Glasses," the Vuzix M100 started shipping on Tuesday, according to the company. The first models off the line are going to registered developers and others who already ordered the product. But the M100 also is now available for preorder with a promised ship date of two to four weeks.
Described by Vuzix as a hands-free wearable computer, the device offers a monocular 16:9 full-color display that floats an image in or near your line of vision. Vuzix compares the … Read more
Android 4.4 KitKat is now officially a blip on the Android radar a month after its debut.
Collecting Google Play stats during the seven days that ended Monday, Google's Android developer dashboard found that KitKat now flavors 1.1 percent of all Android devices. Android 4.4 launched in early November, triggering its gradual rollout to phone and tablet users.
As always, getting the latest version of Android on your device is a hit-or-miss matter. It all depends on how fast your smartphone maker and carrier can ramp up the update. So a 1.1 percent share after … Read more
A new experience launching on Yahoo today with a newsfeed, personalization and a new design - yay! http://t.co/s7YrPbZU— marissamayer (@marissamayer) February 20, 2013 Yet Mayer would be forgiven if, even before she tapped the "tweet" button, she was already restless for the next iteration of the site. While Yahoo's redesigned home page functions just fine (and still commands huge traffic), it's not as … Read more
For a company with as much expertise in running massive data centers packed with computing power, it's got to sting that Amazon Web Services gets all the glory when customers need cloud-computing infrastructure.
Which is doubtless why Google is happy that its Google Compute Engine is out of testing and now generally available to all comers. The service offers a pool of servers on which customers can run various versions of Linux, paying for usage and riding assurances that the systems will be up and running at least 99.95 percent of the time.
Ari Balogh, a Google vice … Read more
While 23andMe has forged on despite the Food and Drug Administration's order to halt sales, the company is now saying it has stopped marketing its products as a result of the kerfuffle.
23andMe was issued an FDA warning letter two weeks ago. The government agency demanded the company stop selling its at-home testing kits "immediately" because they required regulatory clearance and were supposedly being sold in violation of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
In response, … Read more
Google released an official version of its Play Music app for Google Glass on Monday.
The app, announced in a Google+ post by Glass engineer Stephen Lau, follows two November Glass announcements: that there will be branded and pricey Google Glass earbuds, and the public availability of the Google Glass Development Kit preview. The GDK let developers build apps that use more of Glass's hardware features than before.
Glass owners who previously had sideloaded the Google Play Music app Music2.apk are advised to uninstall it before installing the official Glassware version. Otherwise, the official app will not install. … Read more
I watch a lot of movies.
In most of them, ugly fights often begin with the line: "You talkin' to me?"
So I have a certain fear that the more people wear Google Glass around our towns and cities, the more verbal misunderstandings might get out of control.
Comedian Ed Bassmaster, aka YouTube's Bluetooth Man, decided to experiment with wearing the glasses of the future to the King of Prussia mall in Pennsylvania.
He is not himself an Explorer. He purloined the glasses of PR man Chris Barrett, who seems happiest when his glasses are worn by well-known people such as Bon Jovi's keyboard player.
When Bassmaster wandered the mall, speaking loudly, as many Glassers no doubt will, the reactions were, at times, a picture.… Read more