Google today announced that it plans to acquire Motorola Mobility - the Motorola's cellphone and set-top box division - for about $12.5 billion. This is obviously a major deal and suddenly turns Google from a company mostly focused on software into a hardware manufacturer as well. While Google aims to run both businesses separately - and stressed that even Motorola will have to compete for Google's business - the fact that Google's headcount just grew by about 60% shows that this acquisition will have a massive impact on the company in the long run.
The last few months saw the public rise of a new hacker group that works under the name Lulzsec. So far, they have hacked into networks from organizations that range from Sony BMG to Nintendo, Pron.com and PBS. In doing so, they have retrieved thousands of names, passwords and other personal data from unsuspecting users. While most of these organizations then go on and sell this information on the black market, Lulzsec regularly releases all of the data it collects online (they are, after all, just doing it for the ‘lulz’). Now, a new tools helps you to find out if any of your own personal data was made public in one of these leaks.
In what, as far as I know, is an unprecedented move for Apple, the company this morning announced what it plans to announce during its keynote at the company’s Wordwide Developer Conference (WWDC) next week. Typically, these events are shrouded in mystery and the days ahead of the conference are ripe with rumors and speculations as to what will be announced and who will announce it. Not so this year. Apple didn’t just announce the obvious – that we will see a preview of iOS5 and OS X Lion, but also that it will indeed launch a new suite of cloud-based services under the rumored iCloud name. While the Apple Kremlinologists will continue to speculate whether the fact that Apple announced that its “CEO Steve Jobs and a team of Apple executives will kick off” the event means that Steve Jobs is coming back from his medical leave or not, the fact that Apple pre-announced Jobs’ presence at the event is also unprecedented.
In Ford's vision, a driver would opt into this system and allow Ford to build an anonymous profile based on the data it gathers from a given car's telematics system. Based on this data, the system would then be able to predict where you are going depending on the time of day, for example, and optimize your car's performance settings accordingly. The car could also ask a driver for confirmation as well ("Are you going to work?").
Google Music, the beta version of Google's new music service just launched at Google I/O today and we just got a chance to take it for a test drive on the Web (look for our review of how it works on mobile devices later). After testing it for a little bit, it's clear that this could be a major hit for Google. Indeed, among today's music locker services, Google's efforts come the closest to recreating the convenience of Lala, the service that Apple bought last year and promply shut down.
"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy." Chances are, you've seen this quote, attributed to Martin Luther King Jr. at least once on Twitter or Facebook. Perfectly capturing the feelings of many who felt somewhat conflicted while looking at the images of Americans celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden, this quote sadly doesn't appear anywhere in the works of Martin Luther King Jr. - it did, however, quickly make the rounds on virtually every social media service, starting, it seems, on Faceook and quickly spreading to Twitter, Tumblr and other sites.
Yahoo today announced that it has sold the bookmarking service Delicious to YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steven Chen. According to Yahoo, the plan is to continue the service and "make the site even easier and more fun to save, share and discover the web’s “tastiest” content. Yahoo will continue to manage the service for the next few month until the transition to Hurley's and Chen's newly launched AVOS company is complete.
Mozilla just released Firefox 4, the next generation of its popular Internet browser. The new version is not just significantly faster than Firefox 3, but it also features a new, highly streamlined interface and a number of new tools that should make Firefox 4 even more popular among power users (many of which moved to Google Chrome during Firefox 4's prolonged development phase).
I'm a jaded tech blogger, but Microsoft's HoloLens project is without doubt the most exciting project to come out of Redmond in years. After years of talk about augmented reality, this may be the first project that actually lives up to the hype.