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Google’s Self-Driving Cars

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Cars that use technology to drive themselves have been talked about for several decades, but until now have only seemed to be a far-off dream.  Now Google has revealed that they have cars with automated driving capabilities in development.  Google has combined a camera, numerous sensors with a preprogrammed GPS system on Toyota Prius vehicles and already is performing testing.  The cars have obeyed the speed limit and follow the programmed route without a hitch.  Thousands of miles have been logged by the self-driving cars in real traffic.  Although human drivers are behind the wheel, ready to take over in case of emergency, so far they haven’t had to intervene.

Read more about Google’s self-driving cars in this New York Times article.

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Introducing Google Voice

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

voice-logo
Google Voice is a powerful new tool from Google which is being made available to a limited number of users as part of an extended beta program. Google Voice enables one phone number to be used for cell, home and work phones and provides online management for voice services. Unlike Skype, calls are not made through the computer but instead with your existing devices. No additional hardware or software has to be bought. Google seems to have hit upon a practical solution for people who want to manage multiple phone lines and services. Best of all, it’s free. You can request an invite to be a beta user on the Google Voice website at www.google.com/voice.

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Google’s Costly Trademark Infringement

Monday, May 04th, 2009

Google and a group of other companies have been sued in U.S. District Court for trademark infringement. The subject of the suit is the use of the word “Android.” Google has used the name for its Linux-based, open source operating system for mobile devices. It turns out that Erich Specht of Illinois received a trademark for the name “Android Data” for his internet company in 2002. When Google tried to trademark the name Android in 2007, their claim was denied due to Specht’s prior application.

In addition to Google, Specht’s suit includes 47 other companies. Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, Motorola and Samsung are among the group of defendants. Specht is requesting $2 million dollars from each defendant for each use of the tradmarked term. An out of court settlement is expected.

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