Nexus 5 now available for purchase at Google Play. Delivery appears delayed another 2-3 weeks.

The Nexus 5 is now available for purchase at Google Play www.google.com/nexus/5/

Price is $349 for 16 gig and $399 for 32 gig.   However it appears there will be a delivery delay of 2-3 weeks so it’s not clear if you can get one faster this way or waiting for stores like Best Buy to stock them.   I’m betting online is best…..

Nexus 5 Specsus

Nexus 5 – Google Nexus 5 Phone Specs and Price

Update.  Nexus 5 is now available for purchase from Google Play, but appears shipments are delayed by “2-3 weeks”.    http://www.google.com/nexus/5/

 

Here, from Android Police, are the likely specs of the Google Nexus 5 phone coming out very, very soon – probably the Nexus 5 announcement by Google will be this week or next.

The price, according to most rumors, will be a spectacular $299 (unsubsidized), making the Nexus 5 one of the great phone values in years.

Here are the specs based on the leaked user manual:

  • 4.95″ 1080p display (IPS TFT for those interested)
  • 32GB internal storage (other capacities not specified)
  • 2GB RAM
  • MSM8974 aka Snapdragon 800 at 2.3GHz
  • 8MP OIS rear camera, 1.3MP front camera
  • 2300mAh battery
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Compass, Proximity/Ambient Light, Pressure
  • Slimport compatibility
  • Micro SIM slot
  • Notification light
  • Wireless charging
  • NFC
  • Bluetooth 4.0 (not sure on this one)
  • UMTS/GSM/CDMA/LTE compatibility

SES San Francisco – Searching for Successful Search Strategies

Technology Report will be featuring coverage of SES San Francisco, though we’re not sure yet if we’ll be there live or just virtually.

SES San Francisco (formerly “Search Engine Strategies”) is one of the world’s oldest and for many the top online marketing conference series.

Social media continues to shake up the search landscape as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other key large social media sites have become a key focus of online marketing campaigns.   A key focus, but not necessarily a

For more about the upcoming SES San Francisco visit the site and review the Conference Agenda Online.

Key conference keynotes:

  • Design Your Own Search Engine: Lessons from Tough Calls on Content at Google
    What would you do if you were charge of your own search engine? In an interactive panel, Google’s Patrick Thomas walks through some of the tough calls and difficult policy decisions you would need to think about as you try to organize trillions of web pages online.

    Keynote Speaker:    Patrick Thomas, Policy Specialist, Google

  • Running the Gauntlet: Driving Strategic Change in Your Business

    Jeffrey Hayzlett’s Running The Gauntlet is a rough-and-tumble guide for running and driving change through the business gauntlet. In this keynote, Hayzlett addresses what every marketing leader must face: Getting Ready, Getting Going, and Creating and Sustaining Momentum.

    Keynote Speaker:    Jeffrey W. Hayzlett, Best-selling Author, Business Change Agent & Marketing Expert, Hayzlett.com


    Creating Campaigns that Count: The Impact of Converged Media

Mike Grehan, Publisher, ClickZ & Search Engine Watch, Producer, SES Conference & Expo

Speakers:
Duane Forrester, Senior Program Manager, Bing
Daina Middleton, Global Chief Executive Officer, Performics
Adam Singer, Product Marketing Manager, Google Analytics
Conference first timers will want to note that SES San Francisco  is pretty fast and furious, a proverbial firehose of information.

Review the materials carefully before the show and pick a few topics and speakers you’ll want to hear and be sure to attend those talks.  Ask a question or introduce yourself to the speakers afterwards.    Some of the best search insights I’ve ever had were from talking to speakers at social gatherings or in the hall.

SES Parties:   As search industry has matured so have the participants, but you’ll want to keep your eyes open for party opportunities with the many exhibitors at the Conference.  Unfortunately the amazing “Google Dance”, held at the close of SES on the Google campus in Mountain View, is no longer the internet party highlight of the year.

EVOLUTION OF THE ANDROID OS

EVOLUTION OF THE ANDROID  OS  –  A Technology Report Guest Post

By Charlie O’Hay

Released in September 2008, the Android OS has gone through an abundance of incarnations—ever increasing its functionality and flexibility—though not all of the transitional versions were made commercially available.  Here, we’ll trace the Android OS timeline and define the features and advantages of each version available to consumers.

Version 1.0

Released in September 2008, this version was designed for the HTC Dream / T-Mobile G1, but ended up not being used on any commercially available device.

Version 1.1

This version tweaked 1.0 and was commercially released exclusively for the HTC Dream (T-Mobile G1) in October, 2008. Adjustments resolved some of the bugs experienced with version 1.0. Features included web browser, Gmail synchronization (with app), Google Search, Google Maps, Google Calendar, Google Contacts, Google Talk, instant messaging, text messaging, and media player.

 

Version 1.5

Released in April 2009 and codenamed “Cupcake” by Google, this version was the first major release to be made available in a range of devices. Features included camcorder support to record and watch videos, easy upload of images and videos to websites like Picasa and Youtube, Bluetooth enhancements, animation on screen transitions, and an on-screen keyboard with predictive text.

Version 1.6

Nicknamed “Donut,” this September 2009 release included new camera, camcorder, and photo gallery interfaces, improved voice search technology, Google navigation, text-to-speech engine, multi-touch gesture support, and Virtual Private Network support.

Versions 2.0 and 2.1

Version 2.0 (October 2009) was quickly followed in January 2010 by Version 2.1, consequently 2.0 appears in few devices. Version 2.1 (nicknamed “Éclair”) has proven quite successful, owing largely to its improved user interface, enhanced speed, improved virtual keyboard, Contact and Account improvements, and an array of camera enhancements—including flash, digital zoom, white balance, scene modes, and macro zoom.

Version 2.2

Nicknamed “FroYo” and released in November 2010, version 2.2 allowed tethering to as many as eight WiFi “hot spots” or connection via USB. Other enhancements included camera improvements, multi-lingual keyboard support, quicker app access and faster browsing, Bluetooth improvements, and Microsoft Exchange.

Version 2.3

“Gingerbread,” as it was called, was released in December 2010 and offered an improved user interface, a faster and more intuitive virtual keyboard, copy/paste capability, improved power usage status and power management, internet phone calling, Near-Field Communication support and tagging, new download manager, front and rear cameras, and support for barometer, gravity, gyroscope, linear acceleration, and rotation.

Version 3.0

Released in February 2011, “Honeycomb” was the first Android OS to target the large-screen tablet devices. Features geared to tablet users included a new system bar, action bar, a customizable home screen, and a list of recently used/downloaded apps. The keyboard was again streamlined and the copy, cut, and paste functionality improved. Other features included Bluetooth tethering, support for physical keyboards, multi-core processor support, 2D and 3D graphics support, and applications for larger screens including browser, camera, gallery, contact and email.

Version 3.1

This June 2011 update retained the nickname “Honeycomb” included improvements for tablet users—including navigation and animation improvements essential for entertainment purposes and playing Android games. USB support for a more varied array of accessories (including keyboard, mouse, and digital camera), support for joysticks and gamepads, improved WiFi networking stability, expanded recent apps list and updated set of standard apps (browser, gallery calendar, contacts, and email).

Version 3.2

Still called “Honeycomb,” this July 2011 version continued to provide enhancements for tablet users—including compatibility zoom for fixed-sized applications, direct application access to SD card file system, and extended ability to handle different screen sizes.

Version 4.0

Released in October 2011, “Ice Cream Sandwich” merged the phone-based design of the second generation with the tab-centered design of the tablet-friendly third generation.  The user interface and apps selection were again redesigned, and users could now save often used items in home folders and a favorites tray. Other improvements included resizable widgets, lock screen, network data control, and faster call response. Users also benefitted from camera/camcorder improvements (including image stabilization, the ability to take still shots during video, and photo editing). The browser could now deliver full-sized web page appearance, and this version featured improved email, NFC-based sharing, and WiFi-direct suppotrt.

Version 4.1

Released in July 2012, “Jellybean,” as it was called, included even more user interface enhancements (including improved touch response and transitions; expandable, actionable notifications; and adaptive keyboard). Other popular features included the ability to instantly review photos, external Braille input and output via USB, enhanced voice search capability, photo sharing, USB audio, and Google Wallet.

Version 4.2

The most recent Android OS version to date maintains the “Jellybean” name and allows multiple users for tablets, a PhotoSphere feature that allows 360º images, keyboard gesture typing, Daydream feature to display info while a user’s device is isle or docked, and the ability to beam photos or videos to another device.

This is a guest post by Charlie O’Hay, a tech expert & Big Fish Android games enthusiast.

 

Google’s Ray Kurzweil on Google’s role in the Future of Artificial Intelligence

Inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil is generally regarded as one of the world’s top engineers working on Artificial Intelligence, and he’s certainly the world’s top *evangelist* for AI, arguing that general AI, or thinking machines, will inevitably arise, and fairly soon, as another step down the evolutionary path of the human species.    His book  “The Singularity is Near”, is the key popular work addressing what many believe will become the biggest technological theme in history – the creation of an intelligent computer that is capable of human-like thought processes.

Bill Gates has called Ray Kurzweil the leading thinker in the area of artificial intelligence.

Google very recently hired Kurzweil as Director of Engineering, promising a marriage of his ideas with the company that is probably best suited to fund and deploy general AI applications.

Here, in an interview at Singularity Hub, Kurzweil discusses Google’s role in the advancement of AI:

Ray Kurzweil On Future of AI at Google:

http://singularityhub.com/2013/01/10/exclusive-interview-with-ray-kurzweil-on-future-ai-project-at-google/

Star Trek Google Doodle – the best Google Doodle ever?

Today’s interactive Star Trek Story as the Google Doodle is arguably the best Google Doodle ever.    www.google.com     Star Trek Fans will appreciate that they are showcasing one of the great episodes, where, on a far away planet, Kirk is battling hand to hand with an  Alligator Alien, using only his human cleverness and ingenuity to win.

And speaking of cleverness Google Doodles are always fun, but this one – with several interactive screeens – has got to be one of the best of all time.  

Got Google Hardware?

Reuters reports today on the delays in the Google Chrome Netbook which will push the device launch into the middle of 2011.    Although it’s far too early to see if Google can break into the hardware business profitably, it’s somewhat surprising how difficult is has been for Google to branch out successfully into hardware adventures like smartphones and netbooks:  http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6B65H620101207

My take is that Google is very concerned about protecting it’s dominant and hugely profitable online advertising empire, and is working hard to find ways to make sure they can capitalize on the boom in mobile device usage.     However I think all parties are exaggerating the profits to be had in mobile.   Tiny screens mean far less real estate on which to advertise.  Also, difficulties with targeting, advertising fatigue, and many other factors suggest to me that even as mobile online use explodes the profits from this may not, although larger screens and more netbooks could help preserve the existing advertising streams indefinitely.

As always we’ll have to stay tuned to see how this new online landscape shakes out.

Google announces big winners in the “Project 10 to the 100th” contest.

Kudos to Google for sponsoring the Project 10 to the 10th contest which winnowed down about 150,000 ideas to five great ideas, all of which will receive millions in funding from Google:

Idea: Make educational content available online for free

The Khan Academy is a non-profit educational organization that provides high-quality, free education to anyone, anywhere via an online library of more than 1,600 teaching videos. We are providing $2 million to support the creation of more courses and to enable the Khan Academy to translate their core library into the world’s most widely spoken languages.

Enhance science and engineering education

FIRST is a non-profit organization that promotes science and math education around the world through team competition. Its mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders by giving them real world experience working with professional engineers and scientists. We are providing $3 million to develop and jump start new student-driven robotics team fundraising programs that will empower more student teams to participate in FIRST

Make government more transparent

Project funded: Public.Resource.Org is a non-profit organization focused on enabling online access to public government documents in the United States. We are providing $2 million to Public.Resource.Org to support the Law.Gov initiative, which aims to make all primary legal materials in the United States available to all.

Drive innovation in public transport

Project funded: Shweeb is a concept for short to medium distance, urban personal transport, using human-powered vehicles on a monorail. We are providing $1 million to fund research and development to test Shweeb’s technology for an urban setting

Provide quality education to African students

Project funded: The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) is a center for math and science education and research in Cape Town, South Africa. AIMS’ primary focus is a one-year bridge program for recent university graduates that helps build skills and knowledge prior to Masters and PhD study. We are providing $2 million to fund the opening of additional AIMS centers to promote graduate level math and science study in Africa.

http://www.project10tothe100.com/

I love the innovative spirit in contests and project like these, and also believe funding from deep pockets like Google is critical because I think in general innovations …. fail…. even in the for profit sector.     However in that sector we reward success hugely, so we get a fair number of entrepreneurial “players” who are looking to win the innovation lottery, and these players tend to spin out a few good ideas among mostly bad ones.

The current USA system tends to dramatically reward success and ruthlessly kill commercial failure, which is probably a good approach to optimize business success.  A common mistake by those who argue that “innovation is golden” is to only look at the few innovative projects that have had huge success  (Apple Computer, Google, etc) and ignore the *thousands* of failed innovations, most of which most of us never hear about.      One of the big lessons that should have been learned from the internet and real estate bubbles is that innovation does NOT foster success – it simply fosters new ideas.     Most internet companies that were spawned during the bubble have failed where a few like Google have become global economic powerhouses.

But as usual I digress.   THANKS Google for helping to spawn new ideas to do good.   That’s cool.

Google Instant … changing search for the better?

Google Instant is a new feature at the search giant, and as it catches on it’s likely to change the way people interact with search as well as the way advertisers strategize to collect more eyeballs for their websites.

Google Instant presents you with many more options than before, and they are based on the initial letters / words you type into the search query box.   It’ll take some time for all of us to decide if we *like* the idea of constant prompting for search refinements, but it’s usually a good idea to assume the Google routine is smart – smarter than we are at determining the best sets of searches to drill down to what we need to find.  Obviously you don’t have to choose from the options presented, but it’s best to assume that the results you get from these options will form a more relevant list of results than if you choose otherwise.

It’s this last aspect of “Google Instant” that may create some interesting new issues and  opportunities for advertisers and SEO specialists, as Google’s searchmeister Matt Cutts pointed out over at his blog.

As search becomes more personalized – using input from social networks, user created content, past searches, and other personal information collected over time – we are likely to see shifts in the way advertisers try to reach us, and hopefully in the appropriateness of the advertising appeals.

More on Google Instant from … Google.

Google and China

One of the highest stakes games in technology is playing out right now as Google decides whether it will continue to maintain major Google China operations or retreat to the USA where the rules regarding censorship and government control over content are considerably more … progressive.

Reuters Reports on the latest Google v China cyber conflict

Today the Chinese Government actually warned Google about conducting itself in ways favorable to China policy *even if they leave the country* in what presumably is a threat to block Google search, effectively ceding almost all China searches to Baidu, China’s search giant which very ironically has a far more capitalistic bent than Google search.    On Baidu, companies can buy their search presence without Google’s higher levels of separation of advertising and natural search results.

The opportunity here for Baidu, and perhaps Microsoft Bing, may be extraordinary as Google’s search presence has been unassailable in the USA where it now appears they may throw in the towel in China, leaving the world’s largest and most potentially lucrative search market up for grabs even though it should be noted that currently gaming is a much bigger online market than search in Asia.   Also that Asia search portals are not nearly as lucrative as in the USA.     However this is likely to change as China’s newfound influence and affluence blossoms.