Posts tagged Starts

Google Starts Over In Its Drone War With Amazon

The Project Wing delivery drone Google revealed to the world last August is no more. Instead of going head to head with Amazon’s drone initiative, the Google X team behind the UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) decided to scrap its plans and pursue a different design. 

Google’s “Captain of Moonshots” Astro Teller, who leads its secretive X lab, revealed to a South By Southwest crowd Tuesday how the decision came about. It began with CEO Larry Page giving his team a tough mission: He wanted a prototype that could deliver goods to non-Google employees within 5 months. Teller and his crew only had one design that they could build that quickly, and even though they knew it wouldn’t be right, they went ahead with it anyway.

See also: Google Challenges Amazon’s Drone Delivery Program With Project Wing

It might sound odd to proceed with a project that was destined to fail, but Teller considers failure an integral part of the process at Google X. In fact, he says it’s a key ingredient for success. 

Taking Wing

At Page’s behest, the team continued work on the doomed Project Wing delivery drone for 5 months. Once the term was up, the team had a clearer vantage point of the work at hand. They abandoned the version that debuted last year and began work on a totally new design that reflects everything learned from that previous experience. (Google X promises to say more about the new drone’s design later this year.) 

Project Wing isn’t the only failure Teller wants the world to know about. Another recent, and much publicized, example is Google Glass, the smart eyewear Google sold to a group of “explorers.” The company later abandoned its original plans before the facegear could reach the general public. Though not quite dead, the device is no longer a Google X project. It will live out its second act under the umbrella of Nest co-founder and recent Google addition Tony Fadell. 

Astro Teller addresses a crowd at SXSW.

“The thing that we did not do well, that was closer to a failure,” Teller said, “was that we allowed and sometimes even encouraged too much attention for the program.” In other words, instead of clearly classifying the product as an early prototype, the company practically hyped and marketed it as a finished product. That was at odds with the whole point of the Explorer program, which essentially placed the headsets with beta testers. 

Keeping Failure—And Success—Afloat

While Glass got a lot of high-pressure, high-profile attention, many of Google X’s failures are small. In those cases, they can work like the essential baby steps that can refine a product while research and development are in motion. 

See also: Google Glass Moves On From Google X, Lands In Tony Fadell’s Nest

For instance, Google managed to improve its Project Loon initiative, which aims to provide Internet to remote parts of the world, by increasing the life of the balloons. The company figured out how to keep them aloft longer, going from just a few days or even hours, to as long as six months—a feat previously thought of as impossible—by testing, testing and then doing more (you guessed it) testing. 

A Project Loon launch scene

At first, Google couldn’t figure out why its balloons were springing leaks at high altitudes. So it brought them to North Dakota during the polar vortex and saw what happened in the cold. It would make a small tweak to a balloon, fly it at the same time as another with the older design, and then measure the difference. The company even tested how thick its balloon technicians’ socks should be to prevent damage to the surface. 

“It was worth it in order to teach the balloons how to sail,” said Teller. “There was no way, except feeling it out and getting that experience.”

Teller thinks any business can adopt the same strategy. He encourages workplaces to have many different minds working on many different problems, to benefit from the diversity, and to ensure every failure comes from a calculated risk that can teach something. He said he is always open to failure from his team, and that means not necessarily expecting success. Instead, he recommends failing early and often, which will cost companies less than failing in the end. 

Project Loon photo courtesy of Google; all other photos by Owen Thomas for ReadWrite.

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SMX West Starts Next Tuesday; All Access Conference and Free Expo+ Passes Still Available

Search Engine Land’s SMX West conference begins next Tuesday in San Jose. Register now to reserve your spot! The search marketing landscape changes almost daily, but your goals don’t. You strive to increase traffic, engage with your audience, improve conversions and maximize your ROI. Invest…



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Google Doesn’t Know When Super Bowl 2015 Starts (Yet!)

Why hasn’t Google provided the correct answer for the Super Bowl start time when year-after-year, it has been an issue for them?

The post Google Doesn’t Know When Super Bowl 2015 Starts (Yet!) appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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Apple Starts Crawling Web – Is Apple Launching a Search Engine in 2015? by @mattsouthern

Web development consultant Jan Moesen alerted the Twitterverse last week about the fact that Apple is running a web crawler, written in the programming language Go. This is leading many to wonder whether or not Apple is planning to launch its own search engine in the near future. If so, that would be especially bad news for Bing who currently powers Apple’s Siri. Does anyone know why Apple is running a web crawler (written in @golang, no less)? http://t.co/5JDTZuplQp — Jan Moesen (@janmoesen) November 6, 2014 On his website, Moesen explains in more detail the information he has gathered so […]

The post Apple Starts Crawling Web – Is Apple Launching a Search Engine in 2015? by @mattsouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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Google Starts Doling Out Android 5.0 Lollipop

When Dave Burke, head of Android engineering, addressed the Google I/O developer conference last summer, he called the new version of Android the biggest update to Google’s mobile operating system ever

Now people get to see what the fuss is all about, as Google starts rolling out Lollipop today, at least for its own Nexus devices. 

The biggest change to come with Lollipop is what Google calls “material design,” a flatter, streamlined look across desktop and mobile devices. The company recently released updated versions of its Google Play Music and Calendar apps to fit in with the Lollipop design, along with a new email application, Inbox. 

See also: What Developers Need To Know About Android L

According to the company, the new software arrives with several other apps from outside developers and companies that already support material design, including the Wall Street Journal, Tumblr and Buzzfeed. The company released the developer preview months ago to give developers time to get apps launch-ready.

“Today’s updates are just the beginning of delivering a modern design language for the next wave of devices in your life,” the company wrote in a blog post.

Lollipop also boosts battery life, adds improved notifications, and a “personal locking” feature that lets your Android devices unlock another

Google’s own reference devices—including the new Nexus 9 tablet and the upcoming Nexus 6 smartphone—will be the first to get the overhauled operating system. Others will roll out over time as the phone manufacturers and carriers allow. 

Lead image courtesy of Google 

View full post on ReadWrite

Google Starts Doling Out Android 5.0 Lollipop

When Dave Burke, head of Android engineering, addressed the Google I/O developer conference last summer, he called the new version of Android the biggest update to Google’s mobile operating system ever

Now people get to see what the fuss is all about, as Google starts rolling out Lollipop today, at least for its own Nexus devices. 

The biggest change to come with Lollipop is what Google calls “material design,” a flatter, streamlined look across desktop and mobile devices. The company recently released updated versions of its Google Play Music and Calendar apps to fit in with the Lollipop design, along with a new email application, Inbox. 

See also: What Developers Need To Know About Android L

According to the company, the new software arrives with several other apps from outside developers and companies that already support material design, including the Wall Street Journal, Tumblr and Buzzfeed. The company released the developer preview months ago to give developers time to get apps launch-ready.

“Today’s updates are just the beginning of delivering a modern design language for the next wave of devices in your life,” the company wrote in a blog post.

Lollipop also boosts battery life, adds improved notifications, and a “personal locking” feature that lets your Android devices unlock another

Google’s own reference devices—including the new Nexus 9 tablet and the upcoming Nexus 6 smartphone—will be the first to get the overhauled operating system. Others will roll out over time as the phone manufacturers and carriers allow. 

Lead image courtesy of Google 

View full post on ReadWrite

Bing Starts Showing Full Song Lyrics Right In Search Results

While SEOs debate Google’s recent addition of structured data in its search results, Bing is making a similar — and perhaps more significant — change to its search results: Full song lyrics are now showing on Bing’s search results page in the US. Bing says this is available…



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Last Call – SMX East Starts Next Tuesday in NYC; All Access Conference and Free Expo+ Passes Available

Search Engine Land’s – SMX East conference begins next Tuesday in New York City. Register now to reserve your spot! The search marketing landscape changes almost daily, but your goals don’t. You strive to increase traffic, improve conversions and maximize your ROI. Invest in attending…



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SMX East Starts Next Tuesday – Here’s How to Attend

Search Engine Land’s – SMX East kicks off next Tuesday – September 30 – in New York City. With over 60 educational sessions and keynotes, networking activities and presentations from leading providers, you’ll get the SEO, SEM and internet marketing tactics and solutions you need…



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Google Starts Giving A Ranking Boost To Secure HTTPS/SSL Sites

Google To Give Secure Sites A Ranking Boost Google has announced (the blog post hasn’t gone live yet, actually) that going HTTPS — adding a SSL 2048-bit key certificate on your site — will give you a minor ranking boost. Google says this gives websites a small ranking benefit,…



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