Google have now incorporated live service data for the London Underground from TFL (Transport for London) into Google Maps.
If you’re like me and plan out your journey using Google Maps this is a great tool not only including live tube time data, which now also accounts for line closures and delays as well as being able to suggest alternate routes for commuters.
The new integration will prove useful not only to Londoners making their way across the capital but also the millions which will be flooding London this summer for the Olympics, with travelling in a foreign country additional information and service data at the finger tips of tourists will hopefully be of benefit and help those tech savvy enough navigate the chaos of London transport and ease pressure on the already straining London Underground.
It’s great seeing better use of live data like this being integrated into real-world systems like Google Maps enabling the everyday user to make real use of public data.
It’s recently been announced that in an interesting acquisition Google has now acquired Apture.
Apture is a great service which I use on most of my blogs, which provides “instantaneous access to information with its award-winning in-page search technology. Its products let readers immediately find and browse the best content from across the web – in one window”.
With customers including the New York Times, Financial Times & Reader’s Digest they have built a useful and widely used tool, this however will change on December 20th as they plan to discontinue all services and products.
It seems this is purely a talent acquisition for Google as they have stated that “we think now is the best time to expand our efforts by joining Google’s Chrome team to help build the next generation user experience directly into the web.”
I look forward to seeing how Google try to incorporate the concepts the Apture team have developed and how this will be integrated with Google’s Chrome Browser. It does however seem a great shame that Google doesn’t appear to be continuing the maintenance of the existing Apture services as this will be quite a decrement to some bloggers and site owners who use the service to help improve the readers experience.
Tablets are cool, and are only getting cooler by the day. The new Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is an awesome device, based on the incredible Android OS as well as the Touchwiz 4.0 which includes great additions like Live Panels and the Mini Apps Tray to make it easy to flick between apps with the touch of a fingertip, truly easy multi-tasking.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 includes all the bells and whistles from a HUGE 1GB memory, GPS, 2 inbuild camera of 2 & 3MP and all of the high-speed mobile networks including wi-fi.
Samsung got the Samsung Crescent racing team to have a look at the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and it really shows how useful these lightweight (only 565g) devices can be in a variety of situations.
Google announced yesterday that it has now acquired g.co, which it will now be using as a new private short URL for Google products and services. This means what when you see short URLs which start g.co you can be safe in the knowledge that it leads to an official Google page – so no need to worry! Google has previously used its public URL shortener goo.gl, which the company launched in 2009 to help shrink long URLs and to get a foothold in the URL shortening market. Goo.gl has proved extremely popular URL shortener and is now widely considered a major competitor along with Bit.ly and others. Google did stress that the g.co shortener has no effect on their goo.gl shortener and it appears they are going to keep the g.co shortener private for their own use to provide a guaranteed trust factor to the shorturls. Read the initial announcement from Google on the Google Blog
It seems to be a select roll out at the moment but Google seemed to have added their +1 button to search results allowing you to plus the results for all your friends to see, if any of your friends use +1 which I doubt. The only time you ever see this is if you search the same thing as your friends and the could actually be bothered to +1 it. So pointless and I’m sure it will be gone soon but oh well we thought we would let you know anyway.
Google have recently applied for a trademark in the US for “Photovine”.
I think it’s safe to say that this will be some sort of service involving pictures and has been officially identified as “Communication services, namely, transmission of visual images and data by telecommunications networks, wireless communication networks, the Internet, information services networks and data networks”. So this is obviously a new way of sharing photos over the internet and judging by a further identifications as “Non-downloadable computer software” and “On-line social networking services” it is probably going to involve sharing photos with your friends and your Google account.
So it seems Google is now trying to take some of the market involving Flickr, after all we all know Picasa isn’t exactly a great photo sharing tool so maybe this will see Google enter yet another part of the social networking, lets just hope this works better than buzz.
Welcome back to week 2 of my picks from the Interwebs, and I would like to start off with an application which has really helped me recently and was suggested by @linkyboy321. It’s called F.lux and it changes the colour of your laptop screen based on the time of day, while this may seem useful it makes using a computer at night much easier and has allowed me to stop being so affected by the bright screen keeping me awake. The only slight hiccup is that the auto location doesn’t seem to work too well so your will need to set this manually other than this it’s a fantastic little app and will do wonders if you suffer from eye strain at night. (http://stereopsis.com/flux/)
Next comes much needed experimental revamp of the government website in the UK, alpha.gov.uk has completely changed the workings of the government website and certainly for the better. It is much easier to navigate around and has a much simpler and nicer layout and look to it. For anyone who as used the some of the websites the UK government has issued(direct.gov.uk anyone?) this is a very welcome change and I hope it is fully implemented soon.
Anyone that knows me will know that I love NYAN cat and if you haven’t visited it do so now(My best is 12624 seconds with no breaks see how long you can last). Now I thought NYAN cat could not get any better, but it did. NYANicorn take NYAN cat and throws in some Robot Unicorn Attack to make one incredibly addicted game(I tried to start this post at 6 I got distracted by various NYAN games). If you have 5 minutes to spare don’t play this game because before you know it half an hour is gone and your late for something however if you have more than 5 minutes enjoy.
Finally if you have an Android phone running 2.2+ and you use Google Chrome as your main browser then Texty app is a great new app and extension which allows you to be notified, read and reply to any texts your phone receives all in the Chrome browser and this works on both a Wi-Fi and 3G+ connection. The way it works is seamless and I haven’t had any problems yet unless my phone has no signal, the notification system works well and isn’t intrusive allowing you to choose to reply to the text or just close the notification. It’s also great for discretely replying to texts while in a meeting/lesson etc. The app hasn’t had a noticeable effect on the battery life or data use of my phone either. While this is still in beta it’s free to sign up for and will make your life so much easier. My phone isn’t even on the same floor as me and I received and replied to that text(and yes that is Dan from Geek Tech Blog)
That’s it again for this week, if you have anything you feel should be mentioned next week then also leave a comment, tweet @ me or Email me. See you again next week.
The Mr Men books are a key part of my childhood, and a fond memories. Today is the 76th Birthday of Roger Hargreaves, the author behind the Mr Men series, and in good form Google is paying tribute with some very nice Google logos. Slightly different from normal, there is a different logo each time you load the Google.com homepage. Simply some wonderful images celebrating a great author.
There is an incredible 16 different logos, all of which are below…