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Openly Gay Google Exec Megan Smith Named U.S. Chief Technology Officer: VIDEO

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Megan Smith, a Google executive and former CEO of the online LGBT community site PlanetOut, has been selected by President Obama as the new Chief Technology Officer of the U.S. 

As CTO, Smith will "lead Administration-wide efforts to unleash the power of technology, data, and innovation to help meet our nation’s goals and the needs of our citizens."

Said Obama of Smith's selection:

Megan has spent her career leading talented teams and taking cutting-edge technology and innovation initiatives from concept to design to deployment. I am confident that in her new role as America’s Chief Technology Officer, she will put her long record of leadership and exceptional skills to work on behalf of the American people. I am grateful for her commitment to serve, and I look forward to working with her and with our new Deputy U.S. CTO, Alexander Macgillivray, in the weeks and months ahead.

The Washington Post adds:

Smith, the new U.S. CTO, is an MIT-trained mechanical engineer and entrepreneur with deep roots in the California tech world. She currently serves as a vice president at Google[x], the company's lab for ambitious next-generation projects, like its delivery-by-drone Project Wing and its balloon-borne Internet connectivity program Project Loon. For nine years, Smith led Google's team responsible for developing new business, where she led the acquisitions that would become Google Earth and Google Maps. And she's familiar to Washington's burgeoning "civic tech" community through her work with the Google Crisis Response project.

Check out a Bloomberg report on how Smith might shape the tech policy landscape in her new position, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Satellite Launching This Wednesday Will Provide First Public High-Res Images Of Earth: VIDEO

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Look to the skies on August 13th and you may spot the launch of a new, high-tech satellite that will blow your mind - or send your Big Brother paranoia into overdrive. The Worldview-3 from DigitalGlobe will become the first satellite to provide public high-resolution photos of our planet, right down to the numbers on your mailbox and the grass on your lawn. Google and Microsoft, DigitalGlobe customers, will be your best bets for the high-res imagery, so look for Google Maps to upgrade in the near future.

Gizmodo reports:

Walter Scott, founder and CTO of DigitalGlobe, explains some of the satellite's other applications that are more than just skin deep:

'The Worldview-3 is going to offer the highest commercially available resolution of any satellite system out there. Combining that with the power of our constellation, which gives multiple visits per day over multiple hours of the day, means the ability to monitor what's going on and enabling our defense and intelligence customers to make decisions on the basis of fact than the basis of fear."

The Worldview-3 will operate around 383 miles above Earth, making its precise detail all the more impressive. At such high resolution, the company also says the satellite will help see through smoke and identify moisture content and other materials. DigitalGlobe will begin publicly selling images after six months of operation.

Worldview-3 will take off on August 13th at 2:30pm; you can watch it all live here.

And check out DigitalGlobe's video about the Worldview project (and some stunning images of our planet), AFTER THE JUMP...

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Google's Waze Navigation App Shows Its Pride

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In a move to set its own mapping platform apart from the competition, Google acquired Israeli crowd-sourced mapping company Waze in 2013. Waze has just updated its selection of user icons to help users show off their Pride while en route. Unlike other mapping services, Waze makes a point of turning its navigation into a social experience, encouraging users to crowdsource traffic data in real time. Waze also allows users to share personal status updates via a set of predefined icons expressing various emotions. In addition to sarcastic, ninja, and peaceful, Wazers can now set their icons to "proud."

Response to the app's update have been generally positive, but Waze isn't without users who felt as if the company missed the point of Pride.

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Waze's latest updates are available for free now in both the Google Play and Apple App stores.

 


Google Unveils Self-Driving Car: VIDEO

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Google unveiled its self-driving car yesterday at Recode's Code Conference in Southern California, Mashable reports:

Brin described riding in the car, which in one test was programmed via smartphone, as "relaxing," and similar to catching a chairlift. He added that the car will eventually go up to 100 mph once it's proven to be able to travel safely at that speed.

Watch the company's video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Towletech v.110: Roller Coasters, Drinkable Books, Prehistoric Bugs, Nintendo

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BY KYLER GEOFFROY

A round-up of the best tech, science, and geek-related news from around the web.

Road (1) 5 new "record-breaking" theme park rides that will make you s**t your pants this summer. The 17-story Verrückt waterslide [pictured above] is taller than Niagara Falls and shoots raft-riders down at 65 mph. Verrückt, German for insane, seems like an apt name for the jaw-dropping plunge. 

Road (1)  FrankenSenator Al Franken has a new petition you can sign to help "save the internet" and net neutrality

Road (1) Google launches same-day delivery service for household items and non-perishable goods in New York City and Los Angeles.

Road (1) Speaking of Google, if it really only costs them $80 to make Google Glass, then its $1,500 price tag is quite the markup.

Road (1) The humanitarian org Water is Life has come up with a revolutionary new way to combat the 3.4 million worldwide deaths due to waterborne illness each year – The Drinkable Book. Basically, it's an educational manual for safe water habits that's also printed on technologically advanced filter paper designed to kill diseases like cholera, typhoid and E. coli. The paper costs only pennies to produce and each book is capable of providing someone with clean water for up to four years. 

 

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 8.53.09 PMRoad (1) Retro gamers who grew up with the Nintendo Entertainment System can now preorder the gorgeous Analogue Nt machine to play old NES games on your hi-def television. 

Road (1) Virtual reality company Oculus VR wants to build a billion person massive multiplayer online (MMO) experience with its new owner Facebook.

Road (1) Roku’s new Streaming Stick gives you access to your HBO, Hulu, and Netflix content on the go. 

Road (1) Cosmos takes a look at the terrifying and enormous insects of the past.

 

MicroRoad (1) What should consumers expect from 3D printing in the near future? “Beyond the hype, [current] consumer 3D printers can’t make anything your heart desires—they mostly make junk, and there are only so many synthetic orange dinosaurs in top hats one person can collect. While this argument is true, after a fashion, the field is continuously improving. And not so long ago, affordable consumer 3D printers didn’t exist at all. The selection of desktop machines is growing. Desktop printers are increasingly available for around $1,000 or less. And setup is easier. Whether the printer connects by WiFi or USB, more printers are nearing plug-and-play."

Road (1) Your cell phone can now alert you if you're near a store that sells items or products you've searched for online. So excuse me while I go delete my browser history...

PhonesoapRoad (1) And lets face it, your cell phone's screen is probably a dirtier surface than even your toilet seat. Just think about all the random door knobs and body parts you touch in-between your Candy Crush play sessions. Luckily, the folks over at Phonesoap have developed a combination sanitizer and charger that uses ultraviolet rays to zap all manner of gross bacteria. It's like a mini tanning bed for your phone!

Road (1) Scientists can now reprogram skin cells into sperm cells. The tricky question, however, remains whether or not they should.   
 


SXSW 2014: The Robot Revolution is Coming and 3D Printing Is Leading the Way - VIDEO

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Sxsw_2014_bugSXSW - Austin's annual tech, film, and music festival - is currently underway and has brought in thousands of film buffs, tech geeks, actors, and musicians from across the globe to meet, mingle, and enjoy the coolest city in Texas. And with the Interactive portion of the festival drawing to a close, what better time to look back on the things we've learned at SXSW 2014 so far.

The Robot Revolution is Coming and 3D Printing is Leading the Way!

The machines took over SXSW in a big way this year, with numerous panels throughout the week dedicated to emerging technologies and the impact they will undoubtedly have on our culture, economy, and well-being.

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 1.35.12 AMMultiple panelists stressed that as technology becomes exponentially more sophisticated and incorporated into our everyday lives (a la Google Glass, self-driving cars, and 3D printers), the question we ask will switch from “What will tech of the future be able to do?” to “What won’t tech be able to do (and do better than humans) in the future?”

The answer, most panelists agreed, will likely be “not much.”

Continue reading "SXSW 2014: The Robot Revolution is Coming and 3D Printing Is Leading the Way - VIDEO" AFTER THE JUMP...

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