Google Chromebook – Pixel is here!

With 239 Pixels / inch compared to 118 on your average laptop, Google is making it’s presence know in the hardware space. But with prices starting at $1,299, this is for serious users only.  With built-in Touch-screen, it will be interesting to see how well their entry does.

See details and ordering info below:



Twitter Begins Accepting Political Ads

Twitter on Wednesday started accepting political ads and announced a sales team dedicated to the category.


The company ran its first such ad today, a Sponsored Tweet from GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. (See below.) Romney is one of a small group of candidates and national party committees that Twitter is working with on a pilot program for the effort. Those partners will also run ads in coming weeks. The ads will be distinguished from other advertising by a purple “Promoted” icon and a Federal Election Commission disclaimer.

Twitter’s new political sales team will be run by Peter Greenberger, who until recently ran political sales for Google.

The 2012 presidential election has gotten under way in earnest. The FEC estimates that candidates for the 2008 presidential election spent $1.8 billion on ads.

Voice Search Being Tested on

Google has begun testing an integration of voice search with the search engine.  Voice search detects your computer’s microphone settings and can open up a “Speak now” widget to detect your words and transcribe them into a search query.  Android phone owners should be familiar with Google Voice Search; it’s available in the Google Search widget. Google Voice Search on Android even translates voice commands into actions. For example, “Directions to Empire State Building New York” will get you instant driving directions to Manhattan’s famous landmark.

Google has been working hard on improving the accuracy of its voice search product. It now recognizes Chinese and learns from your speech patterns. Perhaps now Google believes it’s accurate enough to begin testing with the general populace.

Right now, voice search seems to be in a limited testing period. While searching by voice may be easier than typing in some cases, we don’t think you’re suddenly going to see an uptick in people shouting out their search queries.  Google Voice Search “works surprisingly well but is very awkward to use in the office.”

Google Fiber Marketing Plan; free to schools, available to public in 2012

Google detailed on Wednesday its Google Fiber Internet service, which will launch first in Kansas City, Kan., promising free broadband Web access for schools and speeds 100 times faster than the current average.

“In about 1995, 15 years ago roughly, everyone was living on 56 kilobits, and it was awful,” said Patrick Pichette, Google’s chief financial officer. “And then somebody invented a 5-meg modem, and everybody was saying, what are you going to do with 5 megs. … Think what you’re going to do with a gigabit; 1,000 megabits.”

Pichette spoke before a packed auditorium at Kansas City’s Wyandotte High School about the possibilities for consumers with 1-gigabit, fiber-optic connection. Also on hand were Google’s vice president of access services, Milo Medin; Kansas City, Kan., Mayor Joe Reardon; and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.

The anouncement was streamed live on Google’s YouTube channel.

Speaking before a crowd that looked to be made up mostly of adults despite taking place in a high school, Gov. Brownback envisioned doctors at the University of Kansas Medical Center using such high speeds to monitor patients over the Web, rather than having to bring people in for appointments.

Medin and Pichette said the “ultra-fast” connections could lead to technologies not yet developed or even imagined.

Mayor Reardon said his son was excited about the prospect of being able to play video games online with friends without interruption.

“He hugged me; he’s a PS3 gamer, and he said, ‘You mean it’s not going to freeze up on me anymore? You need to get that done tomorrow,’ ” Reardon said, eliciting laughs from the audience.

But although Kansas City, Kan., has been selected as Google Fiber’s launchpad, an exact launch date has not been set, Medin said.

“We’re not exactly sure until we get the engineering and planning done but [are] hoping to offer service in 2012,” he said, likely disappointing the mayor’s son.

One detail Google has yet to get into for its Google Fiber service is just how much it will cost consumers. But once Google does roll out its broadband service, the differences in speed will be impressive, Pichette said.

“Speed matters, speed matters immensely,” he said. “Speed is like oxygen; when you have it you take it for granted. Once you don’t have it, you realize it’s everything.”

Although Kansas City, Kan., is set to be the first to get Google Fiber service, the plan is to roll it out to more cities and get the nation up to broadband speed. Most U.S. homes currently paying for high-speed Internet connections are receiving data at less than 10 megabits a second.