Google offered to help Samsung with Apple patent battle costs

Confirming what a lot of us thought already, Google is more than a little interested in Apple and Samsung’s continuing court battle. New evidence revealed by Apple’s lawyers outlines emails from Google that offered to foot some of the damages (if…

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Google’s Revamped Gmail Could Take Encryption Mainstream

Encryption is the best way to protect your online communications from the prying eyes of the National Security Agency. So says NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The rub is that email encryption systems like PGP — short for Pretty Good Privacy — are a real pain for people to use, especially if they’re not steeped in […]

from WIRED

This Chrome add-on lets you copy and erase text inside any image on the web

What would you say if we told you that it’s possible to copy, translate, edit and even erase the text inside any image you find on the internet? Well, you can, and it’s a lot easier than you might think. All it requires is a new browser extension,…

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Starting Today, Google Maps Is A Time Machine


Even as Google continues expanding its Maps—going as far as documenting polar bear migrations—the company has to regularly dispatch their Street View cars to places they’ve already been: cities change, and it takes another lap to keep Maps up to date. That means major metropolises—Singapore, New York—have been updated as much as eight or nine times since Google’s tool first launched. Now, you can finally take a look at all those past snapshots.

Starting this morning, when you check out Google Maps, you’ll see an inconspicuous clock in the corner of your screen: click it, and you’ll be able to toggle between past versions of Maps, then watch the results of urban gentrification or economic collapse, natural disasters or fiscal fortune, unfurl before your eyes. (Fun fun fun!)

The project is a different way of instantly looking at a city or town’s evolution: it’s one thing to hear about the rise of the Williamsburg waterfront or Freedom Tower, or read about the havoc of a post-Sandy New Jersey, but it’s another to see an instant, on-demand before-and-after.

Although that won’t necessarily be an option uniformly available to everyone. Street View, as seamless as it feels, consists of snapshots; a van takes a 360-degree photo every so many feet. Vinay Shet, Google Street View product manager, told me that adding snapshots of what each location looked like in the past required doubling the total amount of photo stills stored on Maps—a huge overhaul. But for every area with seven snapshots, there are many more remote spots where Google’s vans have only made one sweep. If you’re looking to relive the construction of your personal shed in the Alaskan wilderness, you’re probably out of luck.

Then again, even for urbanites, the time-tourism in foreign locales looks like the best part. (There’s even a Doc Brown that stands in for the Street View peg-limbed dude.) Here’s a look, in GIF form.

New York’s Freedom Tower


Brazil’s World Cup Stadium


Changing Seasons In Norway


Earthquake Damage In Christchurch

from Popular Science