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Marziah Karch

Marziah's Google Blog

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Google Rolling out New Self-Driving Prototypes

Wednesday May 28, 2014

Google has some amazing (and cute) prototypes for their self-driving cars. These prototypes have no steering wheel, and no gas pedal, since they're built to be driven entirely by their internal computers. The top speed will be 25 mph for now, and don't expect to see these cars in mass production for a long time.

Why Doesn't Android Support Flash?

Wednesday May 28, 2014

Adobe and Android used to be best friends. Why did Adobe stop supporting Android or any mobile platform? The answer, for the most part, is because Steve Jobs was right.

Try These Google Now Searches

Tuesday May 27, 2014

I had a great time compiling a list of Google Now searches. They're best when done from your phone using voice commands, but several can still be done from a desktop computer.

Google Fiber Email Updates

Saturday May 17, 2014

I just moved to Portland from a city near (but not in) Kansas City. Google Fiber may actually follow me here. I just got an email saying that Portland had completed the first of three steps in order to get Google Fiber. The rollout has certainly been streamlined from the lessons they've learned in Kansas City, and I hope the Portland effort is a success (and not just because I really want gigabit fiber.) I'm fascinated by the shift i their communication strategy with this move.

Read Your Nook Books on Your Kindle Fire

Thursday May 15, 2014

I bought one of the first generation Kindle Fire tablets for a side project, but I have eBooks in my virtual library that aren't Kindle formatted. The good news is that you can read Nook and Kobo books on your Kindle Fire, and you don't even have to convert them. All you have to do is download and install the appropriate app.

Greetings From Portland

Thursday May 15, 2014

If you haven't heard from me recently, it's because I've moved to Portland, Oregon. I used to live about a half an hour away from Kansas City. I watched my friends and relatives get Google Fiber. I was jealous.  It turns out that Portland is actually in negotiations to get Google Fiber here, so maybe I'll have some firsthand experience with the process.

May the 4th Be with You

Sunday May 4, 2014

It's Star Wars Day for nerds, but Google chose instead to highlight Audrey Hepburn's 85th birthday with a doodle. Fair enough. She's been around for longer. If you want to see today's Google Doodle along with many of their past creations, check out Google's doodle gallery.

PlayOn Hits Chromecast

Thursday April 24, 2014

I've been a longtime PlayOn user. It's an app that turns your Windows computer into a mini server to deliver streaming TV onto many different devices that you might have connected to your TV, such as Roku, Xbox 360, PS3, etc. You can play Hulu without having a Hulu+ subscription, and you can watch Netflix on your Xbox without an Xbox Live subscription. Well, today they finally --finally announced that they had launched a Chromecast app.

What took so long? It wasn't PlayOn. They'd had the app developed for a while. This was all a delay waiting for Google to finally approve third-party app developers that weren't high profile early partners like Netflix. To be fair, this level of caution is warranted after the GoogleTV was quickly sabotaged by network broadcasters worried about cable-cutters. These days they may be more worried that they're going to be trounced by Amazon.

How About a Little Gmail Efficiency

Friday April 18, 2014

I took some time this week to answer some of my readers' questions about Gmail.

If you've got a cluttered inbox, here's one way to clear out an entire tab's worth of messages all at once.

The other question is how to forward all your Gmail messages to another account. Wait. Isn't Gmail so awesome that you'd just want to read it there? Well, not for everyone, but even if you love Gmail, you might want to forward all your messages if you have a student Gmail account.

Amazon Fire TV

Wednesday April 2, 2014

No April Fooling, Amazon has thrown down a gauntlet at streaming TV players like the Roku, Chromecast, and AppleTV. It's also making a challenge to huge gaming platforms like the Xbox and PlayStation. Today they announced the Fire TV for $99. The streaming player has voice search (through the remote, or "voice search that actually works" as they put it, which reminds me of all the times I've been able to use Xbox navigation to launch a video app but not actually navigate to a specific show.) It also plays games, which can use either the included TV remote or A more traditional platform gaming style controller (sold separately).

As with the Fire tablet, this is an unbranded Android device with no Google services. Google better step it up if they want to compete.

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