Google today is "taking a stand on open source and patents," vowing not to sue anyone on specified patents unless first attacked.
The company, which today announced its Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge, said to start with, it has identified 10 patents related to MapReduce, a model for processing large data sets. It has pledged not to sue any user, distributor, or developer of open-source software based on patents related to MapReduce.
Duane Valz, Google senior patent counsel, said in a blog post that Google wants to ensure open source software remains open:
"At Google we believe that … Read more
Namie-machi was a small bustling city that used to sit near the Fukushima nuclear plant. But on March 11, 2011, that changed. After a massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami destroyed the town and the plant's infrastructure, causing hazardous waste to leak into the surrounding land, every single one of Namie-Machi's 21,000 residents had to abandon their homes.
Working with Google Maps and its Street View imagery, the mayor of Namie-machi is now providing the city's previous residents, and anyone else who wants to see, a glimpse of what the town currently looks like.
"Two years … Read more
Working to keep an edge on the mapping front, Google announced today that it's boosting Google Maps' live transit feature. Now, users can see several subway and bus live departure times in New York and Salt Lake City and service alerts for Washington, D.C.'s Metrorail.
"We want to make sure you have access to the most comprehensive, accurate, and useful information when you're on the go -- and that includes public transportation," Soufi Esmaeilzadeh, Google Maps partnership development manager, said in a blog post today. "With these updates -- part of the millions … Read more
Apple has acquired WiFiSlam, a company that makes an app that lets smartphones locate themselves indoors using ambient Wi-Fi signals that already exist in buildings.
The deal was reported by The Wall Street Journal's Digits blog, which said Apple confirmed the acquisition but had no further comment other than to say that Apple "buys smaller technology companies from time to time." Digits said Apple paid $20 million for WiFiSlam.
Allow your smartphone to pinpoint its location (and the location of your friends) in real-time to … Read more
You know all that time you spend looking up your house and your friends' houses on Google Earth? Well, now you can do it anytime, anywhere with Google Earth for iPhone. It brings the popular virtual map service to your fingertips.
To begin, Google Earth for iPhone has a very helpful tutorial for navigating the app. For example, it uses circles to show you how to move up, down, tilt, zoom, and reset the view. We tapped the My Location button and gave it access to our current location. In just a few seconds, an overview of our neighborhood appeared … Read more
Today Google released a way to visit the tallest of the Seven Summits without having to hire a sherpa.
"While there's nothing quite like standing on the mountain, with Google Maps you can instantly transport yourself to the top of these peaks and enjoy the sights without all of the avalanches, rock slides, crevasses, and dangers from altitude and weather that mountaineers face," the company said in a blog post.
It appears that Google's "spring cleaning" is even broader than thought.
The online search giant is splitting its mapping and commerce unit into two separate businesses, The Wall Street Journal reported today, citing its sources.
Jeff Huber, who led the mapping and commerce business, is stepping aside from his role and will be moving to the Google X unit, the Journal said. That business is run by Google co-founder Sergey Brin and works on projects such as self-driving cars and Google Glass.
Google confirmed to CNET that Huber is shifting roles.
"Jeff is an extraordinary executive,&… Read more
Apple this week quietly made behind-the-scenes changes to its mapping service in Japan, fixing a handful of shortcomings.
Chief among them are changes to pronunciation during turn-by-turn navigation, a key feature introduced in Apple's own mapping service in iOS 6. The app now also alerts drivers to toll roads, and has better point-of-interest labels for things like subways, freeways, and hospitals.
Other tweaks include 3D buildings for some Japanese landmarks like Tokyo Station and Tokyo Tower, as well as changing the freeway color to green.
The changes rolled out without an additional software update from Apple. That's because … Read more
There is no better way to encourage healthy living than to turn it into a competition. Keep track of your activity, share it with friends, and provide a real-time look at your GPS position as you walk around town and it becomes not only easier, but also more compelling to get out and walk. Map My Walk is a fantastic example of how to encourage healthy habits with an intuitive design and function-loaded app that manages not to get in its own way.
After installation, you'll need to register, either through Facebook or the app itself. It's not … Read more