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CNET UK Podcast 236: Google has its head in the cloud

Google dominates this week's tech news after announcing a new music service, the latest version of Android, and Chrome OS netbooks. But is the cloud ready to take on all our computing needs?

Chromebooks aren't as shiny as they sound, but Google's Internet-only netbooks do look like they're going to be cool. Is the cloud ready to prop up our entire lives, though? Chromebooks are coming to UK shops in June, and, in this week's show, we discuss whether they're worth buying. We also ogle the latest Panasonic Lumix Micro Four Thirds camera and the electric Rolls-Royce Phantom, as well as speculating about Android Ice Cream Sandwich.

News

I/O, I/O, it's off to San Francisco we go, for Google's annual developer conference. The big G has unveiled plans for cloud-based music storage, movie rentals and laptops. We've also seen Google take some more steps towards getting involved in hardware and the so-called 'Internet of Things'.

Google Music puts your MP3s in the cloud, but UK misses out
Angry Birds goes online in Chrome Web browser and on Chromebooks
Android @ Home lets your Google phone control your house

In other news,  Microsoft has dug the change out of its sofa cushions to buy Skype for $8.5bn (£5.2bn).

Skype calls on Kinect will follow Microsoft's £5.2bn takeover

We also discuss a new search engine, MyLife.com, that allows you not only to search for other people, but also see who's searching for you. It emerges, too, that Apple is now the world's most valuable brand, the US is planning a system to allow President Obama to text everybody in an emergency, and the Sony PlayStation Network may not be fully restored until the end of May -- but Crave has got your back, with Luke providing a smorgasbord of things to do in the meantime.

Crave

In our battle over the best tech of the week, we pit an operating system against a camera, and run them both over with a car that's quiet enough to sneak up on poor people and mow them down. 

Flora: Ice Cream Sandwich
Rich: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3
Luke: Rolls-Royce Phantom 102EX

Feature

At this week's Google I/O conference in San Francisco, Google announced it's going to start selling Chromebooks in the UK in June. What the heck is a Chromebook, you ask? It's not silver netbook -- it's a laptop that runs Google's chrome OS. That means no hard drive, no installing programs, no nothing -- just a browser.

Google says that, with 3G connectivity and caching, all your computing can be done in the cloud. But is it true? Won't we be stuck on the plane with a computer that gives nothing but 404 errors for 10 hours? We log on to discover the truth.

Feedback

We live to serve, whether it's a cooling summer cocktail or the answers to all your feedback questions. Tune in this week for Luke's rendition of a ringtone classic, our predictions for the next Android code name, and the best tech for cheating at your exams, you little scamps.

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