Also, Microsoft could be planning to give Windows 9 away for free, Europe is halving mobile roaming charges, Rock Simulator 2014 has arrived to blow your mind, and CollegeHumor demonstrates how the Internet has killed attention spans.
All The News From Google I/O 2014
Google I/O is an annual developer-focused conference held by Google every year since 2008. Google I/O 2014 saw Google reveal lots of new stuff, some of it interesting, most of it dull. Rather than overwhelm you with masses of information, we’re focusing on just three of the countless things Google covered during its Google I/O 2014 keynote.
Haters of Android are going to be disappointed at the main thread running throughout Google I/O 2014, which is that Android is everywhere. Google teased Android 5.0, codenamed ‘L’ (probably for Lollipop) and its real-world Material Design. Also announced was Android Auto which brings Google services into your car, and Android TV, which does the same for your television set. Last but not least was the promise of Android apps coming to Chromebooks. Which excites me more than it really should.
Google talked passionately about Android Wear, the previously-announced wearable tech operating system. The LG G, Samsung Gear Live, and the forthcoming Moto 360 were all present at the event, with attendees given an LG G to take away with them. The Moto 360 looks particularly stunning, regardless of whether or not smartwatches have a bright future.
Google also unveiled its own VR headset, except unlike the high-tech Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus, Google’s is made of cardboard. And codenamed Cardboard. What at first appears to be a joke is actually an ingenious take on the new virtual reality form factor. Two plastic lenses distort your view of the Android phone placed within Cardboard, with seven experiences to enjoy. So, Facebook buys Oculus for $2 billion, and Google offers a similar experience using cardboard and plastic. Fantastic.
For those of you heavily invested in the Google ecosystem who want to know more about what was revealed at Google I/O 2014, Wired has a fantastic write-up on everything you need to know. You could, if you’re a masochist, also watch the whole 3-hour-long keynote on YouTube, but we recommend the condensed version of events embedded above instead.
Aereo Loses Supreme Court Fight For Life
FOR SALE: 13,000 little antennas. Must be willing to pickup in Brooklyn. Contact Barry Diller
— Ben Dreyfuss (@bendreyfuss) June 25, 2014
Aereo has lost its fight for survival, with the U.S. Supreme Court declaring its service as illegal because it violates the Copyright Act of 1976. Aereo uses thousands of tiny antennas to capture over-the-air television broadcasts before delivering these feeds to customers over the Internet.
This verdict was the one expected by most people, but it’s a crucial one nonetheless. It essentially kills any innovation along these lines, allowing broadcasters to maintain the current status quo. Aereo now has to decide whether to modify its methods to cross back over the line of legality, or give up the fight altogether.
Windows 9 May Be Given Away For Free
Microsoft may be planning to give Windows 9 away for free to those who have installed the forthcoming Windows 8.1 Update 2. The new Windows 8 update will reportedly be released later this year, and be available for free to those with Windows 8.1 Update 1 already installed.
According to the report by Russian hacker group WZOR, Windows 9 will then be a free upgrade for those who have already made the leap to Windows 8. This is obviously just a rumor, but with Apple giving away OS X 10.9 Mavericks to owners of OS X 10.8, Microsoft may be forced to follow suit or risk losing more customers.
Europe Halves Mobile Roaming Charges
E.T. would’ve been better off trying to email home, rather than phoning. Cell phone plans ALWAYS screw you on intergalactic roaming charges.
— Austin (@Austin_Hodgens) June 23, 2014
Mobile roaming charges across the European Union (EU) are being cut in half. New roaming caps will come into force on July 1, with one megabyte of data capped at 20 euro cents (from 45 cents), one minute of voice calls capped at 19 euro cents (from 24 cents) and each SMS text message capped at 6 euro cents (from 8 cents).
The European Commission comes in for a lot of criticism across the continent, some of it completely justified. This shows it does do some good though, as anyone who has previously suffered bill shock after a nice, relaxing holiday will attest.
Rock Simulator 2014 Is A Real Game
There have been a wave of bizarre simulator titles of late, Goat Simulator perhaps the best known of this genre. But the stakes have been raised considerably with the release of Rock Simulator 2014, a game simulating the act of staring at a rock for hours on end. While listening to dubstep, naturally. Don’t download this from Steam, because it’s dumb.
How The Internet Killed Attention Spans
And finally, the Internet has shortened our attention spans to such a degree that even three minutes of focusing on one thing feels too long. Don’t believe me? Then believe CollegeHumor, one of the best original comedy channels on YouTube, which dares you to watch the video above in its entirety without once getting distracted. It’s a lot harder than you may think.
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
Did Google deliver the goods at Google I/O 2014? What was the highlight for you personally? Did the Supreme Court make the correct decision regarding Aereo? Or has it missed an opportunity to disrupt the status quo?
Let us know your thoughts on the tech news of the day by posting to the comments section below. Alternatively, let us know of any technology news stories we missed that you think we should have covered.
Image Credit: Mac Morrison via Flickr