Tech News

Google Self-Driving Cars, HP Android Laptop, Oculus Rift Lag [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 29-04-2014

Today in Tech News Digest, Google self-driving cars navigate cities, Microsoft owns Nokia, HP teases an Android laptop, a Secret expansion, BuzzFeed wants $1 billion, Joss Whedon gets In Your Eyes, and Oculus Rift demonstrates living with lag.


Google Updates Us On Self-Driving Cars

Google has offered an update on where its epic effort to make self-driving cars a reality stands at the moment. The big challenge being mastered right now is driving through city streets, with mastery of freeway driving having been achieved.

Chris Urmston, the director of the project, claims Google’s self-driving cars The Shocking Effects Of The Google Driverless Car [INFOGRAPHIC] The future is closer than you might think. Thanks to Google's top secret research department, Google X, driverless cars are now a reality and could be hitting the mainstream in the not too distant future.... Read More have now completed more than 700,000 autonomous miles. Each mile driven provides new problems to solve and new situations that the software needs to be taught how to handle.

City driving is obviously more unpredictable than freeway driving. Which is why the focus is now being shifted to that discipline. As the video embedded above shows, Google has achieved a great deal in the way its self-driving cars react to situations changing around them.

As part of the update, Eric Jaffe of The Atlantic Cities was afforded first-hand experience of Google’s self-driving cars. His write-up offers a unique perspective on the initiative, and acts as a reminder that while Google has come a long way in the last five years, it still has a long way to go before we’re all sitting behind the wheel with our hands behind our heads.

Nokia Is Now Part Of Microsoft

Yesterday saw Microsoft’s employee numbers swell by 25,000, as Nokia’s devices and services unit was consumed by Redmond. The deal, worth $7.2 billion, closed last week. It means Microsoft now has control of around 90 percent of all Windows Phone handsets sold, with Nokia previously responsible for shipping around 200 million units each year.


Microsoft took the opportunity to release the first Nokia advert made under its control. It shows a guy dressed as Ali G standing out from the crowd, suggesting iOS and Android users are boring, black and white automatons who cannot think for themselves. Which surely isn’t all that far from the truth.

The HP SlateBook is an Android Laptop


HP is preparing to release a laptop powered by Android. We know because the HP SlateBook 14 was inadvertently teased by the company before being pulled as soon as word got out. With Chromebooks growing in popularity, it seems a strange time to release an Android laptop. But that’s exactly what’s happening.

The HP SlateBook 14 runs Android and enjoys full access to Google Play and its wealth of apps The Best Android Apps on the Google Play Store for 2019 Looking for the best Android apps for your phone or tablet? Here's our comprehensive list of the best apps for Android. Read More . The hardware is no slouch either, with a 14-inch 1080p touchscreen, 2GB of RAM, a 16GB SSD, and an NVIDIA quad-core processor. We’ll know more when HP decides to fill us in on the details.


Secret App Moves Beyond U.S. & iOS

Secret, an app which has so far only really appealed to Silicon Valley and its followers, is seeking to expand. The app, which allows people to post secrets semi-anonymously is first being launched in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, with other countries to follow. An Android version is also in the works, with interested parties invited to join the waiting list. Only gossip-mongers need apply.

BuzzFeed Thinks It’s Worth $1 Billion

Disney, which recently acquired YouTube network Maker Studios Facebook Oculus Rift, HTC One M8, MS-DOS Source Code, IRS Bitcoin [Tech News Digest] Facebook causes an Oculus rift, HTC One blah blah, Microsoft frees MS-DOS, IRS rules on Bitcoin, Disney buys into YouTube, Google launches Photowall, and lots of white guys wear the Oculus Rift. Read More , reportedly tried to buy BuzzFeed at around the same time. Fortune claims the deal broke down as BuzzFeed felt it was worth $1 billion. Disney disagreed. It’s just disappointing Fortune didn’t report this as, ‘10 Reasons Disney Didn’t Buy BuzzFeed For $1 billion‘. Badum-tish.

Joss Whedon Gets ‘In Your Eyes’ On Vimeo

Joss Whedon is a cult writer/producer/director best known for creating both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly. Which makes it all the more astonishing that he has brought his new movie to the masses by way of Vimeo On Demand. In Your Eyes is available to rent on Vimeo for $5, which isn’t bad considering its budget of $1 million.

Oculus Rift Demonstrates Living With Lag

And finally, no one likes experiencing lag when playing video games online How To Reduce Lag In Online Gaming There was always some amount of lag in the game, especially when there were lots of players logged in. That's an experience you can have only so often before you realize that it's either time... Read More or having to wait while media content buffers during playback. But it’s something we’ve come to accept and deal with when using the Internet.


What would life be like if lag affected us in the real world? Swedish broadband provider Umeå Energi decided to find out, using an Oculus Rift VR headset 5 Oculus Rift Demos That Will Blow Your Mind Forget the Playstation 4 or the Xbox One - I've seen the future of gaming, and it is neither of them. The Oculus Rift is amazing - and with $16 million in fresh funding, the... Read More in order to do so. The results are unusual and unsettling, and should make us all thankful that this is just an advertisement masquerading as an experiment.

Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.

Image Credit: Kris Krüg via Flickr

Explore more about: Google, Movie Trailer.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Enjoyed this article? Stay informed by joining our newsletter!

Enter your Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Spamxq
    April 30, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    wawwww awsome

  2. AV
    April 30, 2014 at 4:10 am

    Aaaauuuugh!!!!!! That yellow coat in the Nokia ad... And the red gloves and hat.... Hurt my eyes. I think they are bleeding.

  3. Tom W
    April 29, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Once self-driving cars start to be mass-produced, I can imagine a world where you buy a car the first day it's released and then have to wait 5 hours while it downloads a massive day-one patch.

    Is that video for real? Did NoikaSoft really release a phone that lets you listen to music!? That changes everything! Where can I get one of these magical futuristic devices?
    (Sorry, I couldn't resist)

    Is "In Your Eyes" rental only? I get the feeling that I will want to watch that again and again, so a physical or permanent copy would be fantastic.

    The Living with Lag video is an example of what all advertising should be. Simple, elegant, and kept me interested until the end.

    • Dave P
      April 29, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      Oh god, the first-day patch is going to be epic. Worse even than the Wii U.

      You know you want a Lumia really. She doth protest too much, methinks.

      It looks like In Your Eyes is only available to rent at the moment. The chances are it'll be released in other places pretty soon though. And I'd bet money on a DVD release before too long.

      Compare that advert to the crappy ones made by British ISPs. I'm so over Usain Bolt.