Posts with tag recode
No steering wheel, no problem
Google has had a fairly long history of exploring self driving cars, most famously retrofitting some run of the mill Toyota Prius and Lexus vehicles with a complicated camera and sensor setup for prototyping purposes. Now Google is going ahead with their plans, as Sergey Brin formally announced at the Code Conference alongside interviewers Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. The biggest news here goes far beyond that, however, as Google has officially revealed the world’s completely self-driving car – one with nary a steering wheel in sight.
The vehicle, which has been totally designed by Google engineers, is a compact car that highly resembles a Smart car that one would see driving through the streets today. The car is a two seater with no steering wheel, no accelerator, no brake, no mirrors, no glove compartment, and – at the moment – not even a sound system – because hey, there’s no room for the radio in the future.
Google says that the car is still very much in prototyping stage, making it unlikely that we’ll ever see the above vehicle in any sort of retail capacity. Instead, Google’s car is currently designed to take their development of self driving vehicles just one step forward in hopes that, one day, all cars will be self driving – even if they don’t look anything like what Google has in mind. Check out a video of the car in action after the break.
Source: Ars Technica
Microsoft CEO speaks
It’s almost fitting that Microsoft’s new CEO made one of his first public interviews as CEO of Microsoft at Re/code’s first ever Code Conference – and while there wasn’t exactly much talked about that we didn’t already know, Nadella did have a few nuggets of good information sprinkled about his interview with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher.
First, the CEO finally tackled head on the rumors that the company is planning on selling or spinning off their Xbox gaming business. The news is, of course, good – at least as far as those who work in the Xbox division are concerned. “I have no intent to do anything different with Xbox than we are doing today,” Nadella said, pointing out that in order to create software – the company’s “most malleable resource” – hardware such as the Xbox plays an important role.
Nadella also took the opportunity to introduce a brand new bit of functionality coming soon to the company’s Skype clients, a new feature called “Skype Translator” that is capable of translating foreign language in what appears to be essentially real time. The way it works is almost as impressive as the concept – the other person’s spoken word is translated as subtitles at the bottom of the window as they speak them, as seen in the video after the break.
Skype Translator will reportedly be entering beta for Windows 8 users later this year, with a broader release planned sometime after that. While the initial release will focus on bringing Skype Translate to the Windows 8 client, other versions of the application – including OS X, Windows 7, iOS, Android, and Windows Phone – will also be getting to join in on the fun.