Google/HTC deal is official, Google to acquire part of HTC’s smartphone team | Ars Technica

So Google has officially hooked up with HTC. How do I feel about this? Rather ambivalent, actually. On one side Google is already using their phones (Pixel), but HTC did roll over to Apple a long time ago without standing up to their bullying tactics – something that made me ditch HTC in favour of Samsung (and, tbh, I’m glad I did). However, this link up means Google gets a dedicated team to work on their phones. Whether this means they’ll become a decent competitor to the other devices, remains to be seen.

Source: Google/HTC deal is official, Google to acquire part of HTC’s smartphone team | Ars Technica

Google Chrome : Hatsune Miku (初音ミク) – YouTube

This is an old advert by Google Chrome featuring Hatsune Miku, the Vocaloid virtual singer, following in the same line as Honda’s series of adverts featuring her too. Selling the idea that Miku is a virtual singer, but you can be anything else — Musician, Producer, Composer, etc.
 
(Only found out by some Tweets)
Hatsune Miku, Virtual Singer
Everyone, Creator
 

Remains of the Day: Google Chrome Drops Support for Windows XP

With the roll out of a new version of Chrome, Google is saying goodbye to a few old favorites. Maybe “favorites” isn’t the right word. The browser will no longer be updated to support Windows XP, Vista, and OS X 10.8. Goodnight, sweet Vista, and your glossy menus.

RIP XP. Finally. Although I say finally, but I’m pretty sure some places are still using XP because they can’t/won’t recode applications to support Windows 2000

Source: Remains of the Day: Google Chrome Drops Support for Windows XP

Why Spatial Audio Is Such a Big Deal for Google Cardboard | WIRED

As someone who’s tried Google Cardboard, I am pretty keen to see this happening.

FOR ALL THERE is to love about Google Cardboard, it’s still a bare-bones experience. It’s barely even VR, really. But the cheap, smartphone-based viewer offers the VR-curious an easy window into 360-degree video. Pricier headsets like the Oculus Rift and Sony PlayStation VR, designed for gaming, deliver more than a cool stereoscopic viewing experience. In addition to the immersive visual eye-candy—users can explore virtual spaces, peek around corners, and, using hand-held controllers, interact with digital objects—these sophisticated VR rigs offer truly lifelike audio.

When a monster sneaks up on your left in a VR game, you’ll hear its slobbering tongue lashing at your left ear. When a shot comes at you from above you and slightly to the right, you know exactly where to return fire. When The Edge tears through the opening riff of “Mysterious Ways,” it reverberates around the stadium.

The high-priced headsets from Oculus, Sony, and HTC pack the processing punch to deliver “spatially oriented” audio experiences that consider direction, distance, and environmental factors when creating the soundtrack. Cardboard, powered by your smartphone, can’t do that yet. But earlier this week, the Cardboard team made it a little easier to give the audio in these apps a bit more realism. Asthis blog post from Google Cardboard product manager Nathan Martz outlines, the Cardboard software development kit for Android and the Unity game engine now support spatial audio. This platform update paves the way for Google Cardboard to become something more than a gateway drug to true VR.

Source: Why Spatial Audio Is Such a Big Deal for Google Cardboard | WIRED

RPHM App

Just got an email from the RPHM organisers. There’s an app in the Google Play store that allows you to track the runners (including me) during the race, and also provides split times as they run over the timing mats. For runners, it also shows you where you are on the course at that time. Although I wouldn’t recommend it — you need to make sure you’re not running into the barriers 😀

Google Play: http://royalparksfoundationemail.org.uk/1L97-3PL8Z-ERXF5H-1SKAD2-1/c.aspx

Google Drive FUSE

Found this tool which exposes your Google Drive as a FUSE mount, allowing you to copy to and from your drive as if it was a directory on your desktop. It is slow, though.

https://github.com/astrada/google-drive-ocamlfuse

Installation instructions for Debian (Wheezy):

http://xmodulo.com/mount-google-drive-linux.html