Today’s must-reads from around the Internet.
Last week, information leaked about Google’s plans to release a chunky pair of glasses that will basically act as a smartphone. But earlier this month, something much more impressive flew a little further under the radar—augmented-reality contacts.
They’re being developed by a company called Innovega with help from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, who helped give us a little thing called the Internet. They’ll project full 3D and HD images onto what will look like a 20-foot panoramic screen in your field of vision—and you’ll be putting them in by 2014.
Things like this tend to set our minds racing. And the more we learn, the more we get… a little ahead of ourselves. That’s why, to make sense of it all, we like to break down what they said (cold, scientific, occasionally downerish) versus what we heard (majestic, full of hope, in a word: awesome).
Powerful people make their own rules. Self-styled moguls, especially in the visionary end of the internet, tend to do the same.
So when a co-founder of Google shows up at a keynote wearing Vibram Five Fingers instead of regular, god-fearing shoes, it’s tempting to write it off as creative eccentricity.
But at the risk of having our Gmail account vaporized, we’re going to call this as the disaster it is.
We won’t bore you with the details of the ongoing rumble between Apple, Google, Microsoft, and everyone else in northern California—although we are looking forward to the lucha libre reenactment—but today it resulted in some very good news for anyone who spends more time on their computer than their TV. It’s called Google TV, and right now thousands of techies are going wild over it.
You probably heard about the newly minted Google Buzz—basically a fusing of Twitter and Gmail—but we want to offer a word of caution before you dive in. It’s got a frightening potential for accidental oversharing, and our online etiquette’s going to make a few changes if we’re going to survive with dignity intact.
For starters, it’s time we all got a little better at saying no.
We warned you before, and now it’s happening. Google is taking over your voicemail, and even though resistance isn’t exactly futile, we’re not sure why you’d bother.
As of Monday, you can import Google Voice to your current phone number, which means that, among other things, you’ll never have to listen through your voicemails again. Once you’re plugged into the Google Voice network, you can convert all your voicemails to text and sort through them like emails, which means you won’t have to skip through Aunt Gladys’s dictation of her travel arrangements before you hear from your Thursday night date. It’s simple, easy, and it’s the first step in a long road that most likely leads to the end of the phone bill.
But for now, let’s take it one step at a time.
In the wake of our earlier etiquette lesson, you may still be wondering what in the world Google Wave actually does. Luckily, the internet’s tendency towards one-note regurgitated jokes has produced what may be the ultimate user’s guide to the ornate messaging tool. Instead of a dry tech demonstration, this video walks you through one of the most memorable scenes in Pulp Fiction via Google Wave, offering an effortless, Rosetta Stone-style explanation of embedded image searching and conversation replay and various other previously confusing gadgets. It’s everything you need to know…and it’s hilarious.
The first Google Wave invites went out late last week, which means the next couple weeks should see the ground breaking email/instant message/document sharing hybrid spreading through the public at a buzzworthy rate. On the off-chance you’ve missed the hype, we’ll sum it up for you: Wave reinvents email as a long string of chatroom-style reply-all messages, viewable all at once to everyone involved. TechCrunch is calling it the dawn of passive-aggressive communication (they seem to think that’s a good thing), but it doesn’t have to be that way.
In the interest of progress, we to suggest updates to email etiquette. It’s an incomplete list, but it should keep you safe for long enough to figure out what’s kosher in the new medium.
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