Google Maps charts the frozen home of the polar bear

Polar bears may not have much use for pavement, but that didn't stop Google Maps' Street View from getting very up close and personal with the elusive Ursus maritimus.

In honor of International Polar Bear Day, Google released on Thursday its first Street View maps of a remote area of Canada's tundra. In capturing images of polar bears in and around the town of Churchill, Manitoba, Google has created a "baseline record for imagery associated with geospatial data," Krista Wright, executive director of the conservation group Polar Bears International, wrote in a guest blog for Google. … Read more

Chief of Google's Project Ara talks modular smartphones

It's been a few months since Motorola announced its modular smartphone idea called Project Ara. Since then, Google has sold the phone maker to Lenovo and it's been unclear what would happen with the project. But now, new details are emerging.

It turns out Google held onto Motorola's Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group where Project Ara was housed. Run by Regina Dugan, the former director of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), ATAP is now under Google's Android umbrella.

The project, which aims to help smartphone users build customizable handsets, is expected to have a … Read more

It's official: Google Barge moving to Stockton

The guessing game about Google Barge's future destination after leaving its current construction site on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay is over.

CNET has confirmed that Google Barge will be heading to Stockton, Calif. (a move we first reported was imminent).

Mirian Saez, head of Island operations for the Treasure Island Development Authority -- which manages leases on Treasure Island -- confirmed that the Google Barge may take to the water for its new home as early as next week, weather permitting. The large project, expected to be a floating showroom for Google X products and concepts like … Read more

The two things that need to happen before wearable tech goes mainstream: Google and Apple

There's a flood of wearable tech arriving early 2014, and it feels unavoidable. Look around and spit, and there's a product in the works. Samsung, Sony, LG, Huawei, Pebble, Garmin. They're all coming sooner or later, be it by wrist or glass. January, February, March, April: most of the wearable gear we've seen at CES and Mobile World Congress will be here before you know it.

So fast, so soon, so sudden: does it mean wearable tech's great time has come? Or, does it really mean what I think it means, that everyone's trying … Read more

What mattered at Mobile World Congress, day 3: S5 apps, tough tablets, and BlackBerry's return

Like at any technology show, the biggest product releases of Mobile World Congress dropped in the first couple of days. But the latter days of an event remain just as interesting. You actually have time (well, a few minutes anyway) to roam the show floor to find hidden gems and underdog products, and you can dig up a few juicy scoops. All of that is just what happened on day 3 of the world's biggest wireless show.

The return of BlackBerry? By now you may have forgotten about BlackBerry, but the former smartphone powerhouse showed up in Barcelona with … Read more

If Google Barge is coming to Stockton, that's news to Stockton

If the Google Barge is coming to Stockton, the port director there would love to know about it.

Yesterday, CNET reported that Google's famous barge project may well be moving from its current home in San Francisco Bay to Stockton, a city at the far end of the San Francisco Bay Delta.

Google has been told by state regulators that it has to either move the barge project -- which has been sitting idle and unfinished alongside Treasure Island in the middle of the bay for months -- or acquire a permit to finish construction work. Last week, CNET reportedRead more

Appeals court orders YouTube to take down anti-Islamic film

Google must remove a controversial anti-Islamic film from YouTube, after a US Appeals court on Wednesday ordered it to do so.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 that taking down the film did not constitute a prior restraint on speech -- Google's argument for initially refusing to remove it.

The video, "Innocence of Muslims," has incited international outrage and sparked protests around the world. Its surfacing online also coincided with attacks in Bengazi, Libya, in 2012, during which a US ambassador was killed.

The suit was originally brought on by Cindy Lee Garcia, who starred … Read more

Google denies bidding on WhatsApp

Google's Sundar Pichai has denied at Mobile World Congress that his company bid on WhatsApp, the popular mobile instant messaging and SMS app.

Pichai, senior vice president in charge of Chrome, Android, and apps, said in Barcelona this week that it was "simply untrue" that Google had offered to buy WhatsApp, reported the Telegraph.

An earlier report indicated that Google was outbid by Facebook for WhatsApp, which Mark Zuckerberg permanently friended for $19 billion. Google had reportedly offered $10 billion, according to Fortune.

Though there may not have been a formal bid from Google for WhatsApp to … Read more

Why bother to text your girl when BroApp can do it for you?

You know how you often tell your one true love that she's your one true love?

Does she know that the "one" isn't true, making the "true" not true either?

I only ask because your, um, bros in tech have your back. They understand. Indeed, not only do they understand, but they want to help.

Some tech bros in Australia, you see, have gotten together in solidarity to create BroApp. … Read more

Blippar shows real-time object recognition AR for Google Glass

BARCELONA, Spain -- Blippar, a visual discovery/augmented reality company that has worked with brands like Coca-Cola, Disney, Sony and Nike, has delivered a live demo at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that shows Google Glass delivering real-time object recognition augmented reality (AR) for the first time.

Ambarish Mitra, founder and CEO of Blippar, signaled his desire to see AR move beyond a gimmick and become a real point of engagement for consumers. Mitra also feels that wearable displays will achieve high levels of acceptance over the long-term.

So Blippar has developed a cloud-based recognition engine to do the heavy … Read more