Something our human eyes seem to do, without any prompting, is to pick out shapes and structures that resemble other shapes and structures. Called pareidolia, it's a form of pattern recognition -- and a good example is the way we often see a human face where only a random collection of shapes or shadows exists. This, it is now known, is the reason for the infamous face on Mars.
Our own Earth, as folded and rippled as it is, is also prone to this phenomenon when viewed from above: the Badlands Guardian, discovered on Google Earth in 2006, for example. But we're sure there are many more human-esque faces lurking in strange corners of the Earth.
That is the premise behind Google Faces, a project by Berlin design studio Onformative: can pareidolia be imitated by a machine? Using OpenFrameworks, the studio has created an application that crawls Google Maps, using facial recognition algorithms to seek out areas that look like faces. … Read more
Google made searching in Chrome for Android a bit easier with an update Wednesday to the browser.
The latest stable version of Google Chrome 27 for Android (download) now displays search queries in the location bar's Omnibox. The change obfuscates the URL display during searches, to show more results and make it easier to tweak the search terms, according to the Google blog announcing the update.
Another tweak hides the location bar entirely once you start scrolling, so that you can view a Web page in fullscreen. History viewing has finally made it to the tablet version of Android … Read more
Google's top dog for last month was, once again, the pitbull. Having taken the title for most-searched breed away from the bulldog in January, the pit has stayed in the top spot for the past four months, but the German Shepherd is looking to make a move after overtaking the Siberian Husky to advance to the No. 4 position.
At least, this is what I was able to learn from my first five minutes using the just-launched Top Charts feature of Google Trends. An expansion of Google's annual Zeitgeist report of most-searched topics, Top Charts has monthly search data and rankings for dozens of categories from actors (Selena Gomez took No. 1 for April) to businesspeople (Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are both gaining on Oprah) and even whiskeys (Jack Daniel's dominates).… Read more
Google released Hangouts last week as a standalone app for iOS, Android, and the desktop via a Chrome extension. In addition to the apps, you can also use Hangouts from within Gmail, just like the old Google Talk.
To enable Hangouts in Gmail, click on your profile photo from the Google Talk chat list, then select Try the new Hangouts. Hangouts will immediately replace Talk, then walk you through a very brief introduction to Hangouts.
Keep in mind that it may not have rolled out to you yet, so if you don't have the Hangouts option in your Gmail … Read more
Google is enabling a more naturally spoken question-and-answer interface to its search service for people with a new version of Chrome.
Google demonstrated conversational search at Google I/O a week ago, a style of search designed to be more like natural human speech than the technically constructed search queries that people often use today to retrieve information from a search engine.
It's all part of the gradual arrival of Google's vision to build a Star Trek-style search engine, in which the computer grasps what people want and answers them. Eventually, expect Google to let people initiate a … Read more
LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. -- One of the fathers of the Internet, Vint Cerf has got Glass and he isn't taking it off.
Cerf was attending the Future in Review conference here, where he stood out from the crowd in his signature three-piece suit and Google Glass. He said that he has been a regular Glass wearer for the last two weeks.
"Glass doesn't interfere with my normal vision, and I found it conveniently available," he said. "It's an extension of the mobile phone and less overt -- you don't have to pull out … Read more
After unveiling an extensive revamp for the Google+ news stream on desktop, Google is now updating what users see when accessing the social network with their cell phones.
The Web giant announced Tuesday that it's working on "improving the look and feel of Google+ on the mobile Web."
The redesign includes making posts now appear as "cards" in the stream, which is supposed to make them easier to read and share. The social network also changed the way Profiles and Pages look to include cover photos and larger tap targets.
This mobile Web redesign mimics … Read more
InstallationChrome's installation process is both straight-forward and self-sustaining. After downloading the installer, Chrome's installation process will launch with the standard practices of confirming system directories and a few click throughs. Google will also ask for your permission to anonymously … Read more
Here's some buzzkill news to get your day started (at least for those of us on the West Coast).
Market intelligence firm IHS iSuppli has published a new report suggesting it is unlikely that Google will deploy Fiber on a nationwide level.
The natural first reaction might be annoyance with this, but when you think about the cost, scope and scalability of such an endeavor, these analysts are likely right -- at least for the near-term future.