A new air taxi service financially backed by Google cofounder Larry Page is set to take off in New Zealand, thanks to an agreement announced this week. Page’s Kitty Hawk company, the developer of a new autonomous flying machine called “Cora,” will begin testing the service in rural Canterbury, a region in the South Island, according to Hayden Munro, press secretary for Megan Woods, New Zealand’s minister of research, science and innovation. The electric air taxi can carry two passengers. TechNewsWorld
Responding to concerns about smartphone addiction and other topics among younger users, Apple has opened a new “Families” page to describe the parental control and safety features currently available on Apple devices. The page reveals how parents can track their kids’ location, monitor purchases, and filter what it is that their children are able to […]
New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern is set to announce a new agreement with a company financed by Google co-Founder Larry Page to test autonomous air taxis for official certification in the country, reports The New York Times. Kitty Hawk, the company building the autonomous planes, has aspirations the partnership will lead to a commercial network of taxis in the country in the next three years. Kitty Hawk is already reportedly working on an Uber-like app that will allow customers to hail one of its air taxis.
In an email to the NYT, Ardern said; “We’ve got an ambitious target in New Zealand of being net carbon zero by 2050… exciting projects like this are part of how we make that happen.” Kitty Hawk’s self-piloted air taxi is…
Hey, good morning! You look fabulous. We have more news from SXSW, including a quick recap of Elon Musk's sold-out talk. Elsewhere, Larry Page showed off an autonomous flying machine that could be the backbone of Uber-in-the-sky and Philips is ready… Engadget RSS Feed
Kitty Hawk, an aeronautics firm funded by Alphabet CEO and Google co-founder Larry Page, is inching closer to its plans of creating Uber for flights: it’s unveiled Cora, a fully electric self-flying air taxi that can cover 100 km (62 miles) on a single charge – and you’ll soon be able to hail one with your phone. Cora has been in the works for a while now, and it’s just been cleared to begin tests in New Zealand. The goal is for Kitty Hawk to launch a fleet of its flying taxis within the next three years. You can watch…
Reports surfaced in 2016 that Google co-founder (and now Alphabet CEO) Larry Page had two "flying car" projects in the works, and while we saw the Flyer recreational vehicle unveiled last year, today it's time to meet Cora. An "air taxi" developed by… Engadget RSS Feed
Ah, the 90s. The clothes were loud, the rom-coms cheesy (but also the best). Oh, and the internet? Insanely slow. Pages loaded line by line — or, worse, pixel by pixel. It was hard to do more than check your email (AOL, of course) or a quick search on Alta Vista or Ask Jeeves.
Today’s internet has proliferated in part thanks to its speed, which is about 100 times faster than it was in the late 90s. Some elements of the internet will get faster still, especially as more people around the world use their phones to access it.
Enter Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Tech giant and internet overlord Google has been using it for a while. But now the company is saying they want a lot more of the internet to be using them.
“Do I want the internet to turn into a giant AMP-hill?” you may ask yourself. Here’s everything you need to know in order to understand why Google’s plan is actually a pretty big deal.
What is It?
Your friend sends you an article via text. It seems interesting. You try to click it. Instead of reading the article in what seems to be a reasonable amount of time, you’re still staring at the loading screen. That’s because the site your friend has directed you to is cluttered with ads and optimized only for desktop. And you’re on your phone. Sigh.
AMP is designed to change that. It’s an open-source website-publishing technology that site-owners can use without losing the value of having ads on their site. Google spearheads the development of the open-source library.
With AMP, web pages load faster and appear portable — the way you might have experienced when reading articles from Facebook or Apple News via your phone. AMP provides that lickety-split service for all the sites you’d access via your mobile browser. Some sites use this, but certainly not all.
AMP for All
Google wants to see AMP everywhere. According to a recent blog post, the company wants to convince the group that handles the internet’s web standards to adopt a technology that takes cues from the AMP framework. “We now feel ready to take the next step and work to support more instant-loading content not based on AMP technology in areas of Google Search designed for this,” Malte Ubl, tech lead for the AMP Project at Google, wrote in the post.
“This content will need to follow a set of future web standards and meet a set of objective performance and user experience criteria to be eligible,” the post continued, listing a number of “lessons learned” from Google’s AMP experience.
Speed, At A Cost
That sounds like a wonderful idea. Who wouldn’t want their internet to work faster, especially on the go?
But it’s Google we’re talking about here. As The Verge described, instead of working as “a steward of the web,” Google has become its “nefarious puppet master.” That is, some believe Google is pushing the proliferation of the internet in ways that enrich the company, but don’t necessarily make people’s lives better, all under a facade of altruism. Not cool.
Indeed, some web developers and publishers enthusiastic about an AMP-filled future internet are worried about what might happen if Google takes the lead. One group wrote an open letter that criticized Google AMP as a way to keep users “within Google’s domain and divert traffic away from other websites for the benefit of Google.” They added: “At a scale of billions of users, this has the effect of further reinforcing Google’s dominance of the Web.”
Of course, Google find this to be unfair. “This is honestly a fairly altruistic project from our perspective,” David Besbris, Google’s VP of search engineering, told The Verge. ”It wasn’t like we invented AMP because we wanted to control everything, like people assume.”
Well Google said it, so we should take their word for it, right? It is, of course, not that easy. Google has so many proprietary assets controlling how people make content and put it online — it’s not exactly at the cutting-edge of the so-called Open Web. Furthermore, as Ars Technica pointed out, critics of Google’s AMP project believe it’s possible to deliver the same fast content simply by “not doing things that are slow.”
Google will likely continue to invest in AMP, and get others to do the same. We’ll see if their opponents become even more vocal, or whether surfing the web via mobile continues to feel like a 90s throwback.
You no longer have to head to a reseller's site or post a social media diatribe to let others know what you think about a Switch game. Nintendo has updated its website to enable customer reviews on Switch games' product pages — so long as you sign… Engadget RSS Feed
Apple this morning informed developers that they’re now able to offer up to 10 screenshots in their App Store product pages for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV apps, allowing them to show customers more of an app’s experience.
In the App Store, each app has its own product page that offers up a description and images to explain its function or gameplay.
Previously, app developers were limited to a total of five screenshots plus up to three 30-second preview videos for demonstrative purposes, which is increasing to 10 images plus videos.
For apps that run on multiple devices, developers will be able to provide 10 tailored screenshots for each device.
For customers, the expanded screenshot limit means developers will be able to offer a clearer, more expansive picture of what an app is capable of, providing a better idea of an app’s feature set ahead of purchase.