Tag Archives: Google I/O

Hours before Google I/O kicks off, Larry Page addresses health complications via Google+

Google CEO, Larry Page, adressed his years of health complications today via a Google+ post, letting the world know that he was diagnosed with left vocal-cord paralysis.

Larry Page

 

This issue led to Larry skipping last year’s I/O and subsequent earnings calls. Larry revealed that he is trying to help eradicate this issue by developing a patient survey to gather information from others who suffer from the same problems.

Larry’s message in its entirety is below…

About 14 years ago, I got a bad cold, and my voice became hoarse. At the time I didn’t think much about it. But my voice never fully recovered. So I went to a doctor and was diagnosed with left vocal cord paralysis. This is a nerve problem that causes your left vocal cord to not move properly. Despite extensive examination, the doctors never identified a cause — though there was speculation of virus-based damage from my cold. It is quite common in cases like these that a definitive cause is not found.

While this condition never really affected me — other than having a slightly weaker voice than normal which some people think sounded a little funny — it naturally raised questions in my mind about my second vocal cord. But I was told that sequential paralysis of one vocal cord following another is extremely rare.

Fast forward to last summer, when the same pattern repeated itself — a cold followed by a hoarse voice. Once again things didn’t fully improve, so I went in for a check-up and was told that my second vocal cord now had limited movement as well. Again, after a thorough examination, the doctors weren’t able to identify a cause.

Thankfully, after some initial recovery I’m fully able to do all I need to at home and at work, though my voice is softer than before. And giving long monologues is more tedious for me and probably the audience. But overall over the last year there has been some improvement with people telling me they think I sound better. Vocal cord nerve issues can also affect your breathing, so my ability to exercise at peak aerobic capacity is somewhat reduced. That said, my friends still think I have way more stamina than them when we go kitesurfing! And Sergey says I’m probably a better CEO because I choose my words more carefully. So surprisingly, overall I am feeling very lucky.

Interestingly, while the nerves for your vocal cords take quite different routes through your body, they both pass your thyroid. So in searching for a cause for both nerves that was an obvious place to look. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis in 2003. This is a fairly common benign inflammatory condition of the thyroid which causes me no problems. It is unclear if this is a factor in the vocal cord condition, or whether both conditions were triggered by a virus.

In this journey I have learned a lot more about voice issues. Though my condition seems to be very rare, there are a significant number of people who develop issues with one vocal nerve. In seeing different specialists, I met one doctor — Dr. Steven Zeitels from the Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital Voice Center — who is really excited about the potential to improve vocal cord nerve function. So I’ve arranged to fund a significant research program through the Voice Health Institute, which he will lead. Thanks a bunch to my amazing wife Lucy, for her companionship through this journey and for helping oversee this project and get it off the ground. Also, thanks to the many people who have helped with advice and information many of whom I have not had a chance to thank yet.

Finally, we’ve put together a patient survey to gather information about other people with similar conditions. As it’s fairly rare, there’s little data available today — and the team hopes that with more information they can make faster progress. If you have similar symptoms you can fill it out here: voicehealth.org/ip

Hours before Google I/O kicks off, Larry Page addresses health complications via Google+

Expect games, social, and Now at Google I/O 2013

Google rumors and leaks pick up speed as Google I/O 2013 arrives this week. Here are some of our predictions for the annual Google developers confab.

Google i/0 2013

“Are you still jumping out of windows in expensive clothes?” asks Tom Waits in his song, “Who are you?”

It would be beyond surprising to see Google fling more of its hardware out of low-flying dirigibles, strapped to wingsuits and courageous stuntmen, at this year’s Google I/O, which begins on Wednesday.

But make no mistake: Google knows exactly “who” it is, and it’s taking the confidence earned from a year of solid hits and few misses, and a strong first quarter of 2013, to define the parameters that it wants other tech companies to play by.

Now in its sixth year, the annual confab at San Francisco’s Moscone Center will feature a slightly changed format from past. Since the debut of Android at I/O 2008, the show has featured two keynotes that loosely can be split into an Android and hardware-focused keynote on day one, followed by a Chrome and software and services on day two.

This year, there will be one unified keynote. It’s possible that the change augurs the long-rumored push to begin merging Android and Chrome, but that’s not likely to happen just yet. The company has taken several steps in the past year to make it easier to jump from Chrome to Android and back again, but what that’s really about has been getting the desktops that run Google’s trend-setting browser to communicate with less effort to Google’s mobile devices.

Google’s argument to the average consumer is that Chrome is an excellent browser. Its argument to developers is that Chrome is its non-Android hook, used by around 17 percent of people with desktops worldwide. That’s an enormous number of people, even with desktop growth slowing down.

Google I/O 2013

With last year’s announcement of Chrome for iOS, Google successfully brought its browser to every major platform. This year, expect announcements to emphasize that fact to developers.

How big is Now?
The personal assistant and predictive search tool Google Now is another service that we can expect to hear a lot more about. The company believes it has something of a hit on its hands with the feature, announced at last year’s I/O for Android, and has publicly cited Google Now as a reason for people becoming more active with its services.

Google is big on developing two key components of Now that the service relies on: its Voice Search, not to be confused with Google Voice, which came from a company Google bought in 2007 called GrandCentral; and the Knowledge Graph, the complex database that, at its simplest, uses context to tell you the difference between Batman the comic book character and Batman the Australian explorer.

For Google, Now is massive. Now’s cards appear as Google Glass’s on-board interface. If it’s a major component of Glass, you can rest assured that Google will want to spread its influence as far as possible. To that end, the company recently updated Google Search app on Apple’s iOS with Google Now, and an announcement about Google Now for desktops via Chrome, possibly as a replacement for the shuttering iGoogle, wouldn’t be a surprise on Wednesday.

We’re also looking at a cross-service hip-check into gaming. Perhaps the worst-kept secret of I/O 2013 is that Google is readying massively multiplayer online (MMO) gaming via Android and Google+. A prerelease version of the app, which could compete directly with Apple’s Game Center, indicates that leaderboards and syncing will be part of the experience, while the social aspect could be used to help games go viral.

Another possible announcement will be indoor positioning for Google Maps. There’s a scheduled session on the subject, as well as two indoor events for the game Ingress — again, a gaming component.

There’s scant evidence to suggest that there will be a self-driving car announcement, except that we know that Google has been working on them. If Google was looking for a “big show” moment, maybe Sergey Brin will show up in a limo with an empty driver’s seat. But then again, San Francisco had more than 800 incidents of vehicles striking pedestrians in 2012. An empty driver’s seat wouldn’t shock anybody.

Google Wallet is expected to see an update, too, with more incentives to get people to use it. Wallet has been a curious experiment. The digital payment realm is wide-open, which would make it seem ripe for a big Google push, but no company has made the broad moves necessary to get consumers fired up about the concept. The rumored branded Wallet card won’t be announced at I/O 2013, apparently.

I/O: For the developers
Keep in mind that I/O is first and foremost a developer’s conference. Google’s pitch, that it not only gives you the best toys, but that it gives you the best and most diverse platforms to develop for, is carefully constructed. What Google is doing is too nuanced to merely portray the Android portion of the show as hardware, and the Chrome portion as software and services.

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And there are numerous Google I/O failures. It quickly rectified last year’s lead balloon, the Nexus Q, by giving free ones to people who had pre-ordered the $299 device. Does anybody recall OpenSocial? Or its first attempt at a unified social network, Google Wave? Or Google TV? Or offline support for Google Docs, which still struggles to work properly more than two years after it was first announced?

It’s too much to expect any single reveal to top last year’s impressive, headline-making, extreme sports debut of Google Glass. This year, Google will say that from Glass, to Chrome, and Android, and Fiber, and Now, and Google+, and whatever the gaming service is actually called, and probably some surprises we haven’t even guessed at, the company knows exactly what it is, where it’s going, and why developers should join it.

The company might not have anybody jumping out of windows in expensive clothes this year, they will say, but that doesn’t mean that they’ve lost their tune. Google is clearly in the middle of a massive expansion of services, one that gets them to harmonize via Google Now and Google+. The question is, will developers find the song irresistible, or will the company hit the wrong notes?

Join us on Wednesday, May 15, at 8:45 a.m. PT. 

Via Cnet

Expect games, social, and Now at Google I/O 2013

From the editor’s desk: Let’s go to Google I/O!

We’ll keep things short this week as it’s Mother’s Day (call your mom already, will ya?!?!) and it’s a travel weekend. We’ve got not one but two developer events to both cover and keep an eye on. The most important, obviously, is Google I/O in San Francisco. The event kicks off with the lone (extended) keynote address Wednesday morning, but expect to see news start to roll out Tuesday afternoon or so.

Google i/0 2013

I’ll be in San Francisco along with Jerry Hildenbrand. There’s nothing like actually being there, but Google should be commended for its ”I/O Extended” events and for streaming so many of the sessions live.

The news will be flowing into the home page, of course, and you can get it all directly from our dedicated Google I/O page here. (And don’t forget you can get it all on the go better than ever before with our new app.)

Also this week is BlackBerry Live in Orlando. CrackBerry.com has about 274 people (more or less) covering it by last count. Why do we care? It’ll be important to see if and when BB10 supports the Android framework 4+ framework. That would mean more Android applications can run on it. (Including ours.)

So, yeah. Kind of a busy week. A few more thoughts, after the break.

A retail learning experience

I had my first retail warranty swap this week. That’s sort of surprising, given how many phones come through here, I suppose, so I guess I was due. It was a pretty eye-opening experience.

We bought an AT&T HTC One to keep around, which quickly went on the road with me to New York City for all that #TM13 stuff. Calling home to my wife and kids, they consistently said it sounded like I was underwater. I figured that was the NYC effect, or because we were 45 stories up. But the problem persisted when I got home, too. Sure enough, a European HTC One we have here sounds way better — and better than the GS4 I tested as part of the troubleshooting process, for what that’s worth. So, yeah. Borked phone. Here’s what it sounded like if you’re curious.

Figured I’d take it back to the store and they’d swap it out, right? Not so much. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised. I don’t know all that much about the retail business in general, and the cellular retail business in particular probably is a bigger mess than I can imagine. So, I get on the phone with the warranty folks, who’ll gladly ship me a new one, at my expense.

OK, so maybe it’s not the worst experience in the world. And I’m pretty sure I’ve been spoiled by a recent swap of a broken iPad Mini at an Apple Store. In and out in 20 minutes.

Lesson learned. No quick swaps at most carrier stores. Filed for future reference.

#TM13 e-mail signups

Speaking of #TM13, we’ve got a signup page for those of you who want to be alerted the moment we actually do something with it. Which should be any week now.

I’m usually not one for e-mail sign-ups like this, but, damn, it’s purty.

Other stuff …

  • Looks like we’re getting a handle on the HTC One/Galaxy S4 nonsense going on in the forums. Kudos to the mods and advisors. Folks need to relax. A lot. These are all great phones. But they’re also just phones.
  • Nothing overly surprising in this Google Play Games thing in an updated Google Services app. (Nice piece by AP though.) Pretty much the pieces you’d expect in any mobile game center in 2013. The real news should come this week. It’ll be interesting to see which games are on board at launch.
  • Not entirely sure what I think about Congress trying to legislate privacy policies on apps, except to say that I’m pretty much not crazy about it. At all. U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) introduced a bill last week that “would require app developers maintain privacy policies, obtain consent from consumers before collecting data, and securely maintain the data they collect.” Those are all things successful apps should and must do. And something app stores should work to ensure. And I appreciate the sentiment. But I’m not sure, however, that it’s the government’s job to regulate it.

From the editor’s desk: Let’s go to Google I/O!

New Google Services apk confirms Google Play Games is coming

We have a clue at what Google will provide in their upcoming Play Games service, look for it all to make more sense next week at Google I/O

Google Play Games

There’s a new version of Google Play Services being distributed, and inside the file there’s plenty of reference to Google Play Games. For the past few weeks everyone has been sure that we were going to see some sort of Google Game Center for Android devices in the very near future, likely at Google I/O, and the fellows at Android Police have found all manner of clues and hints to what it will entail.

Things like leader boards and a matchmaking service are activities that a future application can trigger, as well as achievements and invitations. The settings for Play Games (so far, the only portion that’s working) also show notification settings that will allow you to pick and choose who can send you game notifications. The whole kit and caboodle is tied up into Google+, which should mean easy access to your friends as well as a central hub for all the gaming goodness.

Make no mistake, this is pretty awesome. But it leaves a few unanswered questions. How backwards compatible will this be? How difficult (or easy) will it be for developers to integrate Play Games into their applications? Can any game be built to work with the new service? Most importantly, when will this go live? We’ll likely get all those answers and more next week in San Francisco.

For now, be sure to head to Android Police to read their in-depth look at everything they found inside the new Google Play Services file, it’s a pretty epic read.

Source: Android Police

New Google Services apk confirms Google Play Games is coming

New Google Services apk confirms Google Play Games is coming

We have a clue at what Google will provide in their upcoming Play Games service, look for it all to make more sense next week at Google I/O

Google Play Games

There’s a new version of Google Play Services being distributed, and inside the file there’s plenty of reference to Google Play Games. For the past few weeks everyone has been sure that we were going to see some sort of Google Game Center for Android devices in the very near future, likely at Google I/O, and the fellows at Android Police have found all manner of clues and hints to what it will entail.

Things like leader boards and a matchmaking service are activities that a future application can trigger, as well as achievements and invitations. The settings for Play Games (so far, the only portion that’s working) also show notification settings that will allow you to pick and choose who can send you game notifications. The whole kit and caboodle is tied up into Google+, which should mean easy access to your friends as well as a central hub for all the gaming goodness.

Make no mistake, this is pretty awesome. But it leaves a few unanswered questions. How backwards compatible will this be? How difficult (or easy) will it be for developers to integrate Play Games into their applications? Can any game be built to work with the new service? Most importantly, when will this go live? We’ll likely get all those answers and more next week in San Francisco.

For now, be sure to head to Android Police to read their in-depth look at everything they found inside the new Google Play Services file, it’s a pretty epic read.

Source: Android Police

New Google Services apk confirms Google Play Games is coming