Google invests in new subsea cable that connects Singapore to Australia

Google today announced that it will invest in a new subsea cable that will connect Singapore to Perth and Sydney in Australia (with a branch to Jakarta, Indonesia). The so-called Indigo cable will be almost 5,600 miles long and will be built by a consortium that also includes AARNet, Indosat Ooredoo, Singtel, SubPartners and Telsta.

The cable will feature two fiber pairs with a total capacity of about 18 terabits per second — with the option to expand in the future.

As Google notes, that’s enough to power 8 million simultaneous Google Hangout video calls (or are those Hangout Meet calls now?). Google, however, is obviously sharing the capacity here, so it won’t quite be able to handle all of those calls at any given time. It’s also worth noting that 18 terabits isn’t extremely fast by today’s standard. The subsea cable between Hong Kong and Los Angeles Google and Facebook invested in last year tops out at 120 terabits per second.

Google isn’t sharing how much it is investing in this project. We do know, though, that the APX-West cable between Singapore and Perth, which ultimately evolved into the new Indigo consortium announced today, was supposed to cost in excess of $75 million to build. The extension of the original APX project between Perth and Sydney was also supposed to include other landing sites in southern Australia. As far as we can see, those have been scrapped now.

 Google has made a total of seven subsea cable investments so far. Five of these have been in Asia.

For Google’s customers, especially in Australia, having more bandwidth available between cities like Sydney, Perth and the rest of Asia (and the Middle East and Europe from there), will result in faster connections and (maybe more importantly) lower latency. The cable itself, though, should also improve connectivity between Perth and Sydney, which is currently a rather underserved market as far as direct subsea connections go. Overall, though, Australia’s connectivity to the rest of the world is scheduled to improve quite a bit over the course of the next few years, with various new submarine cable projects slated for completion in 2018.

Google’s fight with Uber over self-driving cars is heating up

Google’s legal battle with Uber over the development of self-driving cars is already off to an ugly start. Lawyers for the two tech firms spent the last two days bickering over which attorneys should be allowed to view the trade secrets Google claims were stolen by their former employees who went to work at Uber, and a lawyer for Uber said today in court that the company has been unable to locate one of those engineers.

Google’s self-driving car unit is taking Uber to court over allegations that a star figure in the development of automated vehicles, Anthony Levandowski, stole trade secrets from Google before he abruptly quit his job. Soon thereafter, he founded his own self-driving truck company, Otto, which was acquired by Uber for $680 million.

Waymo, the self-driving wing of Google’s parent company Alphabet, claims that Levandowski downloaded 14,000 sensitive documents from a secure repository just before quitting without notice in January 2016. The company has also accused two other engineers, Radu Raduta and Sameet Kshirsagar, of swiping a handful of documents before they also accepted jobs at Uber.

Raduta doesn’t work for Uber anymore, Uber’s attorney Arturo Gonzalez told the court, and Uber hasn’t been able to locate him. Waymo claims that Raduta, who worked as a mechanical engineer for the company, downloaded several documents related to the self-driving car project last July, just before going to work at Uber.

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Gonzalez told reporters that Uber plans to argue in upcoming filings that the “whole matter” belongs in arbitration between Google and Levandowski, citing Levandowski’s contract with his former employer.

Uber also pushed back against Waymo’s claims that none of Uber’s in-house lawyers should be allowed to see unredacted versions of court filings that contain Google trade secrets. The two companies eventually settled on an agreement that just one of Uber’s in-house lawyers, Nicole Bartow, would be allowed to view the documents.

Google is killing its bold Hands Free payment experiment

When Google launched Android Pay at its I/O conference back in 2015, it also teased a program that let you keep your phone in your pocket and still go through the normal checkout process. Called Hands Free, the limited pilot used the phrase, “I’ll pay with Google,” to alert the cashier that you wouldn’t actually be using a physical form of hands free

Google has announced that it is shutting down the service on Feb. 8, which launched last spring on iOS and Android. Available only at select locations like McDonalds and Papa Johns in the Bay Area, the program required users to upload a photo in the Hands Free app and utilized Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and location services in your phone to identify when you were at one of the participating locations.

According to Google’s description of the service, “Then, if you purchase from a store that uses a Hands Free camera, Google will confirm your identity automatically by detecting specific patterns from the template created during signup. The cashier will initiate the charge and you’ll get a notification on your phone after the charge is complete.” During the transaction, the cashier would only see the user’s initials, first name, and photo, keeping payment information and credit card numbers hidden.

Contactless payments have been rapidly spreading across country, and Google’s idea with Hands Free was to “explore what the future of mobile payments could look like.” While it’s not entirely clear why Google is stopping the program, it writes on the Hands Free website that “we’re now working to bring the best of the Hands Free technology to even more people and stores.”

Unfortunately, Hands Free never made it out of pilot mode and was extremely limited, so there’s a good change you’ve never used or even heard of the program. However, the concept of being able to pay quickly and securely without pulling out your phone or reaching for your wallet is certainly intriguing, and it’s likely that Google will take what it learned and apply it to Android Pay down the road, perhaps tapping Google Assistant as it works to bring the service nationwide.

This story, “Google is killing its bold Hands Free payment experiment ” was originally published by Greenbot.

Google Maps now shows how hard it will be to park at your destination

The feature is now available in the full version of the app. This article has been updated to reflect this maps parking

If you’ve ever taken longer to find a parking spot than you did driving somewhere, Google Maps might be able to help—or at least prepare you for a headache. Thanks to a new feature in the latest version of the app, you’ll now be able to tell how hard it will be to park once you arrive at your destination.

The new feature is easy to miss. The next time you pull up driving directions, you’ll see a small circular P icon to the right of your route overview, next to which will show three levels of parking difficulty: Easy, Medium, and Limited. (To make it easier to see at a glance, easy and medium are colored blue while limited is red.) While the feature doesn’t update to show the actual parking situation when you arrive (at least not yet), you can get a slightly longer description when you expand your directions.

The update is currently rolling out in the Google Play store, but if you’re not seeing it, you can sideload the Google-signed APK from APKMirror. Keep in mind that the feature is only available in 25 cities across the U.S: Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, and the Washington D.C. area.

Parking can be a major headache when driving somewhere new, so we’ll take any information we can get. And with the new Uber integration built right into the app, a red circle could mean the difference between driving or being driven somewhere.

This story, “Google Maps now shows how hard it will be to park at your destination” was originally published by Greenbot.

Google pushes out 7.1.2 beta, but Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 won’t get it

While many Android phones are still waiting for the first taste of Nougat, Google is pushing ahead on the latest version of Android for its Nexus and Pixel devices. Or rather, most of them.androud nougat 7.0 on nexus 6p

Available for users enrolled in the Android Beta Program, the next release is, according to Google’s blog description, “an incremental maintenance release focused on refinements, so it includes a number of bug fixes and optimizations, along with a small number of enhancements for carriers and users.” That means you probably won’t see any differences in your day-to-day use, unless you were consistently bothered by a particular bug.

However, if you happen to own a Nexus 6 or Nexus 9, you’re out of luck. Not only is the device unable to install the beta, Google says that the general release of 7.1.2, which is expected to land in a couple of months, will be available for the Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, and Pixel C devices. Notably excluded from that list are 2014’s Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, 2014 devices released by Motorola and HTC, respectively, that were on board with the previous Nougat updates. While Google doesn’t specifically say they will be excluded from future releases, it would appear that they have reached the end of the line for updates.

The 7.1.2 public beta is available through the Android Beta Program, which you can sign up for at with a Google account and one of the supported phones. If you’ve already enrolled in the program, your phone will receive the update within the next few days, according to Google. To check to see if an update is available, you can go to the About tab in Settings and tap on System updates.

While it may be sooner than expected, it was pretty inevitable that Google would stop supporting the 2014 Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 devices sometime this year. When Google announced its updated security efforts for Nexus devices ahead of Marshmallow’s release in 2015, it vowed they would “continue to receive major updates for at least two years.” More importantly, it will continue to deliver security patches “for the longer of three years from initial availability or 18 months from last sale of the device via the Google Store.” So you don’t need to toss them in the recycle bin just yet.

This story, “Google pushes out 7.1.2 beta, but Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 won’t get it” was originally published by Greenbot.

Moto Z, Moto Z force With ‘Moto Mods’ Magnetic Snap-On lower back Panels released

The keynote address of Lenovo Tech international 2016 in San Francisco on Thursday saw the launch of the much-awaited Moto Z and Moto Z pressure smartphones. As predicted, they have been released with Moto Mods magnetic snap-on lower back panels with numerous companions, which include JBL and Incipio. each smartphones feature assist for Moto Maker customisation. The company additionally unveiled the Lenovo Phab 2 pro, the primary Tango telephone developed in collaboration with Google.

Moto Z, Moto Z Force With 'Moto Mods' Magnetic Snap-On Back Panels Launched

The Motorola Moto Z and Moto Z pressure may be to be had globally from September, along with the Moto Mods, which can be designed to paintings with future generations of Moto Z smartphones. inside the US, they will be to be had as the Moto Z Droid and the Moto Z pressure Droid this summer on provider companion Verizon wireless. The organization has now not designated prices of either smartphone, both of which run Android Marshmallow, feature a fingerprint scanner on the home button, sport a USB type-C port, and leave out the three.5mm headphone jack. however, both smartphones ship with a USB kind-C to three.5mm adapter.

The Moto Z (visible below) is being called the thinnest premium phone in the world, at five.2mm, and is said to be extremely light as nicely. It capabilities a five.five-inch QHD Amoled show, and is powered through a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC coupled with 4GB of RAM, and a desire of 32GB or 64GB of garage, that’s expandable via microSD card (up to 2TB).

the new Motorola flagship bears a 13-megapixel rear digicam with optical picture stabilisation (OIS) and laser autofocus, and five-megapixel the front-going through digital camera with a wide-angle lens and a the front flash. It also sports a water-repellant coating. The agency says the phone’s 2600mAh battery can supply as much as 30 hours of battery existence, with TurboPower charging to present 8 hours of battery lifestyles in 15 minutes.

The Motorola Moto Z pressure (seen under), just like the Moto X pressure, comes with Moto ShatterShield generation for its display, which the organization says will no longer crack or shatter. it’s miles almost same otherwise, except for the the bigger 3500mAh battery, that is rated to offer as much as forty hours of battery lifestyles. With TurboPower charging, it’s far said to offer 15 hours of battery existence in just a 15-minute fee. It also bears a 21-megapixel rear camera with optical photograph stabilisation, phase detection autofocus (PDAF), and laser autofocus.

The Moto Mods (visible below, correspondingly), which connect with the 16 dots at the rear, will at launch include the JBL SoundBoost, the Moto Insta-share Projector (intended to supply a 70-inch projector revel in), and the strength p.c. (stated to offer up to 22 hours of extra battery existence). style Shells can also be available, and offer finishes like real wood, leather-based, and cloth.

aside from Moto Z series handsets and the Phab 2 seasoned, Lenovo at its Tech global 2016 event additionally showcased the Lenovo Phab 2 and Lenovo Phab 2 Plus finances and mid-variety phablets.