Texas Says Hello to Google’s Self-Driving Cars

Do you live in Austin, Texas? Then you may want to keep on the look out for the Google Cars that are now patrolling your part of the world. Several people have been reporting online that they’ve seen the self-driving cars scooting around town recently. That being said, the Google Car isn’t exactly hard to spot, just look for white Lexus with  a massive spinning camera on the top and a rather distinctive Google badge on the side; they’re not exactly stealthy.

Google said they’ve taken the cars to downtown Austin to test “our software in different driving environments, traffic patterns and road conditions.”

This is the first city Google has visited outside of Mountain View, when asked why they chose that city in particular, Google responded “We’ve loved how much Austin embraces innovation.” It’s also a clear winner as the city has Google Fiber and there’s a few Google offices within Austin, making it an easy choice for many of the employees there.

The cars still have two onboard drivers, ready to take the controls again should they run into any rival self-driving cars. Best of luck Google, I’m looking forward to a future of being able to put have a nap in the car on the way to work!

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information.

Apple iMac Spotted Running Windows XP in Austin, Texas Production Line

Microsoft products running on Apple hardware might not have been seen as a big thing, but given the ‘flavour’ added by Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, towards Microsoft during Apple’s WWDC, things are looking a bit awkward. Last Thursday, Cook apparently tweeted a photo of himself touring Apple’s Austin, Texas production line where the Apple Mac Pro is manufactured. This might not be such a big announcement if it wasn’t for something seen in the background of the tweeted photo.

Looking closely on the iMac in the background, it is clearly noticeable that the Apple hardware is running on Windows operating system. Whether it is Windows XP or 7, one guess is as good as the other. However, given the style of the bottom bar, most best are on Windows XP, which is funny since the OS has been discontinued by Microsoft some time ago. Cook looks to have not even seen the ‘issue’ here, but tweets and retweets have been issued, having people buzzing about the Microsoft operating system present in Apple’s production line.

As far as the application running on the Microsoft operating system, reports are that the operating system was used in order to run electronic design automation software (EDA), or something similar in the embedded analysis program software range. As for Apple’s PR, things are not looking so great, since the shot could have been taken from a different angle or at least the ‘issue’ could have been easily spotted before the image was tweeted.

The irony in all this is found in Cook’s speech during WWDC, having the chief executive mocking Microsoft’s poor adoption of Windows 8. Given the tweeted image, Apple might consider adopting Microsoft’s latest operating system themselves, given they are running on a 13 years old operating system with no further security support available.

Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of PCWorld

iTunes Festival To be Held In the U.S. Alongside SXSW

The iTunes Festival will be held this year as well. The difference between all other years and this year is that Apple will be hosting it in the US, and not the UK. Yes, after seven years, the iTunes Festival will be held in the US, so ‘yay’ for those living in the US and ‘nay’ for brits who wanted to attend and can’t go to the US.

The festival is reportedly being held in Austin starting from the 11th of March and ending on the 15th. A much shorter Festival this year, however it is compensated by including a mix of well-known American and European artists, ranging from Willie Nelson to London Gramma. The other bit of good news is that the iTunes Festival will be held alongisde South by Southwest.

As always, Apple is using a technological showcase for its Festival, therefore you will get to stream live and on-demand performances from the event on both Macintosh and iOS devices. It might be common to people who have used it before, but for most US residents it can be considered a big thing.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Endgadget

AT&T To Bring 300Mbps Fiber To Austin

Austin, Texas seems to be the new place to be if you are interested in a blazing fast Internet connection as AT&T has announced plans to deploy fiber in the city that will ultimately provide speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second.

Known as GigaPower, the service will be an extension of AT&T’s existing U-verse program. At launch, it will be limited to 300 Mbps on the upstream and downstream which is said to be the fastest available to consumers from any Austin broadband provider.

GigaPower will initially reach tens of thousands of customers throughout Austin and the surrounding areas later this year. Those that sign up for the 300 Mbps service will be upgraded to speeds up to 1 gigabit per second at no extra cost when it becomes available in mid-2014.

Dave Nichols, President of AT&T Texas, said Austin embodies innovation and social consciousness and is the heart of a vibrant, ever-evolving tech culture and entrepreneurial spirit. With their all-fiber U-verse services, they are building the foundation for a new wave of innovation for Austin’s consumers, businesses and civic and educational institutions, he said.

Google Fiber is already available in Kansas City, and Google is now running ads for the service in Provo, Utah, where it will launch in mid-October. The service has generated a lot of buzz, and AT&T is hoping that it can overcome some of this in Austin by coming out first.

The fee for Google Fiber is $70 per month for Internet service and $120 per month with a TV bundle. For comparison, Verizon’s 500 megabit-per-second service is only available for homes in a phone and TV package for $309.99 per month.

Google may have an advantage with Fiber by starting from scratch and installing a brand new fiber optic network. This allows all Fiber customers to experience the same speeds. AT&T will instead by tapping into an existing network of fiber optics and copper lines, meaning that not everyone will get the same speed.

AT&T said this is just the start of its super high-speed services, but did not state where it plans to go next.

Thank you TechSpot and IBTimes for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of IBTimes.

Google Fiber May Come To Austin, Texas.


Google and the City of Austin are apparently going to hold a meeting next week for an announcement as both has given away invitations to various media, but both have not provided any details about the reason for the event.

As it says on the invitation itself:

On Tuesday, April 9, at 11 a.m., the City of Austin and Google will make a very important announcement that will have a positive impact on Austinites and the future of the city. We anticipate more than 100 community leaders and elected officials to be in attendance to celebrate this announcement. The event invitation is attached for your convenience. Although we cannot share the details of the announcement with you in advance, we know readers will want to learn more, so we encourage you to join us on Tuesday.

For those who aren’t aware about it yet, Google offers Google Fiber that provides download and upload speeds 100 times more than what consumers in United State get access to at the much lesser prices in comparison with the established internet service providers. Its because of there, there has been an increase of newer tech startup companies in Kansas City.

It was first established in Kansas City in July, which then encourages Time Warner Cable to changer their offer plans. Most likely until now, Kansas City is the only place with Google Fiber. Since Eric Schmidt clarified that isn’t their side project, its only a matter of time that other cities will get to enjoy such service in the near future.

Austin City is not only favourable to many tech startups, but also is a home to many well known tech companies such as Dell, Intel, Samsung and National Computers. The implementation of Google Fiber’s service will boost the city’ favourable conditions for a startup.

According to VentureBeat’s sources, it is being said that the announcement is most likely involves the implementation of Google’s superfast broadband internet service ‘Google Fiber’ in Austin. There is also a possibility of Google opening up a campus in Austin or some sort of partnership that involves the city and one of Google’s service. In any case, it will be involving the city-wide local community.

Source: Venture Beat