Via: Google
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Google wants to know—Light Side or Dark Side?

The company announced a new Star Wars-themed site today that will change your Google experience across platforms depending on if you choose light or dark side.

Your choice will change the look of everything from YouTube to Gmail and Google Maps.

Clay Bavor, VP of Product Management at Google explains the activation on the Google Official Blog:

It's a place for fans, by fans, and starting today you can choose the light or the dark side, and then watch your favorite Google apps like Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, Chrome and many more transform to reflect your path. And that's just the beginning. We've got more coming between now and opening night—the Millennium Falcon in all its (virtual reality) glory included, so stay tuned. And we've hidden a few easter eggs, too. So awaken the Force within, and be on the lookout for things from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

So, what will it be?

The Dark Side or the Light?

Google launches project sunroof to help you decide if you should instal solar panels or not.
Via: Google
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Google wants to use its extensive data to expand the use of renewable resources.

The giant multi-faceted company launched Project Sunroof Aug. 18, which is a tool letting users put in their address and, through Google Maps, is able to calculate how much a homeowner could save if they installed solar panels.

The maps detail the regular amount of sunshine to the area, compared to the electricity costs. Its meant as a way to help those wondering whether investing in solar power would be the right move.

Here, let Google explain it to you:

As the price of installing solar has gotten less expensive, more homeowners are turning to it as a possible option for decreasing their energy bill. We want to make installing solar panels easy and understandable for anyone.

Project Sunroof puts Google's expansive data in mapping and computing resources to use, helping calculate the best solar plan for you.

When you enter your address, Project Sunroof looks up your home in Google Maps and combines that information with other databases to create your personalized roof analysis.

Don't worry: Project Sunroof doesn't give the address to anybody else unless you ask it to.

It's neat to see Google using its massive, some would say insidiously-invasive, data collection in an environmentally sound way.

Here's a video, because everyone loves videos.

Via: Google
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It's no babel fish but Google Translate seems to be quite an amazing way to take 27 different other languages with you wherever you go.

As the engineers behind the updated app wrote on the official Google blog, it seems to work exactly as shown in the video.

The Google Translate app already lets you instantly visually translate printed text in seven languages. Just open the app, click on the camera, and point it at the text you need to translate—a street sign, ingredient list, instruction manual, dials on a washing machine. You'll see the text transform live on your screen into the other language. No Internet connection or cell phone data needed.

We started out with seven languages—English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish—and today we're adding 20 more. You can now translate to and from English and Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Filipino, Finnish, Hungarian, Indonesian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Swedish, Turkish and Ukrainian. You can also do one-way translations from English to Hindi and Thai.

Microsoft has been reaching towards this goal of instant translation as well, mostly through Skype. They released this video of a terrified girl showing off the technology last December, but unfortunately, no one sings La Bamba.

Google releases Your Timeline to track yourself through them.
Via: Google
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There's no kidding yourself. Google knows where you are, where you've been and where you're probably going to go next.

And they want to share that information with you!

On the evening of July 21, the Mountain View-based company released a new tracking platform called Your Timeline to help you remember where you've been in your life.

Have you ever wanted a way to easily remember all the places you've been -- whether it's a museum you visited during your last vacation or that fun bar you stumbled upon a few months ago? Well, starting today, Google Maps can help. We're gradually rolling out Your Timeline, a useful way to remember and view the places you've been on a given day, month or year. Your Timeline allows you to visualize your real-world routines, easily see the trips you've taken and get a glimpse of the places where you spend your time. And if you use Google Photos, we'll show the photos you took when viewing a specific day, to help resurface your memories.

Google adds that this Timeline is private and you are the only one who can see it. So, phew. No worries there.

Via: Google
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Google is celebrating April Fool’s Day a little early.

A new option on Google Maps lets you turn the world into a playable game of Pac-Man.

From the support page:

Welcome, Player 1! You can now play the classic arcade game PAC-MAN in Google Maps with streets as your maze. Avoid Blinky, Pinky, Inky, (and Clyde!) as you swerve the streets of some famous places around the world. But eat the pac-dots fast, because this game will only be around for a little while.

You can plan anywhere with enough streets by clicking the icon in the bottom left corner of the screen, but Google also offers some clues to the best locations where a special Pac-Man marker has already been place.

  • Don’t drop the ball on the eve of your victory!
  • Triumph is délicieux.
  • Does a Galaxian bonus await at the top of those 272 steps?
  • Chomp your way to independence down seven lanes of July.
  • PAC-MAN and Ms. PAC-MAN can’t agree on which side is prettier: the American or the Canadian. Which side do you fall on, eh?
  • After a chat with the Sphinx, PAC-MAN sounds more like “Dokki Dokki”.
  • Pause game play to admire Chagall’s stained glass windows and have a bit of chocolate.
  • Can you score 10^(10^100) points?
  • Whether they’re flashing blue or sporting their natural colors, Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde are always kakkoii. Even Vogue agrees they’re living in the trendiest of neighborhoods.
  • Previous PAC-MAN lives don’t get to rest in a white marble mausoleum.
  • Head to the valley of the sun and earn your grade in the art of the game.
  • How well can you navigate the radiating streets of the distrito federal?
  • Victory is like gothic glockenspiel musik to our ears.
  • Pay special attention to Blinky – he might blend in with the dreaming red kangaroos!
  • You’ll find the Beach PAC-MAN World Cup here before long.

You can expect the entire Internet to be flooded with April Fool’s Day pranks like this on Wednesday.

It says the game will only be available for a limited time, but hopefully they decide to keep the Pac-Man hack as a permanent option.

It’s like the new movie “Pixels,” only in real life.

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Say goodbye to productivity, because this game just took over your workday/life.

Whenever you start typing a search into Google, the search engine tries to predict what it thinks you are looking for based on previous searches.

The results are often absurd and can make you question your faith in humanity.

So a guy named Justin Hook has harnessed the power of autocomplete and turned it into an online game called “Google Feud.”

You just pick a category (Culture, People, Names, Questions), and the site chooses a question/topic. The top 10 very real results from Google’s API are posted to the board which you then have to guess.

Just like “Family Feud” you get just 3 strikes before the game ends.

“Beware, certain results may be offensive and/or incomprehensible,” Hook writes on the page.

The game’s received a lot of attention since it launched, so much so that it apparently crashed their servers.

Via: Google
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There’s something about Google’s annual “Year in Search” videos that give you the chills every single time.

This one is no different.

Google also says we have made “trillions” of searches this year and has released stats on the most trending topics of 2014.

Robin Williams, the World Cup and Ebola were the top 3, followed by the missing Malaysia Airlines flight, the Ice Bucket Challenge and that annoying/addictive little game Flappy Bird.

The most searched person was Jennifer Lawrence, the top tech search was the iPhone 6, and the top athlete was James Rodriguez.

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