9 posts tagged Google
“Focusing is about saying no. You’ve got to say no, no, no. The result of that focus is going to be some really great products where the total is much greater than the sum of the parts.” —Steve Jobs
What Google’s Cafeterias Can Teach Us About School Lunches
Silicon Valley employees routinely get the best and healthiest food at work. Doing something similar in our schools isn’t as crazy as it seems.
Fifty years ago, a cheap lunch ladled onto a tray was a decent enough perk at premier American companies, such as Ford or Eastman Kodak. Today, that wouldn’t do in Silicon Valley, where in-house “cafés” have become a microcosm of modern cookery: a dedicated staff of bakers at Cisco, for example, or an Indian chef at eBay preparing curries spiced by decades of experience.
It’s tempting to conclude that American firms have simply gotten richer, as have blue-chip workers.
But this shift from an industrial approach towards food, in favor of one that’s more handcrafted, illustrates how American ideals about labor have changed—and also, how institutional food went haywire in the bargain.
“Food service used to be purely about workplace productivity,” says Fidele Bauccio, the founder of Bon Appétit Management, a company that quietly staffs many of Silicon Valley’s swankiest corporate cafeterias, including eBay, Oracle, and Yahoo!, and over 200 universities. “Now, it’s about creating a sense of community.”
How Google Is Remaking Art History
A critic and historian wonders about the unintended consequences of viewing art at an ultra-high-resolution.
When Bruegel painted more than five hundred years ago, could he have imagined that one day, a dozen generations down the road, his paintings would be viewed on a practically microscopic scale? Such is the wonder of the Google Art Project, the two-year-old platform that now houses more than 30,000 digital versions of famous artworks—some of which are viewable at a radically high resolution.
For him, seeing is an indulgence—almost akin to eating. Would suddenly being able to consume any amount of food without the ill effects be necessarily positive? Or would you lose your ability to enjoy a chef-prepared plate, with flavors planned for maximum delight?
Elkins argues, being able to zoom into a painting at the microscopic level makes it more difficult to experience the work as the artist intended.
Am I supposed to know that a tiny person in the background of a Bruegel painting is actually just a couple of random-looking brushstrokes? Did he mean for me to see it as abstract, or was it meant to be read as a representation?
How A Tiny New Compose Window Could Reinvent Gmail
Google’s smaller, simpler email compose box is looking a lot like gchat…And that’s no accident.
Google’s actively trying to make email less fussy and formal—or, in other words, to make it a little more like instant messaging.
And as Jason Cornwell, Gmail’s lead designer, explains, one of the ways to do that is simply to “give you permission to write shorter messages.”
Last week, Audi announced that it became the first automaker—and second company, after Google— to get an autonomous vehicle license in Nevada.
Berg worked with Google to imagine the service’s manifestation in real life. Here’s the remarkable, working prototype they came up with!
Last month, Google unveiled its first mobile game, an ambitious, experimental thing called Ingress. The experience hinges on the narrative that an exotic energy has been discovered on Earth, and two factions, the Enlightened and the Resistance, are respectively scrambling to cultivate it and/or suppress it. It’s kind of boilerplate sci-fi, but the novelty lies in the way the game is played: After players choose their allegiance, they’re tasked with going out into the real world and visiting various destinations to claim territory for their squad. It’s something like what you’d get if you threw geocaching, World of Warcraft, and J.J. Abrams in a blender—a massive multiplayer experience that transpires not in a virtual world but in a slightly warped version of our own.
So, yes, it’s a bit different. But John Hanke, the man Google tapped to head the project, thinks it represents nothing less than the future of mobile gaming, a new paradigm that will privilege real-world activity above immersive virtual engagement. Here are three core principles his team followed while creating Ingress—ideas that could well change mobile gaming as we know it in years to come.
Google’s newly improved iOS search tool reminds us that voice recognition needs to integrate deeply into the mobile experience, or not at all.
This is what Google’s secretive data centers look like.