Google Exec Pledges $1 Million to Aid Citizen Empowerment Via Technology

One of Google’s top executives is opening up his wallet to help groups that are using technology to  ”solve world problems.” Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt is putting up $1 million in grants to as-yet-unnamed recipients that are leveraging tech (specifically mobile phones) to aid in citizen empowerment and to counter the censorship of oppressive governmental regimes.

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Forget Google Glass; Check Out Their Contact Lenses

Google Glass has been making the news for awhile now thanks to everything from technical innovation to fashion critiques to privacy concerns. Now Google is trying its hand at electronic contact lenses. Continue reading

Google Starts Robotics Division

As it turns out, while we were contemplating what might be in the mysterious Google barge, and snickering about Amazon’s flying drones, Google has been buying up high-tech companies as part of a plan to create advanced robots for the manufacturing and logistics sectors. Continue reading

High School Student Builds Body-Heat Powered Flashlight

Not every design needs scads of high tech materials to make it worthwhile. Sometimes the simple ideas are the best. If you’ve ever needed a flashlight, only to find the batteries haven’t been changed in months or years, you might appreciate the subtle genius of a flashlight powered by your hands alone.

Ann Makosinski, a 15-year-old student at St. Michaels University School in Victoria, Canada has developed just such a flashlight for Google’s Science Fair. She is among 15 finalists selected from entries that span more than 120 countries around the world. The finalists will visit the Google campus in Mountain View, CA, in September for the prize ceremony. Continue reading

Google’s Project Loon Tests Balloon-Powered Internet

The internet is the very definition of a transformative technology. It’s exploded into a sprawling labyrinth of information, shopping and entertainment that alternately boosts or drains productivity. For every cat video someone shares on Facebook, there’s a TED Talk or a file transferred via the cloud.

Google wants to bring the internet to as many users as possible, so it has been investigating ways of providing access to people across the globe. Part of the challenge involved with that goal is providing access to users in places where terrain or circumstance have prevented a developed infrastructure. The potential solution Google has unveiled is called Project Loon, and uses balloons to form a network. Continue reading


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