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Friday, May 31st, 2013
I’ve seen the future–maybe–and it is Google. But you knew that already, no?
I was among a group of journalists invited to an event yesterday in which Google showed off some of their latest and greatest products, including the much-discussed Google Glass (worn by a Google staffer in the photo at the right). In a space set up to simulate a household, they showed, room-by-room, the magic that Google applications can make.
The presenters kept reiterating that Google knows “everyone is on the go,” and has designed its products to cater to that busy lifestyle. That’s doubly true for us parents, whether we’re running after the little ones, or carpooling the older ones. To that end, here are some of the highlights of what saw at the event:
Voice search has come a long way. Using the Google search app from your mobile device, click the microphone icon and speak your query. On Android devices, it will speak right back at you, but that isn’t available on my iPhone, where I have to settle for it following my commands silently. Its ability to understand what you’re saying is solid, and beyond just searching the web, you can ask for directions, add items to your calendar, and send emails, all without typing.
Food-related searches will now bring up full nutritional information on foods. So you’ll be able to say exactly how many calories that slice of pizza will set you back or how much protein that smoothie will give you. This just launched today, so it’s hot off the presses.
What would a look at Google and the future be without discussing Google Glass, that tiny, wearable computer that clips onto your eyeglass frame? I didn’t get to try it, but did watch a demonstration, which helped me understand both the “what” and “why” of this technology. Glass is an attempt to address two paradoxical problems: We tend to walk around with our faces glued to our phones, while at the same time, we’ve all wished we could get to our phones–the camera, especially–quicker, before missing that unique moment. Glass sits just above your field of vision and is controlled by a swipe or tap of your finger, and significantly, your voice. Record a video, snap a picture, get step-by-step directions as you walk, send an email, all without breaking stride or burying your face in a phone. Imagine being able to actually capture your child’s first steps on video–while also being there to catch her when she stumbles.
Will it catch on? Only time will tell. Now, how about the self-driving car?
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Tuesday, December 4th, 2012
Westwood High School Students In Arizona Forced To Hold Hands As Punishment For Fighting
When two Westwood High School students got in a fist fight during class this week, Principal Tim Richards gave the teens an choice: suspension or public humiliation — by sitting next to each other holding hands in the school courtyard. (via Huffington Post)
Emigration of Children to Urban Areas Can Protect Parents Against Depression
Parents whose children move far away from home are less likely to become depressed than parents with children living nearby, according to a new study. The study suggests that children who migrate to urban areas are more likely to financially support their parents, which may be a factor for lower levels of depression. (via ScienceDaily)
Google Gives $23 Million To Charities To Spur Innovation, Help Girls And Minority Students
Google is announcing $23 million in grants to spur innovation among charities and increase education for girls and minority students in science and technology. (via Huffington Post)
Scientists Find Gene Link to Teenage Binge Drinking
Scientists have unpicked the brain processes involved in teenage alcohol abuse and say their findings help explain why some young people have more of a tendency to binge drink (via Reuters)
Contact Sports Leave Pattern of Brain Injuries, Study Finds
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Years of hits to the head in football or other contact sports lead to a distinct pattern of brain damage that begins with an athlete having trouble focusing and can eventually progress to aggression and dementia, a study released on Monday says. (via NBC News)
Friday, November 23rd, 2012
A laptop for $249? It does exist–and not just on Black Friday! Google’s new Chromebook, in a partnership with Samsung, is thin, light, and has an aesthetic design similar to the pricey Apple laptops. So what’s the catch? It doesn’t run off of Windows or the Apple OS. Instead, it runs off of a system designed by Google, which allows for Chrome web apps. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a first computer for your kid or even a second family computer for Web-surfing or to take with you on the go. Click here for more information on the Samsung Chromebook.
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Thursday, May 24th, 2012
Thinking about a quick getaway for Memorial Day weekend? Before you finalize your plans, explore family-friendly places by using Google Maps Street View. If you’re not familiar with this free tool, it gives you a 360-degree street level look at popular U.S. and world destinations (zoos, amusement parks, public parks, landmarks, museums, etc.). From the comfort of your own home computer or smartphone, preview places to determine if you want to visit them in person.
Get a panoramic look at these following U.S. destinations:
For bigger family vacations, you can take a road trip to different U.S. landmarks, discover historic Italy, or even set sail down the Amazon River.
Plus, if you or someone you know manages a unique destination, request a Street View team to visit the location through the Street View Partner Program.
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Tuesday, November 29th, 2011
Heading Soccer Balls Can Lead to Brain Damage, Study Says
Regularly heading a soccer ball—even just a few times a day—can lead to brain injury, according to a recent study.
What’s in a Name? Ask Google
In our still-budding digital world, where public and private spheres cross-pollinate in unpredictable ways, perhaps it’s not surprising that soon-to-be parents now routinely turn to Google to vet baby names.
Young Adults’ Coverage May Cost Parents Even More
An increasing number of employers are turning to “per participant” or “unitized” pricing so an employee’s payroll contribution increases with each dependent a worker adds to their coverage, according to Aon Hewitt, a large Chicago benefits consultancy.
Soldier Races Home from Iraq, Just in Time for Son’s Birth
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Spc. Asbai Ramirez says he made it to the hospital on Thanksgiving about 30 minutes before his wife, Ashleigh, gave birth.
Thursday, January 20th, 2011
Does your kid have amazing art talents? Enter him or her in the fourth annual ‘Doodle 4 Google’ logo competition. This year’s theme is “What I’d Like to Do Someday…” which encourages kids to “dream about future possibilities” and “exercise their creative imaginations.”
The contest is only open to students in the U.S. While kids from kindergarten through 12th grade can enter the contest, just one national winner will be chosen to have the winning doodle displayed on the Google homepage on May 20, 2011. Plus, the chosen winner will win a $15,000 college scholarship and a $25,000 technology grant for the school he or she attends. Three national finalists, 40 regional finalists, and 400 state finalists will also be chosen to receive various prizes.
Parents can help kids register for the contest by March 2, 2011 and all entries (one per child) must be submitted by March 16, 2011. This year’s judges include celebrities such as actress Whoopi Goldberg, Garfield comic strip cartoonist Jim Davis, children’s book authors Beverly Cleary and Jeff Kinney, Olympic ice skating gold medalist Evan Lysacek, and more.
Inspire your kids to start dreaming and start creating!
Read more details about the ‘Google 4 Doodle’ Contest:
More about art on Parents.com
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