The design goal, according to Ethan Batraski, head of product for the Search Innovation Group at Yahoo, is to eliminate the middle step in the usual Web search process: Enter a query, see the results, go to a page. With Axis, you're supposed to be able to go directly from query to page, skipping the step of surfing a sea of links.Continue »
(CNET) Google has long sought to index the world's information - and it's now taking things a step farther with an effort to create "a database of everything in the world." And it's bringing this effort to your search results pages.
The new Knowledge Graph project, rolling out to English-language Google Search users over the next few days, provides more data snippets alongside its query results than the search engine currently provides. The results are based on Google's new database of 500 million people, places, and things, says Jack Menzel, Product Management Director of Search at Google. Menzel says there are 3.5 billion attributes and connections between these things in the database.Continue »
(CNET) "We don't see any need or urgency to even think about that stuff," Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said today when asked when the company is going public.
Speaking with writer Steven Levy at Wired's Disruptive by Design conference today in New York, Costolo said that the business was working extremely well and that the company had plenty of money in the bank (it's raised more than $1 billion in venture funds). "We don't need to worry about financing now," he said.Continue »
The secret to building a flexible computer display is not just the core components of the displays themselves. It's their backing, too.
The fundamental elements of e-ink and OLED displays are small enough that they won't break if laid down on flexible backing. The problem, according to Janglin Chen of Taiwanese government-funded research lab ITRI, is the backing itself. The substrate the components are mounted on has to have certain physical properties, especially during the manufacturing process. To date, the primary material on which displays have been layered has been glass, which meets the needs: It's rigid, transparent, and it's reliable.
ITRI has found a way, though, to create a display backing material that is all these things during manufacture, but becomes flexible when the building is finished. It's a polymer material that can be sprayed onto a glass backing and that maintains its properties (it doesn't discolor, for example) while the rest of the display is being deposited and built up on top of it. When the displays are done, they can be peeled right off the glass.
In addition to the polymer substrate, ITRI also had to develop a "release material" that's sprayed down on the glass before the polymer, so the final product can peel off without tearing or sticking. Think cooking oil and crepes.
The big advantage to this process, Chen says, is that existing fabrication plants can be used to make flexible panels. Aside from spraying on the chemicals to coat the glass with high-tech Pam and the polymer substrate, and the post-manufacture removal of the display from the glass, the process is the same as making a rigid display.
ITRI has signed at least one non-exclusive deal with a Taiwanese company that makes black-and-white e-readers, and Chen expects the first flexible panel using ITRI technology to be in a consumer product next year. Color displays based on OLED technology are likely after that. E-Ink and OLEDs lend themselves well to working on flexible backing, Chen says.
Traditional LCDs, which require separate lighting components and filters, do not. The sole existing color e-reader, the new Barnes and Noble Nook Color, uses traditional LCD technology. All current black-and-white e-readers, like the Amazon Kindle, use e-ink displays built up on traditional glass substrates.
The flexible technology isn't limited to displays. ITRI's technology can be used for touch panels (on top of displays, or separately) and for sensor technology. And, I assume, for solar cells, although that's a somewhat challenging market.
I talked with Chen a bit about the market for flexible panels. It's a science-fiction dream to have a foldable or rollable e-book or phone, but there's more to the market than a little flexibility. Chen notes that removing the glass backplane from a display makes it safer, more durable, and lighter than a traditional display. This is good for low-end products and for devices that end up in the hands of children. And while the ITRI process is not yet less expensive than current display-building technologies, the raw materials do cost less, as the backing glass is reused after every screen is made, instead of getting shipped with it.
As this video shows, when I was looking up information on a product on Google, I found shortly afterward that Amazon knew about my Google search and put the product I was looking at in my "Recently Viewed" slot when I loaded up the retail site. This cross-site data leakage was due to the way the Invisible Hand extension works on Google's Chrome browser. The same issue happens on Internet Explorer when Invisible Hand is installed. Firefox is immune.
You can read the rest of this article at CNET News.com.