Google finds its G-Spot!

Initially apologies to those who have arrived inadvertently here by (ahem) mistake. Our post is simply an appreciation of the new Google logo family and typeface together with a reiteration and update of the small is beautiful axiom!

We really like the new “softer/ smoother” Google logo which owes its sleekness almost entirely to the newly designed Product Sans typeface.


For a more comprehensive appreciation of its qualities and certain variants that Google have included in the initial version,  so as to speak here is their taster (Produfct Sans pdf). This includes Cyrillic Greek and Latin examples and also teasing a variant typeface, Noto Sans, which will “… bridge the gap by providing a broader set of 30 international scripts”.

It doesn’t look as if Product Sans is commercially available yet to download but we are sure this will come in due course.

For a detailed look at some of the updated icons in case you are not yet familiar with them SlashGear have a couple of articles worth a look:

Google themselves have  a worthwhile article on the overall redesign and of course their obligatory video.

Now then onto our recurring theme of small is beautiful vis a vis, inter alia, domain names!

So Google for the very basic reasons of space necessitated by the comparatively small screen sizes on smartphones tablets and increasingly wearables have reduced  their name from Google to G in these environments.

We increasingly believe that our sister domain i.uk is “probably” the smallest short domain, ……..roll on drums, in the world!

Using the Product Sans typeface I is clearly the smallest letter in the alphabet both upper and lowercase. It’s only real competitor is L which loses out on area in lowercase and width in uppercase.

The other country code top level domains with the shortest short, ie one letter, domains are we believe .co and .de. Using the product sans typeface d, e and o are approximately 20% wider than both u and k. c is 10% wider than both u and k. So there you have it.

So our question is whether, in the interests of clarity and space, in the not too distant future  Apple = i?

Tablets phablets everywhere

As Apple inadvertently leaked its new iPad family members  (we will report back after the official launch later today) Google announced its new (mainly Nexus) range yesterday with a sort of  9, 6, player headline with an associated lollipop!

We’re surprised / disappointed that there’s not a smaller tablet even an 8 would have been our preference.

The 9 & 6 tablet/phablet will be available for pre order  in the UK likely next month but the player (their new set top streaming box) has no UK release indications yet. No formal prices for the UK yet but early indications are  Nexus 9 (from) – £250 ish / $349 and Nexus 6 (no contract) – £420 ish / $649.

The phone is from Motorola and the tablet from HTC.

Google had their traditional blog post on the new products and were unsurprisingly concentrating on the android brand. Especially the “and” bit andyou!

We’ll leave you with their video.

Mapping the connected world for the UK

Google UK have launched a collection of business aids  for UK companies aimed at encouraging them to address overseas eCommerce markets

With research by O C & C they reckon the UK overseas eCommerce export market for content, leisure, travel and retail will grow from £13 billion in 2013 to £45 billion by 2020. We reckon that’s a healthy compound annual growth rate approaching 20% pa.

They provide many examples of this growing opportunity.  and note the almost geographic anonymity of global companies quoting a figure of 96% of  people not knowing that Booking.com was based in the Netherlands and 90% of that figure not caring where they were based!

They also provide 10 country export maps giving an economic overview and a (somewhat complex) seasonality calendar with country holidays and much more besides!

The countries are:

  • Austria
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • USA
  • Canada

We’ll leave you with some glimpses of “The future is now” from their Think event earlier this year.

Repurposing Loons aided by Drones

Following on from their drone experiments in Australia (Project Wing) Google are now explaining how they recover their balloons from their Project Loon.

You may recall that this is their “Internet for all” endeavour which they describe as follows:

“Project Loon balloons float in the stratosphere, twice as high as airplanes and the weather. In the stratosphere, there are many layers of wind, and each layer of wind varies in direction and speed. Loon balloons go where they’re needed by rising or descending into a layer of wind blowing in the desired direction of travel. People can connect to the balloon network using a special Internet antenna attached to their building. The signal bounces from this antenna up to the balloon network, and then down to the global Internet on Earth.”

The recovery process is aided by GPS and has they say come a long way from the early days when some poor Flight Operations Program Manager spending 2 days ooff the New Zealand coast fishing for a Loon.

We now have a concept of their drones collecting the loons on their return to earth!

We’ll leave you with their video:Images & video courtesy of Google.

The Internet of Somethings

A new consortium has been set up today:

It has been “ … FOUNDED BY LEADING TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES WITH THE GOAL OF DEFINING THE CONNECTIVITY REQUIREMENTS AND ENSURING INTEROPERABILITY OF THE BILLIONS OF DEVICES THAT WILL MAKE UP THE EMERGING INTERNET OF THINGS (IOT).”

The current members are:

  • Atmel
  • Broadcom
  • Dell
  • Intel
  • Samsung
  • Wind River

(We couldn’t help but notice that it shares its initials with amongst others The Organization of Islamic Cooperation and The Orkney Islands Council!)

Even we noticed names NOT present ranging from A through Z.

At least some of these are amongst the claimed 50 members of the competing AllSeen Alliance  who count the following majors amongst their number:

  • Cisco
  • HTC
  • LG
  • Microsoft
  • Panasonic
  • Qualcomm
  • Semantec

We wonder if a third consortium/alliance including the likes of Apple and Google may appear in due course – we have our doubts!

Technology’s the canvas, code the paintbrush

As part of their Digital Revolution exhibition  the Barbican in London are including Google backed DEV ART which features art made with code.

“DevArt celebrates developers who use technology as their canvas and code as their paintbrush to make art that explores and challenges the creative and technical limits of code. With the Barbican, we commissioned three interactive artists to create pieces for Digital Revolution. Karsten Schmidt’s Co(de) Factory empowers anyone to be an artist with an online design tool that creates 3D digital sculptures that may be showcased in the exhibition. Zach Lieberman’s Play the World uses code to find musical notes from hundreds of live radio stations around the world.”

The exhibition runs (from July 3) until September 14 and from the surrounding promotions looks well worth a visit. Opening times are 11am – 8pm (10pm on Thursdays). Bookings

We’ll leave you with the exhibition launch video.

YouTube’s Tipping Point reaches Crowdfunding

Towards the end of last week Google introduced for YouTube in the USA, Mexico, Japan and Australia their new “tip jar” on a beta basis. It basically enables fans of video channels to tip/fund videos with between $1 and $500 we believe.

It doesn’t need to be a music video so effectively “fan funding” is a form of crowdfunding which, we thought, infoDev (a global innovation and entrepreneurship program in The World Bank Group) defined rather appropriately as “ … an Internet-enabled way for businesses or other organizations to raise money.”

They also produced a handy little graphic which puts crowdfunding into the overall funding cycle.

Click to enlarge

YouTube hope to extend fan funding to “ … more countries soon.“

Some of the initial participants are Dulce Delight, Fitness Blender, The Healthcare Triage, The King of Random, Soul Pancake, Steve Spangler Science, The Young Turks, and Thug Notes.

If you have a channel (in the beta test countries) and are “… interested in testing this out on your channel, please sign up  and we’ll be in touch soon. Unfortunately we have limited spaces available – so we can’t guarantee a place as a tester – but we’ll do our best.”

We think it’s a great idea for, in particular, idea inception project testing and promotion.

Sources: Seeking Alpha, YouTube, InfoDev

Google Domains

Google announced earlier this week that it is in the process of building a domain registration service.

It’s not “… fully-featured yet, but we’re giving a small group of people the ability to buy and transfer domains through it and send feedback on their experience.” It’s by invitation only at present and looks like it’s a US only service right now.

The “features” they envisage providing, are in their words.

“Here’s what you get:

  • No additional cost for private registration
  • Branded emails
  • Easy domain forwarding
  • Customizable sub-domains
  • Fast, secure and reliable Internet infrastructure with Google
  • Simple domain management tools
  • Easy integration with top website builders
  • New domain endings (assistance re the new gTLDs)
  • Support

We added the italics annotation re the new gTLDs in which of course Google is a significant player applying for, we think, over 100 names range from the obvious .google to the less obvious .dot!

Worth a look and applying to join in if you are a US small business

Very interesting, we shall await developments!

The UK Appy Economy

That’s according to Vision Mobile (The leading research company in the app economy) who at the behest of Google have “… set out to assess the state of the UK app industry in 2014 and find out whether the UK is on the right track to becoming a vibrant and global hub for the app economy.”

“The UK App Economy is a research report that charts the mobile app economy in the region, investigating revenues, jobs, the profile of the British app developer, and how the UK can provide better opportunities for developers. This report contains the findings from the UK App Developer Census, an online survey of 300+ UK mobile app developers”.

Click to enlarge

Amongst their conclusions / “takeaways” are that the UK app industry:

  • will exceed £4 billion in revenues in 2014
  • will be growing at a CAGR of 38% between 2013 and 2015 and 22% between 2013 and 2025
  • has approximately 8,000 companies that are directly involved in app development
  • has approximately 380,000 jobs centred around the app economy
  • they expect, will create approximately 30,000 new jobs in the next 12 months.

So “The UK is certainly among the top global tech hubs with several metrics indicating that it is in fact the biggest tech hub in Europe and most likely the second most important tech hub after the US. In 2013 the UK accounted for over a third of the total app revenues generated in EU28 and slightly less than a fifth of all app developers in the EU28”.

Much more besides in this excellent report which can be downloaded on registration.

Almost time for Google I/O 2014

The two day event starts later today at 5pm BST with the Conference Keynote and you can follow much of it live.

Possible features of the event commentators think might be:

  • Wearables
  • Glass
  • The Internet of Things
  • Updated Nexus tablet(s)
  • Android TV
  • Updated Android operating system release – what follows Kit Kat ? an unsponsored L with Lollipop favoured over Latte or Liquorice!
  • The Cloud
  • Apps, apps & more apps

Here’s an explanation of “the experiment”  by Ben Purdy  and we’ll leave you with his video.