Looking to get a better feel for that Yosemite National Park expedition this summer? Google Maps is looking to go beyond the regular ol' snapshot and offer an experience that feels more like an actual visit -- only you won't have to leave your sofa. The folks in Mountain View have added photo tours to over 15,000 sites around the globe from Italy to the aforementioned Half Dome in California. A search for your virtual destination of choice will indicate whether or not a tour is available for that particular locale. How does it work? The outfit uses user-contributed Picasa and Panaromio photos -- only those listed as public -- alongside some fancy computer techniques to provide a 3D tour. Along the way, Maps selects the best possible path through the highest quality images. At the bottom of each photo, contributor credit is given and Goog says when more shots get shared, these tours will improve over time. You'll need Google Maps with WebGL to get the sightseeing started, though. If you're looking for a quick preview, hit the video just past the break.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Sure, pushing builds of Android 4.0.4 out over the air is great, but what if you want to keep that unblemished piece of Ice Cream Sandwich for posterity? You could download the AOSP files, but you'd be missing some vital ingredients from the official factory images. Thankfully, build IMM76I of Google's mobile OS is available to download in a simple archived format. With this release Big G is also introducing a second version of its software. In addition to the standard "yakju," there's now "takju," which includes Google Wallet and the necessary support files. If you're a safety first kind of guy or gal and like to keep a simple factory reset kit handy (you know, just in case that latest CM9 nightly doesn't work out so well), head on over to the source link to download the untainted Android images.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Eight years ago one gigabyte of online storage was a remarkable thing. One gigabyte of email? Preposterous, but that's exactly what Google offered back in 2004 with the launch of Gmail, and now that factor is increasing. Current Gmail users were floating at around 7.5GB of storage but, as part of all the Google Drive hoopla, that storage is now officially up to 10GB. That's a lot of spam and, for those of us who are already paying extra for more storage, it's even more room to grow before we upgrade to the next tier.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
By Lacey Rose, The Hollywood Reporter
Ryan Seacrest is staying put at "American Idol."
As he hinted during an interview on NBC's TODAY show this month, Seacrest will remain with the singing competition show he's hosted since its launch in 2002. He has inked a two-year pact, which will pay him $15 million annually.
The news comes as "Idol," now in its 11th season, has seen its ratings post double-digit declines, down more than 20 percent in total viewers compared with a year earlier. His most recent three-year pact, which included his services on "Idol" as well as other potential projects, paid him $45 million (or $15 million a year).
More from THR: Seacrest launching network with Mark Cuban
Fox executives were said to be particularly eager to keep Seacrest, who has been dubbed "the glue" that keeps "Idol" together. Show producers and network execs "cannot envision the show without Ryan," one Idol insider tells THR. "The goal has always been to keep him."
Indeed, like judge Randy Jackson, Seacrest has provided the show stability in what otherwise has been a game of musical chairs. Seacrest has described his role as that of a conductor who keeps all of the trains running on time. The network's other singing competition show, "The X Factor," dumped its host following the series' first season.
To be sure,?"Idol" is only one piece of the Seacrest's growing empire. The multihyphenate is close to finalizing a new deal with E! parent NBCUniversal that will include the already-announced role as part of the company's Olympics team this summer. Despite a report late last year that suggested Seacrest was being courted as a potential Matt Lauer replacement at TODAY, Lauer is remaining in the anchor chair with a rich new deal signed in early April.
Photos from THR: A day in the life of Seacrest
(TODAY.com is powered by msnbc.com, which is a joint venture between Microsoft and NBC Universal.)
Still, multiple sources have noted that Seacrest's new deal with the expanded company likely will include such things as occasional appearances on the morning show. In question is what his ongoing involvement will be with "E! News," a nightly entertainment news show that Seacrest co-hosts with Giuliana Rancic. Sources point out that his role with the show has waned as he's had to juggle other projects including "Idol," while new NBC cable entertainment chairman Bonnie Hammer has aggressively courted new talent to strengthen the "E! News" bench.
In a meeting with the press in January, NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt suggested he would like to see Seacrest host Barbara Walters-esque specials for his network as well as continue to produce shows through his Ryan Seacrest Productions, the shingle behind E!'s Kardashians franchise and Bravo's recently renewed?"Shahs of Sunset."
Whatever the specifics of his new role, they will come in addition to his long-running Clear Channel radio gig and upcoming cable channel. Seacrest, along with partners AEG and agency CAA, announced this year that he will team with billionaire Mark Cuban to rebrand HDNet as a live-entertainment focused network called AXS (pronounced Access). Seacrest's RSP will have a production commitment with the new venture, though it won't preclude his first-look deal with NBCUniversal.
Do you think Seacrest is "the glue" that holds the show together? Share your thoughts about his hosting abilities on our Facebook page!
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Tuesday, April 24, 2012
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