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Thomas Walton
Lives in Isles of Scilly
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Thomas Walton

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OMG these guys have got it going on!
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This is Google at its best: disrupting a sector by improving quality and reach. It's not just about being free. Google photos, Docs, Chromecast and Gmail have all done the same.
 
Crazy that people used to pay monthly for turn by turn directions. My team and I thought that was nuts. 
Six years ago this week, Google announced that turn-by-turn directions were coming to Maps in Android 2.0. The demonstration put smartphones on a collision course with dedicated satnav devices from...
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I love the design of the Robin and the specs look good, if the engineers build and optimise properly (and it looks like that's exactly the intention). However, the cloud storage doesn't interest me at all. I already keep all my stuff in the cloud so the last thing I want is for Nextbit's syncing to interact badly with, say, Google Photos and introduce a problem I don't currently have. Looking forward to reading reviews.
 
Snapdragon 808, 32GB, 13MP camera & more for $349. Easy to calculate this is a good value: http://buff.ly/1Ld1rnw
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As good as the phone does look, it doesn't exist in a vacuum. There's also perhaps a couple of Nexus devices to consider, amongst others.
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+Joshua Topolsky's interview with Ex Machina writer/director Alex Garland is very engaging. I particularly liked Garland's insights into isolation and the way we use other people as reference points for our own behaviour (and how quickly we can become disconnected from reality when we're alone).

By the way, any fans of The Vergecast in the Topolsky days should subscribe to his new podcast Tomorrow. Highly recommended.
Josh interviews Alex Garland, writer of 28 Days Later, The Beach, and Sunshine, about his directorial debut, Ex Machina. The conversation goes deep and weird, exploring ideas behind the film, NSA spying, and the meaning of human consciousness. Alex and Josh also debate the relative threat of world governments, discuss their love of post-apocalyptic games, and consider the construct of gender. It’s a doozy.
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Blimey, what a fab idea! Via +Trent Archer
 
Do you ever find yourself trying to avoid long lines or wondering when is the best time to go grocery shopping, pick up coffee or hit the gym (hint: avoid Monday after work)? You’re in luck!

Now, you can avoid the wait and see the busiest times of the week at millions of places and businesses around the world directly from Google Search. For example, just search for "Blue Bottle Williamsburg", tap on the title and see how busy it gets throughout the day. Enjoy your extra time!
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"But the most vital aspect of this efficiency is that trains run on time, all the time. This is not just a point of pride. It is a necessity, given the huge number of people that have to be moved. Transfers are timed to the split second, and the slightest delay has the butterfly effect of delaying connections. The Shinkansen is no exception, as exemplified by the “angels”: teams of pink-attired women who descend on a train as soon as it arrives at its terminal and in five minutes leave it spotless for the return trip."
At 10am on 1 October 1964, with less than a week and a half to go before the start of the Tokyo Olympic Games, the two inaugural Hikari Super Express Shinkansen, or “bullet trains,” arrived at their destinations, Tokyo and Osaka. They were precisely on time. Hundreds of people had waited overnight in each terminal to witness this historic event, which, like the Olympics, heralded not just Japan’s recovery from the destruction of the second world ...
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I can see how this would reduce customer confusion, but on balance I prefer Chrome OS. It was a beautiful idea to have a web only experience and liberating to not have to worry about viruses and apps and updates. I see Chromecast in very much the same way - an elegant and interesting solution. I hope Google has got something in mind that they can exert more control over than Android in its current form. 
Google's two operating systems will soon be one. Chrome OS is going to be combined with Android, and the combined OS could be revealed as soon as next year, according to The Wall Street Journal....
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That would be pretty great. I'd love for Chrome OS to live on and for this to have been blown out of proportion.
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No doubt about it, Dropbox is a great tool, but I almost never have cause to use it now. It's a shame that Google didn't acquire the excellent Mailbox. 
I first met Drew Houston four years ago, when Dropbox, the file storage and synchronization company he founded in 2007, reached 25 million users. Dropbox was in the midst of a growth spurt that has...
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This is super interesting: word frequency, Zipf's law and the 80:20 rule.
 
+Vsauce was always a 'must watch' channel on YouTube. Since moving into long form videos (20+ mins on Zipf) Michael is pushing the bar higher still.
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Love this: the +Nebia atomising showerhead uses 70% less water by increasing the surface area of droplets. A great example of how the future will involve lots more passive technologies as we find more elegant ways of exploiting the physical properties of our environment. My personal favourite example of this over the past couple of years is the AeroPress - I can't go back to the wasteful old fashioned way of making coffee :) 
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The idea of improving a shower without using more energy is definitely very satisfying. The environmental impact of showerhead improvements is potentially huge.
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