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Google commissions award-winning filmmakers to document the private race to the Moon [Video]


If you’ve ever been bored and felt like putting together some kind of tech project, Google suggested one back in 2007 – and there’s still time to give it a go. The project? A Moon shot. A literal one.

Google’s Lunar XPRIZE offers $20M to the first team able to land a privately-funded robot on the Moon, with other prizes for hitting milestones along the way, and the company has today announced a series of short films documenting the story behind nine of the teams competing for it.

Academy Award-nominated director Orlando von Einsiedel, Executive Producer J.J. Abrams, Bad Robot and Epic Digital have joined forces with Google and XPRIZE to create a documentary web series about the people competing for the Google Lunar XPRIZE … 


Google thinks we can end global poverty in 15 years, is inviting tech entrepreneurs to figure out how


Google has never been a company to shy away from the big challenges in life, whether it’s creating self-driving cars, beaming the Internet from balloons, making human skin or abolishing death. Its latest example is a summit at the company’s Campus London space to try to figure out how world poverty could be eradicated within 15 years.

While it may sound a huge challenge, much progress has already been made. In 1990, the United Nations set a goal of halving global poverty levels by 2015, and the goal was actually reached five years early in 2010. Google now wants to complete the job – starting with an afternoon’s worth of ideas from tech entrepreneurs.

Google for Entrepreneurs is co-hosting a Tech Against Poverty summit on January 22 from 1pm to 6pm at Campus London, a Google shared office space specifically created for start-ups. Its partner in the event is Dreamstake, a support and investor platform for start-ups.

Google and Dreamstake want to test the hypothesis that the start-up culture will have a major positive impact on the poorest communities in the world. The event is open to Scientists, inventors, engineers, artists, thinkers and doers, and hopes to create some effective new thoughts in this space, with Google for Entrepreneurs actioning any ideas they see as innovating and taking a step closer to solving the problem.

The event is free, and you can register to participate at Dreamstake’s Solve for X website.

Last-minute unlikely moonshot for Google I/O: Nano blood bots that are read by Android Wear

I missed out scooping the Google Glass skydiving unveil at Google I/O 2012 because I didn’t believe my source. He knew about the entire thing, but it was too unbelievable for me to post. I’m posting this late word from my source because I think there is a small chance that Google announces it tomorrow (by posting late, it hopefully won’t go mainstream and I don’t look like an idiot when it doesn’t happen).

According to the source, Google has some biomedical superstars working in its X Lab on some cutting-edge micro bots that can detect things like certain kinds of cancer. These bots are small enough (the size of blood cells) to fit through human capillaries, yet they can detect diseases in the blood and can trigger an RFID reader, which in turn talks to a watch – perhaps a device running Android Wear. I was told this technology is at least 2 years from being a real product (and likely more when you consider FDA and public outcry). This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of nanobots circulating human bloodstreams, with scientists working on the idea as far back as 2009.

The bots would circulate in your blood stream, and when they went through your wrist (under your watch), the watch would be capable of reading the status (cancer/no cancer etc.).

Similar technology is already well documented and in recent years has become closer to something Google could actually use in a product. Ray Kurzweil, futurist and director of engineering at Google, described his vision for nanobots that could enter our blood stream in a piece he penned for The Guardian back in 2007: Expand

Google unveils latest moonshot: balloon-powered Internet access

We’ve seen several reports of Google wanting to bring Internet access to emerging-countries, and the company has now announced a project that will greatly help it accomplish that goal. In a post on the official Google blog,  Mike Cassidy announced the next “moonshot” from Google’s mysterious X lab, balloon-powered Internet access.

Google believes that it might be possible to build a ring of balloons that travel around the globe on the stratospheric winds and provide Internet service to the earth below. The company does warn us that this idea is still in the very early days of development, but says that it has built a system that uses balloons carried by winds at altitudes as high as planes and beams Internet at speeds as fast or faster than current 3G networks.  Expand