Google Announces Open Handset Alliance

There has always been speculation that Google is developing a mobile phone (a gPhone, as most articles called it), but Google always does things differently. This time announcing the Open Handset Alliance, which is a bunch of companies that develop an open, Linux-based hardware and software platform with an open API. The platform is called Android.

There’s not much to see yet (specifically, there isn’t any phone based on Android yet) but there are two nice short videos. One is Introducing Android, which shows the team that developed it (including Andy Rubin, who you can read about in this New York Times article). The second video is called If I had a magic phone where you can see cute kids telling us what they expect from a magic phone.

Multi-touch Seems To Be The Next User Interface

I wrote about advances in user interfaces a few times (here and here). Then I wrote about Apple’s iPhone (here), which is coming out in less than a month in the US. All those posts have one thing in common – the user interfaces in them are multi-touch and gesture-based.

The new player in this field is Microsoft, which just introduced Surface, a new multi-touch, interactive tabletop display. It interacts with available media sources and allows users to interact with it using their hands. The demo videos are, of course, amazing. One thing I thought was funny in the videos was when the handsome young man and woman sit in front of each other in a pub and then, naturally, start playing with the computer on both sides of the table.

Borat Scores No. 1 Opening, Gets Sued By Mahir

Good news for Borat fans – the Borat movie (“Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”), took the number 1 position in US and Canada box offices last weekend. You can read about it in this BBC article.

Normally I wouldn’t mention it, but Borat just got sued by someone who just featured as #24 of PC World’s 25 worst websites list, namely Mahir Cagri of I guess Mahir took Borat’s “sew the jew” initiative seriously. (via Slashdot)

Extreme… Diet Coke and Mentos

The original Diet Coke and Mentos video showed what happens when you put some Mentos in a bottle of diet coke (the bottle sprays diet coke as if it was shaken badly). Google started spreading the Extreme Diet Coke and Mentos video as a “tribute” to the domino effect an online video can have.

More importantly, other than being fun to watch, this video is the first ad sponsored Google video and marks a new era in the online videos market. Watch out for video and audio ads. They’re coming soon.

searchmash == Google

Google has a new testbed for its search engine. It was rolled out very quietly and is called searchmash. Trying it out a bit doesn’t give me any different results than Google, but the interface is all Web 2.0 (for example, search for something, then click the “more web pages >>” link at the bottom of the results to see what happens. (via Download Squad)