The Google+ project brings the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software. The Google+ platform brings that nuance and richness to all of the web. We started with Google’s own products, added the +1 button for site owners and content publishers, and introduced games from a handful of partners. That’s just the beginning though — we want every one of you who builds applications to be able to include rich sharing, identity, and conversations in your app. Today, we’re taking the next step on that journey by launching the first of the Google+ APIs.
Let’s Go Public
Google+ gives users full control over their information, supporting everything from intimate conversations with family to public showcases and debates. This initial API release is focused on public data only — it lets you read information that people have shared publicly on Google+. For example, if you want to get my profile information, you can use the people.get method by sending the following HTTP request:
which returns the following JSON encoded output (excerpted for brevity):
Similarly, you can get a list of my most recent public posts by using the activities.list method:
Because we’re starting with public data only, you simply need to register your app before making requests. And if you aren’t yet sure which Google+ user is running your app (for example, because they’re installing it for the first time), then you can use the new plus.me OAuth2 scope to ask the user who they are.
After your application has requested this scope, you can use the special “me” identifier rather than the long numeric identifier:
On The Shoulders of Giants
We love the way the programmable web has evolved, so we’re using existing standards and best practices wherever we can:
Our API methods are RESTful HTTP requests which return JSON responses.
Our payload formats use standard syntax (e.g. PoCo for people info, ActivityStrea.ms for activities).
We use OAuth 2 for secure trusted access to user data.
In addition, since most of us no longer write raw HTTP requests these days, we provide libraries for your favorite language: Java, GWT, Python, Ruby, PHP, Objective-C, and .NET. These libraries are all open source, so we’d love to have your feedback and help with them.
You can find more information about the Google+ platform, including today’s new APIs to public data, at developers.google.com/+ on our new Google Developers site. This site will be the place to go for access to documentation, terms and policies, discussions with other developers, tools that make development on the +Platform easier and more fun and, of course, the place where announcements concerning new releases will be made.
Included in our policies are three simple guidelines that we aspire to in our own products, and that we’d like all applications built on the Google+ platform to follow also: put the user first, be transparent, and respect user data. The goal behind these guidelines, as with all of the features and fine print, is to work together to build products that our users will love.
And now …
For all of you developers who have been asking for a Google+ API, this is the start. Experiment with it. Build apps on it. Give us your feedback and ideas. This is just the beginning; the Google+ platform will grow and we value your input as we move Google+ forward.
Fall means lots of things in the United States: leaves changing colors, apple picking, back to school and…football. This weekend, the National Football League (NFL) starts its season with a bang, with 15 games on Sunday and Monday. College and high school football are already underway and fans all across the country are tuning in, getting excited and rooting for their teams—in person, on television and online. As a Notre Dame alum (class of ‘87), the ups (and the recent downs) of Fighting Irish football are always a big part of my fall weekends. Regardless of your alma mater or hometown team, one thing is certain: American football is a big deal across the United States. Ahead of most of this week’s kickoffs, we thought it would be fun to take a peek at some of the football search trends from around the country.
There’s some debate as to what is more popular: professional (NFL) football or college football. Search queries make it clear that in spite of the [nfl lockout], the pro game and [nfl] is consistently more popular for U.S. searchers than all of [college football].
That doesn’t mean that the college game isn’t extraordinarily popular. Right now, we’re seeing the highest level of search queries for [college football] since 2004. In certain regions, college football appears to be king over even the NFL. The states with the most searches for [college football] are mostly in the southern part of the country, with the notable exception of the rabid fans of the Nebraska Cornhuskers. That’s no wonder—on Saturdays, when the Huskers are playing at home, their Memorial Stadium becomes the third largest “city” in the state.
We can also conduct a little popularity contest among players in college football. The Heisman Trophy, awarded annually to the top college player, is usually correlated to spikes in search query volume. This year, the early favorites for the Heisman are beginning to take shape. Stanford’s quarterback [andrew luck], who opted to play his senior year in college instead of heading to the pros, is out front in terms of searches, but fans should also watch out for Robert Griffin III from the Baylor Bears program. [rg3], as he’s known, had the game of his career in week one and might be the national breakout star of the first few weeks of the season.
Over on the NFL side, it appears that winning the big game has little relation to how often people search for their favorite player. In the past month, the most searched for player in the NFL is [peyton manning] of the Indianapolis Colts, who last won the Super Bowl in 2007. He’s currently sidelined with a neck injury, so his status is likely driving much of the current search queries. Meanwhile, the quarterbacks from the past two Super Bowl winners, [drew brees] from the New Orleans Saints and [aaron rodgers] of the Green Bay Packers, come in behind a player who isn’t even his team’s starter: Denver Broncos QB and former Florida Gators star [tim tebow].
The old saying goes, “on any given Sunday,” meaning that every team has a chance to win each time they hit the field. The adage manifests itself in typically balanced standings that last throughout the season and into the playoffs. But when it comes to search, we’re not quite so fair and balanced. In fact, there’s a clear favorite, and by this measure they really are “America’s Team”: the [dallas cowboys]. In the U.S., the Cowboys lead all other teams in search query volume, followed by the [chicago bears] and the [green bay packers].
No examination of football search trends would be complete without mentioning Fantasy Football. Millions of fans participate in their own drafts and watch their league’s waiver wires as they serve as coach and general manager for their own fantasy team. The enthusiasm is so fevered that, in the U.S. right now, more people are interested in [fantasy football] than President [obama].
Finally, for spectators, football isn’t just about teams and players. It’s also about the game day food. [Tailgating] searches peak every fall as folks turn to the web to discover new recipes and ideas for pre-game parking lot cookouts. The Super Bowl in February really drives gameday recipe searches, but tailgating staples like [guacamole], [wings] and [brats] all rank high in terms of search quantity every fall, with the king of all tailgating recipe-related searches being [dip].
Whether you’re an NFL fan, an NCAA nut or just someone who likes hot wings, here’s to a great season.
Android is on fire. More than 550,000 Android devices are activated every day, through a network of 39 manufacturers and 231 carriers. Android and other platforms are competing hard against each other, and that’s yielding cool new devices and amazing mobile apps for consumers.
But Android’s success has yielded something else: a hostile, organized campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus patents.
They’re doing this by banding together to acquire Novell’s old patents (the “CPTN” group including Microsoft and Apple) and Nortel’s old patents (the “Rockstar” group including Microsoft and Apple), to make sure Google didn’t get them; seeking $15 licensing fees for every Android device; attempting to make it more expensive for phone manufacturers to license Android (which we provide free of charge) than Windows Phone 7; and even suing Barnes & Noble, HTC, Motorola, and Samsung. Patents were meant to encourage innovation, but lately they are being used as a weapon to stop it.
A smartphone might involve as many as 250,000 (largely questionable) patent claims, and our competitors want to impose a “tax” for these dubious patents that makes Android devices more expensive for consumers. They want to make it harder for manufacturers to sell Android devices. Instead of competing by building new features or devices, they are fighting through litigation.
This anti-competitive strategy is also escalating the cost of patents way beyond what they’re really worth. The winning $4.5 billion for Nortel’s patent portfolio was nearly five times larger than the pre-auction estimate of $1 billion. Fortunately, the law frowns on the accumulation of dubious patents for anti-competitive means — which means these deals are likely to draw regulatory scrutiny, and this patent bubble will pop.
We’re not naive; technology is a tough and ever-changing industry and we work very hard to stay focused on our own business and make better products. But in this instance we thought it was important to speak out and make it clear that we’re determined to preserve Android as a competitive choice for consumers, by stopping those who are trying to strangle it.
We’re looking intensely at a number of ways to do that. We’re encouraged that the Department of Justice forced the group I mentioned earlier to license the former Novell patents on fair terms, and that it’s looking into whether Microsoft and Apple acquired the Nortel patents for anti-competitive means. We’re also looking at other ways to reduce the anti-competitive threats against Android by strengthening our own patent portfolio. Unless we act, consumers could face rising costs for Android devices — and fewer choices for their next phone.
UPDATE August 4, 2011 – 12:25pm PT
It’s not surprising that Microsoft would want to divert attention by pushing a false “gotcha!” while failing to address the substance of the issues we raised. If you think about it, it’s obvious why we turned down Microsoft’s offer. Microsoft’s objective has been to keep from Google and Android device-makers any patents that might be used to defend against their attacks. A joint acquisition of the Novell patents that gave all parties a license would have eliminated any protection these patents could offer to Android against attacks from Microsoft and its bidding partners. Making sure that we would be unable to assert these patents to defend Android — and having us pay for the privilege — must have seemed like an ingenious strategy to them. We didn’t fall for it.
Ultimately, the U.S. Department of Justice intervened, forcing Microsoft to sell the patents it bought and demanding that the winning group (Microsoft, Oracle, Apple, EMC) give a license to the open-source community, changes the DoJ said were “necessary to protect competition and innovation in the open source software community.” This only reaffirms our point: Our competitors are waging a patent war on Android and working together to keep us from getting patents that would help balance the scales.
Garmin StreetPilot vs TomTom USA for iPhone/iPod Touch is compared using two iPhone 4′s, one with the Magellan Premium Car Kit and the other with the TomTom Car Kit. We test both GPS apps on the road and look at things such as TTS voice guidance and traffic. Garmin StreetPilot (v6.5.3) TomTom USA (v1.6) Garmin StreetPilot is available in the App Store for $39.99 TomTom USA is available in the App Store for $49.99
Early in the 1960s,a group of designers, headed by P. Isakov, developed the widely known mechanized infantry combat vehicle, BMP-1. It was designed primarily to enhance troop combat mobility and offer armor protection to infantrymen fighting with tank support.
This combat vehicle gave birth to new trends in worldtank building and initiated new approaches to tactical employment of motorized infantry subunits. Combat vehicles intended for similar combat tasks were adopted by foreign armies much later. At first their combat employment was much discussed. Some analysts shared views that the MICVs should be used as a means of armored transportation designed to move infantrymen to the battlefield to follow up after tanks and capture combat areas.
However, it was considered expedient to equip them with some armament. The main armament of the BMP-1 was a 73 mm smoothbore gun capable of delivering fire at a distance of up 1,000 meters to hit armored vehicles, including old generation tanks. It was set up no other tasks. After long debates during the production process and comparative tests of several vehicles, proponents of automatic armament for the vehicle gained the upper hand: it was equipped with a 30mm automatic gun and the antitank guided missile (ATGM) “Konkurs”, designed by the Instrument Design Bureau in the town of Tula.
This considerably expanded the scope of its combat missions and enhanced the combat capabilities of the vehicle as a whole. But it remained a lot to be done to find a final concept for the vehicle’s combat employment, its missions and general appearance. This was achieved during further development of the BMP-3 and its armament. The Instrument Design Bureau in Tula was the leading developer of the BMP-3 armament system while the machine building plant in the town of Kurgan developed the vehicle. An armament system able to cope with a full range of combat missions assigned to infantry subunits, was developed after research findings.
For the first time the MICV was equipped with a 30 mm automatic gun, a 100 mm gun with moderate ballistics and a 7,62 mm machine gun (MG). A 100 mm gun fired both HE (High Explosive) shells and guided missiles. The very choice of ballistic solution (Vo=250 m/sec) provided for the development of a small weight gun and ensured that the shell met the target at major angles, thereby increasing the area of destruction and decreasing range errors and their dependence on the range of fire. The cannon launch of guided missiles in conjunction with a laser beam gun-laying control system and an independent twoplane aiming line stabilizer ensured launch of ATGMs on the move, a high rate of fire, noise- immunity and safety of the crew.
The rigid coaxiality of a 30 mm gun and the barrel of a 100 mm gun, coupled with the high precision and dynamic characteristics of the powerful stabilizer ensure high accuracy in its firing. For the first time in national and world practice the MICV was equipped with an automatic fire control system, which provided automatic angles of sight and lead, as well as precise corrections within a wide range of angles of elevation and the firing of all types of weapons from the stationary position, on the move and afloat. The high combat effectiveness of the armament system and capability to act independently on the battlefield is ensured by a great range of ammunition, including eight guided missiles, forty HE shells, 500 rounds for an automatic gun and 6,000 cartridges for machine-guns. There are four compartments in the hull of the vehicle: driver’s compartment, fighting compartment, troop compartment and powerplant compartment. The driver’s compartment is arranged in the front part of the hull. There are three stations: one for the driver in the middle and two for the machine-gunners on both sides of the driver’s seat. The fighting compartment is arranged in the middle of the hull where the stations for a commander and gunner are located. The main armaments are mounted in the turret. The gun ammunition supply is stowed in an stowage rack under the turntable. The armament control equipment includes: a sight (laying unit), a ground and air fire sight, a combined vision (day and night vision) device, ballistic computer. Machine guns mounted autonomously in the front part of the vehicle comprise a sight with a fiber-optical pipper display system.
The main armaments are stabilized in two planes. There is also terrain navigation equipment. The commander’s station is equipped with a radio-transmitter, R-173, and a radio-receiver, R-173P. The seven-seat troop compartment is arranged behind the fighting compartment. Two are individual seats and five are group seats located near the engine compartment bulkhead. There are air ducts here to provide clean air for the troops. There are also boxes with daily rations for the personnel and SPTA boxes. Armored firing portholes are located in the vehicle’s hull sides. Three hatches are provided in the front part of the vehicle and two hatches on the turret both for the crew and troop. There are three hatches in the front part of the vehicle and two hatches on the turret both for the crew and troops. There are also rear doors and hinged front covers in the hull. The powerplant compartment is arranged directly after the troop compartment. Both compartments are separated by an inner soundproof wall. The powerplant compartment houses an engine, power transmission assemblies and corresponding systems. Removable covers and ports provide easy access to the engine and power transmission assemblies. The vehicle’s track and suspension system comprises six road wheels and support rollers. The road wheels have double disks with externally cushioned rubber supports. The independent hydropneumatic suspension has a big dynamic road wheel travel. Thanks to such design it has proved possible to maintain the vehicle’s smooth movement in the off-road conditions at any speed without jerking and swinging. The track and suspension system of the BMP-3 has a large safety margin, enabling its use in a number of various-purpose vehicles. The BMP-3 moves in water via hydrojets and not by track drive systems as was the case with the BMP-1 and BMP-2. The outstanding performance of the BMP-3 was demonstrated dramatically during its field tests in the Arabian desert as recounted by two participants, first deputy chief of the Armor Department of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Lieutenant-General N. Zhuravlev and deputy chief designer of the Tula Instrument Design Bureau, Doctor of Technical Sciences, S. Berezin. On July 27, 1991 a giant-aircraft, the “Ruslan”, landed in Abu-Dhabi airport. Four BMPs-3 rolled off, accompanied by curious glances of the army officers of the United Arab Emirates. This didn’t signify that the combat vehicles had been chosen by the Arab authorities and had become lawful “residents” of that country. On the contrary, it was only the beginning of the road to recognition of Russian armaments by a country, which traditionally bought English or other Western weaponry. The first acquaintance of the top brass of the UAE with Russian vehicles didn’t bring much cause for optimism to our specialists.
The Arab military knew a lot about the combat capabilities of similar classes of vehicles produced by the NATO countries and were not very much sanguine with the “know-how” of the BMP-3. More than that: they predicted its failure during the forthcoming field tests. The “D-day” for the tests was repeatedly postponed. Specialists caviled at study of the vehicle’s design and meticulously scheduled the forthcoming tests. All suggestions by our side were politely rejected, while, according to unofficial information, everything was made ready for tests of the American MICVs “Bradley” and English “Warrior”. At last the test day came. The Brigadier-General, head of the Arab inspection group, assigned the mission in the following way: he would drive his Rover “Toyota”, while our column should closely follow along the sand-hills. The first phase of the test would be considered performed, if our BMPs managed to follow his Rover. The ambient temperature was +60°C. The sand blizzards began to blow. The sand clogged the eyes and ears, cut at the neck and face. The engines worked on the brink of stalling. The vehicles had to negotiate sand-hills at 30° and “dive” from them at 80°. The vehicles became stuck in the canyons. In such cases we had to tow the machine via the other three vehicles linked together in tandem. Sometimes it looked as if one more problem would arise and that neither materiel or personnel could survive any longer. It seemed a mere miracle, when after a seven hours march our column finally reached an earth road. We were happy to learn that our BMP-3 had managed to overcome terrain, which proved unsurpassable for all other MICVs, including the famous “Bradley”. After inspecting the column the Brigadier-General said: “O.K.” and issued an order:”Forward!” A 200 hundred kilometers race began at full speed along earth roads. The vehicles were stretched to the limit of their capabilities. Arab officers who drove our BMPs were determined to reveal weak spots in the vehicle’s design. The march continued for three days in violation of all operational manuals and other regulatory documents. Racing continued at maximum speeds for 16-17 hours a day. Stops for respite and check-ups were made after 5-7 hours of continued movement.
Exhausted personnel were allowed only a short rest at night. The inspecting commission concluded that the BMP-3 surpassed similar vehicles of the NATO countries in terms of cruising capabilities. Nevertheless, we had only won half of the battle. Now we had to fire all sorts of armament at targets of opportunity at various ranges. Convinced of the weaponry, our specialists agreed to all the terms set by the Arab officers. However, when they reached the firing range they realized that a lot had to be done on the spot from scratch. Firing had to be executed only on the move. The vehicles had to move along two circles situated on both sides by an “imaginary” control tower. The firing had to be made from any points at any targets located at various ranges. The firing started with missiles launched at maximum ranges. After the first six missiles had been launched, Brigadier-General and the leader of the Russian delegation inspected the targets. We noted that every target had been hit three times. The General was experienced enough to know that there were no combat vehicles in the world, which could cannon launch anti-tank missiles on the move. The combat capabilities of other types of the armaments were well known to him and were demonstrated at the firing range by both Russian and Arab experts. The high combat effectiveness of all types of armament and their trouble-free operation during firing and training made members of the commission voice their support for the BMP-3. Numerous meetings with the military of the UAE were marked by considerable tension, but were conducted in an atmosphere of sincerity, competence and mutual esteem. The Russian delegation was well aware that the Government of the UAE had decided in the wake of the Gulf War to tailor a modern army of their own equipped with state-of- the-art weaponry. Naturally, Western countries were eager to offer their aircraft, tanks, anti-aircraft artillery and other materiel to their Arab clients. All this was taken into consideration by the commission in its report on the BMP-3 tests and their views on future cooperation with Russia in the military domain.
Russian specialists drew the attention of their clients to the light weight of the BMP-3, its ability to easily cross various water obstacles, fire anti-tank missiles on the move, and its air-transportability. The Arab military highly appraised the vehicle as a whole and asked that it be adapted to meet the requirements of their region, namely to improve troop apartment conditions, to update the cooling system of the engine, and to put rubber grousers. Finally, the Russian delegation was received by the President of the UAE. He said that the BMP-3 had been highly appraised by the military, despite the fact that it had been tested to failure. This reason had compelled him to take a vital political decision to cooperate with Russia in the military field. This marked the end of the field tests in the Arab desert, where our combat materiel displayed the high quality of Russian weapons and “defended” its world reputation.