What’s Going On In the Google Labs?
Google has turned into the Willie Wonka of sorts in the world of STEM – we’re constantly watching what sort of new revolutionary tech candy they’re going to come out with, what new innovation will save us time, and even what new algorithm might sway the world of SEO and content marketing in a completely different direction.
One of the most groundbreaking inventions, and one of the first impressions of Google’s futuristic foresight, widely surrounds their Google Glass – the first wearable tech that allows users to search the internet, classify objects and make calls with the touch of a finger. But Google innovations go far beyond the spectacles and reach into every area you could imagine – from the smallest bits of code to global strategies that hope to bring about world peace.
On The Defense
As the most popular search engine in the world, Google is not only a major target for hackers, but must protect the sites they host from hacking as well. This is why they have a specialized group of professional hacking experts working for them – to give malicious cybercriminals a run for their money. The not-so-secret team of professional buggers is constantly surveying various bugs and testing out weaknesses in their servers to ensure a secure lock on possible hacks.
And they don’t fool around. The notorious hacker-wunderkind George Hotz is a prime example of an opportunity only an innovative conglomerate like Google would have embraced. The then-seventeen computer genius gained national attention – and some backlash from AT&T – when he hacked into the iPhone’s 2007 lock through AT&T’s servers. He was soon after sued by Sony, when he reverse engineered the Playstation 3. The tech giant ended up settling – upon Hotz’s word that we would never hack another Sony product.
But when Hotz targeted Google, they took a different approach. After hacking into Google Chrome, which in effect highlighted issues and fixes in their server, Google rewarded him with a $150,000 check. A few months later, Hotz got an email that invited him into the elite group of paid hackers.
“People deserve to use the internet without fear that vulnerabilities out there can ruin their privacy with a single website visit,” Chris Evans, a Google security engineer, said. “We’re going to try to focus on the supply of these high value vulnerabilities and eliminate them.”
Google has been loud and proud about it’s green presence since 2007, when they officially announced that the company was carbon neutral. Now, with Google Green, they’ve invested 1.5 billion dollars into solar power and other renewable sources of energy.
The company itself continues to stand by these standards in their day-to-day operations. Their data centers use 50% less energy than others, and they assert that companies who use Gmail and it’s various resources will cut back on 98% of it’s environmental impact. One Google user saves the equivalent of 1 mile of driving per month. You can even view their consumption and carbon footprint report every year.
Connecting Brilliant Minds
While Gmail is enough to connect most people, Google Ideas takes it a step further. Calling itself a “think/do tank”, it connects various experts, scholars, and engineers to research and establish new technological advancements.
They specifically focus on solving the problems of our time, as their site explains that the “next five billion to come online will face far greater human challenges than the first two billion.” They cite violent extremism as one of their major issues, and even have a network dedicated to understanding the various factors that influence extremist groups, and what we can do to mitigate regional tensions. They also host aids like their human trafficking hotline, and several visualization tools for mapping illicit activity.
Where the Innovation Starts
No matter what area of global invention you look at, Google will usually be one of the frontrunners. From showing transparency in their open admittance of sexual inequality in their own work environment (to which they later pledged $50 million to fix) to simply indexing 60 trillion web pages, it’s easy to see that Google doesn’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon. Think you know everything that’s coming from Google’s headquarters at this very moment? Have a look at the infographic below and find out.
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