Web

Google Maps now lets armchair scuba divers explore the Great Barrier Reef and more

google maps dives into the great barrier reef with first underwater panoramas street view under waterWhen we tell you that Google Street View now takes you into the sea, you might initially think the service must be suffering from similar glitches to Apple’s new Maps app, which appears to have been getting more things wrong than right since its launch last week.

But Google Maps’ new underwater feature is just as it should be. Indeed, armchair travelers, non-swimmers and marine enthusiasts will be delighted to learn that the Web giant has today unveiled some beautiful coral reef panoramas, allowing users to explore spectacular ocean scenery off the coast of Australia, the Philippines, and Hawaii.

Apple’s Maps developers, currently working on taking cities out of the water and placing them back on land, must surely be looking on with envy just now.

“Starting today, you can use Google Maps to find a sea turtle swimming among a school of fish, follow a manta ray and experience the reef at sunset — just as I did on my first dive in the Great Barrier Reef last year,” Google Maps’ Brian McClendon wrote in a post on the company’s blog.

Collaboration

Google worked with the Catlin Sea Survey, the University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute and the Underwater Earth organization to collect the incredibly detailed, high definition images.

Traveling to a depth of up to 100 meters, a specially-designed camera snapped pictures of unique underwater locations such as Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay, with a team of experts later stitching them together to form the 360-degree panoramas.

Speaking about the sea mapping expedition earlier this year, project leader Ove Hoegh-Guldberg of the University of Queensland said, “The visual nature of the project will help bridge the gap between scientific knowledge and public awareness. The Catlin Seaview Survey comprises a series of studies which will reveal to the public one of the last frontiers on Earth: the oceans.”

 The video below gives you some idea of what to expect when you dive in.

Emerging Tech

The U.S. Army is building a giant VR battlefield to train soldiers virtually

Imagine if the U.S. Army was able to rehearse battlezone scenarios dozens, or even hundreds, or times before settling foot on actual terrain. Thanks to virtual reality, that's now a possibility.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Mobile

Google Fi: Phones, plans, pricing, perks, and more explained

Google's wireless service, formerly Project Fi, now goes by the name of Google Fi, and it's now compatible with a majority of Android phones, as well as iPhones. Here's everything you need to know about Google Fi.
Emerging Tech

A silver bullet is being aimed at the drug-resistant superbugs on the ISS

A bacteria which is benign here on Earth can mutate into a drug-resistant superbug once it enters space. Now this problem is being tackled by a team of microbiologists who have found a way to inhibit the spread of bacteria in the ISS.
Computing

Confused about RSS? Don't be. Here's what it is and how to use it

What is an RSS feed, anyway? This traditional method of following online news is still plenty useful. Let's take a look at what RSS means, and what advantages it has in today's busy world.
Computing

Don’t be fooled! Study exposes most popular phishing email subject lines

Phishing emails are on the rise and a new study out by the cybersecurity company Barracuda has exposed some of the most common phishing email subject lines used to exploit businesses. 
Web

How much!? British Airways glitch results in $4.2M quote for family vacation

Website errors sometimes cause flight prices to display at way below the correct price. But British Airways recently experienced the opposite issue when it tried to charge a family more than $4 million for a vacation in Mexico.
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Computing

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.
Mobile

You can now listen to Google Podcasts on your desktop without the app

The Google Podcasts app is no longer entirely necessary to listen to the podcasts it offers. With a simple tweak of the sharing URL, you can listen to a Google Podcasts podcast on your desktop or laptop without the app.
Social Media

A Facebook, Instagram bug exposed millions of passwords to its employees

Facebook, Facebook Lite, and Instagram passwords weren't properly encrypted and could be viewed by employees, the company said Thursday. The network estimates millions of users were affected.
Computing

Get ready to say goodbye to some IFTTT support in Gmail by March 31

If This Then That, the popular automation service, will drop some of its support for Gmail by March 31. The decision comes as a response to security concerns and is aimed to protect user data.
Computing

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.
News

Drunk shoppers spend $48B per year while intoxicated, mostly on Amazon

Drunk shoppers spend more than $400 per year, according to the results of a survey carried out by The Hustle. The drunk shopping industry is apparently worth $48 billion, and Amazon is turning out to be the biggest beneficiary.