Google I/O Afterparty: Robots, Pinball, Jane’s Addiction, a Self-Driving Car and a Merry-Go-Round Powered by Bicycles

The Google I/O 2011 afterparty was geek entertainment at it’s best. Complete with a token 45-minute set by Jane’s Addiction (with Chris Chaney on bass – Eric Avery left the band last year) and dozens of extreme geeks holding up their newly gifted Samsung Galaxy Tabs to shoot a few clips of video (watch the set in HD below), the highlight of the event was likely the Maker Faire-esque playground of Google-powered and -inspired installations. Robotic symphonies performed by everyday kitchen appliances; the famous self-driving car; a mellow set by DJ Mark Farina; a pinball arcade; and this thrilling bicycle-powered carousel (warning: watching video may cause dizziness)….

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Click here to view Google I/O photo gallery on flickr.

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Google I/O 2011: Music Beta App Announced and… Movies from the Cloud

Google officially announced its long-rumored streaming-from-the-cloud music app for Android and the web at Google i/o at Moscone Center in San Francisco. It’s currently free (it is in beta after all) — request an invite at music.google.com. No comment on whether or not Google has come any closer to offering streaming legally, as licensed by the labels and publishers. Another exciting announcement — you can now rent videos on Android Market at http://market.android.com/movies. You have 30 days to stream each rental via web or mobile tablet or phone ($1.99 – $3.99 per rental).

In other news from the opening keynote: To date there have been:
* 100M Android activations
* 400,000 daily activations on 215 carriers
* 200,000 available apps on Market

It took:
* 2 years to 1 billion app installs
* 5 more months to 2 billion
* now 4.5 billion app installs from Android Market

Honeycomb 3.1 coming soon to all devices
USB output
Ice Cream Sandwich – new Android OS – 2.4 – coming soon

…and all 5,000 attendees at Google I/O are receiving the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet (a special-edition model, a month before it hits stores)!

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Click on thumbnails to view full image

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Spotify MP3 Downloads: Better than Amazon and iTunes?

Spotify now offers users various packages for purchasing downloads of the tracks already streamable via the service. A single track goes for $1.29 cents a track but for $50 you can download 100 tracks (that’s 50 cents a pop). The one catch being that all credits expire after 30 days (extendable to 90 days depending on ensuing transactions). Each purchased download can be re-downloaded up to four times.

50 cents is a great deal for the savvy investor, however, many users are sure to get got by simply clicking “Get Album” on, say, the new Beastie Boys’ “Hot Sauce Committee Party Two” and pay $14.28 straight up for the 16 tracks.
download beastie boys hot sauce committee via spotify mp3

The downloads come via 7digital in 320 kbps format.

Alternatively, the digital album goes for $7.99 at Amazon (320 kbps mp3), $10.99 on BeastieBoys.com (in multiple formats including lossless plus a bonus remix), and $14.99 at the iTunes store at 256 kbps AAC (incl. 30 minute Fight For Your Right Revisited video download).

When it comes to this particular release — the choices are so varied it could be a toss up. How would you go about purchasing the MP3 download?