TIME apps

Google Maps Now Lets You Retrace Every Step You Take

And every move you make

In case you’ve ever wanted a comprehensive log of every step you’ve taken in the last day, week, month or year, Google now has you covered.

The search giant has announced a new feature for Google Maps called “Your Timeline,” which meticulously tracks and records the locations you travel with your smartphone. Pictures stored in Google Photos will also show up on the day and location they were taken.

The log could be useful for recalling a museum you visited on a vacation or a bar you stumbled into during a night out on the town, Google says in a blog post. It’s also easy to imagine way more awful ways this data could be used, but the feature is private and visible only to each specific user.

Your Timeline will be available on Android and desktop to users who have opted in to share their location history with Google (enabling this setting also improves Google Now, the company’s context-sensitive digital assistant). Visit this page to toggle the setting on or off.

TIME Google

See the Fantastically Weird Images Google’s Self-Evolving Software Made

See what Google's photo identification software thinks it sees in various images.

TIME Media

Spotify Will Send You a Personalized Mixtape Every Week

New feature will compete with curated playlists on Apple and Google's music services

With curation becoming an ever-more-important aspect of the music streaming wars, Spotify is adding a new feature to help its users find interesting, personalized playlists.

The company on Monday announced a new feature called “Discover Weekly,” which will serve users a two-hour-long playlist once a week based on their musical tastes. The list is populated based on a user’s listening habits, as well as the songs other users with similar taste are listening to or adding to their own playlists.

Spotify likens the selection of songs to “having your best friend make you a personalized mixtape every single week.” The first playlists should be available Monday.

The new feature is another maneuver to keep Spotify users from decamping for Apple Music, which is currently offering a three-month free trial to curious music listeners. One of Apple Music’s big pitches is a “For You” section that shows users playlists curated by experts based on their past listening habits. Spotify already has its own music discovery features, but they’re not as front-and-center as they are on Apple Music.

TIME Autos

Tesla’s New ‘Ludicrous Speed’ Might Make Your Brain Explode

North American Int'l Auto Show Features Latest Car Models From Around The World
Bill Pugliano—Getty Images The Tesla Model S Signature is shown during a media preview day at the 2012 North American International Auto Show January 10, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan.

Ludicrous speed, GO!

For the environmentally conscious daredevils out there, Tesla is offering to boost the acceleration of its flagship sedan.

CEO Elon Musk announced Friday a new “Ludicrous Speed” upgrade for the company’s top-end Model S. With the new feature, the vehicle can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds, a 10% improvement from the Model S’ former max acceleration. The car can travel a quarter-mile in just 10.9 seconds.

The upgrade doesn’t come cheap. “Ludicrous Speed” will run customers $10,000, and it’s only available on the already pricey P85D model, which starts at $105,000 (a slightly less ludicrously speedy version of the feature will also be optional for Tesla’s upcoming Model X SUV). But if you’re trying to live like a secret agent in the danger zone, the speed boost may be worth it.

“It’s faster than falling”, Musk said. “It’s like having your own private roller coaster.”

For reference, here’s a video of people reacting to “Insane Mode,” the last major Tesla acceleration upgrade:

TIME Crime

Marines Killed in Chattanooga Shooting Are Identified

Four Marines were killed

Officials have released the names of the four Marines who were killed in Chattanooga, Tenn. on Thursday by a shooter authorities are describing as an apparent “lone wolf” gunman. The servicemembers were murdered at a naval reserve facility in Chattanooga that is used to train Marines and sailors for reserve duty. Here’s what we know so far about the four Marines that were killed.

Thomas Sullivan

Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, 40, was a native of Springfield, Mass. He served two tours of duty in Iraq and earned a Purple Heart, according to the Boston Globe. The India Battery, 3rd Batallion 12th Marines identified Sullivan as one of its servicemembers in a Facebook post. Sullivan had been a Marine since 1997, according to his own Facebook profile.

Nathan Bill’s Bar and Restaurant, a Springfield business owned in part by Sullivan’s brother Joseph, posted a tribute to the fallen Marine Friday.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker also offered condolences via Facebook. “Terror comes home to Massachusetts,” he wrote. “God Bless Tom Sullivan and his family and friends.”

Skip Wells

Skip Wells, 21, of Marietta, Ga. was also among the Marines who died Thursday, a spokesman for Wells’ family told the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. Wells attended Georgia Southern University before joining the Marines. In high school, Wells participated in the marching band and played the clarinet, a friend told the AJC.

Carson Holmquist

Sgt. Carson Holmquist of Grantsburg, Wisconsin, enlisted in the Marines in January 2009 after graduating from Grantsburg High School. He had been deployed twice, according to the Associated Press, as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

When he finished his training, he returned to his alma mater where he had played cornerback on the football team wearing his formal uniform, Grantsburg High School Principal Josh Watt told the AP.

Watt added, “When he became a Marine he was very proud of that.”

David Wyatt

Staff Sgt. David Wyatt had served three deployments, two of which were in Iraq, after he joined the Marines in 2004, the Associated Press reports. Wyatt lived in Burke County, North Carolina, and graduated from high school in Russellville, Arkansas in 1991.

A caring, hard-worker, Wyatt had earned the Eagle Scout rank, his old troop master, Tony Ward, told the AP. Ward added the Marine had been married and had young children.

“He’s the kind of man that this country needs more of,” Ward said.

TIME Japan

Japan Cancels Plan to Build Costly ‘Bike Helmet’ Stadium for Olympics

Country will seek a more affordable design for new facility

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has canceled plans to build a large new stadium shaped like a bike helmet for the 2020 Olympics. The new Tokyo stadium, designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, had been criticized for its high construction cost and a design that some said clashed with traditional Japanese aesthetics.

“I have made a decision to take the plan back to square one and reconsider,” Abe told reporters Friday. He said he would seek out a new design with a lower construction cost. The bike helmet stadium had been projected to cost more than $2 billion.

The new stadium was supposed to be completed in time for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, as well as the 2020 Olympics. The project now won’t be ready for the rugby event, but Abe said he was sure the facility would be completed in time for the Olympics.

[CNN]

TIME Web

Microsoft Says its New Browser Is Insanely Fast

Inside The Windows Floor At A BigCamera Inc. Store As Microsoft Corp. Begins To Sell Surface 3
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images The logo for Microsoft Corp.'s Surface 3 LTE tablet is displayed on the device at a Bic Camera Inc. electronics store in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, June 19, 2015.

It beat Chrome and Safari in speed tests

Microsoft’s new replacement for Internet Explorer appears to be faster than its competitors. The new web browser, called Microsoft Edge, beat Google’s Chrome and Apple’s Safari browsers in a series of JavaScript benchmarks conducted by Microsoft.

According to a Microsoft blog post, Edge was 112% faster, 11% faster and 37% faster than Chrome in three different speed tests. Chrome surpassed Internet Explorer as the most popular browser in the U.S. last year in large part thanks to its speediness.

Consumers will get a chance to try Edge for themselves when it launches as the default browser with Windows 10 on July 29. One of the browser’s main selling points is its deep integration with Cortana, Microsoft’s Siri-like virtual assistant, as well as the ability to mark up web pages with sharable annotations.

Microsoft isn’t yet killing off Internet Explorer completely, both it and Edge will co-exist in Windows 10 for now.

TIME Video Games

An Angry Birds Sequel Is Officially Happening

Angry Birds
Rovio Angry Birds

And developer Rovio desperately needs it

Despite the spinoffs, merchandise and a television show, there’s never actually been a sequel to the wildly successful mobile game Angry Birds. That changes later this month.

On Thursday, game developer Rovio announced that Angry Birds 2 will launch on July 30. The company didn’t reveal any details about the new title, but it’s likely it will involve flinging birds at large edifices in order to destroy pigs — you know, the classic stuff.

Angry Birds 2 could be a lifeline for the struggling Rovio, which has seen its franchise usurped by freemium games packed with in-app purchases like King’s Candy Crush Saga. The Finland-based Rovio generated just $170 million in revenue and $11 million in operating profit in 2014, down from the year before. The company was forced to cut more than 100 jobs last year as well.

TIME technology

Why Netflix Is Backing This Huge Cable Merger

FRANCE-ENTERTAINMENT-INTERNET-FILM-TELEVISION-NETFLIX
Francois Guillot—AFP/Getty Images Netflix Co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings poses during a photocall for the launch of Netflix in France on September 15, 2014 in Paris.

It's totally okay with Time Warner Cable and Charter tying the knot

A proposed $55 billion merger between cable companies Charter and Time Warner Cable has a perhaps surprising ally: Netflix.

Netflix was a vocal opponent of last year’s proposed merger between Time Warner Cable and Comcast. But the streaming movie company on Wednesday pledged its support for the potential hook-up between Time Warner Cable and Charter through an FCC filing. Netflix’s bonhomie towards the new deal revolves around an issue Netflix has been crowing about for months: Interconnection, or a physical link between a network belonging to a carrier (like Charter or TWC) and that of a content provider (like Netflix).

Put simply, such interconnection agreements can help ensure bandwidth-intensive services like online video can be smoothly delivered to users’ devices without the horror of buffering. But they’ve become a matter of contention. Last year, Comcast got into a public spat with Netflix after it made the unprecedented demand that Netflix pay up for interconnection. Comcast argued it was only right for Netflix to shell out for the high degree of bandwidth it uses; Netflix countered such an arrangement would violate rules against unequal treatment of Internet traffic and shift more costs to consumers. Netflix eventually capitulated, later agreeing to similar paid interconnection deals with Verizon and TWC.

As part of its campaign to get its merger with TWC approved, Charter has agreed to make interconnection agreements with companies like Netflix for free — at least until the end of 2018. The collapse of the Comcast-TWC deal, which was not expected to pass muster with the FCC, likely got Charter to offer Netflix these generous terms in hopes of getting its deal approved.

In its quarterly letter to shareholders, Netflix praised Charter’s decision to not charge for interconnection. “This move ensures that all online video providers can aggressively compete for consumers’ favor, without selective and increasing fees paid to [Internet Service Providers],” the company wrote. “Charter’s interconnection policy is the right way to scale the Internet. It means consumer will receive the fast connection speeds they expect.”

In a conference call with investors Wednesday, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said he hoped the government would impose a similar mandate on AT&T and DirecTV to approve their proposed merger. So far, Hastings’ strategy has been effective. “It frees us up from worrying about getting taxed by an ISP,” he said about Charter’s free interconnection. “Instead, we get to worry about how do we make our experience better for consumers.”

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com