Google NSA gives away 6,000 laptops to bloggers, developers and journalists

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Offline RollyPolly

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File photo of Former Darpa Director now Google Employee

Will Blog for Swag

Yesterday was Google I/O, the tech giantís annual developer conference. Itís where Google thinkers, technology journalists, and the genius programmers who make it all possible commune and geek out over the pixelated (and actual) buffet that awaits. Itís also the poor manís World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), the annual Apple event made famous by way of Steve Jobsí puckish, turtleneck-clad theatrics, which left the whole world slavering for the newest iThing. But Steve is gone, as are his trademark PowerPoint pyrotechnics. Google I/O, pushing incremental updates to Maps like itís the second coming, is what we're left with.

Google makes up for its lack of technological drama with a dramatic amount of swag. Last year at I/O the company gave away over $1,000 worth of smartphones, tablets, and other assorted Google-branded electronics. In a way it makes senseóGoogle developers should have the devices they are programming for, and developers create lots of apps for free, for the benefit of all of us. Itís the least Google could do to support its development community. Besides, tickets to the event cost $900, and for small developers, itís nice to get something back.

But Google isnít really courting developers with events such as this; itís courting the media. It wants its latest innovations blasted across the Internet's echo chambers. So this year at I/O, Google upped the ante, giving everyone in attendance a Chromebook Pixelóa laptop running Googleís own operating system, retailing for $1,299. Itís the equivalent of Apple handing everyone a MacBook Pro on the way out the door. It made headlines across the web. And itís everything thatís wrong with tech reporting.

Big, Beautiful Photos Of the $1,500 Laptop Google Just Gave Out To 6,000 People

At Google's I/O developers conference yesterday, the search giant gave away more than 6,000 units of its latest laptop, the Chromebook Pixel.

The computer, which runs Google's own Chrome operating system, costs a whopping $1,500 thanks to its high-resolution touchscreen and beautiful metal design.

Google released the Pixel back in February, but it's giving the device away for free to I/O attendees this week to encourage developers to start building apps for it.

Google's Chrome operating System is pretty much just the Chrome Web browser, but there is a desktop mode that looks similar to Windows PCs or Macs. The Pixel also comes with a free 1TB of cloud storage space via Google's Drive service and can connect to the Internet using Verizon's LTE data connection.

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Offline Al Bundy

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