Planet Earth

Parasite mind-control, ebooks, and killer flu: My first Google+ Hangout video

The LoomBy Carl ZimmerFeb 23, 2012 7:43 PM

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One of the most interesting features of Google's new social media service, Google+, is Google+ Hangout On Air. A group of people get onto G+ all at once, fire up their computers' cameras, and have a conversation. Google puts whoever is speaking at the moment on the main screen. You can join a hangout if it's public or if you have an invitation, and--coolest of all--it automatically records the conversation and throws it onto Youtube. Right now only a few people have access to this service. I jealously watched fellow Discover blogger Phil Plait talk about exoplanets last month. (You can too.) And then I got invited to join the folks at the Singularity Hub for a hangout, too. It's up on Youtube, and you can also see it embedded here below. We talked about all sorts of things--from mind-controlling parasites to bird flu to using viruses to cure antibiotic-resistant bacteria to the future of ebooks and much more. I deeply crave this technology. I used to participate in a primitive forerunner of this, known as Bloggingheads. I bowed out due to editorial differences, but I still think the basic system is an exciting medium. I hope Google opens up their Hangout On Air service to more people, because it could be a whole lot of fun. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Oc03MeY_Mw

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