Google’s ambitions and Facebook’s bet on search: top stories you should read

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Facebook Graph Search

The two big names featured in this week’s round up of top tech stories aren’t just doing what you’d expect them to: Facebook is looking into social searching while Google is, well, secretly investigating ways to spend its billions on ideas that previously belonged in sci-fi movies. But don’t worry, there are some more down to earth choices too: from the stories behind the Raspberry Pi and Las Vegas’ cheater-catching tech to Apple’s supposed stock price and product slump.

Google’s Larry Page on why moon shots matter

While this interview with Google co-founder and CEO tends to show Google in a largely positive light (which will upset privacy activists and small business advocates, if the comments section is anything to go by), it’s still an interesting view into what drives the man leading the internet giant. Page sheds light on why a search company is interested in perfecting self-driving cars, his views on the Facebook/Google+ comparisons and why he’s more interested in exploring uncharted fields than focusing on slightly bettering whatever the competition is doing at the moment.

The market wants Apple to unveil a time machine

Since the iPhone 5 and non-Retina iPad Mini launches, there has been a pervading feeling that Apple is losing its magic. Consumers and the press are used to being floored by pioneering product after pioneering product, and anything less is now being seen as CEO Tim Cook’s failure to live up to Steve Jobs’ legacy. But, as Dan Pallotta argues in this post, things weren’t always so great under Jobs’ rule either — and many of the products we now see as disruptive (iTunes, iPhone, iPad) received a lukewarm reception when they were initially launched.

Facebook’s bold, compelling and scary engine of discovery: the inside story of Graph Search

In case you missed it, Facebook took a big bet on the usefulness of your data this week with the announcement of its new Graph Search product. Turns out the folks over at Wired have known about it since last month, when they got the opportunity to chat to his hoodiness Mark Zuckerberg and the team behind the project — which is, interestingly, led by two ex-Googlers. This article explains more about the motivation and skill behind the development of Graph Search, the potential value it could hold for everyday questions and how Facebook intends to get its users to trust it again.

Not in my house: how Vegas casinos wage a war on cheating

Part history lesson, part tech fest, this text and video story discusses the lengths people will go to in the hopes of proving the house doesn’t always win. From vintage concealed cheating devices that leaked battery acid onto their inventor’s chest to the surveillance equipment and techniques in modern casinos and the type of tech that is (and could be) used to beat the dealer, The Verge explores what’s going on behind the scenes in Nevada’s gambling mecca.

‘We thought we’d sell 1 000′: The inside story of the Raspberry Pi

Initially designed as a cheap tool to get kids interested in programming, the credit card-sized Raspberry Pi has been a runaway hit with computer enthusiasts and quirky inventors. The board’s designer, Eben Upton, explains how the idea for the device came about and what the plans are for the future, and deals with issues surrounding critics and competitors.

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