CEO to make pitch to Apple to make Google search optional
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who has worked diligently to turn around the veteran search engine's fortunes with some success, is planning on appealing to Apple to make Yahoo's search engine the default choice on the Mac and iOS. Currently Apple offers Yahoo as a option for search, but uses Google as a default (and Bing to power Siri inquiries). Mayer may seen an opportunity to advance Yahoo's already-friendly relationship with Apple, given its fight with Google over Android and patents.
Microsoft unveils All-in-One Media Keyboard for living room use
Microsoft has launched its All-in-One Media Keyboard. Designed for use in the living room, the peripheral offers a full-size spill-resistant QWERTY keyboard, and connects to a device using a USB wireless transceiver. On the right-hand side is a multi-touch trackpad that supports gestures, and a row of three buttons above which can be customized for quick access to specific apps. Shipping tomorrow, the All-in-One Media Keyboard is priced at $40.
Cost per click dropping, growth rate slowing for dominant search engine
Google today announced financial results for the quarter that ended in March. The search engine giant reported consolidated revenues of $15.42 billion for the quarter, an increase of 19 percent compared to the first quarter of 2013. Operating income in the first quarter of 2014 was $4.12 billion, or 27 percent of revenues. Earnings per share in the first quarter was $5.04 on 685 million diluted shares outstanding, compared to $4.97 in the first quarter of 2013 on 673 million diluted shares outstanding.
New York Google Fiber job not a sign of future expansion
A Google Fiber job listing located in New York was thought to be a possible sign the search company is looking to open the service in the market, though Google has denied the possibility. The listings for a Google Fiber Regional Sales Manager in the city is said by a company spokesperson to be a job role that has existed for some time, and not to "read into the job listing."
String of Samsung witnesses find that Apple's patents are all invalid
Not only did Samsung not infringe on Apple's patents, a parade of witnesses for Samsung told the jury today in the Apple-Samsung trial, those patents aren't valid even if Samsung did copy them. With some help from Apple's very light cross-examination, Samsung again flew through a lengthy list of experts who testified on the relative worthlessness of Apple's patents for "data detectors" (also referred to as "quick links"), universal search, autocorrection and the "slide to unlock" concept.
Google releases Helpouts app for iPhone
Google debuted its Hangouts-based video support service Google Helpouts last fall; today an app version for iPhone has been released. Users can connect over Google's Hangouts service to experts who are knowledgable in a specific subject for tutoring. The iOS app offers the ability to find, schedule, give or start a "Helpout," read reviews and listing details, receive text-message and mobile reminders, and more.
New paragraph specifically advises of content scanning on Google services
Google has updated its terms of service, adding an explanation for its content scanning efforts. The new paragraph, one of relatively few changes to the document, specifically notes that Google scans e-mails in order to provide "personally relevant product features," including "customized search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection."
Google Glass update bundles media together for simpler navigation
Google has revealed it will be updating Glass to Android KitKat later this week. While the update introduces a number of changes, including a more refined photographic experience, Google has decided to remove its video calling function from the wearable device, claiming that it has received poor user feedback over the function, and that less than ten percent use it in the first place.
Samsung offers Google engineers, but Samsung marketers in day of witnesses
Over the weekend, Judge Lucy Koh turned down Samsung's request for a summary judgement in the Samsung-Apple second patent trial, claiming that Apple had failed to prove its case during its presentation. Judge Koh rebuffed the claims and thus the trial continued on Monday, with Samsung still presenting its defense. Continuing its strategy of saying the case is about a dispute between Apple and Google rather than Samsung, the Galaxy smartphone maker put on a stunning seven witnesses -- most of them from the search and advertising giant.
Tweet: 'Both sides relying on stories to sell jury, Samsung borrowing Google's'
At the end of the twelth day of the Apple-Samsung trial, and fifth day of testimony, Apple rested its case against Samsung following a detailed presentation from "microeconomist" and PhD Chris Vellturo in which he explained for the jury exactly how he calculated the $2.191 billion in damages Samsung should owe Apple for its infringement. Samsung, which has admitted in an earlier damages retrial that it copied from Apple, began presenting its defense -- by borrowing a Google software executive.
Google opening up Google Glass sale April 15 for one day
Confirming earlier rumors, Google is opening up wearable computing device Google Glass for purchase for one day in the US. Any US adult can join the Explorer program with any shade or frame for $1,500, plus applicable local sales tax. Available devices are limited. Purchase begins April 15 at 6AM PDT.
Chromecast support in Android app brings Aereo to televisions
Troubled television rebroadcasting start-up Aereo will be adding support for the Google Chromecast to its Android app at the end of next month, the company has announced. The move will allow customers to watch live broadcast television via the Chromecast, as well as programs recorded on the service's cloud-based DVR, starting from May 29th.
Project Ara developer kit defines basic specifications of smartphone modules
Google has provided more details about its modular Project Ara smartphone plans, by releasing its Module Developers Kit. The documents, published ahead of a developer conference for the device, detail how the smartphone is put together, as well as basic specifications that individual modules must fulfill in order to interface with the main endoskeleton and other modules.
Switch to flip 'later this year'
Google Fiber's deployment in Austin, Texas has been delayed several months, Google tells local NBC affiliate KXAN. Signups for Austin residents will only open this summer, while the service itself is due to go live "later this year." When Google announced that Fiber was coming to Austin a year ago, it said it had hoped to connect people by mid-2014, after signups in January.
Executive selected for the job, will assist in Lenovo transition
Just prior to its offload to Lenovo, Motorola Mobility has named Rick Osterloh as chief operating officer. Jonathan Rosenberg, Google's Senior Vice President of Product Management announced the appointment of Osterloh, who is replacing Dennis Woodside -- who departed to become Dropbox's first chief operating officer.
Android 4.1.1 vulnerable, device manufacturers informed
In the wake of the disclosure of the OpenSSL "Heartbleed" bug, search engine Google has patched its systems to counter the day-zero flaw. While noting that Google Chrome and ChromeOS aren't affected, the search engine behemoth has fixed any issues with Search, Gmail, YouTube, Wallet, Play, Apps, and App Engine.
Google seen as most likely buyer
Both Apple and Google have explored buying mobile payment platform Square during the past year, sources say. Rumors about an acquisition have allegedly increased in recent weeks, with Google being picked as the most likely buyer, should a deal actually happen. No offers have been made though, and people close to Square's management say the company isn't actively chasing an acquisition.
Logitech launches K830 illuminated keyboard in US, Europe
Logitech has introduced the K830 Illuminated Living-Room Keyboard. The wireless, rechargeable keyboard has a range of up to 33 feet from its 2.4GHz USB adapter, and an integrated trackpad for mouse controls. The backlit keys, along with the multimedia keys, automatically dim and brighten based on the amount of available light, with the backlight switching off after five seconds of inactivity. Logitech is shipping the K830 in the US and Europe this month for $100.
Images can be picked to match device specs
Google has released Chrome 34 for Windows, Mac, and Linux users. The main addition is support for "responsive" images. This allows web developers to set multiple versions of a graphic, improving speed and bandwidth consumption on less powerful devices. Whereas a Windows desktop user might see the full-quality version of an image, for example, someone on an iPhone might see a lower-resolution file. The iOS and Android apps haven't been updated yet, however.
Failure to reach settlement could cost high-tech industry $9 billion
Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe are among the high-tech companies working to settle a class action lawsuit over their hiring practices within the next several weeks, according to the New York Times. The suit covers some 100,000 people, and alleges that anti-poaching policies agreed to between the companies deprived workers of higher wages they would've got had the businesses had been hiring competitively. If a settlement isn't reached, the firms could owe as much as $9 billion in damages, or $90,000 per person.
Game of Thrones premiere free on Xbox Video after HBO Go crashes
HBO is offering the season 4 premiere of Game of Thrones free on Xbox, after its HBO Go app failed during the broadcast. The free episode will be viewable on both the Xbox One and Xbox 360 through Xbox Video, rather than the HBO Go app until April 14th, reports Variety. HBO Go is not the only service to be affected by the influx of Game of Thrones fans, as British broadcaster Sky's Now TV suffered a similar fate during the later UK broadcast last night.
Google TV replacement uses cards, recommends content
Google is preparing to offer an updated form of its Google TV software under the name of Android TV, according to a report. Screenshots of the software, which was previously said to have been rebranded to the new name, have surfaced to show an interface that takes after the company's "card" system in what appears to be a more cohesive user experience.
Google's new Night Walk offers immersive tour through Cours Julien neighbourhood in France
Google's Street View has been taken to a new level with its release of Google Night Walk, an audio-based tour through a French neighbourhood. Leading those accessing the tour though Cours Julien, a neighbourhood of Marseille, France, narrators Julie and Christophe lead users across the city, highlighting locations of note. A mini-map displays one's progress though the city, and certain hotspots initiate YouTube clips, Wikipedia segments and photo galleries, and more.
Electro-permanent magnets for Project Ara demonstrated
Google has revealed more about its Project Ara modular smartphone ahead of its first Ara Developers Conference on April 15th. A video showing the team behind the project has been posted to YouTube by PhoneBloks, demonstrating how the smartphone stays together, as well as how individual modules could have various external textures and styles.
US Patent and Trademark Office objects to single word 'Glass' trademark from Google
Google has hit a minor stumbling block in releasing its Glass smart headwear, thanks to the US Patent and Trademark Office. The USPTO is resisting an application to trademark the single term "Glass," with a letter to the company unearthed by the Wall Street Journal revealing a pair of objections by one examiner, though this is unlikely to have stalled the device's eventual release.
Google carrier service could supplement Fiber-based Wi-Fi hotspot network
Google may be looking to create its own wireless carrier, according to a report. The company allegedly plans to create some form of mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), namely one working on top of an existing cellular network, with the initial target areas for the service said to be markets that already have Google Fiber up and running or will do so in the future.
eBay, Amazon, HP, Oracle near bottom of major corporations
In terms of datacenters, Apple has scored the top position on a new Greenpeace list of the most environmentally-friendly high-tech businesses. The company is the only one with a 100 percent figure on Greenpeace's "clean energy index," since its datacenters are completely free of any dependence on coal, nuclear power, or natural gas. It also has an "A" score under categories of Energy Transparency, Commitment & Siting Policy, and Deployment & Accuracy. It achieved a B in terms of Energy Efficiency & Mitigation.
Samsung says Google was already working on Apple-patented tech
Google's former Android head, Andy Rubin, may be asked to testify on behalf on Samsung during the second Apple v. Samsung patent trial beginning today, says the Wall Street Journal. Samsung is reportedly challenging Apple's assertion that the iPhone was completely groundbreaking by pointing out that Google was already working some of the contested technologies before the iPhone shipped. It notes that except for slide-to-unlock, all of the patents Apple is asserting -- related to hyperlinking, background sync, Siri's universal search functions, and auto-complete -- are Android features.
Interception of Turkish traffic to Google DNS could be continued censorship attempt
Google's Public DNS service is being intercepted by Internet service providers in Turkey, the company has alleged. Servers have apparently been set up by each ISP to "masquerade as Google's DNS service," in what could be considered an attempt by those responsible to monitor or censor critics of the country's government while elections are underway.
Logo rules promote Android at device start-up
Google is pushing to promote the Android operating system further, by requiring device manufacturers to add extra branding to their devices. The start-up screens of the new HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S5 both now include a "Powered by Android" logo close to the bottom, and could possibly lead to more prominent signs of the mobile operating system's use in the future.
Swatch turning away partnership deals
Apple, Google, and Samsung are among the wearable tech developers trying to court help from Swiss watchmakers, says the Financial Times. One of the core targets has been Swatch, the world's biggest watchmaker. "We have been in discussions – not ever initiated by us – with practically all players in smart wearables up until today," says Swatch CEO Nick Hayek. "However, we see no reason why we should enter into any partnership agreement."
US tops list of countries requesting user data from Google
Requests for user information received by Google from government agencies have increased 120 percent since 2009, according to the search company's latest transparency report. The quantity of requests in the second half of 2013 reached an all-time high of 27,477, up from 25,879 for the first half of the year, while the percentage of requests where some data is provided has reached its lowest point since the report began, with 64 percent.
Fine assessed for failure to provide documentation in a timely manner
Search engine giant Google has been fined 10 million rupee ($166,000) in India. The penalty has been levied by the nation's antitrust investigative body "for failure to comply with the directions given by the Director General (DG) seeking information and documents." The company is under investigation by India's Competition Commission (CCI), and may face $5 billion in fines for abusing its search engine dominance.
YouTube banned in Turkey one day after similar Twitter block lifts
Turkey is blocking access to YouTube, in order to prevent the spread of videos alleging there to be corruption in the country's government. The new ban on the video service comes just a day after courts ordered the block on Twitter to be lifted by the government, with the telecommunications regulator (TIB) claiming the latest block is to prevent a "national security issue."
Random selection will determine attendees from interested individuals
Google has officially launched its website for the 2014 Google I/O conference to be held on June 25-26. The conference attendees will be selected by lottery, with interested attendees submitting interest and the search engine randomly selecting those able to purchase a ticket. Previous years' events have revealed the Nexus lines of Google-sponsored hardware, major Android releases, Chromebooks, and Google Music.
'Innocence of Muslims' film keeps re-appearing on YouTube
According to the complaining actress, Google is not complying with an order by the Ninth Circuit Court in California to purge the anti-Islamic Innocence of Muslims film from its YouTube service. Saying that all Google has done is post "a snide message" on a few copies of the movie on it service, actress Cindy Lee Garcia has filed an emergency motion for sanctions against the search engine for noncompliance.
Glasses manufacturer to assist with design, production, distribution of Google Glass
Google is partnering with Luxottica, the manufacturer behind Ray-Ban and Oakley, to work on designs for the search company's Glass project. The agreement will not only cover the creation of new frames for Google Glass, but will also see the premium eyewear brand assisting with its manufacturing expertise and, potentially, distribution of Glass via its retail stores.
Feature being rolled out gradually
Google Now notifications are beginning to roll out to users of the stable versions of Chrome, according to an official announcement. Until this week, Now was only available in Android, beta editions of Chrome, and the Google Search app for iOS. Only a small percentage of Chrome users will see notifications today; the full rollout is set to last several weeks.
'Photowall for Chromecast' App available now, has no functionality
Google has inadvertently released what appears to be a partially-finished iOS application to Apple's App Store, leveraging its new Chromecast television dongle peripheral. The new iOS-only app called "Photowall for Chromecast" will at some point allow users to create a photo montage through the iOS device to a Chromecast.
Messages describe 'irate' calls from Steve Jobs
A newly-published set of emails explicitly detail the anti-poaching agreements reached between Apple, Google, and a collection of other high-tech firms. The companies settled a US Department of Justice investigation on the matter in 2010, but are still dealing with class action litigation. One of the instigators of the anti-poaching deals appears to have been former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who made "irate" calls to Google co-founder Sergey Brin in February 2005, complaining that Google was trying to hire away members of the Safari development team. Brin mentions "veiled threats" from Jobs; after a second call, he adds that "Basically, he [Jobs] said 'if you hire a single one of these people that means war'."
DNS ban thwarts Turkish citizen workaround of Twitter blockade
Turkey is actively blocking access to Google's DNS service, in order to keep Twitter and allegations of corruption blocked off from the country's citizens. Following its ban of the micro-blogging platform a few days ago, the move is an attempt to thwart efforts by Twitter users from accessing the service via a workaround, though this too may soon be temporarily thwarted.
Meeting scheduled for 4PM, no specific attendees known
President Obama is slated to meet with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and undisclosed tech company executives later today, according to the White House schedule. On the agenda are further discussions with the executives about recent NSA revelations, and a continuation of the president's "dialogue with them on the issues of privacy, technology, and intelligence."
Encryption of data between Google data centers implemented
In response to recent leaks of harvested data being sent to the NSA from big providers, Google is now always using an encrypted HTTPS connection when users check or send mail. Additionally, Google claims that 100 percent of users' emails are encrypted when moving between Google's data centers, something the company calls "a top priority after last summer's revelations."
Pebble lowers price of Steel smart watch with leather strap
Pebble has cut the price for one version of its metal smartwatch. The leather-strap version of the Pebble Steel is now reduced to $229 for both the brushed stainless and black matte models, representing a $20 saving on the metal-band variants, reports SmartwatchFans. Potential buyers will have to wait, as the leather-strapped models are now back-ordered, while the metal strap versions are listed as "unavailable." The original version of the Pebble is still listed as in-stock.
Judge Lucy Koh, of Apple versus Samsung fame, denies suit combination
US District Judge Lucy Koh has handed a partial victory to Google in a privacy suit against the search engine. In a Tuesday decision, the judge rued that a handful of lawsuits the company is facing may not be combined into a class-action suit, as the suits lack sufficient commonality. Based on the ruling, the myriad of filers must be heard individually or in smaller groups, escalating costs to the complainants.
First international expansion of Google Chromecast since US launch
Google is performing its first major international expansion of its Chromecast streaming HDMI dongle, making it available to purchase outside of the United States for the first time. Residents in a total of 11 more countries can now buy the device through Google Play and retailers, including the United Kingdom, Canada, and a number of other European countries.
Wearable device operating system to first arrive on smart watches
Google has announced its operating system software for wearable devices, called Android Wear. Hinted at during a South by Southwest interview by head of Android and Chrome Sundar Pichai, the software will allow hardware producers to build devices, such as smart watches, with the platform claimed to offer many of the functions typically associated with smart devices, but with a Google twist.
New device to ship in latter half of 2014, specs unknown
Accompanying Google's wearable device API for Android reveal, LG has announced that it is working together with Google on LG's G Watch powered by Android Wear, which extends the Android platform to wearables. As one of Google's lead partners in this effort, LG is planning to introduce its first watch powered by Android Wear in the second quarter of 2014.
Endless morass of appeals and hearings ended by settlement
Google today announced that it has settled its long-running copyright litigation over videos hosted on YouTube. The nearly seven-year old lawsuit inspired changes on the service such as the ContentID system, and other initiatives designed to easily identify when videos are being uploaded without permission of the content owner. Viacom had asserted in an appeal of a verdict indemnifying Google from any wrongdoing that YouTube was intentionally violating copyright by not taking action against every copyright violation it later found.
Play Movies and TV reaches 39 more countries on Android, 32 on iOS
Google has expanded the reach of two of its Google Play services, allowing more users access to its content. Google Play Music and Music All Access has been enabled in four more countries, while the Google Play Movies and TV apps gain increased language support and a service expansion into up to 39 new markets on Android, 32 new countries on iOS.