European 2G, 3G, 4G patents from Ericsson used by Unwired Planet in lawsuit
Huawei, Google, HTC, and Samsung have become the targets for two patent infringement lawsuits, filed simultaneously in the United Kingdom and Germany. Unwired Planet, the owner of 2,400 wireless patents it acquired from Ericsson last year, claims a total of six patents have been infringed by the technology company group. Although Unwired Planet has not estimated the possible value of the UK action, the company is seeking at least 30 million euro ($42 million) from the German case.
Class-action filing mirrors similar $32.5M suit against Apple
A class action lawsuit against Google has been filed, accusing the search company of enabling unauthorized in-app purchases. The suit, filed by law firm Berger & Montague in San Francisco, accuses Google of failing to protect device owners from such purchases, and mirrors an earlier case against Apple over the same matter, one which led to a settlement of $32.5 million.
Indian Competition Commission investigating Google's search behaviors
Adding to Google's antitrust woes worldwide, the company is facing an investigation by India's Competition Commission (CCI) in which it may be found liable for up to $5 billion in fines. The investigation, already underway for three years, is similar to that in other countries in claiming that the search engine giant is abusing its industry-leading position and inserting Google services over those of competitors illicitly.
Neighborhoods have deadlines for registration to attract Google Fiber
Citing the Google connectivity effort underway so far having laid 6,000 miles of Fiberoptic cable in the Kansas City metro area, the search engine is opening up the signup process to residents in south Kansas City, Kansas City, north, Grandview, Raytown and Gladstone. Should enough residents in each of those areas sign up for the service and pay a $10 registration fee, Google will extend the fiber connection to that network.
New program designed to maintain adoption rate of paid Google Apps
Google today announced a new Google Apps Referral Program that allows business to refer customers to the search engine's paid services. Google claims that most of its customers were "word of mouth" referrals -- to "help continue the momentum," users can refer an unlimited number of customers, with up to 100 users per customer giving a $15 bounty per head to the referrer.
Android, Chrome head Pichai reveals SDK for wearable device plans
Google will be helping developers create software for wearable devices, by releasing a software development kit specifically for the gadgets, the head of Android and Chrome has revealed to an audience in Austin, Texas. Sundar Pichai advised during a SXSW interview that the company would provide an Android-based SDK for wearables within the next two weeks, as well as discussing in-car technology, the Chromecast, and other topics.
Google encryption process upgraded according to Executive Chairman
At a panel in Austin, Texas during SXSW, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt told the audience that the company felt "pretty sure that now the information inside of Google is safe from prying eyes, including those of the US government." This of course comes after the company completed a security system improvement, the process of which had began before the information was leaked by Edward Snowden and Britain's GCHQ data center data transmission interception.
Major online retailers open up pre-orders for March 14, 2014 release
The small form factor Asus Chromebox has gone up for pre-order at a handful of online retailers ahead of a March 14 release. Previously, the desktop machine was listed for a release in March without a firm date attached. Pre-orders cover only the Intel Celeron 2955U 1.4GHz-powered low-end option for the Google Chrome OS-based machine.
Vudu adding support for Google Chromecast to mobile apps, website
Vudu has revealed it will be adding support for the Google Chromecast to the streaming service in the future. Both the mobile apps for iOS and Android will gain the extra ability, including offering remote control through the app itself, with casting through the Chrome browser for Mac and PC also touted as part of the release. Though Vudu has yet to reveal a date, it is accepting registrations for beta testing.
PA Consulting using data to generate interactive maps using patient info
Health Select Committee member Sarah Wollaston is looking into reports in Great Britain that the entire National Health Service patient database has been uploaded onto a series of Google servers. Aggravating the situation, the servers in question are located outside the UK. While the data is as secure as possible, the breach in procedure by PA Consulting raises questions of patient data security and confidentiality. The report comes in the wake of a NHS England revelation that it would delay its own data-mining service, among criticism of how it handles the data.
Ad gives information on Android integration in future head-units
Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler has posted a job ad that gives hints to Google's plans for in-car integration of Android products alongside its previously-announced support for Apple's "iOS in the Car" initiative. The advertisement says that the company is looking for someone to work with Google "projected mode" for Android, the first time such support has been mentioned by the carmaker.
Attempts to keep video up as larger appeal is sought fails
After a ruling on February 26 in which the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a previous decision and ordered a YouTube video removed, Google's appeal to appear before a larger panel review has been denied. On Friday, the Ninth Circuit Court rejected Google's request to put the video's removal on hold as the case continued.
Barge will move despite lack of agreement with Stockton
Google is moving its mysterious barge construction to Stockton, California, according to a report. The move, which will allow Google to set itself free from its current San Francisco permit issues, is apparently news to the new location, with the Port of Stockton Director claiming not to have received any plans from Google or any holding company for the barge transportation.
Hands-free voice search could hit public Chrome release in near future
Google has updated the beta version of the Chrome browser to add hands-free voice search, among other updates. Version 34 of the beta adds the same voice search functionality the company added to the Chromium browser last month, and allows users to search for items using the "OK Google" command, without needing to install an extension beforehand.
Introductory modular device will have Wi-Fi, display, no cellular radios
Google's modular smartphone could end up being an extremely cheap device at launch, according to Project Ara lead Paul Eremenko. The basic entry-level model of the device may be priced as low as $50 if Google gets its way, providing customers a touchscreen and basic components it requires to function, though it will just have Wi-Fi instead of radios for a cellular connection.
Europe asks for safeguards to prevent accidental purchases
Apple and Google will soon be meeting with the European Commission to talk about problems with in-app purchases, according to a press release from the political body. The two companies will be asked to provide measures to protect customers, primarily parents, from accidental in-app purchases. A number of game developers publishing to the iOS App Store or Google Play have been accused of marketing "free" games that lure and/or deceive kids into buying digital items and currency; Apple and Google have sometimes been blamed as lax about putting up barriers to those purchases.
All Nexus, Google Play Edition devices can download new launcher
Google has added the Google Now Launcher to the Play Store, allowing the software that first appeared on the Nexus 5 to be used on other devices. The free launcher, formerly known as the Google Experience Launcher, adds a number of features not offered in the original Android 4.4 launcher, including a dedicated Home Screen page for Google now, as well as performing hands-free voice searches by uttering "OK Google" before the search query.
High-tech companies control top three spots
For the seventh year in a row, Apple has taken the top spot on Fortune's "World's Most Admired Companies" list. The ranking is based on a survey of corporate executives and directors, as well as industry analysts; all three groups were asked to evaluate companies based on factors like innovation, social responsibility, and people management. Apple took home an overall score of 7.94, beating out Amazon, which achieved 7.09. Google in turn dropped to third place.
First of three conferences will help teach Ara module creation
Google will be providing more details of its Project Ara modular smartphone scheme to developers in a trio of conferences, the company has revealed. The first Ara Developers Conference will be held on April 15th and 16th, with the primarily-online conference using streaming video and accepting questions, while a "limited number of participants" will be able to take part in person at Mountain View's Computer History Museum.
Voting window appears when searching Google for American Idol terms
FremantleMedia, 19 Entertainment/CORE Media Group, and the Fox broadcasting network today announced partnerships with search powerhouse Google and social networking giant Facebook, designed to give fans new interactive on-air and online experiences with the series of American Idol XIII live shows and attendant fan voting.
Movie 'trailer' on Google's service seen as blasphemous to Muslims
Earlier today. a US appeals court upheld a ruling forcing Google to pull an anti-Islamic film from YouTube that caused international unrest on its release. The Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Google's defense that pulling the video, which depicted the Prophet Mohammed as a sexual deviant, was impinging on freedom of speech, and thus the action would violate Constitutional protections.
Three states' officials contacted by Google-funded lobbyists
According to reports, Google is attempting to stop legislation that would mark Google Glass as a hazard to driving. Elected officials in Delaware, Illinois, and Missouri have allegedly been contacted, with the search engine giant claiming that it isn't necessary to restrict Google Glass use by drivers as the technology is still in its infancy, and not widely available to the public.
Industry seeks to limit potential for injunctions
Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and Google are among a group of 19 businesses and associations that have submitted a letter to the European Union, asking it to implement measures designed to fight patent trolls, Bloomberg reports. In particular, the companies are asking for limitations on product injunctions and/or court proceedings when the validity of a related patent is still in contention. Patent trolls are companies that make no products of their own, but instead generate income through licensing fees and/or lawsuits.
New device expected to be widely compatible, be powered by Android
A pair of sources have recently popped up claiming that electronics manufacturer LG and Google were teaming up to build out the search engine behemoth's second wearable computing device, in the form of its first smartwatch. The device is expected to be compatible with multiple smartphones, unlike Samsung's first effort in the space, and will be powered by at least an offshoot of Google's Android operating system.
Google makes 200 developer kits ready for distribution
The Google Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) skunkworks unveiled its latest project earlier today -- Project Tango. The project's stated goals are to "give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion." The first tangible product from the effort is a five-inch phone containing customized hardware and software, able to track the full-3D motion of the device, while simultaneously mapping the space at the same time.
Android, iOS app said to automatically connect users to private, public hotspots
Google is working on creating an app that can automatically authenticate with free Wi-Fi hotspots, according to a report. The app, for iOS as well as Android, is said to be on trial at the Mountain View headquarters of the search company, with a possibility of the app working with the hotspots in 7,000 US Starbucks stores when Google replaces the existing AT&T connections.
Moscone Center in San Francisco set for annual conference
Google has revealed its annual Google I/O conference dates for 2014. The technology conference will be held on June 25 and 26, and will be held in Moscone Center in San Francisco. The reveal was made by Google Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai on Google+.
Guidance could help make Google Glass more socially acceptable
Google has provided advice to owners of its Glass headwear, by offering a list of Do's" and "Don'ts" for its usage. The guidance page on the Glass website reads as a list of suggestions for best usage of Google Glass itself, as well as use of the device in social situations, including one item specifically advising "Don't be creepy or rude (aka, a 'Glasshole')".
Android co-creator may be asked to explain development of certain features
During next month's Apple v. Samsung trial, Apple may call Google's Andy Rubin to the stand to testify, according to court documents. Rubin was one of the creators of the Android platform, and would be asked to explain the development of Android features Apple claims infringe on patented content. He may also be asked to speak about "Google documents relating to such development." In March 2013 Rubin left the Android team to work on Google robotics projects.
Wearable fitness tracker could be purchased for under $100M
Fitness tracker producer Basis Science could be acquired by a major technology company in the near future, according to rumors. A report claims the wearable device manufacturer behind the Basis B1 fitness tracker is in talks with Apple and Google, with a further claim of discussions with Microsoft and Samsung over a possible sale, though not necessarily for a high price.
Security startup SlickLogin purchased by Google
Israeli security startup SlickLogin has announced that it will be joining Google, in light of the company's recent buyout. Aiming to offer a simplistic yet secure method of user authentication, SlickLogin's users can authorize access to a secure account by placing their phone next to their laptop or tablet, which emits an undetectable sound. The sound acts as a unique audio password, and utilizes patent-pending technologies. Google's acquisition of SlickLogin suggests that its two-factor authentication technology may be replaced in the future.
iTunes and Google Play putting a stop to more flappy clones
Applications trying capitalize on the success of Flappy Bird in order to jump to the top of the charts on iTunes and Google Play will have to take another approach today, as both Apple and Google has started to reject applications that contain the word "flappy" in the title and descriptions. In the wake of the original game being pulled by developer Dong Nguyen, both services have been flooded with clone applications trying to fill the void left by the game's departure.
Google requires pre-installed apps and default search
Information has surfaced about Google's Android licensing agreements that makes the operating system seem not quite as open as the company proclaims. Signed agreement documents with Samsung and HTC that had been previously unreleased have been revealed thanks to the Oracle v. Google case, and puts on display portions of the rules and conditions that come with using the free mobile operating system.
Update follows release of Chromecast SDK to developers in early February
Owners of the Google Chromecast may find more apps will work with their device in the near future, as the latest Google Play Services update for Android has rolled-out to Android devices, and the accompanying SDK has been issued to developers. Version 4.2 of Google Play Services adds a number of APIs for developers to use in their Android applications, including the Chromecast API the company released an SDK for earlier this month.
Increase in speed could be ten times that offered by Google Fiber
Broadband connections could get considerably faster in the future, if technology worked on by Google comes to fruition. The search company is apparently working on ways to offer connections as fast as 10 Gbps, ten times that of current Google Fiber connections, under current plans to develop what Google views as the next generation of the Internet.
DaaS allows Chromebooks to run cloud-based Windows apps
Chrome OS users will be able to use traditional Windows apps in the future, Google has announced. Working with VMWare, the two companies have developed Desktop as a Service (DaaS) for enterprise users, allowing companies to run Windows apps on servers with the intention of letting Chrome OS devices connect and stream the content directly to the Chromebook or Chromebox.
Touchscreen kiosks to help navigate NYC subway starts roll-out
New York City has started to add interactive maps to help passengers of the subway system. Gizmodo reports that the first 18 MTA On-The-Go kiosks have been installed in the Grand Central subway station, with the MTA and Control Group project using 47-inch touchscreen displays that show train arrival estimates, scheduled departures, and a map which helps plan a route through the system with warnings of potential issues. A wider rollout to more stations is expected to take place by mid-2014.
Smart appliance manufacturer purchase finalized by Google
Google has completed its acquisition of smart digital thermostat and smoke detector manufacturer Nest. A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows the purchase of the hardware producer has been finalized and ended on February 7th, with the high-profile acquisition costing Google $3.2 billion in cash. Former iPod designer Tony Fadell will continue to lead the company, reporting to Larry Page.
Slow Verizon certification process completes six months after launch
Verizon is finally preparing to offer the Google Nexus 7 on its LTE network, with the tablet going on sale through the carrier from February 13th. Taking place half a year after its launch, the tablet has received LTE certification on the carrier after a prolonged process, with both the Nexus 7 sold through Verizon itself as well as already-owned versions able to use the Verizon's LTE cellular network.
Google, HP team on latest attempt at the Chromebook
Back in October 2008, before the world had seen the iPad, the late Steve Jobs was asked what Apple was planning to do in response to the what turned out to be a passing fad with netbooks. At the time, Jobs said that "We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk," as he made it very clear that Apple was not planning to enter into the economy notebook segment. The HP Chromebook 11 is priced well below $500 at $279, but promises to be the first economy-class notebook that could change your perception of Chromebooks, armed as it is with decent build quality, a refined design, and a high-quality 11-inch display.
Shutterstock launches 4K video support
Publicly traded stock photography and video site Shutterstock has launched support for 4K video. According to Tech Crunch, Shutterstock currently has over 11,000 hi-resolution 4K videos available, in addition to its 1.3 million HD and 150,000 low-resolution catalogs. Shutterstock is expanding its HD library approximately 12,000 videos per week. Subscription pricing begins at $250 per month for image downloading, and $370 for 5 HD videos.
Device may offer advantages to patrolling officers
One of the largest police departments in the United States is said to be experimenting with Google Glass as a way to give officers more tools in the field. The New York Police Department is looking into the idea of the everyday use of the device for widespread law enforcement applications; something of a reversal compared to how other law enforcement organizations currently handle the device.
Apple CEO doesn't dismiss possibility of bigger iPhone
The Wall Street Journal has published the full contents of yesterday's interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook, in which he announced the company's expanded share buyback plan. Commenting on Google's recent sale of Motorola to Lenovo, Cook says that he "wasn't surprised," and that it "seems like a logical transaction," since Motorola is losing money and Google isn't committed to it. "I think it's really hard to do hardware, software and services and to link all those things together. That's what makes Apple so special," he adds. "It's really hard, so I'm not surprised that they are not going to do that."
UK sale will mark first time Chromecast available outside of United States
Google will be launching its Chromecast streaming device in the United Kingdom, a retailer has revealed. The dongle is set to go on sale through the Currys PC World chain of stores with a tentative street date of March 1st, and marks the first time the Chromecast will be available to buy in a country outside the United States, with the potential for more regional launches to follow.
CNIL fine, 48-hour warning to users contested in court
Package makes i7 Chromebox available in the US months before other models
Google and HP have teamed for an office communications package featuring Chromebox technology. Google VP of Product Management Caesar Sengupta announced the "Chromebox for Meetings" package, including a Core i7 Chromebox, a HD camera, Bluetooth speaker, and keyboard remote.
Music videos given more prominence in related searches
Google has made two updates to search, for desktops as well as its Android search app. Web-based Google searches will now more prominently display YouTube videos for searches using musical terms, while the Android search app introduces a number of Google Now tweaks, with the option to set specific on-demand and TV providers in the search settings being the biggest change.
Ex-chief moving to head new un-named projects at Google
Google today promoted one of its early employees to be the new head of YouTube. Susan Wojcicki has been shuffled from vice president of advertising and commerce to helm the video serving service. Ex-head Salar Kamangar will be retained at Google, to work on projects at the search engine that are still in their infancy.
Companies want easier time recouping legal fees
A collection of companies -- including Apple, Google, Yahoo, Intel, Cisco, and Facebook -- are asking the US Supreme Court for measures to help deter frivolous patent lawsuits, Bloomberg reports. In particular, the companies are seeking to change the language used to determine when a defendant can claim coverage of legal fees from a plaintiff. The current standard allows coverage only if a suit is ruled "objectively baseless" and filed in bad faith.