Items tagged with NASDAQ:GOOG

There aren't too many software sectors that are changing, tweaking, and innovating as fast as the browser sector. Mozilla's Firefox is fighting for mindshare and marketshare against the likes of Safari, Internet Explorer and Google's Chrome, and given that the true future of the Web is likely on the mobile, it's hardly a surprise to see a lot of new changes coming to Firefox's mobile counterpart. The beta build of Firefox 25 has been announced, and it's going to be quite an improvement once it hits the masses. The major add is a Guest Browsing mode, which will allow you to hand your smartphone to a friend and let them hit the 'net without fear of them logging in via any of your account passwords.... Read more...
BlackBerry has a problem: it just can't get enough attention from the consumer market. In fact, it's actually planning an exit from selling smartphones primarily to consumers in order to focus on lucrative enterprise contracts. But oddly enough, BlackBerry's latest problem has nothing to do with being unable to get attention; in fact, it's quite the opposite. Prior to launching BBM for Android, an unreleased version of the BBM for Android app was posted online. The "leaked" build, according to BlackBerry, was downloaded over a million times in just eight hours. Of course, since the build wasn't final, it's causing some issues across Android phones. So, because it simply has too much attention... Read more...
Motorola announced that the Moto X Developer Edition (for GSM networks, i.e. AT&T and T-Mobile) is now available. The phone’s unlocked bootloader is the prime feature here, and having that luxury will cost you a cool $649. The device sports 32GB of memory and features a two-tone design with a white woven back and a black front; the back bears a “Developer Edition” stamp so others can know what’s up. Unlike the Verizon edition of the Moto X Developer Edition, the GSM version doesn’t come with a SIM card, so you’ll have to provide that on your own. Speaking of the unlocked Verizon version, it’s already out of stock; certainly, that’s due to surprising... Read more...
If you travel, you’re probably already familiar with Google Translate, an app that can come in very handy when you’re abroad. Type “That’s not my monkey,” into the app, select the language you need, and you just might get through customs after all. Google updated its app yesterday with a new feature that makes it even easier to translate your way out of (or into) trouble: handwriting recognition. Why does handwriting recognition matter if you’re already comfortable typing on your smartphone or tablet? Because you may find yourself needing to translate a language for which it would be easier for you to write by hand. (Restaurant menus come to mind.) The update... Read more...
YouTube announced that this November, it will launch an offline viewing option for mobile that will allow users to stash a video for later. Simply put, if you’re in the middle of watching a video on your mobile device and are going to lose your Internet (or just need to do something else for the moment and want to finish the video later), you can add the video to your device. The video will be available on that device, whether or not it’s connected to the Internet, for up to 48 hours. After that it’s gone, but at any time during that window, you can pull it up on your device and watch away. There’s no indication as to how much content a user will be able to park on a device--images... Read more...
News from Intel (and Google) today includes an announcement that more Chromebooks on on their way to market packing Intel’s Haswell processors. The new chips are designed to consume less power, thus preserving battery life for an all-day charge, while still offering better overall performance. Google notes that there are schools in over 20% of school districts across the country that now use Chromebooks, and with prices for some of the machines dipping as low as $199, deploying fleets of these machines in academia is an attractive option. Partners including Acer, ASUS, HP, and Toshiba will be rolling out Chromebooks based on Haswell soon, and they’ll collectively be sporting more... Read more...
Last week, Samsung and Qualcomm both launched their own smartwatch products -- Samsung with its Galaxy Gear, and Qualcomm with the Toq. Early coverage on the hardware has been mixed, but that hasn't stopped an explosion of hyperbole, including the laughable idea that smart watches are going to replace smartphones. At first glance, there seems to be some historical parallel here: Desktops have been largely replaced by laptops, laptops have been chewed into by tablets, and smartphones ate the PDA business of yesteryear. There are people working hard to build smartphones that effectively turn into laptops. What can stop the smartwatch? The simplest reason? Ergonomics. Consider the humble wristwatch.... Read more...
Free phones are everywhere, really. For years now, downmarket handsets have been given away for $0.00 with a new two-year agreement, as a means to milk customers for subscription fees while enticing them with a gratis handset. Even smartphones, if aged enough, can fall to that magical free price point, but this is different. A new report suggests that Amazon could be building a high-end phone that it would give away for free. Of course, Amazon is unique in the technology industry. It barely turns a profit, yet its stock price is crushing it, customers love it, and it's expanding like crazy. Amazon has tried unconventional pricing methods before, most recently with its ad-supported Kindle sales.... Read more...
Following up on the Chrome browser's 5th birthday celebration, Google announced a new kind of Chrome app, which the company says "brings together the speed, security, and flexibility of the modern web with the powerful functionality previously only available with software installed on your devices." Put another away, these apps run in a Chrome browser session but look and act like regular applications you'd install and run on your PC or tablet. In an interview with Time, Google's product lead on Chrome Apps, Erik Kay, said the company's hope is to "dispel the notion that Chrome OS is just a web browser." He admitted that there are "legitimate uses" that aren't possible on today's Chromebooks,... Read more...
As if things weren't buzzing enough out in Berlin this week, the folks at NVIDIA continue the relentless barrage of announcements in the mobile arena, with a joint unveiling and some kudos by way of a design win for their new Tegra 4 SoC. Tegra 4 is destined for devices well beyond NVIDIA's own SHIELD gaming handheld.  In fact, ASUS stepped out with the Tegra 4-powered Transformer Pad TF701T just yesterday and today Xiaomi steps out with the 5-inch Mi3 (MiPhone 3) Android smartphone.  Here in the US Xiaomi might not roll right off the tongue but the Chinese manufacturer is making some serious inroads as of late and attracting top talent to boot. Xiaomi Mi3 Smartphones with NVIDIA's... Read more...
When the Raspberry Pi first hit the scene, the appeal and demand couldn't be avoided. But that being said, I personally didn't forsee the absolute explosion of mini-PCs that would follow. Simply put, if you are in the market to build a quaint little PC, you sure do have a great selection to peruse, with SolidRun adding more quality offerings to the pile. The company's CuBox-i mini-PCs come in a 2x2x2" form-factor and can be had in four different flavors, starting at $45. Each use Freescale's i.MX6 SOCs, with a single-core kicking-off the low-end, and a quad-core, the high-end. As you might expect, the specs can vary wildly from top-to-bottom here, with the bottom two models offering 10/100Mbit/s... Read more...
If you’ve been avoiding signing up for Google’s two-token authentication system because you thought the inconvenience outweighed the extra security for your Google account, you’re probably feeling pretty smug about now. An update today for the Google Authenticator iPhone app wiped out user data for two-token authentication, prompting some angst on Twitter. Google quickly pulled the app from the iTunes so it can fix the issue without it affecting additional users.  Because the app can be used to provide security for other online services, some users who installed the update found that they no longer had the data necessary to log them into services such as Dropbox and Evernote.... Read more...
Now owned by Google, Motorola Mobility is conjoined with one of the world's most innovative companies. And, as it happens, it's the company that makes the world's most prolific mobile operating system: Android. Google promised long ago to not play favorites with Motorola, and the Moto X is proof of that. It's not exactly a Nexus phone, but it's one of the most bloatware-free OEM models to ship without the Nexus logo. In other words, fans of the stock Android experience will find plenty to enjoy here. The raw specifications of the Moto X leave a little bit to be desired. A lot of the pre-launch hype pegged the Moto X as a true iPhone killer -- a phone with cutting-edge internals, a host of new... Read more...
Data privacy is fast becoming a running joke, and users are the punchline. Following the hoopla surrounding NSA's PRISM program, there's evidence to suggest that even link crawling robots can (and do) violate user privacy by sniffing out URLs included in private messages and emails. Not all sites are guilty of this behavior, but of the few that are, they're pretty popular portals. High-Tech Bridge, an information security solutions provider, conducted a simple experiment to verify how the 50 largest social networks, web services, and free email systems respect (or abuse) the privacy of their users. The company deployed a dedicated web server and created secret URLs on it for each tested service.... Read more...
There's really no arguing it: the smartphone camera is killing the conventional point-and-shoot. There's just no great reason to carry around a $200+ compact camera, when high-end phones like the iPhone boast such capable sensors in a product that most Americans already tote around daily. So, what's a camera company to do? Pivot. Samsung produces both low-end and high-end cameras, as well as smartphones, and it's merging the two to some extent with the Galaxy NX. Positioned as a unique member of the successful Galaxy line, the Galaxy NX is said to be the first connected Compact System Camera (CSC). It's effectively an interchangeable lens camera with Android onboard, boasting a massive touch-panel... Read more...
At launch, Google Keep showed a lot of promise. There's Google's epic cloud infrastructure, excellent syncing across the Google ecosystem, and a drop-deal simple interface. Plus, it seems that mobile users at large are howling for a fantastic note-taking app, as proven by the success of items like Evernote. That said, Keep may have been a bit too simple at launch, and also, it only shipped for Android -- no other mobile platforms could take advantage. Today, Google's shaping Keep up a bit, and you can bet it's going right after Evernote. Now, Keep can remind you of important tasks and errands at just the right time and place. For example, Keep works with Google Now to remind you of your grocery... Read more...
Though the new Moto X smartphone, by Google's Motorola Mobility division, may not offer many ground-breaking new technologies from a pure hardware perspective, the device does introduce a number of firsts in terms of features and functionality. The phone's Touchless "OK Google Now" Control, for example, is more than just a novelty with significant practical benefits, especially in the car, when picking up the device could be inconvenient or even dangerous. Motorola Moto X Design It Activation Card Further along those lines, we got a little card in the mail from AT&T, that also introduces a first of sorts with respect to smartphone retail and product customization.  Motorola's new "Moto... Read more...
Those using Google Cloud Storage got a nice treat this week when Google announced that it is now encrypting all data before it’s written to disk with 128-bit AES encryption. Google says that users essentially don’t have to do anything to take advantage of the new capabilities--there’s no setup or configuration needed on the user side. “If you require encryption for your data, this functionality frees you from the hassle and risk of managing your own encryption and decryption keys. We manage the cryptographic keys on your behalf using the same hardened key management systems that Google uses for our own encrypted data, including strict key access controls and auditing,”... Read more...
Once in a while there's a sort of early confluence in technology, where the writing is on the wall for all to see and the opportunity so obvious that the big guns turn their sites to it. Back in the heyday of 3D graphics there were more manufacturers clamoring over each other in the space than you could shake a dynamically-lit, bump-mapped stick at.  From chip suppliers to board partners and software developers, the market was teaming with growth and opportunity.  We're about to turn the corner on the birth of a burgeoning new market and eventually everybody will want in on the action. 3D Printer support, native for Windows 8.1 When Microsoft stepped out and offered native support for... Read more...
Last week, Google said Andy Rubin will be moving to an undefined role within the company and Sundar Pichai will take over Rubin's responsibilities. Rubin is well-known as the architect of Android. Pichai was, and will continue to be, in charge of Google's Chrome web browser and other applications such as Google Drive and Gmail. By bringing Android under the same boss as Chrome, many have speculated as to Google's future plans. Although we don’t know what Rubin will be working on (he will "start a new chapter at Google") or how the change will impact Android, Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt has said Google's Chrome and Android operating systems will remain separate products. Although... Read more...
NORAD may have decided to power their Santa Tracker engine with Bing maps this year but Google is stepping up to the mistletoe, with yuletide vigor, to help those on the "nice" list keep track of Santa's activities and of course that magical journey on Christmas eve.  Google's Santa Tracker page is loaded with goodies for good girls and boys.  And heck, maybe if you've been a tad naughty this year (who hasn't?), you can hop on the Santa HOT line and instant chat with the big man in an effort to get in his good graces.  Think about it.  The office Christmas party this year was a bit of a blow-out.  You remember that, right?  Mum's the word... On December 24th, you... Read more...
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