Sony’s bulky new Google Glass competitor is looking for developers

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With the exception of its highly successful PlayStation 4, many of Sony’s consumer electronic brands have been struggling lately. So it came as a bit of a surprise when the company revealed development plans for its own smart eyewear. Referred to as SmartEyeglass, it almost looks like a leftover set of 3D glasses from Sony’s Bravia TV division, but instead it’s the company’s answer to Google Glass.

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YouTube once again looking to help fund original content

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YouTube announced this evening in a blog post that, once again, it plans to start funding original content. Two years ago, YouTube announced plans to spend more than $100 million to get content creators to create YouTube channels on which to share videos. With that plan, they focused on bringing in outside entertainers. With this new push, however, YouTube says it will focus on helping the self-funded and self-published stars on the site grow.

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Android ‘L’ to include data encryption by default, preventing police from accessing files

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Google said today that the upcoming Android L release would enable data encryption by default when users set up a new device. Previous versions of Android included the security measure as an option, but many users did not choose to activate it. Now the feature will automatically be turned on, meaning no data on the phone will be accessible without the owner’s password.

Essentially this will prevent anyone—including police—from reading stored text messages, viewing photos from the phone’s library, or checking the call history (among other things) even if allowed to do so by a court order. Apple rolled out a similar feature to its iPhone users with an update yesterday.

As reported by the Washington Post:
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News Corp. publicly blasts Google, asks EU to reconsider antitrust settlement

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News Corp. recently issued a letter to the European Union blasting Google’s search and advertising practices. The correspondence also requested that the EU enforce stricter policies against the software company. News Corp. chief executive Robert Thomson wrote that Google was “willing to exploit its dominant market position to stifle competition.”

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OnePlus One pre-order program coming in late October

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After months of crazy marketing gimmicks, invite purchase systems and secret handshakes, the OnePlus One will be up for pre-order starting in October. Today, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer announced plans to make ordering its “flagship killer” a lot easier and also gave an explanation of why it used an unconventional invitation-based purchase system in the first place.

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Google Docs, Slides and Drawings now equipped with automated list formatting

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Today, Google announced a couple of updates for its office software suite that should increase productivity for frequent users. The search giant has added a new formatting feature to Docs, Slides and Drawings that automatically creates bullet points or numbered lists after typing an applicable character at the beginning of a paragraph. For example, if you type an asterisk followed by the spacebar, Docs will automatically add a bullet point to that particular segment.

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Moto 360 review: The best Android Wear smartwatch currently available

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What can I say about the Moto 360 that hasn’t already been said about every other Android Wear smartwatch on the market? Luckily, there’s quite a bit. First off, if you’re not familiar with Android Wear, this brief review may not make a lot of sense to you, so I’d recommend reading our Android Wear review to get caught up on things.

The Moto 360 is the smartwatch we’ve all been waiting for this year. I wear this thing everywhere. I suppose Android Wear’s functionality has a lot to do with my love for it, but the Moto 360 packs charm all on its own. Enough with the small talk, let’s get into the review…

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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 pre-orders start tomorrow, launches on October 17th (update)

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The Galaxy Note 4 became an official product two weeks ago at IFA in Berlin and today US carriers are providing pre-order and launch details for Samsung’s new extra-large smartphone. Each carrier appears to be doing things a little differently, with Verizon and AT&T opening its pre-orders tomorrow, and T-Mobile accepting reservations on September 24th.

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Google joins forces with Dropbox and other organizations to develop easy to use open source security tools

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Today, Google, Dropbox and the Open Technology Fund announced Simple Secure, a new non-profit organization focused on making open source security tools easier to use. The group recognizes that several effective consumer-focused security options currently exist, however it also points out that these platforms have poor adoption rates because they’re too confusing for people to use. Stating that security measures like two-factor authentication are often avoided and viewed as a hassle.

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Google X old hat, thinks Larry Page – proposes Google Y for even bigger challenges

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You might think Google’s ‘moonshot’ lab, Google X, is pretty out there, with autonomous cars, smart contact lenses and balloon-served Internet. But co-founder Larry Page seemingly thinks the company needs to look even further ahead: The Information (paywall) reports that he has proposed a second lab, Google Y, to look at even bigger issues.

The idea came out out of an initiative Page created called Google 2.0, designed to create a new set of goals for the company, an approach similar to that taken by the late Steve Jobs at Apple in 2010, where he created an off-site strategy-planning meeting for the top 100 people in the company.

A little over a year ago, Google CEO Larry Page convened his direct reports, the company’s dozen or so senior vice presidents, for a project that would take up two days a week for a couple of months. About 100 other employees below the SVP rank also participated in the effort, dubbed Google 2.0 …

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Amazon announces massive Kindle refresh including new ‘Kindle Voyage’ and $99 Kindle Fire HD tablet

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Following a big day of Apple news, Kindle has unleashed a massive refresh of its Kindle lines, including three refreshed Kindles and—interestingly—one completely new Kindle model. The lineup includes the company’s new flagship e-reader dubbed Kindle Voyage, a new entry-level Kindle that now packs a touch screen, an updated Kindle Fire HDX, and a new Kindle Fire HD, which is starting at just $99. Read more

Starbucks for Android updated w/ new widgets, ability to digitally tip, shake your phone to pay, more

The Starbucks app on Android has always been on the forefront of mobile payment and technology features, and this evening, the app has received an update making it even more useful for customers. Bumping the app to version 2.7, the update today adds a handful of new features, including the ability to pay tips digitally and shake your phone to pay.

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