Google adds new stats, examples of government requests in latest Transparency Report

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Google released the latest version of its Transparency Report today, revealing data about government requests the company received between June and December of 2013. According to the report, Google received 3,105 requests to remove 14,637 pieces of content within that time period, which brings the total number of requests received by the Mountain View corporation up to 6,591 for the entirety of 2013, a figure that’s about 60% higher than the previous calendar year.

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Lionsgate offering The Hunger Games and Catching Fire movies for free to select Samsung users

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To celebrate the holiday season, Lionsgate is offering users of select Samsung devices free downloads of two popular movies. Users of the Galaxy Tab S, Galaxy Note Pro, Galaxy Tab Pro, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S5, and Galaxy Note 3 can download The Hunger Games movie and its sequel Catching Fire for totally free via the Lionsgate Android app.

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Google announces Tegra K1 processor will be among those available for Project Ara

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Google today announced a few new details about the progress on its Project Ara smartphone, which will feature interchangeable internal components designed to allow consumers to build exactly the phone they want and upgrade individual parts as necessary.

The latest update on the project includes some information about what types of processors are expected to be available for the device. Previously Google had announced a partnership with Rockchip to create a custom system-on-a-chip that would power the Ara. The company revealed today that Marvell’s PXA1928 will also be available in the lineup.

However, the bigger news is that the NVIDIA Tegra K1…

Google adds always-listening ‘OK Google’ voice activation to Chromebooks

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While “OK Google” capability has been available in the form of a Chrome extension for quite some time now, those using it had to be on a specific page within Chrome for the browser to be listening for the appropriate hot words. Now, Google has pushed—in the dev build of Chrome OS—the option for users to turn on always-listening “OK Google,” which will allow you to use voice activation from anywhere as long as your device is on and unlocked.

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Google goes on offense, takes Project Goliath main player Jim Hood to court

Project Goliath Mississippi Google lawsuit

The story of Goliath continues today, and this time it looks like Google is going on the offensive. The Verge is reporting that Google has today filed a lawsuit against one Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood, who has largely been at the center of the Goliath controversy. He has recently been facing scrutiny over his deep involvement with the MPAA’s efforts to take a stand against Google, and now Google is taking a stand of its own.

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Minuum keyboard rolls out version 3.0 with Material Design, multilingual typing support

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If you’ve ever tried any third party keyboards on your Android device, there’s a decent chance that Minuum was one of them. Today, version 3.0 of the space-saving keyboard has begun rolling out, packing a slew of new features including Material Design and experimental support for simultaneous use of multiple languages.

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Google.org giving over $15 million in grants to groups including Feeding America, Nexleaf Analytics, & Malaria No More

Google.org

Google is highlighting some of its philanthropic efforts going into the holidays as it promotes the season of giving. Through Google.org, the charitable arm of the company, Google is donating more than $15 million in grants to three specific groups: Feeding America, Nexleaf Analytics, and Malaria No More. Read more

Videos preview upcoming Android 5.0.1 update for Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Note Edge, & S5 LTE-A

Samsung focused blog SamMobile today posted the videos above and below showing off an upcoming Android 5.0.1 update for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge, and Galaxy S5 LTE-A.

The update is mostly bug fixes, according to the report, but it also has a few notable new features including slow and fast motion video recording functions. Read more

Leaked James Bond product placement pitches reveal unannounced Sony smartphone

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Emails found among the documents recently stolen from Sony by hackers have revealed what looks to be concept art for an unannounced smartphone. The “XPERIA Z Fourth Generation,” seen above, was pitched by Sony executives for product placements in the recently announced 24th James Bond flick “Spectre.”

The executives haggle over pricing for the placement of the phone, questioning whether they should pay the full $5 million for star Daniel Craig to use the phone, or settle for actor Ben Whishaw’s much cheaper “Q” to show it off.

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Google ‘deeply concerned’ by reports of MPAA working with movie studios to ‘revive SOPA’

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Google has published a post on its Public Policy blog responding to recent revelations that the Motion Picture Association of America was working with a group of movie studios in order to find new ways to force the search giant to modify its results to omit sites that contained stolen copyrighted material:

We are deeply concerned about recent reports that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) led a secret, coordinated campaign to revive the failed SOPA legislation through other means, and helped manufacture legal arguments in connection with an investigation by Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood.

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