Stanford medical students will use Google Glass to learn their craft

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Not letting medical students at UC Irvine have all the high-tech fun, scholars at Stanford University will be using Google Glass to hone their skills. The school’s Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery will use a mashup of software from CrowdOptic paired with Mountain View’s next-gen monocle to stream live feeds of surgical procedures while they’re being performed by residents.

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Samsung scores a trio of patents for smartwatches with round faces

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A lot of Android Wear enthusiasts are holding out for the Moto 360 strictly because of its casual appearance. So far most smartwatches have square faces that make them look more like a gadget and less like a fashion statement. While that may work for some people, others are looking for a timepiece that compliments their wardrobe, hence the Moto 360’s popularity. However, some recently awarded patents suggests that Motorola’s forthcoming smartwatch may eventually receive some round competition from Samsung.

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Google improves Hangouts for Apps customers w/ 24/7 support, new features, expanded Chromebox for meetings availability, more

Google just announced that it’s improving the video call and meeting feature it offers to its Google Apps customers making the process of hosting video Hangouts much smoother. To kick things off, Google Apps for Business customers will now enjoy 24/7 phone support and a 99% uptime guarantee as Google movies Hangouts under the same Terms of Service as Apps. It’s also planning Google Apps Vault integration by the end of the year: Read more

Square announces new EMV chip reader for more secure mobile credit and debit card payments

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Today, Square announced a new version of its popular mobile payment system that will support EMV chipped credit cards. EMV is a joint effort from MasterCard and Visa to help improve security credit and debit card transactions and is set to become a standard in the US by October 2015. In addition to EMV-equipped credit cards, the new version of Square’s payment system will still feature support for legacy magnetic strips, so customers will still have the option to swipe and sign.

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Samsung expected to launch Galaxy Alpha, its first all-metal smartphone, on August 4th

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In line with what we heard earlier this month and following leaked photos of the device that surfaced last week, a new report from SamMobile claims that Samsung will unveil the Galaxy Alpha on August 4th. Despite being an all-metal smartphone, the Galaxy Alpha will not positioned as a premium device alongside the flagship Galaxy S5, but rather as a mid-tier variant that uses a mix of high-end and mid-range hardware. Read more

FreedomPop brings its free voice, text & data plans to tablets including a $199 Samsung Galaxy Tab 3

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FreedomPop, the carrier offering free and cheap data plans on Sprint’s network, today announced that it’s bringing its free voice, data, and text plans to tablet users starting with the iPad mini and Samsung Tab 3. Since LTE iPads only support data over their cellular connection, the carrier provides iPad users with Apple headsets with mics for making calls and an app that routes calls/texts through its own VoIP platform.

While there are competitors like Skype that enable VoIP calling on iPads already, FreedomPop has a couple things going for it. The company’s CEO Stephen Stokols notes that “unlike some apps, we actually provision a new unique phone number and enable voice mail, number porting, etc, on it” …  Read more

British government committee says EU’s “right to be forgotten” ruling is unreasonable and impossible

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And so the saga continues … In the short time since the EU ruled that individuals have the right to be forgotten when sensitive information found in search results is considered “outdated or irrelevant,” we’ve seen what is probably best described as the makings of a damn good sitcom. (Note to networks: if you make it, I want my ten percent.)

We first had the amusement of deleted links being reported by the media, bringing the stories back into the limelight. We then had Google describing the impossible position in which it has been placed, being asked to make “difficult and debatable judgements” based on “very vague and subjective tests.”

This was followed by the EU rapping Google’s knuckles for doing it wrong, and we now have a bipartisan British governmental committee disagreeing with the EU and agreeing with Google that it is being asked to “enforce the impossible” …  Read more

Ex-Formula One boss suing Google over republished sex party pictures

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Former Formula One boss, Max Mosley has filed a lawsuit against Google due to the search giant’s continued publishing of less than flattering photos of him with prostitutes at a sex party. In 2008 Mosley was awarded £60,000 in damages from a court case against News of the World after a High Court ruling. Now, the 74 year old former amateur racer is taking legal action against Google based on the company’s search engine reproducing images related to his previous case against the now defunct UK tabloid.

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Skype says free group video calling coming in the future to more platforms

Earlier this month, Microsoft-owned Skype rolled out a group video calling feature to Windows tablets. The free video calling allows for calls with up to ten people, and integrates with Skype on the desktop, which has supported group video calling since April.

Today, Skype tells us that the group video calling feature will be coming to all of its mobile platforms in the future:

We’re excited about Skype group video calling and are working to bring it to more of our platforms. In the future, we’ll be enabling group video calling for all our users across more platforms – at no cost

Unfortunately, the company could not yet provide a more specific rollout timeframe. Skype has been rapidly releasing new products over the past several months, with a major redesign of the Skype iPhone app arriving a couple of months ago.

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Samsung & Apple lose share to smaller Chinese OEMs in Q2 smartphone shipment numbers

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Following releasing its second quarter data for tablet shipments worldwide, IDC today released its Q2 2014 report for smartphone shipments during the three month period that ended in June. The numbers line up with Apple’s fiscal Q3 earnings call that took place earlier this month where the company reported iPhone sales of 35.1 million units for the quarter. With 295.3 million units shipped total during Q2, IDC notes that both Samsung and Apple lost share to the smaller Chinese manufacturers: Read more

SwiftKey updated with performance improvements and new themes

SwiftKey

SwiftKey received an update today that resolves some of the keyboard app’s recent performance issues. According to the software’s changelog, users should experience improved typing, loading times, translations, and several other bug fixes for glitches that caused force closes. In addition to some much needed technical improvements, SwiftKey announced the availability of five new themes: Spotlight Purple, Edge Green, Pulse Yellow, Pulse Pink and Hazy Pink.  If you’re interested in upgrading the look and feel of your keyboard, the outfit is holding a special summer sale that discounts prices on select themes by up to 33 percent.

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