Google confirms that a second-generation Chromecast is on the way

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Google’s first Android TV device is less than a fortnight away, however the company’s current television-friendly hardware appears to be doing just fine. In a recent interview with GigaOM, Google VP of product management Mario Queiroz said that Chromecast users have tapped the cast button 650 million times, a significant increase from the 400 million figure shared at I/O back in June.

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ABI Research: Chromebook shipments up 67 percent quarter-over-quarter

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A lot of people are buying Chromebooks, according to a recent report from ABI Research. Shipments for Google’s low-cost laptop alternative increased by 67 percent during the third quarter of 2014 when compared to the previous quarter. But the last three months weren’t the only boost for Chrome OS, as the research firm expects this year’s Chromebook shipments to double last year’s numbers.

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Google announces Security Key for 2-Step Verification through a physical USB stick

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Google today announced it’s offering an enhanced two-step verification service that utilizes a physical USB key for users that are particularly concerned about security. The feature currently works in Chrome and is free to Google users, but Google notes it’s supporting the open Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) protocol from the FIDO Alliance, which will allow other login systems to support the standard: Read more

Chrome and Android get just that much closer with management shakeup

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Sergey Brin has said in the past that Chrome and Android were likely to one day conjoin, but that it was likely going to be a slow process that occurred over time. According to a report this afternoon from The Wall Street Journal, Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google’s VP of engineering for Android, has now been put in charge of overseeing the Chrome engineering team as well.

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Samsung refreshes its Chromebook 2 with an Intel Celeron processor and live tech support

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Samsung released a new Intel-powered Chromebook today, as part of its Exynos-based Chromebook 2 series. The company’s new notebook ships with an 11.6-inch display, an Intel Celeron N2840 Bay Trail processor clocked at 2.58GHz, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of local storage space. Priced at $250, Samsung’s revamped Chromebook sports a faux leather backing similar to what we’ve seen on some of its mobile devices.

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$1600 Kickstarter campaign aims to turn Chromecast into multiplayer games console

In what must be one of the smallest Kickstarter campaigns ever, a team of British developers called Concept96 is seeking just £1000 ($1600) to turn Chromecast into a multiplayer games platform. The first planned app is a quiz game, described in the rather charmingly amateurish video above: Buzzb.

The target market is ‘casual gaming’ for those who wouldn’t spend the money to buy a conventional games console but would enjoy occasional games on a device they already own …  Read more

Chrome OS updated with USB file transfer support for Android phones and tablets

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Google updated the Stable channel of Chrome OS today and while the new build ships with its set of token bug fixes, this revised software also introduces support for a highly requested feature. Chromebook owners can now transfer files from Android smartphones and tablets via a USB cable. After several requests, this overdue feature is now available for all Chrome OS devices, excluding Chromeboxes.

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Google offering new Chromecast buyers 2 free months of Hulu Plus

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When the Chromecast originally launched more than a year ago, early buyers were offered three free months of Netflix as a bonus. That offer quickly ran out, but various other deals have popped up since. Now, Google is giving anyone who buys a Chromecast from October 1st through the end of the year two free months of Hulu Plus.

Hulu Plus currently runs $7.99, meaning that you’re getting a $16 value with your Chromecast purchase. While Hulu may not have quite the selection of Netflix, that’s still a great offer when the Chromecast only costs $35 to begin with.

The offer will be redeemable through chromecast.com/offers during the set-up process for new Hulu Plus and Chromecast users beginning October 1st. Keep an eye on 9to5toys.com for the latest Chromecast deals, as well.

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