Google News to shut down in Spain ahead of recently passed copyright law

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Google announced on Wednesday (via Search Marketing Land) that it will soon shut down Google News in Spain because of a recently passed copyright law in the country that will prove too costly for the service to continue running. The law, which goes into effect January 1, 2015, would require Google to pay licensing revenues to Spanish publishers if their content, including headlines, is included in Google News. Read more

Google kills CAPTCHAs with new one-step validation for proving you’re not a robot

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Google announced on Wednesday that it has fundamentally changed its reCAPTCHA security feature by removing CAPTCHAs entirely and adding a one-step solution for users to prove they aren’t robots. Instead of typing a few warped words, the new version of reCAPTCHA simply has a box labeled “I’m not a robot” that users can hover over. Read more

Google Docs updated w/ new image editing options, ability to merge cells

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Google this evening has announced a trio of updates to its Drive suite of apps. First off, Google Docs has been updated to add the ability to merge the cells of a table. In order to merge cells in Docs, simply highlight the cells to be merged, then right-click and choose the “Merge cells” option from the pop-up menu.

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Google rolls out new hardware dashboard and security wizard to help keep your account safe

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Today, Google announced some new security features for its subscribers that should make it easier to manage the equipment linked to your account. While some people may have already had access to these options, Mountain View has now made them available to its entire user base. The gist of the search company’s new dashboard is a quick way to review  and control the gear tied to your profile. This will let you quickly revoke a device’s access if you happen to lose your phone, laptop or tablet.

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Use Google Wallet at these 14 retailers to save some cash

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Google is currently recruiting Wallet users with payouts and you can now throw deals in the mix as well. The company recently announced its new “Buy with Google” promotion, which offers discounts from a group of retailers including: B and H, Beautylish, CheapTicket, EAT24, Expedia, Fancy, JackThreads, LivingSocial, Newegg, Pose, Rue La La, Vinted USA, Sidecar Ride and Wish.

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Google releases invite-only Divide Productivity Preview Android app

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Almost six months ago to the day, Google acquired an enterprise device management firm by the name of Divide. Today, the search giant quietly released a new Productivity Preview app to the Play Store, which currently operates on an invite-only basis, similar to how the company handled the release of Inbox. Targeting the corporate world, this Google-made Divide application offers a software suite packed with tools for business email, calendar, contacts and tasks.

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Google launches Contributor, a Netflix/Spotify model for crowdsourcing content creators

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Google has today launched a new platform that aims to reinvent how content creators on the Internet make money. It’s called Contributor, and it involves readers committing to a certain monthly payment of $1-3, which will in turn give visitors an ad-free browsing experience on some sites. This could potentially be a full-blown alternative to Google’s AdSense, giving publications like this one and others a new form of monetization.

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Google will give you $5 in exchange for your Wallet referrals

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Google wants you and your friends to use Wallet. Like, really badly. So much in fact, the company is running a cash-driven promo to motivate the service’s users. If you use Mountain View’s money service to send cash (even a penny) to a friend who doesn’t have a Google Wallet balance yet, the company will hit you and your amigo with a $5 kickback.

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Here’s a detailed overview of what Google knows about you

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Google’s collection of user information is often used as propaganda, but there’s no denying that the company monitors its subscribers closely. Do you regularly use products like Gmail, Maps, Chrome, Android, YouTube, and search? If so, there’s a good chance that Google has a detailed log of your habits assigned to your user profile. Don’t believe us? Check out this list of links to see what type of information Google has about you.

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New York City Department of Education says yes to Chromebooks and Google apps

 

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The New York City Department of Education Division of Instructional and Informational Technology has approved Google Apps for Education as a supported platform for its schools. After evaluating the search giant’s offerings, NYC Department of Education CIO, Hal Friedlander and his team decided to add Google’s productivity suite and affordable notebooks to their list of approved tools for New York’s schools.

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Google Search for Android updated with Material Design makeover, improved reminders and more

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With the release of Android Lollipop for a wider lineup of Nexus devices expected to occur any day now, the official Google Search app has been updated with a brand new design and several new features that make searching for everything from the best sushi in Chicago to Van Gogh research for a school project that much better of an experience.

First and foremost, the Google Search app has been revamped with a Material Design user interface and that includes bold colors, fluid animations and simplified layouts. Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 users also benefit from being able to activate “Ok, Google” searches even when the smartphone is unplugged and the display is off.

The latest version Google’s official app is more effective at organizing your day-to-day life by automatically pulling events that it feels you might want to follow up on, like catching up with Chris over dinner or getting drinks with Susan. Normally, these small events would be buried in your inbox and you might forget to follow up on them later. Read more