Amazon apparently set to launch Square competitor next month as it preps biometric payment tools

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Amazon could be preparing to launch its own mobile credit card reading hardware in the coming weeks, according to internal Staples documents hinting at such a launch that we’ve obtained. According to the documents, Staples stores will prepare next month to stock a new product called the “Amazon Card Reader” alongside existing card readers from Square, PayPal, and Staples’ own in-house brand. The small hardware, which will likely connect to smartphones to process payments, will cost $9.99, according to the Staples internal sales systems…

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Google plans to create a ‘baseline’ of health from extensive data collected in new study

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Google is planning to collect data from 175 participants in a new study to attempt to create a statistical standard for what is considered a healthy person, the Wall Street Journal reported today. The data collected in this study, called Project Baseline, will presumably be used at some point in the future to monitor technology users for any signs of potential medical issues and alert them.

In the study, which will eventually be expanded to thousands of participants, Google X’s Dr. Andrew Conrad and a team of as many as 100 scientists in varying fields will collect anonymous molecular and genetic data in order to determine the idea traits of a healthy individual. These samples will come in the form of tissue, tears, urine, and more which will be collected this summer.

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Google’s acquisition of Twitch for $1 billion reportedly confirmed

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According to VentureBeat, citing sources familiar with the matter, Google has reached an agreement with Twitch to acquire the live streaming video platform for $1 billion. While the deal appears to have been finalized, the two companies have yet to make a formal announcement regarding the acquisition. Google’s YouTube division is reportedly in charge of the acquisition.  Read more

More details of Samsung’s Oculus-powered Gear VR headset leak w/ look at companion app

Samsung’s upcoming Gear branded virtual reality headset for its mobile devices has a leaked a couple times in recent weeks, but today it gets closer to reality with our first look at the companion software for smartphones used to manage the device. SamMobile posted screenshots of the app called Gear VR Manager that show the steps it takes for a user to setup the headset and available settings and calibration tools. There are also hints at VR Panorama and VR Cinema apps. Read more

‘Right to be forgotten’ mess gets messier as European regulators complain about Google’s approach

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The mess and uncertainty created by an European court ruling that individuals have a ‘right to be forgotten‘ by search-engines when sensitive information is deemed to be “outdated or irrelevant” just got worse. Regulators are meeting with Google today to express concerns about the way in which Google has chosen to implement the ruling, reports Business Insider.

Under particular scrutiny is Google’s decision to only remove results from its European search engines, such as google.co.uk, meaning anyone can easily access the hidden information by switching to the widely used google.com [...]

Another issue likely to be raised by the EU watchdogs is Google’s decision to notify the owners of the websites that have been removed from search results …

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YouTube’s subscription music plans suffer another setback as head of music leaves – again

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Frustrations over delays in launching YouTube’s long-awaited subscription-based music service are the reason the company has just lost its second head of music in less than a year, reports the WSJ.

Chris LaRosa, YouTube’s product manager in charge of music, will be leaving Google this Friday to join a startup. A YouTube spokesman confirmed LaRosa’s departure but didn’t say which startup LaRosa would be joining.

We’ve been hearing rumors about YouTube’s plans to launch the service since last October – the rumors then suggesting it would launch that year. Then it was going to be the first quarter this year. And then the second quarter – which just ended, still with no sign of the service nearing launch …

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