Opinion: The flawed reality of Google Contributor — paying for fewer ads, not a cause

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Yesterday I wrote about the general availability of Google Contributor, a service through which consumers can choose to be billed an amount between $2-10 on a recurring monthly basis in exchange for seeing less display advertisements around the web.

Contributor is an interesting service that I likened to the Patreon and Kickstarter crowdfunding platforms, but that could make the web browsing experience a little less frustrating. Here’s how I concluded that post: Read more

Aclima’s air quality sensors are being attached to Google Street View cars in San Francisco

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Aclima, a startup which builds an end-to-end hardware and software solution for detecting and analyzing the health and state of varying environmental surroundings (i.e. indoors where carbon dioxide can build in meeting rooms, outdoors where vehicles can release significant carbon monoxide), has announced a new partnership with Google which will see its sensors make their way onto Google Street View cars in the San Francisco Bay Area. Street View cars are the vehicles through which Google collects street-level imagery for its Maps street view product.

The ultimate goal for Aclima with partnerships including this one is to make data on air quality as easily accessible as the weather so that communities can better understand how air pollutants in their area are affecting human health and climate change, and start a dialog on improving local air quality.

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Hands on with the Moto X Pure Edition Android phone [Video]

The Moto X Style — called Moto X Pure Edition in the US — phones we got to play with at the end of today’s event were obviously very pure Android and with their much larger displays and heavy batteries very much reminiscent of the Nexus 6 that I’m carrying around. The one big and important difference is the Sony 21MP shooter on the back that in limited testing makes all the difference.

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Google implementing stricter AdSense user consent policy to comply with EU data protection authority requests

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Google announced today that it is updating its AdSense user consent policy to comply with requests from European Union data protection authorities. The updated user consent policy strengthens the requirement that publishes with audiences in the EU obtain permission from readers before collecting usage data and accessing cookies. Google says the updated user consent policy follows its own approach to comply with privacy laws. The company outlines the updated user consent policy for website and app publishers with EU readers and users: Read more

Samsung builds Qi-compatible wireless charging into latest monitor

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In one of those moves so obvious in retrospect you wonder why the company didn’t do it earlier, Samsung has announced a monitor with a built-in Qi-compatible wireless charging pad. Just place your Samsung S5 or S6 (or other smartphone compatible with the Qi standard for wireless charging) onto the pad beneath the SE370 monitor and the LED will turn green as the phone charges …  Read more

Tony Fadell implies in BBC interview that the Google Glass Explorer Edition may have been a mistake

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Nest founder and former Apple iPod lead designer Tony Fadell has intimated in a BBC interview that the decision to make an early version of Google Glass available for public sale may have been a mistake.

He said that while Google has always launched beta versions of its products and gathered feedback from users, there was a very big difference between software and hardware.

If you are only doing services based on electrons, you can iterate quickly, test it, and modify it and get it right. But when you are dealing with actual atoms – hardware – and you have to get manufacturing lines and it takes a year or more to develop that product, you better understand what it is and what it’s trying to do and specifically what it’s not going to do.

Customers have to spend money to buy those atoms. They want something that delivers value or you end up with a real disappointment and you can spoil the market.

He was, however, “very bullish” about the product, and believes it has a big future …  Read more

Google’s ‘Patent Starter Program’ is giving away non-organic patents to startups

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Google today has started a program for startups to gain two non-organic patent families from Google, as well as the opportunity buy more patents from the company at some point down the line. To be eligible however, the interested startup must also join the LOT Network, which includes companies like Dropbox and Canon and focuses on stopping patent trolls (via TechCrunch).

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Google may face yet another European antitrust prove, this time over ad products

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Just as one European antitrust case against Google reached its conclusion, with a second one underway, it may be facing a third, reports the Financial Times.

The first antitrust case found that Google abused its dominant position in search to promote its own products over that of competitors. with the company told to expect large fines. A second one is underway, to determine whether Google forced smartphone manufacturers to favor its own apps over competitor ones in return for permission to use Android.

The FT now reports that a number of companies selling online advertising have asked the European Commission to consider a third case, to investigate Google’s dominance of the web advertising business …  Read more