Yelp, TripAdvisor, others team up against Google in new “Focus on the User” campaign

focus on the user

Google has long been the subject of antitrust complains and investigations in Europe, but now, some of the company’s competitors are starting to take note of its actions and step forward with their own issues. Yelp, TripAdvisor, and several other companies on Monday teamed up to launch a new website, Focus on the User, on which they express concerns regarding Google’s tendency to promote its own services at the expensive of its rivals. Which in turn, the companies argue, make it harder for customers to find Google’s competitors in results.

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Google apparently aiming for tight control of Android Wear as crowdfunding campaign closed down


Google appears to be aiming for tight control over its Android Wear smartwatch platform as it asked crowdfunding site IndieGoGo to take down a campaign for a budget smartwatch, Com1, reports Android Police.

Com1 used stock images of Android Wear and the Android Wear trademark in its campaign page, which was taken down by IGG under the premise of an intellectual property infringement complaint by Google shortly after the campaign launched.

Since Google is known to have a relaxed attitude to use of its imagery, the motivation here appears to be control which companies are able to launch Android Wear devices …  Read more

Even more photos of Motorola’s upcoming ‘Shamu’ smartphone surface online


Two days ago 9to5Google exclusively provided details of Motorola’s upcoming Nexus 6 (or Nexus X) device, a 5.92-inch smartphone similar in design to the Moto X using the development codename “Shamu.” The following day a few photos of the phone appeared online, confirming the original report and design mockup.

Today, even more photos of the Nexus device have been posted online, as discovered by Android Police. The photos show a smartphone very similar (if not completely identical) to the first set of photos, matching up once again with the original design leaks. This model features a 5.92-inch qHD display, 13 MP rear camera, 2 MP front-facing shooter, and 3,200 mAh battery.

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European Union tells Google combining user data across services without opt-out is illegal


Google has come under fire from European Union officials on a number of fronts already. It’s been accused of unfair search results, been criticized for the way it has implemented the controversial ‘right to be forgotten‘ ruling and asked to stop describing apps which offer in-app purchases as ‘free.’

Reuters now reports that the EU believes Google is breaking the law in combining user data across unrelated services like Gmail, YouTube and Google Maps without offering users an opt-out, and the way in which it has consolidated 60 separate privacy policies into one …  Read more

Dear Rupert: Google responds to News Corp’s open letter to EU


In response to a recent open letter from News Corp to the European Commission accusing Google of exploiting its “dominant market position to stifle competition,” Google today issued an official response in a blog post published on its European Policy blog.

While noting its efforts to help publishers through various online initiatives, Google also addressed News Corp’s claim that the company is a “platform for piracy and the spread of malicious networks”: Read more

Does the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 bend like the iPhone 6? [bend test video]

Some folks have found their iPhone 6 and especially the 6 Plus didn’t handle being sat on or in too tight of pockets well.  So Unbox therapy put together a very simple bend test which the iPhone 6 didn’t handle very well sadly.

To be fair, they just ran the same test on the Galaxy Note 3 and it appears it handles the bending a lot better with its less malleable plastic back and thicker body.

For the record, I tried this earlier with an old S4 (with a worn out back plate and no battery) and it also held up well besides the back cover coming off.

Will this be a thing? Read more

Google chairman Eric Schmidt talks immigration, Tim Cook, Julian Assange and his favorite snack foods (video)

Eric Schmidt

Google chairman Eric Schmidt recently sat down with ABC’s Rebecca Jarvis and discussed topics ranging from immigration to snack foods and reading interests. The Google executive also spoke candidly about Apple CEO Tim Cook’s recent letter on privacy and WikiLeaks frontman Julian Assange, who’s publicly referred to Google as “the private NSA.”

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Google invests EUR600 million to build new data center in the Netherlands


Google announced today that it’s increasing its investments in overseas data centres with a EUR600 million investment reserved to build a new facility in the Netherlands. Th project will take four years and bring a new data centre to Eemshaven, Netherlands along with approximately 1000 construction jobs and 150 full-time positions: Read more

Google X old hat, thinks Larry Page – proposes Google Y for even bigger challenges


You might think Google’s ‘moonshot’ lab, Google X, is pretty out there, with autonomous cars, smart contact lenses and balloon-served Internet. But co-founder Larry Page seemingly thinks the company needs to look even further ahead: The Information (paywall) reports that he has proposed a second lab, Google Y, to look at even bigger issues.

The idea came out out of an initiative Page created called Google 2.0, designed to create a new set of goals for the company, an approach similar to that taken by the late Steve Jobs at Apple in 2010, where he created an off-site strategy-planning meeting for the top 100 people in the company.

A little over a year ago, Google CEO Larry Page convened his direct reports, the company’s dozen or so senior vice presidents, for a project that would take up two days a week for a couple of months. About 100 other employees below the SVP rank also participated in the effort, dubbed Google 2.0 …

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Amazon announces massive Kindle refresh including new ‘Kindle Voyage’ and $99 Kindle Fire HD tablet


Following a big day of Apple news, Kindle has unleashed a massive refresh of its Kindle lines, including three refreshed Kindles and—interestingly—one completely new Kindle model. The lineup includes the company’s new flagship e-reader dubbed Kindle Voyage, a new entry-level Kindle that now packs a touch screen, an updated Kindle Fire HDX, and a new Kindle Fire HD, which is starting at just $99. Read more

T-Mobile working to get its CellSpot Wifi handoff/calling working on next generation ‘Nexus 6′

T-Mobile Android devices have had Wifi calling for some time so I’m not posting my whole review of the new $25 CellSpot here (tl;dr: Get it, no brainer). But I did use a LG Flex to test out the handoffs and it it did work well. So there’s that.

More importantly, I was grilling T-Mobile on if the Nexus 4 (which I have) or Nexus 5 (which they sell) would be supported for Wifi calling. The bad news is that neither phone is currently supported. That goes against their “Wifi calling works on every smartphone they sell” policy but the Nexus is a special case with software controlled by Google so there is at least an excuse.

The good news? Read more