Brazil’s ANJ boycotts Google News, wants compensation for headlines and lede paragraphs

The Association of Newspapers in Brazil is not happy with Google News, as it recently opted out of the free news aggregator, over complaints that Google crops news headlines and lede paragraphs for the decade-old service without permission nor monetary reimbursement.

The 154-member ANJ roughly equals 90 percent of Brazil’s newspaper circulation. The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas reported on a dispute that occurred earlier this week between an ANJ member’s lawyer and a Google executive at the American Press Association General Assembly in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The contention apparently “fueled one of the most intense debates during the Inter American Press Association’s 68th General Assembly.”

According to the Knight Center:

On one side of the debate were defenders of news companies’ authoring rights like German attorney Felix Stang, who said, “platforms like Google’s compete directly with newspapers and magazines because they work like home pages and use content from them.”

On the other, Google representatives said their platform provides a way to make journalistic content available to more people. According to Marcel Leonardi, the company’s public policies director, Google News channels a billion clicks to news sites around the world.

ANJ president Carlos Fernando Lindenberg Neto specifically told the Knight Center that providing the “first few lines of our stories to internet users, (Google) reduces the chances that they will look at the entire story in our websites.”

Google Public Policy Director Marcel Leonardi refuted Neto’s comment during the IAPA debate, claiming if the reader is “satisfied with the small blurb (we offer), that means the story did not call his attention that much.”

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Google’s mobile run rate up to $8B from $2.5B last year

During Google’s financial call today, which we have full coverage of in our liveblog, CEO Larry Page revealed that Google’s run rate for mobile is now at $8 billion. That is quite the increase from the $2.5 billion it announced last year:

This time last year I announced that our run-rate for mobile advertising hit $2.5 billion.  That seemed like a pretty big number — even for Google.  Now we have built up additional mobile revenue from users paying for content and apps in Google Play.  Including these new sources grossed up, I can announce our new run-rate for mobile is now over $8 billion.  That’s quite a business

However, CFO Patrick Pichette added that its run rate for the quarter also included ads and Google Play content revenue. Not surprisingly, the company noted the majority of that $8 billion figure comes mostly from ads. During the call, Page also confirmed there are still roughly 1.3 million Android activations daily: Read more

Liveblog: Google Q3 2012 earnings

Beginning at 4:30PM EST, we’ll be getting the full break-down of Google’s earnings for the third fiscal quarter. In an odd turn of events, Google released its earnings early this afternoon due to a screwup with its SEC filing. The screwup caused Google to close down its stock for the better part of the afternoon, causing a steep drop. Google may discuss the situation on the call… stay tuned after the break:

Check up on Google’s numbers from earlier this afternoon. Read more

Google’s thin 11.6-inch ARM based Samsung ChromeBook with 100GB of online space is finally compelling at $249 (Video)

Google just announced some extremely aggressive-priced Samsung Chromebooks starting at $249 at major U.S. retailers:

The new Chromebook is a great computer at any price, but it’s an incredible computer at $249. It’s one of the lightest laptops on the market. You can easily carry it around all day—it’s 2.5 pounds, a mere 0.8 inches thick, with more than 6 hours of battery life for the typical user. And with 100 GB of free storage on Google Drive*, you can get to all of your stuff anytime, anywhere.

Even with its compact design, it’s packed with performance—it boots up in less than 10 seconds and resumes instantly. High-resolution videos (in 1080p) are beautiful to watch and when using the touchpad, you’ll notice smooth scrolling due to a hardware-accelerated user interface. And as you‘d expect from a Chromebook, it’s easy to share with others. Everyone—mom, dad, grandparents, tech lovers, tech haters—can have separate accounts where all of their stuff is kept safe. Finally, if you’re an active Google user of products like Gmail, Drive, Search, Maps, YouTube, Play or Google+ Hangouts, everything just works seamlessly.

The new Chromebook weighs a little less than 2.5 pounds, but it boasts the same 6.5-hour battery life. The screen, however, is 0.5-inches smaller with a 1,366-by-768-pixel resolution. The most notable difference in Google’s thinner Chromebook is the Samsung Exynos 5250 dual-core processor inside, and it features a Cortex-A15 chip that reportedly runs 1080p video and ChromeOS pretty well. GigaOm’s Kevin C. Tofel even noted the overall performance is “comparable to the Intel-powered Chromebook I have, but perhaps a half-step behind; at least in my few hours of using the device.”

This is finally a compelling offer at $249—as long as the hardware is fast. It looks like a base-line MacBook Air (and will surely draw criticism for that) for a quarter of the price. Again, so long as it performs, I don’t think Google will have a problem selling them to its intended audience: grandparents, kids, and as second or third computers for those who are heavy Google service users, and companies that need cheap mobile workstations.

Update: More reviews are starting to come in and unfortunately many are complaining about slowness. Not surprising for a $249 machine but clearly not for power users.

A gallery is below.

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Google reports Q3 revenue of $14.1B, $2.18B net

It looks like Google’s Q3 earnings have been released early with The Wall Street Journal reporting Google posted revenue of $14.1 billion and a net of $2.18 billion. A summary of the company’s earnings report from a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing is below. In the report, we see Motorola accounted for 18 percent of consolidated revenues. It brought in $2.58 billion, while reporting a $527 million operating loss. Of that $527 million operating loss, $505 million comes from Motorola’s mobile segment and $22 million from its home business. Google reported cash, cash equivalents, and short-term marketable securities at $45.7 billion as of Sept. 30 and operating income of $3.26 billion.

As highlighted in the screenshot above, Google is down almost 10 percent following the news. Google made a statement on what happened with the early filing (via Business Insider):

“Earlier this morning RR Donnelley, the financial printer, informed us that they had filed our draft 8K earnings statement without authorization. We have ceased trading on NASDAQ while we work to finalize the document. Once it’s finalized we will release our earnings, resume trading on NASDAQ and hold our earnings call as normal at 1:30 PM PT.”

Google is scheduled to announce earnings later today at 4:30 p.m. EST.

Q3 Financial Summary
Google Inc. reported consolidated revenues of $14.10 billion for the quarter ended September 30, 2012, an increase of 45% compared to the third quarter of 2011. Google Inc. reports its revenues, consistent with GAAP, on a gross basis without deducting traffic acquisition costs (TAC). In the third quarter of 2012, TAC totaled $2.77 billion, or 26% of advertising revenues.
Operating income, operating margin, net income, and earnings per share (EPS) are reported on a GAAP and non-GAAP basis. The non-GAAP measures, as well as free cash flow, an alternative non-GAAP measure of liquidity, are described below and are reconciled to the corresponding GAAP measures at the end of this release.

Verizon earnings call reveals 3.4M Android smartphone activations for Q3 2012

Verizon held its Q3 2012 earnings call this morning and —aside from announcing $29 billion in total operating revenue— revealed Android smartphones were 79 percent of its total smartphone activations for the quarter.

The nation’s second-largest carrier also said operating revenue experienced a 3.9-percent gain over last year, while noting a third consecutive quarter of “double-digit percentage growth.” As for mobile device activations, 4G LTE smartphone penetration increased from “just below 50 percent last quarter to more than 53 percent.”

The company further disclosed that it activated 6.8 million smartphone in Q3, and 3.4 million of those activations were Android-powered devices. Three million were also specifically 4G LTE Android. In terms of iPhone activations, for comparison’s sake, Verizon activated 3.1 million with only 21 percent of the iPhones supporting 4G LTE.

The carrier then gave more information on its aggressive LTE rollout across the United States (via Yahoo Finance | Earnings Call Transcript):

[sic] In terms of 4G LTE coverage we are by far the market leader. Our 4G LTE service is currently available in 419 markets covering more than 250 million tops roughly 80% of the U.S. population. As our TV commercial say, we have more 4G LTE coverage than all of our competitors networks combined. We will continue expanding our 4G LTE network with a goal of having a nationwide foot print similar to our 3G network next year.

Visit Verizon’s Investor Relations page for more specifics.

The press release is below.

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Google Wallet’s prepaid card refund form is now online

Google Wallet launched with free $10 prepaid cards to welcome users to the mobile payments system, but the company later revealed that it would discontinue the complimentary gifts and issue refunds for remaining balances in October.

Well, the time has now come… and Google is keeping its promise. Folks need to complete Google’s refund form online to get their money. It asks for their Google Wallet device ID, name, phone number, and other sensitive details.

Refunds come via check or prepaid MasterCard. Google will not process the requests until after Oct. 30, however, so do not expect to receive the prepaid card for another 7 to 10 business days. Those who choose the alternative option will receive a check within eight weeks.

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Where the Internet Lives: Google opens doors to data centers with virtual tour

Google is doing something today that it has never done before, allowing the public to go behind the scenes at its various data centers. They are the same data centers Greenpeace recently praised for its “comprehensive energy reduction plan.” It is also the machine behind the 20 billion web pages indexed per day, 3 billion daily searches, and free mail to 425 million Gmail users. Apart from a few journalists who actually received tours of the data center, the rest of us will be limited to a new website Google has just dubbed “Where the Internet Lives”  (above we get an in-depth video tour from CBS News).

The site includes a collection of photos (some of which are above) from Connie Zhou, for each of Google’s data centers including: Berkley County (SC), Council Bluffs (Iowa), The Dalles (Oregon), Douglas County (Georgia), Hamina (Finland), Lenoir (North Carolina), Mayes County (Oklahoma), and St. Ghislain (Belgium). The site also contains photos and captions for Google employees working in the various data centers. You can even walk right in the front door of the Lenoir, NC data center using StreetView for a virtual tour: Read more

Report: Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer looking to snag Google’s Henrique De Castro

Henrique De Castro

A new report from tech website AllThingsD suggested Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is currently ramping up efforts to poach a key Google advertising executive, Henrique De Castro, for either a COO or lead ad role.

AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher, who cited “sources close to the situation” and “numerous sources,” noted De Castro’s silence to his staff on the matter is an indication that her reporting is spot-on:

In fact, after reports surfaced several months ago here and elsewhere that Mayer was interested in him, De Castro told his staff at Google that he was not leaving.

That does appear to be the case now, according to numerous sources.

This past week, De Castro canceled a major off-site for his employees and several attendees who know him well said he was not present at the company’s first night of its annual Zeitgeist event for advertising and publishing clients. The suave De Castro is usually a more noticeable fixture at such gatherings.

When reached last night, De Castro said he would be attending Zeitgeist, but declined to comment further.

While Mayer has not been very successful at luring executives from various tech companies, the report further mentioned Yahoo’s current revenue guru and former Googler, Michael Barret, is reportedly not planning to stay with his search company for the long term. De Castro and Barrett also allegedly do not have the best coworker relationship…

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LG Optimus G comes to AT&T on Nov. 2 for $199, pre-orders start tomorrow

LG Optimus G (AT&T)

AT&T is officially launching the LG Optimus G, its first quad-core LTE smartphone, on Nov. 2 for $199. Not only is it the first quad-core device launching on the carrier’s LTE network, it’s also the device that many expect the yet-to-be-announced LG Nexus 4 to be based on. The carrier confirmed that pre-orders for the device start tomorrow on its website. Of course, the $200 price tag requires the usual two-year contract and approved mobile plan.

In the case of the LG Optimus G, the 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB RAM and AT&T’s 4G LTE network means this phone can fly.  Not literally of course, but tasks you perform on the phone will be much smoother. From loading web pages, to apps and games, it will get you to what you want, faster…So check out powerful yet elegant Optimus G in our stores on Nov. 2!  We’re excited to put it in our customers’ hands so they can try it out for themselves.

We recently got hands-on time with AT&T’s LG Optimus G when the device was officially launched at a media event in New York City earlier this month. Sprint also announced earlier this month that it will add the LG Optimus G to its smartphone lineup, but it did not provide specific launch dates or pricing.

Update: Sprint has also revealed the Android handset will be available to the masses November 11th for $199. The Sprint version will be equipped with a 13-megapixel camera, unlike the AT&T’s 8-megapixel camera.