Google celebrates Landsat’s 40th birthday, makes available timelapse videos of the Earth’s surface

Google just took to its official Lat Long blog to wish Landsat a “Happy 40th Birthday” and make its surface imagery live for the entire world to enjoy.

The revered satellite program essentially collects continuous images of the Earth to help smart folks, like scientists and researchers, make knowledgeable decisions on the economy and environment. Google Earth Engine has made Landsat’s data available to such experts anywhere in the world, but now it wants to give the public access.

Googler Eric Nguyen explained:

  • We’re working with the USGS and Carnegie Mellon University, to make parts of this enormous collection of imagery available to the public in timelapse videos of the Earth’s surface. With them you can travel through time, from 1999-2011, to see the transformation of our planet. Whether it’s deforestation in the Amazon, urban growth in Las Vegas or the difference in snow coverage between the seasons.
  • […] In 2008, the USGS opened access to the entire Landsat archive for free. Google Earth Engine makes it possible for this data to be accessed and used by scientists and others no matter where they are in the world.

A highlighted timelapse video is below:

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Google wants YouTubers to ditch usernames, start using full names

As BetaBeat first noticed, Google is attempting to peel back the anonymity cloak that surrounds YouTube.

The search engine, which seems to dabble in all things Web, mobile, and tech, now displays a pop-up box to YouTubers who try to leave a video comment. The notice prompts users to start surfing the video-sharing platform with their full name instead of a username or pseudonym.

Google appears to crop names from Google+ profiles, which is likely a byproduct of the Google+ integration from last year that required all YouTubers to login with their Gmail account credentials.

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Samsung plans a big non-phone Galaxy announcement for August 15

We just received an invite from Samsung Electronics America to “Save the Date” for a major Galaxy announcement. This business division is not to be confused with Samsung Telecommunications America that handles mobile phones.

What could it be?

We are hoping the Samsung Galaxy Camera lands, but it will likely be a tablet or TV.

SAVE THE DATE

August 15, 2012

10:00AM EST

Please join Samsung Electronics America for a major announcement and unveiling of the newest GALAXY device. An exclusive press conference will take place where full details will be disclosed.

An invitation with details will follow soon.

Thank you.

More as it comes in. Read more

Google acquires Sparrow, the star third-party iOS and Mac email client, will integrate into Gmail

Sparrow has just announced that it has been acquired by Google. The company’s team will be integrated within the Google Gmail team.

We’re excited to announce that Sparrow has been acquired by Google!

We care a lot about how people communicate, and we did our best to provide you with the most intuitive and pleasurable mailing experience.

Now we’re joining the Gmail team to accomplish a bigger vision — one that we think we can better achieve with Google.

We’d like to extend a special thanks to all of our users who have supported us, advised us, given us priceless feedback and allowed us to build a better mail application. While we’ll be working on new things at Google, we will continue to make Sparrow available and provide support for our users.

We had an amazing ride and can’t thank you enough.

Full speed ahead!

Dom Leca
CEO
Sparrow

Promo video for Sparrow for iPhone

Sparrow has long been noted as a great third-party email app for both the Mac and iOS, specifically on the iPhone. The application has a unique user interface that is intuitive and very well integrated into social networks.

Teaser for Sparrow for iPad

The company said that an iPad app is in the works, but it is unclear if this app will launch now that the team is integrated into Google. Notably, Sparrow says that its current apps will stay available. Sparrow will also still provide support for its users.

Sparrow has also long been noted as a great Gmail solution for iPhone users. Google’s official iOS Gmail application is definitely in need of new features – beyond just a web view – and we hope that Sparrow’s team has a part in creating a new Gmail experience for iOS users.

Screenshot of Sparrow for Mac

Sparrow has also just sent out a different, more personal note to its users. Notably: no new features or updates coming.

Hello,
We’re excited to let you know that Sparrow has been acquired by Google! You can view our public announcement here, but I wanted to reach out directly to make sure you were aware of the news.We will continue to make available our existing products, and we will provide support and critical updates to our users. However, as we’ll be busy with new projects at Google, we do not plan to release new features for the Sparrow apps.
It’s been an honor and a pleasure to build products for all of our wonderful users who have supported us over the years. We can’t thank you enough.
We look forward to working on some new and exciting projects at Google!

A Google spokesperson has reached out to provide the following statement:

The Sparrow team has always put their users first by focusing on building a seamlessly simple and intuitive interface for their email client. We look forward to bringing them aboard the Gmail team, where they’ll be working on new projects.

We’re also told that Google will support Sparrow in supporting its current Sparrow user-base and in providing essential app updates. The Sparrow team is also said to be focusing on new Google projects, likely related to Gmail. Google would not comment on specific future product plans.

One of the most widely publicized and important knocks against Sparrow’s iOS application is the lack of push notifications. As Sparrow CEO Dom Leca said, “now we’re joining the Gmail team to accomplish a bigger vision — one that we think we can better achieve with Google.” We think that bigger vision includes more resources; assets that will help Sparrow make email even better for everyone with features like push alerts.

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HTC: One X, One XL and One S to get Jelly Bean update

HTC plans to push Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to its popular line of One smartphones. HTC Global Online Communications Manager Jeff Gordon issued the following statement to The Verge:

“We know HTC fans are excited to get their hands on Google’s latest version of Android. At this point in time, we can confirm that we have plans to upgrade our HTC One X, HTC One XL and HTC One S to Jelly Bean. Please stay tuned for more updates regarding device upgrades, timing and other details about HTC and Jelly Bean.”

It is worth noting the One V is missing from the company’s update list.

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Google reports Q2 2012 earnings: $3.2 Profit on $12.12B revenue, welcomes Motorola aboard

Google just reported higher-than-expected earnings and revenues following the completion of its acquisition of Motorola holdings. The stock was up 20 points or 3.3-percent in after hours trading.

Q2 Financial Highlights

Revenues and Other Information – On a consolidated basis, Google Inc. revenues for the quarter ended June 30, 2012 was $12.21 billion, an increase of 35% compared to the second quarter of 2011.

  • Google Revenues (advertising and other) – Google revenues were $10.96 billion, or 90% of consolidated revenues, in the second quarter of 2012, representing a 21% increase over second quarter 2011 revenues of $9.03 billion.
    • Google Sites Revenues – Google-owned sites generated revenues of $7.54 billion, or 69% of Google revenues, in the second quarter of 2012. This represents a 21% increase over second quarter 2011 Google sites revenues of $6.23 billion.
    • Google Network Revenues – Google’s partner sites generated revenues of $2.98 billion, or 27% of Google revenues, in the second quarter of 2012. This represents a 20% increase from second quarter 2011 Google network revenues of $2.48 billion.

    Google International Revenues – Google revenues from outside of the United States totaled $5.96 billion, representing 54% of Google revenues in the second quarter of 2012, compared to 54% in the first quarter of 2012 and 54% in the second quarter of 2011.

    Foreign Exchange Impact on Google Revenues – Excluding gains related to our foreign exchange risk management program, had foreign exchange rates remained constant from the first quarter of 2012 through the second quarter of 2012, our Google revenues in the second quarter of 2012 would have been $68 million higher. Excluding gains related to our foreign exchange risk management program, had foreign exchange rates remained constant from the second quarter of 2011 through the second quarter of 2012, our Google revenues in the second quarter of 2012 would have been $350 million higher.

    • Google revenues from the United Kingdom totaled $1.18 billion, representing 11% of Google revenues in the second quarter of 2012, compared to 11% in the second quarter of 2011.
    • In the second quarter of 2012, we recognized a benefit of $81 million to Google revenues through our foreign exchange risk management program, compared to $4 million in the second quarter of 2011.

    Reconciliations of our consolidated non-GAAP international revenues and Google non-GAAP international revenues excluding the impact of foreign exchange and hedging to consolidated GAAP international revenues and Google GAAP international revenues are included at the end of this release.

    Paid Clicks – Aggregate paid clicks, which include clicks related to ads served on Google sites and the sites of our Network members, increased approximately 42% over the second quarter of 2011 and increased approximately 1% over the first quarter of 2012.

    Cost-Per-Click – Average cost-per-click, which includes clicks related to ads served on Google sites and the sites of our Network members, decreased approximately 16% over the second quarter of 2011 and increased approximately 1% over the first quarter of 2012.

    TAC – Traffic acquisition costs, the portion of revenues shared with Google’s partners, increased to $2.60 billion in the second quarter of 2012, compared to $2.11 billion in the second quarter of 2011. TAC as a percentage of advertising revenues was 25% in the second quarter of 2012, compared to 24% in the second quarter of 2011.

    The majority of TAC is related to amounts ultimately paid to our Network members, which totaled $2.09 billion in the second quarter of 2012. TAC also includes amounts ultimately paid to certain distribution partners and others who direct traffic to our website, which totaled $507 million in the second quarter of 2012.

  • Motorola Revenues (hardware and other) – Motorola revenues were $1.25 billion ($843 million from the mobile segment and $407 million from the home segment), or 10% of consolidated revenues in the second quarter of 2012.

Analysts were expecting:

  • Q2 EPS: $10.04
  • Q2 Revenue: $8.41 billion
  • Q3 EPS Guidance: $10.76
  • Q3 Revenue Guidance: $9 billion

Fill release below:

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UK Judge: Apple must post web notice saying Samsung didn’t copy tablet design

BusinessInsider highlights an upcoming story from Bloomberg stating that a UK Judge has ruled that Apple must publicly state that Samsung did not copy the iPad design for its tablets. The public statements by Apple must be carried out in two ways:

  • Apple must post a message up on its website
  • Apple must post this message in British newspapers

The report says that Apple must leave the notice up on its website for six months. Details about the notice in British newspapers are currently less clear. We will update when Bloomberg’s report with more details becomes available. (Image: DigitalTrends)

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Google Fiber coming to Kansas City on July 26

Google announced on the Google Fiber blog today that it will launch the “100 times faster than broadband” Internet service on July 26 in Kansas City. We do not know a lot about what to expect, but a Google Fiber-branded set-top box of sorts did make its way through the Federal Communications Commission in June. We will keep you posted later this month when Google reveals more about its Google Fiber plans for Kansas. Until then, you can sign up to get the latest announcements:

Google Fiber is coming to to Kansas City on July 26. We appreciate your help and support, and we feel privileged to be part of the Kansas City community. For updates on our project, please sign up for our mailing list and look out for an announcement on July 26 at http://google.com/fiber.

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Sony tackles iPod touch with new ICS-powered Walkman with 3.5-inch LCD

Yes, the Walkman still exists, and right now Samsung Galaxy Player is the only iPod touch-comparable Android MP3 player, but maybe (…maybe?) the latest Walkman series by Sony will finally give Apple and its iconic music player a run for its money.

The F800 Series sports a 3.5-inch multi-touch LCD screen, 4.5-hour battery life for video and 20 hours for audio, and it comes in 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB flavors. The most notable feature, however, is that it runs Android 4.0 with Google Play access. The F800 also touts an S-Master MX Digital Amplifier and five Clear Audio technologies with a built-in xLOUD speaker system.

“Powered by Android 4.0, the web-enabled Walkman F800 Series lets you enjoy a generous range of pre-installed apps, from email to maps and media gallery. Connect wirelessly via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and download more from an ever-growing choice on Google Play,” announced Sony. “Interacting with your media collection, apps and games is a pleasure, thanks to the large, highly-responsive 8.9cm/3.5” multi-touch screen, plus plenty of processing power for smooth, speedy responses.

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Watch Peter Thiel tell Eric Schmidt that Google doesn’t Innovate

Thiel is probably a bit of an outlier (understatement), but, from a philosophical standpoint, Google could technically be investing more in R&D.

The problem is, to invest responsibly, there has to be a certain level of confidence that the projects will pay off. If anything, Google has become more responsible and focused on R&D.

Thiel is an avowed libertarian, and he has spoken about the importance of beating inflation (not that Google’s money is under some monster mattress somewhere in Mountain View) before.

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