Google: ‘Majority of Wall Street analysts’ estimates too high

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Google just alerted Wall Street analysts that their Q4 2012 earnings estimates do not accurately reflect the yet-to-be-reported results.

In other words, their numbers are too high.

The company gave a sneak peek at the upcoming results on its Investors Page this morning. Google’s earnings call is scheduled for next week, but it apparently wants to warn folks before hopes get too inflated that it will not include numbers from Motorola’s set-top box division.

The Internet Giant acquired Motorola last year and has previously said it plans to sell the Home business. While this is not new information, Wall Street is apparently in the dark on the situation. Google explained:

 In short, financial results from Motorola Home will be presented as a separate line item in our 2012 consolidated statements of income.  While this is a standard accounting treatment (more details below), people who follow our company may not be fully aware of how it impacts our financial reporting. For example, as of this writing, a majority of Wall Street analysts who cover Google have not reflected the Home business as discontinued operations in their estimates.

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Google CEO Larry Page on competition, regulation, and innovation

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Google cofounder and CEO Larry Page hasn’t been talking much lately, probably because of his mysterious voice issues, but he sat with Wired recently to discuss everything from his company’s ambitions to the competition, a.k.a. Apple.

When asked why Google encourages its employees to “tackle ambitious challenges and make big bets,” Page said he worried that something has gone wrong with the way companies run these days.

“If you read the media coverage of our company, or of the technology industry in general, it’s always about the competition. The stories are written as if they are covering a sporting event,” Page added. “But it’s hard to find actual examples of really amazing things that happened solely due to competition. How exciting is it to come to work if the best you can do is trounce some other company that does roughly the same thing? That’s why most companies decay slowly over time. They tend to do approximately what they did before, with a few minor changes.”

Therefore, Page said his job is mostly trying get people focused on non-incremental things—like Gmail.

“When we released that, we were a search company—it was a leap for us to put out an email product, let alone one that gave users 100 times as much storage as they could get anywhere else,” he explained. “That is not something that would have happened naturally if we had been focusing on incremental improvements.”

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Lenovo’s first Chromebook, ThinkPad X131e, launches Feb. 26 for $429

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Lenovo today announced it would release its first Chrome OS-powered notebook with the introduction of the ThinkPad X131e Chromebook. It doesn’t appear that Lenovo has changed much from its Windows X131e variant, other than the operating system, but the company provided specs, pricing, and availability details (via TheVerge):

The ThinkPad X131e Chromebook simplifies software and security management for school administrators and provides students and teachers with quick access to thousands of apps, education resources and storage. Throughout the course of a typical school day, students’ laptops are often subject to extreme wear and tear. To help school-proof them, the ThinkPad X131e has rugged features including a rubber bumper around the top cover and stronger corners to protect the system in the case of an accidental drop. The hinges and hinge brackets are also strengthened to last more than 50,000 open and close cycles.

As for specs, Lenovo said the four-pound, 11.6-inch device would feature an Intel Celeron processor, three USB ports, low-light webcam, HDMI and VGA ports, a 1,366-by-768 HD LED anti-glare screen, and “battery life for the entire school day.” It also packs a 16 GB Solid State Drive and Dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n and Ethernet. According to Google, which also made an announcement for the new Chromebook on its Enterprise Blog, battery life is somewhere around 6.5 hours.

Lenovo will make the ThinkPad X131e Chromebook available starting Feb. 26 with volume pricing starting at $429.

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Google’s Nexus 7 surpasses Apple’s iPad in Japan with growing market share

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Google’s Nexus 7 has surpassed Apple’s iPad and continues to gain market share in Japan, according to a Japanese newspaper.

A report by Nikkei (translated) on Thursday said the Nexus 7 had 44.4-percent of the market, where as the iPad only had 40.1-percent, based on a survey of 2,400 consumer electronics stores in Japan. Research firm BCN conducted the survey in December.

Nikkei attributed the gain to the Nexus 7′s more affordable price point, but the survey noted there was an iPad Mini shortage in stores that may have affected the reported market share percentages.

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‘Never ass-ume,’ says Google, proves Street View car didn’t hit donkey (Photos)

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So, earlier this week, the Internet was ablaze with criticism after a series of panoramic pictures from Botswana surfaced and suggested one of Google’s Street View cars ran over a donkey when capturing imagery.

Well, Google defended itself today and provided full photographic evidence to prove it did not commit a hit-and-run offense. The new photographs indicate the car’s direction and show the donkey actually walked away after randomly lying in the road:

As our imagery below shows, the donkey was lying in the path - perhaps enjoying a dust bath - before moving safely aside as our car drove past.

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Google celebrates Frank Zamboni’s Ice Resurfacer with interactive Doodle (Video)

Google’s homepage Doodle for today is an interactive game that puts folks behind the wheel of a Zamboni.

Frank Zamboni invented the Zamboni Ice Resurfacer, also known as a “Zamboni,” in 1949, and today is his 112th birthday. The inventor died of lung cancer roughly 24 years ago, but Google is celebrating his life and invention today because both made hockey games and ice skating practical.

Google often features its traditional logo in various modifications for special events or competitions, and the creative logos have since become known as Google Doodles. Google paid homage to a multitude of holidays and anniversaries in 2012, for instance, and a few of the more notable Google Doodles included the 200th Anniversary of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, 161st Anniversary of Moby Dick’s First Publishing, and 107th Anniversary of Little Nemo in Slumberland.

Today’s Google Doodle shows skaters messing up the ice, as seen in the video above, and it’s Web surfers’ responsibility to resurface the scuffed ice using the Zamboni. Users can navigate the machine with the up, down, left, and right arrow keys or just their mouse.

A more difficult level starts each time the ice is resurfaced, but users also run the risk of running out of gas. So, be quick and efficient. Also, watch out for banana peels or accidentally killing the driver at unsafe speeds by slamming the Zamboni into the arena walls.

Check it out:

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