Google’s Marissa Mayer named President & CEO of Yahoo

The NYTimes has the story:

  • The appointment of Ms. Mayer, who was employee No. 20 at Google and was one of the few public faces of the company, is considered a surprising coup for Yahoo, which has struggled in recent years to attract top flight talent in its battle with competitors like Google and Facebook.
  • Ms. Mayer, 37, had for years been responsible for the look and feel of Google’s most popular products: the famously unadorned white search homepage, Gmail, Google News and Google Images. More recently, Ms. Mayer, an engineer by training whose first job at Google included computer programming, was put in charge of the company’s location and local services, including Google Maps, overseeing more than 1,000 product managers. She also sat on Google’s operating committee, part of a small circle of senior executives who had the ear of Google’s co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Mayer has been on the outs for some time at Google, and she did not show for Google I/O this year. She moved up the food chain from being Google employee No. 20 and first female engineer. Mayer’s rise took her from engineer to project manager to Director of Consumer Web Services to VP of Search Products and User Experience, and finally to Location in a broad shift. She was also on the very influential “Operating Committee” of high ranking officers.

However, she was not promoted as one of Larry Page’s seven business heads when he re-took over the company last year.

Mayer is on Walmart’s board of directors, and she briefly dated Google CEO Page who said:

“Since arriving at Google just over 13 years ago as employee #20, Marissa has been a tireless champion of our users. She contributed to the development of our Search, Geo, and Local products. We will miss her talents at Google.”

Mayer said,

“I am honored and delighted to lead Yahoo!, one of the internet’s premier destinations for more than 700 million users.  I look forward to working with the Company’s dedicated employees to bring innovative products, content, and personalized experiences to users and advertisers all around the world.”

The press release is below. 

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WSJ profiles how Google Docs costs one-tenth of Microsoft [Video]

Microsoft is slated to unveil its next iteration of Office today, and The Wall Street Journal’s Shira Ovide is prepping the announcement with some comparison data about the productivity suite and its direct cloud-based rival Google Apps.

According to the WSJ’s video above, Dominion Enterprises held a $2 million annual contract with Microsoft, but it recently decided to switch to Google Apps. The company now pays $200,000 for Google’s services.

Despite the loss, the Office sodtware remains a hugely successful product for Microsoft. It is one of the company’s most profitable goods, and it continues to maintain a stronghold in the desktop productivity market. Google Apps, on the other hand, is still in its infancy, but it is rapidly gaining steam and attention.

Today’s announcement from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will surely set the pace for the company’s future against the ever-growing Google Apps.

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Google patent details hybrid notebook/tablet with virtual keyboard

Today, Patent Bolt covered a newly published Google patent application that details what appears to be a hybrid notebook/tablet design. We noted recently it would not be too shocking to see more Google-made hardware following the company jumping into end-to-end manufacturing of its new U.S.-made Nexus Q hardware. With that in mind, it is certainly interesting to see innovative notebook designs are at least being conceptualized at Google.

As noted in the report, aspects of the patent application cover a notebook device with virtual keyboard and trackpad in place of a traditional physical keyboard. While the patent covers a wide variety of possible configurations, some highlights include:
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NBC Olympics to live stream games on mobile devices with two Adobe-powered apps [Video]

NBC just unveiled two Adobe-powered mobile apps for its 2012 London Olympics coverage.

The NBC Olympics Live Companion app will act as a second display for stats and other details so users have a full bevy of data to compliment their television-watching experience. Meanwhile, the NBC Olympics Live Extra app will pipe live-streaming video to on-the-go users. It can handle multiple camera angles, social features, and the ability to seamlessly switch between both Olympics apps.

The free apps will launch today on both Apple’s App Store for iOS devices and the Google Play Store for Android smartphone and tablets. They will also support “TV Everywhere” authentication with cable providers for unlimited access to all the premium content. Users simply need to login to their pay-TV subscription to tap into 3,500 hours of Olympic events.

“To make it as easy as possible, you only need to go through the sign-in once and won’t have to “re-authenticate” every time you want to watch a live event,” explained Adobe on its Digital Media Blog. “For the first time in Olympics history, mobile apps will give you the opportunity to view live broadcasts of all Olympic events in the palm of your hand.”

NBC Olympics is also using Adobe technologies to serve ads, measure and monetize content, and provide digital analytics in both apps.

This article is cross-posted on 9to5Mac.

The press release is below.

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Google’s Nexus 7 has Smartcover-like magnetic interface capabilities

Android Police noted that Google’s Nexus 7 tablet has an interesting, unbeknownst capability—until now. On the left side (so opposite of Apple):

A curious owner of the device started doing what any totally rational person does with a brand-new tablet: expose it to magnetic forces. The results yielded an as-yet hidden feature in the Nexus 7, in the form a magnetic smart cover sensor. Simply take a magnet and put it up against the front or back of your Nexus 7 along the bottom left-hand side while in portrait mode with the display on and the above happens.

Case makers take note! Read more

AT&T releases the Samsung Galaxy SIII in Garnet Red on July 15, In-Store July 29 [Gallery]

AT&T just announced that you can get your hands on a Samsung Galaxy SII in Garnet Red online on July 15th and they wil start showing up in stores two weeks later on July 29th. Other than Red, the SIII will be identical to the one we reviewed last month.

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Google bulks AdWords with ‘Search as You Type’ for US advertisers [Video]

Google is expanding its “Search as You Type” feature under Google Commerce Search to U.S.-based AdWords advertisers today as a free, stand-alone service.

“It’s easy to implement and helps increase sales and conversion rates on merchant websites. The Search as You Type pilot is available to US-based AdWords advertisers for free, up to 25 million searches annually, after which licensing fees would apply,” announced Google Shopping Product Management Director Jennifer Dulski on the official Google Commerce blog.

Google’s famous predictive suggestions, auto complete, and related product results are integrated into Search as You Type to bulk a merchant’s existing website search functionality. Today’s announcement supports Google’s recent attempts at enhancing its online retail and search experiences.

“When shoppers type a search query into a merchant’s site, Search as You Type shows them product suggestions and photos, making it faster and easier for people to spot the product they’re looking for and click through to make a purchase,” Dulski explained.

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Sustrans and Google Maps launch cycling routes in UK [Video]

Sustrans, a British charity promoting sustainable transport, just announced that it partnered with Google to bring cycling routes to United Kingdom-based Google Maps users.

Greener-minded Americans are quite familiar with the biking icon and its bevy of alternative transit routes, but now U.K. fans of the popular mapping app can plan their cycling trips, navigate bike lanes, and time routes on both smartphones and computers. For those unfamiliar, Google Maps offers worldwide mapping technology, directions and local business information to mobile and desktop users by way of satellite and street-level imagery and user-contributed content.

“We know how popular cycling is in London and the rest of the UK, especially ahead of a busy summer, which is why we are thrilled to bring cycling directions to Google Maps. Thanks to Sustrans, we now have thousands of miles of trails and routes, as well as bike lanes and recommended streets for cities across the country,” said Google UK Geospatial Technologist Ed Parsons.

“We’ll continue to add new trail information and urge commuters to swap their car for a bike as they can now find a convenient route that makes use of dedicated bike tracks and avoid hills whenever possible, Parsons added.

The new feature goes live today, and Sustrans is celebrating the launch with its own video, called “Lucy’s Cycling Treasure Hunt” (above).

The press release is below.

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Amazon launches GameCircle for Kindle Fire [Video]

Amazon just announced a new gaming experience for developers and the Kindle Fire: GameCircle.

According to the Amazon Mobile App Distribution blog, GameCircle is a “new set of services designed to make it easier for you to create more engaging gaming experiences and grow your business on Kindle Fire,” by making “achievements, leaderboards and sync APIs accessible, simple and quick for you to integrate, and will give gamers a more seamless and entertaining in-game experience.”

Amazon offers a growing suite of developer services. Its new GameCircle is geared specifically for game developers too, which is great news for the Kindle Fire since it is facing a firestorm of Android-based content competition from the new Nexus 7. Game Circle also helps players to better experience their games through three key features —achievements, leaderboards, and sync—that will surely continue to entice folks to the dominating Android-based eReader.

Achievements allow players to “track all earned trophies, treasures, badges, awards, and more without leaving the gaming experience,” while leaderboards give an “in-game view of score comparison information and percentile ranking, allowing players to quickly and easily check standings against top players or competitors, without ever leaving your game.”

Sync autosaves players’ in-game progress to the cloud for immediate pick-up exactly where they ended when switching devices or restoring a deleted game. Losing progress, scores or achievements is not a problem with GameCircle, because as all data is safely stored in the cloud.

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Nexus 7 updated to Android 4.1.1, most notably features Google Wallet

Along with the release of Android 4.0 Jelly Bean on the HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus this evening, Google updated the unreleased Nexus 7 to Android 4.1.1, allowing only those who got the 7-inch tablet at Google I/O to play around with it. The 12.6MB update does not feature anything too crazy past bug fixes—besides bringing Google Wallet to the tablet. I would say this update is not too far off from the Galaxy Nexus either. Luckily, it will be there for when the rest of us get the Nexus 7 in the mail shortly. For those who have played with it, how is the update? (via Android Central)

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Game-changing, Android-powered OUYA console raises $500K on Kickstarter in 13 hours [Update]

UPDATE: OUYA met its $950,000 goal. The project is now at $1,252,480…and it still has 29 days left to go.

OUYA, an Android-powered gaming console for the television, just posted its hefty funding goal on Kickstarter, and it already raised over $500,000 in 13 hours.

The Los Angeles, Calif.-based folks behind OUYA had one main premise in mind when undertaking this revolutionary project: “Let’s make the games less expensive to make, and less expensive to buy.”

OUYA’s controller, console, and interface will come in one package that doubles as a dev kit. There is no need for developers to buy a license or SDK, and they already familiar with the platform, so gaming production should be a breeze. Developers will even have access to OUYA’s open design, so they can make plenty of games that take full advantage of the television. OUYA only requested that developers make some of the gameplay free either through a demo with a full-game upgrade, in-game items or powers, or subscriptions.

OUYA noted it could even change AAA game development: “Forget about licensing fees, retail fees, and publishing fees.”

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Google+ updated for iPad, adds Google+ Events, Hangouts, and instant photo-uploading

As previously unveiled at Google I/O, Google just released an updated Google+ iOS app on the App Store that includes full iPad support, integration of the new Google+ Events feature, and the ability to attach Instant Upload photos to posts. You can also now start and join hangouts from within the app.

Google made an official blog post announcing the updated app to explain how you can now initiate hangouts from an option on the main menu as well as enable/disable ringing notifications for feature. It also highlighted a few of the new ways users can interact with the app’s UI:

-Pinch and expand posts right in your stream to add your comments

-Use two fingers to drag a post from your stream to easily re-share it

-Start a Hangout from your iPad and stream it to your TV using AirPlay

The full release notes for the app are below, while a demo of the new tablet UI from Google I/O can be seen in the video above.

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