Google launches clever Google Ads campaign with animated commercials in Brazil (Videos)

Google is using witty animation to enlighten folks in Brazil about the conditions of online advertising and how its service helps streamline those operations.

The Internet giant recently hosted five animated videos on YouTube as part of a Brazil-based campaign for Google Ads products. According to TheNextWeb (via Brainstorm9), agencies Pepper Melon and Ño Empire co-created the farcical advertisements that focus on brand awareness, audience engagement, efficient technology use, target selection, and new product launches.

The commercials are in Brazilian Portuguese with English subtitles, check ’em out:

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Apple and Samsung US phone and tablet sales revealed: Samsung’s best seller was prepaid Prevail

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More fun stuff surfaced today from the Apple vs. Samsung trial. Pictured above are Samsung’s sales numbers for its smartphones in the U.S. Perhaps most surprisingly is that Samsung’s best selling phone by unit number is Boost Mobile’s Samsung Prevail, which sold 2.255 million units. Finishing in second and third were the Samsung Epic 4G and the Galaxy S2 Epic Touch both on Sprint. That means Samsung’s top three devices were all on Sprint’s network.

Meanwhile, Samsung’s U.S. tablet numbers were below expectations. They totaled just over 1.4 million since the fourth quarter of 2010 (what happened to the Galaxy Tab 8.9? And I do not see the Galaxy Note phablet either above or below).

Then there were Apple’s much bigger numbers, below:

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Google teams with leading US carriers to form Mobile Payments Committee

There is a new sheriff in town for the mobile payments arena—or at least that’s what VentureBeat described in a report on the newly formed Mobile Payments Committee.

Electronic Transactions Association CEO Jason Oxman announced the group’s genesis in an interview this morning, where he explained the committee boasts representation from the four leading U.S. carriers.

AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile have apparently united to grapple with mobile payments, and it appears Google, PayPal, ISIS, VeriFone, and Intuit are also members, while Verizon Executive Director of Federal Relations Jackie Moran serves as the group’s chair.

According to VentureBeat, the Mobile Payments Committee will:

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Leaked press shots of Android-powered Sony Xperia tablet surface online [Photos]

A few press images of the Sony Xperia manifested online before its expected IFA unveiling in September and just days after a slew of leaked slides on the tablet emerged via a German website.

Android Guys first spotted the latest high-res leaks on the XDA Developers Forum. The forum’s contributor noted the device offers a Tegra3 CPU, 1-megapixel front-facing camera, 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, 6000 mAh battery, and a magnesium-aluminum alloy body.

The 16GB Experia will apparently sell, according to the XDA thread, for $399.99, while the 32GB and 64GB models cost an additional $100 and $200 respectively, but previous reports for the tablet indicated a slightly higher price scheme.

More rumored specs include Android 4.0 or later, 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, and a 8.8mm aluminum shell that is 42 percent thinner than the Tablet S. The slim design is certainly a draw, but that dramatic bezel pictured above is a completely different story.

The full gallery is below.

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Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer instating many Google beliefs as her reign begins

Coming from Google, Yahoo’s new chief executive officer, Marissa Mayer, is reportedly making a ton of changes to the company. According to the Wall Street Journal, Mayer is instituting many Google beliefs into the company. The biggest change is an encouraged focus on product, as she is talking to product executives about how the company can stop the decline in users across the board, and the biggest product change may be a revamped search engine. The folks in Mountain View have dominated that market for quite sometime, though. To further encourage her product philosophy, the new executive ordered the stock ticker be removed from the homepage of Yahoo’s back-end. She wants her employees to focus and not be caught up in the finances.

Other small changes include free lunches at Yahoo, which is a practice that has been instated at Google for a while, and an all-hands-on meeting on Friday afternoons. Mayer is rumored to get $100 million in compensation over the next five years for her work at Yahoo. You can check out the full report for all the details. [WSJ] 

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Families of Googlers who pass away receive 5 years of salary spread over 10 years

In a recent interview with Forbes regarding benefits for Google employees, Google Chief People Officer Laszlo Bock explained the company has recently announced death benefits for Googlers.

“This might sound ridiculous,” Bock told me recently in a conversation on the ever-evolving benefits at Google, “But we’ve announced death benefits at Google.”

According to Bock, spouses of Googlers whom pass away while employed at the company will continue to receive 50 percent of the employee’s annual salary for 10 years following. Children will also receive $1,000 monthly until they reach 19 (or 23 if they are a full-time student):
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Google uncloaks the future of search: New Knowledge Graph worldwide rollout, Gmail universal search trial, Voice-based search in iOS

Google is currently giving a presentation at its San Francisco office to discuss the future of search.

The search engine first revealed the Web is home to 30 trillion URLs and it crawls 20 billion of those pages every day, according to TheNextWeb, while also answering 100 billion queries every month.

Googler Amit Singhal then reminded folks about the Knowledge Graph, according to SearchEngineLand, which now contains 5 million things and 3.5 billion connections between them. Singhal called the Knowledge Graph just a “baby step” in the future of search, and he noted the future ideally involves speech recognition.

Read more about the Knowledge Graph at the Official Google Blog.

Another Googler, Shashi Takur, came on stage to announce a worldwide Knowledge Graph rollout tomorrow for English-speaking countries. From there, Knowledge Graph Director of Product Management Jack Menzel demoed a redesign featuring a top carousel-like bar that helps users swipe through items more quickly when searching. The new look also provides search results with collections and lists instead of just the traditional blue links, according to Engadget.

More Googlers take the stage: Universal Search Director of Product Management Sagar Kamdar explained Gmail is now a part of universal search in a now-live “field trial.” He gave an example by searching for an item to purchase through Amazon, and then he highlighted a shipping confirmation in Gmail that immediately surfaced on the right-hand side of the Google results page. He also showed a similar example with a flight confirmation email.

Those who want to give the trial a spin can do so here.

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Google expanding live traffic coverage to 130 small cities in the US, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Panama

Google announced on the Official Lat Long Blog today that it is expanding the Google Maps live traffic feature first launched in 2008 to cover 130 smaller U.S. cities and the capitals of Panama, Costa Rica, and Colombia. On top of travel time estimates and real-time traffic conditions for the new cities, Google also improved its traffic coverage in a list of other locations including parts of Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. A tutorial of the feature is presented in the demo video below, and Google has a full overview of supported cities here.

Now the streets of Bogotá, San José, and Panama City and the arterial roads in Kalamazoo (Michigan), Portland (Maine), Tuscaloosa (Alabama) and many more cities will include real-time current traffic conditions as well as estimated travel times. Whether you’re online on your home computer ensuring no unexpected snarls await your drive to the airport or you’ve been stuck behind a line of cars for a few minutes and can ask your friend in the passenger seat to check whether it’ll clear up just around the bend, we hope these updates save you time and stress when getting to your destination. Read more

Judge orders Google, Oracle to disclose payments made to bloggers

A judge ruled today that Google and Oracle must disclose any payments made to Internet authors, journalists, or bloggers for published commentary related to the Google vs. Oracle lawsuit involving Android software.

The trial is just now ending, but Judge William Alsup issued a court order (PDF) today that calls for both companies to divulge which Internet-based journalists were compensated. The judge is apparently concerned that evidence in the case includes analysis from influenced bloggers.

FOSS Patents‘ Florian Mueller revealed in April that Oracle and Microsoft pay for posts on his blog, where he regularly discusses the Google vs. Oracle case.

The full court order is below: 

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Google self-driving cars log 300K miles accident free, adds Lexus SUV to fleet

We always had a deep interest in Google’s self-driving car project. It develops technology to make driverless cars, and Google engineer Sebastian Thrun leads the charge. The Google team has operated the driverless cars daily on the roadway with as many as 12 cars going at any time. In an announcement made today, Google said its self-driving cars logged a whopping 300,000 miles accident free (but there was one time when it was the drivers fault). The company added that while a ton of progress has been made, the self-driving project still has a long way to go. For example, the cars still need to master snowy conditions.

Google also revealed that it added the Lexus RX450h to its fleet of self-driving vehicles to “fine our systems in different environments and on different terrain.” How stylish.

The self-driving project has come a long way over the past year. In June 2011, Nevada passed a law concerning self-driving cars on the roadway and granted the first license for a driverless car in May 2012. With over 300,000 miles logged, next comes self-driving cars used for the daily commute.

“As a next step, members of the self-driving car team will soon start using the cars solo (rather than in pairs), for things like commuting to work,” said Google in a blog post. “This is an important milestone, as it brings this technology one step closer to every commuter.” [Google]

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NASA’s official Mars landing video got taken off YouTube after fictitious copyright claim from Scripps

NASA achieved a huge milestone very early this morning, as it landed the first rover on Mars after years of failed attempts. It was an awesome moment fueled by months of hard work and dedication. NASA posted the landing on YouTube. It showed engineers gleefully cheering and celebrating years of hard work. Of course, NASA wanted to share the event on YouTube in a 13-minute excerpt of the livestream that could have been viewed on Ustream, but not to be stopped by a fictitious copyright claim.

An unknown network (in my eyes), Scripps Local News filed for a DMCA takedown. No one is exactly sure why the claim was filed or on what ground it would have the right to earn a takedown. The video uploaded was NASA’s content by all means, and even NASA does not copyright most of its content.

It was definitely a weird situation, but the video has thankfully been re-uploaded for your viewing pleasure. We reached out to Scripps Local News in an attempt to learn more about the situation. Oh, and you can check out the Mars landing video below. It is now 9 minutes rather than the original 13 minutes: [Motherboard.tv via Gizmodo]

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