Report: Google in talks to acquire music streaming service Songza for $15 million


Hot on the heels of Apple buying Beats Music, the NY Post is reporting that Google is in talks to acquire the music streaming company Songza. According to the report, Google is currently offering Songza $15 million. That seems on the low side when compared to the $3 billion Apple paid for Beats, although only $500 million of that was for the smaller Beats streaming service. The NY Post also correctly reported on the Beats acquisition before it happened.

Read more

Google marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day with massive collection of photos, letters & more


Google has created a new Cultural Institute collection to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings that were instrumental in the allies winning World War 2.

The massive collection of hundreds of photos, letters and documents helps bring to life the largest seaborne invasion in history, with 130,000 British, American and Canadian troops landing on the beaches of Normandy, France. Almost one in ten of them were killed.

The collection includes Franklin D. Roosevelt’s prayer, complete with handwritten amendments, and top-secret progress reports from Eisenhower to Marshall …  Read more

HTC reportedly developing a phone capable of taking the “ultimate selfie,” coming to AT&T in Q4

HTC's failed Facebook phone

HTC’s failed Facebook phone

Because apparently it’s what the world needs, HTC is reportedly developing a phone that will be marketed as the “ultimate selfie phone.” According to the normally reliable evleaks, the device is codenamed Eye and will be coming to AT&T with a fourth quarter release. Other details are still sparse, but the big thing is, it’s a sefie phone, capable of taking the ultimate selfie.

Back in 2011, HTC released the ChaCha, better known as the Facebook phone, that failed miserably. It appears, more than two years later, that the company learned absolutely nothing with that device and is going to continue to make gimmicky phones that no one will buy.

Nevertheless, if you, for some reason, want a phone that’s capable of taking the ultimate selfie and other phones just don’t work well enough for you, wait until Q4 for the HTC Eye. It’s unclear what the device will have that makes it better for selfies than other devices, but presumably we’ll see a few leaks between now and the launch to tell us.

But first….let me take a selfie.

Read more

Google planning to spend more than $1 billion on satellites to bring internet to unwired areas of the globe


According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, Google is planning to spend more than $1 billion to expand internet access to unwired regions of the world with a fleet of satellites. According to “people familiar with the matter,” Google this time around is hoping that it can overcome financial and technical problems it has faced in the past with this goal.

Read more

Google’s Video Quality Report test to measure your ISP performance now available in the US


Earlier this year, Google introduced its Video Quality Report that measures the performance of your Internet Service Provider based on YouTube content playback. At the time, Google’s project was only available for users in Canada. Four months later, the company is sharing that its Video Quality Test will now be available to users in the United States as well… Read more

Future Nest products may not need new hardware, could be just apps, says Fadell

If you love the idea of smart home technology like Nest, but are concerned about the cost of replacing half the appliances and devices in your home, Nest CEO Tony Fadell has some good news. Speaking at the Re/Code conference, he said that while “you need new hardware to allow things to flourish,” there are many things that could be done with software alone.

 Just like your smartphone has many many apps on it, we think there [could be] many apps in your home but you don’t necessarily need new hardware …

Read more

Google says its workforce diversity is “miles” from where it wants it to be

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 6.00.47 PM

In a post on its official company blog, Google, for the first time ever, broke down the diversity of its workforce. The company said that it was originally reluctant to share this type of information, but now realizes it was wrong and has decided to be more candid about the issue. Google says that it is not where it wants to be in terms of the diversity of its workforce.

Read more

Key leader of Egyptian revolution rejoins Google in preparation for possible business venture


Former Google marketing exec Wael Ghonim, who was one of the key leaders of the Egyptian revolution, has rejoined Google as an entrepreneur-in-residence in Google Ventures as preparation for a possible new business venture, reports Fortune.

Ghonim realized the power of social media to mobilize protestors in Egypt, and was a strong voice for the power of peaceful protest and non-violent civil disobedience. He is best known for creating the We Are All Khaled Said Facebook page to draw attention to a young Egyptian tortured to death by the country’s police.

Following the successful removal of Hosni Mubarak and the former regime in Egypt, Time named him one of the 100 most influential people of 2011 …  Read more

Sergey Brin: Google Glass will be a “commercial product” this year (give or take)

Sergey Brin, Google, Code Conference

While on stage at the Code Conference, Google co-founder Sergey Brin talked Google Glass with Re/Code editors Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. When asked about the commercial availability of the product, Brin said that he hopes it will be available to all consumers by the end of the year. He remarked that “Google Glass will be a commercial product this year…plus or minus.” The timeline for Glass has been a bit cloudy since its announcement, but hopefully Google finally follows through this time around.

Read more

Google gives first look at its own built from scratch self-driving car


Along with an announcement and interview with Sergey Brin at the Code Conference tonight, Google is officially taking the wraps off a new self driving car that it’s building from the ground up for the first time. That’s instead of retrofitting vehicles built by other manufacturers like it has in the past, but the new vehicle will also bring possibilities that weren’t possible with the company’s previous self-driving vehicles. Details of the project were previously revealed in a report from The Information, but Google gave an early official look and details about the new car to Recode: Read more

Live blog: Google co-founder, Google[X] leader Sergey Brin at Code Conference


We’re live on the scene at the Code Conference, and now that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has finished up his interview and demonstration, Google co-founder and Google[X] leader Sergey Brin has entered the hot seat. Re/code’s Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher are interviewing Brin, and you can find our live updates from the interview below:

Read more

Report: Google “considering” purchase of Dropcam, Apple has also shown interest


Earlier this year Google acquired smart-thermostat company Nest, and according to a new report out of The Information, the company is not planning on stopping its quest to enter the home automation and security market. The report claims that Google has “considered” acquiring Dropcam, the makers of a system that streams live footage directly to phones and computers.

The report goes on to say that the status of talks and negotiations between the two companies is unclear at this point and that spokespeople for both companies did not reply to requests for comment.

Read more