Google’s Cultural Institute teams up with Europeana to bring more than 2000 museums & archives online

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Google’s Cultural Institute – which puts online materials previously only available to visitors to particular museums, archives and institutes – has taken on its biggest challenge yet. Google is working with Europeana to bring online the collections of more than 2000 museums, archives and institutes.

It’s a tremendous undertaking to bring Europe’s rich cultural heritage online, one that can only be achieved by both private and public effort. As this collaboration shows, both Europeana and Google share similar visions – allowing people around the world to explore Europe’s cultural and scientific heritage from prehistory to the modern day …

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Google’s mysterious barge-based container buildings being sold for scrap

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Well, that was an anti-climax. After all kinds of speculation about why Google was building floating structures on a set of barges based in San Francisco and Portland, with Google finally revealing in not too much detail that they were to become “interactive spaces where people can learn about new technology,” it turns out that at least one of them is being sold for scrap.

The Portland Press Herald reports that the 250-foot Google barge that has been sitting in Portland Harbour since last October is now being sold and the container building sitting on it will be scrapped …  Read more

Rumored OnePlus OneWatch website and sketches leaked

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BGR.in today received some interesting information about the rumored smartwatch by OnePlus. In case you haven’t heard of them, OnePlus is a company that sells the OnePlus One smartphone (our review here), which boasts a 5.5″ 1080P display, 2.5GHz SnapDragon 801, 3GB of RAM, 64GB of on-board storage, and other top-tier features for the low-range price of $349 off contract. Their “invite only” system spawned a polarizing response from their most dedicated fans, as OnePlus required anyone who wanted the phone to be “invited” to purchase it. 

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Google hosting Advisory Council on Right to be Forgotten across Europe including Rome, Paris, & London

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Much discussion on Internet policy has been prompted since the European Union Court of Justice ruled in May of this year that it is an individual’s right to request Google remove sensitive information from search results. Since the ruling on the Right to be Forgotten, as it is often called, Google has established a web page dedicated to taking such requests and begun removing data from its search results as requested although that hasn’t been without further complaints from EU regulators.

For its part, Google has shared its criteria for information removal and announced an the establishment of an advisory panel of experts for fielding concerns throughout this fall over the policy and its implementation. Today the search giant has shared the dates and cities of when that advisory panel will host in-person public discussion on the right to be forgotten. Check below for the specifics: Read more

British government committee says EU’s “right to be forgotten” ruling is unreasonable and impossible

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And so the saga continues … In the short time since the EU ruled that individuals have the right to be forgotten when sensitive information found in search results is considered “outdated or irrelevant,” we’ve seen what is probably best described as the makings of a damn good sitcom. (Note to networks: if you make it, I want my ten percent.)

We first had the amusement of deleted links being reported by the media, bringing the stories back into the limelight. We then had Google describing the impossible position in which it has been placed, being asked to make “difficult and debatable judgements” based on “very vague and subjective tests.”

This was followed by the EU rapping Google’s knuckles for doing it wrong, and we now have a bipartisan British governmental committee disagreeing with the EU and agreeing with Google that it is being asked to “enforce the impossible” …  Read more

Google Shopping searches now feature product reviews for sponsored results

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In a blog post, Google today announced that it is adding product ratings to its Product Listing Ads within searches. The stars will come from a variety of reviews and sources, including merchants, third-party review sites, users, and more. Google says that adding product ratings to its Listing Ads within searches will drive higher traffic through these ads. The company claims that this change also helped increase click-through rates of Product Listing Ads in early testing.

We believe these ratings will help differentiate products across google.com and google.com/shopping and will help merchants drive more qualified traffic through Product Listing Ads. In initial tests, product ratings also helped increase click-through-rates of Product Listing Ads.

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Amazon apparently set to launch Square competitor next month as it preps biometric payment tools

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Amazon could be preparing to launch its own mobile credit card reading hardware in the coming weeks, according to internal Staples documents hinting at such a launch that we’ve obtained. According to the documents, Staples stores will prepare next month to stock a new product called the “Amazon Card Reader” alongside existing card readers from Square, PayPal, and Staples’ own in-house brand. The small hardware, which will likely connect to smartphones to process payments, will cost $9.99, according to the Staples internal sales systems…

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Google plans to create a ‘baseline’ of health from extensive data collected in new study

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Google is planning to collect data from 175 participants in a new study to attempt to create a statistical standard for what is considered a healthy person, the Wall Street Journal reported today. The data collected in this study, called Project Baseline, will presumably be used at some point in the future to monitor technology users for any signs of potential medical issues and alert them.

In the study, which will eventually be expanded to thousands of participants, Google X’s Dr. Andrew Conrad and a team of as many as 100 scientists in varying fields will collect anonymous molecular and genetic data in order to determine the idea traits of a healthy individual. These samples will come in the form of tissue, tears, urine, and more which will be collected this summer.

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Google’s acquisition of Twitch for $1 billion reportedly confirmed

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According to VentureBeat, citing sources familiar with the matter, Google has reached an agreement with Twitch to acquire the live streaming video platform for $1 billion. While the deal appears to have been finalized, the two companies have yet to make a formal announcement regarding the acquisition. Google’s YouTube division is reportedly in charge of the acquisition.  Read more

More details of Samsung’s Oculus-powered Gear VR headset leak w/ look at companion app

Samsung’s upcoming Gear branded virtual reality headset for its mobile devices has a leaked a couple times in recent weeks, but today it gets closer to reality with our first look at the companion software for smartphones used to manage the device. SamMobile posted screenshots of the app called Gear VR Manager that show the steps it takes for a user to setup the headset and available settings and calibration tools. There are also hints at VR Panorama and VR Cinema apps. Read more

‘Right to be forgotten’ mess gets messier as European regulators complain about Google’s approach

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The mess and uncertainty created by an European court ruling that individuals have a ‘right to be forgotten‘ by search-engines when sensitive information is deemed to be “outdated or irrelevant” just got worse. Regulators are meeting with Google today to express concerns about the way in which Google has chosen to implement the ruling, reports Business Insider.

Under particular scrutiny is Google’s decision to only remove results from its European search engines, such as google.co.uk, meaning anyone can easily access the hidden information by switching to the widely used google.com […]

Another issue likely to be raised by the EU watchdogs is Google’s decision to notify the owners of the websites that have been removed from search results …

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