EU competition regulator requesting more from Google to end longstanding antitrust case

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Google has been battling allegations of burying rival companies in its web search results while promoting its own services, such as Maps and YouTube. The search giant was close to avoiding costly fines from the European Commission, but following negative feedback from its competitors, Google will now have to take additional measures to settle this multi-year investigation.

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Quick comparison: Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Galaxy Note 3 (Video)

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Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 was one of the major announcements during this year’s IFA show in Berlin. The new smartphone sports a fanatically durable design with a metal frame that gives it a very premium look. Overall, this is the phablet to buy in 2014, but how does it compare to its predecessor? Let’s find out in our Galaxy Note 4 vs Galaxy Note 3 spec comparison…

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Google shows off winning image-recognition system, likely to assist in autonomous car efforts

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Google has shown off its winning entry in an annual computer vision challenge whose entrants include both academic institutions and industry labs, and made its work available to other researchers.

In this year’s challenge, team GoogLeNet tasks, doubling the quality on both tasks over last year’s results. The team participated with an open submission, meaning that the exact details of its approach are shared with the wider computer vision community to foster collaboration and accelerate progress in the field …

Google cites its self-driving cars as one of the obvious applications of the technology. Read more

Google reaches $19 million settlement with FTC over unauthorized in-app purchases by children

Google Play DevelopersAn ongoing investigation conducted by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that has accused Google — and other major tech companies — of making it too easy for children to make in-app purchases is finally set to come to a close for the Mountain View-based company.

Google has reached a settlement with the FTC that will see it pay out at least $19 million to parents billed for unauthorized in-app purchases by children. The FTC order also requires Google to change its mobile app billing practices to ensure that parental consent is properly obtained before charges are applied. Read more

Upcoming Android Wear-powered LG G Watch R to launch October 14th

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The LG G Watch R has been surrounded by a flurry of excitement, even in lieu of the fact that the much-hyped Moto 360 is supposed to be launching soon. And the timing is likely no coincidence, as following its official announcement last week, LG has come out today at IFA 2014 in Berlin with an official release date for its own upcoming round smartwatch (via The Wall Street Journal).

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Samsung shows off Oculus-powered Gear VR headset for Galaxy Note 4

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Rounding out its IFA announcements in Berlin today, Samsung demoed its new Gear VR headset powered by Oculus technology (with a plug from Oculus’s John Carmack). Similar to Google’s Cardboard, the Samsung Gear VR is a virtual reality headset made for the new Galaxy Note 4 also introduced today to create an “immersive new dimension of mobile life” through virtual reality. Pricing and availability seem scarce at this point and it doesn’t seem to be compatible with the curved display Note Edge shown off today, but the Note 4 is launching sometime next month. Full press release below:
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ASUS ZenWatch officially announced with 1.6-inch curved rectangular face in stainless steel

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ASUS has officially launched its much-teased ZenWatch at IFA in Berlin, revealing that the rectangular smartwatch has a curved face, a brushed stainless steel body and a leather strap – but is pricier than expected.

Specs are pretty much as expected and in line with the Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch: an Android Wear device with 1.63-inch 320×320 AMOLED display, 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 chip, 512MB RAM, 4GB storage and a fitness functions. The watch is waterproofed to a relatively weak IP55 standard, defined as resistant to water jets but not full immersion …  Read more

Google rebrands Google Enterprise with friendlier ‘Google for Work’ name

Google on Tuesday announced the rebranding of its Enterprise products and services group to a friendlier “Google for Work” name that should resonate better with small businesses and anyone using Google services, such as Maps, Search, Chrome, Android and Cloud Platform, to perform their day-to-day work. Google chairman Eric Schmidt emphasized that the change was made to empower anyone, including a sole developer in his or her basement, to have an impact.  Read more

Six reasons why Google’s autonomous car director thinks public sale is still five years away

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Google’s self-driving cars may have notched up 700,000 accident-free miles without anyone needing to press the big red Stop button, but project director Chris Urmson’s personal deadline to have the cars on sale to the public is still five years away, reports the MIT’s Technology Review.

Most tech-heads know that the cars rely on inch-perfect modelling of the specific streets they will use, the cars unable to drive anywhere else, but the piece revealed that this is just one of the challenges ahead …  Read more

A week after Apple launches iPhone 6, ZTE has a NYC launch event

Probably ill-advised timing but why not?

HERE offline map app arrives on Android for the first time, initially on Samsung Galaxy phones only

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HERE, the competitor to Google Maps initially available only on Windows Phone, has arrived on Android for the first time. Initially, the beta version of the Android app will be limited to Samsung Galaxy smartphones.

The main claim to fame of the app is that it offers the ability to download entire regions or countries for offline use, in contrast to Google Maps which only allows you to cache areas you have viewed while online. HERE maps currently cover around 200 countries, though turn-by-turn directions are so far limited to about half of these …  Read more