Google could face €15 million fine for violating Dutch privacy legislation

Google

Dutch privacy watchdog group CBP has threatened Google with up to a €15 million fine for violating Dutch privacy legislation. According to DutchNews, the issue stems from Google collecting personal information about users from Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, and search results and combining the data into one profile for more effective targeted advertising. Read more

Spanish newspapers drive Google News out of Spain, then ask Government to force it to return

Google's Madrid offices

Google’s Madrid offices

Most newspapers were slow to get the hang of the Internet, and Spanish ones more than most, it appears. After successfully lobbying for a law which would force Google to pay them every time it quoted even the smallest excerpt of a story in its Google News search results, Google responded by closing the service in Spain.

Belatedly realising they will now be missing out on all the traffic Google used to drive to their websites, the Spanish newspaper publishers’ association AEDE is asking the government to force Google to re-open the service, reports The Spain Report …  Read more

Movie studios and the MPAA created a secret plan to combat Google, dubbed ‘Project Goliath’

Sony make.believe logo - white

New emails uncovered by the Verge from Sony’s stolen files have revealed that the company, along with several other studios and executives at the MPAA, worked together to create a plan of attack against Google, which they see as one of the biggest enemies Hollywood has.

The plan, which was codenamed “Project Goliath,” would involve each of the major movie studios contributing money toward a $500,000 fund to support legal attacks against the Mountain View company for its (unwitting) role in helping pirates find stolen media.

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Google announces plans to sunset its Earth API

google_earth

Google today announced that it is sunsetting the Google Earth API. The company says its reasoning for shutting the API is that both Firefox and its own Chrome browser are removing support for Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface plugins due to security reasons. A lack of cross-platform support, specifically on mobile devices, also contributed to the decision to shutter the Earth API.

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Google donates $2 million to three charities benefiting San Francisco’s homeless

Europe Antitrust Google

The city of San Francisco announced today that Google has made a $2 million donation to three charities benefiting the homeless. The money will go to Larkin Street Youth Services, Hamilton Family Center, and HandUp, according to a report from Mashable.

A full $1 million will go to the Hamilton Family Center, which locates homeless families through the public school system and helps them find a place to live.

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Google shares this year’s most popular apps, games, music, movies, TV shows, books & news

GooglePlay_EOY-infographic_v7

Google has put together a hefty infographic showing 2014’s most popular apps, games, music, movies, TV shows, books & news.

Health and fitness was the fastest-growing app category, with MyFitnessPal topping the charts within the category. Candy Crush remained the most downloaded game. Other app category chart-toppers were Facebook, Netflix, Pandora, TripAdvisor, Duolingo, Flipagram and NFL Mobile …  Read more

Google stops selling red and white Nexus 5, now only available in black

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 6.01.00 PM

With the Nexus 6 now on the market, Google today has stopped offering the Nexus 5 in red and white, leaving only a black variant on the Play Store. Google is obviously looking to cut down its production of the Nexus 5 and this is one of the easiest ways to do so while continuing to offer the device for those who don’t want the monstrosity that is the Nexus 6 (via Android Police).

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Googlers getting Android Wear watches for holidays this year

Google-LG-G-Watch-Christmas

Googlers in London are taking to Google Plus to show off their holiday gifts from the “World’s most generous company.” While the LG G Watches haven’t been fetching the highest prices lately, it is still a nice gesture. In year’s past, Googlers have been offered 7-inch Asus Nexus tablets or LG -made Nexus phones but with this year’s Motorola Nexus 6 fetching $650 + unlocked it might have gotten a little pricey for the 55,000+ strong employee base. Read more

Marques Brownlee picks his smartphones of the year (and we agree…mostly)

One of my favorite Youtubers (along with Dom and Detroit Borg), @MKBHD did his year end Smartphone of the year roundup and can say I agree with almost every choice he made here. Almost.

Some small gripes however: He didn’t ding Samsung enough for its overlay in the ‘Big Phone’ category (IMO), I might have given LG more props for their camera and One Plus One shouldn’t have beat the Moto G 2014 as best budget. You can get 2 Moto Gs for the price of a One Plus – if you can even find one! That’s not to say the OnePlus isn’t a great budget phone and running Cyanogen mod almost makes it more of a game changer than the Sharp Aquos Crystal.

One other thing: I’m OK with the HTC One M8 as phone of the year as long as it is the GPE. Otherwise Moto X gets the nod

Like I said, I’m almost completely in agreement!

Spoilers below:

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Deal alert: Amazon Gold Box is Moto G 2014 5-inch w/ Lollipop upgrade for $150 unlocked

From 9to5Toys.com:

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 3.04.29 AM

Amazon’s Gold Box Deal of the Day is the Moto G 2014 edition 5-inch 720P smartphone for $149.99 shipped. That’s $30 off on this phone that receives quick Android updates to Lollipop and beyond and is unlocked for use on T-Mobile or AT&T in US or available for international shipping.  It is available in Black or White and available with US or Global GSM variants.  Other features

  • 5″ 720p HD display
  • Front-ported stereo speakers
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with 1.2GHz quad-core CPU
  • Android 4.4, KitKat with guaranteed upgrade
  • All-day 2,070 mAh battery, Corning Gorilla Glass 3, water-resistant splash guard
  • US Compatibility: All GSM Networks including AT&T and (2G) T-Mobile
  • Optimized to work with 3G (UMTS/HSPA+) networks when roaming outside the US
  • Box contents: Motorola Moto G (2nd generation), wall charger, quick guides

This phone gets incredible reviews (4.6/5 stars) from over 500 Amazon reviewers. With your savings, you can get a Plantronics Bluetooth headset for $25 (50% off) shipped and/or nice cases which start at $2.

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