Google does U-turn to clean up results in searches for child pornography

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Google has done a U-turn on its previous policy of stopping short of directly interfering with search results and is now actively trapping more than 100,000 searches for material which constitutes child abuse, reports UK newspaper the Daily Mail.

The world’s biggest media firm has agreed to introduce changes which will prevent depraved images and videos from appearing for more than 100,000 different searches.

The company’s chairman Eric Schmidt, writing in today’s Daily Mail ahead of a Downing Street summit on internet pornography, says: ‘We’ve listened. We’ve fine-tuned Google Search to prevent links to child sexual abuse material from appearing in our results’ …  Read more

Google opens temporary Winter Wonderlab retail shops in six cities

It might not be as interesting as Google’s floating barge project that will see the company bring interactive technology showrooms to cities in the US, but Google has just opened a number of temporary retail locations leading into the holidays.

The pop-up locations are dubbed Google Winter Wonderlabs and Google’s new site describing the retail experience lists locations for New York City, Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Jersey, and Sacramento.

Google is using the stores to let customers try out and purchase the Nexus 7, Chromebooks, and Chromecast (no mention of Google Glass), but it also has a “Snow globe” room that lets people create slo-mo videos with animated snow fall and “Play Zones” with various product demos set up.  Read more

Android tablet revenue overtakes iPad for first time (though probably not for long)

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Total revenue from all Android tablets combined has for the first time exceeded Apple’s revenue for its iPad sales, according to IDC data crunched by Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty.

“For the first time,” she wrote in a note to clients Friday, “Android devices accounted for a greater share of the market in revenue terms than iOS. Android revenue share reached 46.2% in 3Q13, for the first time exceeding iPad share of 45.6%. Android’s unit share grew to 66.7% from 58.5% a year ago, largely driven by Samsung and Lenovo, while iPad share declined to 29.7% from 40.2%” …  Read more

Judge sides with Google in long-running book-scanning case with Authors Guild

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After a nearly eight year battle stemming from a lawsuit brought on by authors accusing Google of digitally scanning books without permission, a judge has now officially sided with Google and dismissed the case. Reuters reports:

U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin in Manhattan accepted Google’s argument that its scanning of more than 20 million books for an electronic database, and making “snippets” of text available for online searches, constituted fair use.

“In my view, Google Books provide significant public benefits,” Chin wrote.

The ultimate decision was essentially that by scanning snippets of books to use with Google Books or in search, Google was providing more benefits to the authors than disadvantages. The judge is also quoted as calling the service “an essential research tool” that creates new income for authors and lets users discover content. GigaOM got the following statement from Google, but the Authors Guild is yet to speak out on the decision: Read more