Samsung schedules first developer conference for Oct. 27-29 in San Francisco

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Samsung has just announced that it will be hosting its first developer conference later this year in San Francisco. While we assume that the event would include typical developer sessions for Samsung’s Android/TouchWiz devices, it looks like we’ll also be getting a look at the latest from across the company’s other product lines as well. Samsung isn’t saying much, but it is teasing “what’s next” for developers, hinting that we’ll be seeing at least some new developments with its SDK and developer tools.

The event is scheduled to take place at Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco from October 27-29. Registration isn’t yet open, and no specific details on what we’ll be seeing at the event, but you can sign up on Samsung’s website now to get notified when more information becomes available.

Google gears up for public Glass launch with investment in chipmaker Himax

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In another sign that Google is gearing up for the public launch of Google Glass, Reuters reports that the company has taken a stake in Taiwanese chipmaker Himax, a specialist in display driver chips with particular expertise in controllers for LCOS micro-displays used in head-mounted displays.

Google Inc will take a 6.3 percent stake in the unit of Taiwanese chipmaker Himax Technologies Inc that develops display technology for devices such as Google Glass, Himax said.

The investment will help fund the production of liquid crystal on silicon chips and modules used in head-mounted devices such as Google Glass, head-up displays and pico-projectors, Himax said in a statement …  Read more

Cydia developer Saurik exploits and fixes Android’s Master Key vulnerability with ‘Impactor’

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The severity of the Master Key vunerability (bug #8219321) Bluebox Security discovered has been disputed and folks often are willing to look past theoretical vulnerabilities until a widespread zero day goes public. The original claims were that 99% of Android devices were vulnerable but that has since come down with patches and Google updates. Still, with manufacturers and carriers unable to see the long term value in quick (or any) updates to their phones, a huge amount of Android users are out there, unpatched.

(Bluebox has a scanner in the Play store to determine if your Android device is still vulnerable) 

Enter Saurik, the developer/hacker/violinist responsible for the Cydia Jailbreak repository for iOS and Substrate for Android, who this morning, posted  an exploit and a fix (as well as a wonderfully-detailed bug #8219321 writeup) for Android devices that are unpatched. In true jailbreak fashion, the exploit runs from a Mac or PC and in a few steps gives your su/Root access to the infected phone/tablet. While it isn’t as plug and play easy as recent iOS jailbreaks, it is easy enough for anyone who wants to root their unpatched phone to do in a few minutes.

No vulnerability exploit would be worth its salt if there also wasn’t a fix attached and this is no different. Folks who just want a fix that their carrier/manufacterer won’t supply can also use this to make sure they aren’t vulnerable.

We’ve reached out to Google for comment and will report back if we hear anything.

Investor disappointment in Google (GOOG) results misplaced, says Warwick Business School professor

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While the market response to Google’s quarterly earnings seems to have been lukewarm, the stock price dipping in after-hours trading and at least six analysts lowering their price targets after the company came in slightly under Wall Street expectations, Warwick Business School Associate Professor John Baptista says that the modest performance is a ‘blip’.

Bapista, who has researched the company for many years, said that although Google’s ad revenues have suffered as traffic shifts from the desktop to mobile devices (something Google wasn’t slow to address), the real growth in the future will be in the cloud, with Google ideally placed to benefit …  Read more

Despite aggressive pushing of Google+, service only gets two percent of social sharing

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It’s pretty difficult these days not to have a Google+ account. Sign up for almost any Google service, and you find you’re on Google+ whether you wanted to be or not. But this aggressive approach of pushing accounts on people doesn’t appear to be paying off: a new report by Gigya cited by Marketing Land shows that only two percent of social media sharing takes place on Google+ …  Read more

Google announces Q2 2013 earnings: $14 billion revenue, up 19% year-on-year

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Google just released its earnings report for Q2 2013, announcing $9.56 per share on consolidated revenue of $14.11 billion, up 19% year-over-year. That’s compared to the 31% growth with $13.9 billion in revenue it reported last quarter, and the $12.12B in revenue it reported in the year ago quarter. It’s also slightly lower than the average of around $14.45 billion in revenue and $10.79 per share Wall Street was expecting. Google also reported $54.4 billion in cash and cash equivalents and operating income of $3.12B (22% of revenues), down from $3.24 billion last year.

“Google had a great quarter with over $14 billion in revenue – up 19% year-on-year,” said Larry Page, CEO of Google. “The shift from one screen to multiple screens and mobility creates tremendous opportunity for Google. With more devices, more information, and more activity online than ever, the potential to improve people’s lives even more is immense.”

Google’s Motorola unit reported revenues of $998 million, up from $843 million in the year ago quarter, which accounts for 7% of total consolidated revenues. However, Google also notes that “GAAP operating loss for Motorola Mobile was $342 million, or -34% of Motorola Mobile revenues” in the quarter, up from $199 million a year ago.

Google’s headcount is also way down from 53,891 full-time employees to 44,777, mostly  thanks to around 10K employees axed from Motorola alone in recent months.

GOOG closed the day hovering around 910 but dropped to 865, down approximately 5%, in after hours trading.

The full report is below: Read more

Act surprised! HTC announces the HTC One Mini

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We have heard unending leaks, specs, FCC docs and just about everything except an official announcement on HTC’s One Mini.

Now we have that, (below). The One Mini is available in select markets next month and globally (including the US) after. While HTC didn’t specify which carriers would carry the One Mini, a leaked variant for AT&T appeared early this week.

As expected, it will come with the HTC UltraPixel Camera with HTC Zoe, HTC BoomSound and HTC BlinkFeed, into a smaller 4.3″ 720P display package. A good comparison shot via the Verge is above.

The device is powered by a 1.4GHz dual-core processor, and while HTC didn’t official specify which kind, a leak yesterday suggested a Snapdragon 400 chip and 1GB of RAM.

Press follows: Read more

Google planning return to Palo Alto, purchases nearly 15 acres of land

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Google’s Bay View campus render

Mercury News reports that Google is planning to soon make a return to Palo Alto, which is where the search engine company opened its first office in 1999. The now Mountain View based company has purchased a section of land on the 1000 block of East Meadow Circle, as well as an area of land on Fabian Way. Together, this comes out to nearly 15 acres of land.

Palo Alto’s Planning and Community Environment Department already has plans for what it wants Google to do in the area. Aaron Aknin, director of the department, says that area in which Google purchased the land calls for research and development and office uses.

Google, however, would not reveal what it plans to do with the land, but either way, city officials appear to be happy to have Google back in the area.

“We’re delighted to have Google come back to Palo Alto and we look forward to working with them on whatever their project ends up being,” said Thomas Fehrenbach, the city’s economic development manager.

Palo Alto mayor Greg Scharff, however, said that he believes the city should be focused on bringing start-ups into the area…. Read more

Google testing encryption to hide your Drive files on heels of NSA surveillance controversy

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Privacy protection in the apps we use on a daily basis has been a big topic of conversation following accusations that Google and other large tech companies were working with government agencies to provide user data. Google has worked tirelessly to clear its name during the scandal, and today CNET reports that the company is testing encryption for Drive files that could further keep its users’ data protected from prying eyes.

As a reminder, Google does not currently encrypt files store in its Drive cloud storage service, but rather only encrypts files being transferred on their way to Drive: Read more

Google sending invites for July 24 event with Android/Chrome boss Sundar Pichai

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Google has just sent out invites for an event next Wednesday, July 24th. The invite says that it is a “breakfast with Sundar Pichai,” which means that the focus of the event will probably be on Android and/or Chrome, which are the two departments that Pichai oversees. For those that can’t make the breakfast or were not invited, it will be live streamed on YouTube as well.

More than likely the event has something to do with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, which is expected to be a very minor update over 4.2. It’s also possible that it’s the Nexus 7 successor, for which we just saw leaked pricing. We’ll be sure to let you know what Google has to say next week.

Read more