Talking Schmidt: Don’t Be Evil is “the stupidest rule ever”

(Businessweek / Peg Korpinski)

(Businessweek / Peg Korpinski)

In our continuing series Talking Schmidt we bring you the most insightful lines from Google Chairman Eric Schmidt.

Schmidt, who is promoting his new book The New Digital Age, spoke with NPR over the weekend on the Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! program in a rather lighthearted appearance.

NPR host Peter Sagal asked the executive chairman how much Google knew about its users at the top of show, which prompted Schmidt to admit, “Well, as much as you’ll let us know.”

Schmidt also mentioned that the company really doesn’t quite know the definition of evil, from its famous slogan “Don’t Be Evil,” and that he thought it was “the stupidest rule ever” when he joined the company.

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In wide-ranging interview, Google’s Sundar Pinchai downplays Android/Chrome I/O announcements

Sundar Pichai

I’m not going to lie, this is a bit depressing. Among other boilerplate-type of answers to good questions that Wired’s Steven Levey threw at him, Sundar Pinchai said:

What can we expect from I/O this year?

It’s going to be different. It’s not a time when we have much in the way of launches of new products or a new operating system. Both on Android and Chrome, we’re going to focus this I/O on all of the kinds of things we’re doing for developers, so that they can write better things. We will show how Google services are doing amazing things on top of these two platforms.

We’ll be on hand this week to see exactly what that means.

Some other tidbits from the interview: On Firefox OS: “It isn’t surprising. If we don’t do ChromeOS, someone else will”. On Google-branded hardware: “Any hardware projects we do will be to push the ecosystem forward”. Read more

Google Play Games details leak ahead of I/O 2013 with huge Google Plus tie-ins

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Android Police’s Ron Amadeo has the details on the new syncing, matchmaking, notifications, game invites, achievements, leaderboards, and integration with other Google services that are inside the new Gaming APK that is being rolled out to devices.

Fresh out of Google HQ, we’ve managed to score a copy of the newGoogle Play Services v3.1.36, which is very slowly rolling out to devices right now. For comparison, the current Play Services that most people have is v3.0.27. 3.1 is a massive update – the strings file, for instance, has more than doubled from 300 to 700 entries. This is how Google is pushing out all the shared files for Google Play Games.

To make a long story short, there is a lot of new stuff here and most of it has ties to Google Plus. Shocking, I know.

Google Drive is down (update: Back for some)

Update (3:24 ET): I’m back online. are you?

If you are having issues with Google Drive, you aren’t alone. We’ve just lost our access to our online documents though our local sync seems to be working fine. Google’s Apps status page just went code orange indicating they are investigating the issue. Now let’s start talking about how safe your documents are in the Cloud.

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HTC First Mother’s Day giveaway from 9to5Google and @ATT

You may not want an HTC First Facebook Android phone but your mom probably does. So AT&T and 9to5Google are giving you a chance to win one with no contract or obligations (You can also get one ON CONTRACT for $1).

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and AT&T is celebrating moms with a fun, shareable video e-card for a special edition of the popular “It’s Not Complicated” campaign. In a new rendition of the commercial that will air Friday through Sunday, mediator Beck Bennett strays from his usual, “what’s better, bigger or smaller?” and instead asks, “who gives the best hugs?” to a unanimous response – mom does! The video e-card can be personalized, offering consumers a simple Mother’s Day themed e-card video, with Beck and the kids, to share with mom via social media (Twitter, Facebook, email). Make your own personalized version of the “It’s Not Complicated, Moms are the Best” video e-card at ATTMothersDay.com.   

You know the rules: To enter, simply follow @9to5Google and retweet this post telling us why your mom would love an HTC First Facebook phone.

We’ll pick the winner on Mother’s Day.

Update: We have a winner!

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Google shreds plans for physical Google Wallet credit card

Walletlogo-268x285

Earlier this week Google confirmed that its head of Google Wallet will leave later this year, and today AllThingsD reports that the company is scrapping its plans for a physical credit card that would accompany its mobile payment service.

Google CEO Larry Page reportedly canned the physical card just last week after being dissatisfied with its reliability due to glitches.

The company was reportedly preparing to demo the physical card, which featured the colorful Google Wallet “W” branding, at Google I/O next week, so it is interesting that this report is surfacing so suddenly.

Larry Page reportedly cited more innovative approaches to mobile commerce from startups like Square, which seems to have solidified his decision to shred the company’s plans for a physical Google Wallet credit card.

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Google I/O 2013 App is live, lots of streams planned

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You can now download at the Play Store with a lot of new features this year:

- NEW! Scan attendee badges via NFC
– NEW! Schedule changes are immediately synchronized between devices
– NEW! Lock screen widget for viewing your agenda on the go
– NEW! Vector-based maps with session info
– NEW! Dedicated HDMI video output for livestreams
– NEW! Automatic WiFi setup for attendees
– NEW! Off-site attendee mode for livestream-only viewers
– Use Google+ for login
– Support for viewing Office Hours sessions
– Improved support for devices with RTL locales
Additionally Google reminds us that if we can’t make it to Moscone, they’re streaming everything so stop complaining about not getting a ticket. Read more

Talking Schmidt: Even dictators care about their reputations

(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Steve Jobs welcomes Eric Schmidt at Macworld Expo 2007 (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

In our continuing series Talking Schmidt we bring you the most insightful lines from Google Chairman Eric Schmidt.

Schmidt, who is promoting his new book The New Digital Age with his coauthor Jared Cohen, recently spoke alongside his coauthor to Nathan Gardels of the Global Viewpoint Network.

When asked about the role of technology and social networks in creating change in government, Schmidt replied, “Even dictators care about their reputations.”

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Tesla’s Elon Musk in talks with Google over self driving vehicle tech, says sensor system still too expensive

Sergey-Brin-Pink-Model-S-Tesla

(Googlers turned Sergey Brin’s Tesla Model S into a pink Batmobile for April Fool’s Day)

According to a report from Bloomberg, Tesla’s Elon Musk has discussed with Google the possibility of adding self driving vehicle technology to its fleet of all-electric cars. The problem, says Musk, is that Google’s approach to the technology is currently too expensive compared to camera-based systems:

“The problem with Google’s current approach is that the sensor system is too expensive,” Musk said. “It’s better to have an optical system, basically cameras with software that is able to figure out what’s going on just by looking at things… “We’ve had some technical discussions with Google” about its Light Detection and Ranging, or Lidar, laser tracking system, Musk said last week, noting that it’s an expensive approach that may not prove feasible, Musk said.

While it’s possible Google could contribute to bringing the driverless features to future Tesla vehicles, Musk told Bloomberg it’s more likely the company will develop its own “autopilot system”. That’s something that other automakers are already doing with Toyota, Lexus, and Audi all showing off self-driving car technology at CES back in January: Read more