Sergey Brin splits up with wife with ties to Google

It’s never fun when personal matters become issues for a company but founder Sergey Brin owns a lot of voting stock in Google and a split in his family could send a lot of his $22.8B in wealth and power off to parts unknown. According to AllThingsD, wife Anne Wojcicki had a prenup. so a risk to Brin’s voting share of the company would seem to be minimal. The couple is reportedly still married though living in separate residences.

The report goes on to say Brin is now with someone else he met at Google.

Wojcicki’s sister, Susan, is SVP of advertising and commerce Google (and one of the original Googlers and provided the garage where Brin and Page got their start) so there’s even more stickiness to deal with if things do get sticky.

 

 

 

Microsoft’s latest painful Scroogled ad fails school

Microsoft is still going  with its Scroogled ad campaign (though by the production value, they aren’t investing much).  Dubbed  ‘misleading and intellectually dishonest’  this campaign has tried to paint Google as a company without scruples but in playing sloppy with facts, does the opposite.

This particular ad focuses on schools. Microsoft recently offloaded all of their unsold Surface RTs to the education market for reduced fees. They have a Bing for Schools search engine which doesn’t show ads in the results. Google’s search engine does but its other education products don’t.

As for Google, they say there are no ads for Students,Faculty and Staff in their Free Apps for Education product.

Inbox space for everything, and no ads

Google Apps offers up to 30GB of storage per user, powerful spam filtering and a 99.9% uptime SLA. All hosted by Google – there’s no cost, and no ads for students, faculty or staff.

So, uhh, back to the drawing board?  Read more

Glass’s fashion creds boosted by 12-page spread in Vogue


If Google is to succeed in making Glass a mass-market product, it knows that it has to much more than appeal to geeks. The company also has to make it at least acceptable, and ideally cool, for ordinary consumers to be seen to be wearing the device. And when it comes to doing that, you can’t get much better than Glass being featured in a 12-page spread in the fashion bible Vogue …  Read more

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt responds to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s claim of evil, stealing: “Scoreboard”

eric-schmidt

Earlier this month, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison claimed that Google and its CEO Larry Page were “absolutely evil” and used Oracle’s “stuff” through its use of Java in Android. Oracle originally sued Google for the supposed stolen code, but Oracle lost the $6 billion legal battle. After Ellison’s latest comments, however, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt has finally decided to respond to the claims.

In response to claims that Google “took [Oracle’s] stuff,” Schmidt proclaimed those as “simply untrue” and that the U.S. District Court agrees with him.

We typically try to avoid getting dragged into public battles with other companies. But I’ve gotten a lot of questions about Larry Ellison’s claims that Google “took [Oracle’s] stuff”.  It’s simply untrue — and that’s not just my opinion, but the judgment of a U.S. District Court.

Schmidt went on to give the backstory of the lawsuit, saying that “you cannot copyright an idea, like a method of operation” and the ruling in the Google vs Oracle battle “protects a principle vital to innovation.” Read more

Google building its own brand of ‘robo taxi’ cars

google-driverless-car

Google Ventures’ $250M investment in Uber makes a lot more sense with some news reported by Jessica Lessin this morning. The site is reporting that Google is making its own driverless cars to be “robo taxis”:

Google Inc., which has been working on software to help major automakers build self-driving cars, also is quietly going around them by designing and developing a full-fledged self-driving car, according to people familiar with the matter.

While the Prius has been Google’s main guinea pig of the self-driving car efforts, it looks like Google would like to control the entire manufacturing experience for these cars. In addition, the company’s focus is geared towards driver-free taxi services rather than selling the cars direct to consumers.  Read more

Moto Maker goes live as Moto X lands on AT&T alongside Galaxy Mega & HTC One mini

Moto-Maker

We knew it was coming and today is finally the day that customers can get their hands on Motorola’s new Moto X flagship smartphone and the thousands of customization options offered through Moto Maker. While Moto X should be arriving on all major carriers in the US around the end of this month, the AT&T version of the device available starting today is the only one that will offer access to Moto Maker. The other carriers will be launching white and black versions of the device until Motorola’s puts an end to AT&T ‘s exclusive window sometime later this year.

Starting today, the customizable, assembled in the US version of the Moto X is available exclusively through the MotoMaker.com online tool for AT&T customers. Unfortunately online purchasing isn’t an option at this point, so you’ll have to first purchase the device through AT&T.  That includes the 16GB model for $199 and the 32GB model for $249 on contract.

The Moto Maker tool is the standout feature of the Moto X, allowing users to choose from over 2000 customization options for back, front and accent colors, unique wallpapers, and engraving. Unfortunately, we found out earlier this month that engraving won’t be available initially due to some manufacturing issues.

It’s not the only notable device launching on the carrier today, however. The company is also kicking off availability of the 6.3-inch Samsung Galaxy Mega $149.99 on the usual two year agreement today, as well as the 4.3-inch HTC One Mini for $99.99 on contract.  Read more

Google Glass ramp-up continues apace with patents purchase from Foxconn

google-glass-modular

The WSJ reports that Google has bought a number of display patents from Foxconn, a company best-known for making iPhones and iPads for Apple.

The Apple and iPad assembler didn’t specify a value for the deal or expound on details, except to say the patents sold to Google included head-mounted technology that allows a virtual image to be superimposed on a “real-world view” …  Read more

Chrome OS updated with fullscreen apps, monitor scaling, wallpaper syncing and more

Photo: dpcdn.pl

Photo: dpcdn.pl

The stable version of Chrome OS has been updated to offer a new “immersive mode”, allowing apps to be used in fullscreen form with toolbar and shelf both hidden. A fullscreen button launches immersive mode, and hovering near the top reveals the toolbar.

The new version also monitor scaling, allowing users to scale the UI elements to suit their screen resolution, and a range of other user-interface improvements …  Read more

Google improves definitions in Search w/ sample sentences, synonyms, translations & spoken responses

fortuitous (1)

Google noted today on its Google+ page that it has updated search on both the desktop and mobile with new and improved definitions. Google search would previously let users ask for a definition by simply asking, for example, “What’s the definition of fortuitous?” The most recent update makes those definitions even more useful with the addition of sample sentences, synonyms, origin, translations and more:

Now you’ll also see sample sentences that highlight how the word is used, as well as synonyms…Give it a whirl the next time you’re reading an article online and you stumble across an unfamiliar word. In addition, try translating words to one of 60+ languages directly from the box. When you select a language, future definition searches will consistently provide a translation to that same language.

In addition to those features, Google will also offer spoken responses when tapping the microphone icon next to the definition: Read more

Americans watch 48 billion online videos a month, 17B of them on Google sites, claims comScore

comscore-vid

Figures released by comScore today make the surprising claim that 187 million Americans watched a total of 58 billion online videos between them last month, excluding ads. 17.7B of them were on Google sites, presumably mostly YouTube.

To clarify, comScore counts a video view as watching ‘at least three seconds’. So if you click on a link posted by a friend on Facebook, watch a few seconds, decide it’s boring and close the window, that gets counted. But it still seems like a very high number to us …  Read more

Google’s Street View fun continues with virtual visits to zoos & animal parks

panda

Google’s expanded Street View program today added coverage of a range of zoos and animal parks in North America, South America, Canada, Mexico, China, Germany, Spain, France, Belgium and the UK. This includes the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China, home to more than 30 percent of the world’s Giant Pandas, reports the Google Maps blog.

If you enjoy watching wildlife, but find yourself stuck in the urban jungle, never fear. You can now use Google Maps and Street View to preview the must-see spots at zoos around the world before heading there in person, or take a virtual trip to some of the most famous zoos and animal parks, right from your living room.

The development adds to a diverse range of fascinating Street View tours offered by Google in recent times …  Read more