Pandora now comes to Chromecast, and likely to the best speakers in your house

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Most folks connect the best speakers in their house up to the TV.  If you are like most folks and a Pandora listener/Chromecast user, some good news today: Pandora is now available on the $35 Chromecast. You can now stream your music from your Android smartphone or tablet directly to your TV and theoretically to those awesome speakers attached.

The Pandora App for Android was also updated with an improved Tablet interface today.

Google apparently isn’t stressed about Pandora taking away from its $8/month All-access Play service which gives users more control over what they listen to. Recent Chromecast converts include Hulu.
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Smartphones Sony’s saviour as cameras, TVs, gaming and movies all lose money

Photo: digitaltrends.com

Photo: digitaltrends.com

Strong smartphone sales were about the only good news for Sony investors in today’s earnings release, mobile sales in the last quarter up 39.3 percent year-on-year, led by its flagship Xperia Z.

Cameras, TVs, gaming and movie divisions all lost money, leading the company to slash its annual profit forecast by 40 percent to $300M …  Read more

Android 4.4 KitKat leaked document indicates boosts for low-end hardware, wearables

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Amir Efrati reports that Google has been working to make Android 4.4, codenamed KitKat, work on as many devices as possible, according to a leaked internal document. Those devices would include low-end smartphones with limited RAM, wearable devices such as smartwatches, smart TVs, and anything else that needs to run an operating system.

Google has reportedly been working with developers of smartphones at the lower end of the hardware spectrum to ensure that KitKat uses its resources wisely, essentially allowing it to run on a variety of phones that may not have been able to run Jelly Bean. If Google can overcome limited hardware to put KitKat—and future versions of Android—on every new device that ships and many that are already available, the company finally stands a chance of defeating the fragmented experience that has long plagued users and software developers alike.

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NSA allegedly tapped itself into Google servers, collecting millions of user records

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According to the Washington Post, the NSA has “infiltrated” the servers belonging to both Google and Yahoo and is collecting records of user-data:

According to a top secret accounting dated Jan. 9, 2013, NSA’s acquisitions directorate sends millions of records every day from Yahoo and Google internal networks to data warehouses at the agency’s Fort Meade headquarters. In the preceding 30 days, the report said, field collectors had processed and sent back 181,280,466 new records — ranging from “metadata,” which would indicate who sent or received e-mails and when, to content such as text, audio and video.

Earlier this year, claims emerged that said the NSA has been working lawfully via a “PRISM” program to legally intercept data from the servers of technology companies. This new information, however, seems to indicate that the NSA is obtaining the information via its own means.

In order for the data centers to operate effectively, they synchronize high volumes of information about account holders. Yahoo’s internal network, for example, sometimes transmits entire e-mail archives — years of messages and attachments — from one data center to another.

Tapping the Google and Yahoo clouds allows the NSA to intercept communications in real time and to take “a retrospective look at target activity,” according to one internal NSA document.

In order to obtain free access to data center traffic, the NSA had to circumvent gold standard security measures. Google “goes to great lengths to protect the data and intellectual property in these centers,” according to one of the company’s blog posts, with tightly audited access controls, heat sensitive cameras, round-the-clock guards and biometric verification of identities.

Google and Yahoo have both responded to today’s claims with surprise, noting that it does not hand data to the NSA.

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Legality of driving with Google Glass questioned as Californian woman ticketed

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The legality of driving while wearing Google Glass appears set to face its first test after Glass Explorer Cecilia Abade was ticketed by a California cop.

 A cop just stopped me and gave me a ticket for wearing Google Glass while driving!

The exact line says: Driving with Monitor visible to Driver (Google Glass). Is #GoogleGlass  illgal while driving or is this cop wrong???

Any legal advice is appreciated!! This happened in California. Do you know any other #GlassExplorers that got a similar ticket anywhere in the US?  Read more

‘Moto G’ makes brief appearance on Motorola website

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Droid life spotted an update the the Moto X site which includes a temporary/now removed “Moto G” Menu item.  The “G” has appeared in trademark applications and it is speculated to either be a smaller “Mini” version of the X, a Google Play version of the X or something entirely different – like an accessory.

The fact that it hit the website probably means we wont have to wait terribly long to find out.

For the record, we’ve heard Google/Motorola is working on some pretty cool stuff including a set “smart headphones”. Read more