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.

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Google follows through on proposal to kill pirate sites by cutting off their cash

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The Guardian reports that Google is acting on the proposal it made back in May to hit pirate sites where it hurts – their wallets – by depriving them of ad revenue.

Websites offering pirated content will be blocked from offering adverts from Google and other big web advertisers, in a US scheme intended to strangle illicit revenues.

The initiative will mean copyright holders from the music, film and other creative industries will be able to alert the big ad networks if their ads are appearing on sites offering links to pirated content or counterfeit goods …  Read more

As expected, EU rejects Google’s proposed changes to anti-trust complaint in search

European Union Competition Commissioner Almunia addresses a news conference on state aid rules for airports and airlines in Brussels

European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia (photo: Reuters)

Google’s proposed changes to its search results don’t go far enough to address claims that it is using its dominant position to freeze out competitors, says the EU (via Reuters).

The decision comes as no surprise after EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said back in May that he was “almost 100 percent certain” to reject the proposals, in which Google’s key offers were to clearly separate organic results from sponsored links and to provide links to at least three rival search services in its results …  Read more

Chrome Beta for Android updated with speed improvements, WebRTC support

Chrome for Android

Google has updated its Chrome Beta Android app today with several small new features. First, the update adds support for WebRTC, which is a web feature that allows for real-time voice and video communications. WebRTC is useful for things like voice calling, video chatting, and peer-to-peer file sharing. The update also improves page loading performance and offers up a handful of bug fixes and general stability improvements.

Full changelog:

  • Support for WebRTC, a web platform feature to enable real-time voice and video communications
  • Faster page loads
  • Lots of under the hood changes for stability and performance

Download it on the Play Store now.

Google offering free Play songs by Nirvana, Band of Horses, The Shins, and more to celebrate 25 years of SubPop

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Google is offering a handful of MP3 tracks for free via the Play Store to celebrate the Sub Pop Silver Jubilee festival in Seattle. The sale offers free songs such as “About a Girl” by Nirvana, “The Funeral” by Band of Horses, “New Slang” by The Shins, and much more.

Mega-indie record label Sub Pop marks its 25th anniversary with a Silver Jubilee festival July 13 in Seattle, and there’s plenty to celebrate. From introducing Nirvana and grunge to popularizing modern indie rock, folk, electropop and more, Sub Pop has stayed nimbly ahead of trends and launched countless great bands including Sunny Day Real Estate, Mudhoney,The Shins, Fleet Foxes and more. They’ve also maintained their experimental edge, releasing records by such outliers as LA noise punks No Age, chillwave success Washed Out and outré hip-hop unit Shabazz Palaces. Here’s to 25 years of Subterranean Pop, “Loser” t-shirts and avowed “world domination”—and to many more to come.

You can check out the deal on the Play Store now. Read more

Google Play web interface redesigned with look similar to Android app

Google has just updated the design of its desktop Play Store. The interface is very similar  to what Android users have come to know on their mobile device’s Play Store, which was updated earlier this year, as well. The interface is focused heavily on images now, which is evident by the much larger screenshots supplied for apps.

Along the side of the site are quick links to Apps, Movies and TV, Music, Books, Magazines, and Devices. Clicking them will take you to a page specific about whatever topic you selected. The devices section is centered around Nexus and Google Play edition devices, as well as Chromebooks, just as you’d expect. The other sections show things like sales, top sellers, apps for certain people, and more.

The redesign was originally rumored last month, but only now is it available to everyone. Head over to play.google.com to check it out for yourself and look below for more screenshots… Read more