Google celebrates 100th Tour De France with interactive game

In honor of the 100th Tour De France, Google has published an interactive game that takes you through each stage of the event. The game, called Your Tour, takes you through the entire 3,000km route with a combination of Google Maps and Streetview data. You start off on June 29th at the “Grand Depart” and move through each stage, though some are still locked until the event actually happens in real life.

The game is centered around using your mouse to scroll along each stage of the event. You can choose between a realistic view from the eye of the bike rider, or a simple Google Maps interface.

You can play the game hereRead more

Google Doodle celebrating Fourth of July takes you on a virtual tour of America

Keeping with the tradition upheld since 2000, Google has updated its classic logo to celebrate the Fourth of July in the United States. The Google Doodle takes you on a tour of the United States with a family and a dog. The animated image takes you to a variety of classic U.S. places, including an ice cream shop, the Golden Gate Bridge, a baseball stadium, Mount Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty, and more. The Doodle ends with the family and dog all watching fireworks together. Click it once more, and the image redirects to a simple search for “When is Independence day?”

‘Murica. Read more

Google accused of “coercive sales tactics” over Google TV – unnamed manufacturer

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Google has been accused of using “coercive sales tactics” in an attempt to pressure Smart TV manufacturers to adopt its own Google TV platform for YouTube rather than HTML5 based approaches, reports Korean news site ETNews.

Smart TV operators who opted for open-source HTML5 in order to avoid dependance on Google, have bumped into an obstacle – YouTube [...] According to industry insiders, Google has demanded HTML5-based Smart TV operators should place the YouTube app on the main homepage and pass browser conformity tests [which] take up to several months.

An industry insider said “Telling us where the YouTube app should be placed is an act of coercive sales tactics.”
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Chromium-based Opera browser officially released

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Back in May, Opera released a ‘sneak peak’ of its latest browser, Opera 15. The big selling point behind it was the engine under the hood. For the first time ever, the browser was powered by Chromium rather than Opera’s classic Presto engine. Today, the company has officially released the browser for both Mac and Windows in its final state to the public.

The new Opera for Windows and Mac runs on a Chromium engine, so you can access all your websites in a blink of an eye and have a smoother experience when you get there, thanks to improved site compatibility.

The latest version of  Opera includes a host of new features in addition to the new Chromium engine. For one, the Speed Dial homepage has been refreshed with the ability to create folders and more. A new ‘Stash’ feature lets you collect snapshots of saved webpages in one place and go back and reference them if needed. The new Discover feature automatically shows you the top articles from locations and categories you choose. Finally, Opera says that the browser should perform better on slow connections thanks to the new ‘Off-road’ mode. Read more

Android’s European market share breaks 70 percent; Samsung takes half of smartphone sales

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New data from Kantar (via TechCrunch) shows that Android’s share in the five key European markets of Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain hit 70.4 percent, climbing 9.1 points in the past year. The figures also showed that Samsung accounted for almost one in two smartphones sold in the same markets.

The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, for the three months to May 2013, show that almost half of all smartphones sold in Europe are a Samsung. This uplift has helped Android to a 70.4% share across the five major European markets, up from 61.3% a year ago, and far higher than the 17.8% and 6.8% shares for iOS and Windows respectively …  Read more

Google’s white space wireless database approved by FCC

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The FCC has approved Google’s “white space” database operation. This will allow for the company to operate a wireless broadband network with unlicensed TV broadcast spectrum. There are currently 10 other companies working on similar networks, but Google is the latest to complete the Federal Communications Commission’s 45-day testing period. The database will keep track of the TV broadcast frequencies in use so that other wireless broadband devices can take advantage of what’s not being used.

“If a government communications system does not require spectrum at specific times, that spectrum can be freed up for commercial purposes during those times. With dynamic sharing, multiple users, including federal, non-federal and commercial entities, can all access available bands of radio spectrum,” Google wrote.

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