Moto G leaked in Verizon retail packaging, rumored to cost $100 off-contract

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Update: According to an internal Verizon memo obtained by Droid-Life, the Moto G will be available from the carrier on January 9th.

It’s no secret that we are big fans of the Moto G here at 9to5Google. As of right now, the device is available unlocked from both Motorola and Amazon in 8GB and 16GB varieties for $179 and $199 respectively. According to a leaked image shared on Google+, the device will soon be coming for an even cheaper price.

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Chalk up another smartwatch entry as Archos announces new products

(via Archos)

(via Archos)

As the clock ticks away to 2014 and with just a few days separating us from the start of CES, a new competitor is throwing its hat into the smartwatch category. Archos, a company that doesn’t quite elicit the same name response as Samsung or Apple will be “unveiling a selection of smartwatches starting at under £50 or $82 US dollars.”

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ASUS teases 5, 6, and 7-inch devices at Consumer Electronics Show with new video

By all accounts the Consumer Electronics Show kicking off in the next 10 days is looking to be fairly tame. While its true there could be dozens of surprises in store, the hype thus far has been pretty timid and I don’t see many of my colleagues expecting a wild ride as has been the case in years past. That’s not to say CES won’t be filled with exciting announcements of new products by hundreds of companies all converging on Las Vegas for one week in early January.

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9to5Google readers, what do you want to see from Google in 2014?

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As Google’s Chairman Eric Schmidt makes his own predictions for 2014, I’m turning the subject over to you…the 9to5Google reader. There’s absolutely no shortage of topics to cover or “what ifs” for Google in 2014. Given the various branch directions that Android, Chrome OS and the company itself can go, it’s a loaded question. With recent reports indicating Chrome OS is on the rise, could we see Microsoft running scared in 2014 against the impending threat of low-cost hardware with an operating system that costs manufacturers absolutely nothing?

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Audi, Google expected to announce Android-based in-car entertainment system

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A new report out of the Wall Street Journal indicates Audi and Google will jointly announce a new in-car entertainment and information system at next weeks Consumer Electronics Show. The aim of both companies is to “allow drivers and passengers to access music, navigation, apps, and services that are similar to those widely available now on Android-powered smartphones.”

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Google launches new G+ auto-backup utility for Mac and Windows with latest Picasa update

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 1.21.56 PMThe latest version of Picasa includes an additional bit of software called Google+ Auto Backup, as reported by Google Operating System. The new software can be used to automatically backup photos and videos from user-selected directories to your Google+ account. Interestingly, the app has nothing to do with the Picasa service, even though it ships exclusively with the Picasa app.

The app can save unlimited 2048px photos to your account, or upload full-quality versions at the expense of Google Drive space. It can also intelligently copy media from storage cards and other devices that are attached to the system. Furthermore, the app can be configured to backup all media to a designated location on the local hard drive, putting all of your backed-up media in one convenient place.

You can get the Google+ Auto Backup app by downloading the latest version of Picasa.

Google-powered Chromebooks account for 21% of all notebook sales in 2013

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Editor’s note: As noted in the graph above, the numbers in this article refer only to the commercial channel, as NPD does not measure direct sales. Some of the language below has been updated to clarify this point.

A new release from the NPD Group indicates that notebooks running Google’s Chrome OS have gained significant ground in the past year. According to the statistics, over one-fifth of all laptops sold in 2013 were running the free software. Of course, it should be noted that the numbers presented don’t take built-to-order machines or direct sales into account, instead relying on sales of pre-configured options, but even so, this impressive figure is still very good news for Google.

In fact, when considering all computer sales, including desktop and notebook form factors, Chromebooks have still gained a pretty sizeable chunk of the market. Last year Chromebooks took home a measly 0.2%. This year, however, the number comes in closer to one-tenth of the market at 9.6%.

While that may not seem like much next to the 34.1%  of all computer sales held by Windows-powered notebooks, it’s over five times better than Apple’s sales for its entire MacBook lineup combined. It now seems that Google—not Apple—is in the best position to someday knock Microsoft from the top of the notebook computer market.

Stanford coaches and cheerleaders experimenting with Google Glass

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Google Glass is making its way onto the football field in the friendly confines of the Stanford football program.  The university that graduated both of the Google founders as well as many of execs and programmers is evaluating the Google Glass according to the LA Times. Stanford’s football offensive coordinator Mike Bloomgren went through Friday’s Rose Bowl media session wearing Goggle Glass.

“It’s my my way of paying homage to Nerd Nation,” he said, adding, “Our relationship with Google is obviously very strong and I’m the tech member of our staff. “I’m the guy that wants to unwrap toys like this on Christmas.”Bloomgren said he could envision the practical application of the video technology eventually making its was onto the field.

It isn’t just the coaching staff.  Stanford’s cheerleaders are also checking out the headgear for practical purposes. During the Stanford vs. Notre Dame game a company called Crowdlogic outfitted the Stanford cheerleaders with Glass to broadcast what they were seeing to the Jumbotron in real time.

From Crowdoptic:
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