Mozilla developing streaming stick in bid to compete with Google’s Chromecast

Video gia GigaOm

Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox web browser, is working on a stream stick set to directly compete with Google’s Chromecast and other similar products, according to GigaOm. The device runs Mozilla’s own Firefox OS, originally designed for smartphones, and is apparently referred to as “Netcast” within the Firefox browser.

Unlike Google’s current offering, the Netcast would allow developers to integrate the technology into applications on a wide variety of operating systems and hardware devices, including many platforms not currently supported by the Chromecast. In a statement to GigaOm, Mozilla noted that anyone is welcome to work with Firefox OS and that hardware running that system does not necessarily have to come from that company.

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Samsung gearing up to debut first Android Wear smartwatch next week during Google I/O

Samsung is preparing to debut its first Android Wear-powered smartwatch next week during Google’s I/O developer conference, according to a new report from Cnet. The company has been working on two different models of the wearable, but there isn’t an word yet which of those versions will be revealed during the event.

Samsung has already tried to jump into the smartwatch market with its various Gear watches. Google first showed off a watch-specific version of Android, dubbed “Android Wear,” earlier this year.

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Google advances its connected home plans, acquires Dropcam by way of Nest for $555 million


Google-owned Nest has just announced that it acquired home monitoring firm Dropcam, which makes security cameras that can be monitored remotely from a smartphone or tablet, as reported by Re/code. The buyout will cost Nest $555 million.

The companies will continue to operate independently for now, but will eventually work together on new products, according to Nest’s Matt Rogers:

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Mystery Acer Tegra K1-powered Chromebook outed by Swedish retailer


A listing for what could be the first Tegra-powered Chromebook may have just been outed by a Swedish retailer. Listed as the Acer Chromebook CB5 13.3″ HD, this unannounced system features a Tegra K1 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 32GB SSD for local storage and a 13.3-inch HD display. At a glance this white Chromebook appears to have a pair of USB ports (presumably USB 3.0) and a 3.5mm audio jack.

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Path launches new Talk app, a privacy-focused standalone messaging app

The private social network Path updated its Android app today with a simpler chooser for posting content and a tabbed navigation bar for moving around the app. It’s biggest feature, though, follows a growing trend with mobile apps: Path Messaging has moved to a standalone app called Talk that’s rolling out today.

With its new Talk app, Path wants to replace SMS and Facebook as it focuses on privacy with a feature called Off the Record. While it’s not quite as ephemeral as instantly self-destructing messaging app like Snapchat and Cyber Dust, Path promises its users that messages sent via Talk automatically erase from the social network’s servers after 24 hours from sending the message…

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Android 4.4.4 over-the-air update now live for Nexus devices


Almost immediately following the pandemonium that was the release of Android 4.4.3, Google is now rolling out software version 4.4.4 of its mobile operating system to Nexus devices via an over-the-air update. Yesterday, the company released factory images of its newest version of Android, so device updates were pretty much inevitable. The new release only weighs in at 2.5MB and is believed to squash a few bugs that were missed by its predecessor.

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Google Search adds quick links to popular music apps on Android

A nice new Google Search feature arriving today will provide users with quick links to popular music apps when searching for artists or music related queries. Imagine you search for the name of your favorite artist or a new band you’ve just heard about, your search results will now display links to, for example, Spotify, Rdio, or iHeartRadio.

When you look up musicians and bands on Google, you often want to play their songs right away. Say you’re curious about your favorite pop artist’s latest hits, or you’re with friends chatting about the newest indie rock group and want to play some of their music. Starting today, when you ask Google about a musician, you can simply tap a link to play their music right in one of your installed apps.

The feature is first rolling out to Android devices in the U.S. and will initially support a handful of music apps including Rdio, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Google Play, TuneIn, and YouTube.

Google also noted that it is “working to expand this feature to users worldwide, with their local services like Deezer.”

LG G3 Review: A pixel overdose in a near-perfect package (Video)


When the LG G3 was first announced, I wasn’t exactly sure what to think about it. Sure, the G2 was nice and had a beautiful display with some quirky software features, but it wasn’t something I was ever interested in using on a daily basis. I considered it to be nothing more than a mediocre device in a big race. Don’t get me wrong, it was definitely a step up for LG, but the G2’s late release put it up against some tough competition in 2013.

Fast forward to the LG G3. Even with its recent announcement and small-scale initial launch, the G3 has captured the attention of many. It’s nothing short of a 2014-standard as far as flagship specifications go, but will the LG G3 be the best smartphone this year? That remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, this is the best smartphone that LG has created thus far….

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OnePlus One equals five in terms of repairability according to iFixit


A OnePlus One in the wild is about as rare as a household connected to Google Fiber, but despite how uncommon these two occurrences are, they’re very much real. In the case of the former, the folks at iFixit have managed to get their hands on the elusive smartphone and dismember it in the name of science. This exploratory surgery pretty much uncovered what we’d expect to see: 3GB of Samsung-made RAM, a 5.5-inch 1080p display, a Snapdragon 801 CPU and a pair of cameras (5 and 13-megapixel) designed by Chinese manufacture Sunny Optical Technology.

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Google quietly acquires Alpental Technologies, a start-up led by former Clearwire researchers


Google, as noticed by GeekWire, has just acquired the networking start-up Alpental Technologies. The start-up is relatively unknown and never received too much press attention. Alpental was founded by former Clearwire executives, Pete Gelbman and Mike Hart. The former worked at Clearwire for seven years as a founding member of the company’s CTO group. He also oversaw the company’s systems engineering, intellectual property, and corporate research.

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Google’s latest Chrome experiment lets you flex your fútbol skills


The World Cup is currently underway and everywhere you go people are talking about the tournament. Whether you’re a fútbol fanatic or just a casual fan of the beautiful game, Google’s got you covered. Today, the company released Kick With Chrome, a browser-based set of three different games: Infinite Dribble, Space Kick, and Shootout. Mountain View calls this playful trio a Chrome experiment “that will help you tap into your inner soccer champion. But in reality it’s a demo showing off several different web technologies.

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