Judge sides with Google in long-running book-scanning case with Authors Guild

google_play_books-1.jpg

After a nearly eight year battle stemming from a lawsuit brought on by authors accusing Google of digitally scanning books without permission, a judge has now officially sided with Google and dismissed the case. Reuters reports:

U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin in Manhattan accepted Google’s argument that its scanning of more than 20 million books for an electronic database, and making “snippets” of text available for online searches, constituted fair use.

“In my view, Google Books provide significant public benefits,” Chin wrote.

The ultimate decision was essentially that by scanning snippets of books to use with Google Books or in search, Google was providing more benefits to the authors than disadvantages. The judge is also quoted as calling the service “an essential research tool” that creates new income for authors and lets users discover content. GigaOM got the following statement from Google, but the Authors Guild is yet to speak out on the decision: Read more

Talking Schmidt: Tired of Thinking? Google Says We Won’t Have To

Tip o the hat on the title to the WSJ. The interview doesn’t really give us much new info except he’s obviously hinting at a Google Watch.

The low-cost hacks that let you control Google Glass with eye movements & clothing

A common misconception about Google Glass is that it uses eye-tracking as a form of control. It uses head gestures, but can’t actually tell where you’re looking – unless you install this OpenShades hack.

The hack uses a $25 webcam and infra-red LEDs to track your eye movements. Linking this to a web keyboard interface allows you to effectively control a virtual keyboard with eye movements …  Read more

Samsung, Apple patent damages retrial opens as Samsung changes tune

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 8.20.50 AM

As the Samsung, Apple patent damages trial opened yesterday the Android giant began singing a different tune. According to a live blog by Howard Mintz from the San Jose Mercury News, Samsung attorney Bill Price didn’t continue the company’s long-standing claim that the case mostly centered on “rounded corners,” instead his argument focused on the specific amount the company owes its chief competitor.

Representing Samsung, attorney Bill Price countered in his own opening remarks, “Apple is simply asking for much more money than it’s entitled to.”

Read more

Google Now for Android updated with new cards, improved traffic, and more

Google announced via its Android Google+ page today that the Google Now service has been updated with three new card types: news, website updates, and TV and movie recommendations.

The news topics card shows recent articles from news sites across the web on select topics. The website updates card can monitor your favorite sites and let you know when new content is available on those sites (like a new post on your favorite Google news site). The last of the new cards is the “what to watch” card, which can recommend movies and TV shows you might enjoy.

Read more

HBO Go appears on Chromecast support page, streaming support likely coming soon

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 5.47.40 PM

Just a few weeks ago, Pandora became the latest app to receive support for streaming via the Chromecast, as did Hulu Plus just before that. This left a couple of key holdouts, one of which being HBO Go. HBO Go has been rumored as coming to the Chromecast since the device’s launch, with HBO confirming earlier this summer that it was in talks to support the Chromecast in the “future.” It now looks as if the launch is not very far off.

As first noted by Droid Life, Google’s “Now Casting” support page has been updated to include HBO Go. It’s touted as a “new” app, along with Pandora and Hulu Plus. Oddly, however, there is no HBO icon and the description simply reads “none.” This makes it seem like Google’s support page was updated a bit prematurely, although it does signal that a launch is imminent and that the two are still in talks to work together. We wouldn’t be surprised to hear an official announcement from Google and HBO relatively soon.

At $35, the Chromecast is becoming even more enticing of an offer as Google continues to beef up the streaming selection to compete with the Apple TV and Roku.

Google+ for Android updated with Android Beam and DayDream support

unnamed-14

This afternoon, Google has updated its Google+ app for Android with a couple of new features and enhancements (via Droid Life). First off, the app now supports Android Beam. This feature will allow for users to share photos from within the Google+ app to other devices via NFC. The app also now supports DayDream. This is feature, which has been available in some third-party apps for a while, is essentially a screensaver for devices while they are being charged or placed in a dock. Now that the Google+ app supports this feature, it will work with pictures stored within the app.

What’s New:

  • Photos now supports Android Beam, so you can share photos via NFC
  • Photos also supports Daydream, so you can view your pics in screensaver mode when charging or docking your device
  • Individual photo details are now available in the drop-down menu
  • Opening “Locations” will automatically refresh your friends’ locations on the map

This update is a staged rollout, which means it may take a little while for it to rollout to every device. Keep an eye on the Play Store to see if your device has received the update.

In addition to updating its Android app, Google has also enhanced cover photos on the web version of Google+. Now, cover photos will show the entire image, as opposed to just a select portion. Photos are still the same size, so you don’t need to change anything in order to enhance your profile. 

Google Play for Education officially launches to all K-12 educators & students in the US

After announcing a new Google Play for Education store back at Google I/O in May and opening up a pilot program and app submissions in June, Google announced today Google Play for Education has now officially launched for all. In the video below, Google’s Shazia Makhdumi gives an in-depth walkthrough of the new service and notes that Google Play for Education will be the company’s mobile strategy for the 25M students/faculty currently on Google Apps, 3000+ schools using Chromebooks, and over 700,000+ YouTube EDU users.

Google-Play-For-EducationThe Google Play Education store will at first be only available on three tablets: Nexus 7 (a 7” tablet) available today, and the ASUS Transformer Pad (a 10” tablet) or the HP Slate 8 Pro (an 8” tablet), both available early next year. It will allow schools to search for content by subject matter and grade level and provide content that has been recommended by other educators. Instead of using credit cards, teachers will be able to purchase bulk quantities of apps and charge licenses against a balance from the school’s purchase order. The Google Play for Education service will also allow school’s that use Google Apps to instantly distribute an app to multiple devices in a school by setting up a Google Group. Read more

Sprint announces the arrival of the One Max this Friday, November 15th

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 11.29.29 AM Sprint just hit the airwaves with a short press release confirming the arrival of the HTC One Max for this Friday, November 15th. The device will hit Sprint shelves for $249.99 with new line or eligible upgrade and two-year service agreement or $25.00 per month with Sprint’s One Up early upgrade plan. The One Max features a 5.9″ 1080p display, 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, LTE, Android 4.3 with HTC Sense, 2GB RAM and 32GB of internal memory. Read more