Droid 5 allegedly appears in leaked photos, 5-row QWERTY keyboard still intact

Fans of the QWERTY keyboard can take a collective sigh of relief this weekend as it looks like Motorola is not quite done with its Droid line of keyboard-phones. Originally posted on Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo (via Engadget), several photos of Motorola’s alleged Droid 5 have leaked.

The device show the same general design as the Droid 4. The 5-row keyboard is still intact as is a screen somewhere between 4.3-inches and 4.5-inches. The device appears to lack any sort of captive buttons and instead uses on-screen controls. The Droid 5 will also allegedly feature NFC and a “shockproof” water- and dust-resistant design.

The Verizon and 4G LTE logos that we’ve all come to know and love are present suggesting that the device will be available from Big Red like all of its predecessors. Release and pricing information, however, is nowhere to be found so we still have some more waiting to do on that front.  Read more

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt responds to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s claim of evil, stealing: “Scoreboard”

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Earlier this month, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison claimed that Google and its CEO Larry Page were “absolutely evil” and used Oracle’s “stuff” through its use of Java in Android. Oracle originally sued Google for the supposed stolen code, but Oracle lost the $6 billion legal battle. After Ellison’s latest comments, however, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt has finally decided to respond to the claims.

In response to claims that Google “took [Oracle's] stuff,” Schmidt proclaimed those as “simply untrue” and that the U.S. District Court agrees with him.

We typically try to avoid getting dragged into public battles with other companies. But I’ve gotten a lot of questions about Larry Ellison’s claims that Google “took [Oracle’s] stuff”.  It’s simply untrue — and that’s not just my opinion, but the judgment of a U.S. District Court.

Schmidt went on to give the backstory of the lawsuit, saying that “you cannot copyright an idea, like a method of operation” and the ruling in the Google vs Oracle battle “protects a principle vital to innovation.” Read more

Motorola teases Moto X Developer Edition with unlockable bootloader, 32GB of storage

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Following in the footsteps of Samsung and several others, Motorola has just updated the Moto X’s “ways to buy” page with a new variant that has an unlockable bootloader and 32GB of storage (via Droid-Life). The Developer Edition Moto X is simply listed as “coming soon” with no pricing details. Given that the 32GB AT&T model runs $629, however, it’d be surprising to see it cost any less than that.

In addition to the more developer-friendly enhancements, the device also features several cosmetic changes. The front of the device is all-black with a gloss design while the back is white and has a woven pattern on it. “DEVELOPER EDITION” is also engraved on the back and carrier logos are nowhere to be found.

While Motorola teases that the developer edition will “have a look of its own,” you could most likely build a device very similar with MotoMaker once it is fully functional.  Read more

Google building its own brand of ‘robo taxi’ cars

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Google Ventures’ $250M investment in Uber makes a lot more sense with some news reported by Jessica Lessin this morning. The site is reporting that Google is making its own driverless cars to be “robo taxis”:

Google Inc., which has been working on software to help major automakers build self-driving cars, also is quietly going around them by designing and developing a full-fledged self-driving car, according to people familiar with the matter.

While the Prius has been Google’s main guinea pig of the self-driving car efforts, it looks like Google would like to control the entire manufacturing experience for these cars. In addition, the company’s focus is geared towards driver-free taxi services rather than selling the cars direct to consumers.  Read more

Moto Maker goes live as Moto X lands on AT&T alongside Galaxy Mega & HTC One mini

Moto-Maker

We knew it was coming and today is finally the day that customers can get their hands on Motorola’s new Moto X flagship smartphone and the thousands of customization options offered through Moto Maker. While Moto X should be arriving on all major carriers in the US around the end of this month, the AT&T version of the device available starting today is the only one that will offer access to Moto Maker. The other carriers will be launching white and black versions of the device until Motorola’s puts an end to AT&T ‘s exclusive window sometime later this year.

Starting today, the customizable, assembled in the US version of the Moto X is available exclusively through the MotoMaker.com online tool for AT&T customers. Unfortunately online purchasing isn’t an option at this point, so you’ll have to first purchase the device through AT&T.  That includes the 16GB model for $199 and the 32GB model for $249 on contract.

The Moto Maker tool is the standout feature of the Moto X, allowing users to choose from over 2000 customization options for back, front and accent colors, unique wallpapers, and engraving. Unfortunately, we found out earlier this month that engraving won’t be available initially due to some manufacturing issues.

It’s not the only notable device launching on the carrier today, however. The company is also kicking off availability of the 6.3-inch Samsung Galaxy Mega $149.99 on the usual two year agreement today, as well as the 4.3-inch HTC One Mini for $99.99 on contract.  Read more