Talking Schmidt: If you want to have fun, then go to college!

Inside The South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival

Photo via Bloomberg

Finally some wisdom from Schmidt that I can’t dispute: “If all you care about is having fun, you should go to college.”

You know, the Google chairman has a point. He did include a number of other reasons for attending college as well, but that was really just sugar coating:

If all you care about is money, you should go to college. If all you care about is culture and creativity, you should go to college. If all you care about is having fun, you should go to college. Go to college. I can’t be any clearer.

His comments were made during a session at last week’s SXSW (South by Southwest) Festival (via TechCrunch) in Austin, Texas, in yet another appearance to promote his book The New Digital Age. Read more

Amazon celebrates its Appstore’s 3rd birthday with 2 weeks of deals

amazon-appstore-birthday-deal The US Amazon Appstore will turn 3 this Saturday, March 22nd, and to commemorative this occasion, Amazon will launch a 2-week gift giving campaign for its customers. Beginning this week, Amazon will slash up to 60% off “some of the most popular titles in the store.”

The discounts will also extend to in-app purchases:

As an added bonus, for a limited time, customers who buy in-app items within select titles including Asphalt 8, Animal Voyage, Kingdoms of Camelot, The Hobbit, Sonic Dash, World at Arms and Despicable Me: Minion Rush will receive 50% back on the purchase price in the form of Amazon Coins.

Remember, Amazon Coins can now be used by all Android devices and are a great way to save up to 10% on future app purchases.

There isn’t a main splash page promoting the celebration but you can kill some time at work today by playing with the confetti that Amazon is making rain down on the Appstore.

Samsung’s gold Galaxy S5 launching exclusively on Vodafone for UK customers

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If it’s the “copper gold” Galaxy S5 you’re waiting to get your hands on in the UK, Vodafone UK will carry the gold version of Samsung’s new flagship smartphone exclusively at launch along with the other colors offered for UK wireless subscribers.

While Samsung revealed the Galaxy S5 last month at Mobile World Congress and has since given us even more material to admire ahead of its availability, the company announced it would allow UK customers the chance to preorder the handset. Read more

Google releasing Chromecast in the UK March 19, no pricing announced yet

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Google is releasing its Chromecast streaming device in the United Kingdom next week, according to a Gizmodo source. Above is a photo taken by a Currys PC World employee which shows an announcement on the store’s internal portal. That announcement pegs March 19th as the launch date. According to the article, the store already has the device in stock.

The Chromecast launched in the United States last year but hasn’t yet been available outside the country. Germany and France are also said to be included in the international launch next week. No information on the device’s price has been released yet.

Update: We’ve received a clearer shot. Shown above.

Microsoft’s Android-powered Nokia X hits 1 million preorders in China

“Nokia X gives people a gateway to Microsoft.” That’s how Stephen Elop described the Android-powered Nokia X phone last month when it debuted at Mobile World Congress after months of leaked details and hints.

Today, Nokia announced on its Weibo account that the company has passed 1 million Nokia X phones sold in China in just four days during the preorder period ahead of the March 25th launch. So what exactly are 1 million people in China committing their money toward? Read more

Leaked photos of Bluetooth controller add weight to Amazon’s TV box incorporating games

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Rumors that Amazon’s set-top TV box will double as a games console have been lent weight by photos of a Bluetooth controller claimed to have been discovered in an overseas regulatory filing by Zatznotfunny.

The wireless Bluetooth controller features a gaggle of controls, including both shoulder buttons and triggers, in addition to media playback transport controls. And we give Amazon credit for using Android-esque icons for home, menu, and back …  Read more

Moto G coming to Republic Wireless next month at $149 for 8 GB model

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Prepaid carrier Republic Wireless has announced that it will carry the Moto G starting in April. The phone will be available in both 8 GB and 16 GB models, available for $149 and $179, respectively.

Republic Wireless plans start at $25 per month for unlimited talk, text, and 3G data. The carrier also offers a $10 plan that allows unlimited calling, texting, and data usage over Wi-Fi paired with unlimited calling and texting over a cellular connection (but no 3G data).

The Moto G, which was deemed “the Google Global game changer” by 9to5Google‘s own Seth Weintraub, comes with a 4.5″ display, a 5 MP rear camera, 1.3 MP front camera, 1 GB of RAM, 50 GB of Google Drive space for two years, and Android 4.4 KitKat.

You can sign up for more information about the phone’s release date through the Republic Wireless site.

Galaxy S5 apps leaked online ahead of phone’s April release, work on other devices

Even though the phone won’t be released until next month, some of the Galaxy S5’s apps have been leaked online and can be installed on current Samsung devices, according to Android Police. The apps leaked include S Note, S Health, S Translator, the hardware managers for both the Galaxy Gear and the Gear Fit, Samsung Watch ON, and for all you math enthusiasts, the Calculator app.

The apps can be downloaded from the XDA thread where they were leaked, though it seems that some of them (specifically S Health) aren’t actually functional on older devices. Installing some of these packages will require a rooted phone so that old versions of the apps can be removed and replaced by the updated versions.

Google drops price of all monthly Google Drive plans to $2/100GB, $10/1TB, $100/10TB

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Google announced today on its blog that it’s lowering the monthly pricing plans it offers for users buying extra storage on Google Drive. Google attributes the changes to “recent infrastructure improvements” that is allowing it to offer more affordable storage options. Google reminds us that, as always, Drive storage purchased through the new plans counts towards storage for Drive, Gmail and Google+ Photos.

The new plans begin at just $1.99 for 100GB down from the previous $4.99 for the same amount of storage. There is also a new $10 plan for 1TB (down from $50 previously), and a 10TB and up option that starts at $99.99. Google will also continue offering the free 15GB option that comes with your Google account for Drive, Gmail and Google+.

How big is a terabyte anyway? Well, that’s enough storage for you to take a selfie twice a day for the next 200 years and still have room left over for… shall we say… less important things. Like before, storage continues to work across Drive, Gmail and Google+ Photos. And, of course, the 15GB plan remains free.

The new pricing plans for Google Drive are available now through www.google.com/settings/storage. Users that are already signed up for a monthly plan will be automatically switched to the new, better plans.  Read more

Google’s LG watch specs leak: 1.65-inch, 280px square display, 512MB RAM, 4GB storage

We’ve long known that Google has been working on a watch first OEMed internally through Motorola and now through partner LG.

@evleaks has purported specs, naming a 1.65 inch diagonal display and 280×280 square resolution. Internally, you’ll have 512MB of RAM and 4GB of onboard storage  – enough for some apps, MP3s and maybe a few short videos.

Evleaks usually starts leaking specs within a few weeks of launch so it could mean we’re getting ready to see Google’s hand (wrist?) which matches up with recent information. Late last week, Google’s Android and Chrome head Sundar Pinchai announced that Google would launch a wearable SDK within a few weeks so the stars are certainly starting to align. The plan appears to be as follows: have the SDK out in March and a product available at Google I/O in June.

Late month, Samsung announced its second iteration of Galaxy Gear smartwatches, running on Tizen — not Android. Rumours about Apple’s ‘iWatch’ product also continue to swirl, with a seeming focus on health and fitness. Read more

Google rolling out cleaner, redesigned Search results page on desktops

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You may have noticed that in recent weeks Google has been testing a new streamlined search results page that introduces some notable design tweaks. Google has been testing the new and improved design for select users but now Google’s lead designer for search Jon Wiley has made things official by announcing the changes are rolling out to all desktop users. The improvements reflect much of the same changes the company introduced to its mobile search experience last year.

While the general look and feel of the results page hasn’t changed much, Google said the tweaks it has made will result in enhanced readability and “an overall cleaner look.” Here’s what you’ll notice: Read more