Top 10 kids’ toys of 2014 per Google Search rankings

Google is giving Ol’ St. Nicholas a run for his money this holiday season because it ALSO knows what people want for the holidays. Rather than getting mail in the North Pole however, Google gets its data via its popular search engine. In data from its Trends platform, it has determined the top trending toys, devices and apparel searches on Google Shopping. An overview from the Commerce blog:

  • Game consoles and tablets continue to be the top gifts trending on Google Shopping, but wearable technology such as the “fitbit” is also on the rise this month.
  • Certain retro toys are making a comeback this season. Thanks to the new movie “Ouija,” searches for “Ouija boards” are up 300% since October. And queries for “Barbie Dream House” and “My Little Pony” are up as well compared to last month. 6
  • Cold-weather staples, such as “Hunter boots” and “Canada Goose jackets,” are among the most popular apparel searches, up 46% and 140%, respectively, since October. But “jogger pants” are the newcomer gift this season, up 39% from October. 7

But the most important data they pulled, especially if you are a clueless father like myself, is the top 10 Kids’ gifts list. Without further ado, in order:

Top-10-Christmas-presents-20141. American Girl

2. My Little Pony

3. Paw Patrol

4. Lego Friends

5. Ouija Board

6. Peppa Pig

7. Shopkins

8. Nerf Guns

9. Barbie Dream House

10. Zoomer Dino

Any of this hitting home? Read more

Samsung being sued over the name of its Milk Music app

Milk-Music

A photography and multimedia company by the name of Milk Studios filed a lawsuit against Samsung earlier this week, claiming the South Korean technology firm had violated its trademark with the name of its music streaming service. Filed in the US District Court of the Southern District of New York, the company says that Samsung “intentionally, willfully and knowingly” used the Milk name for its music service called Milk Music which launched last spring for Galaxy device users.

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Now Playing on Chromecast: Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Sesame Street Go and more

Chromecast

Google has just announced an expanded casting queue for Chromecast with the addition of seven news apps for streaming your favorite shows, sports, games and movies. The new arrivals this holiday season include Comedy Central, Sesame Street Go, Nickelodeon, EPIX, YuppTV and Encore, while TuneIn provides access to international radio stations and millions of podcasts. Read more

Stitcher Radio told to “stop stealing our shows” by claimed rights owner Podcast One

stitcher

The popular podcast app Stitcher Radio has been accused of stealing content from Podcast One, which claims to have the exclusive rights to some of the content streamed by the app. Podcast One has cited a long list of shows it says Stitcher has no right to use, including Adam Carolla, Clark Howard, Dan Patrick, Carcast, The Dr. Drew Podcast, Rich Eisen and Yahoo! Sports Radio …  Read more

Google running massive Androidify Yourself ad in Times Square

Androidify

Google has taken over Times Square with a new Android ad on a massive billboard in the iconic intersection, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The search company is using the largest digital screen in North America to promote its interactive campaign Androidify, which allows users to create and share their own Android mascot. Read more

Verizon’s second-generation Moto X updated with Android 5.0 Lollipop

moto-x-software

Android 5.0 Lollipop for Verizon’s version of the 2014 Moto X is now live. The update is rolling out as an over-the-air software push that introduces a bevy of new features to Motorola’s flagship smartphone. For starters, your Moto X will be treated a new Material Design-themed layout loaded with Lollipop’s fluid animations, along with an updated notification setup that “intelligently” ranks alerts by type and who sent them. Software version 22.21.11 also introduces the ability to prioritize and set privacy notifications for each of your handset’s applications.

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Cyanogen introduces upcoming Themes app for custom fonts, animations and more

Cyanogen Themes Contest

Cyanogen on Monday introduced its upcoming Themes app that will serve as a one-stop storefront for Cyanogen OS smartphone users to download themes that customize everything from fonts and animations to wallpapers and icons. The company also launched the initial beta release of Themes Studio for designers to publish and distribute themes. Read more

Sony’s Backup & Restore Android application reportedly compromised (update)

Sony-Backup-app

Sony’s Backup & Restore Android application that comes pre-installed on its Xperia Z3 smartphone appears to have been compromised. A Google Play entry has been added for the app listing “Nirav Patel Kanudo” as its publisher, along with the software’s description claiming that it’s managed by the “HeArT HaCkEr Group.”

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Google settles online abuse case with former Morgan Stanley banker

Google-building

Google has reached a settlement with former Morgan Stanley banker Daniel Hegglin who sued the tech company behind negative Internet posts that had an impact on his public reputation. The Hong Kong-based businessman took his case to Britain’s High Court to have Google remove web search content falsely identifying him as a murderer, nazi and a pedophile.

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Google rolls out new hardware dashboard and security wizard to help keep your account safe

DeviceActivity UI

Today, Google announced some new security features for its subscribers that should make it easier to manage the equipment linked to your account. While some people may have already had access to these options, Mountain View has now made them available to its entire user base. The gist of the search company’s new dashboard is a quick way to review  and control the gear tied to your profile. This will let you quickly revoke a device’s access if you happen to lose your phone, laptop or tablet.

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T-Mobile adds Google Play Music (& other services) to its Music Freedom program

Google Play Music pink

T-Mobile announced today the addition of 14 music streaming services to its Music Freedom program including Google Play Music. First announced at its Uncarrier 5.0/6.0 event in June, T-Mobile’s Music Freedom program allows customers on the network to stream content from supported music services without it counting against a monthly data cap. T-Mobile promised the addition of Google Play Music by the end of the year in August when Google’s subscription streaming music service was voted most wanted by T-Mobile’s customers. Read more

Nexus 6 teardown reveals a ton of screws, but it’s a win for repairability

nexus-6-teardown-01

Following its ritual teardown of the Google’s new HTC-made Nexus 9 tablet earlier this month, today our friends over at iFixit have torn apart Google’s new Nexus 6 smartphone made by Motorola. While the Nexus 6 scores a decent repairability score— 7 out of 10, which is on par w/ the new iPhone 6 Plus— it does have some shortcomings that you’ll want to be aware of before cracking into your phone for repairs. Read more