Google pulls data from Play Music uploads to make awesome genre timeline

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Google has been known to do some interesting things with the data it collects from users, and here is yet another example of that. The company has found a way to visualize the data collected from Play Music users and display it on a Google Music Timeline. This timeline offers a visual representation on the growth and decline of certain genres of music (via Google Operating System Blog).

The graph displays a colored stripe for each genre of music. The thickness of each stripe represents the popularity of that genre in a given year. The data is collected from the music uploaded to Play Music by users. For instance, the Jazz stripe is thickest in the 1950s because many users have Jazz content released in that time period in their library.

The Music Timeline shows genres of music waxing and waning, based on how many Google Play Music users have an artist or album in their music library, and other data (such as album release dates). Each stripe on the graph represents a genre; the thickness of the stripe tells you roughly the popularity of music released in a given year in that genre. (For example, the “jazz” stripe is thick in the 1950s since many users’ libraries contain jazz albums released in the ’50s.) Click on the stripes to zoom into more specialized genres.
The timeline starts in 1950. Head on over to Google Research to try it out.
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Google announces new smart contact lens to help track glucose levels

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Google published a blog post today detailing its newest project: a smart contact lens that can monitor glucose levels for diabetic users. The lens uses a small embedded sensor to measure the glucose in tears and a set of LED lights to signal when levels reach certain thresholds. Google says it has experimented with prototypes that can take readings up to an incredible once per second and completed several clinical trials.

Earlier this month, Google X employees met with the FDA staff responsible for biosensors and medical apps, and it was speculated that the company could be working on a smart contact lens. Google has said it is still discussing the future of such a product with the FDA, and that it will take time before a product like this is mature enough to release to the general public. When the time finally comes for this project to go to market, Google plans to work with unnamed partners to manufacture the devices and get them into the hands of patients and doctors.

And if you think Google is going to stop at glucose monitors, check out the Solve for (X) video below with one of the heads of Google Glass discussing putting the hardware in your contact lens…

DoubleTwist launches Android app to let users steal songs from iTunes Radio

DoubleTwist, the developers behind the doubleTwist Music Player app for Android, today introduced a new app that lets Android users steal “record” music from iTunes. The doubleTwist Music Player app is popular among Apple device users for its ability to AirPlay music from Android devices to Apple TV and AirPlay supported audio accessories. The new app called iTunes Radio Recorder will allow users to save songs from iTunes that are streaming through iTunes Radio or locked to the app through DRM. Here’s how it works:
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Will Samsung hit the $100 price point with its new 7-inch Galaxy Tab3 Lite?

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Following the introduction of its new line of Galaxy Pro tablets during CES, today Samsung introduced a new 7-inch tablet on the opposite end of the lineup with the new entry-level Galaxy Tab3 Lite.

The two-years ago specs are certainly nothing to brag about, but depending on how close Samsung prices the tablet to $100, it won’t look all that bad next to its competition in the low-cost tablet category. Unfortunately the company hasn’t announced pricing, but looking at the specs below, we think it could be its most affordable Galaxy Tab yet. That’s especially considering the current 7-inch Galaxy Tab 3 has been going for as low as $140 lately. It did confirm the tablet will be available globally in both black and white, but there’s no word on exact availability or markets.

Full specs for the Galaxy Tab3 Lite below: Read more

Samsung sells one out of every four smartphones in the US as ownership increases

Following the continued growth of smartphones in the US and increasing competition between Samsung and Apple, the two companies saw combined growth between 2012 and 2013 amounting to 68% of the US smartphone market. That’s according to data provided by The NPD Group which reports overall smartphone growth increased from 52% to 60% in Q4 of 2012 and 2013, respectively. NPD reports Samsung rose from 22% to 26% in Q4 2012 to 2013 among US smartphone users. Read more

Fortune survey again finds that Google is the best company in the world to work for

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Fortune‘s annual survey of the 100 best companies to work for found that Google topped the list for the third year running, and the fifth time in all.

Google tops Fortune’s 17th annual ranking of the best workplaces in corporate America once again, marking its eighth appearance on the list and fifth time as No. 1.

Software company SAS took second place, with The Boston Consulting Group number three …  Read more

Steve Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson says Google more innovative than Apple

Walter Isaacson, author of the biography Steve Jobs, said in a CNBC TV interview that Google is now more innovative than Apple, and that while securing the China Mobile agreement was a big deal, it was less important than Google’s acquisition of Nest.

Google buying Nest shows an amazingly strong, integrated strategy that Google has to connect all of our devices, all of our lives … the Internet of things is actually real, there are these devices we’re gonna want to have and Google’s going to get ahead of that game […]

The greatest innovation today is coming from Google. Fadell was one of the team that created the iPod. He was very deep into the Apple culture … when Apple was so innovative … Now Tony Fadell is going to Google because he’s part of the Nest deal …  Read more

Latest Chrome Canary build brings Google Now to the desktop

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There have been indications for a long time that Google Now was eventually coming to the Chrome browser on the desktop. Via the Google Operating System Blog, the service has finally surfaced in the most recent release of Chrome Canary (Google’s name for the app’s ‘alpha’ channel builds).

As expected, Google Now in Chrome closely mirrors Google Now on Android. The contextually-relevant cards (which show information such as weather, news or upcoming flights) appear in Chrome’s Notification Center on the desktop. This area be found in the Window’s taskbar or the Mac’s menubar, represented by a bell icon.

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Cybersecurity firm Impermium joins Google’s spam and abuse team

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Cybersecurity software company Impermium has “joined Google,” according to a notice on the company’s website (via TechCrunch). Google’s Bradley Horowitz has indicated on his Google+ page that the Impermium employees will be added to to Google’s anti-spam and abuse team.

Impermim has said that it will stop offering its services to third-parties. The full notice from Impermium is below:

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CyanogenMod Installer app released for OS X, makes it even easier to install the custom ROM

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 5.38.34 PMBack in November, the CyanogenMod team announced an interesting new project that allowed users to flash the team’s custom ROM in just a few clicks.  The app came with a catch, though. It was only available on Windows machines, leaving Mac users in the dark. Today, however, the CyanogenMod team has released its Installer application on Mac OS X. 

CyanogenMod installer supports a long-list of devices, ranging from the HTC One and Galaxy S4 to the Nexus S and Galaxy S II. The process is very simple. First, simply join the CyanogenMod Installer for Mac beta group, download the actual app from Google+, connect a compatible Android device, and the Installer will handle most everything else. It’s important to note that the Installer will wipe all the data from your device, so be sure to back it up before beginning the process. 

The CyanogenMod team has had a very successful time over the past few months, as it raised $22 million in funding in December in addition to releasing more devices that run the CyanogenMod ROM out of the box.    

Check out CyanogenMod’s Google+ page for more.

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Google Play app arrives on iOS to stream movies and shows over WiFi

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Today, Google has released a new application for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch to allow Google Play users to stream purchased movies and TV shows. You cannot rent or purchase content via this application: you must download it from Google Play on Android or the web and then the purchased titles will be available to stream via this app. The application is only supported in the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom. WiFi is currently required for streaming. The app also allows streaming to the ChromeCast.

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