Conan presents: The Google Glass Helper edition

There’s little question Google Glass is slowly gaining more traction in the tech world, for better or worse. Things might go even better or even worse if this Conan Google Glass Helper edition became a reality.

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Google reportedly gearing up to launch Android-powered ‘Nexus TV’ set-top box

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For the past few months, rumors have been swirling that another living room device will soon be released by Google. In July, the Wall Street Journal reported on a device with a motion sensor and video camera, while GigaOM reported in October that Google was planning to drop the Google TV branding in favor of “Android TV.” This time around, The Information’s Amir Efrati reports that Google is planning to release a “Nexus TV” set-top box that will run Android.

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Review roundup: LG G Flex bends, flops, still feels like a prototype

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Reviews for one of the first smartphones with a truly flexible, curved OLED, the recently announced LG G Flex, have just started hitting online. While the first reviews seem to be mixed, the recurring theme seems to be that the curved display and overall hardware experience doesn’t justify the nearly $1000 price tag. Most reviewers describe it as still feeling like a proof of concept, despite mostly decent reviews on the rest of the hardware and software experience.  The LG G Flex is still only available Korea, but it will soon be launching in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Europe. Head below to get a taste of what the reviews are saying:  Read more

Google gives employees choice of free Nexus 5 or 7 as holiday gift

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Much like it has in recent years by offering employees their choice from a selection of devices as a Christmas/holiday gift, we’ve learned from several sources that this year Google will continue the tradition. Rather than the choice of Chromebook, a Motorola phone or the Nexus 7 tablet like it offered last year, this year the company will offer an option between the Nexus 5 and new Nexus 7.

Backing up our info is the screenshot below showing a family member of a Google employee mentioning the gift: Read more

Google sponsoring petition to make warrant necessary for snooping in email

Following a year of mixed messaging and confusion regarding government access to personal data and how companies are handling the issue, Google is putting it’s support behind a petition demanding the United States government require a warrant before accessing email of private citizens.

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt tweeted a link to the company’s post on Google+:

Doesn’t the stuff you keep online deserve the same protection as the stuff you keep offline? Under a law called ECPA, government agencies in the U.S. can see what you’ve written and stored online without a warrant. Sign this petition to the White House and tell the government to get a warrant!

The petition originated on November 12, 2013, and requires just over 42,000 signatures by December 12, 2013, to mean the threshold for a response from the White House. At the time of this writing, just over 57,000 signatures have been collected on the online petition.

The full petition reads as follows: Read more

The QWERTY smartphone returns with leaked image of T-Mobile bound LG F3Q

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The super smartphone leaking machine known as @evleaks is back yet again with a first look at another upcoming smartphone headed for T-Mobile USA. What makes this smartphone the current buzz around town is its place as the first QWERTY device to catch our eye in some time. While the device itself looks to be low-end, it catches our attention as some of us believed the life and times of the QWERTY smartphone era were in our rear-view mirror.

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Talking Schmidt: Armies should have drones, not citizens

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Eric Schmidt has seen the future and he doesn’t like it. Private citizens remotely piloting drones to spy on one another? Not in his backyard!

That’s the message he offered to The Guardian when discussing the future of certain technologies:

“You’re having a dispute with your neighbour,” he hypothesised. “How would you feel if your neighbour went over and bought a commercial observation drone that they can launch from their back yard. It just flies over your house all day. How would you feel about it?”

Such a timely point in history to mention privacy, right? And from the executive chairman of Google of all places? The elephant in the room here, of course, is Google Glass, you know, the video camera-equipped heads-up display you wear on your face? Like a drone? Read more

Photos of Google Glass with prescription glasses posted then removed by Google employee

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A couple of days after Google started inviting Glass Explorers to upgrade to the second generation model, Google employee Brian Matiash posted photos showing Glass mounted on a pair of prescription glasses – then later removed them. You’d have thought Google of all companies would know you can’t erase things from the Internet …

It appears that the modified Glass unit has a slot in the top into which the glasses are fitted. It looks from the photos like quite a few designs of prescription glasses and sunglasses would be compatible with the unit.

Roll-out of Glass Explorer program is very gradually expanding, with existing Explorers recently invited to buy Glass for a friend after previously being given three invitations to pass on back in September.

Second photo of the prescription glass model below …  Read more

Google updates Search apps on iOS & Android w/ voice support for German, Japanese, and French

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Google this afternoon announced an update to its Search apps on both Android and iOS that includes voice search support for three addition languages. In a blog post, the company announced that the app can now understand French, German, and Japanese. In addition to being able understand the new languages and give text results, the Search app can also now give spoken answers back in those languages.

To try it out, simply tap the microphone in the search box and ask for anything you’re looking for. If you need some coffee in Munich, just say “Wo bekomme ich Kaffee in München?” to get a list of local options. Wondering what the height of the Eiffel tower is? Get a quick answer by asking, “Quelle est la hauteur de la Tour Eiffel?”. Maybe you need to know who invented the transistor ? Try asking in Japanese for “トランジスタを発明したのはだれ?”

Google says it will continue to work on adding even more languages to its Search app and that this is just the beginning of its efforts.

The Google Search app update is available for free in both the iOS App Store and on Google PlayRead more