HP announces colorful new Haswell i7-powered Chromeboxes, coming this spring

hp-chromebox

HP previously teased that it would be releasing a Chromebox this spring, but has today announced a few more details about the box, in addition to some images. HP’s Chromebox will come in four colors including white, black, silver, and turquoise. The device will be marketed towards homes and businesses, seeing that it will be more powerful than some of the other Chromeboxes we’ve seen so far this year (via Engadget).

HP’s Chromebox features an HDMI port and DisplayPort, in addition to four USB 3.0 ports. The device will be powered by a fourth-generation Haswell-based Intel Core i7 processor.

Missing from the details announced today is pricing. ASUS’ new box will come in at $179, although it is less powerful. Either way, HP will certainly have some tough competition in the Chromebox space. The company’s box is set to be released in spring.

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Google’s $3.2 billion purchase of Nest cleared by FTC

Photo: websummit.net

Photo: websummit.net

After announcing that it had acquired smart thermostat maker Nest for $3.2 billion in cash last month, Google’s purchase was of course still subject to the normal regulatory approvals. Today the deal has finally been made official with the FTC granting approval of the acquisition through an “early termination” of the commission’s review of the purchase. It looks like the FTC has no concerns over the deal violating antitrust laws so pending any other regulatory body jumping in before the 30-day waiting period is up, Google shouldn’t have any issues closing the deal.

Google had already invested in the company through its Google Ventures arm, but the purchase means Nest will officially become a part of Google. In its original statement announcing the acquisition, Google noted that Nest will continue “its own distinct brand identity” and that founder Tony Fadell will continue to run the company. Read more

Google disrupts the videoconferencing market with $1000 Chromebox for Meetings

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Google announced today that ASUS is releasing a new “Chromebox for meetings” that comes bundled with a camera, microphone, and speaker as an all-in-one meeting room solution for using Google+ Hangouts and accessing Google Apps:

Chromebox for meetings comes with a blazing-fast Intel Core i7-based Chromebox, a high-definition camera, a combined microphone and speaker unit and a remote control. Set up your entire room in minutes and easily manage all meeting rooms from a web-based management console. All you need is the display in your room, and you’re good to go.

Walk into the room, click the remote once and you’re instantly in the meeting. No more complex dial-in codes, passcodes or leader PINs. Share your laptop screen wirelessly, no need for any cords and adaptors. Integration with Google Apps makes it easy to invite others and add rooms to video meetings, directly from Google Calendar.

Google says the new Chromebox for meetings will allow businesses to outfit 10 or more rooms “for the same price that companies have typically paid for one meeting room.”

The new Chromebox for meetings from ASUS (pictured above) is available in the U.S. starting today for $999 and other Chromebox for meetings products from HP and Dell will be released in the months to come. It’s also planning to launch the products in other countries later this year including Australia, Canada, France, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the U.K. Some of Google’s partners are also releasing new tools to make it easy for existing meeting room solutions to access Google+ Hangouts. Read more

Fresh off sale to Lenovo, Motorola readies product launch event for Mobile World Congress

motorola_MWC_2014_event

I have to admit, I’m less excited now that they aren’t part of Google but the newly acquired wing of Lenovo is inviting folks to its February 25th event at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.  What’s on order? A phab/tablet? A Moto X2? Maybe we’ll just hear what the big plan is now that they aren’t part of El Goog, though the image above seems to imply something is under the covers.

We’ll bring the news to you as it comes later this month.

 

Google just made it easier to find music videos with prioritized Youtube search results

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Finding a playable music video can sometimes involve a bit of trial-and-error, where the top link might be only a short clip, or indeed something unrelated that was mislabelled. To solve this, Google is now offering prioritised links to the first playable music video in a separate box above the remaining search results …  Read more

Intellectual Ventures-Google patent lawsuit ends in mistrial with deadlocked jury

Photo: npr.org

Photo: npr.org

Google has been fighting yet another patent lawsuit, this time against Intellectual Ventures. Today the jury in this trial decided that it would not be able to come to a unanimous decision, resulting in the court declaring a mistrial, reports Reuters.

“Mistrials are an occasional fact of life, and it is disappointing,” said Melissa Finocchio, chief litigation counsel for Intellectual Ventures. IV is looking forward to a retrial, she said.

The suit involved three patents that covered mobile technologies held by Intellectual Ventures. There is no word yet on what the company will do following the jury’s decision (or lack thereof).

Mozilla shows off preview of upcoming Firefox Launcher for Android

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Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox browser, showed the first preview of its Android launcher during the InContext 2014 conference today.

Firefox Launcher for Android makes it easy to discover the content you want in any moment and is optimized for the way you use your phone. The app integrates the contextual adaptive app search from EverythingMe with the Firefox for Android Web browser to offer users a personalized and customizable Web experience that is fun and intuitive

Mozilla previously released its own mobile operating system, Firefox OS. It appears Mozilla repurposed some of the aesthetic and technological ideas from the operating system when creating the Android launcher.

Firefox Launcher is still in development, but Mozilla has promised to make more details available as the product moves into its beta testing phase. The full preview is available below the break.

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NYPD confirms it’s testing Google Glass with officers on patrol

A visitor is testing the new Google Glasses at the international fair for digital economy 'NEXT Berlin 2013' in Berlin, Germany, 24 April 2013.  NEXT Berlin 2013 is an international trade for which serves as a platform of digital innovations from the worl

Now that Google’s Glass Explorer program is open to just about anyone in the U.S. that wants to signup for the $1500 head-mounted computer, we’re bound to see more and more people test the product in new scenarios. Today we get word from a VentureBeat report that The New York City Police Department has invested in a few pairs of the wearable in order to test Glass as a surveillance tool during patrols.  Read more

Google ad head Susan Wojcicki to head-up YouTube in bid to boost ad revenues? (Update: Google confirms)

Photo: makers.com

Photo: makers.com

The Information is reporting that the head of Google’s advertising products team, Susan Wojcicki, is likely to replace Salar Kamangar as the head of YouTube.

The move would send a clear signal that Google CEO Larry Page wants to zero in on the site’s ad products. While YouTube’s growth has continued, the site has struggled to charge more for its ads as the supply of videos continues to outstrip advertiser demand across the Web …  Read more

Google finally settles EU anti-trust case, agrees to give equal prominence to rival services

Photo: npr.org

Photo: npr.org

After more than three years of investigations and negotiations, Google and the European Union anti-trust authorities have finally settled the case in which the company was accused of abusing its dominant position in search.

The tl;dr version of the dispute was that Google search results were giving undue prominence to its own services – such as Google News and Google Shopping – and freezing out rivals. Google was eventually given a deadline of 31st January last year to submit proposals on how it would resolve the problem …  Read more

Google updates Android distribution data for February, 80% of devices now on Android 4.x

Screen Shot 2014-02-04 at 9.06.11 PM

Google has just updated its Android Distribution numbers to reflect data during a one-week period ending on February 4th. This data is collected by recording what version of Android every device that accesses Google Play is running. Most notably, Jelly Bean has surpassed the 60 percent milestone, going from 59.1 percent to 60.7 percent. KitKat saw very minor growth, increasing from 1.4 percent to 1.8 percent.

No other version of Android saw an increase this time around, with Ice Cream Sandwich falling from 16.9 percent to 16.1 percent and Gingerbread dropping from 20 percent from 21.2 percent.

Also noteworthy is the fact that 80 percent of all Android devices are rocking Android 4.0 or higher, meaning that most have the latest design interface and features from Google.

Google has had problems in the past rolling out updates in a prompt manner to devices, but things have definitely improved over the last year or so. It is, however, disappointing to see the latest version, KitKat, only running on 1.8 percent of devices.

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ASUS announces smallest-ever Chromebox, available in March from $179

ASUS Chromebox frontangleS_575px

ASUS has announced that the new Chromebox it promised last year will go on sale next month, priced from $179. The device – looking rather like Intel’s NUC ultra-compact desktop PC – is both the smallest and most powerful Chromebox to date, with a choice of three processors.

$179 will get you the base model, powered by a Celeron 2955U. Next model up is a Haswell Core i3 model, capable of driving a 4K monitor – and there will be an i7 version sold only outside North America. No pricing has yet been announced for the more powerful models.

“The Asus Chromebox offers the simplicity, security, and speed of Chrome OS in the most compact and powerful Chrome device to date,” said Felix Lin, director of product management at Google. “Perfect for home, the classroom or the office, Chromebox is designed for the way we use computers today” …  Read more