Leaked press shots of Android-powered Sony Xperia tablet surface online [Photos]

A few press images of the Sony Xperia manifested online before its expected IFA unveiling in September and just days after a slew of leaked slides on the tablet emerged via a German website.

Android Guys first spotted the latest high-res leaks on the XDA Developers Forum. The forum’s contributor noted the device offers a Tegra3 CPU, 1-megapixel front-facing camera, 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, 6000 mAh battery, and a magnesium-aluminum alloy body.

The 16GB Experia will apparently sell, according to the XDA thread, for $399.99, while the 32GB and 64GB models cost an additional $100 and $200 respectively, but previous reports for the tablet indicated a slightly higher price scheme.

More rumored specs include Android 4.0 or later, 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, and a 8.8mm aluminum shell that is 42 percent thinner than the Tablet S. The slim design is certainly a draw, but that dramatic bezel pictured above is a completely different story.

The full gallery is below.

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Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer instating many Google beliefs as her reign begins

Coming from Google, Yahoo’s new chief executive officer, Marissa Mayer, is reportedly making a ton of changes to the company. According to the Wall Street Journal, Mayer is instituting many Google beliefs into the company. The biggest change is an encouraged focus on product, as she is talking to product executives about how the company can stop the decline in users across the board, and the biggest product change may be a revamped search engine. The folks in Mountain View have dominated that market for quite sometime, though. To further encourage her product philosophy, the new executive ordered the stock ticker be removed from the homepage of Yahoo’s back-end. She wants her employees to focus and not be caught up in the finances.

Other small changes include free lunches at Yahoo, which is a practice that has been instated at Google for a while, and an all-hands-on meeting on Friday afternoons. Mayer is rumored to get $100 million in compensation over the next five years for her work at Yahoo. You can check out the full report for all the details. [WSJ] 

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The original Android – HTC G1 – gets Android 4.1 port

Members of the SoCal dev team posted an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean port for the mother of all Android devices, the HTC G1. Yes, the device that started it all is now rocking the latest Android OS. While it will never officially be loaded on the device, it is still fun to mess around with the project. This project is not for the feint-of-heart, though, as your device can easily be bricked. However, the SoCal team posted a guide to get going if you are up to it. Sadly, cell/data and screen rotation are not working on the device, but Wi-Fi, touchscreen, apps, and partially Google Now are all working. If you have a HTC G1 that it is just laying around on a desk shelf somewhere, why not try it? You can check out a video demo below: [XDA Developers, (2)]

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Updated Google Translate Android app translates text from images, includes instant results as you type

Google updated its Google Translate Android app today to version 2.5, and it added a number of notable features including the ability to translate text from images. When snapping an image of a street sign or anything else containing text and highlighting the text within the image using your finger, Google Translate will instantly provide a translation for devices running Android 2.3 and above (as shown in the screenshot to the right).

Other features added in the update for all users include instant translation results while typing, the ability to select a dialect preference for speech input, and support for multiple characters at once for Japanese handwriting. Google also noted it added “access network state permission to check network availability when sending requests.”

As always, the updated Google Translate app is available on Google Play now.
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Families of Googlers who pass away receive 5 years of salary spread over 10 years

In a recent interview with Forbes regarding benefits for Google employees, Google Chief People Officer Laszlo Bock explained the company has recently announced death benefits for Googlers.

“This might sound ridiculous,” Bock told me recently in a conversation on the ever-evolving benefits at Google, “But we’ve announced death benefits at Google.”

According to Bock, spouses of Googlers whom pass away while employed at the company will continue to receive 50 percent of the employee’s annual salary for 10 years following. Children will also receive $1,000 monthly until they reach 19 (or 23 if they are a full-time student):
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Google uncloaks the future of search: New Knowledge Graph worldwide rollout, Gmail universal search trial, Voice-based search in iOS

Google is currently giving a presentation at its San Francisco office to discuss the future of search.

The search engine first revealed the Web is home to 30 trillion URLs and it crawls 20 billion of those pages every day, according to TheNextWeb, while also answering 100 billion queries every month.

Googler Amit Singhal then reminded folks about the Knowledge Graph, according to SearchEngineLand, which now contains 5 million things and 3.5 billion connections between them. Singhal called the Knowledge Graph just a “baby step” in the future of search, and he noted the future ideally involves speech recognition.

Read more about the Knowledge Graph at the Official Google Blog.

Another Googler, Shashi Takur, came on stage to announce a worldwide Knowledge Graph rollout tomorrow for English-speaking countries. From there, Knowledge Graph Director of Product Management Jack Menzel demoed a redesign featuring a top carousel-like bar that helps users swipe through items more quickly when searching. The new look also provides search results with collections and lists instead of just the traditional blue links, according to Engadget.

More Googlers take the stage: Universal Search Director of Product Management Sagar Kamdar explained Gmail is now a part of universal search in a now-live “field trial.” He gave an example by searching for an item to purchase through Amazon, and then he highlighted a shipping confirmation in Gmail that immediately surfaced on the right-hand side of the Google results page. He also showed a similar example with a flight confirmation email.

Those who want to give the trial a spin can do so here.

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Nikon launching Android 2.3-powered Coolpix S800 with Google Play apps on August 22?

While Polaroid already showed off its Android-powered Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera expected to land sometime this year, a report coming from NikonRumors (via The Verge) today pointed to evidence on Nikon possibly beating Polaroid to the market. Referencing a filling with the Indonesian Communication Agency, the report lists the following specs for unannounced Android-powered Nikon camera likely named the “Coolpix S800″ (or S800c) with a possible August 22 announcement.

According to NikonRumors…

The expected camera specs are:
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Google expanding live traffic coverage to 130 small cities in the US, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Panama

Google announced on the Official Lat Long Blog today that it is expanding the Google Maps live traffic feature first launched in 2008 to cover 130 smaller U.S. cities and the capitals of Panama, Costa Rica, and Colombia. On top of travel time estimates and real-time traffic conditions for the new cities, Google also improved its traffic coverage in a list of other locations including parts of Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. A tutorial of the feature is presented in the demo video below, and Google has a full overview of supported cities here.

Now the streets of Bogotá, San José, and Panama City and the arterial roads in Kalamazoo (Michigan), Portland (Maine), Tuscaloosa (Alabama) and many more cities will include real-time current traffic conditions as well as estimated travel times. Whether you’re online on your home computer ensuring no unexpected snarls await your drive to the airport or you’ve been stuck behind a line of cars for a few minutes and can ask your friend in the passenger seat to check whether it’ll clear up just around the bend, we hope these updates save you time and stress when getting to your destination. Read more

Judge orders Google, Oracle to disclose payments made to bloggers

A judge ruled today that Google and Oracle must disclose any payments made to Internet authors, journalists, or bloggers for published commentary related to the Google vs. Oracle lawsuit involving Android software.

The trial is just now ending, but Judge William Alsup issued a court order (PDF) today that calls for both companies to divulge which Internet-based journalists were compensated. The judge is apparently concerned that evidence in the case includes analysis from influenced bloggers.

FOSS Patents‘ Florian Mueller revealed in April that Oracle and Microsoft pay for posts on his blog, where he regularly discusses the Google vs. Oracle case.

The full court order is below: 

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Google self-driving cars log 300K miles accident free, adds Lexus SUV to fleet

We always had a deep interest in Google’s self-driving car project. It develops technology to make driverless cars, and Google engineer Sebastian Thrun leads the charge. The Google team has operated the driverless cars daily on the roadway with as many as 12 cars going at any time. In an announcement made today, Google said its self-driving cars logged a whopping 300,000 miles accident free (but there was one time when it was the drivers fault). The company added that while a ton of progress has been made, the self-driving project still has a long way to go. For example, the cars still need to master snowy conditions.

Google also revealed that it added the Lexus RX450h to its fleet of self-driving vehicles to “fine our systems in different environments and on different terrain.” How stylish.

The self-driving project has come a long way over the past year. In June 2011, Nevada passed a law concerning self-driving cars on the roadway and granted the first license for a driverless car in May 2012. With over 300,000 miles logged, next comes self-driving cars used for the daily commute.

“As a next step, members of the self-driving car team will soon start using the cars solo (rather than in pairs), for things like commuting to work,” said Google in a blog post. “This is an important milestone, as it brings this technology one step closer to every commuter.” [Google]

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War? YouTube app disappears from iOS 6 beta 4 as Apple breaks Google ties

iOS 6 beta 4 has removed the YouTube application that existed on iOS since the first version in 2007. We’re not entirely sure what to make of this, but this could have to do with Apple trying to break away from dependence on Google services. iOS 6 drops Google Maps in favor of Apple’s own 3D Maps program. We’re looking into this. Of course, this just could be a bug or an error for this beta. YouTube is gone from the iPhone and iPad, but it is still present on the Apple TV (below).

Update: After we broke this major news, Apple confirmed to The Verge that YouTube is gone from iOS 6. Google is apparently building its own app.

Our license to include the YouTube app in iOS has ended, customers can use YouTube in the Safari browser and Google is working on a new YouTube app to be on the App Store.

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