HTC teams up with IBM to offer enterprise app solutions and enhanced security

During an interview with eWEEK at IBM’s Lotusphere and Connect conference, HTC announced the company plans on integrating IBM enterprise applications into Android-powered HTC tablets and smartphones. IBM executives used HTC devices to demo new enterprise applications during the event. Executive Director Global Enterprise and Services at HTC David Jaeger talked to eWEEK about its push into the enterprise market:

“It’s only been really relatively recently that HTC has broken into the enterprise space. We’re driving toward that magic 100-million device number globally,” Jaeger said. “We see IBM as the gold standard for an enterprise partnership. We want to make sure if IBM is talking about Android or tablets, HTC is in the conversation.”

HTC is working closely with IBM to ensure its smartphones, tablets support the latest IBM business software, and security features, and with enterprises and third-party developers interested in deploying business applications on HTC’s latest hardware. HTC’s Director of Global Enterprise Operations and Strategy Will Ro told eWEEK the company hopes its stylus and pen recognition software Scribe would provide a level of precision for business apps not offered through touch-only devices:
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Google soon to reveal new ‘Google Interests’ product

Details are sparse at this moment but we have been informed that Google is gearing up to release a product called Google Interests, which will build off its Google Related product and others that suggest new products and services for users.  The information we received is that Interests relies on the new Privacy Policy agreement that was announced today and will pull user data from Google’s various products to bring Internet users “stuff” they are interested in.

That is as much as we know.  The product could be anything from a StumbleUpon clone to a serendipitous Android App.  We have, however, been told to expect this sooner rather than later, and since we first heard about this morning— the Privacy Policy change has gone public.

We will give additional details as this story develops.

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Google compiles 60 documents into one privacy policy for ‘one Google experience’

Google just announced a completely revamped privacy policy that replaces over 60 separate documents with just one, while clearly defining that signed-in Google users will now operate Google services through a unified experience.

“We’re getting rid of over 60 different privacy policies across Google and replacing them with one that’s a lot shorter and easier to read,” explained Google’s new policies’ website.

Google’s foray into the complete integration and paring of its services reflects the Mountain View, Calif.-based Company’s recent effort to create a single product, and its new privacy policy and terms of service agreement demonstrates the transition, as well.

The policy takes effect on March 1, and while users’ privacy preferences remain, the new arrangement allows Google to gather and implement user data across its services. Google is charging ahead with Search plus Your World, Gmail, Picasa, YouTube, and Google+, so it is probably attempting to connect all the loose legal ends and make one continuous experience…

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Google launches Offers in Charlotte, Kansas City, Milwaukee, San Antonio and Tampa

Google Offers, the search giant’s deal-of-the-day website that launched six months ago, is now expanding to five new cities in the United States. Beginning today, people in Charlotte, Kansas City, Milwaukee, San Antonio and Tampa can take advantage of the Offers website to subscribe to great deals in the aforementioned cities. According to a post over at the official Google Commerce blog, these deals include $11 for a beer tasting, growler bottle, souvenir glass and soft pretzel at The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery in Charlotte ($22 value), $5 for $10 of food and drink at Arthur Bryant’s Barbeque Restaurant in Kansas City, $5 for $12 toward burgers, brews and more at Sobelman’s Pub & Grill in Milwaukee, $10 for $20 of fine sandwiches, pasta, steaks and more at Liberty Bar in San Antonio, and $5 for $10 of Greek cuisine at Louis Pappas Market Cafe in Tampa. You can subscribe to these and other deals via email at google.com/offers or through the Wallet app on the Galaxy Nexus smartphone on the Sprint network.

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YouTube and NBC Sports launch Ad Blitz Super Bowl XLVI channel

In case you miss any of the upcoming Super Bowl commercials, the new YouTube Ad Blitz channel launched by NBC Sports will bring you the ads right after the have aired and allow you to vote on your favorites. Available through the YouTube channel and NBCSports.com, the website is currently populated with pre-game content including party recipes, tailgating tales, playoff coverage, and big game predictions.

As the premier online gallery of Super Bowl commercials, YouTube Ad Blitz puts all the commercials in your hands, letting you view and vote on the top ads of the Super Bowl, whether you’re on a computer, mobile phone or tablet. This year, NBC Sports is the official partner for YouTube Ad Blitz, adding online promotion to its Super Bowl coverage.

Voting will continue until Feb. 13 at midnight and NBC Sports and YouTube will be having a live Google+ Hangout following the game with “an NBC celebrity.” You can also check out all of the 2011 Super Bowl Commercials on the Ad Blitz channel here.
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Verizon launching Motorola Droid Razr Maxx on Jan. 26 for $299

We already knew it was coming when Verizon announced it alongside the Motorola Droid 4 earlier this month, but the company made things official for the Droid RAZR Maxx today with a solid release date and final pricing. You will be able to get your hands on the device starting Jan. 26 for $300 on the typical two-year commitment. Verizon has also posted a new product page for the device here.

In case you are unfamiliar, the Droid RAZR Maxx is essentially a beefed up version of the latest 4G LTE Droid RAZR, with the main difference being a huge 3300 mAh battery providing up to 21 hours talk time and a slightly thicker 8.99mm design to accommodate it. You can also expect a 4.3-inch qHD display, dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, an 8-megapixel main camera, and support for an Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade in the near future. The full press release from Verizon is available after the break.

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Apple gets Samsunged: New Galaxy S II adverts poke fun of the barista’s latte-making art, suggest Siri is no good

Samsung kick started its anti-Apple Galaxy S II campaign with a November 2011 advert that enraged people who would wait in line for a new iPhone. A follow-up commercial downplayed Apple’s iCloud and iTunes Match services as the campaign continued on Facebook. Earlier this week, Samsung shifted gear with an advert that lambasted Apple’s iPhone over its lack of stock turn-by-turn navigation software akin to Google Maps with Navigation for Android.

Today, the South Korean consumer electronics conglomerate aired another commercial following the “Samsunged” theme and focusing on the barista character featured in the November 2011 commercial. More precisely, it mocks the barista’s latte-making art. Samsung reserved an ad slot during Super Bowl XLVI, therefore, things should get interesting come Feb. 5. Let us know in the comments how you liked the new commercial.

Another advert pitting Android’s speech-to-text capabilities against Apple’s is right after the break.

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Google Plus now aims its sights at Quora

Google is adamant on accelerating work on its Google+ social network. By doing so, the company has already stepped on people’s toes. An upcoming Q&A feature from Google does not seem to be aimed squarely at Quora, a popular question-and-answer website, but the Quora people understandably cann0t be too happy about this development. See, according to VentureBeat, the search company is trying out a new capability called “Ask on Google+” allowing you to ask friends about the topics you are searching for. It is akin to Facebook Questions, with one huge advantage: One accesses it easily at the bottom of one’s search results:

Click the link to ask your friends any question related to restaurants, movies, how to make friends on Google+, or other topics. Your question will automatically be posted to your Google+ stream for your friends to answer.

Granted, it is nowhere near as complete as Quora and it lacks the basic component, a Q&A engine. In its current implementation, asking stuff on Google+ from your search results simply puts up an overlay window with a pre-populated Google+ post related to your search query. For example, if I were searching for “2012 Android smartphones,” clicking the “Ask on Google+” link would create the “Hi there! I have a question about 2012 Android smartphones…” message. You can edit the message, select your audience, or add a location, photo, video or URL. The folks with whom you shared the message will not be able to select from custom choices like with Facebook Answers. Still, it certainly does not mean crowd-sourcing answers from your Google+ friends will not take some allure off Quora and similar services— quite the contrary.

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Apple spends hundreds of millions to sue Android makers, is it working?

Newsweek‘s Dan Lyons reported today that Apple’s “thermonuclear war” on Android smartphone manufacturers is fading fast, while a new rumor surfaced among the suits’ lawyers claiming the company spent $100 million on its initial set of claims against HTC.

Imagine how much Apple spent on other Android makers, such as Motorola (who is near locking Apple products out of Germany in retaliation) or Samsung (the biggest Mobile Communications patent holder in the world), if it spent so much on just HTC.

“Who knows if it’s true, but if so, Apple didn’t get a lot for its money,” wrote Lyons on his RealDanLyons’ blog Jan. 23.

Apple’s legal claims are abruptly junked left and right, and its only minor victories to date are so inconsequential that Android device makers can dance around the momentary obstacles with just a few minor tweaks to products, explained the Newsweek reporter.

The technology giant’s case against HTC with the International Trade Commission began in February 2010, when the Cupertino, Calif.-based company wanted the ITC to block HTC from importing products into the United States. The case originally had 84 claims based on 10 patents, but it was dwindled down to only four claims by the time a judge became involved, according to Lyons.

The rulings —for the most part— were a score for HTC. One patent was invalid as Apple did not have a rightful claim to it, and HTC did not infringe upon two of the other patents due to Apple apparently not implementing them into its products. In other words, Apple did not have a right to seek an injunction, because ITC injunctions can only occur if it is provable that both parties are “practicing” the patent in question, which Apple could not demonstrate against HTC…

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Google now allows for nicknames on Google+

When Google+ first launched, a good majority of people went crazy when they saw you could not use nicknames on the service. Luckily, Google is about to change that. Google’s Bradley Horowitz made a post on Google+ today, announcing that users will soon be able to add a nickname next to their full name in the coming days. You can see this modeled above with blogger Louis “Luigi” Gray.

The setting will appear under Edit Profile, where you can select your name by clicking on “More options.” It is worth noting that this will change your name across all of your Google Profiles.

For names that Google has deemed unacceptable, you can challenge it for personal use by providing the following information to the review team:

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Android Market offers free Drake, Mary J. Blige and Maroon 5 tracks for limited time

Android just announced on Google+ that new songs from artists Drake, Mary J. Blige and the band Maroon 5 are now free in Android Market for all United States users until Jan. 31. Android also reminded users that every track syncs from Android Market to their Google Music accounts, as well.

Detailed information regarding the select songs is available below.

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Twitter and Facebook engineers create ‘Don’t Be Evil’ tool to alter Google’s controversial social results

Search Engine Land pointed us to a new browser bookmarklet dubbed “Don’t Be Evil” created by Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook engineers to alter the controversial social search results displayed by Google since its most recent “Search plus Your World” update.

Earlier this month Google began rolling out the new “Search plus Your World” update to Google.com search results. The update consists of Personal results, Profiles in Search, and People and Pages, all of which provide prominent quick links to Google+ content relevant to your search query. It sparked controversy as the update arguably favors Google’s own Google+ social network over relevant social content from competitive services.

The tool is being open-sourced and available free. After performing a search, you simply click the “Don’t Be Evil” bookmarklet in your browser of choice (no IE support), and the social “Search plus Your World” results will be altered to also include content from Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Tumblr, Github, Foursquare, LinkedIn, and a hand full of others. The image above shows Google’s Search plus Your World results on the left with the altered results after clicking the “Don’t Be Evil” on the right.

You might be thinking that the tool is instead favoring websites like Facebook or Twitter, much the same way Google is accused of favoring Google+. However, the creators explained that the tool actually utilizes Google’s own search results to determine the most relevant social content to display. Search Engine Land explained exactly how it works:

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