Leaked video shows Google-made ‘Chromebook Pixel’ with 2560 x 1700 touchscreen display?

The video above came from developer Francois Beaufort, who posted a link to the video that shows what appears to be a Google-made Chromebook with a 2,560-by-1,700-pixel display and touchscreen. The video was quickly taken down, but it was later re-posted by Android Authority.

The leaked video originated from slinky.me. It’s an agency that has apparently done earlier work with Google. CEO Victor Koch later confirmed that the company’s servers were hacked. While there isn’t any solid evidence that this is indeed a new Chromebook that Google is working on, Beaufort claimed it is now in testing and known as the “Chromebook Link.” The 2,560-by-1,700-pixel touchscreen display spec also originated from Beaufort. The video referred to the device as the “Chromebook Pixel,” and it includes the tagline “Designed by Google. Down to the last pixel.”

There is good reason to be skeptical of the video. First of all, as pointed out by Computerworld, slinky.me appears to be behind a number of other unofficial/fake videos promoting Google products (like this one for Chrome). Making things worse, CEO Victor Koch tagged Beaufort and Google cofounder Sergey Brin in his confirmation of the leak, which doesn’t seem like the type of thing a legitimate advertising company would do in the situation.

There have been rumors in the past that Google has plans for touchscreen Chromebooks to be produced in-house, but Google and Slinky have not commented on the leaked video.

Jelly Bean now running on 12 percent of Android handsets, as Gingerbread’s share drops

Screen Shot 2013-02-06 at 9.43.07 AM

Google updated its Android Dashboard yesterday to give accurate data on the distribution of each Android platform.

The pie chart above represents Android devices that accessed Google Play within a 14-day period ending Feb. 4, and it shows Gingerbread as having held the No. 1 spot at 45.4-percent. Ice Cream Sandwich came in second with 29 percent, and Jelly Bean sat at No. 1 with 12.2-percent.

Jelly Bean first crossed the 10-percent threshold last month and has continued to grow into February, while Gingerbread finally fell below the 50-percent mark in January and is steadily dropping. Ice Cream Sandwich also fell in the last four weeks, but only by .1-percent.

Go below for more pie charts and tables.

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New rumor points to March 15 unveil date for Samsung Galaxy S IV

GalaxySIV

S IV Render

Samsung plans to announce its upcoming Galaxy S IV on March 15 and begin selling the rumored smartphone in black and white variants during the second week of April, according to a new report on Wednesday.

The report, by Tech weblog SamMobile, which cited a “trusted insider,” further claimed Samsung would send invitations to the launch event after Mobile World Congress.

Adding more to the rumor pile, the S IV, dubbed “GT-I9500,” will supposedly hit Eastern Europe first, and then roll out to the entire continent and Asia by the end of April, while the rest of the world will see a May or June launch date.

As for specs, the S IV will allegedly sport, among other things, an 8-core Exynos 5 Octa CPU, 4.99-inch Super AMOLED HD display, 2GB of RAM, 13-megapixel rear-facing camera with 1080p HD videos at 30FPS, 2-megapixel front-facing camera with 720p HD video, and Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean.

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Google looking to make strategic $50M investment in Vevo to keep its high-quality music content on YouTube

Two weeks ago, we heard Google planned to invest in Vevo. Today, those rumors heat up with some specifics…

Bloomberg has the story:

Google Inc.’s YouTube is negotiating a $50 million equity investment in music video service Vevo LLC, according to two people with knowledge of the situation.
Google would own less than 10 percent of the company, giving Vevo a valuation of at least $500 million, said the people, who asked for anonymity because negotiations are still early and an agreement may not be reached.
The investment would be part of a broader contract to keep Vevo’s music videos on YouTube, the people said. Vevo, formed in 2009 by Vivendi SA’s Universal Music and Sony Corp.’s Sony Music Entertainment, and Google last year extended their existing contract until April.

Some of the most valuable (and clicked) content on YouTube is from Vevo-associated Artists. Vevo previously threatened to leave YouTube, so the investment would be to secure long-term access to the content advertised on and monetized by affiliate links to buy music.

It is also important to Google’s ecosystem to have easy and cheap access to all of Vevo’s content.

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Google launches 3D interactive ‘Oz’ Chrome experiment (Video)

9to5Google first reported last month that Google and Disney planned to launch an interactive 3D world that lets Web surfers literally find their way to the land of Oz with just the Chrome browser, and now the experiment is finally live.

Google took the upcoming Disney movie “Oz: The Great and the Powerful” and brought it to life in a full interactive, 3D browser experience without the need of additional plugins or apps. For the “Find Your Way to Oz” experiment, Google created the 3D environment with WebGL and CSS3. It also added audio effects with Web Audio API and built the photo booth and zoetrope with WebRTC’s getUserMedia feature.

Google explained the experiment’s main features on the official Google blog:

You won’t need magical powers to take a journey down the yellow brick road; just point your favorite browser to the latest Chrome Experiment, “Find Your Way to Oz.” Developed in collaboration with Disney and UNIT9 in anticipation of the upcoming film, Oz The Great and Powerful, this experiment takes you through a dusty Kansas circus and leads to a vibrant land, following in the footsteps of the Wizard himself. Like any good circus, there’s plenty to keep you entertained: compose your own music, play with a fun photo booth and create your own movie with a zoetrope. The path to Oz also involves confronting an ominous tornado; surviving it completes the journey, enabling fans of the movie to watch an exclusive unreleased clip from the film.

Folks will need an up-to-date computer with a powerful graphics cards and webcam, and preferably the Chrome browser, to enjoy the experience. Smartphone users can also visit the world with their Chrome browser on Android devices or iOS.

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Duane Reade stores to offer ‘value-added game’ assets for Google’s Ingress augmented reality game

New York City’s largest drugstore chain, Duane Reade, announced on Tuesday that it would integrate mobile game Ingress into more than 250 stores.

Google launched Ingress, a World of Warcraft-like augmented reality game, as a beta in November 2012. Google Vice President of Product Management John Hanke heads Google’s Niantic Labs, a project that explores experimental mobile-social-local applications, and he and his team developed Ingress as a follow-up endeavor to the free Android app Field Trip.

Duane Reade detailed how the integration will work and noted it plans to expand social media and digital efforts and boost customer engagement with the offering:

An Ingress logo is located on the front window of Duane Reade stores around the city signaling players of the company’s participation and the existence of a value-added game asset located inside the store. Each asset will display its own unique code, which gives players a range of resources for playing the game including energy (XM), offensive and defensive game objects (resonators, weapons, shields) and possibly media objects. Each code may be used only once, but can be shared with each player’s online community. As the game evolved, cooperation across neighborhoods, cities, and countries will be needed to achieve the ultimate victory for either faction.

Duane Reade is one of the first retail partners in New York City for Ingress. Get more details in the press release after the break.

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Samsung announces low-end Jelly Bean Galaxy Young and Galaxy Fame

Galaxy Fame                                                              Galaxy Young

Samsung today made things official for two new low-end Galaxy devices coming soon: the Samsung Galaxy Young and Galaxy Fame. Both of the devices sport familiar—and almost identical to one another—Galaxy-like designs, but the Fame provides a slightly larger display and better specs.

The Galaxy Young, which we assume is the lower priced of the two models, includes a 3.27-inch HVGA TFT display, a 1GHz processor, 4GB of onboard storage, 768MB RAM, Bluetooth 3.0, a 1,300mAh battery, and a 3-megapixel camera. The Fame, on the other hand, gets all the same specs, but it is also upgraded to a 3.5-inch display, better 5-megapixel auto focus camera, Bluetooth 4.0, and NFC.

Samsung noted that a hybrid Dual SIM variant of the devices will arrive in certain markets, but it didn’t disclose information on pricing or launch dates.

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HP unveils 14-inch Pavilion Chromebook, now available for $329

HP Pavilion 14-c01us Chromebook

We posted a leaked spec sheet late last month that showed off what appeared to be an upcoming 14-inch Chromebook from HP. HP has officially announced the new Chromebook today. While it might have a 14-inch display two inches wider than any other Chromebook, it also happens to be more expensive than Samsung’s latest offering at $329. That’s significantly more than Samsung’s latest $249 model.

HP offered up full specs on the device that is available to order through the company’s website now. Not only is the HP Pavilion 14-c01us Chromebook more expensive, it’s also heavier than Samsung’s offering at 4lbs compared to 2.5lbs. Battery life is unfortunately the same story with an approximate 4.25 hours quoted compared to the 6.5 hours Samsung’s Chromebook offers. If you can get past that, the new HP device packs in a 14-inch diagonal HD BrightView LED-backlit (1,366-by-768-pixel), 1.1GHz Intel Celeron 847 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB SATA SSD, HDMI, USB 2.0, as well as an Ethernet port.

The Samsung Chromebook has been the top-selling laptop on Amazon since it launched; Acer reported that Chromebooks make up 5-10% of US shipments; and in the first two months of 2013 Google announced two new devices from two new partners, Lenovo and HP. In the Enterprise, Google just announced 2,000 schools have deployed Chromebooks and businesses like Kaplan, Dillard’s and Quality Distribution are using Chrome devices as well.

HP’s hoping consumers will opt for the larger display, keyboard, and additional ports for the extra $80, but we’re not too excited about the battery life.

Samsung’s ‘Next Big Thing’ Superbowl commercial stars Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, LeBron James and Bob Odenkirk…but no technology

Besides some S-Pen touchups to Paul Rudd’s face done by Seth Rogen and a brief video chat with LeBron James and Bob Odenkirk, you don’t really get to see much of the technology at play here. We’re not sure this is going to win any awards, but it is amusing.

How about a 5.8-inch Foneblet?

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HTC M4 and G2 specs leak, likely to launch soon after M7

HTC's CEO holding what a appears to be an unreleased M7

HTC’s CEO holding what a appears to be an unreleased M7

This morning, the folks over at UnwiredView claimed to have a spec list of two unannounced HTC phones said to launch sometime after HTC’s Feb. 19 M7 announcement. The first phone, named the “M4″, is said to be a mid-range phone, being a step-down from the M7 and a step-up from the G2. Its specs are displayed in the chart below.

HTC_M4_specs

UnwiredView’s alleged M4 spec chart.

The chart shows the device to have a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 4.3-inch HD display, 2GB of RAM, and a 13MP camera. With phones in the ‘low’ 4-inch range nowadays light on specs, HTC seems to want to turn that around with the M4.

The second phone UnwiredView claimed to have the specs for is the G2. The G2 is a budget-phone that, if the charts are to be believed, won’t even launch with Jelly Bean but rather Ice Cream Sandwich. Since the M4 is supposedly launching with Jelly Bean, one can infer it will never get an upgrade to Jelly Bean if the G2 launches with ICS.

 

.HTC_G2_specs

While all signs point to HTC launching these two devices at MWC, UnwiredView claimed these phones won’t launch at February’s press event or MWC—but rather much after.

HTC CEO Peter Chou shows off M7 and chants with crowd at year-end banquet (Video)

HTC CEO Peter Chou is going Steve Ballmer over the company’s upcoming M7 smartphone.

The executive publicly played with the M7, as seen in the NextTV’s video clip below, and repeatedly chanted the smartphone’s name in an excited tone during the company’s year-end banquet on Friday.

“This event today is a great opportunity for testing. I was still testing it just now,” said Chou on stage, as reported by Engadget via cnYES [translated], and then he briefly pulled out both silver and black editions of the yet-to-be released smartphone.

The quality of the video isn’t too great, and the above screenshots are from the event’s projection screen, so the only obvious details about the M7 is that it is slim and sports the iconic HTC camera with two lines on the back.

The M7 doesn’t look to have a 4.7-inch display, but HTC will confirm any rumored specs when, according to HTC chairperson Cher Wang, the device launches later this month.

Check out the video below. 

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FTC recommends Google, Apple, BlackBerry, Microsoft, & app devs improve mobile privacy disclosures

Screen Shot 2013-02-01 at 10.51.38 AMThe Federal Trade Commission released a report today that recommends how owners of mobile platforms can better inform consumers about how their data is being handled. The FTC named a number of companies in its report, including: Amazon, Apple, BlackBerry, Google, and Microsoft, as well as “application (app) developers, advertising networks and analytics companies, and app developer trade associations.”

The recommendations follow the FTC updating its online child privacy law to require parental consent before collecting data from children under the age of 13. It also came as Path agreed to pay an $800,000 settlement to the FTC over last year’s privacy controversy.

In the report, titled “Mobile Privacy Disclosures, Building Trust Through Transparency,” the FTC issued a number of recommendations. The FTC recommended that all platform owners “Provide just-in-time disclosures to consumers and obtain their affirmative express consent before allowing apps to access sensitive content like geolocation.” It recommended app developers take the same measures in addition to having “a privacy policy and make sure it is easily accessible through the app stores.” The report also suggested that companies implement a ” a one-stop “dashboard” into their operating systems so consumers can easily view how their data is being handled by specific apps.

Other recommendations the FTC asked Apple and others to implement include new icons that “depict the transmission of user data” and a “Do Not Track” option for users to easily opt out of their data being sent to third parties.

“FTC staff strongly encourages companies in the mobile ecosystem to work expeditiously to implement the recommendations in this report.  Doing so likely will result in enhancing the consumer trust that is so vital to companies operating in the mobile environment.  Moving forward, as the mobile landscape evolves, the FTC will continue to closely monitor developments in this space and consider additional ways it can help businesses effectively provide privacy information to consumers,” the report states.

A full list of the recommendations made by the FTC for mobile platform owners, advertising agencies, and app developers is below:
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