Google Earth helps son locate mother after 25 years

A 30-year-old man used Google Earth to literally move mountains and find his long-lost family after nearly three decades of separation.

Saroo Brierley, 5-years-old, boarded the wrong train in 1986 and accidentally arrived in Calcutta, India. The boy found himself adopted one month later and then grew up in Australia. Roughly 25 years flew by without any way of knowing where he came from or how he could find his family.

With time, came technology. Using Google Earth, coupled with basic math to find the radius of Calcutta and the length of that fateful train ride, Brierley pinpointed his birth city.

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Official: Galaxy Nexus LTE on Sprint April 22 for $199 with $50 in your Google Wallet

It does not get more official than a corporate tweet anymore, does it?

Yes, the rumors and leaks were true, Sprint now carries the Galaxy Nexus, complete with Google Wallet, which is something Verizon blocked. As an extra bonus, Sprint customers who activate a Google Wallet account within a week of activating their Galaxy Nexus will receive the standard $10 instant credit on their Google Wallet account plus an additional $40 credit within three weeks.

The press release and fact sheet follow:

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Watch out Kindle Fire. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 2…better and cheaper (Review)

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I’ve been playing with Samsung’s newest 7 inch tablet, the Galaxy Tab 2, for the past week and can report that Samsung is making some progress on the 7-inch form factor.  In fact if it weren’t for Samsung’s own Tab 7.7 with Super AMOLED+ display (which Verizon has cornered the market on in the US), I’d say it is the best small form factor tablet you can get your hands on.  And for $249, why wouldn’t you? Here’s why: Read more

Google live streaming 2012 Republican Convention as official partner

Google is no stranger to providing resources for political events. It recently held live Google+ Hangouts with President Obama and launched the United States edition of its “Politics & Elections” website in anticipation of the 2012 elections. Today, on the Politics & Elections blog, Google announced it would “serve as the official social platform and livestream provider” for the 2012 Republican National Convention.

The blog post confirmed Google will livestream key events through YouTube from Tampa where the presidential nominating convention is set to take place. It will also host live Google+ Hangouts with Republican leaders. The convention will kick off August 27, and we will bring you links to the live streams and hangouts then.
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Low-end HTC Golf press shot leaks, verifies HTC maintains entry-level interest (photo)

An HTC Golf press image surfaced this afternoon and reaffirms the smartphone-maker has yet to finish dabbling in the low-end spectrum. 

HTC has been struggling since the second-half of last year and disappointing Q4 2011 earnings (PDF) even inspired a new handset strategy. The manufacturer previously announced it would no longer clutter the smartphone market with a sea of generic Android devices and would instead focus on the One line of high-end Android smartphones.

PocketNow dug up today’s press leak, however, which seems to contradict HTC’s claims. The website also spilled the goods as to what the upcoming Ice Cream Sandwich-powered device is packing, but keep in mind that it is currently codenamed and might end up as the “Wildfire C.”

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‘Instagram’ for Android gets 10M users in 10 days, launching service to 40M users total

The trendy photo-sharing app “Instagram” for Android debuted in the Google Play Store nearly two weeks ago and has since increased the service’s user base by 25 percent.

It took Instagram 19 months to reach 30 million iOS users, but it quickly garnered 10 million Android users in less than 10 days.

Gramfeed, a third-party user tracking website, dug into Instagram’s API to determine Mr. Valentino Elbuti (valentinoelbuti) as the 40 millionth user. He recently signed-up and already has four filtered-images posted to his account.

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YouTube will live-stream ‘Coachella 2012′ starting tonight, featuring 60 artists including Gotye


YouTube announced it is live-streaming “Coachella 2012” all weekend long on its video-sharing platform.

“Since 2001, the the Coachella Music and Arts festival has brought thousands of fans to southern California to kick off the music festival season in style.  For the second year, YouTube will be live streaming the action, with a three day broadcast of the festival, presented by State Farm,” explained Google’s Music Marketing Manager Tim Partridge on the Official YouTube Blog. 

Over 60 artists will stream during the event—from Gotye to The Black Keys. The show begins at 6:50 p.m. EST tonight on the Coachella YouTube channel. Read more

YouTube opens Partner program to everyone, monetize your content now

Up until now, only some of the most popular videos on YouTube reaching millions of viewers had the opportunity to become a member of the partner program. The privilege provided content creators the ability to monetize their videos through advertising and access  to features exclusive to partners. Starting today, YouTube is allowing anyone in 20 supported countries to instantly join the partner program by opting-in here. The only requirement is one piece of qualifying content that can be monetized.

While this is definitely a huge development for content creators looking to earn money from their YouTube videos, initially new partners will not have access to all features of current partners. For example, new partners will not have access to the custom thumbnails and banners, which are among the most popular features exclusive to partners. YouTube confirmed it is working on making these features available in the near future.

As of today, the Partner Program will roll out to everyone in the following 20 countries:

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Google Drive leak verifies name, reveals third-party integration (photo)

Google’s rumored alternative to Dropbox just got a name confirmation while suggesting third-party integration.

The Verge reported that online computing graphic tool Lucidchart implemented a link for integrating Google Drive to its control panel for automatic synchronizing to the cloud. The link quickly disappeared, but the leaked screen capture above seems to verify Google Drive’s name and a taste of what it can do.

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BBM spotted running on Android, expected to launch later this year

If you are an Android user, but are missing some of the features of the BlackBerry handsets, weep no longer. According to TechnoBuffalo, RIM’s popular BlackBerry Messenger service is set to launch for Android and iOS sometime later this year. Buffalo’s sources were able to provide a shot of the app running in an Android code debugger. Looks cool, huh? Check out another shot of BBM running after the jump. Read more