Google’s Transparency Report shows increase in government requests

Google is out today with its latest Transparency Report where the company officially reports the number of requests it receives from government organizations to remove or hand over data. Today’s update to the report includes data for government requests from January 2012 to June 2012 and shows requests for access to user data have steadily increased.

For the United States, Google received 7,969 requests during the time period, of which 16,281 user accounts were specified. Google also explained that it sometimes received “falsified court orders asking us to remove content.”

This is the sixth time we’ve released this data, and one trend has become clear: Government surveillance is on the rise. As you can see from the graph below, government demands for user data have increased steadily since we first launched the Transparency Report. In the first half of 2012, there were 20,938 inquiries from government entities around the world. Those requests were for information about 34,614 accounts.

The report showed that requests around the world for the removal of content also continued to increase: Read more

Google’s Nexus 4 & Nexus 10 officially go on sale in the US

Update: Google appears to have sold out of initial supplies of the 16GB Nexus 4, as the model is now listed with “Notify Me”.

We told you just hours ago that Google had already sold out of the new LG Nexus 4 smartphone after officially going on sale in the U.K. this morning. Slightly ahead of the expected 9 a.m. PST launch, Google has now made both the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 tablet available to customers in the U.S. through Google Play. It’s likely the 16GB models will sell out first, but we’ll bring you updates if any models sell out.

Go to Google Play now to grab one before it’s too late. You can check our full review of the Nexus 4 here.

Nexus 4 sells out on Google Play for UK launch within 30 minutes

Google’s new Nexus 4 smartphone officially went on sale in the UK this morning with several reports indicate initial supplies of the device sold out within 30 minutes. The Register and others confirmed that both the 8GB and 16GB models of the new Nexus 4 are now listed as with a “Notify me” button instead of “Buy now.” TechCrunch reported that the 32GB model of the Nexus 10 is no longer in stock, while tweets from customers seem to point to large crowds forming for the retail launch of the device. The US launch of the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 tablet is slated for 9AM PST this morning. We’ll be bringing you updates following the launch.

Ahead of device launch, Nexus 4 bumper appears on Google Play for $20

Ahead of the Nexus 4 becoming available in the next few hours for $299, Google made a black Nexus 4 bumper available on its Google Play store this evening. Google is scant on details for the accessory, but it said it is available for $20 and allows you to “customize your Nexus 4 with a lightweight bumper case.” There is no word on when you will actually be able to purchase the bumper or when it will ship, but you can enter your email for the latest updates. Does this remind you of anything?

Additionally, the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 went on sale for Australian customers early this evening. The Nexus 4 already sold out. [Google Play]

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Final Android 4.2 update rolling out for Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 pre-release users

As part of our review of the Nexus 4, we noted there would be another update to Android before these things went final. As customers first boot the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 over the next few days, they will be required to update the device to the latest version of Android 4.2 that brings features Google has previously covered:

  • Lock screen widgets: Customize your lock screen with widgets that let you see your calendar and email, recognize music with Sound Search and more. Third-party developers can make widgets, too. Capture the moment by unlocking directly to your camera for quick photos.
  • Multi-user support: Share your tablet with friends and family, with separate customizable spaces for each person. Just turn on your tablet and tap your photo to sign in to your own homescreen, apps, email, photos and storage. Customizing your home screen is easy. Choose a wallpaper, add favorite apps and games from Google Play, create folders and arrange beautiful widgets just the way you like them – it’s as easy as drag and drop.

The update has just hit our review devices and adds the new lock screen widgets that allow users to see their calendar, email, music, and quickly open the camera. Additionally, Google said the Nexus 10 would gain multi-user support that will allow users to specifically set up their Nexus 10. These features were not available to us while we were reviewing the device last week.

A Google spokesperson confirmed that upon first boot, customers would be required to update. Eventually, Nexus 4 and 10s will come with this update pre-installed.

If you haven’t already, you should check out Photo Spheres.

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