Hands-on with Samsung Galaxy Player 3.6 – from an iOS devotee

I am an Apple devotee, through and through, so much so that I have not even bothered to look elsewhere to satisfy my tech-junkie needs—and yes, that means I have never played with an Android device in my entire life.

Enter the Samsung Galaxy Player 3.6. This Gingerbread-powered media player landed in my lap earlier this week and taunted something more. Unfortunately, due to my inexperience with Android devices, I am left to compare this offering to the next best thing in my mind: the fourth-generation iPod Touch. This should not be a problem, however, as both devices compete in the same product category.

Galaxy Players 4.0 and 5.0 released in 2011 for $229 and $269, respectively, and this week the South Korean-based firm added to the PMP lineup with its Galaxy Player 3.6 for about $100 less at $150. The price is definitely more attractive, but are users just getting what they paid for? Read more to find out.

A gallery of images is below.

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Oakley talks smart eyewear, views Project Glass as an adversary

Oakley could soon give Google’s Project Glass a run for its money.

The eyewear maker told Bloomberg that it is developing technology for integrating smartphone elements into its products. The science is only in the preliminary stage, however, as Oakley’s Chief Executive Officer Colin Baden (picture, left) would not even validate plans to launch such spectacles. He did explain his company’s stance on the project, though, while detailing how the public is yearning for a heads-up display:

“As an organization, we’ve been chasing this beast since 1997,” explained Baden. “Ultimately, everything happens through your eyes, and the closer we can bring it to your eyes, the quicker the consumer is going to adopt the platform.”

Colin then described a few features he would like to see in the product, such as voice-controlled display information in conjunction with a smartphone via Bluetooth. The company actually has a few patents in place that detail its vision (available here, and pictured above). Oakley’s augmented-reality glasses would obviously not be cheap for consumers— especially because its initial target audience consists of athletes and eventually the U.S. military:

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Google could soon face big fines over iOS Safari privacy controversy in FTC investigation

In February, the story broke that Google and other advertising companies were bypassing iOS Safari’s privacy settings and continuing to track users without their consent. Google quickly disabled its code responsible for the tracking after a story from The Wall Street Journal published, and Apple then claimed it was “working to put a stop” to the issue.

Now, a new report from Mercury News claimed the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is considering whether to fine Google over the incident. The decision is expected in the next 30 days:

The Federal Trade Commission is deep into an investigation of Google’s actions in bypassing the default privacy settings of Apple’s (AAPL) Safari browser for Google users, according to sources familiar with ongoing negotiations between the company and the government… Within the next 30 days, the FTC could order the Mountain View search giant to pay an even larger fine in the Safari case than the penalty the Federal Communications Commission hit Google with Friday, say the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The report is referring to Google being recently fined $25,000 by the FCC after it allegedly “deliberately impeded and delayed” an investigation related to Street View cars. The heart of the Safari bypassing investigation is whether the company is violating a previous privacy agreement made with the FTC following controversy over the failed “Buzz” service. The report claimed Google could face up to $16,000 per violation per day for violating the agreement. Google said to Mercury News today it would “cooperate with any officials who have questions” and explained making its +1 compatible on mobile Safari created the issue:

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Google hires ex-Old Spice ad creator for its marketing team

The creative mind behind the head-turning Old Spice advertising campaign just joined the Google Creative Lab.

Wieden + Kennedy’s Iain Tait is leaving his executive creative director gig behind and opting for a role that promotes Android, Google+, Chrome, and other Google-branded services. Aside from the slue of YouTube slapstick Old Spice videos, he is also known for his advertising work at Levi’s, Coke, and Nike.

“I’m going to be an ECD at Google Creative Lab in New York,” announced Tait in a blog post. “I can’t believe that I’m leaving W+K. And I can’t believe that I’m about to join Google Creative Lab. The whole thing is kind of unbelievable.”

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HTC One X could launch as early as this week on AT&T

The HTC One X announced at MWC this year and struck reviewers as one of the best handsets out there. According to a new report this afternoon, the HTC One X is launching on AT&T within a week, with official details of the launch announced as early as tomorrow. BGR’s John Geller, who has had reliable sources in the past, said the dual-core smartphone out of Taiwan could launch less than a week after its announcement. The European version of the One X features a quad-core processor; however, the AT&T version features a dual-core processor to accommodate the LTE bands. This device looks seriously awesome: Ice Cream Sandwich, Beats audio, and HTC Sense 4.0. Yes, please.  Read more

Google Drive launching next week, according to a new report

Google Drive appearing in Google Docs during testing.

Are you ready to ditch Dropbox? According to a new report, Google’s long-rumored file storage service Google Drive is set to launch next week. The Next Web said the service is likely to launch next Tuesday, and it will provide users with 5GB of free storage. Much like Dropbox, which currently trumps the industry, users will be able to store any file on the service’s servers for access anywhere. Being Google, however, Drive will most likely also integrate throughout Android and other services—as Apple does with iCloud, though it is a bit more limited. Drive will also launch with integration into other third-party services, according to a leak from last week. We will also look out for the announcement, because we hope this not another source wrong about the launch date.

 

Google Glasses parody video depicts ‘Battlefield 5′ virtual gaming

Many Google Glasses parody videos are swirling around the Web, but two Israeli-based filmmakers decided to up the ante with a take on “Battlefield 5.”

Nadav Pessach and Uzi Mor created the video above and hosted it on the “There is a Canal” YouTube channel. It features “Battlefield 5″ in a much-idealized version of how some gamers expect Project Glass to one-day change the gaming industry. The Battlefield franchise is a series of FPS video games developed by the Swedish company EA Digital Illusions CE and published by Electronic Arts.

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Leaked video reveals Microsoft is combating Google Apps with cloud features in upcoming ‘Office 15′

A leaked video suggests Microsoft’s world-renowned productivity suite will soon feature cloud-like options in an effort to curb Google Apps’ growing market share with its alternate offering.

The 30-second promo above is hosted on YouTube by Within Windows. It emphasizes “Office 15″ as the suite’s newly re-branded name. It also focuses on the accessibility of the next iteration through remote access to documents, which is enabled by a normal sign-in procedure. The cloud options will tracks and store all of a user’s virtual papers in Microsoft’s cloud-based Sky Drive service.

Microsoft Office is dueling many cloud-based productivity suites, such as Google Apps, and it is steadily losing market share. The downward spiral even caused the once-great Word processing giant to embark on a smear campaign against Google, where it lambasted the Mountain View, Calif.-based Company as a shady advertiser with alternative motives.

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Unofficial Google+ Photographer’s Conference shines spotlight on lensmen, encourages Google+ activity

Photographer Scott Kelby is gathering 15 world-renowned photographers together for an unofficial Google+ Photographer’s Conference.

“On May 22-23, fifteen of the biggest photographers, instructors, and social media magnates on Google+ are gathering in San Francisco for the first-ever Google+ Photographer’s Conference at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (in San Francisco), “announced the Google+ Photographer’s Conference page.

The official Google+ page later reposted the conference’s announcement, but the social network clarified: “This is not an official Google event, but we are excited to see this launch! Hope you can attend.”

Registration information is below.

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Google signs up MGM to add 600 titles to YouTube and Google Play in North America

Earlier this month, Google announced an agreement with Paramount Pictures to bring over 500 new movies for rent to YouTube and Google Play. Today, Google is once again continuing its promise to beef up Hollywood content with the announcement that Metro Goldwyn Mayer signed an agreement to bring 600 titles for rent to both Google Play and YouTube for users in North America. With MGM, Google has now signed up five of the six major studios with only 20th Century Fox holding out, and the rental service on YouTube continues to roll out internationally in the United Kingdom, Japan, France, and elsewhere.

If there’s one consistent opening image moviegoers around the world know and equate with great cinema, it’s Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s Roaring Lion (a clip that has over 1 million views on YouTube). For nearly 90 years, MGM has brought some of the best and most memorable films to the silver screen. Today, through a new partnership with MGM, we’ve started adding more than 600 titles for rent to YouTube and Google Play users in the U.S. and Canada. MGM joins five of the six major studios and over ten independent movie studios, currently offering movies for rent on YouTube and Google Play.

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Google’s Marissa Mayer nominated for Walmart’s Board of Directors, says she’s ‘very excited’

Earlier today, Walmart published a press release on its corporate website announcing that Google’s Vice President of Local, Maps and Location services Marissa A. Mayer has been nominated for the company’s Board of Directors. In addition to an announcement claiming she’s “very excited” about the nomination on her Google+ page, Mayer made a full statement in the press release:

“I am very excited to be nominated for the Walmart board… I have long been a customer and admirer of the company. Walmart is an amazing story of entrepreneurship and, as one of the world’s most powerful brands, touches millions of lives every day. I look forward to contributing to Walmart’s continued growth, success, and innovation in the years to come.”

Walmart will vote to elect Mayer at its Annual Shareholders’ meeting June 1. The company’s full press release is below:
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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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