Google Shopping Express becomes true Amazon Prime competitor w/ $95/year memberships, new cities & more merchants

Google announced today that its rebranding its Google Shopping Express service while expanding the same day delivery service to new markets and merchants. While announcing the new shorter “Google Express” name, Google announced that the service is now available in Chicago, Boston, and Washington D.C. After first rolling out the service a year ago, it’s now accessible to more than 7 million people.

Google also noted some of the big merchants it’s added support for in recent months, including alcohol delivery in the Bay Area, making for a total of 16 new shopping options through Express: Read more

Google invests $145 million in new 82MW Southern California solar power plant

Solar-Plant

Google has agreed to invest $145 million in a 82MW solar power plant project in Kern County, California. Set on top of a former gas and oil field, the 737-acre facility will be loaded with over 248,000 SunEdison mono-crystalline solar PV modules. Once up and running, the Regulus power plant will crank out enough energy to power more than 10,000 homes.

Read more

Six reasons why Google’s autonomous car director thinks public sale is still five years away

Google_Car

Google’s self-driving cars may have notched up 700,000 accident-free miles without anyone needing to press the big red Stop button, but project director Chris Urmson’s personal deadline to have the cars on sale to the public is still five years away, reports the MIT’s Technology Review.

Most tech-heads know that the cars rely on inch-perfect modelling of the specific streets they will use, the cars unable to drive anywhere else, but the piece revealed that this is just one of the challenges ahead …  Read more

California governor signs bill requiring all smartphones to have remote killswitches by July 2015

screen-shot-2014-06-25-at-11-57-01-am

As we’ve previously covered, the state of California has been in the process of passing a bill that would require all smartphones sold within the state to come with a remote killswitch option to deter thieves. The bill was passed by the state legislature earlier this year, and today it was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, as noted by CNET.

The law goes into effect in July 2015, and will require all smartphones sold within the state to include an option for remotely disabling a stolen device. Google has already plans to meet the requirements of this law with its upcoming Android L release, but now such features will be required by law on all future Android, Windows Phone, and other handsets by default, meaning OEMs distributing older versions of Android will need to find a new solution.

Read more

Google Shopping Express’ overnight delivery now available throughout Northern California

NorCal-Zone-picker-for-blog-post-larger-map

Google Shopping Express is now overnighting purchases in Northern California. Starting today, East Bay residents in Berkeley, Concord, Danville, Dublin, Fremont, Oakland, Pleasanton, Richmond and Walnut Creek can take advantage of the search giant’s slick delivery service. Further expanding its operations, the company says that in the next few months it plans to bring Google Shopping Express’ overnight service to the California-Oregon border, Fresno and Visalia.

Read more

California close to issuing licenses to self-driving cars

http---image.motortrend.com-f-wot-google-bombed-autonomous-toyota-prius-rear-ends-vehicle-in-urban-testing-104619-60516819-Google-car-sergey-brin-larry-page-eric-schmidt

Google’s home state, California will start granting driver’s licenses to driverless cars in September. The DMV will charge $150 a pop for an autonomous car’s driving permit and will allow the self-driving vehicles to cruise public roads as long as the automobile meets the state agency’s strict requirements. California will issue licenses to autonomous vehicles if its test drivers are employed by its manufacturer and have the proper permits and documentation. The car’s driver/passenger must remain behind the wheel at all times and be ready to take over if needed. This doesn’t sound too bad, right? But here comes the boom.

Read more

California passes bill forcing smartphone makers to offer kill switch by July 2015

Android-Device-Manager-01

Bloomberg reports California’s Senate has passed a bill that will force smartphone makers like Samsung to implement “technology that would let customers remotely wipe data from their devices and render them inoperable when stolen.” Officials have been attempting to pass similar bills with no luck but have since made tweaks to the legislation removing tablets and other terms.

Under the new bill, smartphones sold in California must include the technology starting in July 2015. While the bill was passing 25-8, the margin in the Democratic-controlled Senate can change as absent members continue to enter votes. The state Assembly, also controlled by Democrats, will consider the legislation next.

Last year Apple and Google introduced new theft deterrent features just as government officials in San Francisco were increasing pressure on smartphone makers to implement such features. While Apple’s new “Activation Lock” feature requires an Apple ID and password to reactivate a stolen phone after being remotely erased/wiped by the owner, it fell short of a full-on kill switch feature that officials were hoping for and required the user to enable it. Google has since introduced similar features for Android devices.

Samsung and Google have yet to respond to comment on the bill, but an Apple spokesperson told Bloomberg the following: Read more

Google fights to have iPhone privacy case dismissed from UK courts

google-hq

Google, which was fined $22.5M by the FTC for illegal use of tracking cookies on iPhones even when the user had set Safari to reject them, is asking the UK’s High Court to reject a claim for compensation from a group of British iPhone owners, reports The Guardian.

Google is arguing that any case should be held in the U.S., and that UK courts have no jurisdiction in the matter. It also observes that a similar claim in the USA was dismissed two months ago.

Google has been called “arrogant and immoral” for arguing that a privacy claim brought by internet users in the UK should not be heard by the British legal system […]

In the first group claim brought against Google in the UK, the internet firm has insisted that the lawsuit must be brought in California, where it is based, instead of a British courtroom …  Read more

Legality of driving with Google Glass questioned as Californian woman ticketed

google-glass-ticket-640x546

The legality of driving while wearing Google Glass appears set to face its first test after Glass Explorer Cecilia Abade was ticketed by a California cop.

 A cop just stopped me and gave me a ticket for wearing Google Glass while driving!

The exact line says: Driving with Monitor visible to Driver (Google Glass). Is #GoogleGlass  illgal while driving or is this cop wrong???

Any legal advice is appreciated!! This happened in California. Do you know any other #GlassExplorers that got a similar ticket anywhere in the US?  Read more

Court docs reveal email exchange between Eric Schmidt and Steve Jobs over poaching employees

apple2_verge_super_wide
google2_verge_super_wide

Earlier this month, a U.S. District Judge in California ordered Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and others to give depositions in an ongoing private lawsuit. Employees brought on the private lawsuit alleging  “no-poach” agreements the companies entered would drive down wages. Today, new details have emerged after a request to keep court documents secrets was denied by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh.

While emails exchanged between Steve Jobs and former Palm CEO Ed Colligan have been the focus on the documents, The Verge also pointed us to emails exchange between Jobs and Google execs. Below we have an email form Jobs to Schmidt asking to put a stop to Google recruiting employees from its iPod team, as well as one where Schmidt discussed not wanting to create a paper trail: Read more

On eve of US elections, Google’s Sergey Brin makes plea to end political parties

Late last night, Google’s Sergey Brin took to his Google+ account to post his thoughts on the eve of the U.S. elections and offer a plea to the winner. Brin explained he is “dreading today’s elections,” while describing government as “a giant bonfire of partisanship”:

I must confess, I am dreading today’s elections…Not because of who might win or lose…Not because as a Californian, my vote for President will count 1/3 as much as an Alaskan (actually it won’t matter at all — I’m not in a swing state)…Not because my vote for Senate will count 1/50 as much as an Alaskan…But because no matter what the outcome, our government will still be a giant bonfire of partisanship

His request for the winner? Withdraw from any political party and govern independently:  Read more