Google announces September 15 event in India for likely launch of Android One

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Google today has started sending out invites to the media for a September 15 event in India. The invite teases that the event is for “an exciting new product announcement” and promises more details closer to the date of the event. Obviously, with it being held in India, the first thing that jumps to mind is that we will hear more details regarding Android One.

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

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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

HERE offline map app arrives on Android for the first time, initially on Samsung Galaxy phones only

here

HERE, the competitor to Google Maps initially available only on Windows Phone, has arrived on Android for the first time. Initially, the beta version of the Android app will be limited to Samsung Galaxy smartphones.

The main claim to fame of the app is that it offers the ability to download entire regions or countries for offline use, in contrast to Google Maps which only allows you to cache areas you have viewed while online. HERE maps currently cover around 200 countries, though turn-by-turn directions are so far limited to about half of these …  Read more

Project Wing is Google X’s attempt at a drone-based delivery program

Earlier this year, Amazon unveiled its plans for using drones to deliver products to customers, and now Google has revealed that it is working on something similar. According to two separate reports from The Atlantic and BBC, the secretive Google X team has been hard at work on Project Wing, a drone-based delivery system, for more than two years.

The idea of Google using drones to deliver goods is something that 9to5Google has reported on for some time now, including as far back as October of 2012, and again a few months later. Google said the following in a statement regarding Project Wing:

Project Wing is a Google[x] project that is developing a delivery system that uses self-flying vehicles. As part of our research, we built a vehicle and traveled to Queensland, Australia for some test flights. There, we successfully delivered a first aid kit, candy bars, dog treats, and water to a couple of Australian farmers.

We’re only just beginning to develop the technology to make a safe delivery system possible, but we think that there’s tremendous potential to transport goods more quickly, safely and efficiently.

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Google officially removes authorship from search results

Google Personal Search

Google has officially announced the end of authorship, a feature within search that gave users an idea of who exactly wrote the content behind the link before clicking it. Paired with a headshot, the name of the content creator was for a very long time shown alongside the number of Google+ circles he or she was in as well as a link to read more content by that author. But as of today—while headshots have been gone for a while—this feature is completely finished and links in search are back to being a bit more uniform.

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In-Depth profile of Motorola tracks its rise and fall (and future)

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If you want to learn what happened behind the scenes in the tumultuous world of Motorola in the past decade, Chicago Mag does an excellent in-depth feature of the company that is awaiting approval of its sale from Google to Lenovo. Some excellent bits:

Meanwhile, in arguably one of the worst decisions ever made by a major corporate CEO, Zander struck a deal with his Silicon Valley friend Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple. Together their companies created a Motorola iTunes phone, the first phone connected to Apple’s music store. “We can’t think of a more natural partnership than this one with Apple,” Zander said at the time. Named the Rokr, the phone launched in the fall of 2005. Jobs, who introduced it, called it “an iPod Shuffle right on your phone.”

Ouch, a Shuffle… Read more

Pandora Internet Radio lands on Google Glass

Pandora Internet Radio Google Glass

Pandora Internet Radio is the latest service to bring its product over to the Google Glass world. The music streaming service’s Glassware app came out of their Hack-a-thon from earlier in the spring, Pandora says, and was good enough to share with Google and ship.

The Pandora Radio app for Google Glass gives users access to stations with the ability to control them with voice commands or the touchpad. Pandora says the voice commands allow you to select existing stations or even create new stations. Actions including music controls like play and pause require using the touchpad; favoriting and dismissing a track also requires using the touchpad for now.

Users can find the Pandora Internet Radio app on the Google’s Glassware section, and Pandora has more instructions below: Read more

Google opens registration for ‘Right to be Forgotten’ public meetings in Madrid and Rome

googlel right to be forgotten

Just under a month ago Google shared a list of cities where it would host public meetings for the Advisory Council to Google on the Right to be Forgotten following the European Union Court of Justice decision in May that individuals have the right to request Google remove information from its search results. With the first of those public meetings scheduled for September 9th in Madrid, Google is today starting free online registration to attend the meeting.

A limited number of seats will be available for members of the public at each Council meeting. We’re opening up the online registration process today — and you can sign up for the Madrid meeting and the Rome meeting. Registration will remain open until five days before the event. There is no charge to attend.

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Rdio and Songza join T-Mobile’s Music Freedom program, Google Play Music coming soon

T-Mobile Music Freedom

T-Mobile announced a new initiative in June to offer unlimited streaming of variety of music streaming services on its mobile network without counting against customer data caps. The program, dubbed Music Freedom, supports streaming iHeartRadio, iTunesRadio, Pandora, Rhapsody, Samsung Milk, Slacker, and Spotify over T-Mobile’s network without counting towards a data cap, and today the carrier is doubling the number of supported services.

Today T-Mobile is announcing the addition of AccuRadio, Black Planet, Grooveshark, Radio Paradise, Rdio and Songza to its Music Freedom program. You may recall Google purchased Songza (for what is believed to be $15 million) in July. In addition to introducing the six new music services to the program, T-Mobile has also shared that it will be adding Google Play Music later this year after the service was voted on the most to be included. Full press release follows…
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Talking Schmidt: Know your competition, but don’t copy it

talking schmidt how google works

“Know your competition, but don’t copy it.” Those words of wisdom come from the image above accompanying a message put on the entirely original – not a copy of Facebook – Google+ by Google executive chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt. Schmidt is promoting his new book with Jonathan Rosenberg called How Google Works due out next month where the billionaire lays out the principles that made Google what it is today.

Included with the lemonade stand image and ‘don’t copy’ caption is another Schmidt line on originality and competition. “Playing catch-up with the competition will never help you get ahead by creating something new,” Schmidt says. Google would be the “hard” boozy lemonade to the competitions’ fresh lemonade. In the case of Google Plus, the booze could be the hangouts or perhaps the photo editing features or integration with other Google products.

Now picture this tidbit from Walter Isaacson’s biography of the late Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs:

“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” Jobs said. “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

It’s hard to deny that Android started looking a lot more like iOS after the iPhone’s introduction, and iOS has clearly borrowed its fair share of features from Google’s mobile operating system, but there’s no denying that Schmidt’s message could be challenged. File this one with the rest under Talking Schmidt.

Google reportedly set to launch first Android One devices in India next week

Android One

At Google I/O in June, Google announced a new line of Android One smartphones that it said would be affordable and marketed at emerging markets, such as India. The Economic Times is now reporting that Google is planning to launch its first smartphones of the Android One program as early as next week in India. The report also claims, however, that the devices will be more expensive than the initial $100 price point Google announced at I/O.

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