Google reportedly planning to shutter its Glass Basecamps

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According to recent reports, Google’s Glass Basecamps are officially kicking the bucket. It started with a post on Google+ by Glass Explorer Spencer Kleyweg, who noticed that Google is no longer accepting scheduled appointments to said Glass support hubs. This apparently affects all four of the basecamps, at locations including Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and London.

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Use Google Wallet at these 14 retailers to save some cash

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Google is currently recruiting Wallet users with payouts and you can now throw deals in the mix as well. The company recently announced its new “Buy with Google” promotion, which offers discounts from a group of retailers including: B and H, Beautylish, CheapTicket, EAT24, Expedia, Fancy, JackThreads, LivingSocial, Newegg, Pose, Rue La La, Vinted USA, Sidecar Ride and Wish.

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Google rolling out Chrome OS update w/ Chromecast support in Google Drive and more

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Google has started rolling out an update to the stable channel of Chrome OS with a handful of notable enhancements.  The biggest feature for Chrome OS users is the addition of Chromecast support for media files stored in Google Drive. This means that when viewing a media file in Google Drive, a Chromecast icon will appear, allowing users to easily and quickly beam that content to their TV.

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Google reaches agreement to settle patent litigation with Apple-backed consortium Rockstar

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Google, according to a report out of Reuters, has agreed to settle all of its patent litigation with the Rockstar consortium, which consists of a variety of tech companies including Apple, Sony, BlackBerry and Microsoft. The Rockstar consortium paid $4.5 billion for Nortel Network Corporation’s huge patent portfolio in 2011, outbidding Google at the time. The Rockstar consortium originally sued Google and a handful of Android manufacturers in October of 2013, claiming that the companies infringed on seven Nortel patents.

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Google launches Contributor, a Netflix/Spotify model for crowdsourcing content creators

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Google has today launched a new platform that aims to reinvent how content creators on the Internet make money. It’s called Contributor, and it involves readers committing to a certain monthly payment of $1-3, which will in turn give visitors an ad-free browsing experience on some sites. This could potentially be a full-blown alternative to Google’s AdSense, giving publications like this one and others a new form of monetization.

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YouTube Music Awards set to return in March 2015

YouTube Music AwardsAfter a bit of a hiatus, YouTube announced today that it’s bringing back its Music Awards for a second showing. The event is set to take place sometime in March with the Google-owned company dishing out awards to recording artists selected by its viewers. In addition to having a say-so in who receives top honors, fans will also have some type of creative influence over the content being streamed. Read more

Google announces Play Store merchant support for developers in China

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Google, in its continued effort to support developers and users from all across the world, announced today that developers in China are now be able to list both free and paid apps on the Play Store. The company made the announcement via a post on the official Android Developer Blog, saying that the addition of China means that developers can now sign up to be merchants in more than 60 countries. Users in more than 130 countries can purchase apps those apps, as well.

As part of that continued effort, we’re excited to announce merchant support in China, enabling local developers to export and sell their apps to Google Play users in more than 130 countries. Chinese developers can now offer both free and paid applications through various monetization models, including in-app purchasing and subscriptions. For revenue generated on Google Play, developers will receive payment to their Chinese bank accounts via USD wire transfers.

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Google introduces ability to embed Street View images and Photospheres

Google, in a post on the Geo Developers Blog, today announced the ability for website owners to embed Street View panoramas and Photospheres within their site using an HTML snippet. Google launched this feature for Maps last year, but only today did it add support for Street View and public Photospheres.

Today, we added the ability to easily embed the Street View and Photo Sphere images you find in Google Maps and we’re also enabling the same capabilities programmatically in the Google Maps Embed API. These embeds use the new imagery viewer technology that powers Street View in the new Google Maps.

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Mozilla ditches Google as default Firefox search engine, negotiates new agreement w/ Yahoo

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Mozilla and Yahoo today announced a joint five-year “strategic” partnership that will see the Firefox browser’s default search engine change to Yahoo. Since 2004, Google has been the default search engine for Firefox, but when the agreement came to an end this year, Mozilla said that it decided to make a change.

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RelativeWave acquired by Google, makes its mobile app prototyping software free for Mac

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RelativeWave, the company behind the mobile app prototyping software Form, today announced it’s joining Google. The company made an announcement on its website noting that it will continue working on the Form app and as of today make it available for free through the Mac App Store. The app previously sold for $79. Read more