Qualcomm exec named new head of Google Fiber

3eafe52The Wall Street Journal reports that Google’s ultrafast Internet service Fiber has a new leader running the show, and not just any new leader. Dennis Kish, a former executive at semiconductor company Qualcomm, is replacing Milo Medin to head Google Fiber going forward. The Journal reports that Medlin will remain “an adviser to the Google Fiber team,” but the Google vice president will begin work on other unspecified projects.

Kish was brought in for his operational expertise and will lead Google Fiber as the high-speed Internet and television service expands to new cities.

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New Chrome for Android search feature answers questions as you type

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You’ve got questions. Chrome for Android has answers. A new experimental feature lurking inside of Mountain View’s mobile browser will attempt to address your queries as you key them into your smartphone or tablet. Similar to the answers displayed at the top of Google’s search results , this new functionality will produce a card in response to your question.

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Google launches three $100-ish Android One phones in India, more countries to follow

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Google today made good on its promise to bring high-quality affordable Android phones to developing markets with the launch of three locally-made Android One models in India, each selling for the equivalent of around $100. Each handset is made by a different Indian manufacturer, Spice with the Android One Dream UNO Mi-498, Micromax with the Canvas A1 and Karbonn the Sparkle V.

The hardware requirements for Android One devices were set by Google to deliver a good experience with the latest stock versions of Android. All three handsets are supplied with the latest KitKat 4.4.4, and Google is promising that they will receive two years of updates, starting with the Android L update …  Read more

Google: ‘Less than 2%’ of login credentials leaked today were valid

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Earlier today, a huge number of Google account usernames and passwords were leaked onto the internet via a Russian Bitcoin security forum. This afternoon, Google has officially responded to concerns about the more than 4 million supposed login credentials, saying that none of the company’s systems were breached in order to obtain the data. Furthermore, the company says that it found that “less than 2% of the username and password combinations might have worked,” and that those who were affected have been notified. Read more

Android distribution numbers updated for September, KitKat usage nears 25%

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As it does at the beginning of every month, Google this evening updated its Android distribution data to reflect a 7-day period ending on September 9th. The data shows Android 4.4 KitKat reach an all-time usage high of 24.5 percent, up from 20.6 percent last month. Jelly Bean continued its consistent decline, falling from 56.5 percent to 53.8 percent.

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EU competition regulator requesting more from Google to end longstanding antitrust case

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Google has been battling allegations of burying rival companies in its web search results while promoting its own services, such as Maps and YouTube. The search giant was close to avoiding costly fines from the European Commission, but following negative feedback from its competitors, Google will now have to take additional measures to settle this multi-year investigation.

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Google shows off winning image-recognition system, likely to assist in autonomous car efforts

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Google has shown off its winning entry in an annual computer vision challenge whose entrants include both academic institutions and industry labs, and made its work available to other researchers.

In this year’s challenge, team GoogLeNet tasks, doubling the quality on both tasks over last year’s results. The team participated with an open submission, meaning that the exact details of its approach are shared with the wider computer vision community to foster collaboration and accelerate progress in the field …

Google cites its self-driving cars as one of the obvious applications of the technology. Read more

Motorola’s long-awaited circular Moto 360 smartwatch launched, available today for $250

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Motorola has finally officially launched its much-leaked circular smartwatch, the Moto 360. Pricing has been set at $250 with a leather strap, and it goes on sale in the U.S. at noon today ET . If you want it with a silver or black metal strap, you’ll have to wait until sometime in the fall and pay $300 – or buy it today and add the metal strap later for $80 …

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Google reaches $19 million settlement with FTC over unauthorized in-app purchases by children

Google Play DevelopersAn ongoing investigation conducted by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that has accused Google — and other major tech companies — of making it too easy for children to make in-app purchases is finally set to come to a close for the Mountain View-based company.

Google has reached a settlement with the FTC that will see it pay out at least $19 million to parents billed for unauthorized in-app purchases by children. The FTC order also requires Google to change its mobile app billing practices to ensure that parental consent is properly obtained before charges are applied. Read more

Nest Protect smart smoke detector updated w/ Steam Check, Safety History, more

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Shortly after Google acquired Nest, Tony Fadell’s company behind the smart thermostat and smart smoke/carbon monoxide detector, the company ran into a patch of unrelated issues with its Nest Protect product launched months earlier with reports of false alarms from many users and an issue with the ‘wave to dismiss’ feature touted as a key benefit of the product. A soft recall later followed remotely disabling the dismiss feature after a safety bug was discovered followed by a reduced price once it went back on sale.

While the ability to motion to dismiss an alarm is still disabled as the company works toward better implementing it reliably, current and future Nest Protect owners will benefit from new features delivered through a software update for the product. Steam Check, a feature that takes advantage of the device’s humidity sensor and an advanced algorithm, now allows the Nest Protect to distinguish smoke from steam by determining the presence of moisture. Steam from hot water shouldn’t be a reason to panic, and the Nest Protect says this feature will reduce the number of false alarms for users. Read more