Google adds song lyrics to Knowledge Graph search results

magic lyrics - Google Search 2014-12-22 11-30-32

Every once in a while, we get a new feature added to Google’s Knowledge Graph (the smart results that appear at the top of the search page). Today, Google has added the handy ability to see results for song lyrics right on the search page (via TechCrunch), meaning that websites focusing solely on providing lyrics and fighting for the top of Google’s results in this category might see a bit of a downturn in traffic…

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Google goes on offense, takes Project Goliath main player Jim Hood to court

Project Goliath Mississippi Google lawsuit

The story of Goliath continues today, and this time it looks like Google is going on the offensive. The Verge is reporting that Google has today filed a lawsuit against one Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood, who has largely been at the center of the Goliath controversy. He has recently been facing scrutiny over his deep involvement with the MPAA’s efforts to take a stand against Google, and now Google is taking a stand of its own.

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Google News withdrawal from Spain bites traffic to newspaper sites, traffic down 10-15%

spain-external

Spanish newspaper websites have seen their web traffic drop by an average of 10-15% after a law they lobbied for drove Google News out of the country. The figures were shared with GigaOM by web analytics company Chartbeat, which tracks around 50 Spanish news sites.

The law required Google to pay a fee for every story excerpt it displayed in search results, leading to the company – which generates no income from the ad-free Google News service – to close the service in Spain. Publishers clearly realized the implications right away, making a forlorn plea for the Spanish government to somehow ‘force’ Google to re-open the service …  Read more

Google brings Songza’s Concierge playlists to the UK

google-play-songza

One area in which Google Play Music has continually been lacking is its support for listeners outside of the United States. International use with Google Play Music got a little better tonight, however, as Google has revealed that it is bringing its Songza-powered automated playlist generation feature to listeners in the UK (via TechCrunch).

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Upcoming 2.3 Pebble update brings actionable Android Wear notifications and more

2014-12-16 12_18_06-Pebble – Lights, Smartwatch, Action_ Android Wear notifications come to Pebble (

Pebble users have been left in the dust this year as Android Wear has taken hold over the smartwatch market–and offered some functionality that Pebble and other companies haven’t yet implemented. Today, Pebble has announced that they’re taking a step toward bringing their smartwatch offerings up to par with Wear, showing off a new upcoming software update that’s going to add actionable notifications and slew of other great features.

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Google and Verizon enter into patent agreement to avoid future litigation and thwart patent trolls

Google Logo

Google and Verizon announced on Tuesday that they have entered into a long-term patent cross-licensing agreement to “reduce the risk” of future litigation (via VentureBeat). Both companies expressed interest in reaching similar agreements with other large tech companies in an effort to thwart patent trolls that assert their patents in the courtroom in an effort to pad their pockets. Read more

Google preparing to jump into online commerce with ‘buy now’ button

Google-Shopping-Nov-2013

Google is preparing to take on commerce giant Amazon by incorporating a “buy now” button into its shopping search results, the Wall Street Journal reported today. The results currently rely on links to third-party retailers, but the Mountain View search company is apparently looking to integrate itself a little deeper into the checkout process.

Unlike Amazon, Google doesn’t plan to maintain its own warehouses, stock products, or handle any sales itself. Instead, it will create a system for consumers to buy products from third-parties using Google Shopping as an intermediary service.

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Google could face €15 million fine for violating Dutch privacy legislation

Google

Dutch privacy watchdog group CBP has threatened Google with up to a €15 million fine for violating Dutch privacy legislation. According to DutchNews, the issue stems from Google collecting personal information about users from Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, and search results and combining the data into one profile for more effective targeted advertising. Read more

Spanish newspapers drive Google News out of Spain, then ask Government to force it to return

Google's Madrid offices

Google’s Madrid offices

Most newspapers were slow to get the hang of the Internet, and Spanish ones more than most, it appears. After successfully lobbying for a law which would force Google to pay them every time it quoted even the smallest excerpt of a story in its Google News search results, Google responded by closing the service in Spain.

Belatedly realising they will now be missing out on all the traffic Google used to drive to their websites, the Spanish newspaper publishers’ association AEDE is asking the government to force Google to re-open the service, reports The Spain Report …  Read more

Google announces plans to sunset its Earth API

google_earth

Google today announced that it is sunsetting the Google Earth API. The company says its reasoning for shutting the API is that both Firefox and its own Chrome browser are removing support for Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface plugins due to security reasons. A lack of cross-platform support, specifically on mobile devices, also contributed to the decision to shutter the Earth API.

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Google iOS app updated w/ Material Design, Street View integration, more

Google is rolling out a completely redesigned version of its iPhone and iPad app with its Material Design look and feel right down to the app icon.

The latest version of the search app now presents a bottom navigation bar (which can slide out of view) that presents a persistent Google button for searching for new information. The navigation bar also offers a button for quickly accessing recent search pages, something that feels similar to multitasking between apps on Android.

Also notable as part of the redesign is the optimization searching for photos has received. In the latest version of Google’s iOS app, image results now take on a full-screen, mosaic look for presenting larger results. The update also packs in deep Google Maps integration for location searches including support for Google Street View right in the app for iPhone users. You can read the full change log below: Read more