Nest team to become Google’s new money-no-object hardware designers

Google CEO Larry Page (centre) with Nest co-founders Matt Rogers amd Tony Fadell (photo: technologyreview.com)

Google CEO Larry Page (centre) with Nest co-founders Matt Rogers amd Tony Fadell (photo: technologyreview.com)

Tony Fadell and the rest of the Nest team will become Google’s “core hardware group,” working on a variety of hardware projects and given access to “as many resources as it needs,” according to an unnamed source cited by TechCrunch.

The new division will still work on hardware devices, but not necessarily thermostats or smoke detectors. In fact, Google would like Fadell to work on gadgets that make more sense for the company. Will it be a phone or a tablet? It’s unclear for now [...]

When it comes to budget, Google is willing to let the Nest team use as many resources as it needs. In other words, the company is getting serious about consumer hardware, and Motorola was just a false start …  Read more

Any data gathered by Google-owned Nest devices will be “transparent and opt-in,” says Tony Fadell

Photo: websummit.net

Photo: websummit.net

Nest CEO Tony Fadell has responded to data privacy concerns expressed after the company was acquired by Google, stating that there have not yet been any changes to the data collected by the smart thermostat and smoke detector, and that any future changes would be both transparent and opt-in.

At this point, there are no changes. The data that we collect is all about our products and improving them.

If there were ever any changes whatsoever, we would be sure to be transparent about it, number one, and number two for you to opt-in to it …  Read more

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

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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

Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer had some lovely words for former Google CEO Eric Schmidt

The August issue of Vanity Fair fully dissects “How Microsoft Lost Its Mojo,” but it also gives an interesting glimpse at how the once-reigning tech company foolishly underestimated Google.

The actual article is not online, but BetaBeat obtained a physical copy and found a little nugget buried inside that describes chief executive Steve Ballmer going on a rampage in 2004. After allegedly throwing a chair, the CEO had this to scream say about an engineer who left Microsoft for Google:

“Fucking Eric Schmidt is a fucking pussy!” Ballmer yelled, according to the court document. “I’m going to fucking bury that guy! I have done it before and I will do it again. I’m going to fucking kill Google.”

Ballmer is notorious for his emotional antics and miscalculated quotes about the competition. The video atop is a perfect demonstration of Ballmer going, well, crazy. Meanwhile, the video below shows the executive laughing about the iPhone in 2007, while dismissing its ability to handle business-oriented tasks due to its lack of a tangible keyboard.

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iHome unveils Android accessory line for smartphones and tablets

Hold on to your hats, iHome just turned Android.

The long-time iOS accessory manufacturer unveiled a new line of pocketbook-friendly Android trimmings today.

“The size of the worldwide Android audience and lack of current speaker options gives us a significant opportunity to introduce our products to a new group of consumers,” announced iHome’s Director of Marketing Evan Stein in a press release. “Our new SmartDesign products maintain the high quality and innovation that is synonymous with iHome.”

First up is the iC50 for Android smartphones. It is a $59.99 alarm/radio clock with a microUSB charging cable, stereo audio cable, and 3.5 mm plug:

Wake and sleep to radio (you can also wake to tone). Reson8® speaker chambers and EXB bass enhancement provide great sound that’s perfect for your music, games or apps. Works with iHome Sleep app (free download) to wake and sleep to your favorite music and advanced custom alarms. SmartSlide™ dock with custom micro USB cable for smartphone charging regardless of its charging port location/orientation. Also enjoy FM radio with digital tuning. A microUSB charging cable and stereo audio cable with 3.5 mm plug are included.

An image gallery is below.

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Hands-on with Samsung Galaxy Player 3.6 – from an iOS devotee

I am an Apple devotee, through and through, so much so that I have not even bothered to look elsewhere to satisfy my tech-junkie needs—and yes, that means I have never played with an Android device in my entire life.

Enter the Samsung Galaxy Player 3.6. This Gingerbread-powered media player landed in my lap earlier this week and taunted something more. Unfortunately, due to my inexperience with Android devices, I am left to compare this offering to the next best thing in my mind: the fourth-generation iPod Touch. This should not be a problem, however, as both devices compete in the same product category.

Galaxy Players 4.0 and 5.0 released in 2011 for $229 and $269, respectively, and this week the South Korean-based firm added to the PMP lineup with its Galaxy Player 3.6 for about $100 less at $150. The price is definitely more attractive, but are users just getting what they paid for? Read more to find out.

A gallery of images is below.

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