Watch out Amazon: Google partners with Barnes & Noble in same-day book delivery service

Google-Shopping-Express-1.0-for-iOS-Teaser-001

There will be some nervous faces in Amazon’s headquarters as Google today partners with rival booksellers Barnes & Noble to extend the Google Shopping Express service to books, reveals the New York Times.

Starting on Thursday, book buyers in Manhattan, West Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area will be able to get same-day deliveries from local Barnes & Noble stores through Google Shopping Express, Google’s fledgling online shopping and delivery service …

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Google Glass will get stereo headphones and lots of new music features demonstrated by Young Guru

In its Explorer Story: Young Guru [through Google Glass], Google shows a lot of new features of the Google Glass upgrade and expected upgrades including the hardware addition of the stereo headphones.

We discussed Google Music hidden in the XE11 update yesterday but we’re seeing the Shazam type of song recognition, and some nice translation work as well.

Can’t wait! via

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Head of Samsung Mobile leaves company, NYT reports

(via Wired.com)

(via Wired.com)

Samsung’s chief product officer for its mobile devision, Kevin Packingham, has parted ways with the company, The New York Times reports.

Packingham, a former Sprint Nextel vendor, was responsible for leading the company’s mobile team during the notably successful launches of the Samsung Galaxy S III and Galaxy S 4 Android phones on all the major US carriers. Packingham cited Samsung’s aggressive advertising campaign for the Galaxy smartphones as a key to making their respective launches successful for both Samsung and the carrier stores.

Samsung Mobile confirmed the departure to NYT:

“Kevin Packingham has departed Samsung Mobile,” said Ashley Wimberly, a Samsung Mobile spokeswoman, in a statement. “We thank Kevin for his contributions and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Details surrounding Packingham’s departure are vague at this point, and a successor to the two-year Samsung Mobile chief has yet to be announced. Read more

New York regulators crack down on fake online reviews, is Google Play next?

Google-Play-reviews

The New York Times reports that New York regulators will today announce a new initiative that aims to crackdown on fake reviews online. They’ve already reached settlement agreements with a number of companies and issued fines of around $350,000 to companies purchasing and providing fake reviews, many of which are submitted to services such as Google, Yahoo, and Yelp. Fake reviews have always been an issue for Google Play and just about every mobile app marketplace, so perhaps regulators will soon extend their investigation to mobile app stores as well.

“What we’ve found is even worse than old-fashioned false advertising,” said Eric T. Schneiderman, the New York attorney general. “When you look at a billboard, you can tell it’s a paid advertisement — but on Yelp or Citysearch, you assume you’re reading authentic consumer opinions, making this practice even more deceiving.”

Regulators found that US Coachways, one of the companies included in the investigation, had hired freelance writers to write fake reviews on Yelp and other services: Read more

Report: Samsung’s Galaxy S4 will include ‘Eye Scroll’ feature

Samsung-Smart-Stay

According to a report from The New York Times, citing ” a person who has tried the phone,” Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S4 will include a new “eye scrolling” feature that tracks the user’s eye to determine where to focus and when to scroll on the page:

The phone will track a user’s eyes to determine where to scroll, said a Samsung employee who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the news media. For example, when users read articles and their eyes reach the bottom of the page, the software will automatically scroll down to reveal the next paragraphs of text.

As noted in the report, Samsung actually filed for a trademark in Europe for “Eye Scroll” in January and again in the United States for “Samsung Eye Scroll” in February.

Apple and other companies have filed patents for similar technology that tracks the movement of a user’s eyes to zoom, scroll, and manipulate the elements on a display without physically touching it. Read more

NYTimes profiles impact of $40 Android tablet in India

The New York Times has a story today on a $40 Android-powered tablet called “Ubislate 7Ci” made by London-based Datawind. The 7-inch tablet is aimed at students in India initially, and it packs an 800-by-480-pixel touchscreen, Android 4.0.3, a 1GHz Cortex A8 processor, and 512MB of RAM, USB port, headphone jack, mic, front-facing camera, and Wi-Fi. The company sold 2.5 million of the tablets so far, and it is about to provide a 100,000 unit to the government for India’s schools:

Mr. Singh says his cost of assembly for a Ubislate is about $37, and he sells it to the Indian government for $40. He keeps the price low by using Google’s free Android operating system and cheap semiconductors found in low-end cellphones. In addition, he says, his company figured out how to make its own touch panel to fit behind the liquid crystal display screen. The LCD is still manufactured by an outside company.

The tablet’s performance looks to be half-decent for the price tag from the video demo below. That is if you can get past its ad-supported apps. However, with recent rumors of a $99 Nexus tablet, we can only imagine what kind of an impact a $50 Nexus 7 could have. According to Gartner, it might be just a year or two before that is a reality.
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