30-second smartphone charge demonstrated using biological semiconductors

I’d find this video hard to believe were it not for its credentials. The WSJ reports that StoreDot, the start-up behind the technology, has its background in the Nanotechnology department of Tel Aviv University, and it’s been demonstrated at Microsoft’s Think Next conference.

Ultra-fast battery charging has been seen before, but using special (and not very portable) battery technology. This system charges batteries compact enough for smartphones. It’s demonstrated here with a Samsung Galaxy S3, but the company says that it plans to make versions for other phones …  Read more

Google adds sports scores, weather, and more editors’ picks to Google News

Google-News-weather

Google-News-Sports-ScoresGoogle announced today on the official Google News blog that it’s rolling out new features for Google News users including an expanded 4-day weather section built into the right side of the homepage, more Editors’ Picks throughout various News sections, and sports scores:

For avid sports fans, a newly introduced “Sports Scores” section on the News homepage and the Sports page will give a snapshot of live, recently concluded and imminent sporting activity. From this summary, it’s easy to dive in further and do things like click on a score for details of the match or on a specific team to get recent news about it. The section is customizable; for example, if you prefer not to see hockey scores, you can turn hockey ‘off’ while keeping the other sports ‘on’. You can also remove the entire section if you prefer. At the outset, we’re launching in the US, with the big four sporting organizations covering basketball, football, baseball and hockey. Over time, this section will expand to other countries and sports. Stay tuned.

Google notes that the new weather section will automatically adjust to your current location and it is now including more Editors’ Picks sections across Technology and Business pages instead of just on the News homepage.  Read more

Talking Schmidt: “Google is a capitalist country … company”

Google's Eric Schmidt in Burma

In the fifth installment of our continuing series Talking Schmidt we bring you the most insightful lines from Google Chairman Eric Schmidt.

Schmidt, who is promoting his new book The New Digital Age with his coauthor Jared Cohen, responded to UK politician Ed Miliband’s call for “responsible capitalism” earlier this week.

He reminded Miliband that Google is a country… ahem, company powered by profit and projects like wearable computing and self-driving cars better serve Google than forfeiting more of its profits to various governments.

“Google is a capitalist country … company,” he corrected himself, to laughter from the audience. “It’s easy to say you would like us to have to have less profits and have that somewhere else. We will comply with the letter of the law, but we’re trying to avoid being doubly and triply taxes, which would prevent us investing in some of the wilder things we do.”

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Samsung hints at Galaxy S4 software update to address storage discrepancies

Samsung has received criticism for the amount of storage its flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone allows users to access out of the box, but CNET reports that Samsung may be considering ways it could optimize the operating system and free up more space for users.

Samsung’s Galaxy S4 smartphone runs a custom variant of Android, which allows the company to include features not on other Android phones including Google’s own Nexus phones, but the feature-heavy OS comes at the cost of using half the capacity on a 16GB device.

We’re quite fond of the software featured on the Galaxy S4 as it allows it to stand out from other comparable smartphones, and the Galaxy S4 allows users to add to its storage with microSD cards which you can buy for less than 10 bucks in many cases, something the Apple iPhone and HTC One compromise on for design.

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Talking Schmidt: Don’t Be Evil is “the stupidest rule ever”

(Businessweek / Peg Korpinski)

(Businessweek / Peg Korpinski)

In our continuing series Talking Schmidt we bring you the most insightful lines from Google Chairman Eric Schmidt.

Schmidt, who is promoting his new book The New Digital Age, spoke with NPR over the weekend on the Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! program in a rather lighthearted appearance.

NPR host Peter Sagal asked the executive chairman how much Google knew about its users at the top of show, which prompted Schmidt to admit, “Well, as much as you’ll let us know.”

Schmidt also mentioned that the company really doesn’t quite know the definition of evil, from its famous slogan “Don’t Be Evil,” and that he thought it was “the stupidest rule ever” when he joined the company.

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Full video of Eric Schmidt conversation at D: Dive into Mobile

We brought you the best quotes here:

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt talks Android activations, Chinese government, social change, and privacy

Check out the full video via AllthingsD Read more

Deal: Get a 14-inch HP Chromebook for $205 shipped ($75 off) at Staples

From 9to5Toys.com:

We don’t normally see Google Chromebooks on sale but today at Staples, HP’s version is a whopping $75 off putting it near the price of the much smaller ARM Samsung 550s.

Not only is the HP Pavilion 14-c01us Chromebook more expensive, it’s also heavier than Samsung’s offering at 4lbs compared to 2.5lbs. Battery life is unfortunately the same story with an approximate 4.25 hours quoted compared to the 6.5 hours Samsung’s Chromebook offers. If you can get past that, the new HP device packs in a 14-inch diagonal HD BrightView LED-backlit (1,366-by-768-pixel), 1.1GHz Intel Celeron 847 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB SATA SSD, HDMI, USB 2.0, as well as an Ethernet port.

Staples is offering the HP Pavilion Intel Celeron 847 14″ Chromebook for $330.  Enter the coupon code: 45582 and get an additional $75 off at checkout making the total only $255 before tax with free shipping. (Expiring Soon)

Update: Throw in another $50 via rebate to get it down to $205.

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Following Google, AT&T announces plans for 1 gigabit per second network in Austin, Texas

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 2.20.49 PM

Following Google’s announcement that it will bring its speedy Google Fiber network to Austin, Texas, in mid-2014, AT&T has created competition by announcing it plans to bring fiber-optic internet connectivity to the Lone Star state as well.

Today, AT&T announced that in conjunction with its previously announced Project VIP expansion of broadband access, it is prepared to build an advanced fiber optic infrastructure in Austin, Texas, capable of delivering speeds up to 1 gigabit per second.  AT&T’s expanded fiber plans in Austin anticipate it will be granted the same terms and conditions as Google on issues such as geographic scope of offerings, rights of way, permitting, state licenses and any investment incentives. This expanded investment is not expected to materially alter AT&T’s anticipated 2013 capital expenditures.

AT&T says it believes it will be granted the same privileges as Google in this regard. The full press release is available below:

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Review: 7 days with the $199 Nexus 7 – Serendipity


First hands on at I/O

Make no mistake; the Nexus 7 is a game changer. Google has. hit. it. out. of. the. park. this time. I have no doubt that Google’s first Nexus Tablet will be the best-selling 7-inch tablet this summer and might actually give the iPad a run for its money if marketed well and in enough places.

Frankly, as did many in the audience at Google I/O, I knew a lot of what was coming beforehand. A 7-inch Jellybean tablet from Asus was rumored for months. The devil is in the details, however…

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Oakley talks smart eyewear, views Project Glass as an adversary

Oakley could soon give Google’s Project Glass a run for its money.

The eyewear maker told Bloomberg that it is developing technology for integrating smartphone elements into its products. The science is only in the preliminary stage, however, as Oakley’s Chief Executive Officer Colin Baden (picture, left) would not even validate plans to launch such spectacles. He did explain his company’s stance on the project, though, while detailing how the public is yearning for a heads-up display:

“As an organization, we’ve been chasing this beast since 1997,” explained Baden. “Ultimately, everything happens through your eyes, and the closer we can bring it to your eyes, the quicker the consumer is going to adopt the platform.”

Colin then described a few features he would like to see in the product, such as voice-controlled display information in conjunction with a smartphone via Bluetooth. The company actually has a few patents in place that detail its vision (available here, and pictured above). Oakley’s augmented-reality glasses would obviously not be cheap for consumers— especially because its initial target audience consists of athletes and eventually the U.S. military:

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