Google acquires mobile video startup Directr, adds talent to the YouTube ads team

YouTube has acquired a startup called Directr according to a post on the company’s website, as noted by the Wall Street Journal. Directr is a startup that makes two iOS apps for video creation—one focused on everyday users, and the other designed with small business marketing videos in mind.

The company says that for now, “everything you love about Directr is staying the same.” Directr’s current employees, however, will be joining the YouTube video ads team. Neither party has said how much the buyout cost yet, but Directr has confirmed that despite the change of ownership, it will continue to offer its current apps, which will now be available for free.

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Skype says free group video calling coming in the future to more platforms

Earlier this month, Microsoft-owned Skype rolled out a group video calling feature to Windows tablets. The free video calling allows for calls with up to ten people, and integrates with Skype on the desktop, which has supported group video calling since April.

Today, Skype tells us that the group video calling feature will be coming to all of its mobile platforms in the future:

We’re excited about Skype group video calling and are working to bring it to more of our platforms. In the future, we’ll be enabling group video calling for all our users across more platforms – at no cost

Unfortunately, the company could not yet provide a more specific rollout timeframe. Skype has been rapidly releasing new products over the past several months, with a major redesign of the Skype iPhone app arriving a couple of months ago.

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Verizon promo video for HTC One Remix briefly appears on YouTube

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Back in May, HTC officially unveiled the “beautifully compact” One Mini 2 phone, but with sparse details on United States availability. Early rumors pointed to the device launching in the United States on Verizon, but rebranded as the HTC One Remix. Today, Big Red seemingly confirmed the One Remix by inadvertently uploading a promo video for it to its YouTube channel. The video has since been set to private, but not without some quick eyes catching what it talked about.

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New video from Google shows how all of today’s announcements will work together

Google announced a variety of new services and products today at Google I/O, including the “L” version of Android, Android Auto, Android TV, Google Fit, and Android Wear. In an effort to help us all digest this onslaught of news, Google this evening posted a 2-minute video on YouTube showing how all of those services can seamlessly work together to make your life easier.

The video, seen above, shows a man performing daily routine, but with all of Google’s new services. He’s using an Android “L” smartphone paired with an Android Wear watch, paired with a car with Android Auto, paired with Android TV. And, of course, an obligatory cute dog. The video makes it look like it all works pretty seamlessly together. But unfortunately, we’re still quite aways away from this becoming reality.

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Google Glass can steal phone PINs from across a room

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Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Lowell have demonstrated an interesting (and slightly scary) technique for using Google Glass to detect phone PINs with 83 percent accuracy from across a room – even when the screen wasn’t visible.

The technique used applies an image-recognition algorithm that doesn’t need direct sight of the screen. Instead, it uses a reference image of the target device to detect the angle at which it’s being held, then tracks the shadows from finger taps to detect which on-screen keys are being pressed …  Read more

Tune in live to Google’s I/O press event live stream starting at 9 AM PT/12 PM ET

Google I/O starts today, and as per usual, the company is kicking things off with a huge 2-hour press event set to start at 9 AM PT. The event is said to be bringing a multitude of new products and service announcements, rumored to include the “L” version of Android, Android Wear smartwatches, a new line of “Android Silver” smartphones, a second-generation Chromebook Pixel, an “Android TV” set-top box, Project Tango tablets, and Google Glass announcements.

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OnePlus One hands-on and first impressions (Video)

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The OnePlus One is one of the most talked about devices in 2014. This budget flagship smartphone is here to take out the competition with high-end specifications that are comparable with any other top of the line device. OnePlus unveiled the device earlier this year and since then it has grabbed the attention of many consumers.

The first wave of devices are finally shipping and today we’re taking a look at the 64GB Sandstone Black model to find out what all of the hype is about. Check out our hands-on and overview video below for more information and a closer look at the OnePlus One…

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Chromecast now streaming Google+ photos & video, WatchESPN, Major League Soccer, & Crunchyroll video

Google made a big announcement today for new content arriving for users of its $35 Chromecast HDMI streaming stick. The latest additions to the lineup include the WatchESPN app, Major League Soccer via the MLS Matchday app and MLS LIVE premium services, photos and video from Google+ apps, as well as TV and video content from the Crunchyroll video service: Read more

LG teases the laser-focus camera, design, and display of the G3 (Video)

We’ve seen its unofficially official specs. We’ve seen its updated UI. We’ve even known about its announcement date (May 27th) for some time now. And now, LG is teasing its upcoming G3 flagship device with three new videos posted this morning to YouTube. The “Design” video below also gives us the best look yet of the device’s metallic-looking back, as the camera slowly pans around it. Read more

Surgeons are now streaming their craft to a global audience via Google Glass (NSFL video)

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A surgeon in the U.K. is now the first to live stream video of a surgical operation via Google Glass (via The Telegraph). The landmark surgery, which removed cancer from a 78 year-old patient’s liver and bowel, was viewed in live time by 13,000 medical students from 115 countries, and is clearly yet another example of a situation in which this innovative device doing good for humanity … Read more