Follow us on
Connect
More on TechnologyTell: Gadget News | Apple News

Google

Google Play Books adds from-device uploading in impending update
December 11, 2013 | 11:16 am

Android Police notes that Google Play Books has gotten an update that allows you to upload e-books into its cloud directly from your device, rather than being restricted to doing it only via the web site. I hadn’t realized Google Books could do cloud storage of your own e-books at all, but given that Google Play Music does cloud storage of your MP3s, I suppose I should have guessed. Need to see about trying that out. There are a few other improvements, too, like landscape mode, lower brightness settings for low-light reading, and so on. The update probably won’t...

Google Auto Awesome may be a bit too automatic
December 9, 2013 | 7:40 pm

Screenshot_2013-12-09-16-14-32How far is going too far to get consumers interested in your services? It’s a question Google must have to ask itself repeatedly. Sometimes, as with the Google+ privacy debacle of a couple years back, they get it wrong. And I ran into another possible case of it this morning. I’ve been trying out the Nexus 7 that my brother got for his 3-year-old daughter to play with. It’s a nice little machine, has Android 4.4 Kit Kat on it, and makes my Nook HD look like my Nook HD made my Zeepad look in terms of speed. I might just...

Review: Google Chromecast
December 5, 2013 | 6:11 pm

CAM00395-1I’ve had my Google Chromecast for a couple of days now. I’ve unboxed it for YouTube, and I’ve written up a lengthy review for Answers.com. To summarize, by and large, it’s a great little device. In some ways not as useful as the Roku yet (in particular, no Amazon Prime or local media streaming), in other ways it blows the little black box right out of the water. One of the Chromecast’s biggest advantages is when it comes to searching media. With the Roku, and many other devices like it, you have to plink your title into the search...

Booklamp and discoverability: Nice try, but still has serious shortcomings
November 30, 2013 | 12:14 pm

A random comment on an IRC channel today recalled my attention to Booklamp, and the Book Genome Project, which we’ve mentioned a few times in years gone by. It’s been a couple of years since it was introduced, and I decided to take another look at the site and see what it looks like. Booklamp is a means of tackling the discoverability problem: how do you find a book you might want to read in the modern world, when you might not often visit a library or even bestir yourself away from your computer? I certainly can’t fault it...

Queens library members can start borrowing tablets next week
November 15, 2013 | 4:52 pm

Nexus 7 People in Queens, N.Y. will be able to use tablets for free starting next week. Google donated 17,000 Nexus 7 tablets to the New York State Community Action Association, and Queens Library received 5,000 of those units. The library is going to lend the tablets to library card- customers starting Nov. 20. The tablets will be at seven Queens locations, and customers can borrow them for a month with the option of three renewals, according to InfoDocket. The tablets will come with pre-loaded content with educational information, resources for job searching, computer skills training, immigration and citizenship information and more. The tablets will...

Judge Chin dismisses suit over Google Books mass scanning as fair use, setting stage for appeal
November 14, 2013 | 8:26 pm

Juli already mentioned the big news of the day: Google has prevailed in the Authors Guild’s copyright case against it for scanning millions of books for its Google Books project. Judge Chin determined that Google Books constituted a fair use, granted Google’s motion for a summary judgment, and dismissed the case. But let’s look at the background a little. This ruling comes a few months after an appeals court ruled back at the beginning of July that Judge Chin needed to hold up on deciding whether the Authors Guild could claim class action status and look at the fair...

Ada’s Technical Books shows how bookstores can survive in an e-book world
November 8, 2013 | 12:39 pm

adas-booksHere’s an interesting story about a Seattle bookstore that’s moving into new quarters—the quarters used by an old Seattle bookstore that moved. Ada’s Technical Books is moving into the old Horizon Books house. The article has plenty of interesting detail about the renovations made to the old house, including adding plenty of outlets for laptop use, but the part that I found most notable was this: [Co-owner and manager Danielle] Hulton had never worked as a bookseller before, and she credits Ada's success in part to her lack of experience in the field. She sounds...

It might be smart to watch Google’s planned smartwatch
October 29, 2013 | 1:49 pm

smartwatchSmartphones already expanded into a bigger form factor with tablets, but shrinking into a smaller form factor has been giving it a little more trouble. While the Pebble e-ink smartwatch did well as a kickstarter and has been garnering good reviews, Samsung’s Galaxy Gear—a twice-as-expensive watch which only syncs with Samsung phones and whose internal battery is not sufficient to operate for even one entire day—has faced a return rate as high as 30% at Best Buy. But perhaps the best smartwatch may be yet to come. Gizmodo reports on the smartwatch that Google is developing, based on designs from a...

The Future of the Traditional Bookstore
September 11, 2013 | 2:57 pm

Here's more digital ink being spilled on this topic: what should the bookstore do? With ebooks on the rise, print on the decline and increasingly, shelf space being occupied by non-book items, what is the bookstore to do? Michael Kozlowski thinks they should be making apps, to lessen their reliance on third parties like Google and Amazon. While I think he does fine work over at GoodeReader, I have to disagree with him on this one. We don't need more apps. We don't need more ecosystems. We don't need to fragment a not-quite-settled marketplace yet with still more stuff, for two...

Android defragmentation via Google Play Services: Implications for e-books?
September 3, 2013 | 11:56 am

An excellent post by  Ron Amadeo on Ars Technica encapsulates Google's changes to software upgrade procedures and rollouts of new generations of Android. Amadeo's thesis—and while unsupported by specific comment from Google, it's pretty hard to refute—is that Google has given up on trying to dragoon all its OEMs into updating Android on their multitude of devices—often with their own in-house skins—and instead is going for incremental upgrades to the Android ecosystem through the back door. The back door in this case is Google Play Services. As Amadeo says: "It has its own silent, automatic update mechanism that the user has no control...

Google’s WIMM Labs acquisition flags prospects for wrist e-readers
August 31, 2013 | 8:56 pm

The news that Google has quietly been the owner for a year now of smartwatch startup WIMM Labs confirms the prospects for a new generation of smart wrist devices that I highlighted earlier in TeleRead. And with Samsung's Galaxy Gear wrist device now only days away from launch, it looks like this new generation will be rolling out with at least some of the devices running varieties of Android, with access—at least in principle—to the library of e-reader apps on the Google Play Store. WIMM Labs already has one device, the WIMM One, based on Android. And although this unit hardly challenges...

Google makes case for Google Books scanning as ‘transformative’ fair use
August 28, 2013 | 10:15 am

Is Google’s book scanning practice “transformative”? Google argues that it is, the Authors Guild argues that it isn’t, This could be an important part of determining whether Google scanning all those books in violation of copyright could be considered a “fair use.” It follows on the heels of the appeals court decision back in July requiring that the circuit court rule on whether Google Book Search constituted fair use before deciding if the suit warranted class action status. Google argues that its book search program was such an improvement over existing search functionality for books that its use was...