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Posts tagged Google

Latest French anti-reality tantrum with ministerial Google boycott
December 12, 2013 | 2:17 pm

The incumbent left-leaning (or lurching) French administration of Francois Hollande has had another fit of pique regarding those fiendish Yankee technology behemoths. This time, instead of Amazon, it's Google's turn to suffer the Gallic foot-stamping, as Aurélie Filippetti, French Minister of Culture, boycotted the inauguration of the new Google Cultural Institute in Paris. "Despite the quality of the projects in progress, I do not want to be used to underwrite a transaction that does not take into account a number of issues we have in dealing with Google," she said, as reported in Le Monde. These are: "the question of fiscal...

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...

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...

Apple and Google: What does the Woz say?
November 4, 2013 | 2:45 pm

Apple co-founder and latter-day peripatetic tech guru Steve Wozniak pronounced, courtesy of the BBC's Click technology program, on how he thinks his old buddies at Apple should learn to share - as should Google, Samsung, and all the rest. "I wish everybody just did a lot of cross-licensing and sharing the good technology, all our products would be better, we'd go further. I do wish they were more compatible," said Woz. And obviously, the putative iWatch and wearable devices were top of his mind. "I want a full smartphone type capability on my wrist," he said. But Woz also remarked that...

Google Android numbers show Jelly Bean well ahead, small screens still leading
November 4, 2013 | 10:30 am

androidFollowing my recent piece on the advent of Google Android 4.4 Kit Kat and its optimization for older lower-spec devices, it's interesting to see that according to Google's own developer dashboard, drawing figures from the latest data snapshot in early October, smaller devices in the ''Normal" screen size range of 3 to 4 inches still dominate the installed user base at just under 80 percent of all users. Also, Jelly Bean, the latest and greatest iteration of the world's most popular mobile OS, has already made its way onto almost 50 percent of devices, with Ice Cream Sandwich taking up...

IDC Numbers Show Tablets Up One Third, iPads Stalled
November 1, 2013 | 10:16 am

idcAdding to the slew of quarterly market data, the latest issue of International Data Corporation (IDC)'s Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker showed worldwide tablet shipments up 36.7 percent on the same time last year and 7 percent on the previous quarter. And, notes IDC, "Android products once again drove much of the shipment growth in the market as iOS growth stalled and Windows tablets continued to struggle to win over consumers. With no new iPad product launches in the second or third quarter to drive volume, Apple experienced a quarter-over-quarter decline in shipments from 14.6 million in 2Q13 to 14.1 million...

Android KitKat to go down to bite size with low-end device memory footprint
October 31, 2013 | 6:09 pm

androidAndroid KitKat, the next iteration of Google's world-beating mobile OS, due any day now, looks like it could steal a lead as the OS that "you can eat between meals without ruining your appetite." According to a widely aired report by Amir Efrati on technology news site-in-waiting Jessica Lessin, based on "a confidential file that Google shared with companies that make Android devices," KitKat will be optimized to run successfully on lower-end devices, including those under the 512MB memory limit that long restricted earlier Android handsets to Froyo, Gingerbread, and the other older versions of the OS. As quoted by Efrati,...

Taxation Issue Resurfaces in UK as Politicians Make Cheap Political Capital
October 30, 2013 | 7:30 pm

taxationThe thorny issue of cross-border taxation of Amazon and similar ebook platforms in the UK has resurfaced - well, not so much resurfaced as been dragged out and paraded by The Bookseller like a suspect in a witch trial. The Bookseller quoted a report in the UK's Daily Telegraph that in fact led on shortfalls on tax exchange deals with Switzerland, although Labour MP Margaret Hodge, chair of the Public Accounts Committee, took the opportunity in her grilling of representatives of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to hit at tax legally avoided by Google, Amazon, Starbucks, and similar multinationals. Hodge urged...

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...

Ballmer balks at the Google monopoly bogey
September 23, 2013 | 2:45 pm

Steve Ballmer, the soon-to-be-ex Microsoft CEO, has been garnering quite a bit of press from his declaration before an audience of analysts that Google is a monopoly and that Microsoft is the only David left standing up to this Goliath. '"They have this incredible, amazing, dare I say monopoly that we are the only person left on the planet trying to compete with," he remarked, and added that Microsoft had already reported the issue to U.S. competition authorities. In the area of search, he's probably correct, at least in the U.S. But why was Microsoft in search in the first place?...