This interactive map of the X-Men universe is my new favorite thing
How to restore your iPhone to iOS 8 and recover cell service and TouchID
Google has responded to an open letter, written by News Corp for the European Commission, which criticises the company and claims its search engine is negatively impacting news organisations.
In the original letter, News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson said Google was changing the way links are ranked and shown in its search results, which would “inevitably maximise income for Google” and “punish” small companies. Thomson argued this, alongside its handling of Android, was evidence Google now “exploit(s) its dominant market position to stifle competition.”
Today, Google responded with a ‘Dear Rupert’ blog post:
“With the Internet, people enjoy greater choice than ever before — and because the competition is just one click away online, barriers to switching are very, very low. Google is of course very popular in Europe, but we are not the gatekeeper to the web.”
The company also highlighted the different ways readers are now able to find sites and information online: going directly to sites, using publication-specific apps and using specialist search services such as Expedia and TripAdvisor.
In regards to how Google tinkers with its search ranking:
“Of course we regularly change our algorithms — we make over 500 changes a year. But these changes are all about improving the user experience, not punishing small companies. Indeed, it’s well documented that the highest-profile change to our search ranking, called ‘Panda’, actually reduced our advertising revenue.”
News Corp’s open letter was directed at the Commission as part of a long-running antitrust dispute. Google clinched a deal in February, meaning it would display results from competing services more prominently in search, but earlier this month the Commission reopened talks to try to obtain fresh concessions.
Top image credit: Adam Berry/Getty Images
The internet giant says it has put aside €600 million ($772 million) to build the new data centre, and will be its fourth location in Europe after Finland, Belgium and Ireland. Google currently has more than 10 data centres across the Americas, Europe and Asia. Indeed, its first two Asian data centres opened just last year, in Taiwan and Singapore.
Google says the new facility will create more than 1,000 jobs, with a view towards starting “initial opertions” in the first half of 2016 before becoming fully operational by the latter part of 2017.
Google actually already uses a rented data centre in Eemshaven, which it says will continue to operate after the launch of its new incarnation.
➤ Expanding our data centres in Europe [Google Blog]
Go here to see the original: Google is spending $770 million on a new data centre in the Netherlands
YouTube has revealed a new plan to invest in original content from popular creators on its platform.
In a blog post, the company outlined its existing investments in creators, such as channel partnerships, YouTube Space studios, and marketing campaigns.
“Now, we feel the time is right to make another important investment in our creators,” Alex Carloss, Head of YouTube Originals, wrote. “That’s why we’ve decided to fund new content from some of our top creators, helping them not only fulfill their creative ambitions but also deliver new material to their millions of fans on YouTube.”
Carloss acknowledged that experimenting with creators on new content will involve getting their hands dirty and making some some mistakes along the way to creating “fantastic new content” on YouTube.
➤ Investing in Creativity [YouTube blog]
Image credit: Rego Korosi / Flickr
Here is the original post: YouTube commissions original content from top creators as it tests new formats
As before, you can choose from five different bundles on Net-A-Porter that combine a set of stylish frames with some clip-on shades. All of the frames were designed by Diane von Furstenberg (DVF) and come in pastel colors such as Shiny Elderberry, Shiny Lagoon, Matte Java, Matte Ice and Shiny Ink. The shades, also designed by DVF, attach to the original Google Glass Explorer Edition frames, which presumably also come with each purchase.
Each bundle costs £1,250 with another £8 for shipping.
Mr Porter, meanwhile, is selling three frames from the Google Glass Titanium Collection. The options are called Bold, Thin and Split, mimicking traditional frame designs. Each variant will set you back £1,120 and they also come with a set of shades, which again attach to the original Explorer Edition frame.
London Fashion Week ended yesterday, so it’s the perfect time for both Google and Net-A-Porter to push these fashion-focused Glass designs. Wider availability beyond the Google Play store will also help Google expand the Glass community – which are essentially beta testers – beyond gadget aficionados. To make serious inroads in the UK, however, Google will need to make Glass available in bricks-and-mortar stores. Otherwise, it’ll likely remain a niche product.
Google has finally revealed more specific details of its new Android One program, an initiative announced earlier this year that aims to bring standardization and a better user experience to affordable Android smartphones.
Economic Times reports that Android One has launched with three local handset-makers as its initial partners: Micromax, Karbonn and Spice Mobile. The US company held an event in Mumbai today at which it revealed that the first devices will be priced upwards of 6,399 INR, that’s approximately $105.
While affordable, that price does make them more expensive than a range of truly budget Android phones, but it seems that Google is banking that a bevvy of features and a ‘premium’ approach will make them more desirable. That said, Google also said that other devices will launch at price points that are both above and below that initial price range.
Google is targeting India because smartphone penetration remains low — feature phone still account for 70 percent of all shipments — while most of the one billion-plus population uses pre-pay contracts and has a modest disposable income. Unlike China, where internet access from smartphones has just overtaken that of the PC, India has vast potential for growth.
Android One isn’t an India-only initiative, however. Economic Times interviewed Google’s Sundar Pichai before today’s launch event, and the Android chief said that the program will expand to Indonesia, Philippines and other parts of South Asia before the end of this year. It is scheduled to roll out to even more markets in 2015.
So what can customers expect from these devices?
Google is imposing more rigid controls on apps and software to help improve the general experience, and prevent fragmentation which can lead to phones falling behind on updates. Android One devices will be among the first to get the new ‘L’ Android update for, for example.
From Google’s blog post:
Android One aims to help tackle these challenges. By working closely with phone and silicon chip makers to share reference designs and select components, we’re making it easier for our partners to build phones that are not just great to use, but also affordable. They have lots of processing power, so you can get information quickly. They have high-quality front- and rear-facing cameras. And for all those pictures, along with your apps and videos, Android One phones will have expandable storage. We also added features that people in India will find particularly useful, like dual SIM cards, a replaceable battery and built-in FM radio.
In India, the phones will come with support for seven languages — including English and Hindi — with multi-lingual support for many apps. The devices will also include voice-based controls, dual-SIM support, an FM radio and other “features that people in India will find particularly useful”.
Operators will bundle data services with the devices, to help consumers get online to make the most of the phones, Economic Times also reports. The first Android One devices will go on sale in India today via the country’s three top retailers: Amazon, Snapdeal and Flipkart.
Headline image via intellectdigest.in (with permission)
Google will soon allow Android users in India to download YouTube videos and watch them offline. The announcement was made alongside its first ‘Android One’ smartphones, a new initiative designed to give users a premium, Google-driven experience at cheaper price-points.
“In (the) coming weeks much of YouTube will be available offline in India, meaning that people can store videos in the YouTube app when they are on WiFi and watch them later — a great benefit for times with a slow connection or rewatching videos without using up the data plan,” the company said.
The move is significant and should make YouTube a more attractive service in India. Not everyone has contract plans with large or unlimited data caps, and so streaming videos simply isn’t an option without incurring charges. With offline playback, Android users can store the videos from their favorite channels so they can be viewed at any time, regardless of their internet connection.
I’m sure many Android users outside of India would love this feature too – it would certainly prove useful for commutes and long-haul flights.
Top image credit: ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images
Chromebooks now support Chromecast streaming for videos stored in Google Drive
Google announces its first ‘affordable’ Android One smartphones in India, priced from $105
See the original post: YouTube for Android will soon support offline video playback in India
Google’s Street View has long since expanded its reach beyond your local avenues and thoroufares into seemingly every nook and cranny around the world. And today, the internet giant has announced a slew of new Street View imagery on Google Maps, covering the monuments and history of Ancient Egypt.
Naturally, this includes the Pyramids of Giza and the Giza Necropolis, as well as the human-lion hybrid – the Great Sphinx. Elsewhere, you’ll find the Abu Mena, Cairo Citadel and the Citadel of Qaitbay.
See the article here: Google Street View now transports you into Ancient Egypt
In a nutshell, the uber-popular app lets users upload video clips and have them automatically transformed into a slick home movie, with Magisto choosing the most compelling moments.
Now, Magisto for Android is helping its users share movies directly into Instagram. By selecting ‘Instagram Ready’ from within the ‘Movie Length’ feature, it will automatically assemble videos into 15-second-long edits ready for sharing.
Earlier this week, Magisto for iOS received a new feature called ‘Surprise Me’, which uses AI to create original videos independent of a user’s input, sorting through old content and splicing it together.
You can grab the updated Magisto for Android now.
If you know about Vandrico, it’s probably because of the company’s cool wearables database we featured earlier this year. That was just a byproduct of Vandrico’s research, however. What the company is really about is bringing wearables into the workplace.
I first met Vandrico co-founders Kenna MacKenzie and Gonzalo Tudela at last year’s Grow conference in Vancouver. At that time, the two had a general idea of what they wanted to create, but they were still far from having a fully working product. I met up with the two again at Grow (this time in Whistler) and by now, Vandrico doesn’t just have a working platform (dubbed “Canary”), but it has already signed deals with a number of large companies that are testing its products.
As Tudela told me, the idea here is to create a very flexible platform that allows businesses to deploy wearables to their employees, no matter whether that business is a mining company, utility or a small business. For the most part right now, the platform is mostly about being able to send alerts to users. Because it’s completely platform agnostic, a worker could be wearing a smartwatch, a head-mounted display like Google Glass or any other wearable.
Here is how the team described how the service could work in a mining company: Say there is an emergency in a mine and the worker is using a smartwatch (probably something more rugged than an LG G watch). An alert would go right to the watch, but besides just showing a red “emergency” screen, the watch could then also show exactly what to do next — maybe in the form of a map that leads to the nearest safe spot or a checklist for managing the emergency.
To show off how Vandrico works across platforms, the team showed me a demo that simultaneously sent an emergency alert to a smartwatch, Google Glass, a Recon Jet and, for good measure, a good old smartphone.
Most companies will probably want to deploy Vandrico’s Canary server behind their own firewalls to ensure that they can use the service internally even when their regular Internet connections are down. Canary offers a REST API, so integrating it with existing services should be pretty straightforward.
As Tudela tells me, there is a lot of excitement about wearables in the enterprise. Vandrico itself is working with the large Canadian communications company Telus, for example, to bring wearables to the workplace and one of Vandrico’s latest integrations was with Motion Metrics — a monitoring solution for the mining sector.
Here is another example for how a mining company could use the service (Vandrico being a Canadian company, the energy sector is obviously high on its list of potential users):
The enterprise is notoriously slow when it comes to adopting new technologies, but from what I’ve seen and heard in the last few months, there are many companies that are interested in at least starting some pilot projects because they see the some tangible benefits.
Read the rest here: Vandrico Wants To Become The Wearables Platform For The Workplace