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Google may be aiming for 8.9-inch Nexus tablet

Google is planning an 8.9-inch Nexus tablet for release later this year, IHS Technology tells CNET.

The product is expected to be "high-performance," said Rhoda Alexander, director tablet and monitor research at IHS Technology in an email to CNET.

"Volume production is expected to start in July or August," she said. "The expectation is [that] this will be a lower volume product, carrying a premium price tag to support the specifications."

Alexander does not the know the pricing but said she "would not be surprised if it is higher than $299." … Read more

Despite assault on privacy, Page sees value in online openness

While Larry Page bemoans the deterioration of Internet privacy, the Google CEO also sees real benefit in more openness with medical histories.

In a rare public appearance at Wednesday's TED conference in Vancouver, Page called the US electronic surveillance programs, detailed in leaks to the media by Edward Snowden, and its lack of transparency in the matter a threat to democracy.

"For me, it's tremendously disappointing that the government sort of secretly did all these things and didn't tell us," Page said in a wide-ranging interview with Charlie Rose.

"I don't think we … Read more

Google Maps hack turns any Street View into an urban jungle

If you want to see New York as a wilderness area, you can watch the CGI makeover in "I Am Legend," or turn to the Urban Jungle Street View site. Urban Jungle takes advantage of a little-known part of Street View called depth data. This allows the positioning of objects in the correct 3D space, so it really looks like a tree is growing out of the middle of Times Square.

It can be hard to navigate around once you're in the Urban Jungle map because the usual Street View directional cues are absent. Also, everything that might look familiar is covered in vegetation. This is really more about the novelty of slathering Street View locations with greenery. It works best in locations with tall buildings, but feel free try it out on your own house.… Read more

Voice is not enough: Motion is key to Android Wear

Google and Motorola rolled out their joint vision of Android Wear, the Moto 360, and the future of wearables on Tuesday. (LG also gave us a taste of its upcoming G Watch.) Based on the few videos and all the information released for developers, it appears that Google's wearable platform is a fancy port of Google Now "cards" and voice control in a pretty spiffy, new form factor.

While this is the focus of the developer preview out this week, don't be fooled. Android Wear will be much more than just some full-faced watches that respond to speech, taps, and swipes. For the past few years now, Google has been telegraphing that it is much more interested in how we ambulate our entire bodies, not just our index fingers and vocal cords. … Read more

Facebook sees surge in mobile ad sales -- report

Google still owns the biggest slice of mobile ad sales. But Facebook is increasingly carving up more of that pie, according to eMarketer.

The two giants together snagged more than two-thirds of last year's $17.96 billion in mobile ad sales, eMarketer reported Wednesday. Mobile ad spending worldwide surged by 105 percent last year and is forecast to jump another 75 percent this year to $31.45 billion.

Google is by far still the top recipient of all that spending, grabbing 49.3 percent of mobile ad revenue last year. But that number showed a small dip from 2012 … Read more

Google Fiber copycat to deliver 1Gbps broadband in Mississippi

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that's true, Google should be very flattered by the efforts of a regional wireless provider to bring a 1Gbps fiber network to Mississippi.

C Spire is using the Google Fiber business plan that the search giant has employed in building 1 Gpbs fiber networks in Kansas City; Provo, Utah; and Austin, Texas. C Spire is using the plan as a blueprint for building its own fiber-to-the-home network that the company hopes will eventually blanket Mississippi.

For a state such as Mississippi, an ultra high-speed fiber optic network, could … Read more

Google Chromecast arrives in Europe: undercuts Apple, Roku

Google is unleashing its Chromecast video streamer in Europe today, nearly eight months after it debuted in the US. Costing just £30 ($50) in the UK or 35 euros elsewhere, it's cheaper than its competitors such as Apple TV or the Roku Streaming Stick, although currently there's less to view in Europe.

The 2-inch dongle plugs straight into an HDMI port on a TV and streams video from YouTube and Netflix along with Google's own music and movie services. In the UK, it will also support the BBC's iPlayer.

For the services it supports natively, … Read more

Glasshole heaven: Hotel offers free drink if you wear Glass

Being seen in public wearing Google Glass is a statement.

Some, though, see it as a statement that you are tone-deaf, socially blind, and congenitally self-righteous.

Casinos have banned it and one Seattle restaurant owner described Google Glass wearers as "man children stinkin' up the joint."

But now one joint has come to Glassholes' rescue. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, the Stanford Court, in San Francisco's snooty Nob Hill, is welcoming Glass wearers.

Indeed, it's not just opening its arms. It's opening its pockets, by offering a free cocktail to anyone who DOES wear Glass in its Aurea Lounge.… Read more

This is how much you get on Google's nerves

Will you just look at yourself?

You spend half your day making doltish queries of sublime technology. You can't write a coherent sentence. You have no idea how to tell if you're pregnant. You can't even pronounce Dogecoin.

That is the view Google would have of you, if Google was a regular guy.

This, though, is the second edition of College Humor's "If Google Was A Guy."

The first merely skimmed the surface of the pain an ordinary guy would have being Google.

This one introduces a vital new character: the NSA Guy.

He … Read more

How Android Wear dodges the 'Glasshole' bullet

We're still in the infancy of the age of smartwatches, but give Google credit for nudging the concept forward with its long-anticipated announcement of Android Wear.

With a little luck -- and a clever hardware design or two from Google's partners -- maybe we're about to bear witness to one of those Very Big Things that cross the tech horizon occasionally.

Maybe.

For now, all we have is a glitzy promotional video filled with a variety of bouncy, well-scrubbed -- and obviously well-heeled - folks living the bright future envisioned by Larry Page and Sergey Brin (particularly). … Read more