FTC Urges ITC to Refrain from iOS and Xbox 360 Device Bans

June 7, 2012 -

Florian Mueller, patent law expert and proprietor of the wonderful web site Foss Patents, passed along a note letting us know that the Federal Trade Commission recently sent a letter to the International Trade Commission asking the organization not to ban the sale of the iPhone, iPad or Xbox 360 related to complaints filed by Google.

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Microsoft Wins German Court Decision in Ongoing Motorola Patent Fight

May 25, 2012 -

Google suffered what some are calling a "major legal defeat" in a German court today in a patent fight with Microsoft. The court ruled in favor of Microsoft, who argued that Motorola has violated a patent related to text messaging. The ruling would allow Microsoft to pursue a ban on Android products in Germany. Motorola won a similar decision earlier in the month in a German court that would allow them to pursue a ban of Xbox 360 and Windows products, but a Washington Federal Court has forbid the company for doing so until it makes a ruling in a U.S.

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'Father of the Internet' Calls Out U.S. Government on CISPA

May 22, 2012 -

Legendary computer scientist and the man known as "the father of the Internet," Vint Cerf said during the Freedom to Connect conference in Washington on Monday that the International Telecommunications Union will become a "global Internet cop" by using a number of new tools being crafted by lawmakers. Cerf said that the ITU could push mandatory intellectual property laws as a way to strengthen web surveillance.

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Republican National Convention Gets Technical with Google+, Skype, and Kinect

April 20, 2012 -

The Republican National Convention which is scheduled to take place in Tampa, Florida, hopes to be the most "tech-savvy" in the party's history. The RNC has teamed up with Microsoft and Google to provide the technology they want to offer attendees at this year's event. Republican National Convention organizers plan to live-stream all of this year's speeches, offer Google+ "hangouts," and to find unique ways to use Microsoft's Kinect technology during the event.

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Google Co-Founder Calls Apple, Facebook 'Threats to Online Freedom'

April 16, 2012 -

Google co-founder Sergey Brin shared his "growing concern" with UK newspaper The Guardian over what he calls "very powerful forces" trying to restrict freedom on the internet. In an interview with the newspaper, Brin said that the efforts by governments and companies such as Facebook and Apple to control online activity are "scary."

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Google Reveals Latest Android Activation, App Download Numbers

February 27, 2012 -

According to Google's Mobile blog, 850,000 android devices are activated on a daily basis worldwide, and over 300 million have been activated to date. Google's SVP of mobile and digital content Andy Rubin revealed the numbers. Rubin also noted that more than 450,000 apps are now available on the Android Market, or three times the number of apps that were available last year. He also said that over 1 billion apps are downloaded every month. From the blog:

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Former Congresswoman and Lobbyist Joins Google

February 23, 2012 -

Former Republican congresswoman and lobbyist Susan Molinari has been named the head of Google’s Washington office, according to an exclusive report by Politico. The new job will put the former member of Congress of the front lines of privacy policy fights and laws legislation like SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA. The search engine giant is facing closer government scrutiny over its privacy policies and business practices.

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British MPs Argue About Google's Influence Over Copyright Policy

February 9, 2012 -

Google's ears must be ringing because the House of Commons seems to be saying its name a lot this week. Ministers in the UK are arguing over Google's supposed influence in UK copyright policy.

Pete Wishart, a Scottish MP from Perth, took to the floor earlier in the week to give online rights groups and companies like Google a piece of his mind. Ars Technica has a great news story chronicling the exchange among lawmakers. First up is MP Wishart:

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RIAA Report Card Give Google a Failing Grade

December 20, 2011 -

The RIAA has given Google bad marks for its fight against piracy in 2011, according to this Ars Technica report. One year ago Google made several promises to combat piracy on various web sites and the RIAA's report card says that those promises have not been met with swift action or progress.

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BT Sues Google over Android and More

December 19, 2011 -

According to the BBC, British telecommunications powerhouse BT has filed a lawsuit against Google, alleging that its Android mobile operating system and other services it provides infringe on six patents it holds. The lawsuit alleges that Google’s Android, Google Music, Google Maps, Google Search, Google Places, Google Offers, Google+, and Google's location-based advertising infringe on various patents it holds.

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Google Street View Shooting Game Takes a Bullet

December 14, 2011 -

While it might have been a clever use of Google's Street View (part of Google maps), Google isn't patting the developer of a first-person shooter game that used the 3D panoramic imagery from the service captured by Google. Instead they have put a bullet right between the eyes of "Google Shoot View." The game was created by Dutch digital ad agency Pool Worldwide said that it created the game to promote its unique marketing services.

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id Software Developer Explains Why Google, Apple Avoided New ESRB Ratings System

December 1, 2011 -

The ESRB and the CTIA detailed a new ratings systems for mobile games this week - backed by such companies as AT&T, Microsoft, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless. Two companies that were curiously absent from that list hold the lion's share of the market when it comes to platforms: Apple and Google.

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Google Testifies Before House Judiciary Committee on SOPA

November 16, 2011 -

This morning Pablo Chavez, Google's Director of Public Policy, posted on the Google Public Policy Blog about Google's copyright policy counsel Katherine Oyama testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on the Stop Online Piracy Act today. You can read her written and her oral testimony below. In a nutshell Google supports the concept of a SOPA-like law but does not feel comfortable with the way the current Senate bill is worded.

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Steve Jobs Vowed to Destroy Android in Authorized Biography

October 21, 2011 -

Lots of interesting tidbits are being revealed about Apple founder Steve Jobs this week - all related to interviews he conducted prior to his death for an upcoming authorized biography. A couple of the juiciest quotes relate to his animosity concerning Google's Android mobile operating system. In one interview he made a vow to spend all of Apple's $40 billion to destroy Google’s rival smartphone operating system.

Jobs told biography author Walter Isaacson that he considered Android "grand theft" of his idea for a mobile operating system.

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Google to Acquire Motorola for $12.5 Billion

August 15, 2011 -

This morning in a blog post Google CEO Larry Page said that the search giant had reached an agreement to acquire cellphone maker and electronics company Motorola for "a total of about $12.5 billion" or $40 per share in cash. Page believes that the partnership between the two companies will "create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers everywhere."

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Playing Games with Google+

August 12, 2011 -

Yesterday Google+ rolled out 16 games from various publishers to a handful of "invited" members, as the search giant continued its move to be like another social network we all know and love.

The games included Angry Birds, Bejeweled Blitz, Crime City, Bubble Island, Monster World, Diamond Dash and BioWare's Dragon Age Legends. While rival Facebook may offer thousands of games right now, Google+ hopes to differentiate itself by offering less game-related spam.

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BioWare’s Dragon Age Legends Lands on Google+

August 11, 2011 -

BioWare will be one of the first big development studios to create games for Google+, Goggle's fledgling social networking "project" that hopes to someday rival Facebook. Today BioWare announced that Dragon Age Legends, its dark fantasy Play4Free RPG is now available on the service. Developed by BioWare San Francisco, Dragon Age Legends blends tactical combat, progression and exploration in the Dragon Age universe.

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Google+ Gaming Stream Rumors Swirl

July 22, 2011 -

There's more anecdotal evidence today that Google+ will at some point support games much like Facebook. SlashGear (with the help of a tip from a reader) uncovered a help page on Google+ that refers to a "Games stream." The help section list the following:

"If you're looking for updates shared from games, check out your Games stream," reads the help page in question.

This bit of information follows a gaming reference in Google+’s source code, including APIs like “/_/games/getGameFriends”, “/_/games/getActivities” and ” /_/games/postToStream”. Earlier this year Google was searching for a Product Manager to head up something called "Games at Google."

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The Perils of Advertising Google+ on Facebook

July 19, 2011 -

Sometimes when you get too bold the powers that be give you a slap across the face. The powers that be in this case are the folks at Facebook, who taught one developer who placed a series of Google+ ads on Facebook a serious lesson. App developer Michael Lee Johnson wanted more people to add him on Google+, so he decided to create an ad and put it on Facebook. The ad featured a headshot of the developer and text asking people to join his Google+ circles.

The ad reads: "If you’re lucky enough to have a Google+ account, add Michael Lee Johnson, Internet Geek, App Developer, Technological Virtuoso."

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Android Hits 130 Million Activations

July 15, 2011 -

Google announced this week that over 130 million Android devices have now been activated since the mobile operating system launched and that more than 550,000 devices are activated every day. The announcement was made during Google's second quarter earnings call. The total activation figure is a 30 million increase over the numbers Google released in May.

The daily activation numbers are also up dramatically - from 500,000 just a few weeks ago to 550,000.

Meanwhile, analysts don't seem to be all that concerned with Google's activation numbers. According to this Apple Insider report, Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster says he is "comfortable" with Apple's position in the industry.

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Google Plays Chicken with Taiwanese Government

July 1, 2011 -

A new consumer protection law in Taiwan that requires online software retailers to offer customers a week-long free trial of any application that can be purchased via download has riled Google enough to disable Android Marketplace sales in the region. According to the government of Taiwan, Apple's App Store and Google's Android Market both violated this new policy.

While Apple complied with the new rule, Google declined. For that reason the Taiwanese government has fined Google approximately $35,000. In response to that fine, Google has disabled app purchases for Android users who live in Taiwan.

The complex and highly disparate nature of laws governing commerce around the world pose serious challenges for global software vendors. The difficulty of navigating and complying with regional legal obligations is one of the reasons why Google's Android Market isn't fully supported yet in every country.

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Google Moving Into Game Space

June 22, 2011 -

Google is looking for someone to runs a new gaming division, according to an official job posting from the search giant. The job listing seeks a Project Manager for "Games at Google," which the company describes as "a rare opportunity to grow a brand-new business." While we do not know if this new gaming venture is specific to social gaming or geared towards its Android based OS, it certainly sounds like a serious endeavor.

The job requires whoever takes it on to build a new user experience, work on partnerships with developers and foster a relationship with the gaming community.

Here's the full job listing:

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Research: The Life and Death of Apps

June 7, 2011 -

MTV Networks released the results from its "Love 'Em or Leave 'Em: Adoption, Abandonment and the App-Addled Consumer" study, which examines the life cycle of apps, from how consumers find them, and why people keep them or delete them. Culled from responses to a survey of more than 1,300 mobile app users, MTVN uncovered some interesting statistics related to the global app market.

Around 91 percent said apps expose them to new things; 87 percent said apps let them have fun no matter where they are or what they're doing; 77 percent said apps serve as personal assistants; 75 percent claim that apps give them time to relax; 73 say that apps allow time to connect and interact with family and friends; and 70 percent said apps make the rest of life better.

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Google Executive Slams New 'PROTECT IP Act' Bill

May 19, 2011 -

Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt on Wednesday proclaimed the company's strong opposition to new legislation that calls for shutting down access to file-sharing websites that offer allegedly copyrighted material. The new law proposes that the government blacklist these sites, take them offline, and demand that search providers such as Google delist them from their search indexes.

Schmidt argued that laws such as these set a very “disastrous precedent” for destroying free speech all over the world.

"If there is a law that requires DNSs [domain name systems] to do X, and it's passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the president of the United States and we disagree with it, then we would still fight it," Schmidt told reporters at a London conference. "If it's a request, the answer is we wouldn't do it. If it's a discussion, we wouldn't do it."

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Google Rolls Out Updates for Android Security Hole

May 19, 2011 -

Responding to reports that 99.7 percent of Android-based phones suffered from a security hole that made vital personal data vulnerable to hackers, Google has released an automatic fix to deal with the problem. Google is trying to assure users that no action is needed on their part.

"Today we're starting to roll out a fix which addresses a potential security flaw that could, under certain circumstances, allow a third party access to data available in calendar and contacts," said Google in a statement. "This fix requires no action from users and will roll out globally over the next few days."

The flaw was identified by Ulm University (Germany) researchers who who tested the security hole on a number of smart phones using the Android operating system. They also found that some phones sent unencrypted data, which clever hackers could "eavesdrop" on with the right tools.

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Report: 99.7 percent of Android Phones Contain Security Hole

May 18, 2011 -

A new report claims that around 99.7 percent of phones using Google's mobile operating system contain a security hole that can enable hackers to send unencrypted personal data. Mobile devices using the Android operating systems have a weakness that could allow hackers to gain "full access" to private information such as calendar, contact information, and "private web albums,” according to a research group from Germany's University of Ulm. The security hole could also give hackers the ability to view, modify or delete contacts, calendar events, and private pictures. Thankfully, the security flaw only affects individual phones.

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Google Claims 3 Billion Android Apps Installed

April 15, 2011 -

Google claims that over three billion apps have been installed on devices running its Android mobile operating system. Google made the announcement yesterday afternoon during a conference call with investors. The search giant also revealed that Android app downloads during the first three months of 2011 were up 50 percent, compared to the fourth quarter of last year.

Google added that 350,000 Android devices are activated worldwide every single day. Google said that it was performing well in the US, Japan, Korea, and Europe - but did not supply further details.

Google did not detail how many of the three billion apps were paid apps or free. While Google is certainly making progress with Android and its apps, it has a long way to go before it catches up with iOS device apps: Apple claimed ten billion app downloads in January.

Source: Edge


Kongregate CEO 'Shocked' by Android App Removal

January 20, 2011 -

Kongregate CEO Jim Greer has responded to Google pulling its Kongregate Arcade app from the Android store this week. Released yesterday, the app was on the store a few hours before Google decided to yank it without much explanation. Greer called Google's swift removal of the app "surprising," noting that he showed the app to several people at Google, and that they seemed to approve of it at the time. Greer did acknowledge that the person at Google who made the decision to yank the app had not seen it prior to its release.

"The reason for the removal," Greer said, "and we didn't find out until after it was already gone, was that they claim you can't use their app store to distribute another app store -- which is a reasonable restriction. But to us, what's really bizarre, to call [Kongregate Arcade] an 'app store' seems like a pretty extreme stretch."

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China Beware: Android Apps May Contain Trojan

December 31, 2010 -

According to security firm Lookout, a Trojan called "Gemini" has been found in multiple games purchased via "third-party Chinese app stores." Apps such as Monkey Jump 2, Sex Positions, President vs. Aliens, City Defense and Baseball Superstars 2010 are affected, though only if purchased from a "third-party Chinese App Store." The original versions of the games from the Google Android Market are clean, according to the security firm.

"Though the intent of this Trojan isn't entirely clear, the possibilities range from setting up a malicious mobile ad network to creating an Android botnet," the company said.

While infected apps have yet to show up in other regions, Lookout warns that anything is possible:

"..possible infected apps could be posted to app stores targeting US users in the future," Lookout CTO Kevin Mahaffey noted.

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Microsoft Tops The Street's 2010 Top Ten List

December 29, 2010 -

The Street has named 2010's top companies and the only company that has a direct link to gaming is Microsoft. At the top of the heap is Microsoft, who takes a few lumps for Windows 7 and its Windows Phone 7, but The Street recognizes Microsoft's dominance in the console space. The Kinect motion sensor gets an acknowledgement as well.

Here’s what The Street says about its number one pick for 2010:

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MaskedPixelanteNumber 3: Night Dive was brought to the attention of the public by a massive game recovery, and yet most of their released catalogue consists of games that other people did the hard work of getting re-released.04/17/2014 - 8:46pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 2: If Humongous Entertainment wanted their stuff on Steam, why didn't they talk to their parent company, which does have a number of games published on Steam?04/17/2014 - 8:45pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 1: When Night Dive spent the better part of a year teasing the return of true classics, having their big content dump be edutainment is kind of a kick in the stomach.04/17/2014 - 8:44pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.giantbomb.com/articles/jeff-gerstmann-heads-to-new-york-takes-questions/1100-4900/ He talks about the future games press and the games industry. It is worth your time even though it is a bit long, and stay for the QA. There are some good QA04/17/2014 - 5:28pm
IanCErm so they shouldn't sell edutainment at all? Why?04/17/2014 - 4:42pm
MaskedPixelanteNot that linkable, go onto Steam and there's stuff like Pajama Sam on the front-page, courtesy of Night Dive.04/17/2014 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenOkay, again, please, please, PLEASE get in a habit of linking to whatever you're talking about.04/17/2014 - 4:05pm
MaskedPixelanteAnother round of Night Dive teasing and promising turns out to be stupid edutainment games. Thanks for wasting all our time, guys. See you never.04/17/2014 - 3:44pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the consequences were not only foreseeable, but very likely. anyone who understood supply demand curvs knew that was going to happen. SF has been a econ/trade hub for the last hundred years.04/17/2014 - 2:45pm
Andrew EisenMixedPixelante - Would you like to expand on that?04/17/2014 - 2:43pm
MaskedPixelanteWell, I am officially done with Night Dive Studios. Unless they can bring something worthwhile back, I'm never buying another game from them.04/17/2014 - 2:29pm
PHX Corphttp://www.msnbc.com/ronan-farrow/watch/video-games-continue-to-break-the-mold-229561923638 Ronan Farrow Daily on Video games breaking the mold04/17/2014 - 2:13pm
NeenekoAh yes, because by building something nice they were just asking for people to come push them out. Consequences are protested all the time when other people are implementing them.04/17/2014 - 2:06pm
Matthew Wilsonok than they should not protest when the consequences of that choice occur.04/17/2014 - 1:06pm
NeenekoIf people want tall buildings, plenty of other cities with them. Part of freedom and markets is communities deciding what they do and do not want built in their collective space.04/17/2014 - 12:55pm
Sora-ChanI realize that they have ways getting around it, but one reason might be due to earthquakes.04/17/2014 - 4:42am
Matthew WilsonSF is a tech/ economic/ trade center it should be mostly tail building. this whole problem is because of the lack of tail buildings. How would having tail apartment buildings destroy SF? having tail buildings has not runed other cities around the US/world04/16/2014 - 10:51pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the issue is you can not build upwards anywhere in SF at the moment, and no you would not. You would bring prices to where they should have been before the market distortion. those prices are not economic or socially healthy.04/16/2014 - 10:46pm
ZippyDSMleeYou still wind up pushing people out of the non high rise aeras but tis least damage you can do all things considered.04/16/2014 - 10:26pm
ZippyDSMleeANd by mindlessly building upward you make it like every place else hurting property prices,ect,ect. You'll have to slowly segment the region into aeras where you will never build upward then alow some aeras to build upward.04/16/2014 - 10:25pm
 

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