Archive for the 'google' Category



With 1M Sold In The Last Quarter, Google’s Chromebooks Are A Hit With Schools

Saturday 19 July 2014 @ 8:00 am
black-white-chromebook During its earnings call this week, Google announced that it — and its partners — sold a million Chromebooks to schools in the last quarter. Overall PC sales worldwide were about 76 million in the last quarter, according to Gartner’s latest numbers, so a million Chromebook sales just to the education market is a pretty good number. Read More



Google & Apple: ‘If you charge for in-app goodies, you can no longer call your app free’

Friday 18 July 2014 @ 11:42 am
Google & Apple: ‘If you charge for in-app goodies, you can no longer call your app free’

Looks like Google and Apple are finally responding to pressure around changing the way they deal with games that offer in-app purchases — thanks to some nudging from the European Commission, of course.

The EU asked both tech giants to change how they sell these game apps, specifically after receiving a ton of complaints from parents who likely had to pay hefty bills to Google Play and iTunes because their kids accidentally purchased all the things in Farm Heroes Saga. Or something like that.

One of the primary complaints was that games with in-app purchases shouldn’t be offered as “free” to download because they aren’t, in fact, really free. Google is already on top of this part of the EU’s requests. It will no longer label games with in-app purchases as free in the Google Play store.

The EU’s other requests involved not “directly exhorting” kids to make in-app purchases, providing complete contact information, and making payment arrangements completely clear. Google agreed to create guidelines for games that fall into this category so kids will no longer be encouraged to buy things without their parents’ permission.

Though Apple has agreed to address these issues, it hasn’t as of yet provided a timeline to do so. Previously, Apple was required to add alerts in iOS 7.1 that notify people prior to an in-app purchase. It was also forced to comply with an FCC order to refund $32.5 million to parents whose children made unauthorized in-app purchases.

Apple did offer a statement following the EU’s remarks indicating it has “incredibly easy to use” parental controls already in place. It’s also taken steps to make any game offering in-app purchases “clearly marked.” Apple also points out the Kids Section of the App Store has greater protections since the apps are created for those under 13 years of age in mind.

One interesting point is that Apple is planning on adding a new feature called “Ask to Buy” to iOS 8, which will give parents greater control over what their children can and cannot buy in the App Store.

via Engadget


Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 2.00.11 PMGamesBeat 2014 — VentureBeat’s sixth annual event on disruption in the video game market — is coming up on Sept 15-16 in San Francisco. Purchase one of the first 50 tickets and save $400!


Apple designs and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company's best-known hardware products include the Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Apple software includes t... read more »

Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major glob... read more »











Google shows off Project Athena, a preview of Chrome OS’s future look

Friday 18 July 2014 @ 11:33 am
Google shows off Project Athena, a preview of Chrome OS’s future look
Image Credit: Francois Beaufort

Attention Chrome fans: Chrome OS will be getting a new look soon.

A current Google Chromium OS project named Athena will eventually become the new Chrome OS user experience, according to screenshots Google employee François Beaufort shared on Google+.

The new design has a stacked windows interface similar to the Chrome browser’s tabs on Android. Although the team is currently working on it, Beaufort shared instructions for people who want to take a look at the new design in the Chromium source code. Chromium is the open source project through which Google shares all of its Chrome development.

Traces of Athena and a new interface popped up in the Chromium source code in mid-June, although Google didn’t publicly say anything about the project until now.

via 9to5Google



Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major glob... read more »











Announcing our next trio of speakers for GamesBeat 2014: a store guy, a broadcaster, and a reporter

Friday 18 July 2014 @ 9:00 am
Announcing our next trio of speakers for GamesBeat 2014: a store guy, a broadcaster, and a reporter

Above: Bob Meese of Google Play

Image Credit: Google

We’re pleased to announce today more must-see speakers for GamesBeat 2014, our game-industry conference that takes place Sept. 15 and Sept. 16 at the Parc 55 Wyndham Hotel in San Francisco.

Our next speakers include:

Bob Meese, global head of games business development for Google Play, Google’s app store for Android apps and games. Meese’s team works with mobile games developers worldwide to help them grow their businesses on Android and works closely with product teams to influence development of key areas including payments, distribution, discovery, and engagement. Prior to joining Google Play, Meese spent four years on Google’s New Business Development team, focused on launching new gaming platforms on Chrome and Google+, as well as new ad formats across mobile, web, and TV.

Meese will talk in a fireside chat dubbed “Mobile Momentum and Google Play.” Mobile has seen explosive growth across the country and across the world, and games play a critical role. With Android accounting for 62 percent of the mobile device market, the opportunity is massive for game developers. I will moderate the session.

Jonathan Simpson-Bint, chief revenue officer of Twitch

Above: Jonathan Simpson-Bint, chief revenue officer of Twitch

Image Credit: Twitch

Jonathan Simpson-Bint, chief revenue officer of Twitch, the livestreaming and game community platform that has more than 50 million users a month. Simpson-Bint joined Twitch in September 2011, handling tasks such as in-game integration and the creation of the Twitch Media Group. He previously was president of Future US where he launched a number of successful game magazines such as Next Generation and PSM: 100% Independent PlayStation Magazine, plus the portals IGN.com and DailyRadar.com. Simpson-Bint will do a fireside chat at our event.

Malathi Nayak of Reuters

Above: Malathi Nayak of Reuters

Image Credit: Reuters

Malathi Nayak, a reporter for Reuters in San Francisco. She reports on the video game industry and consumer technology, writing about companies such as King, Zynga, Electronic Arts, and Activision Blizzard. She previously covered the White House and Capitol Hill for Reuters in Washington, D.C. She will be a moderator at GamesBeat 2014.


We’ll cover the full spectrum of gaming at our sixth annual GamesBeat event. The conference gathers the top executives, investors, analysts, journalists, and entrepreneurs from the industry to explore the latest trends and monetization opportunities.

GamesBeat editor-in-chief Dan “Shoe” Hsu and I will once again serve as masters of ceremonies. Our theme for 2014 is “Total World Domination.” Gaming is competing on the world stage to become the dominant medium for entertainment. Will it succeed? And will blockbusters dominate the game business across all platforms – consoles, PCs, mobile, and online – or will diversity thrive as indies stay strong?

If you purchase one of the first 50 tickets, you can get up to $400 off the event.

Our previously announced speakers include:

  • Lucy Bradshaw, senior vice president of the Maxis label at Electronic Arts
  • Rachel Franklin, the general manager of The Sims Studio at EA
  • Rick Thompson, the chairman of Signia Ventures
  • Chris DeWolfe, the chief executive of SGN
  • Phil Sanderson, a game-savvy partner at IDG Ventures
  • Peter Levin, the president of interactive ventures and games at Lionsgate, the film studio that made The Hunger Games and Divergent
  • Mike Gallagher, the president and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association
  • Jens Begemann, the chief executive of German social mobile game publisher Wooga
  • Mitch Lasky, a general partner at Benchmark and an investor in Riot Games and Natural Motion
  • John Riccitiello, a gaming investor and the former CEO of Electronic Arts
  • Evan Hirsch, the founder of Engine Co. No. 4 (talking about seeing signs of trouble in game studios)
  • Alisa Chumachenko, the CEO of Moscow-based mobile game maker Game Insight
  • Tim Chang, the managing director at the Mayfield Fund

Our advisers include:

  • Brock Pierce, the managing director of the Clearstone Global Fund
  • Eric Goldberg, the managing director of Crossover Technologies
  • Michael Chang, the managing director of Mavent Partners
  • Tim Chang

We’ll roll out a steady drumbeat of speakers as we get closer to the event. We expect to have about 100 speakers.

Each year, GamesBeat follows a big trend. In 2009, we focused on how “All The World’s a Game” with the explosion of games on the global stage. In 2010, GamesBeat@GDC focused on “Disruption 2.0.” In 2011, our theme was “Mobile Games Level Up,” focusing on the busy intersection of games and mobile technology. In 2012, we explored the Crossover Era, defined by the time when so many big game companies and startups were transforming themselves by expanding from one market to the next. Last year, we talked about the Battle Royale as barriers between the different industry segments came down. Now, in the bid for Total World Domination, the competition to become the biggest global gaming company is wide open.

As game companies adapt to change, we’re witnessing disruption, change, consolidation, innovation, and the arrival of big money. Billions of dollars that are at stake. Last year, more than 550 notables from throughout the game industry – social, mobile, online, PC, and console — attended the event. Please join us.

This year, we’ll see the return of our contest for the best gaming startup. The attention that these startups get for speaking onstage and winning the event is invaluable. An all-star panel of judges will pick the most promising game startup, based on freshness, innovation, and potential for business success. The top nominees will appear onstage, and the judges will pick the winner at the event.

We are still exploring our subthemes for the event and welcome your suggestions. If you’d like to sponsor, please send an email to [email protected]

Here’s what a couple of game-industry leaders said about last year’s event:

“Thanks for the contributions GamesBeat has made for this industry.” –Bing Gordon, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

“It’s really refreshing listening to the cutting-edge innovation that is happening in the industry. I’m learning so much by being here.” -- Mike Gallagher, the president of the Entertainment Software Association

Purchase one of the first 50 tickets and save $400!


Thanks to the following industry leaders for supporting GamesBeat 2014: NativeX as Corporate Partner; Tapjoy and SupersonicAds as Gold Partner; SponsorPay, LifeStreet Media and Personagraph as Event Partner.


Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 2.00.11 PMGamesBeat 2014 — VentureBeat’s sixth annual event on disruption in the video game market — is coming up on Sept 15-16 in San Francisco. Purchase one of the first 50 tickets and save $400!


Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major glob... read more »

Twitch is the world’s leading video platform and community for gamers where more than 45 million gather every month to broadcast, watch and talk about video games. Twitch’s video platform is the backbone of both live and on-demand ... read more »











Fonts In Chrome For Windows Will Look Better Soon

Thursday 17 July 2014 @ 2:13 pm
directwrite-comparison Google released the latest beta version of its Chrome browser today, and if you’re a Windows user on a machine that runs at least Vista, fonts will now look better on your screen. That’s because the Chrome 37 Beta now supports Microsoft’s DirectWrite API, a technology that improves the way fonts look on modern screens. Read More



How to find — and hire — data scientists

Thursday 17 July 2014 @ 11:30 am
How to find — and hire — data scientists
Image Credit: Semhar Systems

Data might just be the new driver of business success.

Airbnb uses data to match lodging and travelers. Netflix uses data to personalize your entertainment. Amazon uses data to sell you more stuff. And Google uses data to drive better search, advertising, email, and social.

But data doesn’t reveal its secrets easily — or cheaply. Hence the exploding role of data scientist, which has grown from practically nothing to a major hiring focus, with stunning growth over the last three years at job site Indeed.com of thousands of percent. And the cost of hiring a data scientist, which is up to $150,000/year.

Massive growth in demand for data scientists, according to Indeed.com

Above: Massive growth in demand for data scientists, according to Indeed.com

Image Credit: Max Song

So how do you find and hire these newly essential employees?

Not easily, according to data scientists Max Song and Carl Shan, who are working on a Data Science Handbook, and have published 120 Data Science Interview Questions.

“The first reason why it’s hard to hire data scientists is simply that the supply of potential data scientists is lagging behind the demand,” Song told VentureBeat. “A McKinsey report identified this problem and estimated that there would be a shortage of 150k – 190k people with data science talent by the year 2018.”

samsung sami dataRoughly 140,000 people are employed as data scientists right now, but by 2018, we’ll need 440,000 to 490,000, according to that report. The shortfall is due to the fact that this job is so new there’s not a direct educational equivalent, or an obvious career path. There’s no data science major in college, with the closest equivalent being perhaps a rare statistics major. But data scientists also need a firm grounding in computer science.

That makes hiring difficult, to say the least.

However, Song told me, Pete Skomoroch, the former principal data scientist at LinkedIn, has estimated that there are up to 250,000 people in the workforce today with the talent and ability to be data scientists. Which means that employers and recruiters need to broaden their search to people who may not have the title of data scientist, and may have followed diverse educational and career paths.


Max Song and Carl Shan have published 120 Data Science Interview Questions on VB Insight


“The skills of a data scientist are very broad, so often being a quick and eager learner is one of the best skills one can have as a data scientist,” Shan told me. “Candidates who learn quickly and are really creative also ask the best questions about the data, and can extract useful and valid insights that no one else had thought of before.”

When you’ve found candidates, the challenge then becomes interviewing someone with a skillset that likely doesn’t exist on your team, and testing their abilities even though you may not really understand data science.

device_data“Common skills that a data scientist is usually evaluated on include data analysis, programming, statistics, machine learning, probability, and effective communication,” Song says.

That can often be accomplished by asking the candidate to walk through a large dataset, explaining what they’re doing, or ask the data scientist how he or she would approach a problem you’re currently facing, or giving him or her some structured data and seeing what lessons the data scientist candidate can derive from it.

Ultimately, however, you’re looking for someone with much more than simply technical skill.

“Data scientist candidates also need to be able to establish trust and rapport with whoever they will be interfacing with at the company,” Shan says. “The data scientists must be able to convince the product / business teams as to the validity and impact of the insights, and have an open enough relationship with them to enable as much communication and feedback as possible.”


Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 10.53.56 AMOur upcoming GrowthBeat event — August 5-6 in San Francisco — is exploring the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the scoop here, and grab your tickets before they're gone!  


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Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major glob... read more »

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New Google calculator tells you what your money is worth in Bitcoin

Wednesday 16 July 2014 @ 9:29 am
New Google calculator tells you what your money is worth in Bitcoin
Image Credit: BTC Keychain/Flickr

Google has integrated a Bitcoin conversion calculator into its search engine, all the better to help you determine how much your money is worth in Bitcoin — in real time! — according to Coindesk.

The calculator provides currency-to-Bitcoin conversions for everything from the U.S. dollar to the Sundanese pound. There are dozens of currency types that can be converted through the Google-based calculator.

However, the results are subject to frequent change as the value of the Bitcoin is in constant fluctuation. You may not get as much for your dollar one moment as you would the next.

When a search query is entered into the calculator, a small line graph appears to the right of the conversion results, depicting Bitcoin’s changing value from 2011 up to today. For Google app lovers, conversions can also be made through voice command, states Google spokesperson Jason Freidenfelds.

“You can ask it, ‘How many Bitcoin are in 500 U.S. dollars?’ and you’ll get the answer in a handy conversion tool,” said Freidenfelds. “Same feature works for other currencies, too.”

Coinbase, the Bitcoin transaction service company, announced on June 13 that it had started working with Google to include Bitcoin in its currency tracker. With this development, anyone who used Google was able to view Bitcoin’s value in comparison with the U.S. dollar. Now the conversion calculator provides added convenience.

But what is Bitcoin and why do people use it?

Bitcoin can be defined as a type of online currency that dates back as far as 2009. There are no banks involved, cutting out the middle man and allowing consumers to make purchases anonymously.

Although there has been skepticism surrounding its potential for success in the past, the Bitcoin market is showing promise. A raw estimate of its total market worth is up 800 percent to $8.3 billion.


Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 10.53.56 AMOur upcoming GrowthBeat event — August 5-6 in San Francisco — is exploring the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the scoop here, and grab your tickets before they're gone!  










Hey, modular phone nerds: You can now get developer boards for Google’s Project Ara

Tuesday 15 July 2014 @ 9:30 pm
Hey, modular phone nerds: You can now get developer boards for Google’s Project Ara

Above: All of these Project Ara modules will make up a smartphone.

Image Credit: Motorola

One of the most exciting Google projects this year has been Project Ara, which is working on building modular smartphones.

Although the phones aren’t out yet, Project Ara has now opened up applications for developers wishing to get developer boards to start building modules. Scroll down for the various application review periods.

The whole idea behind Project Ara is to enable people to customize their phones by snapping together different pieces, or modules, and building a phone to their specifications. The pieces stick in place thanks to electro-permanent magnets, making it both durable and customizable. It announced in February that it plans to release a basic $50 model next year, which will only have Wi-Fi.

Currently, there are three developer boards available for development and prototyping:

  • An application processor with a strawman TI OMAP 4460 AP and modified Linaro Android
  • A UniPro switch board representative of the network functionality of the Ara endoskeleton
  • A general purpose endpoint board for developer-unique functionality that supports the tunneling of various legacy protocols

Project Ara said in February that it will hold three developer conferences, the first of which happened this past April. The company released an enticing video in advance of the event, which even we found exciting.

We also learned the phone won’t have a case after all.

“We ended up deciding that embracing this block and modular aesthetic was part of the phone — let’s not hide it, let’s not put it behind the cover,” said Daniel Makoski, head of design for Google’s advanced technology and projects group. “This phone can flow and adapt just as much as our lives flow and adapt, and that in itself is an aesthetic.”

3D printing will also be highly involved in producing customizable modules.

While the current review period ends soon, on July 17, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific, a second period will run from July 18 to August 17.

Project Ara was originally part of Motorola, which Google owned until it sold it to Lenovo for $2.9 billion earlier this year. However, Project Ara remained part of Google.


Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 10.53.56 AMOur upcoming GrowthBeat event — August 5-6 in San Francisco — is exploring the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the scoop here, and grab your tickets before they're gone!  


Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major glob... read more »











Adobe Partners With Google To Release Open-Source Font For Chinese, Japanese And Korean Languages

Tuesday 15 July 2014 @ 2:00 pm
sketch Adobe and Google today announced the launch of a new open-source font for Chinese, Japanese and Korean (CJK) languages that covers 65,535 glyphs, making it one — if not the — largest font to cover these languages. The font, which was optimized for both print and screen, is now available for free through Google Fonts and through Adobe’s TypeKit, where it is included in the… Read More



This site tracks search terms as they’re censored by Google

Tuesday 15 July 2014 @ 9:26 am
This site tracks search terms as they’re censored by Google
Image Credit: Håkan Dahlström

A site called ‘Hidden From Google‘ tracks search censorship in Europe, so you don’t have to.

The European Union Court of Justice created the “right to be forgotten law” to protect the privacy of individuals. Yet many believe Google’s forced removal of search terms threatens the freedom of speech. No matter where your opinion falls, one thing is certain: Numerous successful right-to-be-forgotten requests have already resulted in the amplification of stories some individuals wanted hidden. This phenomenon appears to be the very purpose of Hidden From Google.

Supported by reader tips — the site has received “hundreds” so far, according to the BBC – Hidden From Google considers its list “a way of archiving the actions of censorship on the Internet.”

“It is up to the reader to decide whether our liberties are being upheld or violated by the recent rulings by the EU,” the site’s About page reads.

Judging from the site, Google’s censored search terms vary greatly thus far; they range from the tumultuous history of Merrill Lynch to a story about a couple arrested for having sex on a public train. Lovely.

If your interest is piqued, give the site a look: Hidden From Google.


Our upcoming GrowthBeat event — August 5-6 in San Francisco — is exploring the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the scoop here, and grab your tickets before they're gone!  


Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major glob... read more »











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