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Vsenn can stand against Project Ara as a modular platform?

By Paul St John Mackintosh
November 7, 2014 // 0 Comments

A new modular smartphone project – albeit one based on vanilla Android – has emerged with the advent of Finnish startup Vsenn, whose mission statement is “to give everyone the power to create their perfect smartphone by using modular and upgradable hardware.” How far this [...]

Opening the Inbox: Google’s new paradigm for reading email

By Chris Meadows
November 5, 2014 // 2 Comments

If you’ve heard about Google’s new “Inbox” system for reading GMail, you’re just about to have your chance to request an invitation. Between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Eastern (3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Pacific) today (starting just about 40 minutes from now), Google will send invitations to everyone who [...]

Mobile game Ingress has implications straight out of science-fiction

By Chris Meadows
August 26, 2014 // 0 Comments

So, this past weekend I took part in my first ever “Anomaly,” a big local event for players of the Ingress game (which I wrote about for Answers here) by Niantic Labs, a subsidiary of Google. In these events, players in certain towns gather together and fight over specific virtual bits of real [...]

Staples offers 2013 Nexus 7 for $99 with clearance coupon

By Chris Meadows
August 25, 2014 // 0 Comments

If you’re in the USA, you have a Staples in your area, and they still have 2013 Nexuses in stock, you might be able to get a really good deal. Android Authority has the details on a coupon good for $100 off the 16 GB and 32 GB Nexus 7 tablets. This would cut their price down to $99 and $159, [...]

Google uses transfer pricing to avoid paying European taxes

By Chris Meadows
July 27, 2014 // 1 Comment

One of the most commonly-heard complaints about Amazon, at least in Europe, is that it sells e-books from a division based in Luxembourg so that it can charge a much lower VAT (Value-Added Tax, the European equivalent of sales tax) rate on its e-books than UK law allows. The unspoken implication is [...]

Amazon Prime Streaming Music is terrific for Prime subscribers

By Chris Meadows
June 17, 2014 // 6 Comments

Juli gave her review of Amazon Prime Music yesterday. Now I’ll have my say. First of all, as Slate and the Verge point out in their reviews, Amazon Prime Streaming Music is not a Pandora or Spotify killer, and it’s not meant to be. It really isn’t even a new service at all, so much as an [...]

App Review: Google Play Books for Android

By Chris Meadows
June 17, 2014 // 10 Comments

I hadn’t paid much attention to Google Play Books before. I’d installed and even paid for readers like Aldiko and Moon+ (TeleRead review), and snagged a couple freeish ones like UB Reader, but Play Books just sat in my app drawer, unused, like most of the pack-in Google apps. But when I came [...]

Ars Technica exhaustively documents all Android versions

By Chris Meadows
June 16, 2014 // 0 Comments

In the interest of documenting it for the historical record, Ars Technica has just posted an immense 40,000-word retrospective on all versions of Android to date, with as many screen shots and as much information as they can gather. It’s possibly the biggest article I’ve seen on their site, at [...]

Appeals court rules HathiTrust book scanning is fair use

By Chris Meadows
June 10, 2014 // 2 Comments

Ars Technica reports that the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled on the HathiTrust case, the legal sibling to the Google Books lawsuit. HathiTrust is the organization of university libraries that provided books to Google for scanning purposes in return for receiving copies for themselves. A [...]

New author advocacy group Authors Alliance seeks to counterbalance Authors Guild on fair use issues

By Chris Meadows
May 14, 2014 // 1 Comment

A group of writers and copyright experts concerned over Authors Guild overreach has formed its own new author advocacy group, the Authors Alliance, to advocate in favor of fair use of works. Publishers Weekly has a fairly long interview with one of its directors, law professor Pamela Samuelson of [...]

Republic Wireless offers affordable hybrid VOIP/cell smartphone service

By Chris Meadows
April 18, 2014 // 3 Comments

I’d previously mentioned switching to an Android smartphone with Virgin Mobile, and enjoying it as far as it went. However, lately my Virgin Mobile phone went belly-up. I’d already promised myself that when I got my new full-time job I would be switching to Republic Wireless, so this was a good [...]

In Google Books appeal, Authors Guild decries Google’s impact on Amazon sales

By Chris Meadows
April 12, 2014 // 5 Comments

The Authors Guild is appealing Google’s November fair use win in its Google Book scanning case. The Guild says that Google is “yanking readers out of online bookstores” and stifling online bookstore competition with its digitized books. "Google emptied the shelves of libraries and [...]

Google continues working on Ara modular smartphone project

By Chris Meadows
February 27, 2014 // 0 Comments

Google might have sold Motorola, but it turns out it hung onto the part of the company that’s been working on its Project Ara modular smartphone design. Time has an extensive feature about the project: turns out that Google is looking at creating a bare-bones design that would sell for as little [...]

Google releases Chromecast SDK

By Chris Meadows
February 4, 2014 // 0 Comments

Ars Technica reports that Google has finally issued a public SDKpublic SDK (software development kit) for its Chromecast HDMI TV dongle, meaning that for the first time, coders of random audio and video playing apps for Android, iOS, or the Chrome browser will be able to incorporate Chromecasting [...]

Google sells Motorola phone business, keeps patent portfolio

By Chris Meadows
January 30, 2014 // 0 Comments

Well, there’s an example of comedic timing for you. Just the other day, Gizmodo speculated that Google might kill off the Nexus line of tablets and phones in favor of “Google Play Edition” devices from other hardware manufacturers—including, notably, Motorola, who Google owns. But today, [...]

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