Google shows circuit board for Project Ara Spiral 2 prototype


The Project Ara Module Developers Conference will be held in January to show how far the modular device program is coming along. The item above will also be present at the conference next month. What is it? That is the circuit board being used in the Project Ara Spiral 2 prototype. The Google ATAP team will have more to say about the component at the conference.

Google wants to make sure many people have a chance to interact with Project Ara in January. So for people that cannot attend the conference, event sites will be hosted throughout the world. Mountain View, Buenos Aires, London, and New York will all have events on January 14. And on January 21, Singapore, Bangalore, Shanghai, Taipei, and Tokyo will have Project Ara events of their own.

Events will also be livestreamed on the Project Ara site and you can sign-up to be notified about that as well.

Source: +Google ATAP

New Chrome Experiment turns Wikipedia into WikiGalaxy


Although we have not yet broken away from viewing the web using a flat 2D screen, whether it be a computer monitor or a mobile device’s screen, there is work going on by researchers and others to imagine what the electronic landscape of the Internet would be like if it were viewed in 3D space. This has led to some interesting experiments that present web sites as nodes represented in 3D space based on their relationships with other sites. French engineering student Owen Cornec recently decided to pursue a similar endeavour for Wikipedia. His work resulted in WikiGalaxy, a Chrome Experiment that displays Wikipedia articles as a 3D star map.
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YouTube stars receiving bonuses in wake of competitors’ wooing


As rival online video services kick it into high gear, Google’s YouTube unit is pushing to lock up its top stars. This is happening in the wake of both Facebook and video start-up Vessel courting YouTube stars in hopes that they’ll move away from YouTube’s platform. This courting is forcing Google and YouTube to offer top videomakers bounses if they sign multi-year deals where they agree to post content exclusively on YouTube for a period of time before putting it on another service. But that’s not all.

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[Deal] Get a Chromecast with $20 Google Play credit


Need another reason to purchase a Chromecast? Purchasing the $35 media stick through Google Play, Best Buy, or Amazon will include a $20 credit to the Play Store. The deadline to purchase the Chromecast is December 21 and the credit must be added to an account by January 31, 2015. Then, the $20 credit will remain available until January 31 of next year.

The code to activate the $20 Google Play credit should be emailed to customers the same day the Chromecast was ordered.

[Google Play Link] [Best Buy Link] [Amazon Link]

Google deletes multiple Pirate Bay related apps from the Play Store


In a bid to curb piracy related websites and services, Google has cracked the whip on a wide range of Pirate Bay related apps. Applications like The Pirate Bay Proxy, The Pirate Bay Premium, The Pirate Bay Mirror and PirateApp have been removed from the Play Store completely.

The developers were given the following warning - REASON FOR REMOVAL: Violation of the intellectual property and impersonation or deceptive behavior provisions of the Content Policy. Please refer to the IP infringement and impersonation policy help article for more information.

Existing users of these applications can continue to use them as normal, although new users will not be able to get it from the Play Store. The Pirate Bay Proxy app has been made available on the developer’s website, allowing users to sideload it on their devices.

Gavin, who is responsible for the app claims that Google has wrongly deleted his app as it does nothing different than what a myriad of other browsers do, including the Chrome browser. The Pirate Bay Proxy app directs users to a proxy website beforehand and lets them use the web browser as normal. We can expect Google to continue its anti-piracy push over the coming months with several other piracy related apps taking shape each day.

What do you make of this new revelation?

Via: Torrent Freak

Android 5.0.1 OTA updates for Nexus devices now available to download and manually install [Updated with Nexus 9]


As reported yesterday, Google has updated the Nexus 7 2013 (WiFi), Nexus 9 (WiFi), and Nexus 10 to Android 5.0.1. Factory images were already posted, which you can use to manually update your device, but unless you’re unlocked, the preferred method is updating with the actual over-the-air (OTA) update since you won’t lose your data.

Good news!! The OTA updates are now available to download for the Nexus 7 2013 (WiFi) and the Nexus 10. The Nexus 9 should be available shortly.

We have the download links after the break, and don’t forget to check out our extensive guide on installing the OTA update to your Nexus device. If you prefer to go the factory image route, we have an extensive guide on that one as well.

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Google Play Store update brings visual tweaks, new features [APK Download]


Google is in the process of pushing out a new version of the Play Store app for Android devices according to Google UI engineer Kirill Grouchnikov. Coming from someone on the UI side of development, Grouchnikov naturally focuses on the interface changes which is headlined by a full-height drawer that pulls out from the left. This means Google’s Play Store app no longer needs a “hamburger” icon to access some features.

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