Sergey Brin discusses changes to patent system to end patent trolling

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Google’s Sergey Brin discussed several changes to U.S. patent law during a recent onstage presentation. Some of the sweeping changes he would like to see include the elimination of business process patents, a requirement that a patent holder actively use the patented technology, and significantly reducing the time allowed for patent protection to exist. Read more

Google reveals new self-driving car sans car parts

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Earlier this week we got a sneak peek at where Google is headed with their Android in the Car initiative. Google doesn’t plan to stop there though as that interface is a short term solution until the company can get their self-driving cars deployed. They revealed a new step in those efforts with the release of their own built from scratch self driving car, which turns out to be a vehicle missing some bits we normally associate with automobiles as seen in the video below.

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Google bans external Chrome extension installations for Windows browser

ChromeGoogle’s been threatening it for some time now, but it’s finally happened. Windows users can no longer download and install third-party extensions that don’t come from the Web Store. Users of the stable Chrome build will now see that the browser won’t allow you to install those extensions. This probably won’t impact most people, but developers and experimenters will be disappointed to hear this news.

If you’ve already side-loaded extensions, those will automatically become disabled today. If you want to continue using these, you must download the dev-channel of the browser. This news only impacts Windows users – Mac and Linux users can curiously continue side-loading all the extensions they want.

Source: Google

 

Chromecast coming to Japan beginning tomorrow

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If you live in Japan, we have some good news for you!

Google’s Chromecast, the highly successful HDMI dongle, will be available in the country starting tomorrow, May 28. It’ll cost ¥4,200 and availability will come from the Play Store as well as Amazon and others.

More and more apps for the Chromecast have been popping up in the Play Store since Google opened up the SDK for the device, so it’s more valuable and less-limited than ever.

Source: Google Japan

Get a peek at possible Android for automobiles interface

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Earlier this year Google announced a partnership with several automakers to create the Open Automotive Alliance with the goal of bringing the Android platform to onboard computer systems in cars. Although there has not been much news on this effort the last few months, it is easy to see that several of Google’s initiatives could easily be ported over to an automobile interface. Sources with Android Police say they have seen some early work on “Android in the Car” and they have even recreated some of the functionality for demonstration purposes in a first peek at the new system. Read more

You can now ask Google about your upcoming car rentals

Google Now car rental

Google Now keeps track of a lot of things for you, but sometimes it’s more useful to be able to ask your phone a direct question and get an answer back, especially when it comes to things like car rentals. Thanks to the latest update from Google, you’ll now be able to use Google voice search about any car reservations you have, and it’ll pull information directly from your Gmail account and display it for you. If you already have a reservation, the app will pull up all the details for you, including pick up and drop off times. And if you haven’t made a reservation, well, it won’t return anything and you know what the next item on your to-do list should be.

source: Google+

Gmail interface redesign hinted at in leaked images

Gmail UI redesign

Not too long before Google pushed out an update revamping the Google+ interface, Yoel Kaseb was responsible for leaking some images of what the interface update would look like. While there were some tiny details that weren’t correct, his images were pretty accurate for the most part. Today, Kaseb is teasing a few more images showing a new interface for another one of Google’s big products: Gmail. Read more

New mobile app and features coming soon for YouTube creators

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Google just released a Creator Preview video showing what things they are working on to make YouTube better. These new features are going to make YouTube creators very happy.

The first is that a separate mobile app will be available soon that will be geared towards creators and will include many of the most requested features. Another very cool feature will be that fans will be able to contribute funds to their favorite YouTube creators. Lastly, creators will be able to create captions and subtitles for their videos in 60+ languages by harnessing the power of the crowd.

Hit the break for the first Creator Preview video.

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Setting reminders with Google Now just got a little easier

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Earlier this week, we learned that you can easily set a timer using Google Now, but there is one other new feature to fill you in on. Well it’s partially new. You could already set a reminder with Google Now, but it just got a little easier.

With the latest update, you can do it all with your voice. Before, you could only make the request with your voice, and you had to confirm things with your fingers, as in tapping. Now you can simply say “yes” or “set” to confirm Google’s interpretation of your request.

source: TheNextWeb