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Latest Technology

Government requests for user information double over three years

In a year in which government surveillance has dominated the headlines, today we’re updating our Transparency Report for the eighth time. Since we began sharing these figures with you in 2010, requests from governments for user information have increased by more than 100 percent. This comes as usage of our services continues to grow, but also as more governments have made requests than ever before. And these numbers only include the requests we’re allowed to publish.
Over the past three years, we’ve continued to add more details to the report, and we’re doing so again today. We’re including additional information about legal process for U.S. criminal requests: breaking out emergency disclosures, wiretap orders, pen register orders and other court orders.

We want to go even further. We believe it’s your right to know what kinds of requests and how many each government is making of us and other companies. However, the U.S. Department of Justice contends that U.S. law does not allow us to share information about some national security requests that we might receive. Specifically, the U.S. government argues that we cannot share information about the requests we receive (if any) under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. But you deserve to know.

Earlier this year, we brought a federal case to assert that we do indeed have the right to shine more light on the FISA process. In addition, we recently wrote a letter of support (PDF) for two pieces of legislation currently proposed in the U.S. Congress. And we’re asking governments around the world to uphold international legal agreements that respect the laws of different countries and guarantee standards for due process are met.

Our promise to you is to continue to make this report robust, to defend your information from overly broad government requests, and to push for greater transparency around the world.

Posted by Richard Salgado, Legal Director, Law Enforcement and Information Security

Latest Technology, Misc. Mobile Phones
Sony

Angry Birds maker Rovio says no plays for an IPO in the near future

Rovio, the Finnish company behind the game and toy phenomenon Angry Birds, is not planning an initial public offering any time soon as it concentrates on managing its fast growth, a senior executive said.

After a global breakthrough of its smartphone game in which players use a slingshot to attack pigs who steal the birds' eggs, Rovio said a few years ago that it could go public by 2013, either in Hong Kong or New York.

However, Rovio's marketing chief Peter Vesterbacka told Reuters the company was in no hurry to raise cash.

"We don't have any news on this front," Vesterbacka, wearing a red Angry Birds hoodie, told Reuters in the sidelines of a Helsinki startup conference Slush.

"The most important thing is to sort out how to scale our business as fast as possible, and grab all the markets that are available to us."

Rovio has in recent years expanded the Angry Birds brand into an animated TV series and merchandising of toys and clothing. The company has also been involved in promoting Finland's early childhood education system in China.

Last year, Rovio's revenue doubled to 152 million euros, and operating profit grew 64 percent to 77 million euros.

Vesterbacka said as many as 94 percent of Chinese people know the colourful Angry Birds brand while the ratio in the United States is also over 90 percent, but he said there was still room for growth.

Rovio is about to launch a new Angry Birds car game in December. Its other plans include an animated 3D film.

"We are not building this for 100 days but for 100 years, so this is only the very beginning. Next year we will be doing bigger things than this year."

© Thomson Reuters 2013

Latest Technology

[Infographic] Historical past of Wearable Units

What would Dick Tracy say about the Galaxy Gear? No one knows, but we are pretty sure he would’ve enjoyed the Super AMOLED touch screen… and apps!   The introduction of the Galaxy Gear was …
Science
Latest Technology

Global Impact Award to improve veterans’ higher education

When veterans return home, a college degree is often a great next step for a successful transition to civilian life. But college can be a tough place for veterans, especially when they’re juggling classes with personal, family and financial pressures. Unfortunately there’s very little data about what can help veterans thrive in school. We want to change that.

Today, we’re granting a $3.2 million Global Impact Award to the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, Student Veterans of America, the Posse Foundation and Veterans of Foreign Wars to support data analysis of U.S. veterans’ higher education. The study will be made public and answer critical questions:

  • Which colleges are most successful at supporting veterans through to graduation day?
  • What on-campus programs have the biggest impact?
  • How do veterans’ education majors stack up against employment opportunities?

Based on the report, we’ll fund the expansion of the veterans’ programs found to be most effective—whether it’s on-campus child care, access to dedicated mental health services or physical gathering spaces—and will also provide Googler support to make this project a reality.

This award builds on our work to train and mentor student veterans through the Google Veterans Network. We’re proud to serve those who’ve served.

Posted by Jacquelline Fuller, Director, Google Giving

Latest Technology, LG

Beat allergens, use LG TrueSteam™ this Autumn

Hayfever season may be over, but beware of indoor allergens creeping up on you as you spend more time indoors this Autumn…

This week is Indoor Allergy Awareness Week (11th – 17th November 2013), and it’s surprising how much you can do to bat away nasty allergens with a few simple tips.

Allergy

- 60 degrees is the required temperature to destroy the House Dust Mite – all LG washing machines have the facility to wash at this temperature, and further to this a selection of our laundry appliances can introduce steam into the cycle. Steam can get into your fabrics much easier than water, with it being made up of such minuscule particles, eradicating 99.98% of indoor allergens such as dust mites and pet hair.

- Give your empty machine a spin at a high temperature every month to remove any mould spores and detergent residue. Many LG laundry appliances have a function called ‘Tub Clean’ so it’s never been easier!

- After use, dry the detergent drawer, glass door and rubber seal to prevent any mould from forming and going into your machine.

- Wash your curtains every 3 months – these are a haven for dust mites (the heavier they are the cosier they are for bugs!) and hayfever allergens (which can still be present for up to 3 months after hayfever season).

- For co-habiting allergy sufferers and pets, refrain from letting cats and dogs on the sofa (as cuddly as they may appear), and wash pet bedding at a temperature of at least 60 degrees (ideally with an injection of TrueSteam™).

- Wash sofa covers regularly, if you’re replacing a sofa, leather is much less susceptible to retaining allergens and nestling House Dust Mites.

- Do not put damp clothes away in the wardrobe after washing.

- Vacuum your floors and rugs daily. For ultra convenience, a robotic vacuum cleaner such as LG’s HOM-BOT Square can be scheduled to give your floors a clean at a certain time every day. NB the extended brushes and square shape of the HOM-BOT Square ensure it can reach into corners effectively.

- Soft toys should be washed with non-bio washing detergent, or detergent suitable for sensitive skin, at over 56 degrees. Should a lower temperature be needed, put the toy in a freezer overnight before washing to kill off bacteria.

- Clean out your fridge freezer regularly, paying particular attention to corners. Don’t forget the seal and gasket which are a hotspot for bacteria to congregate, and can distort and stain. LG refrigeration products are equipped with BioShield, an anti-microbial agent to prevent mould growth.

Take a look at the interactive allergy home on Allergy UK’s website for further information and tips on busting the bugs!

LG’s TrueSteam™ Washing Machines, and our RC9042AQ3Z Tumble Dryer are proven to remove more common household allergens than conventional machines, as endorsed by the British Allergy Foundation.

This weekend, LG are performing a Steam Demonstration Day at Gillman’s, our original appliance Shop-in-Shop. From 10am until 4pm our team will be on hand to show you the power of steam, how to use it and the benefits it can provide you with in your wash appliances.

Gillman’s
St Oswald’s Road
Gloucester
GL1 2SG

Google, Latest Technology

Flying Scarfs empowers artisans in Afghanistan and around the world with Google Apps

Posted by Jonathan Hudgins, Co-Founder and CEO, Flying Scarfs

Editor's note: This Veterans Day, we’re celebrating our veteran’s contributions and successes as entrepreneurs, by highlighting a handful of the 3.7 million businesses run by veterans in the U.S. Today’s guest blogger is Jonathan Hudgins, Co-Founder and CEO of Flying Scarfs, an enterprise that empowers partners in developing countries to flourish in the global economy.

When I deployed to Afghanistan with the 335th Fighter Squadron in the summer of 2011, I didn’t expect to return with an idea for a nonprofit, much less a plan for making it a reality within months of getting home. But that’s exactly what happened over the 6 month stint. During my time in Afghanistan, I spent days exploring the local Bagram bazaar with three of my fellow Air Force Officers and future co-founders, Joseph Stenger, Joshua Carroll and Ryan Bodenheimer. We befriended a merchant who was selling scarves made by widows in the area, then giving the proceeds back to the women so they could educate and support themselves. These women typically didn’t have much access to capital or jobs, so this gave them some financial stability — and with, a stronger political voice.
Flying Scarfs Team
As our deployment came to an end, we realized there was an opportunity to stay connected with and support the Bagram community by selling their scarves back in the U.S. and sending the proceeds back to the women who made them. By sharing their creations with a broader audience, we could stay connected with the community while also helping the artisans achieve economic success and stability. That’s how Flying Scarfs got started. We had the idea, the business plan, the connections in Afghanistan, and even a retail store, my parents’ shop in North Carolina, to sell our first batch of scarves — the next step was finding a tool to connect the dots. Google Apps was our answer from day one: we could appear professional right off the bat with our @flyingscarfs.com email, and with the cloud-based storage and email, we didn’t even need an office. That was essential at the time, since Joey, Josh and Ryan were still on active duty and we were all in different locations. With Google Apps, we could still stay connected and up to speed no matter where we were.

Two years later, we’re grown up and are even more spread out, but with Google Apps, we’re always on the same page, whether it’s on Gmail, Docs or Spreadsheets. Our CFO, for example, keeps a master financial spreadsheet that gives the rest of the team visibility into our expenditures, costs, sales and margins. We review it each quarter, but if an odd charge shows up at any point, he can ping us and ask if we know where it came from. We can just add details to the Notes column in the spreadsheet, and voila, everyone else knows where it came from.

Hangouts have become an equally integral part in keeping the team up-to-date on the latest updates and developments, both on a regular basis and for ad hoc meetings. When ABC World News published a piece about us in August, for example, our daily website traffic suddenly increased by 100 times our average and our order requests from our online store shot up. We were all over the place — our CFO was in Chicago, Ryan was in Idaho, Josh was in DC, and the rest of us were in North Carolina — but by jumping on a Hangout, we were able to outline a clear plan for handling the sudden activity. A phone call doesn’t always do the trick when you’re trying to replicate the kind of brainstorming you’re able to do when you’re together in a room, while a Hangout was exactly what we needed to plan our immediate next steps.

Using Google Apps lets us to focus more on what matters to us: empowering artisans across the world. And since we’re not tied to a single desktop computer or physical office, we’ve even been able to add new partners in Kenya and Haiti and seamlessly start selling their products back in the U.S. Because that’s what it’s all about - sharing the beautiful work of craftspeople with a wider audience, so they can support themselves economically. That’s what we believe in.
Latest Technology

A Message from John S. Chen, BlackBerry Executive Chair and CEO

Below is a message from John S. Chen, Executive Chair and CEO To our BlackBerry Community, As you know, this is a time of significant change at BlackBerry as we accelerate our efforts to transform our business. I know there has been a lot said about BlackBerry, but let me remind you that at BlackBerry, […]
Latest Technology, Motorola

Introducing Moto G: An Exceptional Phone At An Exceptional Price

People all around the world want to be a part of the mobile Internet so they can access the world’s information, share, and connect with the things that matter to them. But the smartphone industry has relegated hundreds of millions of smartphone buyers to second-class status, preventing them from experiencing the mobile Internet at its best.

That’s because price-conscious consumers who don’t want to pay $600 or more for high-end smartphones have been left with two bad options. The first is to buy cheap, new smartphones made with second-rate technology that don’t do justice to modern apps and experiences like navigation, video chat and games. The second is to buy “low cost” versions of premium products that were released two or three years ago and are already obsolete.

We think there should be a better option. Everybody deserves to be on the mobile Internet, and price shouldn’t stand in the way of anyone having a truly good smartphone to get them there.

Today we’re introducing Moto G, a smartphone that delivers a premium experience for a third of the price of current high-end phones. Moto G includes:
  • A brilliant 4.5-inch HD display - the sharpest in its class - that goes edge-to-edge so you can enjoy movies, photos, video chats and more.
  • The newest Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 400 processor featuring a quad-core CPU for seamless multitasking and enjoying the web, videos and games, with all-day battery life.
  • Android 4.3 Jellybean, the most up to date Android of any phone in its class, with a guaranteed upgrade to Android 4.4 KitKat at the beginning of 2014. No skins to clutter or slow the experience, and great performance with Google’s unbeatable mobile services such as Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, Chrome and Hangouts.
  • Stylish design with a comfortable curved back and 19 customization options, including interchangeable Motorola Shells and Flip Shells in seven colors as well as Grip Shells in five colors.
Moto G goes on sale this week in Brazil and parts of Europe and will be available within the next few weeks throughout Latin America, Europe, Canada and parts of Asia. It will be available in the US, India, the Middle East and more of Asia in early January. Moto G will be in more than 30 countries with 60 partners by 2014.

In the US, Moto G will be sold on Motorola.com, with no contract, no SIM lock and an unlockable bootloader for USD$179 with 8GB of storage and USD$199 for 16GB. Moto G will also be available through various carriers and retailers.

IMAGES & B-ROLL: Click this link (also in the footer) for images and b-roll (you agree to our license terms when downloading images or video)

About Motorola Mobility
Motorola Mobility, owned by Google, creates smartphones, tablets and wireless accessories that simplify, connect and enrich people's lives. For more information visit motorola.com/mobility.

Certain features, services and applications are network dependent and may not be available in all areas; additional terms, conditions and/or charges may apply. All features, functionality and other product specifications are subject to change without notice or obligation. Contact your service provider for details.

MOTOROLA and the Stylized M registered trademarks of Motorola Trademark Holdings, LLC. Google is a trademark of Google, Inc. All other trademarks the property of their respective owners. © 2013 Motorola Mobility LLC. All rights reserved.

Media Contacts
Danielle McNally
danielle@motorola.com

Kristine Mulford
kristine@motorola.com

Google, Latest Technology

Introducing Tablets with Google Play for Education

Posted by Rick Borovoy, Product Manager for Google Play for Education

Today we’re launching tablets with Google Play for Education for K-12 schools in the U.S. For the past five months, thousands of students and more than 50 schools have used Google Play for Education and shared their experiences as part of our beta program. What’s been clear from their feedback is that teachers and IT administrators need time-saving solutions to help their students learn in the classroom and smooth the transition to new curriculum standards. They’ve asked for something easy to set up and manage, that helps them find educational content they can trust, and that doesn’t break the bank.

Google Play for Education is an extension of Google Play designed for schools. Here educators can discover apps approved by teachers for teachers, as well as educational videos and a collection of classic books for their classroom. Teachers can search for approved apps by grade, subject and standard, including Common Core, pay using a purchase order, and deploy the content to students instantly. We’ve been working with top developers to bring the best educational apps to Google Play for Education, including ClassDojo, Socrative, Explain Everything, NearPod, and many more.

Schools can choose from three classroom ready tablet options: Nexus 7 (a 7” tablet) available today, and the ASUS Transformer Pad (a 10” tablet) or the HP Slate 8 Pro (an 8” tablet), both available early next year. Schools can set up a classroom of tablets in minutes with a few simple taps. Just hold the administrator tablet together with the student tablet to set up each device quickly. Tablets with Google Play for Education are built on Google Apps for Education so students use their Google accounts to log in seamlessly. Tablet pricing starts at $229 and management is $30 per tablet.

The passionate educators and talented students at New Jersey’s Hillsborough Township Public Schools were amongst the first to roll out tablets with Google Play for Education. Watch their story.

To learn more visit google.com/edu/tablets. Interested schools can click “Contact Us” to speak with a member of our team. We’re working with resellers like CDW-G to get these tablets into schools, with more resellers coming soon.

With more than 30 million people using Google Apps for Education already, tablets with Google Play for Education easily plug into many schools’ existing technology. This is an affordable, 1:1 solution that puts greater power in the hands of teachers to find the best tools and content for their classrooms. We’re continuing to evolve the Google in Education offering and are happy to bring even more choice in devices and content.