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Creative web development

Google Buys Songza

Google has acquired music streaming service Songza after weeks of speculation around a potential buyout. Songza uses information about the user and context to determine the best playlists for you at any given time, all of which are curated by music experts (DJs, Rolling Stone writers, etc.). Very few services look to human curation to enhance the music experience — Pandora, Spotify, and other big players rely heavily on algorithms — making this one of the key selling points of the service.

July 2, 2014 Author: Lubov Cholakova

Google Tests Broader Bookmarking Service Called Stars

Google lets people click a star icon to flag interest in particular Gmail messages, Chrome bookmarks, Android address book contacts, and Google Apps documents. Now it looks like the company is testing a service called Stars that could centralize the idea. Google+ user and Google watcher Florian Kiersch has spotted graphics, code snippets, and other tidbits about Google Stars since April. On Monday, he posted a Google Stars video showing how some of the service could work, based on access to Google's "dogfooding" test framework.

May 6, 2014 Author: Lubov Cholakova

Google to Launch SDK for Android Wearables

Google plans to release a software development kit in the next two weeks that will allow third-party developers to create Android software for use on wearable computing devices. The announcement was made Sunday by Sundar Pichai, Google's senior vice president of Android, Apps, and Chrome, during a panel discussion with John Battelle at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas.

March 10, 2014 Author: Lubov Cholakova

Google Acquires Password Sounds Startup SlickLogin

Google has acquired SlickLogin, an Israeli security startup that uses smartphones and high-frequency sounds for identity verification at Web sites. SlickLogin's three-person team revealed the acquisition in an announcement posted to the company's Web site.

February 17, 2014 Author: Lubov Cholakova

Google Finally Satisfies EU Over Search Concerns

Google and the European Union have finally come to an agreement over competition in the company's search results. The European Union's competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia announced on Wednesday that Google will now display search results for its own services in the same manner as those of competing offerings. Google will be required to show three competing services to its own products, such as its online Office suite Google Docs.

February 5, 2014 Author: Lubov Cholakova

Google Brings Chrome Apps To Android And iOS

Google’s offline Chrome Apps are about to find their way to both Android and iOS. Using Apache’s well-known open-source Cordova platform for turning web apps into native apps, Google today launched a developer preview of a toolchain for building native apps using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Using these tools, developers can take their existing Chrome Apps, wrap them into a native shell and submit them to Google Play and Apple’s App Store.

January 29, 2014 Author: Lubov Cholakova

Key Microsoft Engineer Defects to Rival Google

 Blaise Aguera y Arcas, an engineer and imagery expert who played a key role in development of Microsoft's Bing, has left the company for rival Google, according to a New York Times report. At Microsoft, Aguera y Arcas focused on augmented reality, mapping, wearable computing and natural user interfaces, and was an architect of Bing Maps and Bing Mobile. He was named a Distinguished Engineer in 2011 and oversaw development of Photosynth, a 3D panorama photo app.

December 16, 2013 Author: Lubov Cholakova

Compute Engine Now Ready for Prime Time

For a company with as much expertise in running massive data centers packed with computing power, It's got to sting that Amazon Web Service gets all the glory when customers need cloud-computing infrastructure. Which is doubtless why Google is happy that its Google Compute Engine is out of testing and now generally available to all comers. The service offers a pool of servers on which customers can run various versions of Linux, paying for usage and assured that the systems will be up and running at least 99.95 percent of the time.

December 3, 2013 Author: Lubov Cholakova

Dart, Google's Controversial Web Language, Turns 1.0

Dart is done. Well, not completely done - anything not actually cancelled at Google is a constant work in progress - but the company on Thursday announced version 1.0 of its controversial Web programming language. Dart is designed to improve on JavaScript when it comes to programmer efficiency and software performance for Web sites and Web apps. The 1.0 release means Dart is now ready for real-world Web sites, not just for testing, said Lars Bak, leader of the project, in a blog post. And even though lots of roadblocks mean it's not possible to use Dart directly on the Web, Google offers indirect mechanisms that could make it useful while Google tries to convince other browser makers Dart is worthwhile.

November 14, 2013 Author: Lubov Cholakova

Google Launches Helpouts

Helpouts, Google’s fusion of Google+ Hangouts, Google Wallet, and its identity tools is now live. A ‘Helpout’ is a Hangout-like video chat, but instead of speaking with a friend, you are connected to a purported expert in whatever it is that you need help with. The tagline that Google has come up with for Helpouts is “real help from real people in real time.”

November 5, 2013 Author: Lubov Cholakova