Ok Google

There can be little doubt that, just like Microsoft thinks touch is the future of computing, Google seems to believe voice will be the user interface of the future. Indeed, when Frederic Lardinois was in Mountain View earlier this month, a Google spokesperson challenged him to just use voice whenever possible on my phone.  For Google, all things voice now start with “Ok Google” or “Ok Glass.” With Android KitKat on flagship phones like the Moto X and Nexus 5, voice recognition isn’t just something you have to start with a click. It’s always listening to you and is waiting for you to talk to it.

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.

Microsoft Fixes Windows 8.1 Glitches

Microsoft fixes Windows 8.1 gliWindows 8.1 users beset by technical woes may find some help in a newly released update. On Tuesday, Microsoft issued an update package that fixes a variety of noncritical but potentially frustrating problems. The package's support page lists Netflix playback, orientation on a Lenovo ThinkPad S1 Yoga, shutdown time, and autocorrect as a few of the subjects addressed.

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.

Microsoft Invests $15M in Foursquare

Microsoft is funneling $15 million into Foursquare and has agreed to a multi-year deal to license the New York-based startup's location data, Foursquare announced Tuesday. Four-year-old Foursquare makes a Web and mobile application for checking in to places and finding nearby hot spots. The company, which has 45 million registered users, completed a $35 million round of funding in December.

Adobe Issues Emergency Flash Update

Adobe is recommending that users update their Flash Players immediately - especially those who frequent Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. The company released an emergency security bulletin on Tuesday that addresses vulnerabilities in Flash, which could be exploited by hackers.

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.

Adobe Looks Poised to Release Lightroom for Mobile Devices

Adobe Systems this week tipped its hand when it comes to the future of its Lightroom, revealing on its Web site a subscription plan for a mobile version of the software for editing and cataloging photos. 9to5 Mac spotted the subscription, a package costing $99 per year called "Adobe Lightroom for mobile".

Google Chrome 32 Officially Released

Google today released the latest stable version of its Chrome browser. Version 32 includes many of the features that recently arrived in the beta channel, including improved malware blocking and tab indicators for when a site is playing sound, accessing the webcam and sending video to your Chromecast. Google uses a speaker icon, blue rectangle and red dot to indicate these different functions.

PayPal Simplifies Online Checkouts

Paying for stuff with PayPal can sometimes be a pain. When users click to buy an item on third-party Web sites, they are usually redirected to PayPal's site, have to sign in there and then carry out the process. This is something the online payments company is now changing. Paypal announced on Monday that it is redesigning its online checkout system so that those annoying redirects are no longer part of the payment process. Now, customers should be able to do the whole checkout within a merchant's Web site and in fewer steps.

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