Google acquires Qwiklabs

Google announced that it has acquired Qwiklabs, a hands-on learning platform for those who want to become more familiar with operating cloud environments and writing applications that run on them. Qwiklabs, which launched in 2012, has only focused on teaching skills for Amazon’s AWS platform so far. Given AWS’ dominance in the marketplace, that made perfect sense. Amazon even uses Qwiklabs as its go-to service for offering self-paced labs for developers on its platform.

Google buys Eyefluence

Google has snapped up Eyefluence, a startup focused on developing eye-tracking technology. As first spotted by Mattermark, Eyefluence quietly announced the purchase on Monday. On the Milpitas, CA-based firm's blog, Eyefluence thanked its partners, investors and advisors for getting the company this far on its town, but since becoming established in 2013, the firm has caught Google's eye.

Chrome to block Flash for Analytics

Google has announced its Chrome browser will begin blocking Adobe Flash Player next month, citing the lag in browsing experience as the reason. "Today, more than 90 percent of Flash on the web loads behind the scenes to support things like page analytics. This kind of Flash slows you down," Google said in a blog post. The "de-emphasising" of Flash will begin with the September Chrome 53 release and in December, Google expects Chrome 55 will default to HTML5.

Google Maps Updated

Today Google released updates for desktop, Android, and iOS that are designed to improve the visual experience. After updating Google Maps on the Huawei P9, Matthew Miller immediately saw the improvements with the orange shading of "areas of interest" throughout downtown Seattle. Google uses these new shaded areas to show users where there are a number of activities and events, perfect as visitors explore Seattle, and other areas around the world, this summer.

Google Earth and Maps get sharper satellite imagery

Several years ago, Google engineers figured out a way to stitch together satellite imagery to remove clouds, giving Google Earth and Google Maps users a better and more comprehensive view of the ground below. Today, the company has repeated the process, but this time with newer, crisper imagery from NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Landsat 8 satellite.

Google rolls out AMP for iOS

Google is finally bringing its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to the Google app for iOS, it announced Friday.

AMP, which has been in the works since October, rests on a diverse architecture that taps into Javascript, HTML and open source technologies. It delivers mobile-optimized content with minimal data requirements on mobile networks, and it should help Google compete with Facebook's Instant Articles.

Google joins the Open Compute Project

Google today announced that it is joining the Open Compute Project (OCP), a five-year-old project founded by Facebook and a number of other companies that aims to drive IT infrastructure development forward through open source hardware. For Facebook, for example, this has meant open sourcing how it builds some of its servers and other data center hardware.

Google reportedly paid Apple $1B

How important is it to Google to be the first place iPhone users go to for search results? Important enough that the Web giant reportedly pays its biggest rival in mobile big bucks for the privilege. The search giant paid Apple $1 billion in 2014 to keep its search bar on iOS devices, according to a Bloomberg examination of a court transcript from Oracle's long-running copyright lawsuit against Google. The payout was part of a revenue-sharing agreement between the two companies that gives Apple a percentage of the revenue Google generates through Apple devices, an attorney for Oracle said during a hearing last week in federal court.

Google releases Cloud Vision API

Google on Wednesday announced the launch of the Cloud Vision application programming interface (API). As a tool for developers, the API can be used to add machine learning and image recognition to applications. Ultimately, the API could be applied to a range of devices - from robots to appliances - giving them the ability to see and understand the context of images.

Google Cloud Platform adds options for custom virtual machines

Google's cloud department has been vocal in the past about its theories and strategies for lowering storage prices in the long run, and the Internet giant continued that rhetoric with a new debut on Wednesday. Google Cloud Platform is introducing the option of Custom Machine Types, which will allow IT professionals to fit virtual machines (VMs) to particular workloads rather than just rounding up to the next tier on the pricing scale.

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