Google Play Music switches on labs features: HTML5 player, star ratings and notifications
We’re so used to Google Labs features on commonly used services like mail and maps that we often forget they’re technically experimental and now Music has a few of its own. The new features available on the desktop version of its web player include toggles for an HTML5 player (there was already a mobile version for iOS) instead of Flash, Gmail-style desktop notifications (Chrome only) and the ability to rate music on a five star scale instead of just thumbs up or thumbs down.
The Angry Birds Moment
When I take the subway to Grey Area HQ in our downtown Helsinki office, I always try to pay attention to what the people around me are doing. There have been a couple big shifts among commuters in the past few years, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. The first shift was the move away from books and magazines and toward portable MP3 players and gaming devices.
How Google is using OpenFlow to lower its network costs
Google is checking out a new form ofnetworking protocol known as OpenFlow in the communications networks that run between its data centers. The search giant is testing the use of software-defined networks using OpenFlow in order to lower the cost of delivering information between its facilities, says Urs Hölzle, SVP of technical infrastructure and Google Fellow in an interview with me.
Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn resigns; tech retailer seeks new strategies
Brian Dunn, chief executive of big box tech retailer Best Buy,resigned this morning.
“There were no disagreements between Mr. Dunn and the company on any matter relating to operations, financial controls, policies or procedures. There was mutual agreement that it was time for new leadership to address the challenges that face the company,” according to the company’s official statement.
Amazon Takes In-App Purchases Out Of Beta: Here’s How They Compromised On Revenue Share
Amazon is taking the wraps off a new in-app purchasing service today in an effort to make its app store competitive with what Apple and Google offer developers. That should let developers for Amazon’s appstore tap into what has emerged as the most lucrative way of monetizing apps over the past year: staying free but offering virtual currency or other items for purchase inside the app.
After undergoing testing for several months, the new in-app purchasing service is now available for everyone. It’s based off Amazon’s one-click buying experience and applies to digital content like in-game currency, expansion packs, upgrades and subscriptions from inside apps and games.
Carriers Band to Fight Cellphone Theft
The nation’s major wireless providers have agreed to a deal with the U.S. government to build a central database of stolen cellphones—part of a broad effort to tame an explosion of thefts nationwide.
The database, which the wireless companies will build and maintain, will be designed to track phones that are reported as lost or stolen and deny them voice and data service. The idea is to reduce crime by making it difficult or impossible to actually use a stolen device, reducing resale value.
Iran To Shut Down Internet Permanently; ‘Clean’ National Intranet In Pipeline
Millions of Internet users in Iran will be permanently denied access to the World Wide Web and cut off from popular social networking sites and email services, as the government has announced its plans to establish a national Intranet within five months.
In a statement released Thursday, Reza Taghipour, the Iranian minister for Information and Communications Technology, announced the setting up of a national Intranet and the effective blockage of services like Google, Gmail, Google Plus, Yahoo and Hotmail, in line with Iran’s plan for a “clean Internet.”
Google’s Chrome OS Will Soon Look More Like Windows Than A Browser
It’s hard to say how popular Chrome OS, Google’s browser-centric operating system, really is. There can be little doubt, though, that Google is quite serious about this initiative. Today, Google launched the latest developer version of Chrome OS and this update sports the first major redesign of the operation system’s interface since its launch in late 2010.
In this new version, Chrome OS almost looks like a traditional OS, with a full-blown desktop and window manager instead of just a browser and tabs. Aura, as this hardware-accelerated window manager is known, is Chrome’s next generation user interface framework and it is making its public debut in this new developer version of Chrome OS.