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Google acquires visual search engine Plink

Google marks first UK acquisition with visual search engine firm Plink

According to a published blog post by the two-year old visual search engine company Plink, Google has acquired the company with financial details and terms of the deal being kept secret.

Plink is a visual search engine on Android that is able to analyze content visually and display search results. For example, a user could take a picture of a painting with their Android phone, and Plink would then analyze the photograph with its proprietary algorithm to give you additional information and search results. Philbin explained to The Guardian how the technology works, “It picks out repeatable elements from the image you take and comes out with a statistical representation of them.” The company says the Android app was downloaded more than 50,000 unique times.

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Google to launch Google TV product, with streaming content

google-tv-boxGoogle is reportedly set to launch a new product dubbed Google TV that will be an actual hardware box that would connect to televisions and would be powered by Google’s Android operating system.

Google reportedly has sealed partnerships with content providers such as Sony to license content on the new product.

Google TV would allow consumers to access the Internet, including e-mail, browsing (with Google Chrome), chat, stream media, run web apps (including social networking apps), among other features, directly to their television sets with home theater connectivity.

According to a Times report, Google TV would be powered by Intel Atom processors, and the technology will be integrated directly into Sony televisions and blu-ray players.

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Google starts selling Nexus One in Canada

Google begins shipping Nexus One in Canada, Verizon version soon expected, smartphone war intensifies

Google today announced the availability of its flagship Nexus One smartphone on the AT&T network and on Rogers Wireless in Canada.

The company is offering the Nexus One directly to consumers for use on either of the two networks for $529, without any telecom subsidy in sight at least for now. There is no comment from the two carriers as to whether or not they would subsidize the device.

The Nexus One is currently offered exclusively through T-Mobile in the U.S. priced at $179 on a two-year term.

Google originally announced it intended to offer a version of the Nexus One for use on the Verizon network by spring 2010. Reports today indicate the Verizon version could launch on March 23, 2010.

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Microsoft redesigns MSN, Bing search market share up

Microsoft Corporation today launched a redesign of its popular Internet portal MSN.com.

The company has updated the site with a far more simple and clean design, along with new social networking features that display information from various social networks you set up such as Facebook and Twitter. A new featured called TrendWatch was also implemented, which essentially scans Twitter for local news content.

The company has also now implemented full Facebook support.

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Iranian government bans Google’s gmail amid expected protests

Iranian protest at UN Plaza in San Francisco June 2009

Iranian protest at UN Plaza in San Francisco June 2009

The Iranian Communications Agency has formally announced it has banned Google’s popular email service Gmail.

The Iranian government said the ban would be “permanent”. The agency said the country would develop its own national email service for citizens to use.

During the botched Iranian elections last summer, the government blocked a number of social networking websites, including Facebook. The government later banned Twitter as protesters organized rallies through Twitter and published tweets including video of events amid the government crackdown on the protests.

The latest Gmail ban comes as the government warns people to refrain from participating in anti-government protests, one of which is scheduled tomorrow. More protests are scheduled on February 11, the day marking Islamic Revolution celebrations.

Update: Reports are coming in that there are SMS interruptions

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Google to create ultra-speed 1gbps network in U.S.

The world’s top Internet search and online advertising company, Google, today announced an experiment project to develop and build ultra-speed Internet fiber optic networks capable of downloading at 1 gigabits per second.

Google says the purpose of the network is to “make Internet access better and faster for everyone,” and to give developers the necessary tools to create highly innovative technologies yet to be developed. Google’s ultimate goal for the networks is to lead to next generation apps, new deployment technologies, and more openness when it comes to selecting providers.

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Google Voice now available on iPhone through web-based app

Apple recently decided not to approve Google’s Voice application, citing the application altered the main functions of the iPhone.

Today, Google has released an enhanced mobile version of Voice at http://m.google.com/voice, which is powered by HTML5 that now brings new premium features to the iPhone.

Most people who use Google Voice want to use it to consolidate all their telephone numbers into one primary one. One of the best features is now the ability to set your outgoing calling number to your Google Voice number on your iPhone. It will now be easier for your friends to adopt your Google Voice number, as they’ll always see your Google Voice number. You can also send and receive free text messages from Google Voice.

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YouTube to launch paid movie rentals service

Google has announced that YouTube will make popular movies from the Sundance Film Festival available for rental through its website starting January 22 until the end of the month for $3.99 each movie accessible for 48-hours. Movies include “Homewrecker”, “One Too Many Mornings”, among other popular films.

This marks the first time YouTube offering paid movie rentals. Google plans to expand the program, making more movies available, especially from smaller scale filmmakers.

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Google cancels phone launches in China

Google cancels launch of new phones in China as Beijing relationship intensifies

With launch events scheduled for this Wednesday in Beijing to launch two new Android powered Google handsets, Google has confirmed today that the company would “postpone” the launch, giving no explanation.

Google spokeswoman Marsha Wang made the announcement today and did not elaborate further, other than to say that the launch had been postponed.

The news comes as Google threatened to stop censoring Chinese search results and to entirely cease operations in China after sophisticated cyber attacks on Google’s infrastructure aimed at compromising trade secrets and compromising confidential information, including email messages from Chinese activists, allegedly originated from Beijing.

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Apple files for home energy patents

New Apple U.S. patent applications suggest the Cupertino-based company is developing software and hardware to regulate electricity to devices around your home to help you better manage and lower your monthly hydro bill.

The Intelligent Power Monitoring patent would allow you to allocate electricity to connected devices on your computer such as printers, your iPhone, BlackBerry, and other mobile devices and peripherals that charge. According to the patent application, users would also be able to schedule power-charging times and automatically set the more energy-intensive devices to hibernate to conserve energy. The energy allocation would be handled by the Intelligent Power Communications Port (patent no. 20100007473).

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