It looks like Google may be changing the name of their app indexing protocol from Google App Indexing to Firebase App Indexing.Last night, I captured screen shots of Google changing the Google search developer page from saying Google App Indexing to Firebase App Indexing.But it seems Google changed it back this morning to just App Indexing.Yes, Firebase is a company Google acquired back in October 2014.So it is possible Google would renamed their mobile efforts Firebase and bring App Indexing into that.They also announced more features around this that we covered over here.
As many already anticipated, Google is stepping up its virtual reality ambitions at the company s developer conference this morning, announcing a new mobile VR platform baked into Android N called Daydream.Google will take a similar approach to what it s been doing with other Android devices: it ll build a reference design for the headset and controller, which will pair with its existing Nexus 6P smartphone, but with the goal having third-party device manufacturers build their own headsets and controllers based on the Daydream platform.A few big names have already signed up to build Daydream-ready phones too, including Samsung, HTC, LG, Huawei, Alcatel, ZTE, Xiaomi and Asus.If Google succeeds in creating decent VR experiences, this bottom up approach may help the company capture more of the market faster than Oculus and HTC can with their platforms -- even if it's an inferior experience.Google hasn t announced pricing details for its headset and controller but it will likely be less expensive that its than its VR counterparts.The new Daydream headset will reach the market this September while Daydream-ready phones are promised for this fall.
Nokia has just announced that a licensing deal will see a new range of Android phones and tablets produced under its name for the next ten years.Earlier this morning, we found out that Microsoft was selling its feature phone business, branded using Nokia s name, to a Foxconn subsidiary, FIH Mobile.Now, Nokia has explained as part of the deal it s provided FIH with an exclusive global license to create a full range of Nokia-branded smartphones, tablets, and feature phones for the next decade .The Finnish company explains that the new smartphones and tablets will be based on Android, though there aren t any more details right now.You may, however, be in for a wait before you re toting a new Android-loaded Nokia.There is still much work for HMD to do, so you ll need to wait a bit longer to see what the next wave of Nokia phones and tablets look like, explains the firm.
Foundation Medicine, a company that got its start with backing from Google Ventures, Bill Gates, and other major tech investors, received a patent this morning that protects its cancer genomic sequencing process.Now, it's using that patent to sue a competitor, Guardant Health."We certainly intend to pursue the value of this patent, we also have always been focused on and remain focused on a very patient-centric mission," Foundation President Steve Kafka told Business Insider on Tuesday."So our intent here is not to block other laboratories from their testing ... but really to develop strategies to recognize the value that we've captured or we've created, rather.Guardant declined to comment on the patent.Cancer genome sequencingWhen people are diagnosed with cancer, there's a pretty standard course of treatment to fight off the disease: the doctor may start with surgery or a regimen of drugs that are known to work on a particular type of cancer.But after a while, if that first round doesn't knock out all the cancer cells, the cancer can come back and be even trickier to treat.Those harder to treat and rare cancers is where cancer genomics companies, including Foundation Medicine, are trying to help.And earlier this month, the company launched its liquid biopsy test, which looks for circulating tumor DNA in the blood.That data also goes into a Foundation Medicine database, where people ranging from doctors looking for methods to treat a certain rare cancer to pharmaceutical companies interested in finding the patients who will respond the best to a drug that's in development could look at it.NOW WATCH: Only in San Francisco — inside the 232-square-foot micro apartment that sold for nearly $425,000Loading video...
More Charts   Microsoft erased another part of its massive Nokia mistake this morning, selling its feature phone business for $350 million to Chinese manufacturer Foxconn.Microsoft had already written off the entire value of the original acquisition, and has scaled back its phone business dramatically in the last year.As this chart from Statista shows, Nokia's smartphone business was already on a steep decline when Microsoft bought it in 2014.Nokia's total phone sales peaked in late 2010 at over 120 million.The company signed its smartphone platform deal with Microsoft the following quarter.But by the time Microsoft bought it, its annual sales had already been cut in half.It would've taken a miracle — or a serious misstep by competitors like Apple or the Android handset makers — for Microsoft to turn that business around.NOW WATCH: 10 WhatsApp tricks only power users know aboutLoading video...
The growing size of the most popular chat apps doesn t seem to be deterring new entrants who believe they can offer something different.Yesterday, we saw Alphabet s Google announce a new chat app, Allo, which hopes its various artificial intelligence features will help it stand out against Facebook s WhatsApp and Messenger.I got a preview of the app last November when I met cofounder Oskari Ozz Häkkinen at the Slush Conference.The idea is that people are actually using four or five chat apps, and Rawr simply wants to be one of them.Once in the chat, they can use a series of hashtag commands to animate the avatar, getting it to do everything from eating to dancing to, well, puking.Having played with it this morning after it went live, I found the hashtag commands pretty easy to pick up and there are number of preset ones that can be activated with one tap .Of course, part of the challenge any new chat app faces out of the gate is getting users to convince their friends to download and join so they actually have someone to chat with.Rawr hopes to get around that in two ways.First, it has a feature called Globetrotting, which matches users with another random person to chat with, in hopes that the chance to try out all the hashtag animations will be amusing enough no matter who is on the other end.But second, Rawr offers users the ability to capture and share conversations across other social media services and apps.This allows for mini-stories to be told, with users being able to customize their avatars to impersonate celebrities, public figures and literary characters, and share the conversations in order to amuse their friends, says the company s press release.Essentially, it s a way to build word-of-mouth buzz, providing early adopters share early and often.In terms of the business, Rawr already has a number of deals with various clothing companies to offer virtual goods under their brand within the app.Users of the app can earn virtual currency by spending time in Rawr, which they can then use to buy other goodies.As Futurefly was building the app last year, it announced that it had raised $2.5 million from a string of investors, including the European VC firm Vision ; Tekes, the Finnish fund for technology and innovation; Broadway Video Ventures; and NYC-based Betaworks.In addition, the company received another $500,000 in private investment directly from Nokia chairman Risto Siilasmaa, gaming executive Keith Boesky, and Arielle Zuckerberg, sister to you-know who.
Adobe this morning launched a new suite of apps called Adobe Spark, which allow both web and mobile users to create and share visual content – like posts for social media, graphics, web stories, and animated videos.While it leverages concepts from Adobe s pro tools like Photoshop and InDesign, like the ability to layer images with text and filters, it makes this accessible to everyday users who can make these sorts of changes just by tapping buttons.It s basically a simplified web editing platform, with tools that let you mix text and imagery in a highly visual way.Instead, you combine text, images, icons and themes in a presentation, then speak your voice over the story in order to create the video.What s really changed is that they now interoperate with Spark s web service, which means you can create content from a laptop, Chromebook or tablet.Adobe Spark is a free service, available via spark.adobe.com, which will also direct you to the iOS downloads.
Google won't be leaving adoption of Daydream, its virtual reality platform built on Android, to chance: it's going to make its own headset, just to be sure.The plans were revealed during a VR-focused session at Google I/O this morning, the company's annual developer event, with VP of VR Clay Bavor confirming that, while third-party firms would be free to develop their own Daydream hardware, they'll face Google-made competition on store shelves."The great thing about this standard, is that for developers it gives you a platform you're really confident about," Nathan Martz, product manager on the Daydream team, said during the presentation."This controller is simple enough that anyone can use it," Martz pointed out, "even when they're in VR and cannot see their hands."All the same, there are still plenty of questions about Google Daydream.The company is yet to confirm exactly what the specification is for phones: Bavor said that he expected compliant devices to be available this year, though it's hard to future-proof an imminent purchase if you don't know what the minimum processor and display criteria are.
This morning Google gave a first glance at their newest VR app - YouTube VR for Daydream.This app will show off both spherical 360 videos as well as flat videos all in a virtual space.What we're able to see thus far is limited - but extremely encouraging and full of potential.You'll be able to see "everything from classic 16x9 videos to 360-degree footage to cutting-edge VR experiences in full 3-D."Below you'll see the extremely short demonstration shown at Google I/O onstage at the VR session on day 2 of 2016's event series."We re creating the YouTube VR app to provide an easier, more immersive way to find and experience virtual reality content on YouTube," said Kurt Wilms, Senior Product Manager of YouTube Virtual Reality.There you'll find fabulous vistas and a set of rather angry actual, real life birds as well.
This morning at Google I/O 2016 the company showed Chrome OS's newest ability - running Android apps via Google Play.In this, Google expands the reach of Android apps to a whole new cross-section of laptop users and Chrome OS-lovers, making way for new Android apps for personal, work, and/or educational use.Google has begun lying out the requirements - and benefits - of creating an Android app for Chrome or optimizing an already-made Android app for use on a Chromebook.• Keyboard, mouse, and touch input will seamlessly work together• Users will get Android notifications on their Chromebooks• Android apps benefit from the Wifi or Bluetooth connectivity setup by the user or the administrator• File sharing is seamless between Chrome and Android apps through the Files app• Performance of demanding apps such as games or design apps is excellentMulti-window mode will be supported.As such, developers have been shown the following examples:• Portrait: Similar to Nexus 5• Landscape: Similar to Nexus 9• Maximized: Similar to Nexus 9 aspect ratio but uses all available screen pixels• Maximized touch view: For convertible Chromebooks, allows you to use the full screen of the device but with no window decorationsAndroid apps on Chromebooks will initially ship with Marshmallow APIs, according to Google.According to Google's Reto Meier, this Android apps on Chromebooks feature will be made available to devlopers in early June as part of the M53 developer build.
Looks puzzlingDid you play The Talos Principle?Croteam's Alen Ladavac confirmed a sequel was on the way during a talk at Nordic Game conference this morning, and that's it.A simple sentence: "Talos Principle 2 is going to happen" he confirmed this morning when questioned.The Talos Principle snuck out in December 2014 and got a bit lost in the usual December noise and office drinks, you know the ones, the one you hate where Steve talks about the Christmas bonus forever.God, I hate Steve.Rock Paper Shotgun picked up on the announcement, but it's quite a messy tale of affairs.
Credit: Rob SchultzThis morning, the unthinkable happened: My wife, an avowed PC user who long ago swore to never touch an Apple device, started shopping around for a Mac Mini.The changeIn December, the Get Windows 10 GWX pop-up changed it s verbiage in a way that mimicked malware: The only immediate options were to Upgrade Now or Start download, upgrade later.But here's the icky part: The redesigned GWX pop-up now treats exiting the window as consent for the Windows 10 upgrade.So after more than half a year of teaching people that the only way to say No thanks to Windows 10 is to exit the GWX application, and refusing to allow users to disable the pop-up in any obvious manner so they had to press that X over and over again during those six months to the point that most people probably just click it without reading by this point, Microsoft just made it so that very behavior accepts the Windows 10 upgrade instead.By now, every existing Windows 7 and 8 user has seen and declined the Windows 10 update numerous times.Again: I personally use and love Windows 10.
The Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator RLV-TD takes flight Image: ISRO Early this morning, India launched its very first reusable space shuttle.These remarkable photos illustrate just how majestic the teensy shuttle looked as it took off.One of the things these photos underscore is the scale of the launch.NASA s space shuttle orbiters each measured over 122 feet in length, and the cost of just one shuttle, Endeavour, came in at over $1 billion.It s a huge milestone for India and for the growth of reusable spacecraft worldwide.Now, ISRO scientists say that they managed to guide the craft into a soft descent into the Bay of Bengal, where it appears to be intact.
The company announced this morning the launch of a subscription-based companion service called Circle Go that lets parents filter the web and apps, limit screen time, and keep up-to-date on how kids are spending time online even when they re outside the bounds of the home s Wi-Fi network.Most devices – including iPhones, iPads, Android smartphones and tablets, and Amazon s Fire tablets – come with parental controls built-in.Meanwhile, traditional parental control software can come across more like spyware rather than policy management tools.Circle with Disney s current product is a small hardware device that connects with your Wi-Fi network but doesn t replace your current router , and is managed by an accompanying mobile app.This is not a standalone subscription service, however, but an add-on to Circle with Disney – it requires that you already have the $99 device and the MyCircle companion app installed.The new subscription service is available via meetcircle.com, while the device itself can be purchased online at the company s website as well as from DisneyStore.com, Amazon, and both online or in-store at Target and Best Buy.
Whoops.Image: @KNXpete Los Angeles s Expo Line, the first passenger train to go from downtown LA to Santa Monica in 60 years, started officially running on Friday afternoon.But Monday morning was the first time that thousands of eager commuters boarded it for work.Service was interrupted for about two hours, but buses ferried passengers around the car until it was cleared and the train was reopened.This isn t altogether unusual, nor is it an LA-specific problem—people are idiots everywhere —but it points to a big issue with all trains that share streets with cars.The drunk driver in question this morning was arrested after blowing .21 at the scene.
It s the most popular Facebook Live video so far — yep, easily beating out that goofy Buzzfeed watermelon video — and it s throwing cold water on the idea that social/viral marketing can t drive e-commerce sales.You ve probably seen the video by now, but just in case:As of this morning, Payne s video has been watched more than 137 million times on Facebook and a few million more on YouTube, where third parties have uploaded Payne s video to their own accounts.Kohls.com search results page.The mask is currently sold out on Kohls.com.The viral video might be a boon for third-party sellers on Amazon.com, where the mask — which has a $29.99 suggested price — is currently listed for anywhere from $120 to $213.On Friday, a day after the video was posted, Kohl s delivered more Chewbacca masks — and a bunch of other Star Wars toys, along with $2,500 in gift cards — to Payne s home.
India Space ShuttleThe pinnacle of the space race was the shuttle battle: America s flew repeatedly, and Russia s…didn t. India is the latest country to enter the space shuttle contest, as its Reusable Launch Vehicle blasted off into space early this morning.As these images of the 22-foot craft show, size isn t everything when it comes to space.DON T MISS: Watch the Enterprise get torn apart in brand new Star Trek Beyond trailerThis morning s mission blasted off around 1:30AM GMT.The solid-rocket booster propelled the craft to an altitude of 43 miles, from where it glided back to Earth, and landed in the Bay of Bengal.But if the RLV can upscale without costing dramatically more, it could pave the way for India to cash in on the commerical space race.India has experience with low-cost space missions: back in 2013, its space agency managed to launch an unmanned mission to Mars for $73 million, nearly ten times less than an equivalent NASA mission.
Just like the emoji feature you can drag, resize, and reposition any sticker on your photos or videos.While not technically a new feature, the update will certainly help users better communicate their thoughts and emotions via Snaps.Another potential issue is that some of the stickers are better suited to be sent in chat instead of adorned on a photo or video.This morning the company replaced all of its ultra-popular Lenses with nine different X-Men themed sponsored Lenses.This is the first time they have ever totally removed the regular ones.While the X-Men ones are certainly well made, they hamper the creativity of users who rely on the rest to express themselves to friends on the platform.
Photo: Moyan Brenn CC French authorities are investigating whether sökjätten guilty of tax evasion, according to sources. At five o'clock this morning hit the French police to Google's headquarters in Paris ninth district, reports Reuters. The top secret operation is said to still continue. The reason for the raid is believed to be that France requires 1.6 billion euros, close to 15 billion in lost tax revenue from Google. Sökjätten should have avoided paying taxes on their revenues in the country through advanced tax planning. A total of one hundred people signed in the dawn raid, both police and staff from the French tax authorities, according to sources Le Parisien.
Photo: Moyan Brenn CC French authorities are investigating whether sökjätten guilty of tax evasion, according to sources. At five o'clock this morning hit the French police to Google's headquarters in Paris ninth district, reports Reuters. The top secret operation is said to still continue. The reason for the raid is believed to be that France requires 1.6 billion euros, close to 15 billion in lost tax revenue from Google. Sökjätten should have avoided paying taxes on their revenues in the country through advanced tax planning. A total of one hundred people signed in the dawn raid, both police and staff from the French tax authorities, according to sources Le Parisien.
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