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Google’s Project Ara Open Source Smartphone to Debut in Puerto Rico This Year

Filed under
Google
OSS

Google sold Motorola to Lenovo, but retained the Advanced Research and Projects (ATAP) R&D group that runs the project. ATAP recently showed off a second generation prototype of the Ara phone, and earlier this month, Google announced plans to launch a 2015 pilot program in Puerto Rico. Project Ara has also recently attracted some interesting technology partners, including battery maker SolidEnergy, audio experts Sennheiser, and health accessory designer Lapka.

Together with ATAP's Project Tango for developing 3D sensing phones, Project Ara represents Google's vision for the smartphone future. The timing seems right, as the Android smartphone scene is looking a bit moribund compared to hot-ticket technologies like wearables, drones, and home automation.

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Google Fixed GHOST Exploit in Chrome OS in 2014 and Didn't Tell Anyone

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Google
Security

Details about a GLIBC vulnerability were published a couple of days ago by a company called Qualys, and the distributions using it have already received patches. Now, it seems that Google knew about this problem, patched it in ChromeOS a year ago, and forgot to say anything to anyone.

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Cyanogen Wants to Wrestle Android Away From Google

Filed under
Android
Google

Cyanogen, the company behind the popular open source operating system and the OS of choice for last year's OnePlus One, wants to be even more independent from the Google-based software that lies at its foundation. According to Cyanogen's CEO, Kirt McMaster "We're attempting to take Android away from Google."

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Google just made it easier to run Linux on your Chromebook

Filed under
Linux
Google

Have you ever installed a full desktop Linux system on your Chromebook? It isn’t all the hard, but it is a bit more complex than it should be. New features in the latest version of Chrome OS will make dipping into an alternative operating system easier. For example, you’ll be able to easily boot a full Linux system from a USB drive and use it without any additional hassle!

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Chrome 41 Beta: New ES6 Features and Improved DevTools for Service Workers and Web Animations

Filed under
Google
Web

Today’s Chrome Beta channel release includes new Javascript ES6 features and improved workflows for debugging Service Workers and Web Animations. Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to Chrome for Android, Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS.

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Will Google Glass 2.0 be the next iPod?

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Google

There have been quite a few reports in the media announcing the end of Google Glass. Some journalists have even written what amounts to obituaries for the much-maligned Glass technology. But is Google Glass really going away? I think not and in this column I’ll tell you why Glass 2.0 just might be the next iPod.

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Chromebooks spank Windows

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

Last summer Microsoft talked its partners into trying to stop the growing popularity of Chromebooks in its tracks by making a big push during the holiday season. While full retail results won’t be in for a while, we do know the laptop sales results from the most important retailer of them all, Amazon. Guess what. With that retailer at least, Microsoft and its buddies failed. Miserably.

Amazon reports that its top three computers sold over the holidays were — drum-roll, please — Chromebooks. It was that way last year too. Oh, wait, I’m wrong; Microsoft did worse this year. In 2013, one of Amazon’s top three sellers was a Windows machine, The Asus’ Transformer Book, a Windows 8.1 “2-in-1” device that transforms from a 10.1-in. tablet to a keyboard-equipped laptop.

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Google will now allow Android and Linux USB boot on Chromebooks

Filed under
Android
GNU
Linux
Google

GOOGLE HAS ANNOUNCED that Chromebook users can now choose an alternative operating system for their prized devices.

It's only for the brave, and will involve potential permo-borkage of your machine if you get it wrong, but brand evangelist Francis Beaufort has been telling Google+ users about a new and easier process for poking around under the bonnet of Chromebooks, if that is your bag.

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Also: Crouton for Chromebooks: Run Ubuntu in a browser tab

3 ways to run 'normal' Linux on a Chromebook

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
HowTos

I’ve had the good fortune of having a Chromebook Pixel to work on for the last few months. And, despite what my preconceived notions told me, I’ve actually quite enjoyed working and living in ChromeOS on a day-to-day basis.

But, I’m a nerd. And nerds need to tinker, which means that I needed to try every possible method of running “traditional” (i.e. “not ChromeOS”) Linux distributions on this laptop as humanly possible. Here are the three methods currently available and my experiences with them.

First and foremost: Installing Linux directly on a Chromebook and wiping out ChromeOS.

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​Google pushes to take Oracle Java copyright case to Supreme Court

Filed under
Development
Google
Legal

Google has had enough of its long-running legal battle with Oracle over whether application programming interfaces (API)s can be copyrighted. The search giant has asked the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to bypass further battles in lower courts and address the API copyright issue once and for all. SCOTUS, in return, is soliciting the Obama administration for its view of the case before moving forward.

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Also: Top 10 FOSS legal developments of 2014

The litigation surrounding Android continued this year, with significant developments in the patent litigation between Apple Computer, Inc. (Apple) and Samsung Electronics, Inc. (Samsung) and the copyright litigation over the Java APIs between Oracle Corporation (Oracle) and Google, Inc. (Google). Apple and Samsung have agreed to end patent disputes in nine countries, but they will continue the litigation in the US. As I stated last year, the Rockstar Consortium was a wild card in this dispute. However, the Rockstar Consortium settled its litigation with Google this year and sold off its patents, so it will no longer be a risk to the Android ecosystem.

The copyright litigation regarding the copyrightability of the Java APIs was brought back to life by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) decision which overturned the District Court decision. The District Court had found that Google was not liable for copyright infringement for its admitted copying of the Java APIs: the court found that the Java APIs were either not copyrightable or their use by Google was protected by various defenses to copyright. The CAFC overturned both the decision and the analysis and remanded the case to the District Court for a review of the fair use defense raised by Google. Subsequently, Google filed an appeal to the Supreme Court. The impact of a finding that Google was liable for copyright infringement in this case would have a dramatic effect on Android and, depending on the reasoning, would have a ripple effect across the interpretation of the scope of the “copyleft” terms of the GPL family of licenses which use APIs.

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