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Google Home a sibling of Chromecast, not Android-powered

Google Home a sibling of Chromecast, not Android-powered

In what came as a surprise to few, last month saw Google announce Home, its entry into the smart-speaker market currently dominated by Amazon's Echo. While a number of the device's capabilities were shown off, including performing Google web searches and managing simple tasks, not a lot of details about the hardware itself has been revealed. While some wondered if the Home's smarts came from being built on Android, the reality is that the speaker is a "dressed-up version" of Chromecast, says news site The Information.

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Galaxy S7 variant tipped to appear at event tomorrow

Galaxy S7 variant tipped to appear at event tomorrow

Samsung sends out an invitation to an event at which they'll reveal a variety of devices, phones to accessories to wearables and back. This event will feature devices that allow users to Move, Explore, and Create - that could mean a lot of things. We're expecting at least one wearable fitness tracker, probably a tablet or two, and maybe even a camera for good measure. There may even be word of Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Note 6 or Galaxy Note 7 - though that'd be especially early, if true.

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Microsoft accused of spamming Android users with Office ads

Microsoft accused of spamming Android users with Office ads

Android users have probably been annoyed more than a few times with notifications from apps that keep popping up in the Android notification tray for things you really don't want to know and don't care about. You might expect shadier small firms to use the notification tray to spam you with advertising, but you might not expect one of the largest software firms in the world to do that. Microsoft has been accused of spamming Android users with advertisements trying to get them to use Office.

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Marshmallow Galaxy S5 update live (plus a few more Verizon Android changes)

Marshmallow Galaxy S5 update live (plus a few more Verizon Android changes)

This week Verizon has released a list of current and near-future updates to Android device versions, starting with the Samsung Galaxy S5. At long last, this device has received its update to Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, just a few weeks (or months) after its closest brethren. As for the rest of the Android universe, we've got some good news and we've got some bad news. Verizon has provided a list of what's happening, what's happened, and what's about to happen.

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Social networks should not need EU hate speech rules (but they do)

Social networks should not need EU hate speech rules (but they do)

Internet mega-brands Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, and YouTube agree on a "code of conduct" with the European Commission to remove "hate speech" from their networks in less than 24 hours. This update does not necessarily hold these companies accountable the same way a hard-and-fast written law would in any one individual country. Instead, this would be more of an agreement - a hand-shake - between the companies to combat hate speech. According to this code of conduct, they'll be "developing counter-narratives promoting non-discrimination, tolerance and respect, including through awareness-raising activities."

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Galaxy Note 6 variant teased in shipping details

Galaxy Note 6 variant teased in shipping details

This week the folks behind mobile device hardware shipping have let loose a device name that appears to be a Samsung Galaxy Note 6 variant. The SM-N935G is a model for a device made by Samsung that we've not yet seen - and based on past model numbers and tendencies for the company to name devices with similar codes each year, we can certainly make some educated guesses as to what's going on here. It's easy, really. The Galaxy Note 5's code is SM-N920, S7 is SM-G930, and S7 Edge is SM-G935. What's next?

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YouTube Red subscribers are getting free Chromecasts

YouTube Red subscribers are getting free Chromecasts

If you've not signed up for YouTube Red, you're not alone. Despite YouTube's offer to let people pay for the option of not having ads, most people would rather watch ads than pay. Or probably more correctly, people will rather block ads for free, than pay to not see them. But Google wants to reward some of those people who have signed up for the service.

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Android SoC security keys extracted: Qualcomm TrustZone in question [UPDATE]

Android SoC security keys extracted: Qualcomm TrustZone in question [UPDATE]

A security exploit appears to have been discovered which allows smart devices (mostly Android) with Qualcomm processors to be hacked into easily. This story began as documented on the blog Bits, Please back in April of 2015, when user "laginimaineb" decided to reverse-engineer Qualcomm's TrustZone implementation on Snapdragon processors. Using a Nexus 5 smartphone, this user detailed "a chain of vulnerabilities that I've discovered which will enable us to escalate our privileges from any user up to the highest privilege of all - executing our code within TrustZone itself."

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Google Photos at 1 year: 200M users, 24 billion selfies

Google Photos at 1 year: 200M users, 24 billion selfies

While it began life much earlier as part of the Google+ social network, it's now been one full year since Google Photos was launched as an individual cloud-based photo storage service. To celebrate, Google has shared some stats on the service to highlight its rapid growth, most notable is a user count of over 200 million, an impressive figure for just 12 months.

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Google Trends shows the most misspelled word in each state

Google Trends shows the most misspelled word in each state

We all have a special word or two that never looks quite right, that you have to stop and think about for a moment or two, that you may second guess yourself over. If you’re like me, you fire up Google and type the world out quickly to see whether you were right. According to Google, a bunch of people search for “how to spell” followed by a word, and it has used Trends to group the queries by state.

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Nexus phones get unlimited “Original Quality” Google Photos storage soon

Nexus phones get unlimited “Original Quality” Google Photos storage soon

Original Quality Photos and Video uploads and backups to Google Photos may be the reason you want a Nexus smartphone in the near future. Google's latest APK for the app Google Photos has mention of a promotion which includes just that - a promo for Nexus smart devices specifically. "With Nexus, back up all you want," says the APK, "Unlimited free storage for original quality photos and videos uploaded from your Nexus device."

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Google app for iOS update makes it ‘faster every step of the way’

Google app for iOS update makes it ‘faster every step of the way’

Google wants all you iPhone and iPad users to know something: the Google app for your devices is faster than ever. Loading times have been slashed. New features have been added. It all, Google proclaims, is available now to help save you precious minutes. You may not notice the speed differences, Google says, but rest assured that they're there and they're saving the collective lot of Google iOS mobile users 6.5 million hours throughout the rest of 2016.

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