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Ricoh Theta camera update brings spherical image uploading to Google Maps and Plus

Ricoh Theta camera update brings spherical image uploading to Google Maps and Plus

Spherical panorama images have become a popular stitching activity among photo-takers, and as a result some smartphones and applications have cropped up that can make them. The process can still be tricky, however, and that's where Ricoh's Theta camera came in, making the process simple. Starting today, an apps update for the camera simplifies another process: posting images to Google+ and Google Maps.

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Obama hosts real West Wing “Big Block of Cheese Day” across social

Obama hosts real West Wing “Big Block of Cheese Day” across social

Fans of the West Wing - and of getting greater insight into how the US government ticks - will be excited to hear that today is Big Block of Cheese Day, with the Obama Administration throwing open the virtual doors and answering public questions across social networks. Named after the fictitious day when West Wing's President Bartlet and staff took questions from special interest groups, however wacky, according to The White House the real thing will be playing out today across Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, and Instagram.

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Google+ Explore turns misunderstood network into social Reader replacement

Google+ Explore turns misunderstood network into social Reader replacement

Google has added a new category view to Google+, effectively turning the contentious service into a socially-curated news reader to take on Flipboard, Pulse, and others. Dubbed Google+ Explore, and initially available both on the desktop and in the Android app, the new view combines shared posts and content, communities related to particular topics, and popular "What's Hot" stories that have been highlighted by other Google+ users.

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Gmail is down, it’s not just you: Google+ as well [UPDATES]

Gmail is down, it’s not just you: Google+ as well [UPDATES]

This afternoon Google services Gmail and Google+ appeared to be down as marked by inaccessibility by the masses starting in at around 1PM CST. While the beginning of this inaccessibility did not show markets on Google's Apps Status Dashboard, reports from across the United States showed a similar "Temporary Error (500)" reading. This downtime seemed to permeate Google's social network as well, with messages falling short through Google+ Hangouts starting at around 1PM CST as well.

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Google+ Local hit with thousands of compromised hotel links

Google+ Local hit with thousands of compromised hotel links

Yesterday, news surfaced of an annoying and somewhat unanticipated so-called hijacking of hotel links within Google+ Local accounts by yet-unknown spammers. When clicked, the compromised links took prospective customers to a third-party book service. Whether the third-party services were responsible for the compromised accounts or another entity entirely -- someone operating under an affiliate account sees most likely, in that scenario -- also isn't yet known.

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YouTube adds comments page following user outcry

YouTube adds comments page following user outcry

YouTube revealed last fall that Google+ would be integrated into its comment system, causing a sweeping overhaul to the video service and forcing many onto Google's social network. The change went live by early November, and with the changes came a user outcry on multiple levels -- from those who resented being pushed onto Google+, and from creators who found managing comments unnecessarily difficult as a result.

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Eric Schmidt: “the trend has been that mobile was winning, it’s now won”

Eric Schmidt: “the trend has been that mobile was winning, it’s now won”

This week Google’s Chairman has suggested that we’re officially over the hump. Speaking with Bloomberg TV about his predictions for 2014, Google’s voice has suggested that while we’ve been moving toward a mobile computing environment for the past several years, we’re now at a point where mobile “has won”, with “more tablets and phones being sold than personal computers, people are moving toward this new architecture very fast.”

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Google+ Auto Backup brings drive uploads to desktop

Google+ Auto Backup brings drive uploads to desktop

The same service you’ve been using with your smartphone for several months is hitting the desktop world this week with Google+ Auto Backup. This software ships - strangely enough - with the newest version of Picasa, uploading your photos automatically from a certain directory to your Google+ social networking account. This service works with photos that are 2048pixels on their longest end unless you’d like to devote Google Drive space to the effort.

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Google+ AutoAwesome feature now creating year-in-review videos

Google+ AutoAwesome feature now creating year-in-review videos

As part of Google+'s AutoAwesome feature, users can get videos generated from their pictures and other similar features. Today, Google's Anil Sabharwal announced that as part of this, Google+ users are getting a "holiday gift": automatically-created year in review videos based on content uploaded to Google+ throughout 2013. The video will be auto-generated for any user who qualifies.

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U2 joins Google+, high-fives Vic Gundotra

U2 joins Google+, high-fives Vic Gundotra

You know the feeling you get when you walk past a Google executive and just casually say hello as you enter their social network for the first time? That's the feeling Bono-led U2 got this week as their presence on Google+ becomes news enough to cover in the ever-so-important cross-brand collaboration war between the social networks. Here U2 appears, and they appear official from the start.

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