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Scribd Audiobooks: expanding beyond Amazon

Scribd Audiobooks: expanding beyond Amazon

The team behind Scribd want to make their service as accessible as possible. To do this, they've seen it necessary to expand beyond the Kindle - to move past the Amazon environment. To do this, they've decided, they'll need to open their platform to Audiobooks. According to Scribd, this $1 billion a year market is just ripe for expansion - 30,000 audiobooks are on the way to their service right this minute. This will be the single largest unlimited-access offering of e-books and audiobooks available in the world today.

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Google “wins” Springer news tussle by complying with the law

Google “wins” Springer news tussle by complying with the law

In a somewhat amusing turn of events, Google has just emerged victorious in what could have been a major battle over licensing fees with Axel Springer, Germany's biggest news publisher. Axel Springer reinstated the tech company's ability to publish both headlines and snippets of news, citing plummeting Internet traffic after it revoked those rights for a two week experiment. The almost ironic thing is that Google practically "won" this issue not by fighting for it in court or in media but by actually complying with the new German law.

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Chrome’s new Google Drive extension blurs the cloud

Chrome’s new Google Drive extension blurs the cloud

Google continues to hammer away at the divide between what lives in the browser and what's on your computer, releasing a new extension for Chrome that allows files stored in Google Drive to be opened up directly into the relevant app. The plugin effectively further blurs the lines between the cloud and local apps, bypassing the need to first download a copy to your PC or Mac and also making it more likely that you'll have the latest version stored on Drive too.

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Google Maps next for Material Design revamp

Google Maps next for Material Design revamp

Google has been on a roll recently, updating its core app suite with Material Design style, and next in line is Google Maps. Both the Android and the iPhone versions of the popular navigation app are getting a revamp, with cleaner graphics, more intuitive controls, and a look that meshes with the Android 5.0 Lollipop aesthetic. Although the most obvious changes are to the design, though, that's not to say there aren't new features tucked in there as well, including closer integration with third-party services like OpenTable and Uber.

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Google Inbox invites opened to public

Google Inbox invites opened to public

Want to know how you're going to get in on Google's alternative to Gmail with the app called Inbox? Wonder no more, fair citizens, Google is opening the flood gates this afternoon. Between the hours of 3PM and 4PM Pacific Time, you'll only have to send an mail to Google at inbox (at) google (dot) com requesting an invite. They seem to have an automated system set up to accept invites and grant them by 5PM, also Pacific Time - promised, as if by magic.

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Congrats, Google Glass researchers, obviousness successfully stated

Congrats, Google Glass researchers, obviousness successfully stated

Of all the faults, goofy aesthetics, and generally questionable decisions around Google Glass, the fact that wearing it on your face means you might not be able to see quite as clearly seems a pretty commonsense issue. Still, a team at the University of California, San Francisco opted to look at just that, trying to figure out whether a head-mounted display could in fact present a significant risk to peripheral vision. It'll come as little surprise to find that having a chunk of electronics poised over your right eye does indeed block off some of your visual field.

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Samsung Gear Circle release set for USA

Samsung Gear Circle release set for USA

There's a device called the Samsung Gear Circle out there in the wild today - have you heard of it? It's not gotten one whole heck of a lot of press thus far. Mostly because it's not a smartphone, it's not a smart watch, and it's not part of a category of devices that gets much innovation all that often. The Samsung Gear Circle is a pair of earbuds - sort of. This pair of earbuds is meant to be worn as a necklace, and at any time.

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Onyx: the Star Trek communicator made real

Onyx: the Star Trek communicator made real

After a year in development, the team at OnBeep have created a device by the name of Onyx. This device closely replicates the abilities of a walkie-talkie, a push-to-talk phone, and of course - a Star Trek communicator. One from The Next Generation, of course, not one of those old-school communicators you had to hang on your belt. That'd just be madness... or a smartphone. The Onyx was made to work in emergency situations at first, but it's prepared to work in any environment in the real world.

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LG, Google ink 10-year patent licensing agreement

LG, Google ink 10-year patent licensing agreement

If you're tired of hearing patent squabbles left and right (though we haven't actually heard from Apple and Samsung recently), then this might come as a refreshing change. LG and Google have announced that they have reached a long-term cross-licensing agreement that will let both companies take a peek and use the other's portfolio of patents. Conversely, it also protects both from lawsuits that involve each others patents, leaving them free to work on their products and technologies, most likely ones surrounding Android and smart devices, without fear of litigation.

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Google to release Nexus 6 stock each Wednesday

Google to release Nexus 6 stock each Wednesday

Almost as quickly as it went up for sale, the Nexus 6 was out of stock. A confusing scenario, we wondered just what was going on. Did Google shut down orders until they could parse the first batch? Was there just a limited quantity? Did that many people really want a phone with a 6-inch screen?! We were all in the dark, but it seems at least one of those questions was right. Google’s quantity of Nexus 6 smartphones seems to be trickling in, and in limited quantities.

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