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Google’s Siri competitor to called ‘Assistant,’ report claims

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

In December, it was reported that Google is working on a solution that will boost the capabilities of its Voice Actions on Android-powered devices in an effort to compete with Apple’s Siri voice assistant. The service, which was previously code-named “Majel,” will launch as “Assistant” according to a report from TechCrunch. Google intends its Assistant service to go beyond Siri’s functionality, and the software giant will maintain complete control of all the layers involved. According to the website’s sources, Assistant is being created by the Android team and has three goals: to put the world’s knowledge into a format a computer can understand, to create a personalization layer and to build a mobile, voice-controlled “do engine” that will help users accomplishing real-life goals. Unlike Apple, Google reportedly intends to make the service available to developers in an effort to broaden its functionality. The service will reportedly be unveiled in the fourth quarter of 2012.

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Google to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Google and Motorola Mobility have announced an agreement whereby Google will acquire Motorola for $12.5 billion. The acquisition price equates to $40 per share of Motorola stock, or a premium of 63% over Friday’s closing price. The move is considered in part to be an effort that will better-align Google to compete with Apple’s iPhone, which owned two-thirds of profits among the world’s top-8 smartphone vendors in the second quarter. A Google-owned hardware arm give the company complete control over device hardware, software and services, resulting in an end-to-end user experience that is completely under Google’s command. Perhaps just as important in this day and age, the deal will also give Google control of Motorola’s extensive patent portfolio. “Motorola Mobility’s total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies,” Google CEO Larry Page said in a statement. “Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers. I look forward to welcoming Motorolans to our family of Googlers.” It is unclear how this might affect Google’s relationship with other Android partners. The deal is subject to regulatory approval, of course, and it is expected to close in late 2011 or early 2012. The full press release follows below.

Google to Acquire Motorola Mobility

Combination will Supercharge Android, Enhance Competition, and Offer Wonderful User Experiences

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. & LIBERTYVILLE, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: MMI) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Google will acquire Motorola Mobility for $40.00 per share in cash, or a total of about $12.5 billion, a premium of 63% to the closing price of Motorola Mobility shares on Friday, August 12, 2011. The transaction was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.

“Motorola Mobility’s total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies. Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers. I look forward to welcoming Motorolans to our family of Googlers.”

The acquisition of Motorola Mobility, a dedicated Android partner, will enable Google to supercharge the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile computing. Motorola Mobility will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. Google will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business.

Larry Page, CEO of Google, said, “Motorola Mobility’s total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies. Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers. I look forward to welcoming Motorolans to our family of Googlers.”

Sanjay Jha, CEO of Motorola Mobility, said, “This transaction offers significant value for Motorola Mobility’s stockholders and provides compelling new opportunities for our employees, customers, and partners around the world. We have shared a productive partnership with Google to advance the Android platform, and now through this combination we will be able to do even more to innovate and deliver outstanding mobility solutions across our mobile devices and home businesses.”

Andy Rubin, Senior Vice President of Mobile at Google, said, “We expect that this combination will enable us to break new ground for the Android ecosystem. However, our vision for Android is unchanged and Google remains firmly committed to Android as an open platform and a vibrant open source community. We will continue to work with all of our valued Android partners to develop and distribute innovative Android-powered devices.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals in the US, the European Union and other jurisdictions, and the approval of Motorola Mobility’s stockholders. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2011 or early 2012.

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Idea of Nokia using Windows Phone 7 is ‘stark raving loony’ according to Nokia employee

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

In a post on his personal blog Wednesday, Nokia employee Watts Martin discounts rumors from earlier this month that Nokia might be considering Windows Phone 7 as a future platform for its smartphones. Rumors that Nokia might be looking at the platform began when former Microsoft executive Stephen Elop was appointed CEO of the company. They came to a head last week, however, when industry insider Eldar Murtazin wrote that the company might build “an entire line of Windows Phone devices that may go under the name Nokia.” Watts Martin, a LAMP and Django Web developer at Nokia, stated that the idea of Nokia considering Windows Phone 7 as a possible platform for its devices is “stark raving loony.” Martin states that while Symbian and MeeGo are both open source, Nokia demands complete control over its operating systems and there would be no way to achieve that using Microsoft’s mobile platform. Martin does not indicate in his blog post that he speaks for Nokia in any official capacity.

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PS3 finally properly hacked?

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

PS3 finally properly hacked? In a post titled “Hello hypervisor, I’m geohot,” hacker George Hotz (already known in the iPhone community) has made a strong claim: that he has cracked the PS3. The system has remained (mostly) uncompromised for over three years now, with a few exceptions here and there. But, this one pledges full read/write access to the entire system memory and complete control over the processor — all without a mod chip. Has he really done it, if so how, and what comes next? That all remains to be seen. This exploit supposedly “isn’t really patchable, but [Sony] can make implementations much harder,” meaning he isn’t tipping his hat until he’s ready, because once he does the never-ending firmware update war begins, and as we’ve seen on the PSP, Sony can really knock out those updates.

[Thanks, Deepak]

PS3 finally properly hacked? originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 23 Jan 2010 06:51:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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