January 29th, 2013
12:48 AM ET

North Korea on Google Maps: Monuments, nuclear complex, gulags

Ever wondered how to drive from the center of Pyongyang, the showcase capital of North Korea, to Yongbyon, the location of the secretive regime's main nuclear complex?

Well, a recent update to Google Maps has the answer for you.

It has filled in the big, largely blank space that previously lay north of the well-mapped South Korea with streets, towns and landmarks.

Users curious to virtually explore one of the world's most reclusive states can zoom into the heart of Pyongyang and pull up photographs of the Kumsusan Memorial Palace, which houses the bodies of the revered former leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.

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Filed under: Google • North Korea • World
June 6th, 2012
06:22 AM ET

Google warns users of state-sponsored hacking

Google has started warning users when it thinks they may be targets of government-sponsored hackers, the Internet giant announced.

Users whose accounts are compromised get a message at the top of their browser saying: "Warning: We believe state-sponsored attackers may be attempting to compromise your account or computer."

Google declined to say how it could tell that governments were behind the hacking attempts, or to say which governments it blamed.

"We can't go into the details without giving away information that would be helpful to these bad actors, " Google security engineering vice president Eric Grosse said in a post on the company's website on Tuesday.

"But our detailed analysis - as well as victim reports - strongly suggest the involvement of states or groups that are state-sponsored," he said.

Getting the warning does not mean a user's account has been hacked, the company said, but that Google believes the account has been a target of phishing, malware or other hacking tools.

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Filed under: Google • Technology • U.S. • World
May 8th, 2012
03:05 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Autonomous cars reduce 'crashes'? Press any key to continue

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Nevada became the first to approve a license for "autonomous vehicles" on Monday, for search engine giant Google's self-driving cars project. A recent video spot features a 95% blind man in one of the cars, which Google says have driven 200,000 miles without incident. For the most part, our readers are very excited about this technology, but others are afraid that the cars could be susceptible to the same kinds of problems that desktop computer programs have.

Google gets license to operate driverless cars in Nevada

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, unless it is given a ride out by an autonomous vehicle.

Polyglot64: "What I want to know is if, next to the GPS, if there is a button that says, 'I'm Feeling Lucky.' "

moviequotes: "I think that's what took them to the Las Vegas Strip. :-)"

Computer programs "crash," so what about computer-driven cars? And what if Microsoft and Apple put out their own systems? The following commenter also cited an old joke about computer operating systems and airlines.

metalcrow: "Who gets the ticket if the car is speeding? How will police pull the autonomous vehicle over? If Microsoft get into this and puts a Windows OS in the vehicles, who will be responsible for all the crashes? Will MS always say it is the hardware that is the problem? will we need to buy an upgrade every few years? will most of the cars features not work after an upgrade and until a Service Pack is released? Will the car be forced to use Internet Exploder? Lots of questions."

sameeker: "If Microsoft gets into the picture, you will have to stop the car at least once a day, shut everything off, and sit there for 10 minutes before going on your way."

sadtosay: "If Apple gets into the show, you violate the warranty by driving on a street."

Many people are in favor.

halfthestory: "Initially I was against this idea. But every day that goes by in which I have to deal with terrible drivers on the road, I like this idea more and more."

Some are afraid. FULL POST

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Filed under: Google • Nevada • Overheard on CNN.com • Technology • Transportation • U.S.
Google Doodle honors artist Keith Haring
May 4th, 2012
06:57 AM ET

Google Doodle honors artist Keith Haring

Today's Google welcome page honors the birthday of artist Keith Haring, whose distinctive cartoons became part of the cultural landscape of the 1980s.

"His populist philosophy is easily traceable in his paintings: he used simple, energetic line drawings to transmit important social messages as they emerged in the 1980s," according to Gale Biography in Context.

"Warning of the dangers of crack cocaine and other drugs, espousing safe sex and anti-apartheid logos, Haring traveled to many countries around the world, sometimes joining school children to encourage self-expression."

Haring, who learned that he had AIDS in 1988, established the Keith Haring Foundation in 1989, which supports non-profit organizations that help children as well as groups involved in education, research and care related to AIDS.

He died of AIDS at age 31 on February 16, 1990.

Filed under: Art • Google • Technology • U.S. • Uncategorized
Overheard on CNN.com: Android, Apple fans duke it out in the comments
Our readers are sharply divided between those who are fans of Apple products, and those who like Android and other platforms.
February 10th, 2012
08:06 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Android, Apple fans duke it out in the comments

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Think of this as a companion piece to the previous "overheard" post on privacy. There was a comment in the story about Google that provided some inspiration.

Pitt86: "Slightly off topic, but, in the 'Google vs. Apple' climate seemingly everywhere on this site, am I the only one that finds some humor in the fact that the picture at the top of the article shows a Google screen on a MacBook?"

We do have quite a division between people who despise Apple products and those who love them. There are devoted Android and Google fanbases, but also plenty of iPhone and Macintosh devotees. This division was fairly evident in a few stories this week, but maybe no more than in this piece about the cost of iPhones for carriers.

The iPhone is a nightmare for carriers

This was the most-liked comment:

Sinator: "It's not right that we non Apple users are subsidizing the posers through higher rates. They just need to tack on a sour Apple fee for those who can't feel cool without one.

This person agreed.

fingaz: "And this is why I will be getting the Droid 4 this Friday. Verizon knows that they can make more of a profit on this phone while still sell this awesome phone for cheap! Apple products are simply just wayyy over priced with tons less features then other phones. And you can't even customize them. Its Apples way or the highway! I still have no idea why people buy them!"

But this reader went for Apple.

zopaa: "So I got a brand spanking new Motorola Android-based phone last October. It was great, but I switched to iPhone as soon as it was available on Sprint. The reason? I was trying to show off my new Android phone to my friends after work, but couldn't because the batter was dead. All the bells and whistles are not worth anything, if the basic functions are not there. When in a few years Android make a usable product, I may switch back. I have no allegiance to Apple, but I want to have the best device and IMO iPhone is such a device for a mobile phone."

These commenters talked about the U.S. mobile market. Some of our readers said other countries do it better. FULL POST

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Filed under: Apple • Google • Overheard on CNN.com • Technology
Overheard on CNN.com: Can tinfoil hats be stylish? Google's fine print clouds privacy
Frida Ghitis says online hoarding of our private information is not something we can afford to "dismiss."
February 10th, 2012
05:57 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Can tinfoil hats be stylish? Google's fine print clouds privacy

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

"I've trained a bunch of pigeons. I write down my query, attach it to the pigeon's leg, and send it out into the world. Sometimes, they even come back. I'm finding the results about as relevant as using Bing or Yahoo. I'm a little worried, though I have no evidence to back this up at all, that they sometimes alight on the windowsill of a third party, who gets to see what I'm searching about. It's unsettling, really."

Frida Ghitis, a former CNN producer/correspondent, wrote an opinion piece about Google's new privacy policies, and about the future of information security. Our readers had lots of thoughts about that.

Google knows too much about you

Readers debated how much users should worry about where their information is stored.

MeJustMe: "I am reminded of the cartoon of two pigs talking as they are loaded on to a truck. One pig says to the other, 'This is so great we have a warm place to sleep all the food we can eat and now we are going on a trip. And it is all for free!' The caption underneath reads if it is free and always will be free then you are not the customer.
Sums up Facebook and Google nicely. Yes it is free to you but who are you or your data being sold to and for what purpose?"

Some people said the fear was going too far, and referenced tinfoil hats, but others said there is much to worry about.

Cal78: "Your ISP knows every site you go to as well. Your phone company knows everybody you called. Your bank knows everywhere you've used your debit card. Better put on the tinfoil hats."

allanhowls: "Or, you could demand that that which actually belongs to you stay your property. Change the laws so that personal information stays personal, rather than bending over like the sheep you are."

maff: "I dont think it's tinfoil at all. If you live in the inner city and you sleep with the front door open, eventually you're gonna get robbed. In modern society we are in compromised and vulnerable positions. We have faith in people we have never seen before. And now with data mining and these supercomputers, all that information can be consolidated, and eventually it will be. You see the direction technology is going. I'm not saying now, but it's inevitable."

Do you read the fine print? How do you feel about Facebook's privacy versus Google? FULL POST

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Filed under: Google • Overheard on CNN.com • Technology
January 30th, 2012
01:11 AM ET

Obama to host Google 'hang out'

In the latest iteration of the administration's efforts to connect to supporters via social media, President Barak Obama will take part Monday in a Google+ 'Hangout," a chat room-like feature of Google+ that allows users to connect with each other via video connections.

The White House pledges the president will answer "several of the most popular questions" submitted through YouTube while some questioners will be invited to participate in a live conversation on Google+.

The latest social media push follows a Twitter town hall the president held over the summer. To the disappointment of some, the president merely answered pre-selected questions from Twitter users in that forum.

This time, the president's answers will show up on a video stream hosted by Google+ while participants can comment on his answers in real time.

The White House says the forum is an example of the president's commitment to "creating a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration."

But it remains unclear exactly how the White House will select the questions the president answers.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Google • Politics • U.S.
January 18th, 2012
12:26 PM ET

SOPA 101: Your guide to the Internet blackout

You probably woke up this morning to realize the Internet is totally screwy.

Is it the online apocalypse? Not so much. Google, Wikipedia, Boing Boing and others have gone dark, along with thousands of others, who are protesting two anti-piracy bills that are up for debate in the U.S. Congress.

It's a debate that's pitted the Web against Washington. And if the goal of these protests was to get people talking, that sure seems to have worked, with every media organization on the planet talking about piracy today.

Many of these sites are using creative techniques to bring attention to the two bills - one called SOPA, the other PIPA - and making very clear their viewpoint on it.

Before you panic, read our quick-and-dirty guide to these online protests.

So, what are these piracy bills about?

With all of these sites going dark, it is important to know why this topic has become the center of a heated debate.

CNNMoney has a genius explainer on this topic, for those interested in all the gritty details. The gist is this: Media companies are upset that their copyrighted content gets stolen and given away for free by some websites. Two bills aim to crack down on this piracy by restricting access to U.S. websites that potentially could link to this pirated content. Tech companies in Silicon Valley say the bills have unintended consequences that could tamper with the way the Internet functions.

You can learn about it here: █████████████████, here: █████████ here:██████ and here:█████████.

Kidding! That blackout technique is part of the point these sites are trying to make today as they fully go dark.


Overheard on CNN.com: Will facial recognition usher in 'Star Trek' tech?
CNN.com readers discussed the implications of a new facial recognition technology for the Google+ social network.
December 9th, 2011
06:24 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Will facial recognition usher in 'Star Trek' tech?

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

"This will be a hit with crazy exes."

Google has introduced a social facial recognition technology called Find My Face. The tagging suggestion tool works in the Google+ social network. Google says the feature includes privacy protection tools. But readers expressed concerns and imagined dystopian scenarios that could occur in the near future. Others wondered if we are marching toward a lifestyle out of science fiction.

Google unveils 'Find My Face' tool

The idea behind Find My Face reminded many readers of scenes they'd seen in popular culture, most notably in science fiction.

ss1980: "Google says 'Don't be afraid of us,' eh? It's like 'Trust me," I'll take your money and it won't hurt at all. Reminds me of 'V – Visitors', the movie :-)"

LFNJR: "True, but the V-queen was hot (scary hot, but still.) Who hasn't fallen for that scam. If they find a girl to sell cell phones, they find her clone to sell more."


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Filed under: Google • Overheard on CNN.com • Technology
On the Radar: Van der Sloot charges, Google notebooks, hockey final
Joran van der Sloot is suspected in the death of Stephany Flores in Peru.
June 15th, 2011
06:01 AM ET

On the Radar: Van der Sloot charges, Google notebooks, hockey final

Three things you need to know today.

Van der Sloot case: Formal charges against Joran Van der Sloot, who is suspected of killing a woman in a Peruvian hotel, could be filed on Wednesday.

Van der Sloot and his new private defense attorney were in court on Tuesday for a preliminary hearing. The hearing was held behind closed doors at the Castro Castro prison outside of Lima. No cameras were allowed.

The hearing was postponed last week because Van der Sloot did not have legal representation.

Van der Sloot was once the prime suspect in the disappearance in Aruba of American teenager Natalee Holloway, who vanished at age 18 while on a graduation trip. He was arrested twice but never charged in connection with her disappearance.

He was arrested in May 2010 following the death of Stephany Flores in Peru.

Once charges are filed against him, a three-judge panel will set the date for an oral trial to begin.

Google notebooks: Notebook computers running Google's new operating system, called Chrome OS, come out on Wednesday.

The new operating system is based on Google's Chrome Web browser but adds some extra features for connecting digital cameras and offline usage. Google says 160 million people actively browse the Web using Chrome, up from 70 million a year ago.

Because the laptop runs on a stripped-down system, first-time setup takes three minutes, and the computers boot up in 8 seconds, Sundar Pichai, an executive for the Chrome group, said during a presentation on the system last month.

The notebooks will run Web-based apps and store files in the cloud instead of on a hard drive. "Your apps, games, photos, music, movies and documents will be accessible wherever you are and you won't need to worry about losing your computer or forgetting to back up files," Google said in a blog post announcing the computers.

Samsung Electronics will sell a version with a 12.1-inch screen and Wi-Fi for $429, and another model with Verizon Wireless 3G connectivity for $499. Acer will also make a Chromebook with prices as low as $349.

Stanley Cup final: The Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins square off for the seventh and final game to determine the winner of the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup.

The home team has won each of the previous six games. Wednesday night's Game 7 is in Vancouver, British Columbia.

SI.com's Stu Hackel looks back at the series and what to expect tonight.

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Filed under: Crime • Google • Hockey • Joran van der Sloot • NHL • Peru • Sports • Technology
Thursday's live video events
May 19th, 2011
07:32 AM ET

Thursday's live video events

President Obama will address the nation on U.S. policy in the Middle East and North Africa, and CNN.com Live will carry his remarks when they happen.

Today's programming highlights...

8:30 am ET - Casey Anthony trial - Jury selection in Anthony's trial ended abruptly Wednesday, and speculation is growing as to why.  Court is scheduled to resume this morning.


Filed under: Apple • Barack Obama • Casey Anthony • Crime • District of Columbia • Elections • Facebook • Florida • Gabrielle Giffords • Google • Middle East • New Hampshire • On CNN.com today • Politics • State Department • Technology • U.S. • World
Stocks stumble as oil prices plunge; Angry Birds comes to Web
Angry Birds went live in Chrome Web store Wednesday, with special levels only available in Chrome version of the game.
May 11th, 2011
06:27 PM ET

Stocks stumble as oil prices plunge; Angry Birds comes to Web

Stocks fell sharply Wednesday, as energy and materials stocks were particularly hard hit by a sell-off in oil and gasoline futures.

"Commodities are getting crushed here, and it's taking the whole market with it," said David Rovelli, managing director of U.S. equity trading at Canaccord Adams.

The Dow Jones industrial average slid 130 points, or 1%, to end at 12,630. The blue-chip index had been down as much as 179 points. The S&P 500 fell 15 points, or 1.1%, to 1,342; and the Nasdaq Composite shed 27 points, or 0.9%, to end at 2,845.

Shares of Chevron and Exxon Mobil were among the biggest laggards on the Dow as oil plunged nearly 6% to $100 a barrel. Gasoline futures also got hammered, tumbling 8% to $3.11 a gallon.

The selling intensified after the Energy Department's weekly inventory report showed a surprise build in gasoline supplies.

The drop in energy prices also drove down shares of energy firms Halliburton, Cabot Oil and Tesoro, among others.

Precious metals were also selling off, with silver sinking $3.26, or 8.5%, to $32.22 an ounce. And gold fell $13.40, or 0.9%, to $1,503.50 an ounce. Copper was also getting caught up in the selling mayhem, with prices sinking 3.5%. That spilled over to miner stocks, including Freeport McMoRan and Teck Resources. Traders also pointed to weakness in the euro as part of the reason commodities were under pressure. The dollar gained strength amid growing concerns about Greece's debt problems. FULL POST

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Filed under: Economy • Energy • Google • Technology
May 10th, 2011
07:45 AM ET

Tuesday's live video events

Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage on reaction and fallout to the death of Osama bin Laden.

Today's programming highlights...

8:30 am ET - Casey Anthony trial - Jury selection continues in the trial of the Florida woman accused of killing her young daughter.


Filed under: Al Qaeda • Apple • Barack Obama • Casey Anthony • Crime • District of Columbia • Dollars & Sense • Economy • Florida • Google • Immigration • On CNN.com today • Osama bin Laden • Politics • Technology • Terrorism • Texas • U.S. • World
Looking for 'tiger blood' on the Web? Boston man's got it
"Tiger blood" has taken off since embattled actor Charlie Sheen uttered the term in a nationally televised interview.
March 13th, 2011
12:30 PM ET

Looking for 'tiger blood' on the Web? Boston man's got it

Former “Two and a Half Men” star Charlie Sheen may have put tiger blood on the map, but he didn’t put it on the internet.

The Web latched onto the term when the embattled actor told NBC's "Today Show" in a late February interview that he has "tiger blood and Adonis DNA".

The term quickly became a Twitter topic for a few days afterward and was a top search term on Google.

But "winning," at least on the web, apparently involves some legal legwork.


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Filed under: Boston • Charlie Sheen • Google • Twitter
Thursday's intriguing people
Sunday will mark Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s 400th race of the Sprint Cup series.
February 17th, 2011
10:16 AM ET

Thursday's intriguing people

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Ten years ago, his legendary father died after a crash at the Daytona 500. His death in the final turn of "NASCAR’S Super Bowl" shook the sports world. Since then, according to USA Today, NASCAR and the surviving Earnhardt have struggled. Dale Earnhardt Jr. initially catapulted to fame, yet he feuded with his stepmother and left Earnhardt Racing. Though he was slated to start in pole position at the Daytona 500 this weekend, he wrecked his car in a practice Wednesday and landed at the back of the pack. Still, Sunday will be Earnhardt's 400th race of the Sprint Cup series. The last driver who won on his 400th career start was Earnhardt Sr.


Monday's intriguing people
Writer-director Paul Haggis is dishing the goods on Scientology in The New Yorker magazine.
February 7th, 2011
11:45 AM ET

Monday's intriguing people

Paul Haggis

The award-winning writer-director of “Crash” has given The New Yorker an interview detailing the inner workings of Scientology. A member for 35 years, Haggis broke with the church in 2009 after it refused to condemn Proposition 8, which made marriage an institution between only man and woman in California.

In his letter of resignation to spokesman Tommy Davis, Haggis wrote that he could not align himself with an organization that would back "that hate-filled legislation." He concluded, “Silence is consent, Tommy. I refuse to consent.”


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Filed under: California • Egypt • Gay and lesbian • Google • Human rights • Most Intriguing People • Movies • Pro football • Proposition 8 • Religion • Scientology • Showbiz • Sports • Super Bowl • Technology • Texas
On the Radar: Giffords' progress, Hu in Chicago, Google, phones on a plane
U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' progress has been "remarkable," says her husband, Mark Kelly.
January 21st, 2011
10:19 AM ET

On the Radar: Giffords' progress, Hu in Chicago, Google, phones on a plane

Arizona shooting - Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will travel to Texas on Friday to continue her recovery from a gunshot wound to the brain, her office said. An ambulance will take the Arizona congresswoman from University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona, to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

Giffords then will be flown to Houston, where she will receive further treatment at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center,  her office said. Giffords was taken outside the hospital briefly Thursday. "We gave her some fresh air," a doctor said.

Hu's trip to U.S. - Chinese President Hu Jintao wraps up his U.S. visit Friday in Chicago, the hometown of his American counterpart, President Barack Obama.


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Filed under: Air travel • Arizona • China • Gabrielle Giffords • Google • Technology • Travel
Eric Schmidt stepping down as Google CEO
January 20th, 2011
04:16 PM ET

Eric Schmidt stepping down as Google CEO

Eric Schmidt is stepping down as Google CEO, with co-founder Larry Page taking over day-to-day operations on April 4.

Schmidt, who joined Google in 2001, will stay on as executive chairman, focusing externally on deals, partnerships, customers and broader business relationships, government outreach and technology thought leadership, the company said in a statement.

Internally, he will continue to act as an advisor to Page, who will lead product development and technology strategy , and Google co-founder Sergey Brin, who will focus on strategic projects.

"As Google has grown, managing the business has become more complicated. So Larry, Sergey and I have been talking for a long time about how best to simplify our management structure and speed up decision making—and over the holidays we decided now was the right moment to make some changes to the way we are structured," Schmidt said in a statement.

The news comes on the same day Google announced its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2010 earnings. The company reported revenues of $8.44 billion for the quarter ended December 31, 2010, an increase of 26% compared to the fourth quarter of 2009.

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Filed under: Google • Technology
Mass animal deaths scrutinized as Google map cites numerous incidents
The deaths of 5,000 blackbirds in Arkansas is one of several recent instances of mass animal deaths across the world.
January 7th, 2011
01:06 PM ET

Mass animal deaths scrutinized as Google map cites numerous incidents

Five thousand blackbirds in Arkansas. One hundred pelicans near Jacksonville, North Carolina. Three hundred doves in Italy. Seventy bats in Tucson, Arizona. Thousands of fish in Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brazil and the United States.

Google is now hosting a map of incidents of mass animal deaths around the world. Google Maps' distinctive blue balloons indicate where the deaths took place. Click on a balloon, and the map provides you with a link to a news report on the incident.

As of Friday afternoon, there were about 30 cases pinpointed on the search engine's mapping site, most of them in the U.S. and Europe.

Some might say it's getting spooky - and not just by conspiracy theorist standards - but experts tell CNN Radio that theories of UFOs and secret government weapons are, naturally, far-fetched.


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Filed under: Animals • Arkansas • Google • Science • Technology
Dollars & Sense: Pizza man goes to Washington, Google's 'Honeycomb'
Google's tablet-optimized Android 3.0 comes with a holographic user interface.
January 6th, 2011
07:07 PM ET

Dollars & Sense: Pizza man goes to Washington, Google's 'Honeycomb'

A roundup of today’s CNNMoney news:

Happy New Job 2011: Companies have started hiring again, but people are waiting for Friday’s big government report to see if there really has been an improvement. According to a CNNMoney survey, economists expect companies added 150,000 new jobs last month. The hottest jobs? Try accounting or IT - both have big growth prospects.

Google dazzles with Android preview: The tablet-optimized Android 3.0 - nicknamed Honeycomb - comes with a holographic user interface, home screen customization, desktop-like Web browsing and simpler multitasking.

Motorola’s new phone… is a laptop (video): This powerful little smartphone packs a big punch. It features a portable docking station complete with keyboard, trackpad, and LCD screen.


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Filed under: Budget • Business • Dollars & Sense • Economy • Finance • Google • Jobs • Politics • Technology
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