Stories for Jul. 23, 2014

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In Brief

When Yelp and the European Consumer Organisation joined the 4-year-old EU antitrust case against Google, it became pretty clear that competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia would not get his wish of settling the case before his departure later this year. And lo, it comes to pass: According to the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal, the European Commission is now planning to reopen its settlement arrangements with Google for an unprecedented fourth round of revisions. A Wednesday letter from original complainant Foundem expressed clear dissatisfaction with existing settlement proposals, and it seems the NSA mess is providing political pressure as well.

Stories for Jul. 22, 2014
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In Brief

Video curation startup Frequency added Chromecast support to its Android app this week, making it possible for Frequency users to cast any of the app’s curated channels of online video sources to the TV screen. Frequency’s app offers more than 4000 channels from sources including popular YouTube creators as well as media outlets like CNN, the York Times and BBC News. The company has also struck partnerships with TV manufacturers, and most recently launched a SDK for pay TV operators.

In Brief

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is now equipped with landing legs, which could eventually allow it to be reusable–a crucial step toward lowering the cost of carrying cargo to space. The space startup released a video today taken from the surface of the rocket as it passed through the planet’s atmosphere and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. “The water impact caused loss of hull integrity, but we received all the necessary data to achieve a successful landing on a future flight,” a blog post states. “At this point, we are highly confident of being able to land successfully on a floating launch pad or back at the launch site and refly the rocket with no required refurbishment.”

In Brief

chromebook with kids
photo: Google

My $1,449 Chromebook Pixel just got a little more useful and so did the $299 Acer Chromebook C720P. The latest Stable channel software update adds support for pinch-to-zoom in Chrome OS. That means any touchscreen Chromebook now has the feature. Previously, pinch-to-zoom was available on developer and beta channels, but the user had to enable the feature in a hidden setting. Now, it’s on by default and makes the overall browsing experience a little better. This function, along with the recent addition of handwriting recognition could make for a nice Chrome OS tablet, particularly if it came with a docking keyboard, no?

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