Google brings its .new domains to the rest of the web, including to Spotify, Microsoft & others

A year ago, Google rolled out “.new” links that worked like shortcuts to instantly create new Google documents. For example, you could type “doc.new” (without the quotes) to create a new Google Doc or “sheet.new” to create a new spreadsheet. Today, Google announced it’s bringing the .new shortcuts to the rest of the web. Now, any company or organization can register their own .new domain to generate a .new shortcut that works with their own web app. Several have already done so, including Microsoft, which now has “word.new” to start a new word document, or Spotify, which has “playlist.new” to start adding songs to a new playlist on its streaming app. The domains are designed to get users straight to …

Google Pixel 4 XL review: not quite ready for primetime

Face Unlock, radar and on-device voice skills show Googles magic, but some bits need fixing Googles latest Pixel 4 XL smartphone is its bravest yet, throwing out the conventions of old, integrating cutting-edge technology and attempting to round it all out with a special mix of software direct from the Android-maker. By now you probably know the drill. The Pixel 4 XL is a metal and glass sandwich like practically every other phone. Unlike most though the aluminium sides have a black textured coating, which aids grip, while the back feels almost like super-smooth skin or silk rather than glass. It also has bold, contrasting colours, if you choose the white or orange variant, that make it stand out well …

YouTubes Neal Mohan describes the companys efforts on safety and trust

YouTube Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan gave an update on all things YouTube at TechCrunch Disrupt SF. He touched on many different subjects, from YouTube Music updates to advertiser-friendly guidelines and tweaking YouTube’s recommendation algorithm. Mohan started right away with an update on YouTube Music. YouTube has accidentally become one of the biggest music streaming services in the world. And the company plans to take advantage of that. “Everybody knows music has been a core part of YouTube really since the day of the founding of the product,” he said. While YouTube Premium started as YouTube Red, the company rebranded its premium subscription service with a focus on YouTube Music. “It’s a music subscription service and it also brings the …

YouTube overhauls its problematic verification program

YouTube’s verification program is getting a massive overhaul, the company announced today, which will likely result in a number of less prominent creators losing their verification status. Previously, YouTube allowed any channel that reached 100,000 subscribers to request verification. That limit is being removed, with a change to the verification program that rolls out in October. Going forward, YouTube will focus its efforts on verifying channels that have more of a need to prove their authenticity — like those belonging to a brand, public figure, artist or another creator who might be subject to impersonation, for example. YouTube says the earlier verification system was established when the site was smaller, but its ecosystem has since grown and “become more complex.” …

Googles new feature will help you find something to watch

Google Search can now help you find your next binge. The company this morning announced a new feature that will make personalized recommendations of what to watch, including both TV shows and movies, and point you to services where the content is available. The feature is an expansion of Google’s existing efforts in pointing web searchers to informative content about TV shows and films. Already, a Google search for a TV show or movie title will include a “Knowledge Panel” box at the the top of the search results where you can read the overview, see the ratings and reviews, check out the cast and, as of spring 2017, find services where the show or movie can be streamed or …

Drivetime nabs $11M from Makers Fund, Amazon and Google to build voice-based games for drivers

Fully autonomous cars may (or may not) be just around the corner, but in the meantime, a startup that’s building in-car apps to help human drivers pass the time when behind the wheel has raised a round of funding. Drivetime — which makes voice-based trivia quizzes, games and interactive stories that people can play while driving — has raised $11 million in funding led by Makers Fund (a prolific investor in gaming startups), with participation from Amazon (via the Alexa Fund) and Google (via its Assistant investment program). The startup today has eight “channels” on its platform consisting of games and stories that you can access either within a limited free-to-play tier or via a paid subscription (

Who Owns Song Lyrics on the Internet? It’s Complicated

If you felt that an internet giant stole your hard work and claimed it as its own, how would you ever prove that? Well, what if you could booby-trap the information first? On this spine-tingling episode of the Gadget Lab podcast, Mike, Arielle, and Lauren talk with WIRED’s Emily Dreyfuss about how the tension between Google and song lyric service Genius could become much more than just a copyright dispute. Also in the news, Apple takes a hit with a recall of the MacBook Pro, and GE catches some delayed online ridicule over a video about light bulbs. Finally, the gang considers switching formats to become an ASMR podcast. Michael Calore can be found at @snackfight. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. …

Google will start attributing lyrics in its search results to their third-party providers

Earlier this week, music lyrics repository Genius accused Google of lifting lyrics and posting them on its search platform. Genius told The Wall Street Journal that this caused its site traffic to drop. Google, which initially denied wrongdoing but later said it was investigating the issue, addressed the controversy in a blog post today. The company said it will start including attribution to its third-party partners that provide lyrics in its information boxes. When Google was first approached by The Wall Street Journal, it told the newspaper that the lyrics it displays are licensed by partners and not created by Google. But some of the lyrics (which are displayed in information boxes or cards called “Knowledge Panels” at the top …

Startups net more than capital with NBA players as investors

Mary Ann Azevedo In February, we covered how digital sports media startup Overtime had raised $23 million in a Series B round of funding led by Spark Capital. Former NBA Commissioner David Stern was an early investor and advisor in the company (putting money in the company’s seed round). Golden State Warriors player Kevin Durant invested as part of the company’s Series A in early 2018 via his busy investment vehicle, Thirty Five Ventures. And then, Carmelo Anthony invested (via his Melo7 Tech II fund) earlier this year. Other NBA-related investors include Baron Davis, Andre Iguodala and Victor Oladipo, and other non-NBA backers include Andreessen Horowitz and Greycroft. I talked to Overtime’s CEO, 27-year-old Zack Weiner, about how the involvement of so many NBA players came about. I also wondered what they brought to the table beyond their cash. But …

Free music streaming is coming to Google and Amazon

Google is launching its augmented reality walking directions for Google Maps, one year after it first showed them off at Google I/O.Image: karissa bell / mashable Google is making good on at least one promise from last year’s I/O: augmented reality in Google Maps.  The feature, which had previously been available to some Local Guides, is rolling out now to Pixel phones. (No word yet on when it will be available on other Android phones or on iOS.) Augmented reality walking directions work about the same as the last time we got a preview of the feature back in February. When you’re unsure where to turn, or whether to the cross the street, holding up your phone opens your camera, …