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Google

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Google+ social network turns 5 years old, wants a pony and a plastic rocket for its birthday

Many happy returns, Google+, you are five today. Google's home-built social network was launched on June 28th, 2011, competing with the likes of Facebook and Twitter with a unique "circle" approach to contact management and deep integration with Google services. Many predicted it wouldn't last this long (rest in peace, Google Wave), but Google+ has proven surprisingly resilient.

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Google releases new Cast SDK 3.0.0 from I/O 2016 for developers

Google has offered the Cast SDK to developers in some capacity for three years, but there have long been some annoyances that made it difficult to implement and maintain in certain apps. Cast SDK v3.0 was announced at I/O 2016 last month, and now it's available to developers. This version of the SDK seeks to simplify several elements of the old one to make developers' lives a little easier.

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Google releases sharper satellite images in Google Earth and Maps

The Landsat 8 satellite was launched by NASA in 2013 to snap photos of Earth in higher detail than were possible before. This is an open project, so you can dig through all the data if you want. Today, we get to enjoy the benefits Landsat 8 in a more convenient way. Google has rolled out improved worldwide satellite imagery in Google Earth and Maps using the data acquired by this satellite.

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The solution to random reboots on the Pixel C is... an RMA replacement

Some Pixel C owners have had a rough time with Google's flagship tablet. Problems first started appearing last month, when the scheduled over-the-air update for May (plus some Android N preview builds that had already been available) started causing semi-random reboots, usually when the tablet had gone into its low-power mode running on battery. The June update failed to fix the problem, as did the fourth version of the Android N developer preview.

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Google puts up "be together not the same" billboard for Pride with lots of colorful Nova Launcher screens

New York City's Pride March is scheduled to take place this Sunday the 26th, and Google is all ready to join in. Android's "be together not the same" slogan champions acceptance and celebrates difference, something that falls in line with the message of Pride. And with the Orlando shooting's black cloud looming over everyone, it's nice to see Google already excited and ready to grab its rainbow flag and stand proud.

At the corner of Christopher Street and 7th Avenue in NYC, there are two new billboards for Android filled to the brim with more than 80 different homescreen setups — some, if not all, of which have been made with Nova Launcher (which happens to be on sale now, happy coincidence!).

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Google support site now lists end-of-life dates for Nexus devices [Updated]

Google formalized the update guarantee for Nexus devices last year in the wake of the Stage Fright vulnerability, but now it's gone a step further by listing the approximate end-of-life (EOL) dates on its support site. Google added this data at some point in the last few weeks, but it has only now been noticed.

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Google adds 2-step verification approval prompt on Android devices

The internet is a dangerous place with all sorts of shady people out to get your personal data. One of the best ways to keep your accounts secure is with 2-step verification (AKA 2-factor auth). Google has long supported that feature, but typing in those codes every time you log in can be annoying. Starting today, you can approve account logins from a prompt on your authorized mobile device.

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Google is getting a symptom search feature, making it easier than ever to convince yourself that headache is brain cancer

The internet has changed the way we live our lives by delivering the entirety of human information to your hands. However, that includes medical diagnosis. As we all know, if you search for symptoms on the internet, you will invariably come out of it thinking you have cancer. Now, Google can deliver the bad (and not accurate) news to you as well. Google search will get built-in symptom search in the next few days.

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Google has already fixed the weird notification toggle behavior from the last Android N dev preview

Most of the intrepid users who tried the most recent Android N developer preview were none too pleased with the new notification toggle behavior. Google changed the WiFi and Bluetooth buttons from simple toggles to connection list triggers. After more than 1,500 issue tracker stars in just a few days, Google has relented.

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Google paid out $550k for Android Security Reward bounties in the last year, is upping bounty amounts

A year ago today Google announced Android Security Rewards, an expansion of its Vulnerability Rewards Program. Find a vulnerability, tell Google about it, help them fix the issue, and take home money. That's the concept, and it's a common one in the tech industry.

Google handed out over half a million bucks to 82 individuals over the past year. This averaged out to $2,200 per reward. Researchers averaged higher payouts, at $6,700. One, @heisecode, received $75,750 for 26 vulnerability reports. 15 researchers received $10,000 or more.

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