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Tech News Digest is a new column designed to deliver the latest technology news in bite-sized chunks. In today’s Tech News Digest, the secret behind Google’s floating barge is (probably) revealed, Instagram adds ads, the smartphone patent wars intensify, Netflix begins testing Ultra HD video streaming, iGoogle gets buried for good, Amazon launches Kindle MatchBook, Google+ appeals to your vanity, a female driver is ticketed for wearing Google Glass, and Kanye sues Chad.

The Big Story Of The Day

Google’s Big Secret Is Revealed, Probably

Last week saw news emerge of a mysterious floating barge being kitted out in San Francisco Bay, with all signs pointing towards Google being the company behind the construction. But what on Earth was Google building? Most pundits concluded this would be an enormous data center, but the truth is a little more exciting than that. Only a little, mind.

According to local TV station KPIX 5, the Google barge will house “luxury showrooms and a party deck” where important clients can be wined and dined before having Google Glass and other Google gadgets and services marketed to them. And there we were hoping Google was beginning its quest for world domination by building a secret island like all the best Bond villains do.

News From Around The Web

Ads Come To Instagram

All websites face the dilemma of how to make money at some point in their existence, whether just to cover running costs or to actually get rich. Instagram New To Instagram? Top Tips For Newbies New To Instagram? Top Tips For Newbies When you’re getting started on Instagram, there are a few tips and tricks to bear in mind to make sure that you hit the ground running. The popular app is part photo-sharing site and part... Read More , owned by Facebook since the social network bought the company for a cool $1 billion in 2012, is the latest to have introduced advertising as a solution to this problem. After a month of testing, the first ad, for fashion brand Michael Kors, has gone live. Feel free to air your views on this development in the comments section below.

Rockstar Sues Google

Rockstar is suing Google. Not a rock star but rather Rockstar Bidco, a company owned by Microsoft, Apple, RiM, Ericsson, and Sony. Rockstar bought up a hefty set of Nortel patents in 2011, and these are now being used to wage war against Google, Android, and a host of companies who manufacture Android devices. This set of patents is being talked about as the equivalent of a nuclear bomb in the patent wars, so the fallout from this lawsuit [PDF link] is likely to be widespread and messy.

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Netflix Begins Testing 4K Video

With the 3D phenomenon 3D TVs: What They Are, How They Work, & What Can They Show In 3D? [MakeUseOf Explains] 3D TVs: What They Are, How They Work, & What Can They Show In 3D? [MakeUseOf Explains] If you’re in the market for a new TV, chances are it’s going to be 3D - not because you particularly want one that can do 3D, but simply becuase 3DTVs typically have better displays... Read More failing to take hold in a mainstream way television manufacturers are now gambling on 4K TV sets Should You Buy A 4K / Ultra HD Television? Should You Buy A 4K / Ultra HD Television? About a decade ago, manufacturers started to sell what's now widely known as an HDTV. But now HD is old news, so the industry has decided to push another new technology; Ultra HD, also known... Read More . Its alternative name of Ultra HD reveals its nature, as these sets are likely to make your mere 1080p capable telly boxes look terrible by comparison. The sets will only sell if there is dedicated content available, which is why it’s good news that Netflix is now testing 4K content on its streaming service. As the video from The Verge embedded above shows this has been in the works since at least CES 2013.

Ticketed For Driving While Google Glassing

Google Glass is, depending on which technology pundit you listen to, either going to revolutionize the world 5 Reasons Why Google's Project Glass Is The Future & Why That's Awesome [Opinion] 5 Reasons Why Google's Project Glass Is The Future & Why That's Awesome [Opinion] Google’s Project Glass has everyone talking. It’s a glimpse of the future of augmented reality, wearable computing, and better integration of the Internet and technology in our day-to-day lives. Imagine replacing your smartphone with a... Read More or turn the whole human race into a mass of gibbering wrecks Why An Augmented Reality Future (Google Project Glass) Scares Me [Opinion] Why An Augmented Reality Future (Google Project Glass) Scares Me [Opinion] At the beginning of April Google unveiled Project Glass, a new effort to bring smartphone functionality to your eyeball(s). And that's not me overstating the case. This is a HUD (Heads-Up Display) offering augmented reality,... Read More like the morons from Wall-E. One person who has embraced Google Glass was ticketed for distracted driving purely because she was wearing the futuristic eye goggles. This despite the fact she was only wearing them but not actually using them.

Amazon’s Kindle MatchBook Ignited

Amazon really wants you to buy a Kindle and stop reading those horrible book things made from paper and cardboard. Books, I think they’re called. Hence the introduction of MatchBook Amazon Introduces Kindle MatchBook Program for Digital Copies of Paper Books Amazon Introduces Kindle MatchBook Program for Digital Copies of Paper Books Amazon.com launched its Kindle MatchBook program which enables customers to download digital copies of the physical paper version of the books purchased from Amazon. The Kindle digital versions range from free to $2.99. Read More , which will offer you digital versions of the books you have bought from Amazon over the last 15 years. The prices are reduced but this still means Amazon effectively gets paid twice for the same product.

iGoogle Goes iBye

iGoogle is officially no more, with Google having killed the Web portal off on Nov. 1 as promised. This was a popular Google product that will be sorely missed by its small but dedicated set of fans. Engadget bid iGoogle goodbye with a must-read ode, though I’m sure the last line will cause annoyance amongst former users of the product. Thankfully there are alternatives to iGoogle Great Personalized Start Pages: 6 Alternatives To iGoogle Great Personalized Start Pages: 6 Alternatives To iGoogle If you’ve not yet heard, Google plans to pull the plug on iGoogle in November 2013 in addition to a few other services like Google Video and Google Mini. Though the company have yet to... Read More .

Google+ Adds Vanity URLs

Whether you actively use it or not (I’m guessing not) you’re likely to have a Google+ account. And now you can get a Google+ vanity URL You Can Now Finally Get a Vanity URL For Your Google Plus Account - If You're Eligible You Can Now Finally Get a Vanity URL For Your Google Plus Account - If You're Eligible Finally, Google+ users can get a vanity URL for their profile. Google Plus has been around since 2011, but you haven't been able to get a proper vanity URL for your profile until now. Read More which will replace the random set of numbers with a name pre-chosen by Google. Why? Because you can, Goddammit.

And Finally…

Kanye West Sues Founder Of YouTube

When Kanye West proposed to Kim Kardashian none of the invited guests were meant to record the event. But one did. His name is Chad Hurley, and he co-founded YouTube before selling it to Google for $1.65 billion in 2006. He has since launched MixBit YouTube Founders Launch Challenge To Vine & Instagram: MixBit [Updates] YouTube Founders Launch Challenge To Vine & Instagram: MixBit [Updates] YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen recently launched their answer to Vine and Instagram for iOS and the Web on Thursday, and the Android version is set to be released in several weeks. The... Read More , but that isn’t doing quite as well. The recording of Kanye’s proposal was uploaded to MixBit, naturally, and that’s made Kanye and Kim very, very mad. To the point that the couple are suing Hurley. Be careful who you film, folks.

Image Credit: Carlos Luna

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