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Google Play makes The Pirate Bay walk the plank

This means war. Photo: The Pirate Bay app

This means war. Photo: The Pirate Bay app

Google has been tightening up its policies on piracy services the last few weeks and today it just gave The Pirate Bay one its biggest blows on Android by banning its apps from Google Play.

Pirate Bay developers were sent an email from Google today notifying them that their apps had been removed. Apps that provided optimized browsers for the Pirate Bay were Google’s main target in the ban. Many of the apps, which included “The Pirate Bay Proxy,” “PirateApp,” and “The Pirate Bay Premium,” also had proxy sites for users to circumvent ISP restrictions.

The sudden banishment apparently came without a DMCA takedown notice, reports TorrentFreak, who spoke with one of the developers that claims his app really isn’t any different than Google Chome.

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New Spotify subscribers pay just $0.99 a month for three months

3 months of Spotify premium for under $3. Music doesn't get much cheaper than that. Photo: Spotify

3 months of Spotify premium for under $3. Music doesn’t get much cheaper than that. Photo: Spotify

Thinking about finally signing up for Spotify Premium? There couldn’t be a better time to do it. For a limited time only, Spotify is offering new customers three months of access for just $0.99 a month — that’s $9 off its normal price.

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Samsung fires three execs over Galaxy S5 failure

Samsung-Galaxy-S5-music

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is to phone flagships what R.M.S Titanic was to actual ships. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

It’s pretty clear that Samsung’s mobile business is faltering at the moment, and members of its executive team are paying the price. Not only has Samsung recently posted dismal quarter profits, but it also wildly overestimated the appeal of the Galaxy S5, with the result that unsold units are now piling up in warehouses.

According to a new report coming out of Korea, to get things back on the right track Samsung has just sacked three top executives in its mobile business as part of large-scale reshuffling/downsizing effort.

The three heads on the chopping block include Lee Don-joo, head of the mobile business unit’s strategic marketing office, Kim Jae-kwon, chief of the global operations office, and Lee Chul-hwan, who was previously in charge of the mobile R&D office.

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Cheap Chromebooks teach Apple a lesson: Price matters

Chromebooks are only going to get more popular. Photo: Acer

Chromebooks are only going to get more popular. Photo: Acer

Apple and Google are very interested in taking over the U.S. education market from Microsoft, but when it comes to capturing marketshare, the Chromebook is teaching Apple an important lesson: Price matters.

For the first time ever, Google has passed Apple in the U.S. education market, according to IDC data obtained by The Financial Times, which shows Google’s Chromebook laptops are more popular now in the K-12 classrooms than the iPad.

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Here’s how to see all the devices logged into your Google account

Screenshot: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

Screenshot: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

Google has launched a new online tool that allows users to see all the devices that have logged into their account in the last 28 days. If you have suspicions that someone may be logging into your Google account without your permission, you can log in and quickly identify any unauthorized access from computers and mobile devices.

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Luxury watchmakers clamp down on smartwatch copycats

A Rolex watchface on the Moto 360. Photo: Rico Fox

A Rolex watchface on the Moto 360. Photo: Rico Fox

That fancy Rolex face you’ve downloaded for your smartwatch won’t be available for much longer if luxury watchmakers get their way. A number of the world’s leading watch brands are clamping down on copycat faces designed for smartwatches and hope to get them banished from the Internet, according to a new report.

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Samsung’s hopes for Galaxy S5 sales were wildy optimistic

The Galaxy S5 is scheduled to get Android 4.4.4 this month. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

For a flagship device, Samsung’s Galaxy S5 doesn’t exactly sound like it’s flying high. According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, Samsung dramatically overestimated how many people were hankering after its new handset, with the result being that unsold units are now “piling up in warehouses.”

Although the S5 has sold around 12 million units in its first three months, that is substantially less than the numbers of the previous generation Galaxy S4, which sold around 4 million more in that same time frame. This would be bad news at any time, but Samsung was reportedly so gung-ho about the S5’s sales prospects that it actually increased production by 20%.

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Amazon readies ‘Netflix killer’ video service

Amazon wants to be more involved in movie streaming. Photo: Amazon

Amazon wants an even bigger presence in your living room. Photo: Amazon

Amazon will roll out a new, standalone video streaming service next year that won’t be bundled with a $99 Prime subscription, according to sources familiar with its plans. The retail giant hopes to take on rivals like Netflix and Hulu and undercut their prices in an effort to attract customers.

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Nokia’s new tablet is a gorgeous iPad mini clone powered by Android

The Nokia N1 looks just like an iPad mini. Photo: Nokia

The Nokia N1 looks just like an iPad mini. Photo: Nokia

Nokia’s decision to sell its smartphone business to Microsoft and leave Windows Phone behind was an excellent choice, it seems. The Finnish firm today announced its first piece of hardware following the sale, and it’s a stunning iPad mini clone called the N1 that’s powered by Android 5.0 Lollipop.

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Times Square’s new billboard is as long as a football field, and Google’s its first customer

Photo: Maurice Huang/Flickr CC

Photo: Maurice Huang/Flickr CC

New York’s Times Square is about to get one of the world’s largest advertising video screen billboards — and Google is its debut customer.

The screen is an epic eight stories high, runs an entire block, and is made up of a mind-blowing 24 million pixels. According to reports, Google snapped up the ad space the moment it became available and paid for an exclusive, long-term deal. The search giant will take over the screen on November 24, with an as-yet unrevealed campaign that runs through the New Year.

It’s not currently known exactly how much Google shelled out, but according to the owners of the megascreen, ad space costs an enormous $2.5 million for four weeks, making this one of the most expensive outdoor ads in the world.

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