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Google Inc (GOOG) News: CEO Larry Page Recovery, New Google Maps & Google Play, Share Price Rise

Google CEO Recovering From Vocal Cord Paralysis (InformationWeek)
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) CEO Larry Page says that his ongoing hoarseness is the result of the paralysis of his vocal chords and that he has decided to fund voice-related medical research through the Voice Health Institute, based in Boston, Mass. In a Google+ post on Tuesday, Page discussed his condition publicly for the first time. He explained that 14 years ago, he caught a bad cold that left his voice hoarse. His doctor at the time diagnosed him with left vocal cord paralysis, a nerve problem. A cause was never identified but Page speculates that a virus might be to blame.

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)Why Google’s Big Conference Will Be Quieter This Year (Wired)
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s annual developer conference, I/O, kicks off with a high-profile keynote presentation this morning. But don’t expect Google to try and make big waves, because the company has said it will back off releasing new products this year – and because Google I/O launches have gone so terribly in the past. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s tight-lipped Android chief Sundar Pichai told Steven Levy that this year’s I/O will “not [be] a time when we have much in the way of launches of new consumer products or a new operating system… we’re going to focus this I/O on all of the kinds of things we’re doing for developers.”

Google music service to take on Spotify (Telegraph.co.uk)
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) may launch a subscription music-streaming service as early as this week to compete with popular apps such as Spotify. Three major record labels have reached agreements with Google to license songs to the new service, Bloomberg reports. Google may announce the service later today at the I/O conference for developers being held in San Francisco. The tech giant’s venture into music will see Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) further cement its position at the forefront of mobile software, as iOS and Android users well-used to Chrome, GMail and Google Maps are offered yet another reason to install a Google-branded app.

New Version of Google Maps Leaked Online (PC Magazine)
The new Google Maps seems to incorporate data from your Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) account to highlight areas and locations that are important to you. In addition to the automated location curation, the new maps also appears to add Google Flight Search into the traditional Google Maps product, allowing users to easily plan trips directly from the normal Google Maps screen rather than visiting a separate site. Perhaps the most interesting feature, though, is the inclusion of Google Earth as an option. This is a combination many fans of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Maps have wanted for some time, but up until now the most realistic topographic images offered by Google Maps have been Street View and the satellite viewing option.

Only 10% of Americans Say They Would Wear Google Glass (Mashable)
Google Glass may be the most hyped piece of technology in years, but according to a new study, only one in 10 American smartphone owners would wear the high-tech specs regularly. Social awkwardness was the top reason why people said they would steer clear of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s smart and web-connected glasses, a new report, called Google Glass Adoption Forecast, has revealed. Conducted by BiTE interactive, which surveyed 1,000 U.S. adults, 45% of respondents said they wouldn’t wear Google Glass because of its awkward aesthetic or because the device seemed irritating.

German federal court raps Google on the knuckles over autocomplete function (Deutsche Welle)
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s autocomplete function has just had its first day in court. When you type a name, Google search plays word association. But the results are not always to the subject’s liking. It’s as if it was planned – like a bad joke. It was Google.de and an entrepreneur’s name was linked to Scientology, even though they claim never to have had anything to do with it. The case made it to a German federal court, with the judges ruling in favor of the plaintiff. They say the entrepreneur suffered an infringement of his personal rights. Its most prominent “victim” in Germany was Bettina Wulff, the wife of the former president Christian Wulff. When her name was googled, the search engine’s autocomplete function would spit out phrases such as “red light district” and “escort.”

Google Play Gets a New Look in Version 4.1.6 (Mashable)
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has updated its Google Play store for Android to version 4.1.6, bringing a change in design and several other improvements. The new, colorful home buttons (Apps, Games, Movies, Music, Books and Magazines) on Google Play are the biggest visual change in this release. There were also updates to the Application pages, as well as the Wishlist, which now shows apps in rows of three.

Google share price breaks through $900 (Financial Times)
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s share price broke through $900 early on Wednesday, pushing its market value above $300bn for the first time, as the internet search giant prepared to flex its technological muscles at its annual developer day in San Francisco. A 2 per cent rise in morning trading in New York, lifting the shares above $906, continued the powerful rally that has lifted Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s value by some 60 per cent in the past ten months. The surge came as investors shook off their earlier worries about a potential collapse in pricing for Google’s advertising as users moved increasingly to mobile devices.

AT&T CEO: We’ll piggyback on Google’s Fiber rollout plans (CNET)
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) seems perfectly willing to let Google blaze the trail when it comes to fiber-optic deployment. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has said it plans to deploy its fiber network in select neighborhoods in Austin, Texas. AT&T Inc. has also said it would also like to build a fiber network, but under the same kinds of terms and conditions. “We will probably piggyback on the rules and terms and condition that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) received in Austin and do our own build in Austin,” CEO Randall Stephenson said during an investor conference on Wednesday.