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Key Speakers And General Views From The Google I/O 2012 Conference

Google has offered an option to reduce the amount of data Chrome uses on Android and iOS for a while, and now it's rolled out an extension to do the same for desktop users. Just like the mobile option, it works by compressing the data on Google's servers first before sending it on, and claims some pages can be reduced in size by as much as 50 percent. VentureBeat spotted Data Saver (beta) in the Chrome Web Store, where the description notes that just like on mobile, it doesn't intercept SSL-protected or Incognito tabs to protect user's security and privacy. Proxy-based compression is hardly a new concept, but if you're a heavy Chrome user then now you have a Google-powered option, especially if you're on a tethered connection or somewhere else it pays to be bandwidth-conscious.

[Image credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]

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Amazon Cloud Drive

Amazon thinks it has a way to entice you away from the likes of Dropbox or Google Drive: real, honest-to-goodness unlimited internet storage. It just launched two Cloud Drive plans that let you upload as much as you like, with the primary difference being what you can upload without worrying about caps. If you're only interested in preserving photos, an Unlimited Photos Plan costs a modest $12 per year, or free on Prime; you'll have 5GB to use for anything else. Should you have a lot of documents or a sizable video collection, an Unlimited Everything tier will cost a still-pretty-reasonable $60 per year. The one catch is that there's no truly free option. You can get a 3-month free trial, but you'll want to look at the no-cost alternatives if you don't expect to store gobs of files online.

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Smoother scrolling is coming to Chrome, as Google will integrate Microsoft's Pointer Events API into a future version of the browser. To say that Google and Microsoft haven't had the best working relationship would be an understatement. The companies have been warring on several different fronts, with browsers and the future of the web being a major sticking point. As Ars Technica reports, now that Internet Explorer (and all the legacy that comes with it) is about to be retired in favor of a sleeker, standards-friendly browser, the two companies -- or at least their browser teams -- are starting to warm to one another.

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Ten years ago, multiplayer-only games went through a severe identity crisis. More people than ever were gaming together, but they were increasingly playing online only. The small-stakes joy of twitchy experiences like Street Fighter II and Super Off Road, games meant to be played in short sessions preferably in the same room, weren't feasible anymore. Video games have always been expensive to make, so multiplayer modes had to either come packaged with other content -- consider Halo's famed multiplayer tucked alongside its single-player story -- to flesh them out or be custom built to serve hardcore players meeting up on the internet, a la Team Fortress 2, Valve's modern-day equivalent to the easy-access multiplayer of yore.

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There are more music streaming apps than the world needs. But there hasn't really been a streamlined experience for electronic dance music listeners until now. Most of the popular apps -– Spotify, 8tracks and Pandora -– have a plethora of dance music tracks and amateur playlists to choose from, but they're not dedicated to the fist-thumping, bass-pounding needs of a dance music lover. Beatport, the go-to stream and download site for DJs and their fans, has finally stepped up its game with the launch of iOS and Android apps today. It's the latest service to join T-Mobile's Music Freedom program, which streams music without eating into your data plan.

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Google and its video game studio, Niantic Labs, are adding another layer to their augmented reality app, Ingress, by bringing it to TV, The Information reports. In Ingress, players travel -- in physical reality -- to marked locations called "portals," and they hack and defend those positions using iOS and Andriod devices, including Android Wear. It's a lot of mystery, stealth and geolocation wrapped in a sci-fi vibe, and players are meant to feel like operatives in world-changing missions. Plus, the app has been downloaded more than 10 million times since launching in 2012. Yeah, that sounds like it could make for a fairly entertaining TV show.

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Facebook connects people, but it also wants to know them so it can show relevant information and targeted ads to them. To generate a personalized feed for each user, the network needs to identify and classify content in posts, images and news. Towards that end, the company launched an ambitious AI plan, and a research laboratory, at the end of 2013. Today at F8, its annual developer's conference, the network's CTO Mike Schroepfer talked about a specific AI prototype that can identify content in videos and the context of words. While AI for video can identify 487 types of sport activities, another reads sentences to pinpoint possessives from the grammar used. This allows the company to sift through an overwhelming load of information so it can arrive at a newsfeed that's most appropriate for the user. It's unclear if the new system is already peeking through posts, but Schroepfer indicated that over the next 10 years, Facebook will focus on building advanced AI systems.

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Being an enormous fan of From Software, the truly insane studio behind PS4's new gothic role-playing game Bloodborne, I imported Demon's Souls from Honk Kong back in 2009. No one knew anything about it at that point, but I learned quick: the game is vicious, cruel and devoid of altruistic design. It punished me repeatedly, so when Dark Souls and Dark Souls II cemented the series as a deep, dark well of mystery that will never help you, I gave up. Now that successor Bloodborne has arrived, I'm ready to try again. Join me as I blindly embrace its brutality for the first time on today's stream.

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There are an estimated five billion people worldwide who lack reliable internet access but Facebook is reportedly "ready to spend billions" in order to change that. The Menlo Park-based company has recently announced plans to deliver global connectivity on the backs of enormous, solar-powered UAV, dubbed project Aquila. The plan is still very much in its initial planning stages but Facebook appears to be dedicated to making it a reality. Facebook acquired UAV maker Ascenta last year as its in-house drone design team and has already set them to work developing a platform capable of spending up to three months aloft while cruising at altitudes between 60,000 to 90,000 feet. Each UAV is expected to have a wingspan rivaling Boeing 767 (about 156 feet from tip to tip) but only weigh about as much as a Kia.

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Fox's

The co-creator of the service behind Beats music has launched a game that plays on the public's love for shows like X-Factor and Glee. Called Chosen, it lets users either record and upload their performances, or act as judges to give other musicians the old Simon Cowell treatment on video. As in the televised versions, the cream of performers and judges will rise to the top of the rankings and get... well, bragging rights, anyway.

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