These are the offers that we received via the Chromecast in the Consumerist Cave.

Google Giving Away Free Stuff To New & Current Chromecast Users

In less than a year and a half, Google’s Chromecast has gone from nothing to being the #2 video streaming device sold to U.S. consumers, largely because of its $35 price tag. Now with Amazon — another newcomer into this market — rolling out its comparable $39 Fire TV stick, Google is throwing in freebies to new and current Chromecast users. [More]

(Joel Zimmer)

Authors Argue In Court That Google Books Scanning Project Is Bad For Book Sales

Is Google Books a useful tool for finding exactly the book that you need and driving sales, or a copyright infringement on a massive scale? That’s been the longtime argument (in court) between Google and some of the authors whose work appears in the search engine. At stake are billions of dollars that Google would owe the Authors Guild and individual authors who are parties to the suit. [More]

Google Replacing CAPTCHAs With “I’m Not A Robot” Check Box

Google Replacing CAPTCHAs With “I’m Not A Robot” Check Box

Almost every Internet user has come across a CAPTCHA security check — you know, the thing where you have to enter in a jumbled set of letters and numbers, often with lines drawn through them — and had absolutely no idea how to decipher it. This is frustrating and it’s not actually effective, so Google’s reCAPTCHA folks have come up with a new idea: Just asking if you’re a robot. [More]

Roku, Apple TV Losing Ground To Chromecast & Amazon Fire TV Streaming Devices

Roku, Apple TV Losing Ground To Chromecast & Amazon Fire TV Streaming Devices

A year ago, Roku and Apple TV dominated the market for streaming video devices, accounting for nearly 75% of all video streaming products sold in the U.S. in 2013. But in the last 16 months, Google’s Chromecast and Amazon’s Fire TV devices have stolen a significant chunk of Apple and Roku’s business. [More]

Users who support sites through Google Contribute will see blocked-out boxes instead of ads when they visit participating sites.

Google’s New “Contributor” Feature Lets You Pay Sites In Exchange For No Ads

Taking a cue from the world of smartphone apps, where users can either get a free version that includes ads or pay a premium to get an ad-free experience, Google has announced a new product — Google Contributions, which will allow users to pay participating sites in exchange for not being bombarded with ads. [More]

(Sister72)

Firefox Breaks Up With Google, Makes Yahoo The Browser’s Default Search Engine

Right now, Google is probably on the couch wrapped in blankets with The Notebook on repeat, eyeballs deep in a trough of chocolate ice cream. Mozilla dumped Google this week after three years together, as Firefox’s default search engine, and has decided to go steady with Yahoo instead. [More]

(Joshua Leners)

Former Freelancer Sues Google For Overtime, Pay Violations

It’s not uncommon for employees and contractors to bring lawsuits against their employers for unpaid wages. One such suit was filed earlier this week by a former freelance worker claiming that Google didn’t pay overtime, improperly classified him as an independent contractor and terminated his contract after he asked for more hours. [More]

Suspected Serial Scammer Arrested After New Roommate Googles Her

(Earth2Kim)

We all do it — looking up someone you’ve just met on the Internet, whether it’s a first date or a job candidate — and in at least one case, Googling a new roommate helped one woman escape a potentially scammy relationship. [More]

(Great Beyond)

Internet Enjoyed A Couple Of Glorious Ad-Free Hours After Google Outage

For a few hours this morning, you might have noticed that some of your favorite sites were serving up fewer ads — or in some cases no ads at all. No, it’s not because you’re special (though you are, honestly) or because these sites decided to give you a break from slamming your senses with advertising; it was all due to an outage of Google’s ad server. [More]

(catastrophegirl)

YouTube Launches Subscription Service Called Music Key At Promo Price Of $7.99 Per Month

Google said it was building it, and now it’s come: YouTube launched a new video subscription service called Music Key today, at an initial price of $7.99 per month for the beta offering. That fee keeps the ads away for users who are sick of sitting through commercials before watching content. [More]

The Google barge in San Francisco Bay in 2013. It's since been towed to Stockton, CA, where it sits idle.

What Happened To Those Google Barges?

Remember a year ago, when Google-constructed barges popped up in the waters off San Francisco and Portland (the one in Maine)? They were supposed to be floating showrooms, but they never opened and have since been towed away or sold. But what exactly caused Google to scuttle its seafaring plans? [More]

Results for four of the 39 services currently evaluated on the EFF's Secure Messaging Scorecard.

Secure Messaging Scorecard Shows Just How Unprotected Your Online Chats Are

The Internet is a place where hundreds of millions of people go to write things they wouldn’t — or can’t — say in public, and many of the most private and secretive communications occur via the many instant messaging services available to consumers. But what you may not realize when sharing your personal thoughts (and images) with someone online is that the level of privacy and security on these services varies wildly from one to the next. [More]

(elnina)

Would You Switch Utility Providers For Free Nest Thermostat?

While the wireless industry is trying to abandon the practice of giving customers hardware discounts in exchange for agreeing to a two-year contract, Google is trying out that subsidized-device approach in Ireland with its pricey Nest thermostats. [More]

(Great Beyond)

Can Police Force You To Unlock Your Phone With Fingerprint?

While the Supreme Court recently made it very clear that police can’t look at the contents of a suspect’s phone without a warrant, what remains unresolved is whether or not authorities with a warrant can then compel a suspect to unlock his/her phone. And does it make a difference if that unlocking involves a fingerprint instead of a passcode? [More]

(Mrs. Gemstone)

Disney’s Search Engine Patent Lumps Movie Piracy In With Child Porn

The folks at Disney have patented a search engine that ranks and filters out results based on “authenticity” metrics, allowing it to exclude “undesirable” results, which it describes only as “results referencing piracy websites, child pornography websites, and/or the like,” lumping in people trying to watch Finding Nemo for free with dangerous sexual predators. [More]

(Louis Abate)

Sale Of Motorola Mobility From Google To Lenovo Is Finalized

Earlier this year, Google sold Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for $2.91 billion in cash and stock. Just three years ago, Google bought the company for $12.5 billion, but this isn’t as terrible a business deal as it might appear: while Lenovo gets the phone business, Google gets to keep the company’s valuable library of patents. [More]

(Andrew McDaniel)

YouTube Planning To Let You Pay To Avoid Ads

Sick of sitting through ads on YouTube just to watch a few seconds of a video clip? The Google-owned service is reportedly readying a version that lets users avoid all the advertising if they’re willing to pay for the convenience. [More]

These sorts of ads began showing up over the summer when Google users added terms like "torrent" or "DVDrip" to their searches.

Google Fights Piracy (And Makes A Buck) With Ads For Legal Downloads In Search Results

Have you been wanting to catch up on Game of Thrones but don’t have HBO (or a friend who will share her HBO Go login info)? People who search for things like “Game of Thrones Download” on Google are now being greeted by ads from services offering legal ways to pay for the content you’re after. [More]