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UK to impose tax on tech giants but risks US tariffs on car exports | Business | The Guardian
The chancellor, Sajid Javid, has insisted that the UK will go ahead with plans for a tax on big tech companies this spring despite a threat from the US to slap “arbitrary “ tariffs on UK car exports.
tech  taxation  offshore  Google  Amazon  Facebook  Apple  Guardian  2020 
9 weeks ago by inspiral
The End of the Beginning – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
In other words, today’s cloud and mobile companies — Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, and Google — may very well be the GM, Ford, and Chrysler of the 21st century. The beginning era of technology, where new challengers were started every year, has come to an end; however, that does not mean the impact of technology is somehow diminished: it in fact means the impact is only getting started.

Indeed, this is exactly what we see in consumer startups in particular: few companies are pure “tech” companies seeking to disrupt the dominant cloud and mobile players; rather, they take their presence as an assumption, and seek to transform society in ways that were previously impossible when computing was a destination, not a given. That is exactly what happened with the automobile: its existence stopped being interesting in its own right, while the implications of its existence changed everything.
technology  disruption  history  innovation  paradigmshift  Amazon  Microsoft  Apple  Google  Stratechery  2020 
12 weeks ago by inspiral
Platforms and Publishers: The End of an Era - Columbia Journalism Review
Publishers continue to rely on a variety of platform products, but the ethos of collaboration that infused our research in 2018 has since significantly diminished. More openly than ever before, publishers expressed heightened distrust toward platforms. And while in past interviews they appeared willing to overhaul parts of their businesses to fall in line with platform maneuvers, their priorities were more focused this time around: Post-scale success necessitates regaining control of revenue streams and putting core audience interests above platform demands. 

Last year, we observed strong signals that publishers were looking to bring audiences back to their own properties over “social-first” publishing. In 2019, the trend gained momentum. Many publishers interviewed openly regretted focusing on brand-diluting social content during the scale era, at the expense of undervaluing their core audiences, and have subsequently recommitted to serving their most loyal readers. From a business perspective, this means diversifying reader revenue streams to include, for example, events and membership programs.
webjournalism  journalism  distribution  socialmedia  review  Facebook  Google  ColumbiaJournalismReview  2019 
november 2019 by inspiral
The Internet Is Overrun With Images of Child Sexual Abuse. What Went Wrong? - The New York Times
Online predators create and share the illegal material, which is increasingly cloaked by technology. Tech companies, the government and the authorities are no match.
paedophilia  pornography  abuse  children  childabuse  internet  encryption  Google  Facebook  Tumblr  Snapchat  USA  NYTimes  2019 
october 2019 by inspiral
Three Years of Misery Inside Google, the Happiest Company in Tech | WIRED
Sexual harassment. Hate speech. Employee walkouts. The Silicon Valley giant is trapped in a war against itself. And there’s no end in sight.
Google  diversity  internalcommunications  ethics  politics  review  critique  Wired  2019 
august 2019 by inspiral
Netflix and software — Benedict Evans
Hence, Netflix isn’t using TV to leverage some other business - TV is the business. It’s a TV company. Amazon is using content as a way to leverage its subscription service, Prime, in much the same way to telcos buying cable companies or doing IPTV - it’s a way to stop churn. Amazon is using Lord of the Rings as leverage to get you to buy toilet paper through Prime. But Facebook and Google are not device businesses or subscription businesses. Facebook or Google won’t say ‘don’t cancel your subscription because you’ll lose this TV show’ - there is no subscription. That means the strategic value of TV or music is marginal - it’s marketing, not a lock-in.
television  streamingmedia  Netflix  AmazonPrime  Hulu  Facebook  Google  comparison  strategy  BenedictEvans  2019 
august 2019 by inspiral
The New Wilderness (Idle Words)
That is not the conversation Facebook or Google want us to have. Their totalizing vision is of a world with no ambient privacy and strong data protections, dominated by the few companies that can manage to hoard information at a planetary scale. They correctly see the new round of privacy laws as a weapon to deploy against smaller rivals, further consolidating their control over the algorithmic panopticon.
privacy  Facebook  Google  ambientprivacy  review  critique  IdleWords  2019 
june 2019 by inspiral
Google Fights Back – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
Indeed, this was both the promise and pitfall of Google’s overall presentation: organizing the world’s information was (relatively) easy when that information was widely available, and it was easy to monetize. Everything was aligned. The future, though, is a lot messier: getting information is more difficult, presenting that information is more challenging, and making money is very much an open question. Just because Google is better positioned in this race than anyone else doesn’t matter quite as much when the race is harder, even as the prize is less lucrative, while an increasing number of spectators are cheering for failure. Might as well bring cheerleaders!
Google  strategy  data  privacy  review  Stratechery  2019 
may 2019 by inspiral
Bringing 3D perimeter lidar to partners – Waymo – Medium
Our custom lidars have been instrumental in making Waymo the first company in the world to put fully self-driving cars on public roads. Now, we are making these sensors available to companies outside of self-driving — beginning with robotics, security, agricultural technology, and more — so they can achieve their own technological breakthroughs. Today, we’re announcing that one of our 3D lidar sensors, which we call Laser Bear Honeycomb, is available to select partners.
Google  lidar  license  Waymo  2019 
march 2019 by inspiral
How smart are Gmail’s ‘smart replies’? | Technology | The Guardian
When Seamas O’Reilly responded to all his emails for a week using only Smart Reply, our columnist’s messages suddenly became spookily jaunty. Did his friends spot the difference?
Google  Gmail  SmartReplies  personalaccount  review  Guardian  2019 
february 2019 by inspiral
Rebecca Solnit · Diary: Google Invades · LRB 7 February 2013
There are ways in which Silicon Valley is nothing like this: it’s clean, quiet work, and here to stay in one form or another. But there are ways in which technology is just another boom and the Bay Area is once again a boomtown, with transient populations, escalating housing costs, mass displacements and the casual erasure of what was here before. I think of it as frontierism, with all the frontier’s attitude and operational style, where people without a lot of attachments come and do things without a lot of concern for their impact, where money moves around pretty casually, and people are ground underfoot equally casually. Sometimes the Google Bus just seems like one face of Janus-headed capitalism; it contains the people too valuable even to use public transport or drive themselves. In the same spaces wander homeless people undeserving of private space, or the minimum comfort and security; right by the Google bus stop on Cesar Chavez Street immigrant men from Latin America stand waiting for employers in the building trade to scoop them up, or to be arrested and deported by the government. Both sides of the divide are bleak, and the middle way is hard to find.
Google  SanFrancisco  SiliconValley  gentrification  personalaccount  review  critique  LondonReviewofBooks  2019 
february 2019 by inspiral
How Google software won 2018
But it's not just what's outside that matters. When it comes to Google's products, software can not only make up for lackluster hardware, but even give the company's devices an edge over competing gadgets. This year, Google delivered thoughtful software and truly helpful AI that made some of its otherwise mediocre devices surprisingly compelling.
Google  software  review  advocacy  hardware  Pixel  Pixel3  CallScreening  GoogleAssistant  PixelSlate  ChromeOS  Engadget  2018 
january 2019 by inspiral
The era of the camera: Google Lens, one year in
Looking ahead, I believe that we are entering a new phase of computing: an era of the camera, if you will. It’s all coming together at once—a breathtaking pace of progress in AI and machine learning; cheaper and more powerful hardware thanks to the scale of mobile phones; and billions of people using their cameras to bookmark life’s moments, big and small.
GoogleLens  machinelearning  computervision  computationalphotography  Google  2018 
january 2019 by inspiral
The Friendship That Made Google Huge
Coding together at the same computer, Jeff Dean and Sanjay Ghemawat changed the course of the company—and the Internet.
JeffDean  SanjayGhemawat  profile  Google  software  NewYorker  2018 
december 2018 by inspiral
Android: The word Google didn't say during the Pixel 3 event - 9to5Google
“Android” wasn’t said a single time during the Made by Google 2018 keynote. It marks the first time ever that Google has held a public-facing hardware event like this — since the introduction of the operating system in 2008 — without at least mentioning it by name.
Android  mobileoperatingsystems  brand  Google  positioning  9to5Google  2018 
october 2018 by inspiral
Project ‘Fuchsia’: Google Is Quietly Working on a Successor to Android - Bloomberg
For more than two years, a small and stealthy group of engineers within Google has been working on software that they hope will eventually replace Android, the world’s dominant mobile operating system. As the team grows, it will have to overcome some fierce internal debate about how the software will work.
Google  Fuchsia  Android  mobileoperatingsystems  Bloomberg  2018 
july 2018 by inspiral
Campaign URL Builder — Google Analytics Demos & Tools
This tool allows you to easily add campaign parameters to URLs so you can track Custom Campaigns in Google Analytics.
UTM  URL  URLbuilder  utility  tracking  analytics  Google 
june 2018 by inspiral
The Hyperfragmentation of Retail and Why the Biggest Winners are Digital Ad Platforms, not…
I expect this proliferation of microbrands to continue, because it is easier than ever to start a boutique brand. But, mass distribution is still expensive, so the biggest winners will be those that can collect rent and tolls like Google, Facebook / Instagram, or those that can consolidate microbrands under an umbrella to leverage cross-brand marketing efficiencies. Continued fragmentation of brands will only make the discovery problems and the poor customer experience worse, leaving a massive opportunity to reimagine the retail experience on the demand side.
retail  fragmentation  microbrands  Facebook  Instagram  Google  trends  author:NamrataPatel  Medium  2018 
may 2018 by inspiral
CES 2018: Real Advances, Real Progress, Real Questions
After my 3 days and 87,207 steps I offer these five observations about the direction of products and technology on display at CES.
CES  review  consumerelectronics  voicerecognition  virtualassistant  Google  GoogleAssistant  television  OLED  headphones  Samsung  LG  strategy  augmentedreality  PCs  laptops  wirelesscharging  Qi  innovation  author:StevenSinofsky  LearningbyShipping  Medium  2018 
january 2018 by inspiral
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Rocker | Rhett Miller
There’s another less obvious casualty of the great digital enclosure of the music business: as Spotify, YouTube, Apple, Google, et al., hoover up nearly all the available profits, the people marooned on the production side of a revenue-starved business model are trapped in a perennial race to the bottom, just to get by. This means that even the best-intentioned people, who got into music for the best possible collaborative reasons, are forced to reposition themselves as small-time hustlers, whose younger selves would likely be appalled to encounter them in today’s always-be-closing mode.
music  consolidation  Spotify  Google  streamingmedia  review  critique  personalaccount  author:RhettMiller  TheBaffler  2017 
december 2017 by inspiral
André Staltz - The Web began dying in 2014, here's how
The Suggest strategy is being currently deployed through Google Now, Google Assistant, Android notifications, and Google Home. None of these mentioned technologies are part of Web, in other words, not part of “browser-land” made of websites. The internet is just the underlying transport layer for data from their cloud to end-user devices, but the Web itself is being bypassed. Schmidt’s vision for the future is one where internet services are ubiquitous and personalized, as opposed to an experience contained in web browsers in desktop machines.
openweb  Amazon  Facebook  Google  proprietary  closedgarden  monopoly  critique  Staltz  2017 
november 2017 by inspiral
Google’s Founders Wanted to Shape a City. Toronto Is Their Chance. - The New York Times
Because it’s looking at a neighborhood and not just a typical developer’s parcel, Sidewalk Labs can play with all the infrastructure that connects those parcels — the utility grid, the street network, the sidewalks. But there would be no point in doing all that if there weren’t thousands of people nearby ready to move in, as is the case in rapidly growing Toronto. (Google also announced Tuesday that it would move its Canadian headquarters, which are in Toronto, into the first pilot phase of the development.)

The challenge now amid all the carbon-neutral, internet-enabled robot-monitor sensors will be to keep those humans in mind.
SidewalkLabs  Alphabet  Google  urbandevelopment  review  Toronto  NYTimes  2017 
october 2017 by inspiral
Silicon Valley Is Not Your Friend - The New York Times
We are beginning to understand that tech companies don’t have our best interests at heart. Did they ever?
Amazon  Google  Facebook  SiliconValley  monopoly  society  ethics  review  critique  NYTimes  2017 
october 2017 by inspiral
Google and Facebook Have Failed Us - The Atlantic
The world’s most powerful information gatekeepers neglected their duties in Las Vegas. Again.
Facebook  Google  LasVegas  shooting  webjournalism  fakenews  review  critique  TheAtlantic  2017 
october 2017 by inspiral
Defining Aggregators – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
Aggregation Theory describes how platforms (i.e. aggregators) come to dominate the industries in which they compete in a systematic and predictable way. Aggregation Theory should serve as a guidebook for aspiring platform companies, a warning for industries predicated on controlling distribution, and a primer for regulators addressing the inevitable antitrust concerns that are the endgame of Aggregation Theory.
aggregator  aggregationtheory  strategy  Netflix  Uber  Google  Facebook  review  define  Stratechery  2017 
september 2017 by inspiral
Who Owns the Internet? | The New Yorker
Foer prefers the model of artisanal cheesemakers. ( “World Without Mind” apparently went to press before Amazon announced its intention to buy Whole Foods.) “The culture industries need to present themselves as the organic alternative, a symbol of status and aspiration,” he writes. “Subscriptions are the route away from the aisles of clickbait.” Just after the election, he notes, the Times added more than a hundred thousand new subscribers by marketing itself as a fake-news antidote. And, as an act of personal resistance, he suggests picking up a book. “If the tech companies hope to absorb the totality of human existence,” he writes, “then reading on paper is one of the few slivers of life that they can’t fully integrate.”
media  journalism  Google  Amazon  Facebook  monopoly  review  critique  NewYorker  2017 
august 2017 by inspiral
James Damore’s Google Memo Gets Science All Wrong | WIRED
The problem is, the science in Damore’s memo is still very much in play, and his analysis of its implications is at best politically naive and at worst dangerous. The memo is a species of discourse peculiar to politically polarized times: cherry-picking scientific evidence to support a preexisting point of view. It’s an exercise not in rational argument but in rhetorical point scoring. And a careful walk through the science proves it.
JamesDamore  Google  gender  sexism  research  review  Wired  2017 
august 2017 by inspiral
So, about this Googler’s manifesto. – Yonatan Zunger – Medium
I’m writing this here, in this message, because I’m no longer at the company and can say this sort of thing openly. But I want to make it very clear: if you were in my reporting chain, all of part (3) would have been replaced with a short “this is not acceptable” and maybe that last paragraph above. You would have heard part (3) in a much smaller meeting, including you, me, your manager, your HRBP, and someone from legal. And it would have ended with you being escorted from the building by security and told that your personal items will be mailed to you. And the fact that you think this was “all in the name of open discussion,” and don’t realize any of these deeper consequences, makes this worse, not better.
Google  sexism  feminism  gender  informationtechnology  review  Medium  2017 
august 2017 by inspiral
Note to employees from CEO Sundar Pichai
To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK. It is contrary to our basic values and our Code of Conduct, which expects “each Googler to do their utmost to create a workplace culture that is free of harassment, intimidation, bias and unlawful discrimination.”
diversity  sexism  author:SundarPichai  Google  2017 
august 2017 by inspiral
Content isn't king — Benedict Evans
Taking a step back, though, it’s not clear how much all of this really matters to tech. The tech industry has been trying to get onto the TV and into the living room since before the consumer internet - the ‘information superhighway’ of the early 1990s was really about interactive TV, not the web. Yet after a couple of decades of trying, the tech industry now dominates the living room, and is transforming what ‘video’ means, but with the phone, not the TV. The reason Apple TV, Chromecast, FireTV and everything else feel so anti-climactic is that getting onto the TV was a red herring - the device is the phone and the network is the internet. The smartphone is the sun and everything else orbits it. Internet advertising will be bigger than TV advertising this year, and Apple’s revenue is larger than the entire global pay TV industry. This is also why tech companies are even thinking about commissioning their own premium shows today - they are now so big that the budgets involved in buying or creating TV look a lot less daunting than they once did. A recurring story in the past was for a leading tech company to go to Hollywood, announce its intention to buy lots of stuff, and then turn pale at the first rate card it was shown and say “wow - that’s really expensive!”. They have the money now, not from conquering TV but from creating something bigger. 
content  strategy  television  music  books  Amazon  Apple  Google  Netflix  review  BenedictEvans  2017 
july 2017 by inspiral
Boring Google – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
The opening to Google I/O couldn’t have been more different. There was no grand statement of vision, no mind-bending re-framing of how to think about the broader tech ecosystem, just an affirmation of the importance of artificial intelligence — the dominant theme of last year’s I/O — and how it fit in with Google’s original vision.
Google  GoogleIO  review  strategy  GoogleAssistant  GooglePhotos  GoogleLens  virtualassistant  imagerecognition  Stratechery  2017 
may 2017 by inspiral
Tech’s Frightful Five: They’ve Got Us - The New York Times
This is the most glaring and underappreciated fact of internet-age capitalism: We are, all of us, in inescapable thrall to one of the handful of American technology companies that now dominate much of the global economy. I speak, of course, of my old friends the Frightful Five: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Alphabet, the parent company of Google.
Amazon  Alphabet  Google  Microsoft  Facebook  review  dominance  monopoly  consumer  NYTimes  2017 
may 2017 by inspiral
Not OK, Google – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
Indeed, that is why Google needs to be a whole lot more explicit about how it is ranking news. Perhaps the most unanticipated outcome of the unfettered nature of the Internet is that the sheer volume of information didn’t disperse influence, but rather concentrated it to a far greater degree than ever before, not to those companies that handle distribution (because distribution is free) but to those few that handle discovery. The result is an environment where what is best for the individual in the short-term is potentially at odds with what is best for a free society in the long-term; it would behoove Google to push off the resolution of this paradox by being more open, not less.

Sadly, it seems unlikely that my request for more transparency will get much support; Google’s announcement was widely applauded, and why not? It is the established media that will have a leg up when it comes to authority. That, it seems, is all they ever wanted, even if it means Google and Facebook taking all of the money.

Google  Facebook  webjournalism  fakenews  discovery  monopoly  Stratechery  2017 
april 2017 by inspiral
Google's TPU Chip Helped It Avoid Building Dozens of New Data Centers | WIRED
At that time, Google was just beginning to drive its voice recognition services with deep neural networks, complex mathematical systems that can learn particular tasks by analyzing vast amounts of data. In recent years, this form of machine learning has rapidly reinvented not just voice recognition, but image recognition, machine translation, internet search, and more. In moving to this method, Google saw error rates drop a good 25 percent. But the shift required a lot of extra horsepower.

Rather than double its data center footprint, Google instead built its own computer chip specifically for running deep neural networks, called the Tensor Processing Unit, or TPU. “It makes sense to have a solution there that is much more energy efficient,” says Norm Jouppi, one of the more than 70 engineers who worked on the chip. In fact, the TPU outperforms standard processors by 30 to 80 times in the TOPS/Watt measure, a metric of efficiency.
Google  datacentre  voicerecognition  microchips  neuralnetworks  Wired  2017 
april 2017 by inspiral
Fury Road: Did Uber Steal the Driverless Future From Google? - Bloomberg
But none of these scandals has the potential financial impact of the one Uber has said the least about: a lawsuit from Alphabet Inc.—the parent of Google and Google’s self-driving car division, now called Waymo—over driverless cars. Waymo says Uber is in possession of, and is basing the future of its business on, technology that was stolen by a former employee.
Uber  Google  Waymo  Otto  selfdrivingvehicles  automotive  intellectualproperty  TravisKalanick  Bloomberg  2017 
march 2017 by inspiral
Welcome to Diversity Debt: The Crisis That Could Sink Uber
What’s keeping Google from moving the needle on these metrics? It’s certainly not for lack of resources being dedicated to the problem, nor internal commitment to diversity—at least to white and Asian employees. Almost every tech company is mired in diversity debt, and the larger you get before addressing diversity issues, the more debt you accrue. Google’s going to be paying down the interest on its diversity debt for a long time before it can start whittling away at the principal.
diversity  tech  review  critique  Uber  Google  BackChannel  2017 
march 2017 by inspiral
Google goes after Slack and splits Hangouts into Chat and Meet | TechCrunch
Google’s messaging strategy can be confusing, but if there’s one thing that’s clear after today’s Cloud Next keynote, it’s that the company is doubling down on the idea that Hangouts is its enterprise product and Allo/Duo are its consumer communications apps.

But now there are a couple of new wrinkles in the Hangouts story. Google is splitting Hangouts into two: Hangouts Chat, which is clearly gunning for Slack, and Hangouts Meet, which is all about video and audio communications. Those two are basically the enterprise counterparts to Allo and Duo.
Google  GoogleHangouts  HangoutsChat  HangoutsMeet  enterprise  collaboration  launch  review  messaging  mobilemessaging  productivity  Techcrunch  2017 
march 2017 by inspiral
Google's "One True Answer" problem -- when featured snippets go bad
Obama's planning a coup? Women are evil? Several presidents were in the KKK? Republicans are Nazis? Google can go spectacularly wrong with some of its direct answers.
Google  GoogleHome  virtualassistant  search  review  critique  SearchEngineLand  2017 
march 2017 by inspiral
Google quietly launches Meet, an enterprise-friendly version of Hangouts | TechCrunch
Google has quietly launched a new video conferencing application called Meet by Google Hangouts, which is designed for HD video meetings. The web and mobile application appears to be the latest addition to Google’s lineup of business products known as G Suite, though the product page on the G Suite website listed in the app’s description page on the App Store is not yet live. [Update: app pulled.]
Google  GoogleMeet  launch  videoconferencing  Techcrunch  2017 
march 2017 by inspiral
The Google Assistant is coming to more Android phones
Everyone needs a helping hand sometimes. Enter the Google Assistant, which is conversational, personal and helps you get things done—from telling you about your day to taking a selfie. The Assistant is already available on Pixel, Google Home, Google Allo and Android Wear. Now we're bringing it to even more people. Starting this week, the Google Assistant is coming to smartphones running Android 7.0 Nougat and Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
GoogleAssistant  virtualassistant  launch  Android  Google  2017 
march 2017 by inspiral
Surfing, metrics and creation: Facebook and Snap — Benedict Evans
One of the ways I've talked about social on smartphones is that smartphones themselves are a social platform in a way that the desktop web was not. Every app has an icon on the home screen, so it's quicker to switch apps than switch tabs in the same app. Every app has push notifications, and access to your address book, and your photo library. So, it's much easier to use multiple apps on a phone than on the web. This makes it much easier for apps to take off, but they can look like fireworks - burning brightly and then disappearing. Each social app is trying to capture some piece of psychology or of Maslow's hierarchy and encapsulate it in a few interaction mechanics, and each one is trying to find some angle that's unique enough to break out but not so unique that it becomes a fad. They're also trying to fund a mechanic that can't entirely co-opted by Facebook (live video is another good example here). Not many have managed all of this.
Facebook  Google  Snapchat  comparison  discovery  socialmedia  index  review  BenedictEvans  2017 
february 2017 by inspiral
Uber Hires Veteran NASA Engineer to Develop Flying Cars - Bloomberg
The man who inspired Google’s co-founder will join the ride-hailing startup’s nascent project.
Uber  flyingcars  innovation  MarkMoore  management  Google  Bloomberg  2017 
february 2017 by inspiral
TensorFlow 1.0 unlocks machine learning on smartphones
TensorFlow, Google's open source deep learning framework, has announced a release candidate for a full-blown version 1.0.

Version 1.0 not only brings improvements to the framework's gallery of machine learning functions, but also eases TensorFlow development to Python and Java users and improves debugging. A new compiler that optimizes TensorFlow computations opens the door to a new class of machine learning apps that can run on smartphone-grade hardware.
TensorFlow  Google  machinelearning  smartphones  InfoWorld  2017 
february 2017 by inspiral
Google and Facebook partner for anti-fake news drive during French election | TechCrunch
The first round of the French presidential election is due to be held in April. So it’s no coincidence that Google and Facebook are stepping up efforts locally to combat the circulation of so-called fake news as the democratic drum beat cranks up — partnering on a collaborative initiative aimed at combating the spread of disinformation online.

Google, via its News Lab arm, is backing a collaborative verification platform called CrossCheck, that will launch in France on February 27 and continue through the French elections — bringing together a raft of local media companies to power a website where members of the public can report content they believe to be dubious, or ask questions for CrossCheck’s media partners to respond to. The tech companies will be providing data and tools to help spot potential viral fakes pertaining to the election.
webjournalism  fakenews  Google  GoogleNewsLab  CrossCheck  Facebook  politics  elections  France  launch  Techcrunch  2017 
february 2017 by inspiral
The Great Unbundling – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
First, the new winners have models that look a lot like the one that destroyed the publishing industry: by owning end users these companies either capture revenue directly (Netflix) or have compelling platforms for advertisers; content producers, meanwhile, are commoditized.

Secondly, all four jobs were unbundled by different services, which is another way of saying there is no more bundle. That, by extension, means that one of the most important forces holding the TV ecosystem together is being sapped of its power. Bundling only makes sense if end users can get their second and third-order preferences for less; what happens, though, if there are no more second and third-order preferences to be had?
unbundling  newspapers  journalism  television  music  evolution  Google  Youtube  ESPN  Netflix  Snapchat  Facebook  Stratechery  2017 
january 2017 by inspiral
Alexa: Amazon’s Operating System – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
In short, Amazon is building the operating system of the home — its name is Alexa — and it has all of the qualities of an operating system you might expect:

All kinds of hardware manufacturers are lining up to build Alexa-enabled devices, and will inevitably compete with each other to improve quality and lower prices.
Even more devices and appliances are plugging into Alexa’s easy-to-use and flexible framework, creating the conditions for a moat: appliances are a lot more expensive than software, and lot longer lasting, which means everyone who buys something that works with Alexa is much less likely to switch
Alexa  AmazonEcho  Amazon  operatingsystem  strategy  review  advocacy  contrast  MicrosoftWindows  Facebook  Google  Stratechery  2017 
january 2017 by inspiral
2017 Digital Music Scoreboard |
But as 2017 starts, I do think it’s worth pausing to reflect on where the industry is and how it’s trending. After all, without a scorecard, how are we supposed to know who’s leading? So I offer you my 2017 Digital Music Scoreboard.
music  streamingmedia  review  management  strategy  Spotify  Amazon  AppleMusic  SiriusXM  Google  GooglePlay  GoogleMusicAllAccess  PandoraTidal  Napster  Deezer  Soundcloud  JonMaples  2017 
january 2017 by inspiral
Google studying ways to deal with offensive search suggestions & results
Facing criticism over "fake news," inappropriate search suggestions and more, the search company is looking for long-term and comprehensive solutions.
Google  search  moderation  algorithms  innovation  autocomplete  fakenews  strategy  SearchEngineLand  2016 
december 2016 by inspiral
Alphabet Shifts Self-Driving Cars Into New Unit Called Waymo - Bloomberg
Google parent company Alphabet Inc. is separating its self-driving car project into a new business called Waymo, seeking to sharpen its focus on changing the transportation industry.

John Krafcik, chief executive officer of Waymo, announced the move on Tuesday at an event in San Francisco. The company has been developing autonomous vehicle technology for more than six years, as part of its X research lab. Waymo is emerging from this research phase as a standalone business owned by Mountain View, California-based Alphabet.
Alphabet  Google  Waymo  selfdrivingvehicles  spinoff  strategy  Bloomberg  2016 
december 2016 by inspiral
If You Tweet an Emoji at Google's Account, It Will Link to Local Search Results | Adweek
The tech giant today launched a fun feature that lets people tweet emojis at the brand's Twitter account. For each tweet people send, Google automatically sends back a tweet with a GIF and a link to local search results about the emoji. Tweeting a picture of a coffee cup, for example, results in a coffee GIF and a link to find a nearby coffee shop. And tweeting a picture of a Christmas tree will help you find nearby tree lots.
Google  mobilesearch  Twitter  emoji  launch  locationbasedservices  search  AdWeek  2016 
december 2016 by inspiral
What are progressive web apps (PWAs)? | Econsultancy
Simply put, they are websites that feel more like an app.

They load quickly (no App Store involved), can be added to your smartphone home screen, function offline and can send push notifications - making them much more convenient than a traditional web app.
ProgressiveWebApps  mobileapps  mobileinternet  offline  Airberlin  WashingtonPost  creativeshowcase  launch  innovation  Google  Econsultancy  2016 
december 2016 by inspiral
Material motion - Motion - Material design guidelines
Motion in the world of material design is used to describe spatial relationships, functionality, and intention with beauty and fluidity.
MaterialDesign  graphicdesign  websitedesign  motion  guide  Google 
december 2016 by inspiral
Google Makes So Much Money, It Never Had to Worry About Financial Discipline - Bloomberg
Critics, including more than a dozen former top Google executives who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they signed nondisclosure agreements, describe a company having trouble balancing innovation and its core business, search advertising. Over the 12 months ended in September, Google’s ad business accounted for 89 percent of Alphabet’s revenue, or $76.1 billion. As one ex-executive puts it, “No one wants to face the reality that this is an advertising company with a bunch of hobbies.”
Google  Alphabet  strategy  management  innovation  profitability  RuthPorat  Bloomberg  2016 
december 2016 by inspiral
Testing of Autonomous Vehicles
As of December 8, 2016, DMV has issued Autonomous Vehicle Testing Permits to the following entities:
automotive  selfdrivingvehicles  testing  Volkswagen  Mercedes  Google  DelphiAutomotive  Tesla  Bosch  Nissan  GM  BMW  Honda  Ford  Zoox  Faraday  Baidu  Wheego  Valeo  NextEV  Telenav  Nividia  California  USA  DepartmentofMotorVehicles 
december 2016 by inspiral
Actions on Google  |  Actions on Google  |  Google Developers
Actions on Google let you build for the Google Assistant. Your integrations can help you engage users through Google Home today, and in the future, through Pixel, Allo, and many other experiences where the Google Assistant will be available.
GoogleAssistant  API  launch  virtualassistant  Google  2016 
december 2016 by inspiral
How Google Is Challenging AWS – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
To be sure, Google’s success is not assured: the company still has to grapple with a new business model — sales versus ads — and build up the sort of organization that is necessary for not just sales but also enterprise support. Both are areas where Amazon has a head start, along with a vastly larger partner ecosystem and a larger feature set generally.

And, of course, AWS has its own machine learning API, along with IBM and Microsoft. Microsoft is likely to prove particularly formidable in this regard: not only has the company engaged in years of research, but the company also has experience productizing technology for business specifically; Google’s longstanding consumer focus may at times be a handicap. And as popular as Kubernetes may be broadly, it’s concerning that Google is not yet eating its own dog food.

Still, Google will be a formidable competitor: its strategy is sound and, perhaps more importantly, the urgency to find a new line of business is far more pressing today than it was in 2006. Most importantly, the shift to cloud computing is still in its beginning stages, and while Amazon seems to be living the furthest in the future, the future has not happened yet; it will be fascinating to watch Google’s attempt to change the rules under which said future will operate.
AmazonWebServices  Google  cloudcomputing  Kubernetes  modularisation  machinelearning  strategy  review  Stratechery  2016 
december 2016 by inspiral
Google Daydream View VR headset
It feels like it is very early days for Google’s Daydream project. Its limited app library and niggles such as light leaks make it hard to recommend rushing out to buy a $650 Pixel smartphone just for VR — especially for the casual users to whom Daydream is best suited.

Nonetheless, Google’s overall attention to detail, from ease of set-up to its unique controller, makes Daydream the most comfortable VR headset around — and not just because of its squishy fabric design.
GoogleDaydream  Google  virtualreality  review  FinancialTimes  2016 
november 2016 by inspiral
Google Earth VR May Be The Best Way To Explore The World Without A Plane Ticket | Fast Company | Business + Innovation
Launching today for the Vive, the re-imagining of the venerable tool offers beautiful graphics, rich immersion, and a whole lot of smiles.
GoogleEarthVR  360video  launch  HTCVive  Google  FastCompany  2016 
november 2016 by inspiral
Google Cloud announces new machine learning features for enterprise use
Are you a big business that’s been thinking you’d like some of that machine learning stuff to help with finding job applicants, doing translation, discovering linkages in data, or maybe building your own knowledge graph? Google’s got new offerings out today to help with those and more.
Google  GoogleCloud  machinelearning  launch  cloudcomputing  MartechToday  2016 
november 2016 by inspiral
Found in translation: More accurate, fluent sentences in Google Translate
In 10 years, Google Translate has gone from supporting just a few languages to 103, connecting strangers, reaching across language barriers and even helping people find love. At the start, we pioneered large-scale statistical machine translation, which uses statistical models to translate text. Today, we’re introducing the next step in making Google Translate even better: Neural Machine Translation.  

Neural Machine Translation has been generating exciting research results for a few years and in September, our researchers announced Google's version of this technique. At a high level, the Neural system translates whole sentences at a time, rather than just piece by piece. It uses this broader context to help it figure out the most relevant translation, which it then rearranges and adjusts to be more like a human speaking with proper grammar. Since it’s easier to understand each sentence, translated paragraphs and articles are a lot smoother and easier to read. And this is all possible because of end-to-end learning system built on Neural Machine Translation, which basically means that the system learns over time to create better, more natural translations.
GoogleTranslate  machinelearning  neuralnetworks  translation  innovation  language  Google  2016 
november 2016 by inspiral
The New Game of Global Tech
Because the companies in the ICT sector no longer compete within the old sector boundaries, they must now define themselves another way: through the manner in which they offer value to their customers. There are many methods of doing so, but five value propositions are particularly prevalent in this industry. All five are viable ways of reaching customers, especially enterprise customers, with technological solutions. Each of the five has a business model and economic profile distinct from the others and distinct from the overall ICT 50 formula. Each has its own approach to growth, profitability, scale, and investment. The archetypes are detailed here, along with the indicators used to identify them.
tech  IT  enterprise  strategy  IBM  Microsoft  SAP  Oracle  Cisco  HewlettPackard  Tata  Apple  EMC  Alphabet  Google  Samsung  Intel  Accenture  Infosys  WiPro  HCLTechnologies  Symantec  Salesforce  ComputerAssociates  CGIGroup  Qualcomm  Amadeus  Adobe  StrategyBusiness  2016 
november 2016 by inspiral
The Ad Contrarian: The Rise Of Digital Oligarchies
I have often written about the pitiful efforts of traditional media to fight against the tidal wave of online media. They pathetically believe that they are going to survive on the crumbs of online media revenue that Google and Facebook spill, and so they are too timid to confront online media directly (the result of which can be found in yesterday's newsletter.)
onlineadvertising  monopoly  Facebook  Google  critique  AdContrarian  2016 
october 2016 by inspiral
Google starts highlighting fact-checks in News | TechCrunch
Today Google added a new “fact-check” tag to its popular Google News service. The site aggregates popular timely news from multiple sources and has traditionally grouped them with tags like “opinion,” “local source” and “highly cited.” Now readers can see highlighted fact-checks right next to trending stories.

The company cites the growing prominence of fact-checking sites as one of the reasons for creating the tag. Content creators will be able to add the new fact-check tag to posts themselves using a finite set of pre-defined source labels.  

ClaimReview from will be used to compile and organize stories offering factual background. The Schema community builds markups for structured data on the internet. The group is sponsored by Google but also has support from Microsoft, Yahoo and Yandex. 
Google  GoogleNews  factcheck  launch  Techcrunch  2016 
october 2016 by inspiral
Google Maps for Android adds a one-tap shortcut to view traffic around you
Google has updated its Maps mobile app for Android with a handy new shortcut to help you spot traffic jams near you in real-time.

The new ‘Traffic nearby’ feature, available in version 9.39, displays congested roads and areas around your current location, so you can more easily decide which route to take to your next destination.It works without you having to enter a destination or engage Driving mode first, which is handy if you haven’t yet locked in any plans to get around the city.
GoogleMaps  Google  congestion  traffic  locationbasedservices  TheNextWeb  2016 
october 2016 by inspiral
Google’s Schizophrenic Pixel Positioning – Beyond Devices – Medium
If, though, this is the real motivation behind Pixel (and I strongly suspect it is), then all this stuff about targeting the iPhone and tightly integrated hardware and software is really something of a smokescreen. I would bet Google’s OEM partners can see that pretty clearly too, and for all Google executives’ reassurances that the OEMs are fine with it, I very much doubt it.
GooglePixel  Google  strategy  smartphones  review  author:JanDawson  BeyondDevices  Medium  2016 
october 2016 by inspiral
Google Pixel review: Home run - The Verge
Every Android phone has always been a little compromised, and everybody knows it. There's been a veil of bullshit between you and what Google intended on all of them.
GooglePixel  Google  smartphones  review  TheVerge  2016 
october 2016 by inspiral
Within months, Google to divide its index, giving mobile users better & fresher content
Google is going to create a separate mobile index within months, one that will be the main or “primary” index that the search engine uses to respond to queries. A separate desktop index will be maintained, one that will not be as up-to-date as the mobile index.

The news came today during a keynote address from Gary Illyes, a webmaster trends analyst with Google, at Pubcon. Illyes didn’t give a timeline in his talk, but in a follow-up with Search Engine Land, he confirmed that it would happen within “months.”

Google first announced that it was experimenting with the idea of a mobile index last year at SMX East. Since that time, Google’s clearly decided that a mobile index makes sense and is moving ahead with the idea.
Google  search  mobile  mobilefirst  SearchEngineLane  2016 
october 2016 by inspiral
Google is demoting Hangouts to "optional" in the Google Apps package for Android, to be replaced by Duo
In an email sent to Google Mobile Services partners on October 5th, Google outlined a significant change to the core GMS package (AKA gapps) for telephony-enabled Android devices (basically, smartphones). As of December 1st, Google will no longer requires Hangouts to be bundled with new hardware. An excerpt of that email follows.

Today, we are announcing that Google Duo will replace Hangouts within the suite of core GMS apps, and Hangouts will become GMS Optional for telephony products. This change will take effect on December 1, 2016.

This does not mean Hangouts, or Hangouts for Android, is dead. It does mean that manufacturers may opt to stop including it on smartphones released in 2017, so you'd have to download it from the Play Store after initial setup. Which, really, that's not a big deal. There's also no guarantee that manufacturers will stop bundling the Hangouts app on their devices, but I would strongly assume that's likely - OEMs and mobile operators want to push their own messaging solutions, or those of partners paying for placement on their devices, and Hangouts was competition. An opportunity to remove that competition is obviously going to have appeal.
GoogleHangouts  GoogleDuo  mobileapps  Android  Google  review  mobilemessaging  AndroidPolice  2016 
october 2016 by inspiral
More Than 50% of Shoppers Turn First to Amazon in Product Search - Bloomberg
More than half of U.S. online consumers begin their product searches on Inc.’s website or mobile app, a survey found. That means that heading into the busy holiday season, the company is advancing its lead over major retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and search engines as the starting point for online shopping.
Fifty-five percent of those surveyed go to Amazon first when searching for products, an increase from 44 percent a year earlier, according to a Labor Day weekend poll of 2,000 people released by the Internet marketing firm BloomReach Inc. The second annual survey showed search engines, such as Google and Yahoo, and retailers losing ground to Amazon. Search engines were the starting point for 28 percent of those surveyed, declining from 34 percent a year earlier. Specific retailers were the starting point for 16 percent, down from 21 percent.
discovery  ecommerce  research  Amazon  Google  comparison  BloomReach  USA  Bloomberg  2016 
october 2016 by inspiral
Can Google’s new chat app Allo rival Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp? | Marketing Week
Google has finally released its long-awaited chat app Allo, but will AI capabilities be enough to challenge established rivals such as WhatsApp?
Google  GoogleAllo  mobilemessaging  virtualassistant  launch  review  MarketingWeek  2016 
september 2016 by inspiral
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