Posts tagged Google
Positives and Negatives of Google being Fined $2.73 Billion by the EU

Ben Thompson:

"The European Commission levied a record €2.42 billion ($2.73 billion) fine on Google yesterday for having 'abused its market dominance as a search engine by giving an illegal advantage to another Google product, its comparison shopping service.'"

"It is tempting when these decisions come down to start with the ends: specifically, does the outcome in question agree with one’s pre-existing views on such matters as regulation generally, antitrust specifically, and even nationalism (or continentalism, as it were)? The means matter, though, especially in this decision: there are three meaningful questions in this case that cut to the heart of antitrust regulation of digital companies:

  • What is a digital monopoly?
  • What is the standard for determining illegal behavior?
  • What constitutes a competitive product?

"The European Commission’s decision was impressive on some of these questions, and very problematic on others; all sides of the antitrust debate should be wary of standing in resolute opposition or support."

Ben goes into detailed analysis of the three questions above and describes the positive and negative results of the EUs decision. It's well worth your time.

Read the full piece on Stratechery.

Header image by Marius Badstuber on Unsplash.

DailyTimothy BuckGoogle, EU
Uber Fires Former Google Engineer at Heart of Self-Driving Dispute

 Mike Isaac and Daisuke Wakabayashi reporting for the New York Times:

"Uber said Tuesday that it had fired Anthony Levandowski, a star engineer brought in to lead the company’s self-driving automobile efforts who was accused of stealing trade secrets when he left a job at Google."

This makes a lot of sense. Levandowski is now a massive liability to Uber. If he did commit a crime and it can be proven, he'll be incentivized to disclose everyone else who had any involvement.

Read on the New York Times.

Header image from nytimes.com.

Why Google is Suddenly Obsessed with Your Photos

Victor Luckerson writing for The Ringer:

"Google tends to throw lots of ideas at the wall, and then harvest the data from what sticks. Right now the company is feasting on photos and videos being uploaded through its surprisingly popular app Google Photos. The cloud-storage service, salvaged from the husk of the struggling social network Google+ in 2015, now has 500 million monthly active users adding 1.2 billion photos per day. It’s on a growth trajectory to ascend to the vaunted billion-user club with essential products such as YouTube, Gmail, and Chrome."

Victor goes on to explain that it's all about data. Google wants your data. Having access to as much of your data as possible has become a chief goal of the company. This is why Google has created a feature-rich tool like Google Photos and made it free.

This has been true of ad-based businesses like Google and Facebook from the beginning, and it will continue. 

In his closing paragraph, Victor gets to what this means moving forward.

"Tech leaders are fond of saying we’re in the 'early days' of whatever new innovation they’re showcasing. We’re also in the early days of them figuring out how to make money off of it. A photo album used to be a photo album. Now it’s a searchable database that is self-aware enough to infer human relationships. What will it be tomorrow, and who will pay for it? That’s the question to ask whenever Google or one of its peers shows off a new, too-good-to-be-free product. 'Sergey Brin says that Google wants to be the third half of your brain,' Domingos says. 'But now think about it: Do you really want the third half of your brain to make a living by showing you ads? I don’t.'”

Read on The Ringer.

Header image from The Ringer.

 

Google Jumps into Job Search

Jessica Guynn writing for USA Today:

"Google's mission is to steer people to the information they need in their daily lives. One crucial area the Internet giant says could use some work: Jobs.

"So Google is launching a new feature, Google for Jobs, that collects and organizes millions of job postings from all over the web to make them easier for job seekers to find.

"In coming weeks, a Google search for a cashier job in Des Moines or a software engineering gig in Boise will pop up job openings at the top of search results. With Google for Jobs, job hunters will be able to explore the listings across experience and wage levels by industry, category and location, refining these searches to find full or part-time roles or accessibility to public transportation."

Google's jumping into competition with Microsoft-owned LinkedIn, Monster.com, Indeed and the countless other job search sites out there. It will be interesting to see how effective Google is at using the crawling/SEO data that they have for all of those competitors. They could have the ability to display job results that are simply a compilation of all their competitors efforts.

Read on USA Today.

Header image from Unsplash.

Super Useful Improvements to Google Photos

Casey Newton reporting for The Verge:

"With a user base in hyper-growth mode and Google's massive resources at its disposal, Google Photos is pressing its advantage. At the Google I/O developer conference today, the team announced useful new features for sharing photos and debuted its first physical goods: printed photo books. It also showed off plans to layer intelligence on top of your photos by turning pictures of business cards into contacts with one tap, for example, or linking your photos of landmarks and paintings to descriptions from Google's Knowledge Graph."

Google Photos is a wonderful service. (I use it alongside Apple Photos.) It's growing super fast for good reason, and these improvements, especially automatically sharing photos of my family with my wife, will lead to even greater growth.

Read on The Verge.

Header image from The Verge.

Google Lens Turns Your Camera Into a Search Box

David Pierce writing for Wired:

"Google is remaking itself as an AI company, a virtual assistant company, a classroom-tools company, a VR company, and a gadget maker, but it’s still primarily a search company. And today at Google I/O, its annual gathering of developers, CEO Sundar Pichai announced a new product called Google Lens that amounts to an entirely new way of searching the internet: through your camera.

"Lens is essentially image search in reverse: you take a picture, Google figures out what’s in it. This AI-powered computer vision has been around for some time, but Lens takes it much further. If you take a photo of a restaurant, Lens can do more than just say “it’s a restaurant,” which you know, or “it’s called Golden Corral,” which you also know. It can automatically find you the hours, or call up the menu, or see if there’s a table open tonight. If you take a picture of a flower, rather than getting unneeded confirmation of its flower-ness, you’ll learn that it’s an Elatior Begonia, and that it really needs indirect, bright light to survive. It’s a full-fledged search engine, starting with your camera instead of a text box."

This is a great example of Google taking advantage of their huge amounts of data to create impressive technology and customer value. It’s the primary way that they differentiating themselves from Apple. 

Read on Wired.

Header image from Wired.

Google Assistant arrives on iPhone

Emil Protalinski reporting for VentureBeat:

"At its I/O 2017 developer conference today, Google announced Google Assistant is coming to iOS today as a standalone app, rolling out to the U.S. first. Until now, the only way iPhone users could access Google Assistant was through Allo, the Google messaging app nobody uses."

This is obviously smart move for Google. They already offer some of the most-used services on iOS, (Google Maps, Photos, Gmail, etc) taking a signifacant percentage of users from Apple's built-in apps. 

Download Link for those struggling with App Store Search.

Read on VentureBeat.

Header image from Unsplash.

Microsoft takes on Chrome OS with Windows 10 S

Microsoft announced a new stripped-down operating system today called Windows 10 S. It takes an approach similar to Chromebooks (or iOS) in that it only allows apps to be installed from the Windows Store.

They also announced that laptops running Windows 10 S will be available for as low as $189. This appears to be a direct response to the Chromebook's rapid growth in the education market.

Read on Engadget.

Header image from Engadget.