Summary of “Google turns 20: how an internet search engine reshaped the world”

September 4th, 1998: Google incorporates with $100,000 in angel funding Inspired by the vast number of links between pages and how their search engine would only become more accurate and useful as the web continued to grow, Page and Brin renamed their company after the mathematical term googol.
Long before Google became a verb, Yahoo was the premier internet search engine.
Google went on to launch Google News later that year, a content aggregative service that would change how digital media was published and distributed on the web.
January 27th, 2006: Google launches its search engine in China While Google had offered a Chinese language version of its website for users in China since September 2000, that service was based in California and was subject to blockades and firewall slowdowns.
June 2012: The introduction of Google Glass with a skydiving demo Alongside smartphones and web services, Google also began working on experimental hardware under the Google X and ATAP divisions.
July 1st, 2013: Google Reader shuts down RSS nerds all over the world cried out in horror when Google said it would shut down Reader in 2013.
August 10th, 2015: Google restructures as Alphabet Inc. Google co-founder Larry Page decided to reorganize the giant conglomerate that Google became, thanks to its moonshots into a new company called Alphabet.
October 2016: Google solidifies hardware launch with Pixel, Google Home Following its years of dabbling in consumer hardware with its Nexus program and other one-off devices, Google jumped into the deep end with the launch of the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones and Google Home smart speaker.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The monopoly-busting case against Google, Amazon, Uber, and Facebook”

We need a new standard for monopolies, they argue, one that focuses less on consumer harm and more on the skewed incentives produced by a company the size of Facebook or Google.
On a good day, Google is the most valuable company in the world by market cap, with dozens of different products supported by an all-encompassing ad network.
“If you’re looking for a silver bullet, probably the best thing to do would be to block Google from being able to buy any companies,” says Stoller.
The company’s modular structure is arguably a direct result of that buying spree, and it’s hard to imagine what Google would look like without it.
Of course, Klobuchar’s bill doesn’t focus on Google or even tech giants, but Stoller says that kind of blockade would have a unique effect on how big companies shape the startup world.
“All of these companies, from Amazon to Facebook to Google, they proactively find their competitors and buy them out,” says Stoller.
Amazon makes life hard for its competitors – and by now, the company is competing against nearly everyone.
Anti-monopoly lawyer Lina Khan laid out the case against the retail giant in a 2017 article called “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox,” in which she argued that the Amazon store had become a utility infrastructure that the company was subverting for its own benefit.

The orginal article.

Summary of “It’s time to break up Facebook”

“We live in America, which has a strong and proud tradition of breaking up companies that are too big for inefficient reasons,” Wu told me on this week’s Vergecast.
“We need to reverse this idea that it’s not an American tradition. We’ve broken up dozens of companies.”
“I think if you took a hard look at the acquisition of WhatsApp and Instagram, the argument that the effects of those acquisitions have been anticompetitive would be easy to prove for a number of reasons,” says Wu. And breaking up the company wouldn’t be hard, he says.
Breaking up Facebook could be simple under the current law, suggests Wu. But it could also lead to a major rethinking of how antitrust law should work in a world where the giant platform companies give their products away for free, and the ability for the government to restrict corporate power seems to be diminishing by the day.
Making a case for breaking up these companies will rely on showing a different type of harm than high consumer prices – something like anticompetitive practices, or that innovative businesses get suffocated when they’re absorbed by their gigantic acquirers.
Won’t getting bigger and bigger lead companies like Facebook and Google to make mistakes, become slower, and create opportunities for new challengers? That has largely been the belief of the tech industry, which has seen the fortunes of companies like AOL, Myspace, and Yahoo dramatically rise and fall.
“A whole generation of companies – Google, Facebook, some of these early companies – they don’t owe everything to antitrust, but they owe a sizable debt to the antitrust law,” he says.
“If you wait long enough, maybe 100 years, they’ll go away. But we could very well have Facebook – an inefficient, ineffective, obsolete company – hanging around for another 20 years,” says Wu. “I’m just not really sure that’s what we need.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Who controls your data?”

Just in the past few months, Facebook was reported to have asked hospitals, including Stanford University School of Medicine, to share and integrate patients’ medical data with its own.
A team of nine Engadget reporters in London, Paris, New York and San Francisco filed more than 150 subject access requests – in other words, requests for personal data – to more than 30 popular tech companies ranging from social networks to dating apps to streaming services.
We made unexpected discoveries: the distorted, fun house mirror profile that Acxiom held on one reporter; a kink app with lax security practices; a dating service that sent us a stranger’s data.
Thursday: How a data request turned into a data breach.
Netflix provided full glossaries for its tables of data in a single PDF.Beyond simply what was given to us, would the data be understandable, even meaningful?
Spotify Customer Service did not provide full explanations of the file names, and a spokeswoman said while we could ask about specific data fields, the company did not have a glossary for all of its files.
The right to portability is separate from the right to access one’s data.
A request from a US-based reporter went unanswered for more than a month; the company eventually provided data 12 weeks later.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The rise of giant consumer startups that said no to investor money”

Gold rush? Over the last five years, venture capital and private equity investors in the U.S. have rushed to fund a new breed of company, dubbed direct-to-consumer startups.
In the first eight months of 2018 alone, investors have committed $1.2 billion to these young companies, almost triple the $426 million spent on similar startups in 2013, according to CB Insights.
MVMT’s management team and 40 employees own 100 percent of the startup, with the company’s two founders holding the vast majority of company equity.
CircleUp uses proprietary algorithms to evaluate and identify consumer startups to which it should offer equity investments and working capital loans, typically to companies with $1 million to $15 million in revenue.
As investments in pure technology companies have gotten more competitive, venture capital firms that have historically focused on tech have expanded into new categories like consumer retail in search of new ways to spend their money.
For Honest, the company was forced to raise new investment money under terms that valued it well under its previous valuation.
A decade later, Dunn was able to turn to e-commerce software company Shopify as the platform for Allswell, a mattress brand that Dunn helped incubate in his new role at Walmart where he oversees the company’s digital-native consumer brands.
Startups can use the company’s software from launch and stay on it even as they approach $1 billion in annual sales, as a brand like Fashion Nova has shown.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Google and Facebook Didn’t End Data Privacy”

Many people still think their smartphones are listening to them in secret-recording their conversations in the background, then uploading them to Facebook or Google surreptitiously.
Facebook and Google might not literally be listening in on our conversations, but they are eavesdropping on our lives.
Traveling out of town and searching for restaurants? It’s not just that Facebook or Google knows where you are and what you’re searching for, but also if you’re a foodie or a cheapskate, if you’ve “Liked” Korean hot pot or Polish pierogi, and what your demographics say about your income, and therefore your budget.
Tech companies do collect data in unexpected, and sometimes duplicitous, ways.
Location data was particularly voluminous, with Android smartphones conveying a user’s position in space more than 300 times in a 24-hour period-even if the user has turned off location history in the device’s Google settings.
Revelations like these have spawned a class-action lawsuit against the company, and it’s tempting to imagine that oversight, regulation, or legal repercussions might eventually discourage or even change the way tech companies collect and manage data.
It also ignores the fact that Google and Facebook’s data hunger takes place within the context of a widespread, decades-old practice of data intelligence.
For years, companies slurped up, bought, and sold that data to hone their marketing and sales efforts.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The undertakers of Silicon Valley: how failure became big business”

Their actual company is Sherwood Partners, and unlike Kozmo.com, Pebble, and about a thousand other companies they have wound down over the years, it a) still exists and b) its business is always booming.
The company is Silicon Valley’s premier specialist in “Assignment for the benefit of creditors” – a process by which insolvent companies assign their assets, titles and property to a trustee.
TechCrunch once called Pichinson “The Terminator of startups”, and many journalists on the Silicon Valley beat seem to check in with him periodically to see how business is going – if he’s upbeat, it’s time for another culling of a herd.
The guardian angels of better failure in Silicon Valley are the investors.
There are many ways to close up shop in Silicon Valley: get acquired or acqui-hired, wind the company down, buy out your investors and start anew as a small business.
Depending on how a company dies most or all of the employees will not be part of these transactions.
Taxicab companies are going out of business because they’re losing money? Creative destruction, my friend – sink or swim.
Uber hemorrhages cash? Well, that’s just a sign of how visionary the company is.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Media Giants Rev Up Streaming Services to Compete With Netflix – Variety”

The direct-to-consumer streaming video business model refined by Netflix is the reason Disney and Comcast chased 21st Century Fox with such fervor.
It’s no surprise that Disney – the world’s biggest media company – is leading the race among Hollywood’s old guard to catch up with Netflix, et al.
Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger calls the planned launch of a suite of DTC services “The biggest priority of the company during calendar [year] 2019.”.
“The modern media company must develop extensive direct-to-consumer relationships. We think pure wholesale business models for media companies will be really tough to sustain over time.”Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman-CEO. In a world awash in streaming video, Disney no longer needs to rely on Comcast and DirecTV and a host of international distributors to deliver its TV shows and movies.
For starters, Disney will say goodbye to about $300 million in annual revenue it currently gets from Netflix for pay-TV rights to its theatrical releases, starting with its 2019 movie slate.
Disney chief financial officer Christine McCar­thy was also asked how the company’s profit projections for theatrical films would change in the absence of the kind of traditional pay-TV output deal it had with Netflix for the past three years.
Disney has no intention of trying to match the tsunami of original TV shows and movies that Netflix is serving up.
There will undoubtedly be unforeseen costs on the technology side: Disney spent $2.6 billion to acquire a majority interest in digital streaming firm BAMtech to support its streaming plans.

The orginal article.

Summary of “This company hired anyone who applied. Now it’s starting a movement”

Over the course of his time running his company, he’s found that giving jobs to people with barriers to employment like a criminal record, a practice often called fair hiring or second-chance hiring, has proven to be good for his business.
The company’s slogan reads “We don’t hire people to bake brownies, we bake brownies to hire people,” and indeed the concept is that simple.
The company does not use background checks, drug tests, or interviews; hiring is done on the basis of faith that if someone is given a job, they will do it, and their skills and salaries will grow as they work.
With an annual revenue of over $20 million and distribution partnerships with companies like Whole Foods and Ben & Jerry’s, which has been using Greyston brownies in their flavors since 1988, when it launched Chocolate Fudge Brownie, the company has proven its practice of open hiring to be economically viable for a business.
Which is still in the early stages, companies will be able to bring their leadership and HR teams through to train with Brady and Greyston managers, who will educate them about the benefits of open hiring, and how it could work in different settings.
One is Ben & Jerry’s, which despite working for decades with Greyston and long admiring their hiring practices has not yet attempted to implemented open hiring.
Of course, Brady says, it doesn’t always work out-a number of people have passed through Greyston’s open hiring system to find that the work was not for them, or that they couldn’t keep up with the demands of a fixed schedule.
Janitorial services companies like CleanCraft are an obvious fit, but for larger companies, mail services, cafeteria staff, and other administrative work could all potentially work with an open hiring model.

The orginal article.

Summary of “This is not your father’s Microsoft”

Nadella dreamed up the Microsoft Hackathon, which the company calls the “Largest private hackathon in the world,” when he became CEO in February 2014.
That’s just fine with Nadella, because the meetup serves another purpose: rebranding Microsoft as a modern, relevant company.
His aim: Getting Microsoft’s 131,000 employees around the world to step away from their day jobs, think ambitiously and collaborate on projects the world might need – not just on products Microsoft thinks it can sell.
So we’ve been invited to get an inside look at One Week and learn from employees and executives how Microsoft has changed and why they believe Nadella’s path will lead to continued success.
Asta Roseway, a principle research designer who’s worked at Microsoft for two decades, is pretty candid in her description of life before and after Nadella took over.
Wired wrote about his pitch in 2015 and 2017 with Restart: Microsoft in the age of Satya Nadella and How Satya Nadella helped Microsoft get its groove back.
Earlier this year, Microsoft spent $7.5 billion to buy GitHub, a developers service whose open-source, code-sharing ethos is considered the antithesis of the old Microsoft.
Anyone who touches a Microsoft product today “Should feel that association with Microsoft is empowering to them. That’s what I want us to stand for. You want to be cool by doing that empowerment, but not just to be able to sort of associate yourself with cool technology.”

The orginal article.