Summary of “Google Doesn’t Want What’s Best for Us”

Last week, Google fired a software engineer for writing a memo that questioned the company’s gender diversity policies and made statements about women’s biological suitability for technical jobs.
The company said that releasing that information would cause “Competitive harm.” It was not until 2014 that Google began to disclose statistics showing that only 17 percent of its technical work force was female.
The rise of Google and the other giant businesses of Silicon Valley have been driven by a libertarian culture that paid only lip service to notions of diversity.
Google had to fire the offending engineer, James Damore, but anyone who spends time on the message boards frequented by Valley engineers will know that the “Bro” culture that gave us Gamergate – an online movement that targeted women in the video game industry – is much more prevalent than Mr. Pichai wants to acknowledge.
Google employees who opposed Mr. Damore found their internal company profile pictures posted on Breitbart, the Verge reported.
Companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook are coming under the same cultural microscope that questioned the “Greed is good” culture of the 1980s.
We have an obligation to care about the values of the people who run Google, because we’ve given Google enormous control over our lives and the lives of our children.
As the former Google design ethicist Tristan Harris points out, “Without realizing the implications, a handful of tech leaders at Google and Facebook have built the most pervasive, centralized systems for steering human attention that has ever existed, while enabling skilled actors to hijack our attention for manipulative ends.”

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Summary of “Google Spent Years Studying Effective Bosses. Now They Teach New Managers These 6 Things”

Luckily, we have organizations like Google that have spent years researching this transition, to help us demystify the secrets to new managers’ success.
Using Project Oxygen, an internal study that analyzed more than 10,000 manager impressions including performance reviews, surveys, and nominations for top-manager awards and recognition, Google identified eight habits of highly effective managers.
Let’s take a look at the six key attributes that Google instills in its managers.
Implementing research from Dr. Carol Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford University, Google encourages its managers to develop a growth mindset.
Google encourages its managers to identify values and leverage them within their management styles.
To ensure judgments aren’t made in a vacuum, Google has established a routine to help managers make better decisions.
To ensure informed decisions are made, Google encourages managers to test their ideas out loud and collect feedback by explicitly advocating for their opinions, testing their understanding by inquiring about others’ perspectives, and then synthesizing the responses to ensure a comprehensive understanding before making a decision.
Google reported a statistically significant improvement in 75 percent of its underperforming managers after implementing the program.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The secret lives of millionaire tech engineers who ‘rest and vest'”

AP. The most open secret in Silicon Valley is called “Resters and vesters,” or “Coasters” – which refers to engineers who get paid big bucks without doing too much work, waiting for their stock to vest.
“At Facebook the OGs we know got DE,” this former Facebook engineer said of engineers who worked at the company before it went public.
Facebook declined to comment, but several engineers told us Facebook had a reputation of requiring long hours from its engineers.
“They are senior engineers and don’t work hard. They know the Google system, know when to kick into gear. They are engineers, so they optimized the performance cycles of their own jobs.”
While other tech companies “Sear” a product’s ship date into their engineers, who work nights and weekends to hit that date, “At X, people think, ‘If my project is canceled, oh well, I’ll just find another project,'” he said.
We’ve been told rest-and-vest engineers can be found at all of these companies.
Rest-and-vest engineers can wind up spending years “Never shipping anything,” the X engineer said.
“These engineers are highly, highly paid, but there is no other company that will take them,” he says.

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Summary of “With its new feed, Google is preparing for the end of search”

Even though Google has launched plenty of other products besides search, few of them make any money.
In the first quarter of 2017, Google still made 99.9 percent of its total revenue from search, display, and video advertising.
In about a decade, experts predict artificial intelligence is going to perform better than humans in many complicated tasks, and it’s easy to imagine how Google Search could become a casualty of this seemingly unstoppable trend.
Google knows its search and advertising business can’t last forever, especially in its current form.
This doesn’t mean that Google Search will be wiped off the face of the planet – but search as we know it will die.
The new update to the Google app is a rather small, iterative update, but it will quickly spread to other products.
It’s easy to overlook, but in my eyes, it marks the beginning of the slow demise of Google Search.
The question now for Google is, will the new “Feed” be the beginning of something else?

The orginal article.

Summary of “Google Spent 2 Years Studying 180 Teams. The Most Successful Ones Shared These 5 Traits”

Over the years, Google has embarked on countless quests, collected endless amounts of data, and spent millions trying to better understand its people.
Specifically, Google wanted to know why some teams excelled while others fell behind.
Like many other organizations, Google Execs believed that building the best teams meant compiling the best people.
Fast forward two years, and Project Aristotle has managed to study 180 Google teams, conduct 200-plus interviews, and analyze over 250 different team attributes.
“As they struggled to figure out what made a team successful, Rozovsky and her colleagues kept coming across research by psychologists and sociologists that focused on what are known as”group norms” – the traditions, behavioral standards, and unwritten rules that govern how teams function when they gather… Norms can be unspoken or openly acknowledged, but their influence is often profound.
Through Google’s Re:Work website, a resource that shares Google’s research, ideas, and practices on people operations, Rozovsky outlined the five key characteristics of enhanced teams.
Google found that teams with psychologically safe environments had employees who were less likely to leave, more likely to harness the power of diversity, and ultimately, who were more successful.
Engineering the perfect team is more subjective than we would like, but focusing on these five components increases the likelihood that you will build a dream team.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Google Wants To Rewire The Internet”

Running a fast, efficient, hyperscale network for internal datacenters is not sufficient for a good user experience, and that is why Google has created a software defined networking stack to do routing over the public Internet, called Espresso.
Amin Vahdat, Google Fellow and technical lead for networking at the company, recently walked us through Google’s implementation of Espresso routing on the public Internet, the fourth pillar of networking that the company has divulged thus far.
Back in 2014, before The Next Platform was launched, Vahdat unveiled details on the Andromeda network virtualization stack that rides atop Google’s network fabric and exposes network functionality to customers using its Google Compute Platform public cloud, and back in June 2015, Vahdat discussed why Google had to start building its own switches and routers to support its datacenter-scale networks and also unveiled the software that creates the network fabric that back in 2013 could span more than 100,000 servers and deliver more than 1.3 PB/sec of bi-sectional bandwidth across a Google datacenter.
The peering network, as we said above, is vital to Google, and making it more malleable and controllable was a tricky bit of business because Google does not control the network even though it does generate about 25 percent of the traffic on the Internet across all of its sites as they hook out to service providers in more than 70 metropolitan areas and fan out to billions of users.
Not all of it on the B2 network, because we also have a fairly large presence inside ISP networks with the Google global cache, but it’s the case that actually our B4 network – the one that connects our datacenters together – is bigger and growing faster than our B2 network.
For us, what we want to be able to do is for our services, whether they are running on our network or posting things for external customers in Google Cloud, we want to be able to use the richness of the Internet to be able to deliver the best quality of experience to users that are across the world.
Now it’s not SDN anymore, it’s just N. In other words, soft refined networking is how we do networking.
TPM: Where is Google at in its transition, and just in general for the network? Is the internal stuff migrating up from 40 Gb/sec up to 100 Gb/sec? What do you think about 200 Gb/sec Ethernet? Innovium and Mellanox have 400 Gb/sec switching coming out and have a bunch of hyperscalers backing them, and Google is actually investing in Innovium, so I suspect you are interested.

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Summary of “The end of the internet startup”

Some critics say, they’ve gotten better at controlling and locking down key parts of the internet’s infrastructure, closing off paths that early internet companies used to reach a mass market.
Most important, Google bought a little-known mobile software company called Android in 2005, laying the foundation for Google’s eventual dominance of smartphone operating systems.
If these companies had remained independent, they easily could have emerged as major competitors to Google and Facebook.
Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman rebuffed acquisition offers from Google and Yahoo, taking the company public in 2012.
“At one point,” writes Businessweek’s Brad Stone, “Quidsi executives took what they knew about shipping rates, factored in Procter & Gamble’s wholesale prices, and calculated that Amazon was on track to lose $100 million over three months in the diaper category alone.” As a venture-backed startup, Quidsi couldn’t sustain those kinds of losses, so the company wound up selling to Amazon in 2010.
“Mark Zuckerberg had a huge advantage with Facebook because the pressure that normal people have of building a company was replaced by the lightness of him just playing around with ideas,” said Mike Maples, an investor at the firm Floodgate.
In the 1980s, great companies like Microsoft, Adobe, and Intuit were founded to make software for PCs. Those companies still make plenty of money – just like Intel does – but there isn’t a lot of room for desktop PC software startups today.
There are only so many things you can do with a web browser or a smartphone, and maybe companies like Google, Facebook, and Snap have already locked down the most important markets.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Capitalism the Apple Way vs. Capitalism the Google Way”

While lots of attention is directed toward identifying the next great start-up, the defining tech-industry story of the last decade has been the rise of Apple and Google.
The greatest collision between Apple and Google is little noticed.
A few weeks after Apple’s concession to shareholders, the founders of Google announced a new share structure that would defend against a similar situation: The structure gave the founders’ shares 10 times the voting power of regular shares, ensuring they’d dictate the company’s strategy long into the future and that Google was, in the words of the founders, “Set up for success for decades to come.”
What has happened to Google and Apple in the wake of these events is the defining story of early 21st-century capitalism.
Several hedge funds started asking for much larger payouts, with some of them filing suits against Apple and even proposing an “iPref”-a new type of share that would allow Apple to release much more cash in a way that didn’t incur as high of a tax bill.
What has Google done in that same period? Google is, like Apple, making loads of money.
The paths taken by Apple and Google manifest alternative answers to one of the main questions facing capitalism today: What should public companies do with all of the money that they’re making? Even as corporations have brought in enormous profits, there has been a shortage of lucrative opportunities for investment and growth, creating surpluses of cash.
Who’s right? Which principal-agent problem is more vexing? Stock-market returns are one, albeit imperfect, way of answering this question and since the initial developments, Google has far outperformed Apple.

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Summary of “Everybody lies: how Google search reveals our darkest secrets”

The power in Google data is that people tell the giant search engine things they might not tell anyone else.
Men conduct more searches for how to make their penises bigger than how to tune a guitar, make an omelette, or change a tyre.
Google search data can give us a minute-by-minute peek into such eruptions of hate-fuelled rage.
The top Google search in California with the word “Muslims” in it at the time was “Kill Muslims”.
Just about every negative search we could think to test regarding Muslims shot up during and after Obama’s speech, and just about every positive search we could think to test declined.
We might look at how racist searches change after a black quarterback is drafted in a city, or how sexist searches change after a woman is elected to office.
Google search data and other wellsprings of truth on the internet give us an unprecedented look into the darkest corners of the human psyche.
What would your search records reveal about you?They could definitely tell I’m a hypochondriac because I’m waking up in the middle of the night doing Google searches about my health.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Google’s battle with the European Union is the world’s biggest economic policy story”

The European Union leveled a $2.7 billion fine against Google this month for allegedly illegally disadvantaging several European e-commerce sites by algorithmically favoring Google Shopping results over their own.
The US thinks Google should do what it wants From the standpoint of American antitrust authorities, Google is largely immune to scrutiny on two grounds.
No rival can match Google’s user base, so no rival can match the speed at which Google is learning and getting better.
Relative to Google’s ambitions, the “Classic Google” experience of displaying a list of links to search results is incredibly primitive.
Google, for selfish business reasons, would rather keep users on Google and continue gobbling up ad revenue for itself.
From Google’s point of view, the truly anti-competitive move would be for regulators to prop up non-Google information services by preventing Google from outcompeting them by offering a superior seamless product.
The White House, sometimes including Obama personally, characterized European antitrust scrutiny of Google as a form of de facto protectionism – with the European Union cast as seeking to unfairly disadvantage American tech companies to prop up European ones.
In a spring 2016 speech, Elizabeth Warren called out Google, Apple, and Amazon by name as companies that “Deliver enormously valuable products” but nonetheless require more scrutiny because “The opportunity to compete must remain open for new entrants and smaller competitors that want their chance to change the world again.” Bernie Sanders, too, is a proponent of a more regulation-friendly approach to competition policy.

The orginal article.