Summary of “The Friendship That Made Google Huge”

Google had moved the most frequently accessed data to the outside, so that bits could flow faster under the read-head, but had left the inner half empty; Jeff and Sanjay used the space to store preprocessed data for common search queries.
Jeff and Sanjay are Google Senior Fellows-the company’s first and only Level 11s. The Google campus, set beside a highway a few minutes from downtown Mountain View, is a series of squat, unattractive buildings with tinted windows.
On days like these, Jeff has been known to come home and tell his daughters, “Sanjay and I sped up Google Search by ten per cent today.”
In 2001, Noam Shazeer, who shared an office with Jeff and Sanjay, had grown frustrated with the spell-checker that Google was licensing from another company: it kept making embarrassing mistakes, such as telling users who’d typed “TurboTax” that they probably meant “Turbot ax.” A spell-checker is only as good as its dictionary, and Shazeer realized that, in the Web, Google had access to the biggest dictionary there had ever been.
In 2004, because Jeff and Sanjay thought it would be useful to astronomers, geneticists, and other scientists with lots of data to process, they wrote a paper, “MapReduce: Simplified Data Processing on Large Clusters,” and made it public.
Jeff began spending about a day a week on the project, which was called “Google Brain.” Many at Google were doubtful of the technology.
Jeff now spends four days a week running Google Brain.
If Google were a house, Jeff would be building an addition.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Google keeps failing to understand tablets”

What is a tablet? What is a tablet supposed to be and do? Nine years ago, these questions were foremost in debates about new technology, as Apple was preparing to introduce its first iPad and rival companies were rushing to beat it to the punch.
Then a year after that, Google released a version of Android called Honeycomb that was tailored specifically for tablets.
No one understood tablets back then; everyone was guessing.
Translating that operating system to tablets has been a tragic, chronic failure for Google.
Roid on tablets has only ever been somewhat appealing on a couple of 7-inch devices – the Google Nexus 7 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab – and on task-specific tablets like Amazon’s Fire HD and Nvidia’s Shield Tablet, both of which are more about the content than the OS. The reason for Android’s failure as a tablet OS should be obvious.
A tablet is larger than a phone, but it’s not a large phone; it’s smaller than a laptop, but it’s not a small laptop Android is an operating system designed for phones, Chrome OS is an operating system designed for laptops, and the mix of Android apps and Chrome software that Google serves on the Pixel Slate is a buggy mess.
So long as Google keeps trying to cram its software for other platforms onto a tablet, it will continue to suffer the ignominy of failure.
To take on the iPad, Google needs to give up its Dr. Frankenstein act and just take the time to craft a tablet from fresh parts.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Android Apps With More Than 2 Billion Total Downloads Are Committing Ad Fraud”

Eight apps with a total of more than 2 billion downloads in the Google Play store have been exploiting user permissions as part of an ad fraud scheme that could have stolen millions of dollars, according to research from Kochava, an app analytics and attribution company that detected the scheme and shared its findings with BuzzFeed News.
BuzzFeed News reported last month on an ad fraud scheme tracked user behavior in dozens of Android apps in order to generate fake traffic and steal advertisers’ money.
Along with raising serious questions about the business practices of two prominent Chinese app developers, this highlights the security, privacy, and ad fraud issues in the Android app ecosystem and Google Play app store.
“Google is the curated owner of the Google Play Store and the owner of one of the largest monetization mechanisms for apps. If there is confusion on where ad fraud and attribution fraud is taking place in this ecosystem, we’d be happy to help Google in their efforts,” Simmons said.
The problem of app-install fraud is widespread. App installs are a more than $7 billion global market, according to eMarketer.
The affected Cheetah and Kika apps require users to give a wide range of permissions, including the ability to track keystrokes or to see when other apps are downloaded, which raises questions about the amount of data being collected by these companies, according to Sharma, CTO of the ad fraud investigation firm Method Media Intelligence.
Kochava identified seven Cheetah apps that require users to give them permission to see when new apps are downloaded, and to be able to launch other apps.
Simmons said Kochava found that the Kika Keyboard and just one of the Cheetah apps spread install attribution claims across more than 20 different ad networks.

The orginal article.

Summary of “I live with Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri. Here’s which you should pick.”

Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant also want to adjust the thermostat, fill your picture frame or even microwave your popcorn.
He loves the Google Assistant on his Android phone, so selecting his tribe should be easy, right? Hardly: He wanted to put Sonos speakers all around the house, but they take voice commands directly via Alexa.
They’re not all equally skilled at understanding accents – Southerners are misunderstood more with Google and Midwesterners with Alexa.
The good: Google Assistant comes the closest to having a conversation with an actual human helper.
On the new Home Hub device with a screen, Assistant curates a highlights-only show from your Google Photos collection.
While Android phone owners are more likely to use lots of Assistant-friendly Google services, the Assistant doesn’t particularly care what kind of phone you use – its simple companion apps work on iOS and Android.
Google is neck and neck with Alexa on many of the nuances: Night mode reduces the volume of answers at night, and it can even require Junior to say “Pretty please.”
Like Alexa, Google Assistant keeps a recording of all your queries – every time you ask it to turn off the lights.

The orginal article.

Summary of “After 20,000 workers walked out, Google said it got the message. The workers disagree.”

These are the people – or some of the people, because there’s many more, I think – that organized the Google Walkouts and the thinking behind it.
Amr, why would you think walking out was the thing to do, since you were saying, “Here’s the different things you could do”? What was the concept behind it? A visual of Google people just saying, “We’re walking out.”
Yeah, just really disappointing, because ultimately I think it’s such an opportunity for leadership, just to say, “We need to do better.” For someone to break away, in the executive rank, and to say, “We are so creative. We are so innovative. We can figure out a legal solution to this. We can figure out a way to bring people along with Google’s success, to make it more diverse, more equitable.”
I asked the crowd, “Where do you think Google got that $90 million they used to pay out Andy Rubin? They got it from every time you worked late. Every promotion you didn’t get because they said there’s not enough budget, you have to wait. It’s from every contractor who came to work sick because they have no paid time off. These are conscious decisions that the company is making, and abusers are getting rich off of our hard work. It’s just not fair, and they completely know what they’re doing.”
One of the 10 things we know to be true, you know, Google’s credo manifesto thing was Google is not a conventional company, but I think that what we’re talking about is it actually very much is.
One of the things about the Google story is, again, I think we had broken two of the sexual harassment stories or sexual problematic issues.
Right? Why are we special? Let’s look under the rocks and be like, are we able to cash these checks we wrote? Are we what we say we are? And I think that this is not a Google issue.
I think we’ve seen … I mean, that’s why it’s super important that this isn’t just about tech workers actually, this is … We didn’t just walk out by ourselves, there were contractors that walked out with us, people of all different types that walked out.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Google’s Pixel phones matter”

When the original Pixel was unveiled by Google in October 2016, many questioned why the Mountain View company was entering the business of designing, building, and selling phones.
Two years on, that sentiment still lingers, as expressed by Andreessen Horowitz analyst Benedict Evans when he asks, “What purpose do Google’s Pixel phones serve?”.
Google claims to be serious about its hardware business, but the Pixel phones are still available in only a limited number of countries and through a limited number of carriers.
Google’s fraught decision-making notwithstanding, the Pixel phones are influential far beyond the unimpressive number of people who own one.
If my illustrated love poems to the Pixel camera haven’t been enough to convince you, check out what The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times have had to say about the first two Pixel generations.
The Pixel sets the Android standard Like the Nexus line before it, Google’s Pixel represents the company’s vision for the optimal Android user experience.
Which is to say, the Pixel is built to advertise Android at its best and, increasingly, Android is designed to create the best possible Pixel.
The Pixel is the only Android phone that can rival the iPhone Other than Apple, Google is the only company that controls the design of both the hardware and operating system of its smartphone.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL review: the best camera gets a better phone”

More than anything else, that’s what I think Google focused on this year: improving the “Phone stuff.” The Pixel 3 and 3 XL are superb phones that attempt to address nearly all of the complaints people had about last year’s Pixels.
Don’t let the notch stop you from getting the XL if you want a big phone But all of these smartphone notches become kind of invisible to the naked eye when you actually use the phone for a while, and the Pixel 3 XL is no exception.
“The glass on Pixel 3 performs comparable with other premium smartphones and according to industry standards.” But I have a very difficult time believing that the scratches we got on two different Pixel 3 phones are in line with “Industry standards.” But the good news is that I’ve only seen these marks on the matte finish, not the glossy parts.
The Pixel 2 was the best phone camera for all of last year, and it seems like the Pixel 3 will be the best camera for all of this year.
Google has tuned the Pixel 3 and 3 XL to a remarkable degree.
The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are quite a bit like the S-year iPhones.
Where the Pixel 2 XL had a crappy screen, the Pixel 3 XL has a great one.
If you want the best Android experience and the best camera you can get on a phone today, the Pixel 3 is it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Did Uber Steal Google’s Intellectual Property?”

In 2010, employees began to hear rumors that Levandowski, on behalf of his outside companies, had met with some of Google’s competitors, including a firm that was working with Microsoft, to sell them the same navigational technology that Google was paying to use.
According to internal Google e-mails, he ordered executives to “Make Anthony rich if Chauffeur succeeds.” Two months later, Google bought 510 Systems for twenty-two million dollars.
Since 2014, California regulations have required companies to report any instance in which a self-driving vehicle is “In any manner involved in a collision originating from the operation of the autonomous vehicle on a public road that resulted in the damage of property or in bodily injury or death.” The Camry accident occurred three years before this regulation was passed; since the rule went into effect, Google has reported thirty-six additional accidents.
Lawyers later learned that, around the same time, an engineer who had left with Levandowski, Lior Ron, had conducted Internet searches for “How to secretly delete files mac” and “How to permanently delete google drive files from my computer.” Lawyers later saw a chat message that Levandowski sent to Ron several weeks after he left Google: “Make sure you delete all the messages tonight on both your PC and iPhone.” This was evidence, Google felt, that Levandowski had exploited Project Chauffeur’s secrets to jump-start Ottomotto.
When lawyers asked Google engineers to evaluate what Levandowski had taken, one of them dismissed it as “Low value” information; he told a Google attorney, in an e-mail, that “It makes me uncomfortable to think that lawyers are trying to ascribe suspicion to” the downloads.
In December, 2016, Google spun its self-driving unit into a stand-alone division called Waymo, which, employees were told, stood for “a new way forward in mobility.” That month, Waymo’s lawyers learned that a mid-level worker had accidentally been forwarded an e-mail from an outside vender, a company called Gorilla Circuits, which had been hired by Uber to manufacture circuit boards for self-driving cars.
In 2013, Google’s chief lawyer, David Drummond, wrote on the company’s blog, “We require that government agencies conducting criminal investigations use a search warrant to compel us to provide a user’s search query information and private content stored in a Google Account.” Google had even fought a government subpoena seeking data on child-pornography searches.
“The people at Google got what they wanted,” one of the lawyers who represented Uber told me.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The breach that killed Google+ wasn’t a breach at all”

For months, Google has been trying to stay out of the way of the growing tech backlash, but yesterday, the dam finally broke with news of a bug in the rarely used Google+ network that exposed private information for as many as 500,000 users.
The consumer version of Google+ is shutting down, German privacy regulators in Germany and the US are already looking into possible legal action, and former SEC officials are publicly speculating about what Google may have done wrong.
The bigger problem for Google isn’t the crime, but the cover-up.
The vulnerability was fixed in March, but Google didn’t come clean until seven months later when The Wall Street Journal got hold of some of the memos discussing the bug.
Part of the disconnect comes from the fact that, legally, Google is in the clear.
Google just found that data was available to developers, not that any data was actually taken.
With no clear data stolen, Google had no legal reporting requirements.
It’s too early to say whether Google will face a real backlash for this.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Google Assistant’s app redesign abandons chatbots”

5 minute Read. Google Assistant is getting an overhaul on smartphones, and it’s discarding one of 2016’s biggest tech fads in the process.
When Google Assistant arrived a couple of years ago, chatbots were all the rage in products like Facebook Messenger and Microsoft’s Skype.
Google Assistant itself debuted as a feature within Google’s Allo messaging app, so you could exchange text messages with the search giant just like you would with a friend.
Not every Google Assistant device is conducive to dialog bubbles.
When Assistant arrived in 2016, Google was mainly pushing it through Allo and on its new Google Home smart speaker.
Now, Google Assistant is available in cars through Android Auto, on kitchen counters with devices like the Lenovo Smart Display, and on televisions through Chromecast and Android TV. A chat-like interface doesn’t make as much sense on those devices.
In the future, you might ask Google Assistant for flights to a certain place on a certain date, and it might provide you with its own interface for browsing all the options.
If Google Assistant can become a little more helpful now, users may trust it down the road as it gets better at handling more complex tasks.

The orginal article.