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.

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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.

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Summary of “33 Google Maps Tricks You Need to Try”

Google Maps is a Swiss Army Knife chock-full of hidden navigation, geospatial search, and customization tools.
Google Maps has changed the way we navigate the world.
Google continues to revamp and improve its map product with features like augmented reality and contextual location suggestions, but there are a ton of customizable tools and hidden functions already baked into Google Maps that you may not know about.
Check out our tips for how to maximize your Google Maps power.
Google Maps can provide turn-by-turn directions based on live-ish traffic data, but it can also provide you with what the parking situation might be.
Google Maps uses data from your phone’s gyroscope to figure out your direction and orientation, so the simply act of tipping your phone left or right will show you which direction you actually want to go.
Google is finally catching up with Apple on this front: Google Maps now lets you share your current location with people for specific periods of time.
Google Maps lets you share some of your favorite places with a friend.

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Summary of “Amazon Echo is losing smart speaker market share to Google Home. Here’s why.”

Google Home devices are rapidly catching up to Amazon Echo devices in worldwide sales, and may have already surpassed them.
China is the fastest-growing market for smart speakers, and neither Amazon nor Google is a significant player there.
As recently as a year ago, Amazon single-handedly controlled the global smart speaker industry, with a market share upward of 75 percent, according to estimates from two of the leading market watchers, Strategy Analytics and Canalys, based in Singapore.
It makes sense that Amazon was crushing the competition, because there wasn’t much competition yet: Google had just launched the Home in late 2016, and Apple’s HomePod was not yet on the market.
The firm projects Google’s smart speaker sales to surpass Amazon’s by 2020, said Bill Ablondi, director of smart home strategies.
It found that 62 percent of U.S. smart speaker owners had an Amazon Echo, while 27 percent had a Google Home, as of May. That methodology favors Amazon by counting devices purchased in the past.
On top of that, it makes it very easy to buy things on Amazon, and plays nicely with other Alexa devices like the Fire TV. Purchase a Google Home, on the other hand, and it will fit right in with Chromecast, YouTube, your Gmail and Google Calendar, and the Google Assistant on your Android device.
Correction, Aug. 27, 2018: This article originally mislabeled two columns in a chart titled, “Global Smart Speaker Market by Vendor: Q2 2018.” The third and fourth columns should have been labeled “Q2 ’17 Shipments” and “Q2 ’17 Market Share,” not “Q2 ’18 Shipments” and “Q2 ’18 Market Share.”

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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.

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Summary of “The Reality Ecosystem: What AR/VR/XR needs to go big – TechCrunch”

Mobile AR has shown what is possible, with Pokémon GO, Snapchat and soon Google Maps/Lens again standouts.
Critical use cases for mobile AR are beginning to emerge, with perhaps the first being Google’s Maps/Lens combination revealed at Google I/O 2018.
It solves a universal problem when you come out of Embarcadero Station and are told to go south – but where’s south? Google combined computer vision with mobile AR to show you exactly where to go, and even gave you a cute fox to lead you there.
Houzz proved mobile AR apps can drive an extraordinary 11x sales uplift.
Current mobile leaders could determine how mobile AR evolves even more than startup insurgents.
It’s too early to tell with smart glasses again, but their critical use cases might need to be more than ports from breakout mobile AR successes.
It could become a key enabler for the Reality Ecosystem for both mobile AR and smart glasses.
Talking with 30 leading VCs in Sand Hill Road and China showed a mental model geared toward mobile AR and computer vision in the near-term, and smart glasses in the long-term.

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Summary of “Siri vs. Alexa vs. Google Assistant”

Siri now has a dedicated smart speaker to call home, so it’s time to consider how Apple’s voice assistant compares to Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant.
During testing, we were able to trick Alexa and Google Assistant by pretending to be our coworkers.
Unlike calling, you can send messages from HomePod, as well as from Alexa and Google Assistant.
Amazon and Google support a wide range of third-party music services, so your Alexa or Google Assistant speaker can play a Spotify song with a simple voice command.
Here’s more info on approved music services for Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant.
Siri actually did a great job responding to my basic, everyday questions, roughly the same as using Alexa or Google Assistant.
In contrast, both Alexa and Google Assistant give you “Invocation” words to interact with device types they don’t support out of the box, such as, “Alexa, ask Geneva when the dishwasher will be finished.” Alexa doesn’t have built-in support for dishwasher commands yet, but it at least lets device partners engineer a workaround.
While Siri has improved in terms of her ability to process and respond to natural language, she still has some ground to cover to match the depth and breadth of Alexa and Google Assistant.

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Summary of “Android 9 Pie review: Google gets more thoughtful”

That’s where Android Pie’s improved Do Not Disturb mode comes in.
Lens, Assistant, Duplex – it’s no secret that Google believes artificial intelligence is the way forward.
What’s really interesting about the way Google wove AI into Android Pie is how subtle it is.
None of the features we’re about to discuss are conceptually very exciting, but there’s little question that they make day-to-day life using Pie more pleasant.
Consider the subway ride I mentioned earlier – that’s an example of what Google calls App Actions.
See, Android Pie basically keeps an eye on what you’re doing and when, chews on that data for a while, and brings those actions directly into the phone’s app launcher when they seem appropriate.
Google seems to have prioritized the quality and timeliness of these suggestions over quantity.
While we were filming our video review, Pie suggested I listen to a Japanese band in Spotify, or, uh, call myself.

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Summary of “Android 9 Pie review: the predictive OS”

The story with Android 9 Pie isn’t radically different, but it changes some of those tried and true lines a bit.
For the first time, I’ve had a chance to test the official release of a new version of Android on a phone not made by Google, the Essential Phone.
The many features in Android 9 Pie cohere into something that feels more polished than the last few versions of Android.
Along with all of this, the traditional Android back button will still show up from time to time next to the home button because Google hasn’t yet developed a gesture for “Back.”
In my initial look at Android 9 Pie, I called it Google’s “Most ambitious update in years.” I still think that’s true, but unfortunately, right now, Android doesn’t quite reach those ambitions.
Through battery management and notification changes, Google is continuing its efforts to corral an ecosystem of bad-acting apps through a better-managed OS. The other big trend is one I’ve been talking about for a couple years now: moving toward making AI the new UI. Android 9 Pie is full of new ideas of how an OS can be smarter Two years ago at the Code conference, CEO Sundar Pichai told Walt Mossberg that Google intended to be more “Opinionated” about its own phones, and the Googlification of Android on Pixel phones is stronger than ever now.
Apple still trounces Android when it comes to getting phones updated to the latest OS. Last year, Google built the Treble infrastructure to make it easier for companies to push out these big OS updates faster.
As happy as I am with all the individual features in Android 9 Pie, I’ll be even happier if the Android ecosystem gets its act together and releases it.

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Summary of “Google Struggles to Contain Employee Uproar Over China Censorship Plans”

Google bosses were scrambling to contain leaks and internal anger on Wednesday after the company’s confidential plan to launch a censored version of its search engine in China was revealed by The Intercept.
Company managers responded by swiftly trying to shut down employees’ access to any documents that contained information about the China censorship project, according to Google insiders who witnessed the backlash.
On a message board forum for Google employees, one staff member posted a link to The Intercept’s story alongside a note saying that they and two other members of their team had been asked to work on the Chinese censorship project, code-named Dragonfly.
Google previously launched a censored search engine in China in 2006, but pulled the service out of the country in 2010, citing Chinese government efforts to limit free speech, block websites, and hack Google’s computer systems.
A spokesperson for the New York-based group Human Rights in China said that Google had shown willingness to “Trade principles and values for access to the Chinese market.” The spokesperson added: “If Google wants to be a credible global technology leader and demonstrate its commitment to core values and responsible corporate citizenship, it has to do better than kneeling before an authoritarian party-state. In the long run, Google will lose more than its own principled employees who refuse to be complicit.”
Maya Wang, China researcher at Human Rights Watch, said Google’s plans risked abetting Chinese government abuses.
Some analysts have drawn comparisons between the censorship project and Project Maven, a Google initiative to develop artificial intelligence for U.S. military drones.
“Hopefully the outrage from Google employees will be enough to convince Google execs that they should not return to China, at least not like this.”

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