google

Nest’s CEO is stepping down

Five months ago, Google decided to rein Nest in. After 4 years as a mostly independent division of the company, Nest was rolled into Google’s hardware team. Today, more big changes: Nest CEO Marwan Fawaz is stepping down, according to a report by CNET. The reason? Employees at Nest had reportedly been pushing for a change, hoping for someone who had more leadership experience. This news comes just a little over two years after Fawaz took over the role after the departure of co-founder Tony Fadell. Fawaz is said to be staying on in an advisory role, with Nest pushing forward under Rishi Chandra, who’s been overseeing most of Google’s hardware efforts (Home, Chromecast, Google WiFi, etc) as VP of Home Products for over 3 years. So what does all this mean for Nest? Further integrations betwee...

Apple’s App Store revenue nearly double that of Google Play in first half of 2018

Apple’s App Store continues to outpace Google Play on revenue. In the first half of the year, the App Store generated nearly double the revenue of Google Play on half the downloads, according to a new report from Sensor Tower out today. In terms of dollars and cents, that’s $22.6 billion in worldwide gross app revenue on the App Store versus $11.8 billion for Google Play – or, 1.9 times more spent on the App Store compared with what was spent on Google Play. This trend is not new. Apple’s iOS store has consistently generated more revenue than its Android counterpart for years due to a number of factors – including the fact that Android users historically have spent less on apps than iOS users, as well as the fact that there are other Android app stores consumer can shop – like the Amazon A...

Google Cloud’s LA region goes online

Google Cloud’s new region in Los Angeles is now online, the company announced today. This isn’t exactly a surprise, given that Google had previously announced a July launch for the region, but it’s a big step for Google, which now boasts five cloud regions in the United States. It was only three years ago that Google opened its second U.S. region and, while it was slow to expand its physical cloud footprint, the company now features 17 regions around the world. When it first announced this new region, Google positioned it as the ideal region for the entertainment industry. And while that’s surely true, I’m sure we’ll see plenty of other companies use this new region, which features three availability zones, to augment their existing deployments in Google’s other West Coast region in Oregon...

Google’s Apigee teams up with Informatica to extend its API ecosystem

Google acquired API management service Apigee back in 2016 but it’s been pretty quiet around the service in recent years. Today, however, Apigee announced a number of smaller updates that introduce a few new integrations with the Google Cloud platform, as well as a major new partnership with cloud data management and integration firm Informatica that essentially makes Informatica the preferred integration partner for Google Cloud. Like most partnerships in this space, the deal with Informatica involves some co-selling and marketing agreements, but that really wouldn’t be all that interesting. What makes this deal stand out is that Google is actually baking some of Informatica’s tools right into the Google Cloud dashboard. This will allow Apigee users to use Informatica’s wide range of inte...

Ransomware technique uses your real passwords to trick you

A few folks have reported a new ransomware technique that preys upon corporate inability to keep passwords safe. The notes – which are usually aimed at instilling fear – are simple: the hacker says “I know that your password is X. Give me a bitcoin and I won’t blackmail you.” Programmer Can Duruk reported getting the email today. Woah. This is cool. A Bitcoin ransom with using what I think is passwords from a big leak. Pretty neat since people would be legit scared when they see their password. The concealed part is actually an old password I used to use. pic.twitter.com/clEYiFqvHY — can (@can) July 11, 2018 The email reads: I’m aware that X is your password. You don’t know me and you’re thinking why you received this e mail, right? Well, I actually placed a malware on the porn website and...

Project Loon and Project Wing graduate from Google X

Google X projects Loon and Wing have left the nest and graduated to independent companies under Google’s parent company Alphabet, Google X Captain of Moonshots, X Astro Teller wrote in a Medium post yesterday. “Today, unlike when they started as X projects, Loon and Wing seem a long way from crazy — and thanks to their years of hard work and relentless testing in the real world, they’re now graduating from X to become two new independent businesses within Alphabet: Loon and wing,” Teller wrote in the post. [embedded content] Loon and Wing, which respectively launched in 2013 and 2014, have both seen substantial progress from the moonshot ideas they were proposed as. Loon, a fleet of internet enabling balloons that patrol the skies to connect remote and technologically undeserved areas, pla...

Is insurance a rich enough game to disrupt?

Martha Notaras Contributor For the last decade, the largest technology companies have increasingly looked outside of tech to grow their operations. From automotive to retail to groceries, these companies use massive competitive advantages in the form of data, consumer relationships and software engineers to fundamentally change markets. Now, companies like Apple and Google and Amazon are eyeing innovation across the insurance landscape. For example, Amazon is teaming with JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway to create a new way to approach health insurance, focusing first on the group’s own employees. On the retail side, Amazon is selling product insurance and extended warranties at the point of sale and investing in insurtech startups. Meanwhile, Tesla is developing an insurance product specif...

Google Pay rolls out support for peer-to-peer payments and mobile ticketing

Google is making several updates to Google Pay, its recently-rebranded service for all its different payments tools. Most of these updates were announced earlier this year, but now, Google says they’re actually going live in the app. One of the additions is peer-to-peer payments. You could already pay or request money from a friend through Google Pay Send, but as of today, you can also do it into the main Google Pay app. Gerardo Capiel, Director of Product Management at Google Pay, noted that this makes it easier to split the bill with your friends — if you bought something with Google Pay, you can tap on the purchase and then request payment from up to five people. Since Google is basically combining two apps,  it sounds like Google Pay Send isn’t long for this world — as Capiel put it, “...

YouTube is fighting fighting fake news with $25M to promote journalism and more context in search results

YouTube announced new measures today to stem the spread of conspiracy theory videos and fake news on its platform, including inserting context from trustworthy sources into search results about hot topics. In a blog post, YouTube also said it is working with the Google News Initiative, which was launched by its parent company earlier this year to support journalists and publishers. This includes earmarking $25 million in Google News Initiative funding to create a working group of news organizations and media experts that will advise YouTube on new features. Members already include Vox Media, Brazilian radio station Jovem Pan and India Today, with more to be added in the coming weeks. Part of the funding will also be used for grants that will be awarded to news organizations through an appl...

Apple’s Shortcuts will flip the switch on Siri’s potential

Matthew Cassinelli Contributor Matthew Cassinelli is a former member of the Workflow team and works as an independent writer and consultant. He previously worked as a data analyst for VaynerMedia. At WWDC, Apple pitched Shortcuts as a way to ”take advantage of the power of apps” and ”expose quick actions to Siri.” These will be suggested by the OS, can be given unique voice commands, and will even be customizable with a dedicated Shortcuts app. But since this new feature won’t let Siri interpret everything, many have been lamenting that Siri didn’t get much better — and is still lacking compared to Google Assistant or Amazon Echo. But to ignore Shortcuts would be missing out on the bigger picture. Apple’s strengths have always been the device ecosystem and the apps that run on them. With S...

European MEPs vote to reopen copyright debate over ‘censorship’ controversy

A 318-278 majority of MEPs in the European Parliament has just voted to reopen debate around a controversial digital copyright reform proposal — meaning it will now face further debate and scrutiny, rather than be fast-tracked towards becoming law via the standard EU trilogue negotiation process. Crucially it means MEPs will have the chance to amend the controversial proposals. Last month the EU parliament’s legal affairs committee approved the final text of the copyright proposal — including approving its two most controversial articles — kicking off a last ditch effort by groups opposed to what they dub the ‘link tax’ and ‘censorship machines’ to marshal MEPs to reopen debate and be able to amend the proposal. The copyright reform is controversial largely on account of two articles: Arti...

AI spots legal problems with tech T&Cs in GDPR research project

Technology is the proverbial double-edged sword. And an experimental European research project is ensuring this axiom cuts very close to the industry’s bone indeed by applying machine learning technology to critically sift big tech’s privacy policies — to see whether AI can automatically identify violations of data protection law. The still-in-training privacy policy and contract parsing tool — which is called ‘Claudette‘: Aka (automated) clause detector — is being developed by researchers at the European University Institute in Florence. They’ve also now got support from European consumer organization BEUC — for a ‘Claudette meets GDPR‘ project — which specifically applies the tool to evaluate compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. Early results from this project hav...