google

I think fast, I talk fast, and I need you guys to act fast

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Microsoft tops the list of companies making the most requests to Google to takedown copyrighted material.

Google’s Transparency Report previously tracked the number of requests from governments and released data on copyright requests to the Chilling Effects website. Now, it has decided to start publishing more details after a jump in the number of copyright-related notices, largely under the US DMCA, which requires Google to stop linking to sites if it receives a complaint.

“These days it’s not unusual for us to receive more than 250,000 requests each week, which is more than what copyright owners asked us to remove in all of 2009.”

{ PC Pro | Continue reading }

painting { Franz Kline, Suspended, 1953 }

‘Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.’ –Mike Tyson

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It’s famously tough getting through the Google interview process. But now we can reveal just how strenuous are the mental acrobatics demanded from prospective employees. Job-seekers can expect to face open-ended riddles, seemingly impossible mathematical challenges and mind-boggling estimation puzzles. (…)

1. You are shrunk to the height of a 2p coin and thrown into a blender. Your mass is reduced so that your density is the same as usual. The blades start moving in 60 seconds. What do you do? (…)

3. Design an evacuation plan for San Francisco. (…)

5. Imagine a country where all the parents want to have a boy. Every family keeps having children until they have a boy; then they stop. What is the proportion of boys to girls in this country? (…)

6. Use a programming language to describe a chicken. (…)

7. What is the most beautiful equation you have ever seen? (…) Most would agree this is a lame answer:
E = MC2
It’s like a politician saying his favorite movie is Titanic.
You want Einstein? A better reply is:
G = 8πT (…)

8. You want to make sure that Bob has your phone number. You can’t ask him directly. Instead you have to write a message to him on a card and hand it to Eve, who will act as a go-between. Eve will give the card to Bob and he will hand his message to Eve, who will hand it to you. You don’t want Eve to learn your phone number. What do you ask Bob? (…)

11. How much would you charge to wash all the windows in Seattle? (…)

14. Can you swim faster through water or syrup?

{ Wired | Continue reading }

images, clockwise from top left { 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 }

quote { thanks Tim }

When love absorbs. War! War! The tympanum.

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“Whatever you post online, expect it to be used by companies to sell advertising,” says Rick Dakin.

{ 5 Ways Google Earns Money Off You | SmartMoney | full story }

images { 1. Marija Mandic | 2. Dan Christofferson }

I want you to keep that dime as a souvenir of Big Joe

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Whereas Android generates $1.70/device/year and thus an Android device with a two year life generates about $3.5 to Google over its life, Apple obtained $576.3 for each iOS device it sold in 2011.

{ ASYMCO | Continue reading }

related { iPhone Outselling All Other Smartphones Combined at Sprint and AT&T. }

I remember this one time on Facebook someone ‘poked me’ and I stabbed him

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One quick story: I was a venture capitalist in 2001. A company, Oingo, which later became Applied Semantics, had a technique for how search engines could make money by having people bid for ads. My partner at the firm said, “we can probably pick up half this company for cheap. They are running out of money.” It was during the Internet bust.

“Are you kidding me, “ I said. “they are in the search engine business. That’s totally dead.” And I went back to playing the Defender machine that was in my office. That I would play all day long even while companies waited in the conference room.

A year later they were bought by Google for 1% of Google. Our half would’ve now been worth hundreds of millions if we had invested. I was the worst venture capitalist ever. They had changed their name from Oingo to Applied Semantics to what became within Google…AdWords and AdSense, which has been 97% of Google’s revenues since 2001. 97%. $67 billion dollars. (…)

Ken Lang buys his patents back from Lycos for almost nothing. He starts a company: I/P Engine. Two weeks ago he announced he was merging his company with a public company, Vringo (Nasdaq: VRNG). Because it’s Ken, I buy the stock although will buy more after this article is out and readers read this.

The company sues Google for a big percentage of those $67 billion in revenues plus future revenues. The claim: Google has willfully infringed on Vringo – I/P’s patents for sorting ads based on click-throughs.

{ James Altucher/TechCrunch | Continue reading }

No one will ever know you, only what you let them see

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People using Google’s email service, Gmail, on a relatively new BlackBerry smartphone may have noticed recently that some contacts now have small photos next to their names. They may have been surprised to see them there – after all, these are not photos taken by the BlackBerry itself, and its manufacturer Research In Motion has struck no data-sharing deal with Google.

Those images appear because Google has taken a profile photo users uploaded to Google+, its social network, and incorporated it into their contacts’ Gmail address book.

This is just one example of how Google is increasingly combining the information it holds about its users from its dozens of products, which range from a search engine and maps to Android smartphones, flight checkers and language translation apps.

One line in Google’s privacy policy, which came into force on Thursday, explains how it is able to do this: “If other users already have your email or other information that identifies you, we may show them your publicly visible Google Profile information, such as your name and photo.”

But when, in late January, Google published this new document detailing how it is combining the personal information it holds about its users from its dozens of different products, many privacy advocates, data protection officials and state regulators let their simmering distrust of the internet company boil over. “Google didn’t ask us if we, their customers, minded our data being merged and used in new ways,” said Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group, a digital activist. “Most people will have no choice but to put up with the change. That is wrong.”

{ FT | Continue reading }

related { How Google—and 104 Other Companies—Are Tracking Me on the Web }

And it could have went so many ways, so many ways it can go

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How would things change if Google and Bing went down for 24 hours, and there wasn’t a way around the block?

If your first thought is to do your online searches through Yahoo!, you will run into another roadblock. Since 2010, Yahoo! searches are powered by Bing. Can you name any other search engine sites off the top of your head? (…)

Losing search sites is only the tip of the iceberg. Google and Bing also provide extensive services in other areas, one of the most obvious being email—Gmail alone has 350 million users. Blacking out Gmail would certainly affect all these people, but it would also affect everyone trying to reach them.

{ Naked Capitalism | Continue reading }

Last week, I got a notice from Twitter saying the Manhattan District Attorney’s office had subpoenaed my account activity for a three-month period between September and December of last year. On October 1, I was arrested along with 700 or so other people marching across the Brooklyn Bridge as part of an early Occupy Wall Street demonstration. (…)

Why was it Twitter who got subpoenaed even though they’re my words the DA wants to see?

The short answer is: they’re not my words. Not in the legal sense at least. Part of the Twitter user agreement is that the Tweets belong to the company, not to the user. As far as the law is concerned, my online self is an informational aspect of a legal entity named Twitter, not me. That means if someone wants to use my statements against me in court, it’s not me they have to call, it’s that little blue birdie. In this context the term “microblogging” gets some new meaning: Twitter’s users really are unpaid content producers for a giant microblog hosting site.

{ Malcolm Harris/Shareable | Continue reading }

related { Will the Web Break? }

photo { Guy Bourdin }

‘When I am king, you will be first against the wall.’ –Thom Yorke

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The Apple idea is that instead of the personal computer model where people own their own information, and everybody can be a creator as well as a consumer, we’re moving towards this iPad, iPhone model where it’s not really as adequate for media creation as the real media creation tools, and even though you can become a seller over the network, you have to pass through Apple’s gate to accept what you do, and your chances of doing well are very small, and it’s not really a person to person thing, it’s a business through a hub, through Apple to others, and it doesn’t really create a middle class, it creates a new kind of upper class. (…)

Google has done something that might even be more destructive of the middle class, which is they’ve said, ‘Well, since Moore’s law makes computation really, really cheap, let’s just give away the computation, but keep the data.’ And that’s a disaster.

If we enter into the kind of world that Google likes, I mean, the world that Google wants is a world where information is copied so much on the Internet that nobody knows where it came from anymore, so there can’t be any rights of authorship. However, you need a big search engine to even figure out what it is or find it. They want a lot of chaos that they can have an ability to undo. (…) When you have copying on a network, you throw out information because you lose the provenance, and then you need a search engine to figure it out again. That’s part of why Google can exist.

{ Jaron Lanier/Edge | Continue reading }

I know a man named Hank, he has more rhymes than a serious bank

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Amazon.com made waves in March when it announced Cloud Player, a new “cloud music” service that allows users to upload their music collections for personal use. It did so without a license agreement, and the major music labels were not amused. Sony Music said it was keeping its “legal options open” as it pressured Amazon to pay up.

In the following weeks, two more companies announced music services of their own. Google, which has long had a frosty relationship with the labels, followed Amazon’s lead; Google Music Beta was announced without the Big Four on board. But Apple has been negotiating licenses so it can operate iCloud with the labels’ blessing.

The different strategies pursued by these firms presents a puzzle. Either Apple wasted millions of dollars on licenses it doesn’t need, or Amazon and Google are vulnerable to massive copyright lawsuits. All three are sophisticated firms that employ a small army of lawyers, so it’s a bit surprising that they reached such divergent assessments of what the law requires.

So how did it happen? And who’s right?

{ Ars Technica | Continue reading }

Why does music elevate your mood, move you to tears or make you dance? It’s a mystery to most of us, but not so much to evolutionary neurobiologist Mark Changizi.

My research suggests that when we listen to music without any visual component, our auditory system—or at least the lower-level auditory areas—”thinks” it is the sounds of a human moving in our midst, doing some sort of behavior, perhaps an emotionally expressive behavior.

The auditory system “thinks” this because music has been “designed” by cultural evolution to sound like people moving about. That is, over time, humans figured out how to better and better make sounds that mimicked (and often exaggerated) the fundamental kinds of sounds humans make when we move.

I lay out more than 40 respects in which music sounds like people doing stuff. At the core of “moving people” is the walk. The human gait has unique characteristics, from its regularly repeating step (the beat) to the sounds of other parts of the body during the gait that are in time with the step (notes, more generally).

{ WSJ | Continue reading }

Dude I’ll smoke you every motherfucker under you

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While the tech world is buzzing about the launch and implications of Google’s new social network, Google+, it’s worth noting that Google isn’t just in a war with Facebook, it’s at war with multiple companies across multiple industries. In fact, Google is fighting a multi-front war with a host of tech giants for control over some of the most valuable pieces of real estate in technology. Whether it’s social, mobile, browsing, local, enterprise, or even search, Google is being attacked from all angles. (…)

Before I investigate each battle front in the war, it’s important to highlight the fact that perhaps no other tech company right now could withstand such a multifaceted attack, let alone be able to retaliate efficiently. Sure, Apple might get pushed around by Facebook, so it integrated Twitter into iOS5, and sure, Amazon and Apple have their own tussles over digital media and payments, but at the end of the day, Google is in this unique and potentially highly vulnerable position that will test the company’s mettle and ability to not only reinvent itself, but also to perhaps strengthen its core. (…) Google must battle on at least six fronts simultaneously.

{ TechCrunch | Continue reading }

‘Social networks do best when they tap into one of the seven deadly sins. Facebook is ego. Zynga is sloth. LinkedIn is greed.’ –Reid Hoffman

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There are numerous comparisons between Google’s new Google+ social offering and Facebook, but most of them miss the mark. Google knows the social train has left the station and there is a very slim chance of catching up with Facebook’s 750 million active users. However, Twitter’s position as a broadcast platform for 21 million active publishers is a much more achievable goal for Google to reach. (…)

While Facebook is not sweating about Google+, the threat to Twitter is significant. Google has the opportunity to displace Twitter if it gets publishers and celebrities to encourage Google+ follows on their websites as well as pushing posts to the legions of Google users while they are in Search, Gmail and YouTube. Google was turned down when it tried to buy Twitter for $10 billion, and now it is going to try to replicate it.

{ Social Beat | Continue reading }

photo { Jay Van Dam }

related { Invite your entire Facebook graph into Google Plus | Searching through other people’s photographs as soon as they’ve taken them is now possible thanks to a new search service. }

Which we all like. Rain. When we sleep. Drops.

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{ Edward Weston, White Sands, 1946 }

related { The Cloud: Battle of the Tech Titans. Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are going up against traditional infrastructure makers like IBM and HP as businesses move their most important work to cloud computing, profoundly changing how companies buy computer technology. | Business week | full story }