Miscellaneous

28 February 2016

What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team New York Times

Like most 25-year-olds, Julia Rozovsky wasn't sure what she wanted to do with her life. She had worked at a consulting firm, but it wasn't a good match. Then she became a researcher for two professors at Harvard, which was interesting but lonely. Maybe a big corporation would be a better fit. Or perhaps a fast-growing start-up. All she knew for certain was that she wanted to find a job that was more social. ''I wanted to be part of a community, part of something people were building together,'' she told me. She thought about various opportunities -- Internet companies, a Ph.D. program -- but nothing seemed exactly right. So in 2009, she chose the path that allowed her to put off making a decision: She applied to business schools and was accepted by the Yale School of Management.

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02 February 2016

Google overtakes Apple as world's most valuable listed company The Guardian

Google has become the world's most valuable listed company after announcing that its global revenues rose 13% to $75bn (£52bn) last year, and the group's tax rate fell to just 17%.

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23 January 2016

How Larry Page's Obsessions Became Google’s Business New York Times

Three years ago, Charles Chase, an engineer who manages Lockheed Martin's nuclear fusion program, was sitting on a white leather couch at Google's Solve for X conference when a man he had never met knelt down to talk to him.

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France Plans a New Keyboard to Shift Control to Typists New York Times

Bad spelling? Incorrect grammar? It's all in the keyboard. French is a difficult language to write, but writing correctly is "nearly impossible" with existing French keyboards, and the government has decided to do something about it.

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20 January 2016

Why Google Quit China—and Why It's Heading Back The Atlantic

When Google shut down its Chinese search engine in 2010, it gave up access to an enormous market. There are more than twice as many people on the Internet in China as there are residents in the U.S., and the number of Chinese Internet users is growing at a rate that far surpasses that of any other country. Google has plans to return to China in the near future, but why did it turn away from the country for so long?

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18 January 2016

Game that rewards players for killing Indigenous Australians pulled from app stores The Guardian

A mobile game that purportedly rewarded players for bludgeoning Indigenous Australians to death has been removed from both Apple and Google app stores following public outcry.

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09 December 2015

Bitcoin's Creator Satoshi Nakamoto Is Probably This Unknown Australian Genius Wired

Even as his face towered 10 feet above the crowd at the Bitcoin Investor's Conference in Las Vegas, Craig Steven Wright was, to most of the audience of crypto and finance geeks, a nobody.

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28 September 2015

The node pole: inside Facebook's Swedish hub near the Arctic Circle The Guardian

From the outside, it looks like an enormous grey warehouse. Inside, there is a hint of the movie Bladerunner: long cavernous corridors, spinning computer servers with flashing blue lights and the hum of giant fans. There is also a long perimeter fence. Is its job to thwart corporate spies? No - it keeps out the moose.

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27 September 2015

Microsoft Leads Movement to Offset Emissions With Internal Carbon Tax New York Times

When Microsoft business unit managers calculate their profits or losses each quarter, they consider more than just sales and expenses. They also factor in the price of carbon.

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02 September 2015

Google unveils new logo at turning point in company's history The Guardian

First they changed their name, now they've changed their logo. Google introduced a new sans-serif and slightly toned-down four-colour logo on Tuesday in the biggest redesign since 1999.

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18 August 2015

Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace New York Times

On Monday mornings, fresh recruits line up for an orientation intended to catapult them into Amazon's singular way of working.

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17 August 2015

Spelling it out: Google's new corporate structure will provide more clarity for investors The Economist

These days it seems as if there is almost no area of technology that Google can resist dipping its toes into. Among other things it is working on driverless cars, delivery drones, glucose-detecting contact lenses for diabetics, devices for the "smart home" and research into extending human lifespans. The corporate reorganisation it announced this week is an acknowledgment of what Google has become: a sprawling conglomerate, albeit with one predominant, profit-generating division in the form of its original internet business.

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14 August 2015

Even in the New Alphabet, Google Keeps Its Capital G New York Times

G is for Google, as the company's chief executive, Larry Page, put it this week in a blog post introducing Alphabet, Google's new corporate name.

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13 August 2015

Inside Alphabet: why Google rebranded itself and what happens next The Guardian

Every month a hundred billion searches run through Google - a repository of the world's curiosity, hopes, dreams and fears. Google has been a verb in the Oxford English Dictionary since 2006, it is valued at $445bn and last year had revenues of $66bn. But as its billionaire founders have made clear, none of this is enough.

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20 July 2015

Windows 10 Signifies Microsoft's Shift in Strategy New York Times

Next week, when Microsoft releases Windows 10, the latest version of the company's operating system, the software will offer a mix of the familiar and new to the people who run earlier versions of it on more than 1.5 billion computers and other devices.

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04 July 2015

Should Google Always Tell the Truth? The Atlantic

What is Google's responsibility to its searchers? In a Thursday panel at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Ashkan Soltani, the Federal Trade Commission's chief technologist, offered a hypothetical that captured why that question is so difficult to answer.

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03 July 2015

The Next Mark Zuckerberg Is Not Who You Might Think New York Times

Many people think they know what the founder of a tech start-up looks like: a 20-something man who spent his childhood playing on computers in his basement and who later dropped out of college to become a billionaire entrepreneur.

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23 June 2015

The Internet That Was (and Still Could Be): As corporations like Facebook gain control over more and more online activities, the web's core values are at stake. The Atlantic

It is not enough for the Internet to succeed. It must succeed inevitably.

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12 June 2015

Twitter's Costolo Years: An Annal of Missed Opportunities The Atlantic

Oh, but what is to be done with Twitter. On Thursday, in a press release posted to its eponymous social network, Twitter Inc. announced that its CEO, Dick Costolo, would resign. Jack Dorsey, one of the company's founding quadrumvirate and the company's first CEO, will take his old job in an interim role.

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09 June 2015

Bitcoin isn't the future of money - it's either a Ponzi scheme or a pyramid scheme Washington Post

Sometimes it's hard to tell whether Bitcoin is more like Ponzi scheme or a pyramid scheme.

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08 June 2015

Amazon, Google and Facebook have the power to move entire economies Salon

The world of data has its own economics. If you know one thing about one person, you don't have much. If you know one thing about nearly everyone or nearly everything about one person, you have a little. But if you know nearly everything about nearly everyone, you've got something priceless. Essentially, data giants are middlemen who connect buyers with sellers for a fee. Google, for example, takes a place among the premier content providers in the world. Every day, the company handles millions of searches for its users. But mainly, it creates lots and lots of lists. Google became what it is because its lists are very useful to millions of users. But in nearly every case, what a user wants is not provided by Google itself. Google just connects what the user wants with a list of relevant web pages. Google's famous web crawlers search the Internet, making lists and rendering those lists to users.

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30 May 2015

The man behind Yahoo's plan to become the most 'trustworthy' tech company Washington Post

The day before news broke that Alex Stamos was joining Yahoo as chief information security officer, he laid out the approach that has defined his tenure at the company so far: Technology shouldn't just be secure, it should be "trustworthy."

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28 May 2015

Firefox Maker Battles to Save the Internet—and Itself Technology Review

Mozilla helped an open Web flourish in the 2000s. Now it's struggling to play a meaningful role on mobile devices.

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27 May 2015

The Underwater Internet The Atlantic

A wireless world relies on more than cloud technology. Half-century-old cable stations are critical nodes where messages can still be delayed, censored, or intercepted.

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24 May 2015

Bitcoin really is useful. Just not in the way you think The Observer

When the banking system went into meltdown in 2008, an intriguing glimpse of an alternative future appeared. On 31 October, an unknown cryptographer who went by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto launched what he described as "a new electronic cash system that's fully peer to peer, with no trusted third party". The name he assigned to this new currency was bitcoin.

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