Tag Archives: Technology

Marissa Mayer Is Nominated To Serve On Walmart’s Board

Walmart exteriorcropped

Google’s top woman has been nominated to serve on the board of Walmart. The massive retailer corporation made the announcement today that Marissa Mayer could potentially take the board’s 16th spot.

And yes, it’s that same Marissa Mayer…you know…the same high-profile Google executive whose brother allegedly brutally beat up his girlfriend and threatened to throw her off San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge…

At only 36, Ms. Mayer will be the youngest person on the board if elected at the company’s shareholder’s meeting on June 1st. I was reading through different articles about her nomination to board, many questioned whether she is the right fit for the company’s board. She doesn’t really have much experience outside of Google, if any at all. She was hired at Google straight out of graduate school in 1999 and shuffled around at that Google ever since.

Is she a one-hit wonder? Can her leadership skills at Google translate over to other companies that operate in a completely different way? Walmart seems to think that she can be useful in helping them with their online services. Google benefits from learning about how a retail giant does business.

Anyway, it’s interesting news and I thought it is worth posting. She said this in a statement:

“I have long been a customer and admirer of the company. Walmart is an amazing story of entrepreneurship and, as one of the world’s most powerful brands, touches millions of lives every day. I look forward to contributing to Walmart’s continued growth, success, and innovation in the years to come”

And according to Forbes, she also serves on the boards of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Ballet, the New York City Ballet and the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

For more information:

The Register, “Google’s top female cheese nominated to serve on Walmart board” – click here

Wall Street Journal, “Wal-Mart Taps Google’s Marissa Mayer for Board Seat” – click here

Forbes, “Wal-Mart Names Google’s Marissa Mayer To Its Board” – click here

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You’re Not Google’s Customer You’re Google’s Product

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

I found this useful mini slideshow on the DailyFinance website titled “5 Signs Google is Selling You Out”. I’ve discussed everything in their slideshow on this blog in other posts but it’s a nice summary and review of some of the things Google is up to.

To see the slideshow head on over to their site – click here

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Jimmy Kimmel Makes Fun Of Google’s ‘Project Glass’

Jimmy Kimmel’s latest mockery of Google got me laughing so hard!

The other day Google released a video showing off “new” technology it’s been working on called “Project Glass”. It’s basically a camera on your head that connects to the Internet – hands free mobile computing glasses. Let’s not even get started with the privacy issues that this will potentially stir up.

Anyway, Google’s “new” technology has been getting a lot of media attention and many people actually thought it was an April Fool’s joke – but Google couldn’t be any more serious with their plans to develop this technology. They uploaded the video to get feedback from the public to help in the development.

Here’s the video Google uploaded:

And this is the hilarious Jimmy Kimmel video (the music just cracks me up for some reason ha-ha):

Thanks to Gizmodo for directing its readers to the funny video – click here

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Andrew Keen: Google Is Declining

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Author and entrepreneur Andrew Keen had an excellent article published by CNN the other day and it’s worth the read. He brings up excellent points and sums up some of the major issues surrounding Google lately.

He writes:

“I suspect that 2012 will be remembered as the year when Google’s fortunes began to wane. The company won’t disappear, of course. But with an inexperienced new CEO, a badly botched new privacy policy, a marked decline in public trust and a looming EU antitrust investigation, it is hard to see Google dominating today’s Web 3.0 world from the same unchallenged position as it once controlled the Web 2.0 economy.”

Hmm, very interesting.

Read more – click here

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Eric Hague: Dear Google User…

Big Brother 2002 (UK)

Eric Hague is a humor writer – a funny letter he wrote pretending to be a member of Google’s privacy team was published by The Wall Street Journal today.

Google seems to think it knows what is best for us, knows everything about us, and is smarter than us – the amusing piece by Mr. Hague has a little fun with all that.

Head on over to The Wall Street Journal and read the full letter titled “Dear Google User: We’re Sure You’re Going to Love This” – click here

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Embarrassing, Apple Is Responsible For The Vast Majority Of Google’s Mobile Revenue

Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

There are new revelations about the health of Google’s mobile business and it looks like Google is in really bad shape. Thanks to documents submitted in the legal battle between Google and Oracle over patents, the public gets a new look at exactly how well Google’s Android is performing.

Google is secretive about letting the public know about how much revenue Android brings in – but now we know that Android actually doesn’t make much money for Google at all. Google’s overall 2011 revenues totaled about $40 billion and much of that is from ads from search results on desktop computers. Very little of Google’s overall revenues is from mobile.

According to The Guardian, Android generated less than $550 million between 2008 and 2011 – pitiful. Google produces the Android software which it then gives away for free to handset makers to sell. Google makes its money from ad revenue on the mobile devices and from applications on Google Play (formerly known as Android Market), which is doing extremely poorly compared to Apple’s App store.

Here is where it gets particularly interesting – Google actually makes more money from Apple’s mobile devices than it does from its own Android powered smartphones! Now isn’t that hilarious, ha-ha, especially considering the recent bad blood between Google and Apple.

Apple is responsible for generating more than four times as much revenue for Google! This is because at least half of all smartphone owners use an Apple device and Google is the default search engine. Apple also extensively used Google Maps – but as recently told Google to get lost and is now using a mixture of its own acquired mapping technology and free crowdsourced mapping.

Who knew that Apple had such a big role in Google’s mobile business?

Majority of Google’s mobile traffic can be credited to Apple. Google should be grateful to Apple for being so helpful, but Google treats Apple like crap. Google expressed its gratitude to Apple by trying to impose itself into Apple’s territory, which infuriated Apple.

What did Apple do as payback?

Apple no longer extensively uses Google Maps, Apple added other search engines as alternative options to Google’s, and Apple appears to be ditching Google altogether in China (a huge and attractive market). And we all know about how Apple set its Safari Web browser default to automatically block third-party tracking cookies  - however, it was exposed last month that Google illegally circumvented this security feature, but is now facing countless lawsuits from Apple users.

Psst…hey Google…don’t bite that hand that feeds you.

For more information:

The Guardian, “Google’s Android has generated just $550m since 2008, figures suggest” – click here

AppleInsider, “Google earns 80% of its mobile revenue from iOS, just 20% from Android” – click here

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BBC: Internet Privacy Paranoia Or Legitimate Concerns

The BBC published an interesting article today about Internet privacy. Google is the biggest of the Big Brothers and collects your information more than any other Internet company in the world – it even rivals some repressive government intrusion on the personal lives of citizens. Google does not give users explicit consent to sell their personal data to third parties, Google does not allow users to opt-out of data harvesting, and Google is not completely forthcoming about exactly what they do with our personal data.

Please read through the BBC article for yourself. The strong desire to protect our personal information on the Internet is definitely not paranoia, it’s simply being smart. Several recent surveys have shown that the vast majority of Internet users are deeply concerned about privacy on the Internet but many don’t know how to protect themselves. The media and governments need to make sure that people are educated about online safety and have strong laws in place to protect innocent people.

By the way – I love the “Big Brother” (or Big Google) eye picture the BBC accompanied with the article :)

Read more – click here

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Big Google Wants To Listen To Your Phone Calls Too

Android Robot. Français : le logo d'android 日本...

 Google is about to get a lot creepier.

Remember when major companies like Microsoft and consumer advocacy groups warned people that Google reads your emails to serve you ads? Well – now Google has plans to listen to your phone calls too on Google powered smartphones to serve you ads in real-time.

Google has new technology that will allow it to hear the background noise during your phone calls. If you’re making a call while it’s raining outside, Google will pick this up and will serve you ads for umbrellas. Creepy to the max!

Google will do anything to line its pockets with more advertising dollars and consumers will have more of their privacy diminished. Google makes over 90% of its revenues from advertising. You are not Google’s customer, you’re Google’s product. They sell your personal information to advertisers so that they can rake in about $40 billion every year.

Read more – click here

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Back Off Google, Please! A Defense Of Privacy

Megan McArdle is a senior editor for The Atlantic. She published an article today titled “Take My Privacy, Please! A Defense of Google“. Needless to say, I disagree with her arguments and I have to respond by writing a point-by-point rebuttal against some of the things she wrote. To read her full article, please click here.

“People love to freak out about incursions on their privacy. And by ‘people’ I mean cable news shows”

  • Yes, people do love to protect their privacy. Those ‘freaked out’ include: several consumer advocacy groups, state attorneys general, members of the US Congress and Senate, the White House, the European Union, several Asian countries, privacy commissioners from around the world, bloggers, and the average person.

“A week ago, Google implemented a plan to aggregate (most of) the data they collect from the many, many products they offer. Not to collect new data. Not to publish or disseminate that data in a new way.”

  • Google’s new privacy policy allows it to collect more personal data by combining data. The consolidation of personal data to combat “the faceless web” (as Google put it) will allow Google to easily figure you out better. It allows Google to take your personal data from YouTube, Gmail, the search engine, and other products –which will then allow them to give you one identity. They want to see users as a single person across all of Google owned products. This will further eliminate anonymity and discourage users from tailoring their identity based on what they’re using. Combining data is a deliberate act of collecting new data. It also allow Google to use that data in new ways, such as selling your personal information to advertisers who want a clearer image of exactly who you are and they can disseminate your data on different Google products.

They’ll sell information about every prescription they fill at CVS — or every pint of Haagen Dazs at Safeway — in exchange for a steady infusion of $1 coupons. They’ll hand off information about the timing of their daily commute in exchange for a couple of minutes saved at a toll booth every day. They’ll let Amazon track their diaper and book purchases because they would rather not re-enter their credit card number every time they want to buy something

  •  We don’t live in a world where people choose to share absolutely nothing about themselves. There can be a healthy amount of personal information we are willing to give away – if we feel it is necessary, beneficial, and controlled. The examples you listed are choices people willingly made for themselves to make their lives easier. Those people who made those choices know the full consequences and can limit the damage to their privacy. Google collects so much information it rivals any government spying around the world to keep track of citizens. Google admits it has very sensitive information about us and their products are ubiquitous. It’s becoming increasingly more difficult to escape Google, even when you’re not on a Google owned website. Google has numerous tracking tools to keep a watch on Internet users all the time. Internet users have no idea just how much Google collects about them, where they are being spied on, how they can opt-out, or even if their information is safe. At least if I give my personal information to a store, it’s kept limited to that one store. Google follows users everywhere. So please, stop comparing apples to oranges.

“I think people get a pretty decent bargain when they hand over their personal browsing, search, and email data to Google”

  • It’s far from ‘pretty decent’. Google is gouging us, it’s a total rip-off. Google’s currency of choice is personal data not dollars. Google makes over 90% of its revenues from advertising – the company sells our personal data without our explicit consent for huge profits. Google harvests huge amounts of personal data, including but not limited to: age, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, politics, financial information, every website we visit, your location, and the list goes on and on. Google is just one company and this one company knows us better than some of our closest friends. This is not just a simple hand over of a bit of information of here and there – as you tried to downplay it – this is downright alarming and an invasion of our privacy.

Google does its darnedest to sell you stuff you would probably like to buy

  • Those creepy – and yes they’re totally creepy – so called ‘personalized’ ads actually don’t work well. Tracking companies that serve these mutated ads are not doing a very good job of figuring out exactly what we want to buy.  For example, a child might research material on Ford cars for a school assignment and then a few hours later that child receives ads for Ford cars when they never intended on purchasing a car. Now the child knows that somebody was creepily looking over their shoulder and is now trying to sell them something they don’t want. It doesn’t make me want to buy more, it makes me suspicious and it’s a total turn off. If a company gets too aggressive in trying to sell me something, I will buy from their competitor.

This is a fact you cannot change

  • We’re working on it.

If Google… can’t scrape and sort your data…Less of the free stuff you like

  •  Fear-mongering. All we want is to take back control of our personal data and limit the damage to our privacy. It will not result in the doomsday scenario where there will be no Internet. The world won’t end in 2012 and the Internet will still survive if we take back control of our personal data.

Google shrank and simplified their privacy policy…”

  • There is good simplification and then there is bad simplification. The simplification to make something more understandable to the average person is a good thing, but Google hasn’t done this. Google’s new privacy policy takes a few hours to get through and it’s confusing. European regulators have said that Google’s new privacy policy is difficult to make sense of “even for trained professionals”. The new privacy policy also leaves out important details about people’s rights for specific products they use.

 Finally, that little bonus part you wrote to make the Washington Post look bad – again, you’re desperately comparing apples to oranges. By the way, The Atlantic has a ton of trackers on its website – I picked up at least 6 ad networks and 9 ad companies (this doesn’t even include the social networking buttons that track you too). The Atlantic is one of the most tracker infested sites I have come across yet.

And Ms. McArdle, since you care so little about privacy – then please publish everything about yourself that Google has ability to track and share it with the whole world. Let’s see all your searches, all the videos you’ve been watching, who all your friends are on Google Plus, let’s see what you’ve been chatting about with your friends on Gmail, and let’s watch your Hangouts too! Who cares about privacy, right? Privacy is soooooo last millennium.

For more information:

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