April 16, 2014
Google Wants to Make ‘Science Fiction’ a Reality—And That’s Limiting Their Imagination

The future is vast, and scifi provides but a tiny porthole to see it.
Read more. [Image: Library of Congress]

Google Wants to Make ‘Science Fiction’ a Reality—And That’s Limiting Their Imagination

The future is vast, and scifi provides but a tiny porthole to see it.

Read more. [Image: Library of Congress]

April 4, 2014
Google Is Trying to Trademark the Word ‘Glass’—and It’s in Good Company

Apple has tried to trademark “startup.” Facebook has tried to trademark “book.” 
Read more. [Image: Google]

Google Is Trying to Trademark the Word ‘Glass’—and It’s in Good Company

Apple has tried to trademark “startup.” Facebook has tried to trademark “book.” 

Read more. [Image: Google]

February 21, 2014
Silicon Valley’s Paydays Are Outrageous—So, Where’s the Outrage?

JPMorgan pays CEO Jamie Dimon $20 million, and it’s instantly the subject of widespread angst—online, in newspapers, and all over cable news. Then, this week, Google announces a $106 million payday for Chairman Eric Schmidt, and the reaction is relatively mute.
Why?
This was the subject of a Steven Davidoff’s column (that notably left out the word “bailout.”) People have every reason to be mad at JPMorgan and Dimon, given the way the last seven years have gone, not just for the bailout but also for all the lawbreaking that has characterized Dimon’s watch (nepotism in China, LIBOR, money laundering, and the list goes on.). While there are reasons to be mad at Google, they don’t involve blowing up the world economy, consuming billions of dollars of taxpayer money, and then whining about being treated unfairly.
That’s why people are upset about Dimon’s paltry $20 million rather than Schmidt’s princely $106 million. But it doesn’t make Silicon Valley’s huge payouts right.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]

Silicon Valley’s Paydays Are Outrageous—So, Where’s the Outrage?

JPMorgan pays CEO Jamie Dimon $20 million, and it’s instantly the subject of widespread angst—online, in newspapers, and all over cable news. Then, this week, Google announces a $106 million payday for Chairman Eric Schmidt, and the reaction is relatively mute.

Why?

This was the subject of a Steven Davidoff’s column (that notably left out the word “bailout.”) People have every reason to be mad at JPMorgan and Dimon, given the way the last seven years have gone, not just for the bailout but also for all the lawbreaking that has characterized Dimon’s watch (nepotism in China, LIBOR, money laundering, and the list goes on.). While there are reasons to be mad at Google, they don’t involve blowing up the world economy, consuming billions of dollars of taxpayer money, and then whining about being treated unfairly.

That’s why people are upset about Dimon’s paltry $20 million rather than Schmidt’s princely $106 million. But it doesn’t make Silicon Valley’s huge payouts right.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

February 5, 2014
And Just Like That, Facebook Became the Most Important Entity in Web Journalism

The graph above tells maybe the most interesting—and definitely the most surprising—story of the past year of digital media. 
It shows two years of referrals from Facebook and Google to the Buzzfeed Partner Network, a collection of websites (including this one!) that share their traffic stats with Buzzfeed. It quantifies what so many publishers have experienced: a massive surge of traffic from Facebook, unparalleled in its regular, day-after-day size and scope.
Read more. [Image via Recode]

And Just Like That, Facebook Became the Most Important Entity in Web Journalism

The graph above tells maybe the most interesting—and definitely the most surprising—story of the past year of digital media. 

It shows two years of referrals from Facebook and Google to the Buzzfeed Partner Network, a collection of websites (including this one!) that share their traffic stats with Buzzfeed. It quantifies what so many publishers have experienced: a massive surge of traffic from Facebook, unparalleled in its regular, day-after-day size and scope.

Read more. [Image via Recode]

January 16, 2014
The History of Popular Music, According to Google

Google unveiled a new way to look at the history of music today, Music Timeline. 

Drawing on the songs that reside in the collections of millions of Google Play users, the company created a visualization of the popularity of various artists and genres from 1950 to today. 
That time period captures the explosion of guitar-based music in the form of country and rock, and all their variants. It charts the rise of hip hop and the various resurgences of R&B. It even tries to parse the many sub-genres of rock with the kind of are-you-serious precision employed by teenage aficionados everywhere.
Read more.

The History of Popular Music, According to Google

Google unveiled a new way to look at the history of music today, Music Timeline

Drawing on the songs that reside in the collections of millions of Google Play users, the company created a visualization of the popularity of various artists and genres from 1950 to today. 

That time period captures the explosion of guitar-based music in the form of country and rock, and all their variants. It charts the rise of hip hop and the various resurgences of R&B. It even tries to parse the many sub-genres of rock with the kind of are-you-serious precision employed by teenage aficionados everywhere.

Read more.

January 10, 2014
Did San Francisco's Google Bus Deal Just Set a Price for Curb Space?

(Source: theatlanticcities)

January 6, 2014
The Amazing Rise of Chutzpah, in 1 Chart (Actually, in 2)

Did Fiddler on the Roof make chutzpah popular? Law databases—and Google—give us a clue.
Read more. [Image: United Artists]

The Amazing Rise of Chutzpah, in 1 Chart (Actually, in 2)

Did Fiddler on the Roof make chutzpah popular? Law databases—and Google—give us a clue.

Read more. [Image: United Artists]

December 19, 2013
What Transparency Reports Don’t Tell Us

There was a time in the not so distant past when hardly any Internet company wanted to release a transparency report—a report that summarized the number of law enforcement and intelligence requests that they received and responded to. What started with just Google and Twitter in 2010 and 2012, respectively, has become a steady stream of companies joining the bandwagon in the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations. Companies that had no interest in reporting one year ago now hold out their reports in an attempt to earn back eroded customer trust. The problem is that transparency reports actually tell us very little about whether we should trust these companies.
According to Google’s latest transparency report, in the first six months of 2013, they received 25,879 requests for user data, and complied with 65 percent of them. Sounds like big numbers. And they are. As Google points out in their report, the number of requests has doubled since 2010. But what does that tell us about Google? Less than you might think.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]

What Transparency Reports Don’t Tell Us

There was a time in the not so distant past when hardly any Internet company wanted to release a transparency reporta report that summarized the number of law enforcement and intelligence requests that they received and responded to. What started with just Google and Twitter in 2010 and 2012, respectively, has become a steady stream of companies joining the bandwagon in the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations. Companies that had no interest in reporting one year ago now hold out their reports in an attempt to earn back eroded customer trust. The problem is that transparency reports actually tell us very little about whether we should trust these companies.

According to Google’s latest transparency report, in the first six months of 2013, they received 25,879 requests for user data, and complied with 65 percent of them. Sounds like big numbers. And they are. As Google points out in their report, the number of requests has doubled since 2010. But what does that tell us about Google? Less than you might think.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

December 11, 2013
Is ‘Delightful’ The New ‘Cool?’

In July 2012, when Marissa Mayer became the new CEO of Yahoo, she told The New York Times about her plans for the company. “My focus at Google has been to deliver great end-user experiences, to delight and inspire our end users,” Mayer explained. “That is what I plan to do at Yahoo: give the end user something valuable and delightful that makes them want to come to Yahoo every day.”
"Delight" is a fitting goal for tech firms like Google and Yahoo, whose business models rely on keeping users happy—not just occasionally, but daily and over time. "Twitter’s products influence everything from pop culture to politics, delight our users and change lives," a recent job posting for the company put it. An ad for Facebook’s head of global recruiting summed up the role thusly: “Facebook will need a recruiting leader to scale while continuing to delight users, candidates, and customers through hyper growth.”
It’s not just tech firms, though, that are taking (and talking) delight in the world. Everything, it seems, is delightful right now. Literally. Everything. 
Read more. [Image: Shutterstock/Olesia Bilkei]

Is ‘Delightful’ The New ‘Cool?’

In July 2012, when Marissa Mayer became the new CEO of Yahoo, she told The New York Times about her plans for the company. “My focus at Google has been to deliver great end-user experiences, to delight and inspire our end users,” Mayer explained. “That is what I plan to do at Yahoo: give the end user something valuable and delightful that makes them want to come to Yahoo every day.”

"Delight" is a fitting goal for tech firms like Google and Yahoo, whose business models rely on keeping users happy—not just occasionally, but daily and over time. "Twitter’s products influence everything from pop culture to politics, delight our users and change lives," a recent job posting for the company put it. An ad for Facebook’s head of global recruiting summed up the role thusly: “Facebook will need a recruiting leader to scale while continuing to delight users, candidates, and customers through hyper growth.”

It’s not just tech firms, though, that are taking (and talking) delight in the world. Everything, it seems, is delightful right now. Literally. Everything.

Read more. [Image: Shutterstock/Olesia Bilkei]

December 10, 2013
Now You Can Make Your Own Street View Scenes

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