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Alphabet Inc. is an American multinational conglomerate headquartered in Mountain View, California. It was created through a corporate restructuring of Google on October 2, 2015, and became the parent company of Google and several former Google subsidiaries.
  1. What's new in this club
  2. Google’s search business isn't protected by economies of scale, network effects, or any typical monopolistic barrier. Yet, it accounts for nearly 90% of searches. Their moat is their product (search algo). Can't think of another monopoly that exists on a superior product alone. People misconstrue Google’s business as “selling digital ads“. This undervalues Google’s golden goose. All internet traffic can be categorized into 3 major highways: #1 People communicating #2 People looking for information #3 People wanting to buy something Google owns #3. As a result, they charge advertisers a hefty toll for access. They share #3 with Amazon for product-related searches, but for everything else you could possibly spend money on, its Google. Need: A hotel? An accountant? A nearby restaurant? Software for your business? Google. Unlike Facebook (often compared), Google doesn't need personal data to be an effective advertising platform. All they need is your search query. Both Google and advertisers know exactly which keywords display monetary intent and can target ads accordingly.
  3. Most people don't know this, but those messy Pages (on the floor in this photo) gave Larry the idea for Page Rank.
  4. ...“When the tsunami of corporate America threatened innovation, the two found solace at home. ‘We couldn’t risk losing the culture we built in Brian’s dad’s man cave, but this office comes with free Cat5 and a water cooler so we just brought it here,’ Sergei said.”
  5. Google researchers have trained a large language model on 1.6 trillion parameters. GPT-3—one of the largest and most sophisticated language models ever—was trained on 175 billion.
  6. Why do Android phones mysteriously exchange 260MB a month with Google via cellular data when they're not even in use?
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  7. Google rescinded offers for more than 2,000 people who had agreed to work as contractors or temps, The New York Times reported Friday. Last month, CEO Sundar Pichai acknowledged to employees that hiring and investments would slow as the coronavirus pandemic created uncertainty for businesses across industries. Google’s reported decision to rescind offers from contractors and temp workers once again draws attention to a vast portion of the company’s workforce that does not enjoy the same benefits and protections of its full-time employees.
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  8. Many websites, including this one, as well as newspaper rooms that might have existed "pre-google" stealing their content reported on Coronavirus "rumors" in China and were warning the world. Since mainly Google (and Facebook) have become the source of what's important for people to know in the 2010-2020 era they have a certain "editorial" responsibility that I think many are missing. The Press of yesteryear were also our "watchmen" calling out warnings and alerting the masses. Through years of stealing content from the press and fewer and fewer actually reading news articles or subscribing to journalists a whole new generation has no "Press".... just corporate owned PR departments. They killed any possible profit from investigative journalism long ago. Now the skeleton corporate "Press" crew can only be seen if they "Pay to Play" with Google. (and Facebook) Imagine for a moment if a "Boston Globe" sounded the alarm to a listening audience that China was covering up a plague to a world of 1988. Politicians would have been pressured to react and secure borders etc. The WHO would have been held accountable. People would have known that a President defunded the Pandemic protection from the CDC etc... Evidently somebody in 2020 didn't pay Google enough. And since I won't pay them to "promote this post"... this very important message probably will not be seen by most people. Welcome to the new Internet completely owned by Google and Facebook. Would you say their "AI" editorialism of selecting what they think is relevant for your searches and news distribution worked? Or was your search "flawed"? p.s.- Don't even get me started how people get their news on Facebook.
  9. Waymo, Alphabet’s leading autonomous vehicles subsidiary, announced that it is opening up its dataset to academics and competitors alike. Waymo Open Dataset comprises high-resolution sensor data gathered from a variety of environments, from dense urban centers to suburban sprawls and everything in between. Data collected also include that from particular conditions during the day and night, at dawn and dusk, and in sunshine and rain. To date, Waymo has collected data on approximately 10 million autonomous miles driven in 25 cities. Historically, collaboration does accelerate technological advances, so perhaps this could help expedite AV delivery. Medium, “Waymo Open Dataset: Sharing our self-driving data for research,” Aug 21, 2019.
  10. But don’t worry about hiding your stash in your video game console. After all, you may not even have a console after Google’s big announcement yesterday. It revealed a new video game streaming platform called Stadia that hopes to push the industry further into the cloud. How it works No one likes a backseat gamer, but it’s helpful to have Google VP Phil Harrison teach us one way to fire up a game on Stadia: You watch a game trailer on YouTube. When the video is over, you get the option to “Play on Stadia.” If you select that option, the game will launch in that same YouTube window and you can start playing in as fast as five seconds. Then, you can share a video of your game with your friends and loop them in to play with you. And here’s a big selling point: The only new hardware for Stadia is a Wi-Fi-enabled controller. The platform will work on smartphones, PCs, and TVs using Google’s Chrome browser (but not on Apple’s iOS). Let’s take a stretch break Google’s entering the gaming industry with a bit of catching up to docompared to its Big Tech peers. It sold $21.5 billion worth of games on its own app store last year, while Apple’s App Store did $33 billion in game sales, according to Sensor Tower. And there’s no shortage of competition in games streaming, from Sony to Nvidia to Microsoft. Btw, if you were wondering why tech giants are interested in video games… Their vast network of servers puts them in a great position to leverage cloud technology. The gaming market’s been valued at $180 billion. Bottom line: Stadia is an innovative platform...but it's going to need more than Block Dude to compete. May the best content win.
  11. The EU fined Google $1.7 billion for abusing its dominant position in the online ad market.
  12. More bad news for YouTube.... Disney, Nestle, Epic Games, and others have reportedly pulled ad spend from YouTube after a blogger alleged the platform was being used for a “soft-core pedophilia ring.” What do you want to bet they will be back next quarter and this is some sort of publicity stunt to promote their own family "Wholesome" values while steering money away from Google? Big business is dirty. They all know that Youtube houses millions upon millions of videos of every sort .... even BEFORE they ever started advertising on it. and they also now soft-core stuff on there won't last long with reports.... Geez Disney.... Don't you own a few risque move studios yourself?
  13. Google (+0.09%) is spending $13 billion on data centers and offices across the U.S. throughout 2019.
  14. This will eventually get to the point that only the largest sites will be able to survive. Online newspapers will die out..... only niche sites will survive well as children that are completely dependent on Google and will only work within the budget that Google drops down to them. I suspect someone at Google will wake up when content creators start disappearing online. Maybe they'll turn to ranking Adsense pages above Facebook and other sites so as to protect their own sphere of influence? I wonder which year this will all start to happen? Currently we just see ad rates plummeting and traffic diverted to the biggest players When will there be only the top 5? Will Google be happy with just 5 top players that use them? (Analogy of course) Amazon is also eyeing sites like mine..... wondering what if they could replace all the Google ads with their own? Probably is.... they don't pay per click and they don't have responsive ad formats. I think the Government allowed too much consolidation in the advertising business creating a huge duopoly. Doubleclick should never have been allowed to merge with Google.
  15. Google's parent company reported fourth-quarter earnings yesterday that topped expectations across the board. But the dual threats of rising costs and growing competition were enough to sink shares about 3% after hours. Revenue surged about 21% annually to $39.3 billion—and given that it represents such a giant portion of sales, we're not surprised that advertising revenue also grew 20% to $32.6 billion. But it didn't come cheap. Traffic acquisition costs (aka the fees Alphabet pays to other companies to be their default search engine) totaled $7.44 billion, up 15%. And capital expenditures came in around $7 billion for Q4, up 80%. Plus, cost per click on Alphabet properties (or what the company charges advertisers) fell 29%. Remember, Alphabet's been navigating an increasingly competitive digital ad landscape. Does anyone know who invited Bezos? Bottom line: That drop in advertising costs could spook investors worried Alphabet's losing its pricing power gusto. Still, it was a (mostly) satisfying ending to a string of (mostly) impressive Big Tech earnings. via Morning Brew
  16. Until now.... censorship is alive and well nowadays YouTube said it'll make an effort to recommend fewer controversial (*cough conspiracy theory cough*) videos on its platform.

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