All Articles Tagged "Google"

Google Might Go Retail? Tech Giant May Launch It’s First Brick-And-Mortar Store!

March 17th, 2014 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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The St. Patty's Day Google Doodle

The St. Patty’s Day Google Doodle

Tech giant Google could be going lo-fi with their first brick-and-mortar retail shop in New York City, Entrepreneur reports. How cool would it be to buy a t-shirt with the Chrome logo? Actually… don’t answer that.

Rumor has it that Google will be settling down near the Apple Store located in SoHo, a neighborhood located in lower Manhattan. If this were true, it would be a perfect way for Google to gain ground on Apple’s competitive edge. “Apple has had a long history of pulling in revenue due to tangible goods: iPods, iPads, MacBooks, Apple computers etc. Google, on the other hand, has made its fortunes through digital advertising. So this makes it hard for “consumers to picture what exactly Google wants to plug beyond its much-hyped Glass,” SFGate says.

“Twenty percent off all search algorithms, this weekend only!” SFGate joked, mocking Google’s rumored move to retail.

Google’s got a pretty impressive product inventory: Wallet, Nexus line, Chromebooks, Chromecast, Google TV. Plus, Google Glass and a smartwatch are in the works — Google is strategically trying to reposition itself as a company that has stuff to sell to shoppers. So why not create a physical space for customers to engage with the devices and inquire about the specs?

“Being associated with retail is very important to Google’s growth,” said Carol Spieckerman, president of Newmarketbuilders retail consulting firm. “The company needs to accelerate the shift in consumer perceptions that it is more than just a search engine.”

And Google is taking it’s sweet ol’ time with its possible transition into retail, a good thing because retail ain’t easy. These tech experts, while they may be top-of-the-line engineers, need to have a good grasp of “real estate, merchandising, inventory management, and hiring and training salespeople,” SFGate says.

Last week, Crain’s New York reported that Google has already leased an 8,000-square-foot space, located on 131 Greene Street, for their first store, but the Wall Street Journal squashed that rumor calling it “absolutely false.”

That’s too bad. “Greene Street would be an auspicious place to open a store,” said Faith Hope Consolo, chairwoman at New York’s Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Because the running joke among NYC real estate circles is that Greene Street ““is where the green is found.”

Google Execs Will Get $9.5 Million In Bonuses

March 13th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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Ken Wolter /

Ken Wolter /

Wouldn’t you like to work at Google?! Executives there were given $9.5 million in cash bonuses for 2013, according to a Google filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Of course, the bonuses didn’t go to everyone. Google’s chief financial officer, Patrick Pichette, had his bonus increased to $3 million from $2.8 million, reports The Wall Street Journal. Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora got a $3.5 million bonus, an increase from last year’s $2.8 million, and Chief Legal Officer David C. Drummond received a bonus of $3 million. The African-American exec saw his bonus drop from down from $3.3 million in the prior year.

Chief Executive and co-founder Larry Page and co-founder Sergey Brin didn’t receive cash bonuses.

“Last month, Google disclosed in a regulatory filing that it awarded $100 million in restricted stock to Executive Chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt, as well as a cash bonus of $6 million,” reports WSJ. He had also earned a $6 million cash bonus last year that was tied to the company’s fiscal 2012 performance.

Bonuses will be issued on March 14, according to the filing.

Google is doling out bonuses even though many in the industry say the move toward using mobile devices to access the in Internet instead of desktop computers will hurt the firm’s money-making search business.

Despite concerns, Google’s doing well for the time being. Its shares rose 46 percent in the last 12 months.

Separately but related, Google is rolling out a new look for its searches and ads, as you may have noticed. This desktop redesign catches up with the look that was introduced for the mobile platform a few months back. Mashable says it’s an effort to make things uniform across platforms.

Spam Begone! Gmail Offers ‘Unsubscribe’ Button

February 28th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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Gil C /

Gil C /

If you are like most people, spam is one of the most annoying aspects of emails. Google has just made it easier for its Gmail users to go nearly spam free. The tech giant has introduced an unsubscribe button.

The new button will be at the top of promotional messages users receive. Click the button and Gmail will try to make sure you no longer receive material from that sender, according to Google.

This way users don’t have to search through the email for a way to “unsubscribe” or to go to the companies’ websites to fill out forms to unsubscribe, reports The Los Angeles Times.

But Google does warn users that the process might not be immediate. “Keep in mind that mailing lists may take up to three days to process your unsubscription request, so it may take a few days for you to stop receiving mail from the list,” Google said.

But the process will be easier. “Google will do all the dirty work for you of contacting the email list curator and telling that person or robot to please stop sending emails to this address immediately,” reports Tech Times.

Also, the unsubscribe option won’t be available for every list.

How many lists are you unsubscribing to?

Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt Talks WhatsApp Deal And $1M Giveaway

February 26th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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via @EricSchmidt

via @EricSchmidt

Everyone said Google made a big mistake when it failed to buy WhatsApp. But Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt had something to say about Facebook snapping up the app when he appeared on CBS.

When asked about Google’s try for the messaging app Facebook bought for upwards of $19 billion, Schmidt said he thought the acquisition price was low, reports Business Insider. He thinks the app is worth a lot more if Facebook figures out a way to monetize the app’s 460 million active users.

“People have been talking about a bubble in technology for years,” Schmidt said. “The price was low if they make gazillions of dollars off of the customers they’re getting…The price is too high if they can’t monetize.”

But Schmidt wouldn’t confirm if Google had bid on WhatsApp for $10 million. When asked he said: “Let me not talk about this specific conversation with WhatsApp. Let’s just say that we like WhatsApp…and we like some other things too including our own products.”

Besides  WhatsApp, Schmidt also announced his $1 million giveaway to tech innovators. Schmidt will donate “$1 million to help solve world problems through technology. The money will go to a group or individuals who are accomplishing this goal in a smart way,” reports Business Insider.

“I think I should put my money where my mouth is,” Schmidt said to CBS. “We identified a whole bunch of companies all over the world trying to solve oppressive censorship, empower individuals, and make these phones more useful.”

Schmidt will award the $1 million on March 10. Clip below.


Soledad O’Brien Partners With Google For Speaking Tour

February 14th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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 Ivan Nikolov/

Ivan Nikolov/

Call her Ms. Dealmaker. Since leaving Soledad O’Brien has been busy inking deal after deal. Her latest: Her production company, Starfish Media Group, will partner with Google for her first speaking tour,  O’Brien told the Huffington Post.

By using Google+ Hangouts, Google Apps for Business and her YouTube channel, Google Starfish will try to reach the broadest audience possible. And Google will also sponsor the “Soledad O’Brien Presents Black in America” speaking tour beginning February 17th. On the tour, O’Brien will speak at college campuses and art centers in five cities to encourage conversations about social change.

According to O’Brien, the partnership is “non-exclusive” and is part of her push to make Starfish Media a “multi-platform” firm.

O’Brien also said the speaking tour will bring her to a new audience.

“The speaking tour is very different than doing a show where you can have momentary jitters about nailing a break, getting to commercial on time, or finishing the interview in four minutes,” she said. “I’m not nervous about anything…. I’m looking forward to things getting challenging.”

She also has several television commitments. O’Brien, who still has ties to her old network, is continuing her In America series for CNN. She is also a contributor to Al Jazeera America.

“Growing an audience takes time– I think what they’re doing has been to put high quality pieces on, and that’s the best strategy,” O’Brien said of the recently launched Al Jazeera America. “Some networks talk about a commitment to good journalism and just do entertainment. But the quality of their reporting has been tremendous.”

O’Brien also told HuffPost Media she working on various documentaries to air on CNN and Al Jazeera America as well as a piece for HBO’s Real Sports. The next segment of the Black in America documentary series will air on CNN during summer.

Google Is Developing A Smart Contact Lenses To Monitor Diabetes

January 17th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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google tweetGoogle is more than a search engine. The company has a number of ventures in the works including the much-buzzed about Google Glass and the self-driving car. But the company is also making health innovations. The Google[X] lab has created something called a smart contact lens, the company said in a blog post on Thursday.

Rumor had it that Google was discussing with the FDA a new project using biosensors.

The lens will help track blood glucose levels for diabetics. Instead of having to do the painful pricking-of-the-finger, the info can be read off the lens. The lens is equipped with “chips and sensors so small they look like bits of glitter, and an antenna thinner than a human hair,” explained Google. Google also wants to add tiny LED lights that would flash if glucose levels are abnormal.

The soft contact lens is still just a prototype, but it will measure the glucose levels in tears, reports The Washington Post. There is a pinhole in the lens that allows tear fluid to drip over the glucose monitor. According to Google, the lens takes a reading once every second.The data will be collected from the lens to a device to read and analyze the levels.

If it reaches market, the lens could be of use to the large number of African Americans who are diabetic. According to the American Diabetes Association, 4.9 million, or 18.7 percent of all African Americans aged 20 years or older suffer from diabetes. And African Americans are 1.8 times more likely to have diabetes as non Hispanic whites.

h/t  Business Insider

Marriage Of A Tech Giant & Smart Device Maker: Google Acquires Nest For $3.2 Billion

January 15th, 2014 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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google nest

Google and Nest — a maker of smart thermostats and smoke detectors — have just come together under a $3.2 billion deal! The vision for the new union, according to Nest’s CEO Tony Fadell, is to have omnipotent control over your home environment — remotely — through cutting-edge technology for a safer, more efficient dwelling, CNET reports.

Google’s acquisition of the four-year-old start-up, according to CNET, is “the marriage of a rock-star hardware maker to the most ambitious tech company on the planet.” The hardware maker currently sells a $249 smart thermostat that can be controlled from a smartphone app. It “knows” when residents aren’t home, using motion sensors, and will dial down the heat setting to save energy.

Nest Protect, retailing for $129, is a smart smoke detector that can distinguish between a minor issue (burning food) and an emergency (house burning down). It also can “sniff out” carbon monoxide. Instead of using an ear-piercing sound to alarm residents of a fire,  it uses a pleasant voice. The owner can shut it up by a wave of a hand.

Of course, with devices as forward-thinking  as these, Google wanted in. It’s exactly in line, experts say, with the tech giant’s vision of creating a Google-powered, connected smart home.

“They’re already delivering amazing products you can buy right now — thermostats that save energy and smoke alarms that can help keep your family safe,” Google’s CEO Larry Page said in a press release.

Fadell, a former Apple executive who helped create the iPod, seems to be on the same wavelength as Google’s anticipation for the collaboration.

“Google will help us fully realize our vision of the conscious home and allow us to change the world faster than we ever could if we continued to go it alone… Google has the business resources, global scale, and platform reach to accelerate Nest growth across hardware, software, and services for the home globally,” Fadell wrote in a blog post.

So far, the specifics of what Noogle (Nest and Google) plans to do in the future is hush-hush. But during a New York Times interview, Fadell hinted that he plans to work his “smart” magic on other devices around the home: “Right now I can tell you 10 things, minimally, that can get changed in the house. They are all great markets with large incumbents who haven’t innovated in years.”

Google, according to Entrepreneur, is making sure the public knows that it’s not just a search engine anymore. It’s a colossal corporation that wants to make historic changes to the way Americans operate their homes: “It is a company trying to leverage its massive horde of cash and deep technological expertise to create products that billions of people will use some day.”

New Gmail Changes Allow Strangers To Email You

January 10th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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We’re not sure how this will sit with some Gmail users. There are some people you just don’t want to contact you via email. But new Gmail changes allow users to send and receive emails from their Google+ contacts without knowing their email address reports, The Independent.

According to Google Product Manager David Nachum in a blog post, “Gmail will suggest your Google+ connections as recipients when you are composing a new email.”

Google says the aim of the new feature, which will be turned on automatically, to help people who already know each other, but do not have each other’s email address. So when users type in an email recipient, Gmail will also suggest Google+ contacts as other recipients.

If you don’t want to be bombarded with unwanted messages, users can opt out by changing their email settings. You can decide to receive emails from “Anyone on Google+,” those in “Extended circles” or “Circles,” or from no-one on Google+.

“These emails work a bit differently so that your email address is only shared with the people you want. Your email address isn’t visible to a Google+ connection unless you send that person an email, and likewise, that person’s email address isn’t visible to you unless they send you an email,” says the blog. However, The Verge says it has confirmation that “[i]f you don’t want everyone on Google+ to be able to send you an email, you’ll have to opt out by selecting “no one” or choosing another option to limit the feature to people in certain circles.”

These messages will be grouped under the Social tab but emails from contacts you already know will appear under the Primary tab. The multi-tabbed inbox style was introduced by Google in May last year. This change too was unpopular. Businesses and newsletter publishers did not like the categories, which placed them in the “Promotions” tab instead of the primary inbox, meaning their emails were less likely to be read.

But for some, the change is troubling. “Although users can opt-out, there are still privacy concerns regarding the new feature. A Gmail user only needs to be in their ‘Circle’ of contacts on Google+ in order to send them a message,” reports The Independent.

Upset Gmail users have taken to Twitter to complain about the feature. Most express concern that the feature will cause an increase in spam email. So companies thinking they can beef up their email distribution lists with this new feature should beware. Nothing ends a relationship with a customer faster than sending spam.

Experts suggest the move is an attempt to increase the popularity of new social network Google+. Google has already tried to lure in more users by replacing YouTube comments with Google+ comments. But this upset YouTube users who posted more than 400,000 complaints on the Google products forum.

Do you like this change?

No More Big Brother! Major Tech Firms Urge Government To Enact Surveillance Reform

December 13th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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If you’re upset over the government’s surveillance of online activity of American citizens, most technology giants say they are as well. And they have decided to take action.  AOL Inc., Apple Inc., Facebook Inc., Google Inc., LinkedIn Corp., Microsoft Corp., Twitter Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. have issued an open letter to Washington, calling for massive changes in the way the U.S. government collects data on citizens.

All eight companies signed the letter. According to documents leaked by former defense contractor Edward Snowden, most of these companies were listed as being among the targets from which the U.S. government is extracting digital information as part of a sweeping surveillance effort.

“We understand that governments have a duty to protect their citizens. But this summer’s revelations highlighted the urgent need to reform government surveillance practices worldwide,” the companies wrote in the letter to President  Obama and the U.S. Congress. “The balance in many countries has tipped too far in favor of the state and away from the rights of the individual rights that are enshrined in our Constitution. This undermines the freedoms we all cherish. It’s time for change.”

The companies are using the letter to call on the U.S. and other governments to enact “sensible limitations on their ability to compel service providers to disclose user data.”

Major backlash from their users may have prompted the companies to make this move. “The disclosures have left many tech companies, which collect vast amounts of user data as part of their businesses, worried that customers might defect or be less willing to share their information if they think the government is snooping on them,” reports The Los Angeles Times. 

“People won’t use technology they don’t trust,” wrote Brad Smith, general counsel and executive vice president at Microsoft. “Governments have put this trust at risk, and governments need to help restore it.”

The coalition of tech companies have also launched a website for the campaign. The site includes a list of quotes from the company’s leaders. Most call for more government transparency, as does Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook.

“Reports about government surveillance have shown there is a real need for greater disclosure and new limits on how governments collect information,” said Zuckerberg. “The U.S. government should take this opportunity to lead this reform effort and make things right.”

Do you think the government should continue to collect data from Internet users?

‘And The Winner Is…!’ GlassDoor Announces The Best Places To Work In 2014

December 12th, 2013 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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1000 Words /

1000 Words /

Last year, it was Facebook that was the highest-rated workplace in America. This year, Facebook plummeted down to fifth place and Bain & Company, a global strategy consultant firm, snatched the social network’s No.1 spot. Let’s talk about which companies slipped (or stepped up) on GlassDoor’s 2014 Best Places to Work!

Twitter, who wasn’t even on the list last year, managed to snag a cozy second place. “Plenty of awesome people to collaborate with and learn from,” one GlassDoor reviewer said about Twitter. “Good food” is a consensus among the comments as well. While there weren’t many cons at all, many reviewers noted that Twitter is losing its “startup feel” which is a detriment for the growing company.

LinkedIn launched itself into third place from last year’s 14th spot. The business-centered social network is ranked 4.6 out of 5 starts among GlassDoor’s reviewers. By the comments, you’d wonder if LinkedIn’s employees even work at all: “Free catered lunches, a plethora of snacks and drinks to choose from, ping-pong, foosball, team outings… these perks are just the icing on the cake.”

But all-in-all, employees believe its LinkedIn’s friendly workplace environment that make it one of the best places to work. Its downsides seem to mirrors some of Twitter’s cons which are the growing pains that the employees seem to be experiencing at the company.

If you’re wondering about Google, this company unfortunately dropped down two spots from No. 6 to No. 8. Many reviewers say that Google’s intelligent work environment fuels one’s inner-competitive nature. While this is beneficial for the company’s productivity, some have experienced too much pressure from such a cutthroat landscape.

“Sometimes you feel like a very small fish in a big sea. The promotion process isn’t the best. I’ve seen a number of people receive promotions who definitely didn’t deserve it, while others who do, get passed over.” one Google engineer stated.

Apple didn’t even make it to the top 10! The corporation slumped down one spot from 34 to 35. According to some reviews compiled by CNN Money, Apple lost its spot due to issues in the career mobility department. ” If you’re not the type to seize every opportunity, expect to be in the same position for a long time,” a Mac specialist lamented.

Reviewers also say that if you want to work at Apple, you’re going to have to actually love it. It’s not an easy job! “Not for the lazy or faint of heart,” one said. “Need to do it for reasons other than money,” an Apple campus rep noted. A front-end engineer explained that there was little work/life balance on the job — he noted working very long hours during product launches.

It seems like you can’t go wrong with tech companies, nearly 50 percent of GlassDoor’s list involve information technology. And what’s best about GlassDoor’s Best Places to Work list is that the top 50 are based purely on employee ratings. In this way, readers get a generally unbiased report on the most-loved workplaces in America.

Have you worked at any of these places? 

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