Pages with tag Google

As Google commercializes YouTube, individual "creators" may be squeezed out

When YouTube launched all those years ago, before Google bought YouTube, it was a video service allowing anyone to upload videos about anything they wanted. Cat videos, a guy with a light saber, another mouthing words to a popular Romanian song, more cat videos, the FAIL videos, a girl sharing with us a fake scripted life, and on and on. We all built up a cycle of activity around YouTube. Some people just posted whatever, for example the people trying out stunts, yelling "watch this", then falling flat on their face or worse. That genre has evolved to where people filming extreme stunts sometimes fall to their death while filming the stunt. Others made a business for themselves, for example the Grow Your Greens guy taught many people about gardening while clearly earning lots of revenue from advertising running opposite his videos.

Maybe it's one of those it's too good to last deals, but lots of people used YouTube as a platform for launching careers in independently produced video commentary on whatever they want to say. Lately there are signs that Google is moving towards making big money deals with big incumbent entertainment studios. At the moment the independent producers still have a place at the table, but the commercial content from mainstream media is encroaching.

Are we on a slippery slope where YouTube won't have any space for individual content creators?

Dept of Justice starts threatened attack on tech companies over supposed stifling of ideas Following a rage-tweeting incidents where Donald Trump attacked Twitter, Facebook, et al, over supposedly stifling of Conservative voices, and describing it as a serious situation, and threatening that it "will be addressed", the US Department of Justice is starting to put some oomph behind that threat. While representatives of Facebook, Google and Twitter appeared before a hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the Department of Justice issued a statement that Attorney General Jeff Sessions will convene a meeting with several US State Attorneys General to discuss "a growing concern that these companies may be hurting competition and intentionally stifling the free exchange of ideas on their platforms".
Google Duplex, the AI Assistant we should avoid using Google demo'd a cool "Digital Assistant" that will solve first-world problems like booking restaurant reservations. You will tell the Google service "book an appointment" and it will attempt to do so with an API, or else by placing a phone call and pretending to be a human. That leaves us without the supposed hassle of making the appointment. Sounds cool, eh? And it is an awesome achievement in artificial intelligence, to make something that can mimic humans well enough to handle human tasks. At the same time its best to be very very wary because of the potential for misuse. Google and others are waiving their hands and saying don't worry. I say - we should all worry about this - while Google may be deploying it with safeguards, others will develop a similar thing and not all will enable safeguards.
Google employees demand AI rules to preclude use as weapons

Google's culture of open free-flowing discussion could be ending in the wake of an uproar over Google's partnership with the US Dept. of Defense, called Project Maven, on AI software to analyze drone footage. Since Google's participation in Project Maven was publicly revealed in March, a raging debate with Google has swirled around whether the company famous for its "Do No Evil" slogan should be involved with making weapons. Googlers even sent an open letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai starting with the declaration "We believe that Google should not be in the business of war." That letter flatly called for Google's participation in Project Maven to be canceled.

On June 27, 2018, it is learned that Google has instituted new rules for internal discussion and workplace conduct within the company.

Google search ranking and YouTube monetization changes - demoting fake news while harming legitimate sources

Fake News constitutes a war on Truth, in that the more fake news is bandied about, the more confused we all are, making our collective decisions worse than they should be. The election of our dear President Donald Trump is an example of a horrible collective decision based on fake news. Other examples include the continued dependence on harmful fossil fuel consumption, and the fake news campaigns combatting the truth that fossil fuels poison everything around us, causes climate change, etc. To combat Fake News, Google, Facebook, and other search engines or social media websites, are working on their ranking algorithms to detect and supress fake news. Unfortunately many legitimate news sources are being harmed in the process.

Google is the 8-million-pound-gorilla in both search engines and online video. As cool as DuckDuckGo is, it doesn't bring as many organic search visitors as does Google's search engine. Website publishers, online authors, and video content creators alike are all dependent on Google's search ranking algorithms to bring visitors. For years Google has been fighting against spammers (a form of fake news) by tweaking its search results algorithms. Those tweaks have dramatic results on search traffic going to a given website, or viewing a given video, or the advertising revenue from a video. Hopefully it's having the desired effect, in that fake news sites are losing prominence. Indications are that several prominent legitimate news sources are being harmed either from lost traffic or lost ad revenue.

Google starting to purge free Google Apps for Domain accounts?

Back in the day, Google offered an amazingly free service called "Google Apps for your Domain". The service bundled together GMAIL, Google Drive/Docs/etc, and many other Google services, into an account branded with the domain name of your choice. If that sounds familiar, Google calls the service "G Suite" today, and it is currently offered only at a fee. For a fee you can attach a long list of Google services to your own domain, and have Google-managed email and document storage/editing, and more. Before this was called G Suite, it was called Google Apps, and there was a free tier of service. Anyone with a domain could hook it up to this service and get the same long list of Google services attached to the domain. I did this with all the domains I owned at the time, and therefore have maybe a dozen of these Google Apps for a Domain accounts. Despite transitioning it to a payola service, Google has promised all along the free accounts would remain free. But that doesn't mean Google isn't trying to sneak around the edges to close those free accounts.

Google's AMP technology makes spear-phishing sites look legit

Those pesky Russian Hackers may be using Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to make spear-phishing attack, or fake news, websites look like legitimate sites. According to Salon, Google has known about this problem for over a year and done nothing.

A couple years ago Google created Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to speed up internet browsing on mobile devices. The AMP standard defines a limited set of JavaScript, CSS and HTML technologies that are known to behave well on a low bandwidth memory constrained device like a cell phone. In part AMP is a response to the overly bloated nonsense occuring on most websites with autoplaying video and animated advertising that pops up and annoys people.

Salon claims that Russian spear-phishing attacks targeting journalists critical of Russia lead to pages using AMP techniques, making them look legitimate. What makes it worse is that Google serves AMP pages from google.com domains, hence an AMP spear-phishing page portraying itself as a Google alert will look legitimate because it is on a google.com domain.

Google's Chrome to start blocking ads of some non-Google ad services

Google makes a lot of money off of Internet advertising. Advertising services are Google's main income stream off which they've built a humongous business. There are lots of crappy abusive advertising practices on the Internet, and Google plans to change Chrome to block some of that advertising. It's important therefore to question whether Google's plan to block some advertising is legitimate.

Introducing Google Gnome (4/1/2017) After Google's success with the Google Home AI robot, Google is taking it a step further. The Google Gnome is designed to be used outdoors to finally implement the Smart Yard. Its functionality covers outdoors activities in the yard like turning the lawn hose on and off, or telling you wind direction and speed. The smart yard has finally arrived -- Meet Google Gnome. See how Gnome can transform your yard.
Pres. Trump slams move to ban hate-speech mongerers like Alex Jones A few days ago Alex Jones was banned from YouTube and some other social media platforms. Clearly Jones is a purveyor of fake news and hate speech, and almost certainly violated the terms of service. In response President Trump has described this as discrimination, asking why the social media networks only ban Conservatives and not Liberals. As President Trump suggests, Censorship is a bad thing, but his repeated attacks on normal highly respected news outlets (CNN, etc) borders on Censorship and is itself a bad thing remniscient of what the Nazi Party did in Germany during its ascendancy to power. In this renewed attack, Trump is repeating an earlier claim that social media networks are "shadow banning" Conservatives (making it harder algorithmically to find them). The whole thing could just be a smoke screen to divert attention from something else Republicans are planning to do, or it could be leading up to outright attacks on the social media networks and an attempt at regulation.
Rep. McCarthy was not shadow banned, his Twitter account was misconfigured to hide postings According to Pres. Donald Trump, and other Conservative leaders, social media platforms like Twitter engage in "shadow banning" which means making it hard to find postings by Conservatives. The issue is being raised repeatedly, especially in the last couple days with a twitter tirade by Pres. Trump. Therefore it is rich in irony that Rep. Kevin McCarthy posted a series of tweets last week complaining about this, ending with supposed PROOF of Twitter shadow banning. Except ... it was due to his account settings.
Slackified Google+ coming to G Suite by August 2019 On Monday Google announced it was shutting down Google Plus following a review of the Google product line-up. Most of the news coverage is focusing on a bug that probably revealed user data. While that bug surely weighed on the decision, from the official blog post it is clear, irregardless of any bug, Google was going to pivot Google Plus to an Enterprise offering through the G Suite product line.
Trump rage-Google's himself, rants about conspiracy to silence Conservative voices In a series of tweets this morning President Trump demonstrates how little he understands search engines and ranking algorithms. The President claimed that Google is stifling "Conservative" news outlets, that 96% of news search results are slanted against Conservatives by the "National Left-Wing Media" and other Liberal establishments like Google. This attack follows recent similar attacks against Twitter and Facebook and the supposed "shadow banning" exercised to keep folks from seeing Conservative views. What this really shows is either that Trump does not understand how search engines and ranking algorithms work, or else that Trump and his cronies are propping up a fake controversy. Based on this misportrayal of Google/Twitter/Facebook policies, the Trump Administration is promising to "look into" regulating these services, raising the chilling prospect of using this to then stifle actual freedom of speech.
What is Shadow Banning? Banning a member such that they do not know they're banned Shadow Banning appears to be rankling Conservatives (Republicans) who are crying foul. The social media networks are supposedly shadow banning conservatives, making it harder for folks to find conservative points of view. Supposedly on Twitter prominent Republicans do not show up in search suggestions -- the dropdown appearing while you type a search request -- while equally prominent Democrats do show up. This is according to the Republicans who are raising the stink. Twitter has responded saying it was a bug, that they've now fixed. But, what is Shadow Banning, and how do we determine if Shadow Banning is happening?
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