google

“Doodle for Google” Competition Asks K-12 Artists: How Do You Show Kindness?

Google Doodles book (Courtesy of Google) We’ve all noticed the drawings that temporarily replace or embellish Google’s logo on the website’s homepage on holidays, special events, or days commemorating important historical figures. For the twelfth consecutive year, that coveted, highly-visible space is up for grabs to one young artist in the US through the tech company’s “Doodle for Google” competition. In addition to having their work featured on the tech company’s landing page for an entire day, the winner will receive a $30,000 college scholarship, and the winner’s school will be awarded a $50,000 technology package. Open to artists ages K-12, “Doodle for Google” is organized around a different theme every year, and the 2020 con...

A.I. is “the most important project humanity will ever work on”

Good morning, Data Sheet readers. Fortune writer Aric Jenkins here, subbing in for Adam, and I have a question for you: What is the most important invention in the history of humanity? It’s a broad, no-right-or-wrong-answers question you may have pondered late at night with friends at some point. I certainly have. Our discussion ranged from the medium of writing to the printing press, from the steam engine to electricity, and even fairly recent developments (hello again, people I’m talking to through the Internet). One answer I always found particularly fascinating is the control of fire. This simple innovation completely reshaped the early human experience. Hundreds of thousands of years after the invention of controlled fire, some would argue it’s still the most impactful technology of a...

The Conversation: Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai on managing a tech giant’s growing pains

Sundar Pichai, the 47-year-old CEO of search-ad giant Google, also became head of its parent, Alphabet, on Dec. 3, when the company’s cofounders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, announced their intention to step away from day-to-day business. In his first interview since his promotion, Pichai sat down with Fortune at Google’s Mountain View, Calif., headquarters for a wide-ranging conversation that covered Pichai’s path to power, the heavy management load he carries, and the benefits and burdens of running a massive, no-longer-youthful company. This edited version has been condensed for space and clarity. What to expect from the new boss When did Larry Page and Sergey Brin tell you about the change?  Pichai: It was a series of conversations over time. As Google turned 20 last year [in...

‘A.I. needs to be regulated:’ Google CEO calls for coordinated U.S.-EU rules

Alphabet Inc.’s chief executive officer urged the U.S. and European Union to coordinate regulatory approaches on artificial intelligence, calling their alignment “critical.” In a rare public speech in Brussels at an event hosted by European economic think tank Bruegel on Monday, Sundar Pichai, who is also CEO of Google, said “there is no question in my mind that artificial intelligence needs to be regulated,” but that “we don’t have to start from scratch” with entirely new rules in some cases. The comments come weeks before the EU is set to unveil its plans to legislate the technology, which could include new legally binding requirements for AI developers in “high-risk sectors,” such as healthcare and transport, according to an early draft obtained by Bloomberg. The new...

‘Congress, you’re our last hope.’ Basecamp, PopSockets, Sonos, and Tile plead for antitrust action

On Friday, members of Congress heard businesses complain about blatant intellectual property theft, predatory pricing, and other unfair business practices. The target of the complaints wasn’t China, however, but U.S. tech giants Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook. One by one, executives of smaller tech firms pleaded for action to the House Subcommittee on Antitrust, which had traveled to the University of Colorado in Boulder to hear from entrepreneurs about the growing dominance of the biggest tech firms in the U.S. “Venture capital firms are well aware of the kill zone that surrounds start ups that pass within striking distance of the dominant platforms,” Patrick Spence, CEO of smart speaker maker Sonos, told the committee. Spence claimed his company had been browbeaten...

Google plans to drop Chrome support for tracking cookies by 2022

Enlarge (credit: Rdsmith4 / Wikimedia) Feeling the pressure from competing browser developers, Google on Tuesday laid out a plan to drop Chrome support of tracking cookies within two years. The plan is laid out in a post titled “Building a more private Web: A path towards making third party cookies obsolete.” It articulates a shift from a stance Chrome developers took in August, when they warned that the blocking of support for third-party cookies—which allow advertisers to track people as they move from site to site—would encourage the use of an alternative tracking method. Known as browser fingerprinting, it collects small characteristics of a browser—for instance, installed fonts or plugins, screen size, and browser version—to uniquely identify the person using it. Unlike co...

Alphabet’s Top Lawyer to Retire Following Questions on Conduct

David Drummond, the legal chief of Google parent Alphabet and a company veteran, stepped down following questions about his conduct at the technology giant. Drummond, 56, will step down from his role on Jan. 31, according to a note he sent to colleagues on Friday. The company has not named a replacement, an Alphabet spokeswoman said. She confirmed that Drummond did not receive a pay package on exit. “I believe that it’s also the right time for me to make way for the next generation of leaders,” Drummond wrote in the note, which Alphabet provided to Bloomberg News. Drummond was Google’s first lawyer and ran the search giant’s legal and corporate development arms for years before shifting to parent company Alphabet in 2015. Last year, Drummond was accused of having had a relationship with a ...

Apple, Amazon, and Google Want to Create a Smart Home Standard. Here’s What to Expect

Some of the tech industry’s biggest companies have major plans for the fast-growing smart home market. Last month, Apple, Amazon, Google, and the Zigbee Alliance, which represents companies including IKEA and Samsung, announced a push to develop a standard for Internet-connected smart home devices so that they can interoperate. Today, one company’s products are often unable to connect with another’s, creating hassles for customers. “If smart lighting can’t easily connect to door or motion sensors, or security cameras can’t communicate with smart locks, smart home adoption will slow, if not come to a screeching halt,” says Jack Narcotta, a senior industry analyst at Strategy Analytics. “Companies have done a much better job recently of streamlining initia...

Alphabet-backed primary care startup One Medical files to go public

One Medical, a San Francisco-based primary care startup with tech-infused, concierge services filed for an IPO with the Securities and Exchange Commission today. Internal medicine doctor Tom Lee founded the startup, now valued at well-over $1 billion dollars, in 2007. Lee exited his company in 2017, leaving it in the hands of former UnitedHealth group executive Amir Rubin. The startup currently operates 72 health clinics in nine major cities throughout the U.S., with three more markets expected to open in 2020 and has raised just over $500 in venture capital from it’s biggest investor, the Carlyle Group (which owns just over a quarter of shares), Alphabet’s GV, J.P. Morgan and others. Google also incorporates One Medical into its campuses and accounts for about 10% of the compa...

Browsers are interesting again

A few years ago, covering browsers got boring. Chrome had clearly won the desktop, the great JavaScript speed wars were over and Mozilla seemed more interested in building a mobile operating system than its browser. Microsoft tried its best to rescue Internet Explorer/Edge from being the punchline of nerdy jokes, but its efforts essentially failed. Meanwhile, Opera had shuttered the development of its own rendering engine and redesigned its browser with less functionality, alienating many of its biggest fans. On mobile, plenty of niche players tried to break the Chrome/Safari duopoly, but while they did have some innovative ideas, nothing ever stuck. But over the course of the last year or so, things changed. The main catalyst for this, I would argue, is that the major browser vendors — an...

Finding the right reporter to cover your startup

Pitch the wrong reporter or publication, and your story won’t see the light of day. Before you start seeking press, you’ll need to look for reporters who have reach, respect and expertise when you choose who to talk to. You’ll also need to be prepared to accept the truth about your business, even if it hurts. It’s critical that you find a writer who’s a good fit for the business you’re building and the audience you’re seeking. If you don’t use a strategic approach when reaching out to journalists, you’ll get few responses, fewer meetings, and articles that either misrepresent you, shortchange you, or blow up in your face. The goal isn’t just to secure positive coverage, because no one will believe it; startups are tough. There are...

Ex-Google policy chief dumps on the tech giant for dodging human rights

Google’s ex-head of international relations, Ross LaJeunesse — who clocked up more than a decade working government and policy-related roles for the tech giant before departing last year — has become the latest (former) Googler to lay into the company for falling short of its erstwhile “don’t be evil” corporate motto. Worth noting right off the bat: LaJeunesse is making his own pitch to be elected as a U.S. senator for the Democrats in Maine, where he’s pitting himself against the sitting Republican, Susan Collins. So this lengthy blog post, in which he sets out reasons for joining (“making the world better and more equal”) and — at long last — exiting Google does look like an exercise in New Year reputation “exfoliati...