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Global Tech Opinion

Google’s Fail of a Ramadan App

Earlier this month Google launched a “Ramadan Companion App.” As a Muslim who works in marketing strategy and social media, who has consulted on a number of Muslim-focused marketing projects, this seemed to me like it could be an exciting development. As far as I know, Google has not previously reached out specifically to the global Muslim community. I love apps and I’m always excited to see what’s new and hot and cool. Plus Ramadan was starting. Initial response to Google's app on Facebook was positive and there was a bunch of “attaboy’ing” on community posts saying, "Oh look, Google’s finally paying attention to Muslims." Sad to say, this euphoria was short lived.   More

Business Techonomy Events

Tech Leaders: Cooperation with Government Can Move U.S. Forward

From a founding father of the Internet who is now at the fore of interplanetary connectivity comes an evolved view: Competition need not be a zero sum game; collaboration can produce positive sum outcomes. Internet pioneer Vint Cerf made what he called a “bigger pie argument” at Techonomy Policy 2015 in Washington yesterday. To open the event, Cerf joined Techonomy CEO David Kirkpatrick for a discussion with AOL co-founder Steve Case and White House senior advisor for Internet, Innovation, and Privacy Policy R. David Edelman for a discussion about “Keeping America Innovative in the Age of Data Exhaust.” Cerf implored fellow panelists to drop the “competitive rhetoric” because “a rising tide raises all boats.”   More


What Is MVNO Anyway? Google It …

As anticipation grows around the impending launch of Google’s MVNO service (Mobile Virtual Network Operator, for those of us not in the traditional telecom industry), I think back to the Techonomy session "A Future Without Industries." Google was once easily defined by their core search-engine product, but with its expansion into everything from robotics to glucose-monitoring contact lenses to connected thermostats, it’s hard to put Google into any one box. This isn’t Google’s first connectivity project. Their Google Fiber initiative is looking to redefine Internet and TV in the home.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Techonomy Events

Predicting a Future Where Products Are Parented

Waving his smartphone at the audience, Stanford bioengineer Drew Endy said, “I’m trying to grow one of these.” Let the day of mindblowing conversations about the future of biology begin. Endy joined Google Director of Engineering David Glazer, Silicon Valley venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson, and Merck Director of Scientific Modeling Platforms Chris Waller for the TE Bio 15 opening panel, “You Say You Want a Revolution.” Techonomy CEO David Kirkpatrick moderated the discussion about how innovations at the intersection of IT and biology will transform industries and products beyond life sciences.   More

Global Tech

Apple’s New Security Concessions to Beijing

Apple is deepening its uneasy embrace of Beijing security officials, with word that it has agreed to allow security audits for products that it sells in China. This latest development comes less than a year after Apple took the unusual step of moving some of the user information it collects to China-based servers, which was also aimed at placating security-conscious regulators in Beijing.   More


Google’s Six Values for Business Leadership in an Age of Reimagination

The most important characteristic of successful business leaders today is the ability to embrace, inspire, and manage change. At Google, we’ve had 15 years of experience with these changes first hand. In my role as the president of our Americas sales team, I also have the good fortune of working hand-in-hand with leaders across industries who are actively reimagining how their businesses will work in the future. I’ve found six core values that I think set apart the leaders who are thriving in these turbulent and exciting times.   More

Jobs Techonomy Events

Indiegogo’s Danae Ringelmann on Making Tech More Inclusive

After Google released the demographic data of its employees in May, a slew of other Internet giants followed suit, reaffirming a troubling truth: the tech industry is largely male and largely white. At September's Techonomy Detroit conference at Wayne State University, Indiegogo co-founder Danae Ringelmann talked about the diversity divide and what is needed to close it. “Only 3 to 13 percent of the venture-backed companies are run by women,” she said. “If you look at Indiegogo, which is an equal-opportunity funding playing field, and you see that 47 percent of all campaigns that reach their funding target are run by women, that conversation about why venture capital is unequal is almost obsolete.”   More

Finance Media & Marketing

Money That Aims to Pack a Positive Punch

Impact investment funds, initially created by foundations like Rockefeller, Gates, and the Omidyar Network, seek to convert money destined for pure philanthropy to more strategic and business-driven investments. The returns on these investments are more measurable than those on philanthropy. Even while aiming to achieve financial gains, they support solutions for some of the world’s most pressing challenges around sustainable agriculture, affordable housing, accessible healthcare, literacy, employment, clean energy, and financial inclusion.   More

Analytics & Data Manufacturing

Manufacturers Struggle to Turn Data Into Insight

Let’s tone down the hype about the Industrial Internet of Things. While the concept shows promise—building smart machines that use sensors and Internet connectivity to improve performance and catch problems—the far more pressing opportunity is learning to make better use of the mountains of data that factories already generate each year, data that manufacturers today often discard after a production run or store unexamined.   More

Global Tech Techonomy Events

The Digital Divide: How Can the Tech Industry Become More Inclusive?

As companies like Twitter, Facebook, Google, and Apple release their hiring data figures, the Twitter-verse explodes with commentary on the lack of diversity in the industry. This is not a new problem, but there should be new solutions. How can tech and American entrepreneurship be more inclusive? Brian Forde of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Google's Chris Genteel, Laura Mather of Unitive, Marlin Page of Sisters Code, and Indiegogo's Danae Ringelmann discuss how to make the tech industry more of a melting pot in this Techonomy Detroit 2014 breakout session, moderated by Andrew Keen of TechCrunch.   More

Global Tech

New Microsoft Chief Sets Sail for China

It’s become a sort of rite of passage for CEOs of major tech firms to visit China after moving into their job, which looks set to happen again with a September trip to Beijing set for Microsoft’s new top executive Satya Nadella. Tim Cook traveled to China just 6 months after taking the reins from Steve Jobs as Apple’s CEO in 2011, and has visited the country several times since then. Even Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo visited Shanghai earlier this year, just months after the social networking giant’s New York IPO, despite saying earlier that China wasn’t a market where his company could do business.   More

Analytics & Data Security & Privacy

Is Fighting Evil with Google a Good Thing?

Google's code of conduct famously instructs its staff, board members, and contractors, "Don't be evil." Those who fail to follow the code are subject to disciplinary action and termination. Can the company extend the code to Gmail users? It already has. CBS News reports this week that Google informed the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that a Gmail account holder in Texas "was allegedly sending explicit images of a young girl to a friend."   More

Learning Manufacturing

Inventing Outside of the Box

Steven Norris, an editor at Gearburn—a Cape Town, South Africa website chronicling "the latest gadget news from around the world"—admits to being endlessly amused by "staggeringly cool technology videos" that reveal how designers transform ugly tech devices into "eye-pleasing shapes." As a favor to those who share his fascination, yesterday Norris shared 13 videos "of incredible inventions that show off their makers' insane intelligence." His picks? We agree they're all staggeringly cool, but suggest that their inventors are likely quite sane geniuses.   More


The End of Industries

In my field of business journalism, writers have traditionally had "beats" that corresponded to specific industries. One might cover energy, autos, airlines, financial services, or media. Similarly, analysts on Wall Street have specialized along similar lines. Rankings and ratings of companies by industry continue to proliferate. But today such categorizations are increasingly an obstacle to understanding rather than useful demarcations for meaningful analysis. Many of today's most exciting companies do not fall neatly into a conventional category. Business in a technologized age has raced ahead to a new unbounded shape.   More

Energy & Green Tech

Google Teams Up with Environmental Scientists to Map Gas Leaks

Google Maps Street View lets people discover any place in the world and explore it via the Web as if they were actually there. Now, the cars that take photos for Street View are using advanced sensor technology to search for gas leaks and faulty pipes in places like Staten Island, Boston, and Indianapolis. Google has partnered with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to pinpoint sources of pollution using methane sensors and data-crunching algorithms.   More


The Convergence of Medical and Consumer Health Apps

Consumer healthcare apps linked to smartphones or wearable devices are growing in popularity, and forthcoming offerings from Apple and Google are likely to draw more attention to the field. These systems allow users to monitor a range of information—heart rate, calories burned, distance walked—but they don’t guarantee a change in behavior, much less an improvement in health.   More

Global Tech

Satellites Will Power Google’s Latest Moonshot Project

Mark Zuckerberg isn’t the only tech titan aiming to make the Net truly global. Google’s ambition to help bring Internet access to everyone in the world may soon be taking form. The search giant reportedly plans to invest over $1 billion in 180 satellites that “could amount to a sea change in the way people will get access to the Internet,” according to The Wall Street Journal. The satellite investment is part of Google’s latest moonshot project to deliver broadband service to under-developed areas—an effort that also includes Project Loon, which aims to beam Web access via high-altitude balloons, and the recent acquisition of Titan Aerospace, which will presumably enable drones to transmit broadband signals.   More

Global Tech

Baidu Chases Google in Silicon Valley

Chinese search leader Baidu is trumpeting its opening of a new R&D center in Silicon Valley, becoming the latest Chinese Internet company to make such a move in the tech capital of the world. The announcement is obviously full of symbolism, since Silicon Valley is home to global search leader Google, which once tried to purchase Baidu but was rebuffed by company founder Robin Li. Company watchers will also be asking if the move could auger a major new step for Baidu, which could see it challenge Google in lucrative but highly competitive western markets.   More

Global Tech Security & Privacy

The Right to Be Forgotten? Europe’s Orwellian Internet Time Warp

When the European Court of Justice—the rough equivalent of the U.S. Supreme Court—ruled that individuals have the "right to be forgotten," it took a dangerous step backward. Among many potential negative consequences, it could contribute to slowing global economic growth. The court endorsed a profoundly ahistorical, anti-technological argument about the supposed rights of individuals.   More

Techonomy Events

Techonomy 2010-13: Highlights

A who's who of Techonomy participants join Techonomy founder David Kirkpatrick in a series of highlights from our 2010-12 conferences that address the growing impact of technology on business and society and why, increasingly, every company is a technology company.   More