DTNS 2525 – Google: Do Know Evil

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comVeronica Belmont is on the show to discuss how large companies often eat smaller startup’s lunch. Is that what Facebook’s trying to do to Snapchat?


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Show Notes

Today’s guests: Veronica Belmont


TechCrunch reports Facebook has consolidated some photo upload features and added a couple to its app. When you upload a photo to Facebook you’ll immediately see a prompt to swipe to autocorrect or use a filter. You can also choose to overlay colored text and paste stickers. If you’ve used Snapchat or Line you get the pictures. The new features are rolling out to iOS app users and being tested on Android apps.

Yelp paid Legal scholar Tim Wu and Economist Michael Luca to work with its Data Science Team on a research paper that shows evidence that Google manipulates search results in its favor. According to Re/Code, Yelp used a browser plug-in that re-created Google’s search page stripped of the OneBox listings that Google began inserting in 2009 for searches that trigger local results. That page was tested against Google’s normal version with 2690 participants. Users clicked through on the stripped down version at a 45 percent higher rate. Google has repeatedly argued that its revamped search puts the most relevant results in front of searchers and has declined to comment on the paper.

Reuters reports that Google now has until mid-August to answer charges from the European Commission that it abused its market share in a dozen EU countries. The EC accused Google of distorting search results to favor its shopping services. Google could face a billion euro fine, based on Google Adwords revenue generated from European users as well as revenue from its comparison shopping service and search queries.

TechCrunch reports that Paypal will update its User Agreement to clarify how the company is allowed to contact customers, after an earlier updated policy on robocalls ran afoul of the US FCC. The revised User Agreement clarifies that Paypal “primarily” uses pre-recorded or auto-dialed calls to protect customers from fraud, provide account notices to customers, or collect a debt. It also states that PayPal will not market to customers using automated calls and texts without explicit written consent. Customers can revoke that consent at any time.

ReCode reports Facebook has chosen Johannesburg, South Africa for its first business office on the continent. It will serve as a sales office for regional small businesses. Nunu Ntshingila, chairman of Ogilvy South Africa, will run the office as Facebook’s new Head of Africa.

TechCrunch would like to remind you that Apple Music launches at 8am Pacific time tomorrow. And so does iOS 8.4, which is required for Apple Music. In case you forgot, Apple Music will have a three-month free trial and a streaming radio service called Beats 1, which features artist-hosted programming sections as well as a team of full-time DJs headed by ex-BBC host Zane Lowe.

News From You: 

Hurmoth and flyingspatula both submitted versions of the story that the US Supreme Court has declined to hear Google’s appeal of the Google-Oracle API copyright dispute. Ars Technica explains Google used names, declarations and header lines of the Java API in Android. A San Francisco federal Judge ruled that calls to an API could not be copyrighted. A Federal Appeals Court ruled that “declaring code and the structure, sequence, and organization of the API packages are entitled to copyright protection.” Google will now return to the lower court to determine if the company’s use of the API headers could be defended as fair use.

KAPT_Kipper submitted the BBC article that it has published a list of links removed from Google’s European searches as part the “right to be forgotten” ruling. BBC head of editorial policy said the company would continue to publish the list in order to further a meaningful debate about the policy.

StarFury Zeta shared the story that French authorities took two Uber executives — Thibaut Simphal, the CEO for France, and Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, the CEO for Western Europe — into custody for questioning. An Uber France spokesman told ARS TECHNICA: “Our general managers for France and Western Europe today attended a hearing with the French police. The primary regulatory issue in France is that UberPop’s drivers operate under a VTC license designed for pre-booked travel.

From Patrick Beja: Basically the government voted a law clearly targeting UberPop (which is “pretending” it is a ride sharing service when it CLEARLY isn’t), and Uber is fighting it in the courts, which they clearly have the right to do. But since the taxis are pissed and are burning cars (and maybe since the gvt wants to scare the big evil US corps that “don’t pay taxes in FR” – even though changing EU tax law is what’s really needed to fix that), they’re deciding to crack down on Uber, justifying the taxis’ appalling attitude and violence (how can they ever say “burning cars is bad” ever again after that?!), and stepping on the separation of power (AGAIN) since the legal procedure IS in progress and will likely result in UberPop being illegal, but they essentially don’t want to wait and are pulling stunts on them.

Discussion Section: 




Pick of the day:

Victor writes:

You have had several picks over the last few weeks regarding online books and I wanted to chime in. For those who want to get access to Safari Books Online or Books24x7, another great book site, but are on a budget I would like to recommend joining a professional organization. I strongly recommend the Association for Computing Machinery or the IEEE Computer Society. (My personal preference is ACM for the record). Both of these have many benefits including limited access to resources from both Safari Books Online and Books24x7. Membership is $99/year for ACM and, if I read the membership page correctly, is either $56 or $249.

I suspect that other professional organizations provide similar benefits for a comparable cost. I also recommend checking your company’s training website and resource library (for those who work for large organizations) as many provide access to these resources through there. I know many people I work with are unaware that we have access to these and other resources, including the entire ACM digital library, IEEE digital library, etc.

Thanks for a great show!


Bobby Hendrix, Mobile Support Specialist writes:

In episode 2521 I think I heard you mention that you gave away your Apple Watch. Could you please comment on why you gave it away? I’m very curious to get your thoughts on the Apple Watch? Did you ware a watch before the Apple Watch? I do have an Apple Watch and am still trying to decide if it’s going to be a flop or hit for Apple. I’m a watch wearing and have been all my life. I’m still not convinced it will be a hit even with feature editions???

Paul Franz writes:

I can’t wait for more of these devices to be available. I think this is that next move in PC development. To me this is the ultimate in portable computers. All you need is an HDMI display and the wireless keyboard/mouse and you are good to go. Most of the things that you need are on a cloud service so you don’t need much storage space. I can see this as a perfect thing for the road warrior. You can work on documents then store them locally or on the cloud or using as a thin client PC (i.e. a PC that can be used to control a remote VM). Using VMs in the enterprise is very hot at the moment. This keeps the information safely stored within the enterprise instead out on a laptop that could be stolen. For me, this would be perfect since I am an administrator and mostly login to remote machines to do my work.

Jason from Pottsville, AR writes:

Jason re-emphasized that selfdriving cars don’t get distracted by Twitter and radio statiosn and such. and summed up his thoughts with “I love to drive, and have driven competitively to some success, but I’d much rather share the road with a bunch of machines following the rules and making good decisions than the lot of morons I see on the road every day.

Tuesday’s guest: Molly Wood and Justin Robert Young!