Archive for Google

DOJ Slaps Google With An Antitrust Lawsuit

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 24, 2023 by itnerd

News has just dropped that Google has been hit with an antitrust lawsuit. Actually, it’s the second one in two years that has Google has been served up with. CNBC has the details:

This lawsuit, which is focused on Google’s online advertising business and seeks to make Google divest parts of the business, is the first against the company filed under the Biden administration. The department’s earlier lawsuit, filed in October 2020 under the Trump administration, accused Google of using its alleged monopoly power to cut off competition for internet search through exclusionary agreements. That case is expected to go to trial in September.

Google’s advertising business generated $54.5 billion in the quarter ended Sept. 30 from Search, YouTube, Google Network ads and other advertising.

Google also faces three other antitrust lawsuits from large groups of state attorneys general, including one focused on its advertising business led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

The states of California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Virginia joined the DOJ in the latest lawsuit.

This is likely a sign of things to come as big tech is in the crosshairs of the US Government. Companies like Microsoft and Apple are likely to get served with similar lawsuits at some point. But in the here and now, execs at Google must be not be very happy about this.

Google Becomes The Latest Tech Company To Axe Thousands Of Jobs

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 20, 2023 by itnerd

Following on the heels of Microsoft, Google has announced via a blog post that was based on an email sent by CEO Sundar Pichai that the company will be slashing 12000 jobs:

Over the past two years we’ve seen periods of dramatic growth. To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today.

The email also reads like Google is really trying hard not to be perceived as handling this the way that Elon Musk’s handling Twitter layoffs. But other than that, the email is a bit of a rallying cry to those who remain as I am sure that some of them will be heading to exits as well.

Expect more stories like this to come in the days and weeks ahead.

Google productivity expert offering Inbox organization tips for a more productive new year

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 22, 2022 by itnerd

With 2023 around the corner, there is no better time to reset and look at ways to be more productive and efficient at home and at the office so that people can spend more time on the things that they love. 

Laura Mae Martin, Executive Productivity Advisor at Google, suggests that if Canadians are looking to boost their productivity in the new year – the best place to start is their email inboxes, a place where many of us spend too many hours each day. Her tips include:

  • How to use filters and AI to stay clear of spam as a way to avoid scams and annoying emails flooding your inbox
  • Smart archiving in bulk techniques to keep yourself from getting overwhelmed by a crowded post-holiday inbox
  • Muting email threads so you don’t have to see every update on less-urgent conversations pop into your inbox, giving you the opportunity to catch up when it’s convenient for you
  • Creating multiple email addresses with a plus sign to streamline and categorize your email. Sign up for different things like “online shopping” or “gym memberships” things using different forms of your email address with a simple plus sign – youremailaddress+gym@gmail.com
  • Looking at privacy as well as clutter by taking advantage of free tools and resources like Security Checkup and a Privacy Checkup to kick off your new productive inboxes in a safe way

If you are interested in learning more, check out Google’s latest blog post on the topic.

Google Canada kicks-off the year early for startups, with applications for the 2023 Google for Startups Accelerator Canada cohort 

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 5, 2022 by itnerd

As we head into a season of holiday cheer, Google Canada today announces applications are open for the 2023 Google for Startups Accelerator Canada – helping Canadian startups begin the new year strong. 

The intensive ten-week bootcamp is designed to bring the best of Google’s programs, products, people and technology to Canadian startups that leverage machine learning and AI in their company today or plan to in the future. Up to 12  Canadian technology startups will be selected to participate. 

Through the equity free program, Google wants to make it possible for startups to continue to thrive in Canada’s tech ecosystem. The accelerator provides technical training and strategic counsel through one-to-on mentorship opportunities with Google experts. 

Google has provided more infomation in a blog post that was posted today. Applications for the program are now open to startups across all sectors until February 1st with the program kicking off March 2023.  

Google Canada reveals the top Black Friday and Cyber Monday trends & Canadian shopping behaviours this holiday season

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 16, 2022 by itnerd

As Canadians look forward to the 2022 holiday season, retailers can expect to see a more price-conscious shopper that’s focused on cost and convenience. 

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday around the corner, Google Canada is revealing new insights about how Canadians are changing their holiday shopping behaviours along with some of the top trending items Canadians are looking for this Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

You can also check out Google’s blog post for more information.

Here’s how Canadians plan to shop for Black Friday/Cyber Monday this year: 

  • Digital is here to stay and is now the gateway to all commerce
  • While we expect to see a return in-store shopping this holiday season, shoppers will use digital to inform, inspire and enable their purchases. 
  • 86% of shoppers discover brands/products while browsing online(1)
  • 89% of holiday shoppers searched online first before a store visit(2)

Holiday shoppers are price-conscious about their spending this season

  • 72% of surveyed Canadian holiday shoppers say they are concerned about the rising cost of items they need or want to buy(2)
  • 60% of holiday shoppers say they plan to buy less because of the impact of inflation on their finances(2)
  • Search interest for price sensitive terms have increased this year, with ‘discount code’ increasing 2x and ‘price match’ up 7x(3)
  • 85% of Canadian holiday shoppers say they will shop at a store with discounts(2)
  • 73% said they will shop with stores that offer free shipping(2)
  • 41% of holiday shoppers said they are comparing prices and price matching(2)

Holiday shoppers are being strategic, making fewer impulsive purchases

  • More than half (54%) of holiday shoppers said they will confirm an item is in stock before going into stores(2)
  • 1 in 4 holiday shoppers say they are shopping for things now that they don’t need until later because they’re worried items will go out of stock(2)
  • Nearly half of Canadian holiday shoppers say they’re taking inventory of what they have to determine what they need(2)
  • 32% say they keep an eye out for new brands even if they’re not planning to buy right then(2)

Holiday shoppers are getting ahead of the season 

  • Nearly 1 in 4 surveyed Canadian holiday shoppers had said they had already begun their holiday shopping by mid-September and 1 in 3 said they planned to start earlier this year than they had in 2021(2)
  • Searches interest for “black friday” and “outdoor christmas lights” are already growing strongly compared to last year, with searches for ‘black Friday’ up 300%, and ‘christmas lights’ up 80%(3)

Here’s what Canadians are searching for leading into Black Friday/Cyber Monday:

Source

  1. Google/Ipsos, “Holiday Study,” Shopping Period Oct 30 2021 –Dec 23 2021, Online survey, CA, 18+ who shopped in the past two days.1 n= 2669; Think with Google: How consumers discover brands online
  2. Google commissioned Ipsos Consumer Continuous, US, CA, UK, FR, DE, IT, AU, JP, IN, CN, BR, MX, ES, ZA, KR, AR, CO, BE, CL, PE, SE, NL, DK, FI, NO ~n=235-489 online consumers 18+ per market that plan to shop for the holidays. Sep 8-11, 2022
  3. Google trends data, Canada English

Google Launches My Ad Center Globally

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 20, 2022 by itnerd

Today Google is announcing the launch of My Ad Center, which will start rolling out gradually to people globally. At Google I/O, they pre-announced My Ads Center, a new ads product that allows users to customize their ads and manage the information Google uses to personalize ads. 

In addition to the features announced at I/O, the new features in the product include:

  • More controls for activities used to personalise ads: My Ad Center expands their privacy controls to allow users more direct control over which data sources, specifically Web & App Activity and YouTube History, are used to personalize your ads across Google Search, YouTube, and Discover
  • Expanding user control for sensitive categories: In My Ad Center, users have the ability to see fewer ads in five sensitive categories, including alcohol, dating, gambling, pregnancy and parenting, and weight loss. Before, this feature affected ads shown on YouTube and Display. Now, it expands to ads shown on Search and Discover
  • Advertiser pages: To give people even more transparency, Google is enhancing ad disclosures with new advertiser pages. Users can access these disclosures in the new My Ad Center panel and see the ads a specific verified advertiser has run over the past 30 days

The full blog with more details is available here.

Google Makes A Number Of Announcements At Google Cloud Next ‘22

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 11, 2022 by itnerd

Today at Google Cloud Next ‘22, Google announced several new customers, partners, and product offerings to further demonstrate how Google Cloud is the cloud of the future. 

Here’s the key news: 

  • Google’s mission at Google Cloud is to accelerate the ability of every organization to digitally transform its business. Today, thave have a number of new global customer and partner announcements to demonstrate how they’re helping organizations in every industry accelerate their cloud journeys. 
  • Today, Google is announcing the addition of several new customers including the Australian Securities Exchange, Coinbase, Prudential PLC, Rite Aid, Twiga Foods, and more, in addition to momentum and expanded partnerships with existing customers like Accenture, Ford, HCLTech, Snap, T-Mobile, Toyota, and Wayfair
  • Google is also making a number of product announcements across 4 key pillars: 

Data Cloud: Through a series of deepened partnerships with data leaders like MongoDB, Elastic, and Palantir, Google confirms that Google Cloud offers the industry’s most open data cloud. Google is announcing support for major data formats including Apache Iceberg available now with Delta Lake, and Apache Hudi coming soon. Google is also offering a new integrated experience in BigQuery for Apache Spark and support in BigQuery for unstructured data. Additionally, Google is announcing new updates in Cloud BI, including Looker Studio, and brand new offerings from Cloud AI including Vertex AI Vision and Translation Hub

Open Infrastructure Cloud: Google is making a number of announcements across open infrastructure to deliver workload-optimized infrastructure, including enhancements to their Google Cloud Skills Boost learning offering for developers, Assured Open Source Software Service, and Open Source AI. To help IT teams build infrastructure for transformation, Google is also announcing a series of infrastructure and migration updates that include: the C3 machine series, and a new mainframe modernization solution called Dual Run, and plans to bring Google Cloud regions to five new countries.

Trusted Cloud: To provide Google’s customers with extensible cybersecurity solutions in the cloud, Google will advance partnerships with 20-plus software companies focused on digital sovereignty and cybersecurity. Google is also announcing Confidential SpaceChronicle Security OperationsSoftware Delivery Shield for end-to-end software supply chain security, and updates to their trusted cloud partner ecosystem with 20+ partners focused on cybersecurity and data controls. 

Collaboration Cloud: Google is taking the biggest steps yet in making Google Workspace the most open and extensible platform for users with new integrations, partnerships, and developer tools. Google is announcing several updates to Google Workspace, including new features that enable immersive connections, new smart canvas capabilities, and new ways to keep users and data safe across even more apps. Google is also announcing new integrations and developer tools to bring people closer together. 

You can read more from Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian here about what’s next for digital transformation in the cloud, Google Cloud’s recent acquisition of Mandiant, and much more. 

Sam Sebastian Announced As VP and Canada Country Manager For Google Cloud

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 4, 2022 by itnerd

Today, Google has announced that they’re welcoming Sam Sebastian as VP and Canada Country Manager for Google Cloud:

Sam comes to us from Pelmorex Corp, one of the world’s largest weather data and multi-platform media companies, where he was President & CEO. Prior to Pelmorex, Sam spent nearly 12 years in leadership positions across Google, with his most recent role as Vice President and Country Manager of Google Canada. During this time, he helped build and scale Canada’s Google Ads business, empowering small and large businesses with new ways to reach their customers. Sam brings a deep understanding of the role technology can play in enabling businesses and organizations to innovate, evolve and grow, and is ideally suited to help lead our Canadian business forward.

It will be interesting to see what Mr. Sebastian does with Google Cloud in Canada going forward.

Google Canada Commits $2.7 Million To Online Safety & Digital Skills Training For Indigenous Communities… And Publishes A Report On Their Economic Impact

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 3, 2022 by itnerd

Today, Google Canada is announcing $2.7 million in Google.org grants to empower Canadians to stay safe online and to build more inclusive economic opportunities for Indigenous communities in Canada. Alongside today’s news, research from Public First was released revealing Google’s impact on the Canadian economy.

To help close the significant skills and education gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations in Canada, ComIT will receive a Google.org grant of over $1.3 million to continue their work to reskill Indigenous job seekers for new careers in technology. ComIT’s Recoding Futures program was created in 2020 with the support of Google.org to provide IT training to Indigenous learners across Canada. The program runs virtually and covers topics like Design Thinking, HTML, CSS, Javascript .NET, Python, React and Node.

Google is also announcing new grants from Google.org to support online safety and efforts to combat disinformation among underserved communities. According to research, Canadians under 25 years old spend an average of 7 hours online every day and 42% of Canadians experienced at least one cyber security incident during the pandemic, which has highlighted an increase in cyber threat actors and complexity for Canadians. Actua will receive a Google.org grant of over $670K to expand its Engage. Empower. Connect project that empowers youth from vulnerable groups with the skills, awareness and confidence to be cyber smart.

To help improve digital media literacy in Canada, MediaSmarts will receive a Google.org grant of over $670K to develop and implement a National Digital Media Literacy Education Training Program focused on supporting underrepresented communities. The program aims to help Canadians employ critical thinking skills when they use, create, and engage with content online.

Independent consultancy, Public First also released new research about Google’s impact on the Canadian economy today. Public First estimates that in 2021, Google Search, Google Play, YouTube, Google Cloud and Google Advertising tools helped provide $37B of economic activity for Canadian businesses, nonprofits, publishers, creators and developers. That’s the equivalent of about 1.5% of Canada’s GDP, more than forestry and aviation combined.

Key report findings:

  • In 2021, Google helped drive over 235M direct connections monthly, including phone calls, requests for directions, messages, bookings and reviews for Canadian businesses.
  • In 2021, more than 1.9 million Canadian businesses and sole traders received phone calls, requests for directions, messages, bookings, reviews and other direct connections to their customers from Google.
  • Public First estimates that in 2021, Google Search and Ads are supporting $1.7 billion in exports for the Canadian economy.

The report also looks at how Google’s products and services have helped Canadians find authoritative information, improve productivity, keep learning and find jobs. Full report can be found here.

Google Analytics Declared Unlawful In Denmark

Posted in Commentary with tags , on September 22, 2022 by itnerd

Denmark yesterday declared the use of Google Analytics unlawful. The Danish Data Protection Agency concluded that the tool would require the ‘implementation of supplementary measures in addition to the settings provided by Google’. The Agency stated that the decision represents a common European position among the citizens whose personal data is protected. Here are the key details:

The Danish Data Protection Agency has looked into the tool Google Analytics, its settings, and the terms under which the tool is provided. On the basis of this review, the Danish Data Protection Agency concludes that the tool cannot, without more, be used lawfully. Lawful use requires the implementation of supplementary measures in addition to the settings provided by Google.

In sort, if you’re in Denmark you can’t use Google Analytics. Full stop.

Mark Bower, VP of Product Management of Anjuna Security:

     “The ever-expanding bulk collection of consumer data and its handling will continue to land under the EU regulatory microscope, especially with the recent expansion of GDPR scope around inferred data following recent rulings in Lithuania that propagate across the union. Under this new extension, data that is derived from personal data is considered in scope. If breached, it has the same consequence as primary personal identifiers including massive fines. This has sweeping impact and risk for organizations: traditional approaches to compliance that often assume the personal data can be identified in advance of collection and then protected it may no longer work or be fit for purpose, especially with machine learning models where new derived outcomes and inference are coveted by data processors across industry, especially ad-tech, payments, financial services and retail. Organizations handling personal data must therefore look at more thorough and innovative protection strategies in addition to carefully analyze the risk of bulk collection itself. It’s no surprise then that the top of the data food chain is the first to be put in the spotlight – but they will not be the last”

You have to assume that a bunch of people at Google are not happy about this as gathering data and making money off of it is their core business. And I would not be surprised if other places on the planet start to do similar things.

Sucks to be Google.