Google’s high-profile, $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility, which closed yesterday, has set the tech world abuzz with speculation on Google’s first steps as it enters the hardware business: They’re going to do a 180-revival of Motorola! No, Motorola is doomed! No, they’re going to shutter Android! Google’s second, much quieter acquisition this week, of San Francisco industrial design studio Mike & Maaike, answers most of those questions.
Today Bing is announcing a revamp of its front end, to make its search results more useful for users. But what’s much more interesting is what’s happening on the back end, underneath the hood, as Microsoft re-architects how the data used for search results is collected, stored, and repurposed.
“We decided we needed to reinvent search,” Bing director Stefan Weitz tells Fast Company.
Is that all?
“Today, the primary threat by far to internet freedom is government filtering of political dissent. This has been far more effective than I ever imagined possible across a number of nations. In addition, other countries such as the US have come close to adopting very similar techniques in order to combat piracy and other vices. I believe these efforts have been misguided and dangerous.”
Despite the mythology that has built up around venture capital, it has become a slowly moldering investment vehicle. “The past 10 years haven’t been very productive,” Maris points out. According to the research firm Cambridge Associates, during the decade ending last September, VCs as a class earned a 2.6% interest rate for their investors—less than you could have earned in an S&P 500 index fund. The numbers look slightly better over shorter periods; VCs have delivered a 4.9% return the past three years and 6.7% over the past five, still far from terrific.
Google’s insurgent attitude—perceiving startup funding as broken and appointing itself as the fixer—has ruffled some in the insular, clubby world of venture capital. Not on the record, of course. Google Ventures is already big enough that it has participated in deals with almost every prominent Valley investor, and nobody wants to talk ill of a partner. Behind the scenes, though, some question the firm’s experience—most of its partners are former Googlers who haven’t worked in venture capital before—and its passion. If you were looking for money and were choosing between Google Ventures and such top firms as Andreessen Horowitz or Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, people would tell you to go with one of the other guys.
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6 ways Google hacks its cafeteria to get healthier and happier employees.
Much has changed since Google earned a reputation for fattening its staffers with food on demand. These days, the company is focused on advancing its healthy-eating initiatives. Explains Jennifer Kurkoski, who has a PhD in organizational behavior and runs a division of Google’s HR department called People Analytics, “When employees are healthy, they’re happy. When they’re happy, they’re innovative.”
“We wanted to let people know about what we’re doing, and what we hope to achieve with it,” a Google spokesperson told Co.Design, “But in terms of the graphics, the visuals, the hardware setup, there’s a lot of experimentation going on. And a lot of rapid prototyping on the team.”
What if your inbox was more like your Twitter feed, or Facebook Timeline?
Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are transformational firms, but if you had to pick, which one would you say is the most innovative? Take the quiz to find your answer, plus our picks for all 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2012.
The step-by-step guide to using Google’s best offerings, but spreading your online eggs into more than just one big basket out in Mountain View, California.
If Google’s to be trusted, Google is the only source you need when Googling around for information. At least, that’s the impression one gets from Google’s new “Your World” feature.
This year the tablet industry is going to get interesting, gnarly even, because as the market matures a bunch of very smart power plays will happen. It starts with Google.
Google launched its long-overdue music store today, roughly eight years into the reign of Apple’s iTunes Store, which just sold its 16 billionth song. Clearly Google has a lot of catching up to do—and that’s just with Apple. Amazon has had a digital music store since 2007 that’s known for its aggressive pricing, while Facebook recently integrated third-party streaming services such as Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio, and MOG.
Mark Zuckerberg And Sheryl Sandberg Respond To The Great Tech War Of 2012
Check out interview highlights with Farhad Manjoo on toady’s NPR Fresh Air where they talk about the great tech war or 2012.
In the old days, Amazon sold books, Google was a search engine, Facebook was a social network and Apple sold computers.
But that’s not the case anymore.
Google and Apple now sell phones. Amazon has gotten into the server business. Apple sells music. Facebook and Amazon provide online payment services. And that’s just the beginning.