Google Searches for a New Identity

From Mashable: Google searches for a new identity. “The bright — and, sure, childish — new branding offers the first clear glimpse of how Google intends to better position itself in a global market that favors smaller screens and just as importantly how it makes big strategy decisions as a subsidiary of the newly created parent company Alphabet, which was announced only weeks before the logo change.”

TechCrunch on Ad Blocking

Interesting overview from TechCrunch on ad blocking and why it’s such a huge issue. I worked in an ad agency many thousands of years ago, and it got me interested in advertising. In fact, the first newsletter I did online was not ResearchBuzz. It was called SKYWRITING and it was about advertising. I did it for about a year, I think. This was around 1995. Also I co-authored a book on Internet advertising called POOR RICHARD’S INTERNET MARKETING AND PROMOTIONS, around 1998. My point is that I’ve been watching advertising on the Internet since around the time it started, and while I can see both sides of the story, advertisers did a LOT to bring this on themselves. If you can’t even run your browser well because so many ad networks are trying to load on a page — or if you’re trying to read the news early in the […]

Wamda: A Day in the Life of a Facebook Programmer

Wamda: A day in the life of a Facebook programmer. “Lebanese developer Ziad Traboulsi (right) is a lead software engineer at Facebook’s Dublin office. He’s been working there for the past five years and is currently involved with Internet.org, a Facebook-led global partnership dedicated to making affordable internet access available to the two-thirds of the world not yet connected.”

Narendra Modi Will Participate in Facebook Q&A

This should be interesting: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will join a Facebook Q&A. “Among the topics to be discussed at Facebook’s Mountain View, Calif. headquarters on September 27 is how communities can work together to address social and economic challenges. Zuckerberg encouraged his followers to submit questions on Facebook to be posed to the prime minister during the Q&A.”

Google Is Making More Self-Driving Cars

Looks like Google is making more self-driving cars. “When Google originally showcased the newer low-speed ‘cute-mobile’ self-driving car, it mentioned a goal of having about 100 of them on the road for testing within a couple years. Now, as the company is bringing its low-speed electric prototypes to Austin a year later, Sarah Hunter, head of policy for Google [X], has revealed that the company is expanding production of the cars (via The Guardian). “

Google Glass for Kids With Autism

More medical Glass: Google Glass for autistic kids. “[Ned] Sahin’s company is building software and hardware add-ons for Google Glass that they hope will help children with autism learn some of these social skills and help provide caregivers with feedback. It’s still early for the app, clinical trials on the product begin this fall at Harvard Medical School and the program is currently in beta testing.”

Digg Releases Community Guidelines

Digg is apparently trying to subvert Reddit-type issues by releasing a set of community guidelines. “Naturally, content that will not be allowed on Digg includes slurs, epithets, and hateful speech. In addition, abusive names will not be permitted (must be rated G or PG, according to the company). The service won’t also tolerate gratuitous or explicitly sexual remarks, trademark or copyright infringement, spamming, harassment, privacy violations, illegal speech (fraud or phishing), or abusive mis-flagging of comments or users by people who claim that guidelines are being violated.”

The Atlantic on Twitter Fiction

From The Atlantic: The Rise of Twitter Fiction. “The award-winning author David Mitchell is writing a new short story, and you can read his work-in-progress on Twitter. Over the past four days, Mitchell has intermittently posted tweets from the perspective of his narrator, an obsessive stalker and hacker. The story is told in the style of slang-filled tweets, rather than 140-character snippets of narrative.”

Tumblr Now Has Its Own Fashion Line

Alrighty then: Tumblr now has its own fashion line. “Tumblr now has its own line of clothing featuring an eclectic array of apparel adorned with artwork from ten of the social network’s artists/users. The line isn’t limited to just clothing — there’s a backpack, for example (as well as a kimono); it’s unisex and designed to look the same as the Tumblr collective, at least in spirit. Half a dozen Tumblr users have also been selected to show off the new product line.”

Twitter Hiring Outside Lobbyists

Twitter is hiring outside lobbyists! No permanent CEO yet, but… outside lobbyists! “Twitter will be represented by 10 different lobbyists from Mehlman Castagnetti, including co-founders Bruce Mehlman and David Castagnetti. The firm was one of the top 20 lobbying firms, by revenue, in Washington last year, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. It has advocated for tech companies like Adobe and Hewlett-Packard.”

Kathy Savitt Leaving Yahoo

Kathy Savitt has left Yahoo. “Under Ms. Savitt’s media projects leadership, Yahoo started more than a dozen digital magazines in the United States, struck a partnership with Live Nation to webcast a live concert every day, revived the ‘Community’ television series as a Yahoo show and commissioned two original streaming series.” The interesting thing about Yahoo’s media efforts is that it’s always seemed to focus on big names and famous people/events — and not on different technology or ways of accessing content. I mean, can you imagine Yahoo’s strategy including Periscope, for example? Or it embracing the “people want to watch other people play video games” oddness of Twitch? (Not that there’s anything wrong with watching other people play video games. I’m just having a hard time imagining anyone anticipating it as a content attraction.)

What Ever Happened to Google Books?

From The New Yorker: What Ever Happened to Google Books? “On one hand, Google has scanned an impressive thirty million volumes, putting it in a league with the world’s larger libraries (the library of Congress has around thirty-seven million books). That is a serious accomplishment. But while the corpus is impressive, most of it remains inaccessible. Searches of out-of-print books often yield mere snippets of the text—there is no way to gain access to the whole book.”