Google, Do Know Evil

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Google: Do Know Evil
Number 2525
Broadcast Date JUNE 29, 2015
Episode Length 42:02
Hosts Tom Merritt
Guests Veronica Belmont

Veronica 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?

Guest

Headlines

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

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.
Submitted by hurmoth and flyingspatula
BBC reports 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.
Submitted by KAPT_Kipper
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 trave.

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.
Submitted by starfuryzeta

Discussion

Pick of the Day

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!
Submitted by Victor

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Preceded by:
"Self Driving Kobayashi Maru Test"
Google, Do Know Evil
Followed by:
"Worldwide"