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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (14795)9/30/2017 1:15:07 PM
From: Savant
   of 14824
 
Sometimes people are 'too smart' for their own good, and miss the obvious...this is one case.

To me, their current focus is where it where it should have been in the first place...always thought so.

Consumers are fickle and often push back against new things.

Anyone old enuf can recall the push back against cell phones in their early days....

I recall people coming up to me saying....'What makes you so...special/important/etc.'

I just said...it's a tool. (thinking...just like u, u fool)

Then, out came the fake cell phones...they wanted to be perceived as 'important/special/hip...also.

Now...friggin things are ubiquitous.

Glass, or more improved Glass, will likely be the same...certainly when used as a tool

The sheeples will follow...like usual.

Computers followed a similar path...and many other changes in life.

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From: Savant10/2/2017 12:16:12 PM
   of 14824
 

Google Finance Portfolios to be eliminated...other changes in the hopper..

By Max A. Cherney

Portfolio feature will be eliminated, automated version will migrate to Google Search in first major update since 2009

Alphabet Inc. has informed users of its Google Finance product last week (https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!category-topic/websearch/uf8q-AaPiyQ) that the core of the offering, the portfolio feature, will soon disappear as the stocks-focused product undergoes a transformation that bundles it into Google's dominant search offering.

The November move will mark the first major change to a languishing product that has existed since 2006 but hasn't seen an overhaul in more than eight years. To replace the outgoing features, Google said that it plans to migrate users' portfolios to Google's search product, which will aim to analyze users' interests and provide a report for users.

"As part of this updated experience, you'll still be able to follow the stocks you're interested in and receive the latest industry news and market trends, but the Portfolios feature will no longer be available as part of the service," a Google spokeswoman wrote in an emailed statement.

Read:Alphabet says it wants $1.86 billion from Uber, not $2.6 billion (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/alphabet-says-it-wants-186-billion-from-uber-not-26-billion-2017-09-25)

Google Finance portfolios, similar to rival finance-focused products like Yahoo Finance, allow users to track a number of investments over time, including profit or loss calculations based on the purchase price of a security, and to create data visualizations based on the information. Before the mid-November changes, Google has given its users an option to download their portfolio in CSV or OFX format.

Read:Google, partners to refund advertisers over fake traffic on Doubleclick (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/google-partners-to-refund-advertisers-over-fake-traffic-on-doubleclick-2017-09-21)

It isn't clear what, if any additional features Google plans to change, or what the Google Finance site will look like after the overhaul is complete. A spokeswoman confirmed that the Google Finance site will remain--in some form--but declined to make executives available to discuss the changes in greater detail.

Alphabet (GOOGL) (GOOGL) stock is up 18.6% this year, while the S&P 500 index has gained 11.5% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 13%.

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From: Savant10/3/2017 12:36:13 PM
   of 14824
 
Alphabet expected to show off new Pixel smartphones and other gadgets Wednesday

Alphabet Inc. will look to impress gadget lovers Wednesday with a new line of devices for the holiday shopping season, but the company's event will also be important to determine if the money Google is spending to produce its own hardware and challenge Apple Inc. is worth the cost.

Much of what Google will unveil at the San Francisco event has been reported, thanks to a series of leaks last month. Two new Pixel phones (https://www.droid-life.com/wp-content/cache/page_enhanced/www.droid-life.com/2017/09/19/google-pixel-2-xl-exclusive/_index.html) -- one larger than the other -- a new high-end Chromebook (https://www.droid-life.com/wp-content/cache/page_enhanced/www.droid-life.com/2017/09/19/google-pixelbook-chromebook-price-release-date/_index.html), a mini version of Google's Home smart speaker (https://www.droid-life.com/wp-content/cache/page_enhanced/www.droid-life.com/2017/09/19/google-home-mini-exclusive/_index.html) and an updated Daydream virtual-reality setup (https://www.droid-life.com/wp-content/cache/page_enhanced/www.droid-life.com/2017/09/19/new-google-daydream-view-exclusive/_index.html) are expected.

While the surprise element may be missing from the event, there is still much anticipation to see what Alphabet (GOOGL) (GOOGL) can do in challenging Apple (AAPL) directly with its own high-end hardware. More than anything, Wednesday's event will need to convince investors and the media that the company's hardware strategy is a bet worth making.

"I think they need to convince everyone that their hardware strategy is justified, this is a very expensive endeavor," said Creative Strategies Principal Ben Bajarin. "If this is a strategy they need to remain committed to, they need to take meaningful share. These new products need to be able to compete with some of the other strong product lineups, and it's not as easy as it once was."

Google appears to be doubling down on the bet it made last year in introducing the Pixel to challenge Apple's iPhone, after previously leaving most hardware design and manufacturing to partners like Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (005930.SE) . Last month, Alphabet committed $1.1 billion in a deal with HTC Corp (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/google-htc-sign-11-billion-cooperation-agreement-2017-09-20).(2498.TW) that will bring hardware talent and licensing from the hardware partner that has been essential to the Pixel line.

See also: Why Google's HTC deal may be different than the Motorola bomb (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-googles-htc-deal-may-be-different-than-the-motorola-bomb-2017-09-21)

Alphabet is making that commitment while the opportunity to profit from sales of its own branded smartphones, Chromebooks and smart speakers is not guaranteed. Alphabet's hardware sales are bundled with all non-advertising Google revenue in a bucket of sales that grew 62% to $3.4 billion in last year's holiday shopping quarter, but that amount is dwarfed by the rest of Google's business and profitability is a real question mark.

Analyst Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research believes Google has sold about 2 million Pixel phones -- Apple sold that many iPhones in half a week, on average, last year -- and still has a lot to learn about the business. One of the reasons the last Pixel models did not see Apple-like numbers of units was that Google initially gave Verizon an exclusive deal to sell the phones, Dawson says.

"The devil is in the details," said Dawson over the phone. "The reality is they sold 2 million phones because of limited supply, limited distribution and that they were not differentiated in the market. Unless those things change, it's not going to be that material to Google's sales. Even if they move twice as many units, that's still a tiny fraction of the global smartphone market."

Don't miss: Google Finance as you know it is going away -- here is what will remain (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/google-finance-as-you-know-it-is-going-away-here-is-what-will-remain-2017-09-27)

Google could juice its revenue from the Pixel with a new pricing strategy for its phone lineup, much like Apple's iPhone X announcement earlier this month (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-apple-iphones-key-feature-is-its-price-tag-2017-09-09). Dawson says that it would not surprise him to see a price increase in the new Pixel phones driven by more expensive components and rising memory costs.

"It's quite possible that Pixel devices will be more expensive than last year," Dawson said.

Google could go the other way, however, and look to offer the Pixel at a much lower price than the iPhone X to disrupt sales of Apple's latest and greatest smartphone, which will begin preorders later this month. While it could weigh on Alphabet's profitability, a larger quantity of cheaper sales could have a better chance of making a difference for a company expected to surpass $100 billion in annual revenue for the first time this year, and would fit the Android vs. Apple rivalry as it has been known so far.

To compete, the display and camera are the two features "Google needs to be competitive with" Apple and Samsung, Bajarin said. Specifically, the camera needs to be "top-notch," perhaps with some kind of three-dimensional sensing, and the display needs to be bezel-less, he says.

Related: Nvidia adds Google Assistant to Shield streaming device (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nvidia-adds-google-assistant-to-shield-streaming-device-in-challenge-to-apple-tv-2017-09-28)

While the phones might be the gadgets that consumers and investors watch closest, Bajarin also said that Google's expected Home Mini smart speaker might be most exciting. The new Home, and its big brother, can showcase the products Google is best at: search and giving users the data they want.

"Nobody saw the volume of speakers coming, Amazon (AMZN) has sold 25 million to 30 million to date, which is a lot given how new a category it is," he said. "It's a category with a lot of opportunity and a great play if the margins are there. But again, they've got to prove themselves that they can take smart-speaker share."

Alphabet's Class A shares have gained 22.1% and Class C shares have added 23.5% so far this year, outpacing the S&P 500 index's 13% growth but trailing Apple's gain of 32.8%.

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From: Savant10/3/2017 1:46:17 PM
1 Recommendation   of 14824
 
*What a morass... >>
Google parent Alphabet Inc. has produced a long-anticipated document in the high-stakes legal battle with Uber Technologies Inc. that showed the ride-hailing company knew a former Google engineer had confidential Google files before buying his self-driving-car startup.

The report, however, stopped short of establishing that Uber possessed or used those files to jump-start its own driverless-car program--the allegation at the center of Alphabet's lawsuit.

The revelations came from a due-diligence report about Anthony Levandowski and other former Google engineers that Uber commissioned in March 2016 before buying their startup, Ottomotto LLC, known as Otto, months later. Alphabet's self-driving-car unit, Waymo, attached the report to a filing late Monday, having successfully forced Uber to hand over a copy after months of fighting to access it.

Waymo sued Uber in February for allegedly stealing its trade secrets, claiming the ride-hailing firm conspired with Mr. Levandowski to bring thousands of files to Uber. A jury trial is set to begin later this month, though the federal judge overseeing the case is expected to rule Tuesday on Waymo's request to postpone the trial so it can better prepare.

Waymo said the report shows Mr. Levandowski stole Google files, accessed them after leaving the company and tried to destroy the evidence. "Knowing all of this, Uber paid $680 million for Mr. Levandowski's company, protected him from legal action, and installed him as the head of their self-driving-vehicle program," Waymo said in a statement. "This report raises significant questions."

Uber said it commissioned the report to prevent Google intellectual property from coming to Uber, and it "helps explain why--even after 60 hours of inspection of our facilities, source code, documents and computers--no Google material has been found at Uber."

Attorneys for Mr. Levandowski didn't respond to a request for comment.

The report showed that Mr. Levandowski had Google files related to its self-driving-car project on his phone, laptop, cloud-storage drive and external disk drives, including computer code, design files, engineering documents, presentations, and 50,000 emails. Some of the files were accessed as recently as March 22, 2016, the day investigators hired by Uber interviewed him, and nearly two months after he left Google.

The report, prepared by risk-management firm Stroz Friedberg, also states that Mr. Levandowski and other early Otto employees appeared to conceal their activity ahead of interviews with Stroz investigators. Mr. Levandowski deleted his text messages and also texted an unidentified person instructing him or her to delete text messages every night, the report said. Investigators said in the report that, during one interview, they caught Mr. Levandowski trying to empty the trash bin on his computer. And another former Google employee searched the internet for instructions to secretly delete files from his computer before interviews with investigators, according to the report.

Still, the report doesn't show that Uber possessed or used the Google files. Waymo has suggested Mr. Levandowski's access to such files means he easily could have incorporated Google trade secrets into Uber technology. Waymo said in a filing Monday that many of the files found in Mr. Levandowski's devices relate directly to Waymo's trade secrets.

Despite the report's findings, Uber said neither its board nor its then chief executive, Travis Kalanick, received the report before acquiring Mr. Levandowski's startup. Uber attorneys did receive the report. Former Uber director Bill Gurley told Waymo attorneys in a deposition that he wouldn't have approved the purchase if he had seen the report--and that Mr. Kalanick told directors the report "came back clean," a Waymo attorney said in court recently. Mr. Gurley is a partner at Benchmark Capital, which has sued Mr. Kalanick for allegedly defrauding directors by hiding unethical behavior.

Mr. Kalanick didn't respond to a request for comment.

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From: JakeStraw10/4/2017 2:22:28 PM
   of 14824
 
Google Pixel 2, XL hands-on: Squeezable sides, Google Lens and no headphone jack
cnet.com

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From: Tonnyman10/4/2017 4:19:53 PM
   of 14824
 
Google Pixel 2 prices start at $649 : A year after launching the Pixel smartphone, Google comes out with revised versions of the phone – Pixel 2 with a 5-inch screen and Pixel 2 XL with a 6-inch screen..

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From: Glenn Petersen10/4/2017 10:58:09 PM
1 Recommendation   of 14824
 
Google’s New Gadgets Come With a Big Helping of A.I.

By DAISUKE WAKABAYASHI
New York Times
OCT. 4, 2017




Google’s chief executive, Sundar Pichai, spoke about object detection technology during at an event to introduce the company’s new hardware offerings in San Francisco on Wednesday. Credit Stephen Lam/Reuters
_________________________________

SAN FRANCISCO — Google’s unveiling of new smartphones, smart speakers and other gadgets had all the makings of a typical technology product launch: a fawning crowd of superfans, skeptical journalists, slick product videos, not-so-subtle jabs at the competition, and overly romanticized descriptions of design choices, colors and materials.

But one nagging question lingered for Google, which makes nearly all of its money from selling online advertisements: Is it finally serious about making devices?

On Wednesday, Google did its best to demonstrate its commitment. It introduced two new Pixel smartphones, Google Home speakers both small and large, a laptop running the company’s Chrome software, a new virtual reality headset and wireless headphones.

But Google’s pitch for why its hardware is different had little to do with the hardware itself.

Unlike the way an Apple event is conducted — usually chock-full of talk about chip speeds and screen resolutions — Google didn’t spend much time on product specifications. Instead, its focus was on artificial intelligence. Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive, spent the first 10 minutes explaining how artificial intelligence was helping Google Maps and its translations.

Mr. Pichai said that as an “A.I. first” company, this is a “unique moment in time” for Google to combine hardware, software and artificial intelligence. “It’s radically rethinking how computing should work,” he said.

Google executives said it has been getting harder to find new hardware breakthroughs like bigger and better screens, but they believe significant improvements will come from artificial intelligence software that is developing at a faster clip than physical components.

Rick Osterloh, Google’s senior vice president of hardware, compared the company’s strategy for building devices to search and email. Google was not the first search engine and Gmail was hardly the first free web-based email provider — but both services reimagined what those products should do.

Last year, the company started its “Made By Google” line of hardware products, headlined by the Pixel smartphone. The handset received positive reviews, but it did not threaten the premium smartphone dominance of Apple or Samsung.

On Wednesday, Google demonstrated how every hardware product had received an A.I. makeover. The Pixel smartphones come with an image-recognition app called Lens that can help users find information just by pointing a camera at a movie poster or an ad. The new “smart speaker” uses artificial intelligence to adjust its sound for the layout of a room. And new wireless headphones allow for instant translation of different languages.

The question of Google’s commitment to hardware is a testament to the challenges of competing against devices made by Apple, Amazon and Samsung. Most other companies have found it hard to turn a profit in that product fight, and a flop can follow a company around for years — both in money and reputation lost.

It is also a recognition of Google’s history of fits and starts with devices. The company once acquired Motorola, only to sell it a few years later to Lenovo. It bought Nest and Dropcam, but the introduction of new products from those home device companies seemed to stagnate after they joined Google, now operating under the parent company, Alphabet.

Whether Google’s device push sticks over the long haul remains to be seen, but its checkbook for hardware is still open.

Last month, Google said it had agreed to acquire a team of 2,000 engineers from the Taiwanese manufacturer HTC for $1.1 billion. The hardware-focused personnel came from an HTC research and development division that was already working with Google to create the Pixel phones. Google said the acquisition will allow it to move faster in its efforts to develop new features for smartphones.

The deal is expected to close, pending regulatory approval, early next year.

Follow Daisuke Wakabayashi on Twitter @daiwaka

A version of this article appears in print on October 5, 2017, on Page B2 of the New York edition with the headline: Google Unveils Phones and Other Gadgets With a Spotlight on A.I

nytimes.com

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From: Savant10/5/2017 10:30:58 AM
   of 14824
 

Alphabet shows off new smartphones, Home speakers and Clips camera for holiday shopping season

Alphabet Inc. introduced new Pixel smartphones, Home smart speakers and a new clip-on camera called Clips at a launch event in San Francisco on Wednesday, as it looks to challenge Apple Inc. and other hardware makers in the holiday shopping season (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/pixel-launch-will-test-google-hardware-strategy-and-apple-rivalry-2017-10-02).

Google (GOOGL) (GOOGL) stressed that its software will be the key difference between its products and competitors from companies like Apple (AAPL) and Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) Google especially focused on the Google Assistant, its artificial-intelligence-powered voice-controlled service similar to Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri.

Here's what you need to know:

New Pixel smartphones (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/google-launches-new-pixel-2-smartphones-2017-10-04): Google introduced two new Pixel smartphones, the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL. Executives on stage played up the use of Google Assistant, which can be activated by squeezing the phone, and Google Photos capabilities including Lens, as well as virtual- and augmented-reality capabilities. The phones--available in three colors, "Just Black," "Clearly White" and "Kinda Blue"--are available for preorder immediately in the U.S. and five other countries, with the smaller version starting at $649 and the larger version starting at $849; for comparison, Apple's new iPhone 8 starts at $699, the larger iPhone 8 Plus starts at $799, and the iPhone X, when it goes on sale, will start at $999. Alphabet will keep Verizon Communications Inc. as the exclusive wireless-carrier partner for the phone, while also selling the phones at Best Buy Co. Inc. (BBY) stores and unlocked versions through its own online store. Purchases come with a code for a free Google Home Mini speaker and unlimited photo and video storage on Google Photos.

Read also: Everything Apple announced at its iPhone event (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/everything-apple-announced-at-its-iphone-event-2017-09-12)

New Home speakers (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/google-launches-new-home-smart-speakers-including-high-end-apple-rival-2017-10-04): The Google Home Mini is a smaller version of the Google Home speaker that Alphabet began selling last year, and will rival the smaller form factor Amazon has introduced for its Echo speaker, the Echo Dot. Google also introduced a new high-end smart speaker, the Google Home Max, that focused on sound quality for music and could challenge the Sonos series of speakers as well as Apple's HomePod, which launches in December. The Google Home Max will cost $399, $50 more than Apple's HomePod, and come with a free year's subscription to Google's YouTube Red streaming-music service. The Google Home Mini will cost $49 and come in three colors: "chalk," "coral" and "coal." The Google Home Mini will be available in stores Oct. 19, while the Max will offer preorders beginning Nov. 13.

Google Pixel Buds: New wireless headphones from Google are expected to rival Apple's Bluetooth-powered AirPods, but with a key difference that Google demonstrated onstage Tuesday. In a demo, Google showed that the headphones can be used for instant translation for a variety of languages, with the user speaking her native language and an English translation provided from the phone's speakers. Responses in English were picked up by the phone and translated into the native language through the headphones. The Pixel Buds come in the same three colors as the Pixel phone and cost $159; preorders begin immediately and the headphones will be available in November.

Don't miss: Google Finance as you know it is going away -- here is what will remain (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/google-finance-as-you-know-it-is-going-away-here-is-what-will-remain-2017-09-27)

Google Clips: Google showed off a new clip-on camera that can take photo and video remotely and synchronizes what it captures instantly with a connected phone through an app. Google said the camera was launching "soon," and would work with the Pixel, Samsung (005930.SE) S7 and S8 phones as well as iPhone 6 and up. GoPro Inc.(GPRO) stock suffered immediately after Google introduced the camera (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gopro-stock-falls-as-google-introduces-new-clip-on-camera-2017-10-04), as Clips will be an option for some who would buy GoPro's cameras and will be priced cheaper than the action cameras GoPro sells, at $249.

Pixelbook and Pixelbook Pen: Google showed off a new high-end Chromebook convertible laptop that can also function as a tablet, as well as a stylus called the Pixelbook Pen. The Pixelbook has Intel Corp. i5 and i7 processors and can run Android apps; Google announced that it is working with Snap Inc. (SNAP) on a new version of the Snapchat app that takes advantage of the form factor. The Pixelbook starts at $999 and the Pen costs an additional $99, with preorders starting today.

Daydream View: Google also redesigned the virtual-reality headset that works with the Pixel smartphone, after introducing the original alongside the first Pixel smartphone last year. Google said the new version has better lenses that increase the image clarity and field of vision. The $99 device will come in three colors, "Fog," "Charcoal" and "Coral."

Alphabet stock did not seem affected by the event, after many of the product details leaked early. Class A shares fell 0.5% and Class C shares declined 0.6% on the day. Alphabet's Class A shares have gained 22% this year, outpacing the S&P 500 index , which has gained 13.2% in 2017. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 14.7% in 2017.

-Jeremy C. Owens; 415-439-6400; AskN

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From: JakeStraw10/5/2017 1:29:38 PM
   of 14824
 
The search giant wants you to buy its new phone. The pitch? The Pixel aims to be good at everything Google's good at.
cnet.com

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (14802)10/5/2017 1:55:48 PM
From: zzpat
   of 14824
 
Instantaneous translations using earphones is the coolest thing I've ever heard of. Who can't use this device?

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