Technology StocksAlphabet Inc. (Google)

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From: Savant10/5/2017 10:30:58 AM
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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 (

Google (GOOGL) (GOOGL) stressed that its software will be the key difference between its products and competitors from companies like Apple (AAPL) and 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 ( 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 (

New Home speakers ( 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 (

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 (, 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 15042
The search giant wants you to buy its new phone. The pitch? The Pixel aims to be good at everything Google's good at.

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (14802)10/5/2017 1:55:48 PM
From: zzpat
   of 15042
Instantaneous translations using earphones is the coolest thing I've ever heard of. Who can't use this device?

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To: zzpat who wrote (14805)10/5/2017 2:23:16 PM
From: Savant
   of 15042

"Who can't use this device?"

Umm, Xenophobes?
There's a Startup that's been working on earpiece translators for a few yrs now.....scheduled to start shipping 'soon'.

And this...from a year ago..Snopes piece

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To: Savant who wrote (14806)10/6/2017 9:36:37 AM
From: zzpat
   of 15042
LOL. Fake news is all over the place.

We have to fact check almost everything these days and that's why this is such a good time for republicans. They don't have the capacity to verify what they're reading. Every lie Russia told them during the last campaign forced them to vote for the man Putin wanted.

What shallow pathetic little people.

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To: zzpat who wrote (14807)10/6/2017 12:32:55 PM
From: TimF
   of 15042
Are you sure you posted that on the right thread?

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To: TimF who wrote (14808)10/6/2017 3:54:49 PM
From: zzpat
   of 15042
Yes, we were talking about earphones that can translate languages. Then there two links from fake news about sources other than Google who said they have this technology.

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From: Savant10/9/2017 11:49:33 AM
1 Recommendation   of 15042

In these early days of voice commerce there's still room for two retail giants in the space, experts say

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is not letting Inc. run away with the growing voice-commerce market, jumping on Wednesday's Google device announcement with a $25 discount for users who purchase their device from Wal-Mart, place an order with the retailer and link their Wal-Mart account to Google Express.

According to the latest data from Accenture, 89% of shoppers in 2017 are familiar with Alexa, while 77% are familiar with Google Home. Nearly three-quarters (71%) of shoppers are using or would like to use Alexa, while 68% responded in kind about Google Home.

Experts argue that it's still early days for voice commerce, so even if there has been buzz around Alexa and the Echo products, there is room for others.

See also:Everything Google announced at its Pixel event (

"Owning the home is an emerging strategy," said Kathy Gersch executive vice president of strategy execution and change management at Kotter International, a business management consulting firm.

Amazon (AMZN) used its summertime Prime Day event ( to push Alexa-enabled devices, staking its claim on the voice-commerce space. Last week, the e-commerce giant launched a number of new Echo devices ( at varying price points.

In August, Wal-Mart ( announced ( its voice-shopping partnership with Google (GOOGL). Experts say that the partnership elevates the challenge for Amazon and Alexa.

"The industry has been waiting for sellers and technologists to map out a path to compete with the Amazon juggernaut and the rise of Alexa," said Jennifer Sherman, senior vice president of product and strategy at Kibo, an omnichannel commerce software company. "With this move Wal-Mart has unlocked voice-based commerce on devices that already enjoy greater penetration than the Echo, the smartphone.

Read:Here's why flagship stores for retailers like Apple and Starbucks have become tourist attractions (

"Now, with this new development from Wal-Mart, the question for retailers and brands is how they can make their offering discoverable and differentiate themselves in the rapidly increasing voice-first environment," said Sherman.

Matt Sargent, senior vice president of retail at consulting firm Frank N. Magid Associates, questions whether the Wal-Mart customer would be interested in voice commerce, though he believes Wal-Mart is targeting more than its typical customer.

"Wal-Mart wants to change, doesn't want to serve that same customer base it always has," he said. Acquisitions like and Bonobos show that it is trying to change its brand image.

Prathap Dendi, general manager of business performance monitoring and analytics at AppDynamics, an application intelligence company, agrees voice commerce might not be for everyone.

Don't miss:Artificial intelligence will be important this holiday shopping season even if shoppers don't know it (

Still, he sees some advantages in grocery, an area where Wal-Mart is "King" and already caters to a demographic that has an interest in picking up groceries "on the way home."

"Once you unlock millions of bricks-and-mortar consumers with the omnipresent ability of Google... they can take over," he said.

In this area, Wal-Mart's click-and-collect capabilities could come in handy.

"We know that 78% of consumers have used buy-online-pickup-in-stores (BOPIS) in the past six months, so having that option available right now for Walmart shoppers--especially for grocery products--will be a key differentiator," said Kibo's chief marketing officer Tushar Patel.

Ryne Misso, director of marketing at Market Track, also notes the seemingly speedier decision making at Wal-Mart, which he says is a big takeaway from its Google partnership.

"What we know about Amazon is, despite their size, they tend to be very fast to fill these holes," Misso said, calling that an "underrated element to competing with Amazon."

Also: How Nordstrom is changing the department store game (

"This enables both Google and Wal-Mart to have access to resources that neither had access to standing on their own," he said of the partnership.

Google also has partnerships with other companies including Home Depot Inc. (HD) and Panera Bread Co., which announced Wednesday that members in St. Louis and Silicon Valley can order and pay using Google Assistant.

Wal-Mart shares are up 14.2% for the year so far, while Amazon shares are up 32.4% for the period and Alphabet Inc. shares are up 25.3%. The S&P 500 index has gained 13.7% for 2017 so far and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 15.2%.

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From: FUBHO10/9/2017 6:00:59 PM
2 Recommendations   of 15042
Google Loon gets OK to help in Puerto Rico
by Monica Alleven Oct 8, 2017 6:47pm
Google's Project Loon will get a chance to show how its network of balloons can provide connectivity to the people of Puerto Rico.

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From: Savant10/11/2017 5:39:28 PM
2 Recommendations   of 15042
Credit Suisse analyst says advertisers are back on the platform, raises price target on Alphabet stock to Street-high $1,350

After making headlines by boycotting YouTube advertising purchases, most of the companies that led the charge have resumed spending on the video platform operated by Alphabet Inc., according to a Credit Suisse analyst.

After initial reports that the boycott could have cost the tech titan as much as $1 billion (, the 250-plus companies that suspended contracts with the company have not appeared to have an effect on Alphabet's (GOOGL) (GOOGL) top line. Alphabet apologized for serving ads on pages with extremist content (, but advertisers themselves--or the agencies hired to perform media buys and other tasks--have had tools to filter where YouTube displayed ads, analyst Stephen Ju wrote in a note to clients Wednesday.

"Filters to screen unwanted content have always been available for ad agencies to implement on behalf of their clients," Ju wrote, later adding, "At any rate, we believe nearly all of the advertisers who have publicly announced that they are halting spend are back on YouTube."

Reports from early August ( also suggested that advertisers had begun to return to the platform.

Read:Google survives YouTube ad controversy, for now (

Alphabet declined to comment on the boycott's impact on sales or how many customers have returned to advertising on YouTube. In an emailed statement YouTube reiterated that it was working on handling extremist content on the site, following an August 1 announcement ( of some of the changes.

"We appreciate the trust brands put in us everyday, and know that it's critical we continue to earn that trust by ensuring our systems are working well," a spokeswoman wrote in an email. "With tighter advertising policies and added controls in place to give brands more choice over where their ads appear, we're committed to working with both advertisers and creators to get things right."

With 1.5 billion monthly viewers, YouTube has been responsible for driving a significant amount of ad sales growth ( for Google, but despite new Securities and Exchange Commission revenue recognition rules (, it does not break out the unit's results in quarterly financial statements. In the second-quarter earnings call, executives discussed YouTube nearly as extensively as its search products, according to a rough transcript.

Read:Alphabet earnings keep Google investors in dark (

"The biggest contributors to growth again this quarter were mobile search and YouTube," Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said on the earnings call.

In the Credit Suisse note, Ju wrote that he expects YouTube to become a more significant revenue contributor in the future, with the opportunity lying in emerging markets as well as targeting logged-in viewers, which can inflate the price YouTube can charge for its inventory.

Other Silicon Valley companies such as Facebook Inc. (FB) and Twitter Inc. (TWTR) have been scrutinized for displaying offensive content ( in the past and more recently for selling ads to Russian-tied accounts seeking to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

In the note Ju wrote that he expects continued strength in mobile search and traffic acquisition costs--a concern for some investors an analysts--to continue to rise through the current quarter and beyond. Ju has an outperform rating and raised his price target on Alphabet stock Wednesday from $1,100 to $1,350, the highest price target tracked by FactSet.

Alphabet's Class A shares cracked $1,000 Wednesday, closing up 1.8% at $1,005.65. Shares of Alphabet have climbed 26% this year, with the S&P 500 index rising 13.9%.

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