Amazon . com and Google are fighting, meaning consumers lose

How Google Home and also the Amazon . com Echo provide a new twist towards the telephone]

An announcement from Amazon . com on Tuesday did not address Google’s claims but stated the online retail giant didn’t block consumer services which Amazon . com users could still achieve the web site form of YouTube.com around the Echo Show and Fire TV. “Google is setting a disappointing precedent by selectively blocking customer use of a wide open website,” Amazon’s statement stated. “We aspire to resolve this with Google as quickly as possible.Inches

These types of conflicts could be confusing for consumers who most likely would like to watch whatever they like around the devices they have bought.

“It’s pretty childish that companies as large as Amazon . com and Google can’t exercise an offer which makes sense for each of them, therefore enhancing the industry to develop and, rather, let consumers and content proprietors suffer,” stated media analyst Dan Rayburn of Frost & Sullivan.

This is not the very first time the 2 companies have sparred over services. Google pulled YouTube in the Echo Show in September, stating that the way in which Amazon . com had implemented YouTube did not adhere to Google’s tos. YouTube came back towards the Echo Show recently, prior to being pulled again . Variety reported that Amazon’s latest implementation also had some terms-of-service issues, that have been associated with the actual way it used voice instructions.

The spat also exposes the way the interdependent condition of movies online — by which companies frequently work with their competitors hoping reaching more viewers — can hurt consumers. Also it highlights just how much control the businesses which make devices and run video services have and just how willing they’re to make use of individuals products as bargaining chips with each other.

Meanwhile, another lengthy-standing movies online tiff gets (somewhat) resolved. By Wednesday, Apple TV proprietors are finally in a position to add Amazon’s Prime Video for their devices — about six several weeks after Apple leader Tim Prepare guaranteed the service was coming. The 2 companies apparently had trouble negotiating while putting on the hats of each partner and competitors.

There’s no obligation for Amazon . com to hold products of any sort, and the organization has worked out its editorial decision over its products before. But it is definitely not helping Amazon . com or its consumers for the organization to limit its selection — particularly eliminating such popular competing products as Apple TV — without real justification.

“Consumers shouldn’t be injured in these types of business disputes. Both Amazon . com and Google have to take their customers first rather of putting them from a rock along with a hard place because of corporate warfare.” stated John Bergmayer, senior counsel in the consumer advocacy group Public Understanding.

When Amazon . com stopped selling Apple TV and Chromecast on its site 2 yrs ago, the organization gave the skinny excuse it had become “important the movies online players we sell interact well with Prime Video to prevent customer confusion.”

Amazon . com didn’t immediately respond when requested if Apple TV will go back to Amazon’s online shop since it supports Amazon . com Prime. By duration of writing, the merchandise wasn’t for auction on Amazon . com.

Russia Analysis Has Tech Giants Shying From ‘Social’ Label

Bay Area — After many years of attempting unsuccessfully to construct a social networking to rival Facebook, Google finally got something in the of their failures: cover.

People of Congress grilled the executives of Google, Twitter and facebook now inside a trio of proceedings centered on the function that social networking performed in evolving a Russian disinformation campaign prior to the 2016 election. Google’s representative at two proceedings, Kent Master, their general counsel, made an item of distinguishing looking giant from the internet brethren. Frequently and positively, he clarified questions in the proceedings by saying, “We’re not really a social networking.Inches

Tech companies took a pounding in the courtroom of public opinion in recent several weeks. Within the eyes of the critics, they’ve become too large, too effective and too unmindful of the influence. Which week’s congressional proceedings cast added and unflattering light around the industry’s growing embarrassment within the Russian election meddling.

“Without sufficient oversight, these businesses never imagined hostile intelligence services would misuse their platforms in this manner,Inches stated Renee DiResta, a completely independent security investigator at Data for Democracy. “The people running it seem to not fully appreciate what they’ve designed.”

Unsurprisingly, possibly, a couple of from the industry’s greatest companies happen to be pleased to say, essentially, don’t blame us.

Tim Prepare, Apple’s leader as well as an blunt critic from the data-collection practices of his company’s technological rivals, stated Wednesday he was concerned that social systems might be weaponized against those who rely on them.

“The bigger concern is that a few of these tools are utilized to divide people, to control people, to obtain fake news to individuals in broad figures, and thus to help their thinking,” stated Mr. Prepare within an interview with NBC News.

Frank Shaw, mind of communications at Apple’s longtime rival, Microsoft, recognized Mr. Cook’s comments inside a Twitter publish, stating that Mr. Prepare had presented the problem “perfectly.” This past year, Microsoft did purchase LinkedIn, a job-oriented social networking, for $26.2 billion, however that site seems to possess performed little role in Russia’s influence efforts.

Using the emergence of Facebook, Twitter as well as their ilk during the last decade, “social” grew to become a vital Plastic Valley buzzword as companies crammed social networking-like features into new items. Even Apple, regardless of the many vast amounts of dollars it’s earned making computers, has attempted its hands in a social networking centered on music.

But because social networking is becoming more and more linked to uncomfortable bickering, race-baiting and Russian propaganda, the must-have “social” label is becoming an albatross, stated Frederick Bayer, a helper professor at Ohio Condition College who concentrates on social systems.

“The mere proven fact that a tech clients are attempting to minimize its overall influence is really a telling signal from the moment we’re in,” stated Mr. Bayer.

Google, which operates underneath the parent company Alphabet, can provide a among its business and just how social systems operate — largely because its tries to develop a social networking haven’t been very effective.

The organization spent huge amount of money creating Google+, a social site built particularly to defend myself against Facebook. The organization tied Google+ into nearly all of its qualities, describing it as being the “social spine” of Google in public places statements at that time.

There also were short-resided efforts like Google Buzz and Google Wave, or geographically specific sites like Orkut — famous South america but overlooked elsewhere.

Google+ is constantly on the exist but it’s considered a disappointment. Google stated it’d found no political posts from condition-linked actors on the internet+.

Google has frequently attempted to fashion YouTube, its sprawling video service, into some thing just like a social networking hoping keeping visitors interested. This past year, YouTube added what it really known as its “Community” product, basically features meant to inspire users to have interaction more with each other.

Google stated accounts thought to have ties towards the Kremlin had submitted greater than 1,100 videos to YouTube on racial, religious and political topics. Individuals videos were viewed 309,000 occasions. A lot of individuals videos had only a small amount of views, though these were “frequently published with other social networking platforms,” Richard Salgado, Google’s senior counsel in police force and knowledge security, told a Senate subcommittee on Tuesday.

Facebook, to provide a comparison, believed that 150 million users of Facebook and it is subsidiary, Instagram, have been uncovered to 80,000 posts that originated from the Russian influence campaign.

Twitter stated it’d discovered greater than 2,700 accounts which were associated with Russia’s Research Agency, a business associated with the Kremlin, between September 2016 and November 2016. Individuals accounts published roughly 131,000 tweets over the period. Twitter identified yet another 36,000 automated accounts which had published 1.4 million election-related tweets associated with Russia over that very same period. The tweets received about 288 million views.

“Now you’re seeing all of the attention from Congress visit Twitter and facebook, because they’re the linchpin” from the Russian information operations, stated Ms. DiResta, the safety investigator.

In the testimony on Capitol Hill, Mr. Master, Google’s general counsel, searched for to attract a vibrant line separating his company’s services from social networking platforms like Twitter and facebook, that has been an periodic subject of Google acquisition rumors.

Also, he performed lower what Google is aware of its users, an unexpected conceit for an organization which makes more income than anybody from selling advertising in line with the online interests of users.

“We’re somewhat differently positioned because we’re not mainly a social networking,Inches Mr. Master stated as a result of an issue regarding whether Google should inform users who’re uncovered to propaganda or divisive content from the foreign government. “Many users aren’t logged in once they access content, so it’s hard to know who sees what.”

Still, social networking remains an engaging proposition for internet companies, even Google, since it keeps people returning and helps to create a spot for these to spend time, stated Jan Dawson, an analyst in the technology data firm Jackdaw Research.

Consider for example Facebook. Despite getting been assailed for days concerning the role it performed within the 2016 election, Facebook reported another blockbuster financial quarter on Wednesday, shattering analysts’ expectations using more than $4.7 billion in profit within the third quarter. Which was a 79 percent increase in the same period twelve months ago.

“If you gave Google the option of getting a social networking, despite everything that’s happened,” stated Mr. Dawson. “I think it might still enjoy having one.”

Russia Investigation Has Tech Giants Shying From ‘Social’ Label

SAN FRANCISCO — After years of trying unsuccessfully to build a social network to rival Facebook, Google finally got something out of all of its failures: cover.

Members of Congress grilled the executives of Google, Facebook and Twitter this week in a trio of hearings focused on the role that social media played in advancing a Russian disinformation campaign before the 2016 election. Google’s representative at two of the hearings, Kent Walker, the company’s general counsel, made a point of distinguishing the search giant from its internet brethren. Repeatedly and unequivocally, he answered questions at the hearings by saying, “We’re not a social network.”

Tech companies have taken a pounding in the court of public opinion in recent months. In the eyes of their critics, they have become too big, too powerful and too unmindful of their influence. And this week’s congressional hearings cast added and unflattering light on the industry’s growing embarrassment over the Russian election meddling.

“Without sufficient oversight, these companies never imagined hostile intelligence services would misuse their platforms in this way,” said Renee DiResta, an independent security researcher at Data for Democracy. “The people running it appear to not fully appreciate what they’ve designed.”

Not surprisingly, perhaps, a few of the industry’s biggest companies have been happy to say, in essence, don’t blame us.

Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive and an outspoken critic of the data-collection practices of his company’s technological rivals, said Wednesday that he was concerned that social networks could be weaponized against the people who use them.

“The bigger issue is that some of these tools are used to divide people, to manipulate people, to get fake news to people in broad numbers, and so to influence their thinking,” said Mr. Cook in an interview with NBC News.

Frank Shaw, head of communications at Apple’s longtime rival, Microsoft, praised Mr. Cook’s comments in a Twitter post, saying that Mr. Cook had framed the issue “perfectly.” Last year, Microsoft did purchase LinkedIn, a career-oriented social network, for $26.2 billion, but that site appears to have played little role in Russia’s influence efforts.

With the emergence of Facebook, Twitter and their ilk over the last decade, “social” became a key Silicon Valley buzzword as companies crammed social network-like features into new products. Even Apple, despite the tens of billions of dollars it has earned making computing devices, has tried its hand at a social network focused on music.

But as social media has become increasingly connected to unpleasant bickering, race-baiting and Russian propaganda, the must-have “social” label has become an albatross, said Joseph Bayer, an assistant professor at Ohio State University who focuses on social networks.

“The mere fact that a tech company is trying to minimize its overall influence is a telling signal of the moment we’re in,” said Mr. Bayer.

Google, which operates under the parent company Alphabet, can offer a distinction between its business and how social networks operate — largely because its attempts to build a social network have not been very successful.

The company spent millions of dollars creating Google+, a social site built specifically to take on Facebook. The company tied Google+ into nearly every one of its properties, describing it as the “social spine” of Google in public statements at the time.

There also were short-lived efforts like Google Buzz and Google Wave, or geographically specific sites like Orkut — popular in Brazil but ignored elsewhere.

Google+ continues to exist but it is considered a disappointment. Google said it had found no political posts from state-linked actors on Google+.

Google has often tried to fashion YouTube, its sprawling video service, into something more like a social network in hopes of keeping visitors interested. Last year, YouTube added what it called its “Community” product, essentially features intended to inspire users to interact more with one another.

Google said accounts believed to have ties to the Kremlin had uploaded more than 1,100 videos to YouTube on racial, religious and political topics. Those videos were viewed 309,000 times. Many of those videos had only a small number of views, though they were “frequently posted to other social media platforms,” Richard Salgado, Google’s senior counsel in law enforcement and information security, told a Senate subcommittee on Tuesday.

Facebook, to offer a comparison, estimated that 150 million users of Facebook and its subsidiary, Instagram, had been exposed to 80,000 posts that came from the Russian influence campaign.

Twitter said it had discovered more than 2,700 accounts that were linked to Russia’s Internet Research Agency, a company tied to the Kremlin, between September 2016 and November 2016. Those accounts posted roughly 131,000 tweets over that period. Twitter identified an additional 36,000 automated accounts that had posted 1.4 million election-related tweets linked to Russia over that same period. The tweets received about 288 million views.

“Now you’re seeing all the attention from Congress go to Facebook and Twitter, because they’re the linchpin” of the Russian information operations, said Ms. DiResta, the security researcher.

In his testimony on Capitol Hill, Mr. Walker, Google’s general counsel, sought to draw a bright line separating his company’s services from social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, which has been an occasional subject of Google acquisition rumors.

He also played down what Google knows about its users, a surprising conceit for a company that makes more money than anybody from selling advertising based on the online interests of users.

“We’re somewhat differently positioned because we’re not primarily a social network,” Mr. Walker said in response to a question regarding whether Google should notify users who are exposed to propaganda or divisive content from a foreign government. “Many users are not logged in when they access content, so it’s difficult to know who sees what.”

Still, social media remains a compelling proposition for internet companies, even Google, because it keeps people coming back and creates a place for them to spend their time, said Jan Dawson, an analyst at the technology data firm Jackdaw Research.

Take the example of Facebook. Despite having been assailed for weeks about the role it played in the 2016 election, Facebook reported another blockbuster financial quarter on Wednesday, shattering analysts’ expectations with more than $4.7 billion in profit in the third quarter. That was a 79 percent increase from the same period one year ago.

“If you gave Google the choice of having a social network, even with everything that’s happened,” said Mr. Dawson. “I think it would still like to have one.”