YouTube Shorts Testing In-App Shopping, Affiliate Marketing

Google is stepping up in-app shopping, adding it to YouTube Shorts. “Doom scrolling is about to become doom shopping,” heralds the official blog of Nasdaq, where Google parent Alphabet trades. Now those parsing the YouTube feed of videos 60-seconds or less will have the option to purchase items instantly rather than through redirection to a third-party site. The move comes as Google and others saw digital ad revenue contract this year as a result of economic headwinds and increased competition — notably from TikTok, which is tracking to double its advertising income in 2022. Continue reading YouTube Shorts Testing In-App Shopping, Affiliate Marketing

After Doubling Ad Revenue, TikTok Turns to In-App Shopping

TikTok is closing in on its downward revised 2022 ad revenue target of $10 billion, according to research firm Insider Intelligence. The ByteDance company had initially projected $12 billion but adjusted the forecast due to a digital advertising downturn that’s affected everyone from Alphabet to Meta Platforms. Despite the hedge, TikTok’s ad haul this year will nearly double that of 2021, and is expected to surpass the performance of Twitter and Snap. However, it still trails advertising on Meta’s Facebook and Instagram, which generated more than $84 billion in the first nine months of 2022 (essentially flat). Continue reading After Doubling Ad Revenue, TikTok Turns to In-App Shopping

IBM’s New Osprey Processor Advances Quantum Computing

IBM has achieved a new milestone in chips developed for quantum computing with the newly debuted 433-qubit Osprey chip. That’s more than three times the qubits of the 127-qubit Eagle chip IBM introduced last year. The company has its sights set on a more than 4,000-qubit system that it plans to unveil in 2025. Quantum computers solve problems faster and more accurately than classical computers and can find exact solutions to problems that today’s top computers can only guess at, known as the “quantum advantage.” Eventually, quantum computers are expected to contain millions of qubits. Continue reading IBM’s New Osprey Processor Advances Quantum Computing

Google Shows Off Impressive Range of AI at NY Media Event

Google Research is touting new advances in artificial intelligence, which can now generate its own code and write fiction, in addition to better text-to-video and language translation. At a New York media event at Google’s Pier 57 office — which opened earlier this year to become the company’s third Manhattan outpost — roughly a dozen projects in various stages of development were on display, with robot learning, LaMDA (language model for dialogue applications) and text-generated 3D images sharing the spotlight with practical AI for things like disaster management, weather forecasts and healthcare. Continue reading Google Shows Off Impressive Range of AI at NY Media Event

YouTube Launches a Streaming Hub for Subscription Services

In Google’s ongoing bid to become a one-stop destination for video entertainment, the company’s YouTube has launched a U.S. streaming marketplace called Primetime Channels that debuts with 34 services, including Paramount+, Showtime, AMC+ and Starz. The company jumps in the ring with Amazon, Apple and Roku, all of which offer streaming subscriptions directly through their platforms, although none has managed to secure every major on-demand outlet. YouTube, the leader in free video streaming says it has integrated Primetime Channels among user-uploaded content, making it easy for viewers to hop from free trailers to subscription purchases. Continue reading YouTube Launches a Streaming Hub for Subscription Services

With Revenue Down 20 Percent, Intel Plans to Reduce Costs

A sharp decline in demand for PCs is prompting Intel to reevaluate its expenditures, with reduced factory hours and staff reductions among the options under consideration. Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger also says the company is considering divestitures as it seeks to cope with a 20 percent drop in Q3 revenue, to $15.3 billion, and full-year outlook downsized by $1 billion. Intel has been undergoing a reinvention of sorts as it steps into the role of foundry. Increased capex for new plant construction means surgical precision is needed to achieve a goal of $3 billion in 2023 cost cuts. Continue reading With Revenue Down 20 Percent, Intel Plans to Reduce Costs

Google Debuts Three Cloud-Gaming Optimized Chromebooks

Google is releasing what it says are “the world’s first laptops built for cloud gaming.” The Alphabet company is partnering with Acer, Asus and Lenovo to release three models featuring minimum 120Hz refresh rates and Wi-Fi 6 or 6E capability, among other features that make them a good fit for cloud-based interactivity. The company is also bundling free three-month trials to Nvidia’s GeForce NOW, Amazon Luna and Microsoft Xbox Cloud Gaming with the Chromebooks, and game-ready accessories certified as “Works with Chromebook” are being sold by Acer, Corsair, HyperX, Lenovo and SteelSeries. Continue reading Google Debuts Three Cloud-Gaming Optimized Chromebooks

Google Search Reinvention Focuses on Visuals and Discovery

Google is the latest tech giant to be swayed by the influence of TikTok and Instagram as it reimagines a more visual, discovery-centric type of search. That was major media’s takeaway from the third annual Google Search On event, which continued the trend of trying to find more intuitive ways to search, namely visually and vocally, by snapping a photo or asking your phone a question. Thanks to advances in artificial intelligence, the Alphabet company says it is “going far beyond the search box to create search experiences that work more like our minds.” Continue reading Google Search Reinvention Focuses on Visuals and Discovery

Google, Meta Among Big Tech Firms Cutting Costs and Staff

Meta Platforms is planning staff reductions as part of a 10 percent cost reduction goal, reports say. Stalled growth and increased competition are among the reasons cited by 20 additional tech firms who have since the summer been contracting their workforce. In the case of Meta, it appears to also be a matter of reallocating funds so as not to drastically scale back its metaverse ambitions. Departments there are being reorganized and affected workers are being encouraged to apply for other jobs within the company. Word is Alphabet’s Google is also seeking to fill vacancies by reassigning existing staff. Continue reading Google, Meta Among Big Tech Firms Cutting Costs and Staff

Aalyria: Google Spinout Plans to Deliver High-Speed Internet

Google’s Project Loon, a plan to use balloons to beam broadband Internet to unserved areas, was shut down in 2021 after eight years, but Loon’s core technologies have propelled a spinout, Aalyria, which is developing advanced networking and laser communications that far exceed anything available today, extending connectivity where there is no infrastructure “at an exponentially greater scale and speed,” according to the company. Aalyria’s first commercial client is the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), a division of the U.S. Department of Defense that awarded an $8 million contract to develop high-speed Internet in space. Continue reading Aalyria: Google Spinout Plans to Deliver High-Speed Internet

Big Tech Lobbying and Midterms Could Impact Antitrust Bill

This past year, Big Tech has invested more than $95 million in lobbying initiatives designed to kill the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, which seeks to rebalance the power between consumers and major technology companies such as Amazon, Alphabet, Apple and Meta Platforms. In two years, the bill has advanced further than any similar U.S. legislative effort, but time is running out before midterm elections and the unknown of a potential shift in control of the House and/or Senate. Supporters of the measure say they currently have the votes needed for passage. Continue reading Big Tech Lobbying and Midterms Could Impact Antitrust Bill

Google Debuts AI Test Kitchen, LaMDA Language Generator

Google has launched an AI Test Kitchen and is inviting users to sign up to test experimental AI-powered systems and provide feedback before the applications are deployed for commercial use. First up is the Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA), which has shown promising early results. The AI Test Kitchen has begun a gradual rollout to small groups of U.S. on Android with plans to include iOS in the coming weeks. According to Google, “as we move ahead with development, we feel a great responsibility to get this right.”  Continue reading Google Debuts AI Test Kitchen, LaMDA Language Generator

YouTube Shorts Will Be Available on Living Room TV Screens

YouTube is laying the groundwork to bring its YouTube Shorts to Google TV and Android TV. While the company’s take on TikTok’s vertically framed, quick-hit content has been enormously successful — racking-up as many as 30 billion views in one day on mobile devices this year — there is as yet no dedicated TV support for the phone-first format. That’s about to change according to reports filtering out of an internal partner event. While the meeting centered on Alphabet’s own smart TV formats, as a content-provider YouTube’s past practices have tended to platform agnosticism. Continue reading YouTube Shorts Will Be Available on Living Room TV Screens

Researcher Says TikTok Can Track User Data via Keystrokes

Popular short-form video platform TikTok is garnering more unwanted attention, this time for tracking users’ keystrokes via a the ByteDance-owned video app’s browser. The feature was discovered by privacy researcher Felix Krause, a former Google engineer, who reported the Chinese company embeds the tracking capability within the in-app browser that opens when someone clicks an external link. Krause noted his research is limited to the Apple iOS platform. Krause did not speculate as to how TikTok is using the capability, but suggests he finds it troubling because it indicates TikTok is able to track users’ online activity if it so chooses. Continue reading Researcher Says TikTok Can Track User Data via Keystrokes

Technology Firms Offer Users More Control Over Advertising

Tech companies are giving consumers more control over the type of advertising they see online, a feature that customers frequently request. Meta Platforms, Mozilla, Google and the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) have been actively exploring ad-blocking options. Now ByteDance’s TikTok and others are joining in. While the increased control may make some consumers happy, the effect it will have on Big Tech’s already ailing ad sector is as yet undetermined. While the various techniques let consumers limit exposure to ads, proponents argue the ultimate effect will be positive, ensuring ads are served to an interested audience. Continue reading Technology Firms Offer Users More Control Over Advertising