TEH 012: Google, Elon Musk, Google, and Elon Musk

In This Episode: We chat about changes in Google’s Chrome browser that users like, changes in Google Image Search that users hate, and Hyperloop and SpaceX and Starlink (oh my!) Plus: will postcards save Democracy from the Russians?

This Week’s Hosts

Show Notes

  • Gary notes the latest version of Google’s Chrome browser blocks “the worst” sorts of ads (Ars Technica), but some worry about the increased “power” it gives to the search/ad giant (CNBC).
  • Randy notes Google also changed the way Google Image Search works, removing the “search by image” feature to satisfy complaints from Getty Images, “and the Internet isn’t having it” says Time magazine. But there are ways around it, such as grabbing the image and uploading it again to Image Search, or a new Chrome extension …which is in Google’s Chrome store. It all seems to stem from a Google agreement with Getty Images to make it more clear that images can be, and often are, copyrighted (The Verge).
  • Randy also likes the new site that allows you to see exactly where the space Tesla Roadster is right now, and how fast it’s going: WhereIsRoadster.com.
  • Gary is fascinated by Elon Musk’s Hyperloops idea — they got a “preliminary permit” to start digging a tunnel between Washington DC and New York City, says TechCrunch.
  • Facebook will try a (meaningless?) solution to political ad fakery by sending postcards to political advertisers to confirm they’re in the U.S. (as if the Russian Embassy doesn’t know they can get a PO Box?!) (TechCrunch)
  • (We also went on a side jaunt to Google making not advertisers, but sites with Google’s ads, to verify their addresses. So maybe some kind of weird mistake? Details at Search Engine Roundtable.)
  • Randy is enthusiastic about SpaceX’s new “Starlink” broadband Internet by satellite concept: they’re planning to launch a couple of the satellites from California on Wednesday to test them. Microsat 2a and 2b will hitchhike to orbet with Spain’s Paz satellite, since that is going into a polar orbit, which is what the Starlink satellites will need. Randy didn’t have the date quite right, though: SpaceX expects it to be up and running by the “mid-2020s”, says Cnet.
  • SpaceX isn’t the only player in this market: both OneWeb and Facebook want to get in on this idea, says Wired.
  • And Gary talked about Apple’s HomePod speaker: it’s really for people who are “all-in” to the Apple environment.

2 thoughts on “TEH 012: Google, Elon Musk, Google, and Elon Musk

  1. https://www.boringcompany.com — One of Elon Musk’s companies; they also make flamethrowers.

    I don’t know if you take suggestions but I would be interested to hear if you all think that Google (Alphabet Inc.) is overextended. I tried using the Google assistant on my android phone to see if I wanted to invest in something like the dot or alexa. It worked at first and then just started taking me to websites which did answer my questions but was not how it was supposed to work. I went to look for a fix and so many people have the same problem. Perhaps the android OS deployed over so many different phones with many different carriers is too much to handle effectively particularly if a company is into so many other unrelated areas.

    Great podcast as usual.

    • Thanks for your comments, Judy. Boring’s flamethrowers (“But not really, U.S. Customs inspectors!”) are a cute gimmick to raise a little cash — and a lot of publicity.

      I don’t know if we take suggestions either, but I’ll pass that along to the other hosts to see if they want to talk about it.

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