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Google’s 20th Birthday

Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry PageGoogle founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page (Image: EPA)

 

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Google is 20 years old (Image: GETTY)

Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin first met when Page, 22, visited Stanford University, 30 miles south of San Francisco, as a prospective attendee and PhD student Brin, 21, was assigned to show

Their site was going to be called “Googol” – the name of the number consisting of a 1 followed by 100 zeros. This term was picked to signify the search engine’s mission to organize a seemingly infinite amount of information on the web. But a misspelling resulted in Google and it stuck.

Google’s Page Rank algorithm is named after Larry Page but the search engine was devised on Stanford equipment the university owned the patent for it. Google was granted exclusive use of the technology in return for 1.8 million shares. These were sold in 2005 for $336million.

Page and Brin were forced to file for incorporation of Google as a company on September 4, 1998, after Sun Micro systems co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim wrote them a check for $100,000 made out to Google Inc rather than them personally. Other angel investors included Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, now the richest man in the world, who put in $250,000. But since 2006 Google has chosen September 27 as its official birthday and has marked the occasion with an annual celebratory Google doodle.

The founders’ first workplace was the apartment and garage of a friend called Susan Wojcicki in the Californian town of Menlo Park. Wojcicki went on to become Google employee number 16 and is now CEO of YouTube. Brin married Susan Wojcicki’s sister Anne in 2007 and they went on to have a son and a daughter before separating in 2013 after Sergey got romantically involved with the English marketing director of Google Glass Amanda Rosenberg. Meanwhile Larry is still married to research scientist Lucinda Southworth, with whom he has two children. They live in Palo Alto and own a $45million superyacht called Senses

Page and Brin didn’t really want to run their own business and so tried to sell it in the early days for $1million – but arch rivals Yahoo, Altavista and Excite all turned them down. By the time Yahoo was offered the company again in 2002 the price had gone up to $5 billion and its counter-bid of $3billion was rejected. Today the company is worth about $800 billion.

On April 1, 2000, Google joined in the Silicon Valley tradition of dreaming up April Fool stunts by announcing the MentalPlex – its ability to read users’ minds as they visualized the search results they wanted. Later April Fools included the revelation that pigeon-power delivered its search results, the launch of the Googlunaplex – a research facility on the Moon – and a Gmail Paper service, which would print “a physical copy of any message with the click of a button” that would then be sent on via snail mail.

The company went public in 2004 with its shares trading at an opening price of $85, a rate that valued the company at $27 billion, almost as much as General Motors. About 900 of its employees became millionaires overnight.

 

GDPR

Facebook and Google have been hit with a raft of lawsuits accusing the companies of coercing users into sharing personal data on the first day of Facebook and Google have been hit with a raft of lawsuits accusing the companies of coercing users into sharing personal data on the first day of GDPR enforcement. The lawsuits, are seeking fines against Facebook 3.9 billion and Google 3.7 billion euro (roughly $8.8 billion in dollars),  filed by Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems, a longtime critic of the companies’ data collection practices.

GDPR requires clear consent and justification for any personal data collected from users, and these guidelines have pushed companies across the internet to revise their privacy policies and collection practices. But there is still widespread uncertainty over how European regulators will treat the requirements, and many companies are still unprepared for enforcement. Both Google and Facebook have rolled out new policies and products to comply with GDPR.

Google Planning Self destructing eMail On Gmail

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The new Gmail design is reportedly due to launch at the I/O conference in May 2018. One of the new and much-talked features is the Confidential Mode that is reportedly debuting with the new Gmail. The Confidential Mode will offer functionalities that will disallow the recipient from performing the restricted actions on the email.

 The new feature called Confidential Mode for the Gmail that would let the email sender choose if the recipient can forward the email, copy or paste the email contents, download or print the email, or even flag the email with self-destruct option. While the recipient will lose his control on what he or she can do with the email sent in the Confidential Mode, the self-destruct feature will remove the email discreetly from the recipient’s Inbox.

Screenshots show that a sender can schedule an email to self-destruct for a particular time and date, after which the email would either be unreadable or vanish completely. In order to activate the Confidential Mode, the sender needs to tap on the lock icon in the Compose email pop-up box. In addition to scheduling the email for self-destructing, you can even assign a password to the email, so that the recipient, on getting the email, is required to enter the password to open it. As the name suggests, this email feature is for confidential emails that want the negligible attention of others.

Google Plans To expan It’s Workforce In Chicago

 

Google plans to expand its workforce in Chicago, as part of the company’s plan to add thousands of U.S. employees this year.

But it’s unclear exactly how many of those new jobs will be in Chicago. The company plans to invest in new or expanded offices in nine states, including Illinois. There will be jobs for thousands of people in a variety of roles — engineering, operations, sales and more. Mountain View, Calif.-based Google currently has more than 800 workers, mostly in sales, at its Midwest headquarters in Chicago’s Fulton Market district. The office is in 1KFulton, a 10-story former cold storage building at 1000 W. Fulton Market that Chicago developer Sterling Bay redeveloped into loft offices. 

Google Adding Resturant Wait Times

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 Google will now include a pop-up box that appears when you click on a time frame in the popular times’ chart. The box will provide a live or historical data labeled as “busy,” “usually busy,” “usually not busy,” etc., along with the wait time.

Below the popular time’s chart, there’s also a section that helps users plan their visit by offering info on the peak wait times and duration. (e.g. “People typically spend 45 mins to 2 hr here.”)

The new wait time feature will be supported on nearly a million sit-down restaurant listings worldwide, initially in Google Search.

Google is at least partly challenging existing apps like NoWait, which is handy for seeing restaurant wait times.  NoWait also lets you put your name on the list for those restaurants that don’t take reservations Google’s app doesn’t.

You can view the times in the restaurant listings on both mobile and desktop. It will then come to Google Maps to Android, at which point it will expand to include grocery stores, the company says.

Google Glass Not Allowed In Movie Theaters

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The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) have combined to prohibit the usage because they are afraid of illegal recording and movie privacy, according to Variety.  Earlier this year a man was detained by the FBI while watching “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” in Columbus, Ohio. The device  is also being banned in some bars, Las Vegas (within all the city’s casinos).

Google Working On A Pill To Detect Illness

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The pill is still in the experimental stage, and packed with tiny magnetic particles, which can travel through a patient’s bloodstream, search for malignant cells and report their findings to a sensor on a wearable device.

Two thousand of these microscopic “nanoparticles” could fit inside a single red blood cell to provide doctors with better insights about what is happening inside their patients.

The project announced Tuesday is the latest effort to emerge from Google’s X lab, which has been trying to open new technological frontiers to solve nettlesome problems and improve the quality of people’s lives. Google’s other projects include,  Self-driving cars, a computer called Glass that looks like eyeglasses, Internet-beam balloons and contact lenses that can measure glucose in tears.

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