Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Data Ignorance is Strength!

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It is Tuesday. The rest of the country (world?) is talking about the pending public hearings on the impeachment inquiry.

But I’m going to talk about data and algos.

First, Google. It was reported yesterday by the WSJ that the company is engaged with Ascension on a project to collect and crunch the detailed personal-health information of millions of people across 21 states.

Data like lab results, doctor diagnoses, hospitalization records, and personal data including health histories, patient names, and dates of birth. 

Calling Dr. Google, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard!

Microsoft, meanwhile, indicated in a blog post that it would honor Calilfornia’s digital privacy law throughout the entire U.S., an attempt to elude a patchwork of state data privacy laws and a call for federal privacy legislation.

And then there’s the new Apple Card algorithm which is being probed by the New York Department of Financial Services for alleged algorithmic gender discrimination.

There have apparently been several instances where Apple and banker Goldman Sachs Group are giving husbands credit limits of up to 20 times to that of their wives.

Including, with much irony, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

“So 1984 won’t be like…1984.”

 

Written by turbotodd

November 12, 2019 at 4:32 am

Posted in 2019, google

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Thank You for Your Service

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I was locked up in a courtroom in downtown Austin all last week, doing my civic duty (serving on a nasty child custody battle trial).

Man oh man am I glad to be back at work. What’d I miss?

The headlines this AM have a sneak that Apple is aiming to release an AR headset in 2022. 

Uh, three years from now? By then my augmented reality may have been completely re-augmented!

Twitter has drafted a new “deep fake” policy and opened it up for public input before it goes live. The gist: When the company sees synthetic or manipulated media that’s intentionally trying to mislead or confuse people it will place notices next to the content and/or warn people before they share such material.

Singles Day in China showed quite the bustling economy, with Alibaba alone reporting $38.4B in sales in 24 hours. Yes, you read that correctly.

Dealmaking: Enterprise info mgmt firm OpenText is acquiring cloud data backup protection firm Carbonite for $1.42B.

And Sweden-based e-bike and e-scooter-sharing startup raised an $85M Series B. The company has 4M registered users and has powered 14M rides across 38 European cities.

Thank you to all the veterans out there (including those from my own family) for your service to our country.

Written by turbotodd

November 11, 2019 at 12:07 pm

A New Mobile Office

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Happy Monday.

Apple has started the week communicating a $2.5B plan to help California’s housing crisis. This on on the heels of similar $1B infusions from Facebook and Google in recent months.

The Apple fund will include a $1B affordable housing investment fund, and a $1B first-time homebuyer mortgage assistance fund.

Up in Redmond, Microsoft has unveiled a new office app for iOS and Android, one which sees Word, Excel, and PowerPoint combined into a single download. The new version features a prominent actions section that makes key features more easily accessible (like transferring files from your smartphone to your desktop).

Monday Fund-day: South Korea’s CODE42 has raised $25M in a pre-Series A funding round led by Kia Motors. CODE42 is an autonomous transportation startup and will use the funding to build its Urban Mobility Operating System. 

And Casstime, a China-based automotive aftermarket search engine and procurement platform, raised an $80M Series C1. Casstime’s search platform allows users to find unique part numbers by enteringn the VIN and part name, then uses an algo to assign multiple suppliers that have fit the user’s past purchasing behavior.

Written by turbotodd

November 4, 2019 at 9:49 am

Apple Watch

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Friday’s as good a day to start getting fit as any. And that includes Google, which has acquired FitBit for $2.1B, ramping up its speed in the wearables/fitness category.

The move could certainly help amp up the Fitbit line of tracking devices in the near term, but could also help accelerate Google’s own efforts for its Wear OS smartwatch software.

Apple TV+ launched late yesterday, and includes nine original titles in 100+ countries. The price is $4.99/month, or $49.99/year (and one year free trial with the purchase of any new Apple device).

Apple is experimenting with the release model of its new content. It released all 10 episodes for its period drama “Dickinson,” but for other shows like “For All Mankind” and “The Morning Show,” it released the first three episodes, followed by weekly releases.

In other words, half Netflix, half HBO. Maybe they’ll find their way to, “I binge, therefore I am.”

Hidden in the airwaves, China’s three state-backed wireless carriers started launching 5G service in select cities today. And there are roughly 13,000 base stations that have been installed in Beijing that enable 5G, of which 10,000 are already operating.

U.S. telcos, did you hear that pin drop?

Written by turbotodd

November 1, 2019 at 5:35 am

Posted in 2019, 5G, apple watch

Tagged with , , ,

The Politics of Advertising

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Good morning. And congrats to the Washington Nationals on the District’s first World Series victory in 95 years. What a series.

And on the subject of D.C., Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced yesterday that the company would stop accepting all political and issue ads on its platform globally starting November 22.

Dorsey stated in a Tweet that “we believe political message reach should be earned, not bought,” and that “this isn’t about free expression. This is about paying for reach.”

No word yet on whether or not Mark Zuckerberg provided a RT.

Apple earnings were out late yesterday, reporting Q4 revenue of $64B (up 2% YoY), with growth fueled by services, wearable and iPad.

Samsung, OTOH, saw its operating profit drop 56% to $6.6B on revenue of $53B, but still beat estimates.

Facebook’s Q3 saw revenue of $17.7B, up 29 YoY, and its daily active users rose 9% YoY. Political ads or not, Facebook is still printing lots of Benjamins.

Funding Rounds: U.K.. commission-free stock investing firm Freetrade raised $15M in a Series A…IoT back-end platform Particle raised a $40M Series C led by Qualcomm…Crunchbase raised a $30M Series C to help folks find “signals in the data” (meaning, they intend to become a dealmaker info resource).

Written by turbotodd

October 31, 2019 at 9:32 am

Streaming to the Max

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Details are emerging on HBO Max, HBO’s new live streaming service.

It’s $15/month (U.S.), which is what existing HBO costs…but AT&T is planning to bundle free subscriptions for some customers of its other services.

Compare that to Apple’s $5/month and Disney’s $7/month (Netflix comes in between $9 and $16/month, depending on what flavor you get).

On the subject of money, Sony announced a Q2 operating profit of $2.56B, jumping 16% on its 102.8M total unit sales of the PlayStation 4 (now larger than the original PlayStation).

Funding Rounds: Duality, which makes privacy-preserving data analysis tools w/ homomorphic encryption, raised $16M in a Series A led by Intel Capital. And Quill raised a $2M seed and $12.5M Series A for its messaging product and Slack competitor.

At today’s TensorFlow World conference in Santa Cruz, Google launched TensorFlow Enterprise, an “optimized” version of its open source machine learning framework for large businesses.

Tonight: It’s the Houston Astros vs. the Washington Nationals in a winner-take-all game 7. On the mound, Zack Greinke for Houston & Max Scherzer for Washington. It’s hard to believe it came down to a game 7, but that’s late October for ya!

Play ball!

Written by turbotodd

October 30, 2019 at 2:29 pm

Tiger’s Roar

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I’m back! I had to take a little time off to chase a little white ball and disconnect from these amped up Interwebs for a bit. 

So what caught my eye on the return trip to the office? First, Apple’s new fancy AirPods that have active noise cancellation and are water resistance, and cost $249.

You won’t catch me dissin’ AirPods, or their price. My NPS for these things would be off the charts, and I highly recommend them to anyone who asks. So, yeah, I’d give the Pro versions a spin if I lost one of my 1st gens (which was a fear that, knock on wood, has so far never come true).

Next: Microsoft winning the JEDI cloud contract with Uncle Sam. Be interesting to read former SecDef Jim Mattis’ book which claims that Trump directed him to “screw Amazon” out of winning the contract. No Amazon Drone deliveries at the White House anytime soon!

But Amazon IS upping their grocery game, making grocery deliveries free in ~2,000 cities for all Prime members and removing the $14.99/month Amazon Fresh fee.

And speaking of golf, Tiger Woods tied Sam Snead’s record with 82 PGA Tour victories, this at last week’s Zozo Championship in Japan. Congrats, can’t wait to see you win # 83!

Written by turbotodd

October 29, 2019 at 12:56 pm

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