…we live in a world where most restaurants and shops can only really be dealt with by phone – which is very convenient and nice, but (to varying degrees) it doesn’t work for deaf people, introverts, anyone with a speech impediment or social anxiety, or people from Glasgow. Those people have every right to a nice dinner and this makes it possible – or at least much easier.
Lots of people think Google’s new AI-powered phone calls are creepy. I don’t quite follow this. Big companies have been making normal people speak to robots for decades. This isn’t a new concept. The difference is that this gives ordinary people the opportunity to do to big companies what big companies have been doing to them all along.
I have been following the controversy around AMP fairly closely. A lot of people whose opinions I respect are against AMP generally, although I still cautiously think AMP is generally a good thing. At least, it is in my view clearly better than Facebook Instant Articles.
So if AMP is Google’s response to Facebook, I am in favour of it. Facebook’s interest is clearly to keep people in the Facebook ecosystem. AMP may give Google some a bit of control over content, but it still keeps it fundamentally of the web. At least you don’t have to use Google to use AMP.
However, AMP for Email seems far more obviously bad. Not least because, as this article points out, it appears to be a solution looking for a problem.
There may be cause to be wary of Google’s intentions after all.
With the media still consumed with scrutinising Facebook, Thomas Baekdal once again points out that it is the media who appear to be less prepared to deal with privacy trends and comply with new regulations like GDPR.
It’s interesting that Thomas Baekdal has emphasised that this is not only important for compliance. But because it is becoming a fundamental expectation.
He notes the clear changes that Google and Facebook have made in reaction to GDPR. In contrast to publishers.
I have yet to see any publisher who is actually changing what they are doing. Every single media site that I visit is still loading tons of 3rd party trackers. They are still not asking people for consent, in fact most seem to think they already have people’s consent…
I am no fan of Facebook. But I am less than impressed with the media’s coverage of Facebook as well.
The story of how one character — the underscore (_) — provided an early glimpse of the problems we now face with dominant tech firms exerting their power over the web.
We found ourselves resistant to what felt like a coercive effect of Google’s rising domination, especially since Google’s own Blogger platform was a competitor of ours. Our expression of that frustration was expressed by a debate over a single character: We were using _ because we thought it looked nicer, so why should we change to – just because Google liked it better? Weren’t they supposed to adapt to what we published on the web?
If you ever have to say you’re simple, you’re not. Because if you were truly simple then you wouldn’t have to waste time telling people you are. You’d just be simple. Only those with complexity syndrome feel the need to explain that they are simple. The more you have to write about how to use your product or service, the more you have failed as a designer.
Anyone who reads this blog will know by now that I am no fan of Facebook. But I will defend them on this. The newspaper industry's attempt to pin the blame of their woes on Facebook is wrong.
An interesting piece on the conflict of interest surrounding Google’s move to block the worst ads in Google Chrome.
I might have more sympathy for the publishers if they hadn’t systematically destroyed their own websites with terrible ads, reducing the trust of their readers, and giving the web a bad reputation as a result.
This is interesting. It appears as though Google is losing older documents (such as 10-year-old blog posts) from its index.
I’m in two minds about this.
On the one hand, Google has long been something other than a mere web search engine, and rightly so. They want to get you relevant answers to your query. And old blog posts will rarely be the answers to many people’s queries.
But on the other hand, someone ought to be indexing the web. And if Google can’t (or don’t want to), who can?
My mental model of the Web is as a permanent, long-lived store of humanity’s intellectual heritage. For this to be useful, it needs to be indexed, just like a library. Google apparently doesn’t share that view.
Google Maps’s moat A brilliant analysis of recent improvements to Google Maps, and why Google is so far ahead of Apple. Just two years after it started adding them, Google already had the majority of buildings in the US. And now after five years, it has my rural hometown — an area it still hasn’t…
The media perspective on burger emoji: An unexpected analysis The burger emoji: A first-hand analysis of the media coverage Media analyst Thomas Baekdal unexpectedly went viral last month when he tweeted about the inconsistencies between the burger emojis for Apple and Google. He has published two articles about it. The first examines why his tweet…
The web began dying in 2014, here's how - André Staltz Highly interesting article about how the dominance of Facebook, Google and Amazon is beginning to damage the web. Facebook and Google are silently conspiring to specialise in social and knowledge respectively, further increasing their dominance. Meanwhile, the weakening of net neutrality threatens to move…
When a former Google engineer's ill-informed anti-diversity essay became news during the summer, it shone a light on problems with the the tech industry's makeup. The diversity issue is the tip of the iceberg. A host of cultural problems face the tech scene.
Google's Top Stories algorithm is failing to detect authoritative sources - One Man & His Blog The Las Vegas shootings highlighted a nasty flaw in Google's Top Stories algorithm. It's one that could be exploited.
The web is facing many challenges from new technologies, threatening the open culture that made it such a success. We need to fight for its survival.
Google wanted to fix mobile interfaces for people with motor impairments. But this new technology will benefit us all.
Online security has always been important. But a number of recent stories have shown why it is becoming even more important all the time.
You've probably been using some emojis wrongly without realising it.
The web is in a bad state of health right now. Web publishers and developers can blame themselves.
A couple of separate stories about Google today remind us that simpler is often better.
Inbox is Google's latest attempt to rethink email. But why make the world's most popular communication platform more complicated?
The world's biggest website has made a major usability decision. As part of a series of tweaks, the hyperlinks on Google's search engine result pages are no longer underlined. So is it time for us all to ditch the underline?
With me thinking about taking up photography more seriously as a hobby, I have found another great reason to use Google+ -- its awesome photo editing features.
I recently decided to switch my main Google account. But how can you do that when your old account contains all of your data? I found out that the process is not entirely straightforward. But with some care and a few sacrifices it is possible.