July 27, 2022

Each year, media companies spend tens of billions of dollars for the rights to broadcast sporting events from professional leagues like the NBA, NFL, and Major League Baseball. In fact, by 2024 Disney, Comcast, Paramount, and Fox are expected to spend a combined total of $24.2 billion on broadcast rights for sports, almost double what they paid ten years ago. That is, unless tech conglomerates like Apple and Google splash even more cash in an effort to expand into this Continue reading

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October 26, 2021

In April, the tech giant Apple made a change to its privacy policy that prohibits advertisers from tracking users without their consent. Analysts predicted that this decision would lead to major changes in the $100 billion mobile ad market led by social networks like Facebook and Snapchat. These fears were confirmed for the latter last week when Snapchat announced that the policy prevented it from measuring the reach of its mobile ads, sending its stock price tumbling by 25 percent. Continue reading

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March 4, 2021

In recent years, tech giants like Google have faced increasing scrutiny from international legislators and privacy advocates for tracking users across the Internet. Companies take this information and use it to personalize advertising based on someone’s previous browser history. Faced with building opposition to these potentially invasive practices, Google announced this week that it would stop using and investing in tracking technologies. 

“If digital advertising doesn’t evolve to address the growing concerns people have about their privacy and how Continue reading

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October 20, 2020

Since its founding in 1998, Google has grown into one of the largest companies in history. Last year it earned more than $34 billion from search revenue, an enormous amount that analysts predict will grow to $42.5 billion by 2022. Google’s parent company Alphabet is valued at more than $1 trillion and holds $120 billion in cash reserves. The company’s name has even become synonymous with search as millions of people around the world “google” all sorts of information every Continue reading

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February 7, 2020

Targeted advertising has become the economic engine of the Internet for big companies like Facebook and Google that collect all sorts of data about their users. This video details how tech giants track people online in order to gather information for advertisers, a widespread practice that is nevertheless hugely controversial. 

Questions:

  1. How has the use of cookies changed from the early days of the Internet to today?
  2. Do you think legislators should regulate how companies track people online for Continue reading
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January 9, 2020

In recent years, many Silicon Valley tech firms have pledged to make sustainability a top priority. But as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft develop environmentally friendly operations, oil companies are also using their technology to extract more petrochemicals from the earth. The video below takes an in-depth look at the history of oil extraction and how modern tech companies are risking their reputations by getting involved with the fossil fuel industry. 

Questions:

  1. How does machine learning help tech companies become Continue reading
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November 15, 2019

This week, Google announced that it’s launching a banking service next year that will offer “smart checking” accounts to mobile-focused customers. Known as Cache, the program is the result of a collaboration between the search giant and two banks: Citigroup and Stanford Credit Union. Although details of the partnership remain limited at this time, Google eventually wants Cache to become an extension of its Google Pay app. The company also claims that customers will “benefit from useful insights and budgeting Continue reading

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September 12, 2019

On Monday, attorneys general for 50 U.S. states and territories announced that Google would face a broad and bipartisan antitrust investigation. Lawmakers said the search giant’s domination of “all aspects of advertising on the Internet and searching on the Internet” could be harmful to consumers as well as the web at large. Google currently captures 75 percent of all spending on search ads in the U.S., leading to more than $48 billion in revenue from ads alone.

According to lawmakers, Continue reading

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July 25, 2019

Since 2009 the website Genius has provided music lovers with a reliable source for lyrics to countless songs. A few years ago, though, the company noticed that someone else was exploring the site along with its usual batch of curious fans. The situation started when Genius published the lyrics to the hit song “Panda” by Desiigner with help from the artist himself. Since the company received assistance directly from the source, their lyrics served as the only accurate transcription of Continue reading

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November 13, 2018

A couple of weeks ago, more than 20,000 Google employees staged a walkout to protest the search giant’s handling of sexual harassment claims. Along with demands to improve the process for reporting harassment, the protesters also called for Google to end forced employee arbitration. This controversial tactic requires staffers to settle any legal disputes out of court, usually through an independent arbitrator rather than a judge and jury.

Critics of the policy say that this system protects serial harassers by Continue reading

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