Tags Eric Schmidt

Report: the Pope and Google Boss Eric Schmidt Will Have an Unusual Meeting Friday

According to The Guardian, leader of the online advertising world and CEO of Alphabet Eric Schmidt will have a ‘brief conversation’ this Friday with Pope Francis, presumably not about moving the @pontifex Twitter account to Google+. Self-driving popemobile: more likely.

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Chris Mills

January 14th

Uncategorized

Eric Schmidt: There’s Gonna Be a Lot of Alphabet Companies

When Google announced that its new parent company was going to to be called alphabet, the world shrugged . But according to Eric Schmidt, the company could grow in size and importance, and fairly quickly.

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Jamie Condliffe

October 14th

Uncategorized

Google’s Eric Schmidt makes thinly-veiled attack on Apple Music as elitist and a decade out of date

Eric Schmidt (Reuters)

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google parent company Alphabet, has made a thinly-veiled attack on Apple Music in a BBC op-ed on artificial intelligence. He described human-curated music selections as a decade out of data and an elitist approach.

A decade ago, to launch a digital music service, you probably would have enlisted a handful of elite tastemakers to pick the hottest new music.

Today, you’re much better off building a smart system that can learn from the real world – what actual listeners are most likely to like next – and help you predict who and where the next Adele might be … 

Schmidt said that using AI to do the job was less elitist and more democratic.

Apple has of course made much of the fact that it blends both algorithms and human curation to deliver what it believes is the best of both worlds.

You can’t do everything humanly curated, and you can’t do everything with algorithms. We have what we believe is the best of both.

Schmidt’s comments are somewhat ironic given that Google’s own streaming music service, Google Play Music, added a radio station back in June, with the company highlighting human curation of the tracks.

Our team of music experts, including the folks who created Songza, crafts each station song by song so you don’t have to. If you’re looking for something specific, you can browse our curated stations by genre, mood, decade or activity, or you can search for your favorite artist, album or song to instantly create a station of similar music.

Schmidt’s comments may well be influenced by the fact that Apple recently confirmed that it is launching an Android for Apple Music “in the fall.”

Photo: Reuters

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Filed under: Apple Music Tagged: alphabet, Apple Inc, Apple Music, Artificial Intelligence, Eric Schmidt, Google, Google Play Music, Machine learning

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Ben Lovejoy

September 14th

Apple

Mac

Lawsuit against Apple, Google & others for ‘Do not hire’ agreements ends as settlement deal finalized

A class action lawsuit against Apple, Google and other tech companies for agreeing not to poach each other’s employees has finally been settled. Steve Jobs, Google’s Eric Schmidt and others had agreed in emails not to offer higher salaries to each other’s employees in order to reduce the risk of losing valuable employees. When the emails came to light, the 64,000 employees affected successfully argued that this had limited their earning potential.

After Apple’s originally settlement offers were rejected by Judge Lucy Koh as inadequate, the company increased its offer to $415M, which the judge agreed was fair. Reuters reports that Koh has now granted final approval of this sum.

Koh did, however, reject the $81M cut the lawyers in the case had demanded … 

Koh decided such an award would be an inappropriate “windfall” for the lawyers, and awarded about $40 million instead.

It’s of course not the first time that emails from Steve Jobs have gotten Apple into trouble. Such emails formed key evidence in both ebook and iPod antitrust cases.

Image: NLM Studios


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Adobe Systems, Apple Inc, Apple lawsuit, Apple lawsuits, Class action, Eric Schmidt, Google, Lawsuit, Lucy H Koh, Steve Jobs, trial

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Ben Lovejoy

September 3rd

Apple

Mac

Tim Cook only CEO taking part in today’s White House cybersecurity summit

washington-038-Edit

We learned earlier this week that Tim Cook would be speaking at a White House cybersecurity summit today, and it now appears he will be the only tech CEO to do so. USNews is reporting that CEOs of other top tech companies all declined President Obama’s invitation, sending lower-ranking execs in their place.

Unlike Apple’s Cook, other top executives at key Silicon Valley companies declined invitations to the summit. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer and Google’s Larry Page will not attend amid the ongoing concerns about government surveillance. Facebook spokesman Jay Nancarrow said Zuckerberg is unavailable to attend and that Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan will speak during a panel at the event.

It’s believed other CEOs consider refusing to take part to be the best way to express their objections to increased government surveillance of electronic communications, while Cook takes the opposite view: that it is important to speak up in defence of user privacy … 

Cook’s stance on data security mirrors the company’s approach to human rights issues in the supply chain, where Apple believes it can make the most difference by applying pressure for change rather than steering clear of problematic countries.

Cook has frequently spoken about Apple’s commitment to privacy, contrasting with ad-funded companies like Facebook and Google where “you’re not the customer, you’re the product.” Cook posted a letter to the Apple website last September, in which he stated that “security and privacy are fundamental to the design of all our hardware, software, and services.” Apple also has a dedicated privacy section on its website.

Cook has expressed a commitment to transparency in how it handles government information requests, promising an annual report on the requests received and Apple’s responses. The company last year also began notifying customers when law enforcement agencies request user data.

Apple has been criticized by the FBI for encrypting iPhone data in a way that means not even Apple can decrypt it. We have a feeling the White House may not like what Cook has to say today …


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: cybersecurity, Cybersecurity summit, Eric Schmidt, Google, Government, Larry Page, Marissa Mayer, NSA, Obama, President Obama, privacy, Security, Tim Cook, White House, Yahoo

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Ben Lovejoy

February 13th

Apple

Mac

The real questions Google Search wants to answer, but can’t yet

Eric Schmidt Google Search

For many Internet users, Google is synonymous with online search and is seen as the go-to place to get your questions answered. However, Google is still looking for new things to add to its search capabilities, as former CEO and current chairman Eric Schmidt outlined in a speech last week in Berlin where he talked about “innovation, technology, and the future of the Internet.”

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Chris Smith

October 20th

Uncategorized

Despite his industry-shaking feuds with Apple, Eric Schmidt calls Steve Jobs his hero

Eric Schmidt Steve Jobs

If it seems like just yesterday that Apple and Google were at each other's throats, that's because they were — Tim Cook and Eric Schmidt have been trading blows in recent weeks in regards to privacy and security, with each executive claiming that their company is more secure than the other. The issue remains unresolved, but Schmidt took a break from the feud on Thursday night during a promotional event for his new book, How Google Works.

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Jacob Siegal

October 3rd

Apple

Eric Schmidt swipes back at Cook, says Google is ‘far more secure’ than Apple

Eric Schmidt On Google Privacy

The seemingly ongoing battle between Google and Apple has been well-documented, but it's always at its best when the CEOs start trading blows. In an interview with Charlie Rose last month, Tim Cook took Google to task for its data collection practices. Unsurprisingly, Eric Schmidt wasn't too pleased with Cook's representative of his company, so he took the time to respond on a CNN Money segment this week.

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Jacob Siegal

October 2nd

Apple

Talking Schmidt: Google ‘far more secure & encrypted’ than Apple

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 3.10.45 PMThere’s been an awful lot of Schmidt talk lately with the Google chairman’s new book How Google Works available for your reading and analysis, and Eric Schmidt continued his defense of Google after Apple CEO Tim Cook’s recent comments contrasting the two competitors on privacy. “Someone didn’t brief him correctly on Google’s policy,” Schmidt told CNN adding that Google’s systems “are far more secure and encrypted than anyone else including Apple.” Schmidt did credit Cook for correctly pointing out ads on Gmail, though, so they can at least concede on that point. Video below:


Filed under: Tech Industry Tagged: Encryption, Eric Schmidt, Gmail, Google, privacy, Security, talking schmidt, Tim Cook

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Zac Hall

October 2nd

Apple

Mac

Talking Schmidt: Google’s executive chairman challenges Tim Cook on privacy citing Chrome’s ‘incognito mode’

Key Speakers At Global Investment Conference

In his letter on privacy shared last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook contrasted the business model of Apple against that of its competitors while strongly taking a shot at Google, Gmail, and Android without actually naming the company and services. The infinitely entertaining executive chairman of Google and former Apple board member Eric Schmidt was recently asked by ABC News about Cook’s open letter on the company and privacy.

In short, Schmidt, who is making the media rounds to promote his upcoming book How Google Works, said Cook’s description of Google and privacy is incorrect, which you would expect from the Google chairman. But his first shot at debunking Cook’s claim was sort of out of left field (okay, as you also might expect):

Eric Schmidt: I think that’s not quite right. The fact of the matter is Google allows you to delete the information that we know about you. In fact, Google is so concerned about privacy that you can in fact be using Chrome for example you can browse in what is called Incognito Mode, where no one sees anything about you. So I just don’t think that’s right. 

Rebecca Jarvis: You think he’s incorrect in saying so?

Eric Schdmit: That’s correct.

Incognito mode?! The privacy setting you use to hide your browsing history when you’re, ahem, planning a top secret surprise vacation with your significant other that you don’t want revealed in your search results? That’s Schmidt’s response to Cook’s suggestion that Google doesn’t value your privacy?

As a refresher, here is the relevant excerpt from Tim Cook’s open letter on privacy:

A few years ago, users of Internet services began to realize that when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product. But at Apple, we believe a great customer experience shouldn’t come at the expense of your privacy.

Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products. We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t “monetize” the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you. Our software and services are designed to make our devices better. Plain and simple.

Not that ‘incognito mode’ isn’t valuable and without merit in terms of privacy, but it’s hardly a differentiating factor between the two companies and tiny part of the big picture that Cook was describing. Also interesting in the context of Schmidt’s line of defense is the history section of the Wikipedia entry for ‘privacy mode':

The earliest reference to the term was in May 2005 and used to discuss the privacy features in the Safari browser bundled with Mac OS X Tiger. The feature has since been adopted in other browsers, and led to popularisation of the term in 2008 by mainstream news outlets and computing websites when discussing beta versions of Internet Explorer 8. 

However, privacy modes operate as shields because browsers typically do not remove all data from the cache after the session. Plugins, like Silverlight, are able to set cookies that will not be removed after the session. Internet Explorer 8 also contains a feature called InPrivate Subscriptions, an RSS web feed with sites approved for use with InPrivate browsing.

Okay, so not so Chrome-specific (aside from the naming) and maybe not so private. Chrome admits as much when entering the privacy mode (admittedly, I do miss the line where it says it doesn’t protect you from the people behind you):

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 11.53.12 AM

At any rate, here’s good ol’ Schmidt in action:

See also: Cook’s discussion on privacy during his interview with Charlie Rose where he did name Google as what comes to mind when he thinks of Apple’s competition (hence the slight back and forth between the CEO and the executive chairman) and the rest of our Talking Schmidt series.


Filed under: AAPL Company, Tech Industry Tagged: ABC, Android, Apple, Chrome, Eric Schmidt, Gmail, Google, incognito mode, privacy, privacy browsing, private mode, Safari, talking schmidt, Tim Cook

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Zac Hall

September 23rd

Apple

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