Tag Archives: calendar

Google confirms it triggers recruiting tool when people search for specific programming terms (Mark Bergen/Re/code)

How does the world’s best search engine recruit programming whizzes? Through search, naturally. On Tuesday, Max Rosett, a new Google employee, blogged on the Hustle about how he landed his new job at Google . Rosett, a data scientist with the rental marketplace Apartment List, was working on a head-scratching coding problem. He turned to Google’s search box, typing in this query on the programming language: “python lambda function list comprehension.” Up popped a box inside the search results that read: “You’re speaking our language. Up for a challenge?” It led to google.com/foobar — a programming test Google has used in the past to recruit engineers. It’s not the first time Google’s HR has deployed the nerdy trick. Users on Hacker News posted a similar tale last year . The lure cast a spell on Rosett, who, after passing, went through Google’s routine, well-documented hiring process and was offered a job three months later. “Foo.bar is a brilliant recruiting tactic,” he wrote. “Google used it to identify me before I had even applied anywhere else, and they made me feel important while doing so. At the same time, they respected my privacy and didn’t reach out to me without explicitly requesting my information. A Google spokeswoman sent this in response. And I quote: u0050u0075u007au007au006cu0065u0073u0020 u0061u0072u0065u0020u0066u0075u006eu002e u0020u0053u0065u0061 u0072u0063u0068u0020u006fu006eu002e A source outside Google translated the code (hex, not python) for us (and Google confirmed the translation): “Puzzles are fun.

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Verizon looks to bring connected car features to older vehicles with Hum, a $14.99/month service that offers roadside assistance, car diagnostics,…

After a brief delay, Verizon is ready with a service designed to bring some connected car features to older vehicles. The $14.99-per-month service, dubbed Hum, offers roadside assistance, car diagnostics and help locating a mechanic. A companion app also lets users track vehicle records and also helps drivers remember where they parked and track the time on their parking meters. Related Meet the Leaders Shaping the Future of Mobile, October 7-8 at Code/Mobile Sign up to be part of this year’s Code/Mobile conference, featuring Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg, AT&T Mobility CEO Glenn Lurie, FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, Fitbit CEO James Park and other industry experts. Learn More The service, originally known as Verizon Vehicle, debuted in January at the North American Auto Show and was supposed to launch by June. Powering the service are two pieces of hardware — a bluetooth speaker that mounts on a visor and a wireless modem that plugs into the diagnostic port included on most cars built since 1996. Because the kit has its own modem, Hum subscribers don’t have to be Verizon phone customers. The name change was designed, in part, to make that distinction clear. Verizon is not alone in tapping the OBD-II port to help wire up older cars, though different companies are using it in different ways. The port, originally designed to help mechanics diagnose mechanical problems, is being tapped by Metromile to offer usage-based insurance, while Mojio has a device that connects cars to a range of different applications. The connected car and the impact of mobile technology on the automotive industry are going to be key topics at our upcoming Code/Mobile conference, which takes place Oct. 7-8 in Half Moon Bay, Calif. For more information — and to register for the conference — visit the Code/Mobile website . Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) Share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window) Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window) Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window) Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Contact Ina Fried: @InaFried | EMAIL Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) Share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window) Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window) Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window) Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Join the conversation:

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Bill Gurley marks recent tech sell-off with another warning about unprofitable unicorns, says cycle "where growth is valued more than…

Tech stocks have been taking a beating lately, and venture capital investor Bill Gurley of Benchmark thinks it’s a sign. If the valuations of public tech companies are compressing, private market valuations might be next. In a tweetstorm Thursday night, Gurley warned startup unicorns — companies that are valued at more than a billion dollars — to prepare for leaner times. “We may be nearing the end of a cycle where growth is valued more than profitability,” Gurley said on Twitter. “It could be at an inflection point.” The note of caution isn’t a new tune for Gurley — he warned of impending tech bubble casualties during SXSW last year, saying 2015 would bring “ dead unicorns .” His tweetstorm was reminiscent of investment firm Sequoia’s infamous “R.I.P Good Times” slideshow from 2008, which warned startups to spend every dollar as though it were their last. In the recent frothy market, founders have been encouraged to care about speedy growth above all else — including profits. Since interest rates have stayed low and money has flowed ceaselessly from venture investors, private equity firms and mutual funds, many startups have been able to use their giant piles of cash raised to subsidize services that might not otherwise be financially tenable. Even Uber’s financials , as leaked to Gawker, placed a high priority on growth at the expense of profit. But with the changing tide of the public market, investors may start demanding to see more viable, self-sustaining businesses from companies before agreeing to back them. “Can you get to profitability on your last round?” Gurley rhetorically asked the twittersphere. “Have you even considered such a reality?” It’s a tough balance to strike. For many companies, if they prioritize profitability over growth too soon, they could risk losing market share to competitors spending to get more users.

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Sources: Google Express to shut down its two Bay Area delivery hubs, looks to outsource delivery to on-demand startups (Mark Bergen/Re/code)

Google Express, the search giant’s same-day delivery service, is shutting down its two delivery hubs in San Francisco and Mountain View, Calif., according to sources. The move is part of a broader push within Google to revamp the service, which launched in March 2013, after it failed to make a serious dent in a market crowded with Amazon and a myriad of on-demand startups. Express was hatched out of Google’s commerce plans, formed, in part, to hedge against Amazon’s growing foray into product searches . It is now in seven major cities. In most of them, Google delivers goods from retail and shipping partners. When the service arrived in the Bay Area, Google tried out a hub model. Customers would order from Google’s retail partners, and drivers delivered the goods from the two locations on the same day or overnight. Now, Google is changing course. And the change comes after a tumultuous year for the company’s commerce initiatives : It lost the exec atop Express, Tom Fallows, then the exec atop all of commerce, Sameer Samat. After Fallows’ departure, Google shook up the Express leadership multiple times, putting the business development lead for Google Shopping, Brian Elliott, at its helm in July . Related Commerce Google’s E-Commerce Plans Are in Question as Executive Departures Mount By Jason Del Rey and Mark Bergen , May 19, 2015, 8:10 AM PDT Google declined to comment on the decision to shutter its delivery hubs. Rising costs of the drivers and vehicles are likely one rationale. According to multiple sources, Google is trying to curb these by outsourcing its delivery to other on-demand startups and has held initial talks with multiple companies, including Postmates and Flywheel. Google notified its retail vendors that it was closing the San Francisco hub on June 30th

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Google Delays Test of Project Ara, Its Modular Smartphone, Until 2016 (Ina Fried/Re/code)

Google confirmed on Monday that it is delaying until 2016 the first test of Project Ara, its take on a modular smartphone made up of components that connect in Lego-like fashion. Google had been planning a test launch for later this year in Puerto Rico. In a follow-up tweet, Google said it is looking for a new U.S. location to test the devices. When? 2016. #yeswearelate #ProjectAra — Project Ara (@ProjectAra) August 17, 2015 The idea behind Ara is that key components of the phone, such as its memory, camera and processor, would be made as interconnectable pieces, allowing customers to upgrade piecemeal to improve their devices. As for the delay, Google said getting the first devices ready was taking “lots of iterations … more than we thought.” Ara also flies in the face of the way the electronics industry has been heading: Toward appliance-like devices that are replaced every couple of years. PCs, for example, once contained expansion bays and ports that made it easy to add a bigger hard drive or more memory. Over time, though, the trend shifted toward sleeker and less upgradeable models, especially laptops and all-in-ones that combine a monitor and PC. Cellphones, meanwhile, have always been treated this way, with customers typically upgrading as often as every two years. A modular phone has its appeal, especially in terms of reducing waste, but such flexibility comes at a cost, both financial and in terms of performance. Separating different parts of the phone into components is likely to slow down communication between the parts

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Full memo: Jeff Bezos responds to brutal New York Times story, says it doesn’t represent the Amazon he leads (John Cook/GeekWire)

Jeff Bezos responded to a piece in the NYT, asking employees to report issues that they see at the company. The cruel and back-stabbing environment described by The New York Times in a report this weekend on the workplace culture at Amazon.com has struck a nerve with Jeff Bezos. In a memo to employees this weekend, obtained by GeekWire, Bezos says he doesn’t recognize the company described in the article. In the memo, Bezos encourages Amazon employees to read the report, and requests that anyone seeing the type of abusive culture described in the piece should report it immediately to human resources or directly to him. Jeff Bezos “The article doesn’t describe the Amazon I know or the caring Amazonians I work with every day,” Bezos writes. “But if you know of any stories like those reported, I want you to escalate to HR. You can also email me directly at jeff@amazon.com. Even if it’s rare or isolated, our tolerance for any such lack of empathy needs to be zero.” He adds later, “I strongly believe that anyone working in a company that really is like the one described in the NYT would be crazy to stay. I know I would leave such a company.” And he concludes, “But hopefully, you don’t recognize the company described. Hopefully, you’re having fun working with a bunch of brilliant teammates, helping invent the future, and laughing along the way.”  I strongly believe that anyone working in a company that really is like the one described in the NYT would be crazy to stay. I know I would leave such a company.It is rare for Bezos to respond so directly to a news report. Faced with criticism throughout its history — whether dealing with book publishers or diversity issues — Amazon’s approach has been to stay quiet.

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Periscope announces 2M daily active users, claims more than 10M have created accounts since launch (Kurt Wagner/Re/code)

Twitter has spent a lot of time talking up Periscope, the livestreaming app it bought back in January. Now it wants you to know that people are actually using the product, or at least taking the time to download the app and check it out. More than 10 million people have created Periscope accounts since the product launched at the end of March, and nearly two million people use the app every day. It’s the first time since Twitter’s Q1 earnings call in April that we’ve seen any real user metrics for the app; on that call, former CEO Dick Costolo said that Periscope added more than a million users in its first 10 days. What’s important to note here is that these 10 million users are not necessarily “active” users like the ones Twitter and Facebook report. So while 10 million people have created accounts, this number isn’t the same as how many people open the app every month. (It did share “daily active users,” though.) For now, Periscope is sticking to total accounts created and how much time people are spending watching streams every day, a metric the company believes better explains how it’s growing. Right now, people are watching 40 years-worth of live video every day. “Success for broadcasters means more time watched on their broadcasts,” CEO Kayvon Beykpour explained in a blog post. “Success for the audience means more high-quality broadcasts in their feeds that they want to watch and participate in.” Periscope Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) Share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window) Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window) Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window) Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Contact Kurt Wagner: @KurtWagner8 | EMAIL Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) Share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window) Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window) Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window) Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Join the conversation:

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