Sunday, January 10, 2016

"2016 Google Tracker: Everything Google is working on for the new year" (now mit umlauts and not just in the Hästkött)

Following up on the post immediately below, "The Google Car Is A Hoax" (GOOG).

Note to the GOOG: ars technica has become the Google diacritic/ diaeresis as Spın̈al Tap's David St. Hubbins explained:

"Ït's lïke ä päir öf ëyes. Yöu're löoking ät thë umläut, änd ït's löoking ät yoü."

Ars is looking at Google even as Google is looking at ars (and everyone else).
Or something.
Should you, wary reader,  become overwhelmed* with Alphabet and have an interest in the metal umlaut we'll have a couple links after the jump.

*Seriously. Just look at the table of contents.
Now would Mssr. et Madame care for an ümläüt?

From ars technica:

Android N, a big VR program, Google Glass, and lots more are in store for Alphabet.
It's that time of the year again—welcome to the Google Tracker! This is a bi-annual series where we recap every ongoing project (that we know about, at least) inside of Google's sprawling empire.

Though from now on, perhaps we should say, "Every ongoing project inside of Alphabet's sprawling empire." "Google" is now a mere company inside of "Alphabet," the newly formed umbrella company created by Google's founders. Most of the Google side projects we've been tracking in the past have been spun off into companies inside of Alphabet, but rest assured we're still keeping track of everything.

As always, the Tracker is a big roundup of previous announcements, rumors, and a bit of speculation. The 2015 entries worked out well—the Chromecast 2, Google On, Google Photos, YouTube Gaming, and tons of Android features were represented. We can't promise everything listed here will be released in 2016, but this is certainly a running list of everything we've heard about. If you've been slacking all of 2015 and not paying attention to the news, consider this your "Google CliffsNotes" for the upcoming year.

Table of Contents

The Alphabet Empire 2015 saw Google transform from a single company packed with side projects into a Berkshire Hathaway-style "company full of companies" known as "Alphabet." So what exactly is inside of Alphabet? An 8-K form filed during the initial Alphabet announcement flagged "search, ads, maps, apps, YouTube, Android and the related technical infrastructure," as "Google." Calico, Nest, Google Fiber, Google Ventures, Google Capital, and Google X were all identified as individual companies inside of Alphabet.

That list leaves out a ton of Google projects, though, so there is certainly more to Alphabet than what was initially revealed. We've compiled the above chart from news and reliable sources from around the Web, and we've tacked a few more companies onto Google's original list:
  • Verily is the new name for Google Life Sciences. The group just got a rebrand and a snazzy new website. This group is working on Baseline Study, the smart contact lens, and a wrist computer that reads diagnostic nanoparticles injected in the bloodstream. Life Sciences is not to be confused with Alphabet's other healthcare company, Calico, which is "only" out to "cure death" with anti-aging research.
  • Sidewalk Labs, a group that wants to apply moonshot thinking to city life, took Google's Calico model and started off with its own CEO. Google told The Wall Street Journal that Sidewalk Labs is a separate Alphabet company.
  • DeepMind, an artificial intelligence group, is also a company under Alphabet according to this report from The Information.
  • The division for Google X's Self-Driving Car (also a robot) recently had someone appointed as "CEO." It's expected to be spun off into an Alphabet company in 2016, but for now it's still part of Google X.
  • Google Fiber is not a top-level Alphabet company. It's been rolled into Access and Energy, a Google division formed in 2014. You can hear Alphabet's CFO, Ruth Porat, mention this in the latest earnings report. Access and Energy is also home to the Google OnHub router and the Titan Drones.
  • We're also adding ATAP to the "Google" section since it seems like it should be an Alphabet company given that Regina Dugan, the former head of DARPA, is running it. For now, Google recently confirmed to Mashable that it is still part of Google proper. The full name of the unit is "Google Advanced Technology and Products."
Google recently announced it was condensing its cloud businesses into a single unit led by Diane Greene, co-founder and CEO of VMWare. Is this a new division inside of Google or Alphabet? Does it have a name? We have no idea. Starting a new division with a superstar CEO definitely seems like the same model that created Calico, Sidewalk Labs, Replicant, and Verily, but we haven't heard of a name or anything official.

As Google's "moonshot factory," Google X houses a number of projects that seem like they could one day be Alphabet companies. A representative told us the group is in charge of Project Wing, Replicant (Google's robot division), and Google Self-Driving Cars, and this MIT Technology Review article says Google X is still in charge of Project Loon. Makani, Google's power-generating kit project, also seems to be part of Google X.

Update: We updated the above section a bit. Based on prior reports, we originally pegged Project Wing, Replicant, and Google Self-Driving Cars as Alphabet companies, but a Google X rep reached out to us and claimed ownership of all of them. Alphabet's exact layout is still very speculative, and we're hoping we'll get more official information during Google/Alphabet's next earnings call....
So freakin' much more:

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Here's a quick Teutonic as a palate cleanser before you move on:

After Car Attacked By Paris Taxi Drivers, Uber to Toughen Image With Umlauts
...In response:
San Francisco, CA (PRwëb) January 13, 2014-
In a move designed to make Uber seem more "bad-assed and scary in a quasi-heavy-metal manner," the Goldman Sachs, Menlo Ventures and Bezos Expeditions-backed company officially changed it's name to Über on  Monday.
"Much like Mötley Crüe and Motörhead, Über is not to be messed with," said founder Gärrëtt Cämp, né Camp...
Röck döts rüle

Long time readers will recognize the bald-faced ripoff of America's Finest News Service, ca 1997.

And for the academic umlaut crowd, not only is there a Wikipedia Heavy Metal Umlaut page but there is a study of how it evolved by web sensei Jon Udell

Possibly also of interest (I know, it's a long shot):

Today in Umlauts: Hästkött (Swedes love it)
Following up on yesterday's "Automation Steals Jobs: Röböts Playing Motörhead".
Today in Umlauts: The Stäubli Picker-Packer
Today in Umlauts: Björk and Sir David Attenborough Team Up in a New Documentary About Music and Technology
Today in Umlauts: Geneva Fund Manager Michaël Malquarti Calls For Swiss Helicopter Money
Today in Umlauts: Tyler Cowen Schools Brad DeLong on umlauts.

For what it's worth, many more.
And further for what it's worth, the best guitarist in the world is a seventeen year old girl in Paris who among other genres and styles is pretty good at thrash metal: