The Alphabet Google YouTube Thing Explains Good Old Outcome Centered Design

April 8, 2021

If you have tried to locate information on a Google Map, you know what good design is, right? What about trying to navigate the YouTube upload interface to add or delete a “channel”? Perfection, okay. What if you have discovered an AMP error email and tried to figure out how a static Web site generated by an AMP approved “partner” can be producing a single flawed Web page? Intuitive and helpful, don’t you think?

Truth is: Google Maps are almost impossible to use regardless of device. The YouTube interface is just weird and better for a 10-year-old video game player than a person over 30, and the AMP messages? Just stupid.

I read “Waymo’s 7 Principles of Outcome-Centered Design Are What Your Product Needs” and thought I stumbled upon a listicle crafted by Stephen Colbert and Jo Koy in the O’Hare Airport’s Jazz Bar.

Waymo (so named because one get way more with Alphabet Google YouTube — hereinafter, AGYT)technology — is managed by co-CEOs. It is semi famous for hiring uber engineer Anthony Levandowski. Plus the company has been beavering away to make driving down 101 semi fun since 2009. The good news is that Waymo seems to be making more headway than the Google team trying to solve death. The Wikipedia entry for Waymo documents 12 collisions, but the exact number of smart  errors by the Alphabet Google YouTube software is not known even to some Googlers. Need to know, you know.

What are the rules for outcome centered design; that is, ads but no crashes I presume. The write up presents seven. Here are three and you can let your Chrome browser steer you to the full list. Don’t run into the Tesla Web site either, please.

Principle 2. Create focus by clarifying you8r purpose.

Okay, focus. Let’s see. When riding in a vehicle with no human in charge, the idea is to avoid a crash. What about filtering YouTube for okay content? Well, that only works some of the time. The Waymo crashes appear to underscore the fuzz in the statistical routines.

And Principle 4. Clue in to your customer’s context.

Yep, in a vehicle which knows one browsing history and has access to nifty profiles with probabilities allows the vehicle to just get going. Forget what the humanoid may want. Alphabet Google YouTube is ahead of the humanoid. Sometimes. The AFYT approach is to trim down what the humanoid wants to three options. Close enough for horse shoes. Waymo, like Alphabet Google YouTube, knows best. Just like a digital mistress. The humanoid, however, is going to a previously unvisited location. Another humanoid told the rider face to face about an emergency. The AGYT system cannot figure out context. Not to worry. Those AGYT interfaces will make everything really easy. One can talk to the Waymo equipped smart vehicle. Just speak clearly, slowly, and in a language which Waymo parses in an acceptable manner. Bororo won’t work.

Finally, Principle 7: Edit edit edit.

I think this means revisions. Those are a great idea. Alphabet Google YouTube does an outstanding job with dots, hamburger menus, and breezy writing in low contrast colors. Oh, content? If you don’t get it, you are not Googley. Speak up and you may be the Timnit treatment or the Congressional obfuscation rhetoric. I also like ignoring the antics of senior managers.

Yep, outcome centered. Great stuff. Were Messrs. Colbert and Koy imbibing something other than Sprite at the airport when possibly conjuring this list of really good tips? What’s the outcome? How about ads displayed to passengers in Waymo infused vehicles? Context centered, relevant, and a feature one cannot turn off.

Stephen E Arnold, April 8, 2021

HPE Machine Learning: A Benefit of the Autonomy Tech?

April 8, 2021

This sounds like an optimal solution from HPE (formerly known as HP); too bad it was not available back when the company evaluated the purchase of Autonomy. Network World reports, “HPE Debuts New Opportunity Engine for Fast AI Insights.” The machine-learning platform is called the Software Defined Opportunity Engine, or SDOE. It is based in the cloud, and will greatly reduce the time it takes to create custom sales proposals for HPE channel partners and customers. Citing a blog post from HPE’s Tom Black, writer Andy Patrizio explains:

“It takes a snapshot of the customer’s workloads, configuration, and usage patterns to generate a quote for the best solution for the customer in under a minute. The old method required multiple visits by resellers or HPE itself to take an inventory and gather usage data on the equipment before finally coming back with an offer. That meant weeks. SDOE uses HPE InfoSight, HPE’s database which collects system and use information from HPE’s customer installed base to automatically remediate infrastructure issues. InfoSight is primarily for technical support scenarios. Started in 2010, InfoSight has collected 1,250 trillion data points in a data lake that has been built up from HPE customers. Now HPE is using it to move beyond technical support to rapid sales prep.”

The write-up describes Black’s ah-ha moment when he realized that data could be used for this new purpose. The algorithm-drafted proposals are legally binding—HPE must have a lot of confidence in the system’s accuracy. Besides HPE’s existing database and servers, the process relies on the assessment tool recently acquired when the company snapped up CloudPhysics. We learn that the tool:

“… analyzes on-premises IT environments much in the same way as InfoSight but covers all of the competition as well. It then makes recommendations for cloud migrations, application modernization and infrastructure. The CloudPhysics data lake—which includes more than 200 trillion data samples from more than one million virtual machines—combined with HPE’s InfoSight can provide a fuller picture of their IT infrastructure and not just their HPE gear.”

As of now, SDOE is only for storage systems, but we are told that could change down the road. Black, however, was circumspect on the details.

Cynthia Murrell, April 8, 2021

Alphabet Google YouTube: We Are Doing Darned Good Work

April 7, 2021

I read a peculiar item of information about the mom-and-pop outfit Alphabet Google YouTube. You may have a different reaction to the allegedly accurate data. Just navigate to “YouTube Claims It’s Getting Better at Enforcing Its Own Moderation Rules.” The “real news” story reports:

In the final months of 2020, up to 18 out of every 10,000 views on YouTube were on videos that violate the company’s policies and should have been removed before anyone watched them. That’s down from 72 out of every 10,000 views in the fourth quarter of 2017, when YouTube started tracking the figure.

Apparently the mom-and-pop outfit calculates a “violative view rate.” This is a metric possible only if a free video service accepts, indexes, and makes available “videos that contain graphic violence, scams, or hate speech.”

The system, the write up reports that :

YouTube’s team uses the figure internally to understand how well they’re doing at keeping users safe from troubling content. If it’s going up, YouTube can try to figure out what types of videos are slipping through and prioritize developing its machine learning to catch them.

A few questions spring to mind:

  • What specifically is “violative” content. An interview I conducted with a former CIA operative was removed a year after the interview appeared as a segment in my 10 to 15 minute twice monthly video news program. An interview with a retired spy was deemed violative. I hope YouTube learned something from this take down. I remain puzzled.
  • How does content depicting graphic violence, scams, and hate speech get on the YouTube system? After I upload a video, a message appears to tell me if the video is okay or not okay. I think Google’s system is getting better from the mom-and-pop outfit’s point of view. From other points of view? I am not sure.
  • Why trust metrics generated within the Alphabet Google YouTube outfit? By definition, the data collection methods, the sample, and the techniques used to identify what’s important are not revealed. FAANG-type outfits are not exactly the gold standard in ethical behavior for some people. I, of course, believe everything I read online like transcripts of senior executives’ remarks to Congressional committees?
  • Why release these data now? What’s the point? Apple is tossing cores at Facebook. Alphabet Google YouTube is reminding some that Microsoft’s security is interesting. Amazon wants to pay tax. Maybe these actions and the violative metric are PR.

The write up contains charts. Low contrast colors show just how much better Alphabet Google YouTube is getting in the violative content game. I love the violative view rate phrase. Delicious.

Stephen E Arnold, April 7, 2021

Google: Fighting the Fake News Fight. Err. Where Is YouTube in This Altercation?

April 6, 2021

I read a short item with the snappy title “Google to Contribute $29 Million to New EU Fund to Fight Fake News.” The hook is a big number for a mom-and-pop, online ad outfit, $29 million.

Where is the money going? The write up says:

The European Media and Information Fund, launched by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the European University Institute last week, aims to enlist researchers, fact-checkers, not-for-profits and other public interest-oriented bodies to help in the fight against fake news….The fund has a duration of five years. The European Digital Media Observatory, which is a European Commission project set up last year and whose members include fact checkers and academic researchers, will evaluate and select the projects.

Will YouTube become a focal point? My thought is that YouTube is not news, certainly not news in the sense of the Facebook- or Twitter-type of service. Should YouTube become a focal point? That’s a different question. What about informational ads which surf on a timely topic? Are those advertisements news? Obviously an advertisement cannot be news generated by an objective entity like Forbes Magazine. Wait. Hold that statement. Forbes, the capitalist’s tool, does run pay-to-play essays.

Without a definition of news, how can one determine what’s accurate, what’s fake, and what’s just business? Perhaps that is why the mom-and-pop online ad service is contributing a PR worthy sum to an European effort.

Is there any correlation to the EU’s legal probe of Google?

That’s a hard question just like, “Is YouTube a deliverer of fake news?”

Stephen E Arnold, April 6, 2021

How about That 5G?

March 26, 2021

Here we have some premium marketing hoo hah from Digital Trends, “8 Exciting Use Cases that Show What 5G Can Really Do.” In our experience, most people find 4G,LTE, and ATT DSS-fake-5G to be faster than 5G. The write-up seems to presage a time when 5G Ultra Wideband networks have expanded much farther than they have. Writer Jacob Kienlen envisions:

“Like any upgrade to our mobile network infrastructure, the most exciting aspect is the speed and consistency it brings. That, combined with latency reductions, is enough to start predicting some of the opportunities 5G will provide in the coming years. Some of the most obvious 5G use cases are related to technologies that can only really be made better by an improved mobile network. These are things like smart cities, autonomous vehicles, and businesses. The difference between 4G and 5G in that regard is the sheer improvement to consistent high-speed internet on the go. That improvement will bring with it a slew of improvements to existing technologies, but also spark entirely new ones that couldn’t exist with 4G or 3G networks. Here are some of the most exciting 5G cases you can look forward to.”

Can we, really? Right now people are turning off the 5G service on their mobile phones because it is too slow and unreliable. Let us play along, though, and picture a world where 5G has engulfed us coast-to-coast. The eight use cases described here include better home internet; better communication, with both voice and video calls; more viable autonomous vehicles; improved video-streaming quality; advanced agriculture technologies; the rise of more smart cities; a refined Internet of Things; and advances in healthcare, from faster and easier remote diagnoses and operations to health-monitoring smart watches for all.

Keinlen does paint an exciting picture, and perhaps it will come to pass someday. For the foreseeable future, though, these visions remain illusory for most of us.

Cynthia Murrell, March 26, 2021

The Duck Confronts Googzilla

March 18, 2021

You have heard of David and Goliath? What about the duck and Googzilla? No. Navigate to “DuckDuckGo Calls Out Google over User Data Collection.” The metasearch engine wants everyone to know that Google does not define “privacy” the way the duck crowd does. The write up states:

DuckDuckGo says Google tried its best to hide its data collection practices, until it was no longer possible for them to keep it private. ‘After months of stalling, Google finally revealed how much personal data they collect in Chrome and the Google app. No wonder they wanted to hide it,’ DuckDuckGo said in a series of tweets. ‘Spying on users has nothing to do with building a great web browser or search engine. We would know (our app is both in one).’

Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

However, it is interesting to consider the question, “What happens next?”

  1. Google can ignore the duck. Eric Schmidt is no longer explaining that Qwant keeps him awake at night because that service is a heck of a threat. So, meh.
  2. Google takes steps to make life slight more interesting for the DuckDuckGo. There are some possibilities which are fun to ponder; for example, hasta la vista to links from the GOOG to the duck or Google works its magic within its walled garden. There’s a lot of content that lives within the Google ecosystem and when it is blocked or gifted with added latency, the scope may be a surprise to some.
  3. Google goes on the offensive just as it has with Microsoft. Imagine Google’s CEO suggesting that Microsoft’s CEO is dragging red herrings to the monopoly party. What could Google’s minions identify as information of value about DuckDuckGo, its traffic, and its index coverage? Interesting to ponder.

The tale of David and Goliath is an enduring one. The duck versus Googzilla might lack legendary status of brave David, but the confrontation might be a surprising one. Ducks are fierce creatures, but may have to punch above their weight to cause Googzilla pain.

Stephen E Arnold, March 18, 2021

The Google: Disrupting Education in the Covid Era

March 15, 2021

I thought the Covid thing disrupted education. As a result, Google’s video conferencing system failed to seize an opportunity. Even poor, confused Microsoft put some effort into Teams. Sure, Teams is not the most secure or easy to use video conferencing service, but it has more features than Google has chat apps and ad options. Google also watched the Middle Kingdom’s favorite video service “zoom” right into a great big lead. Arguably, Google’s video conferencing tool should have hooked into the Chromebook, which is in the hands of some students. But what’s happened? Zoom, zoom, zoom.

I read this crisp headline: “Inside Google’s Plan to Disrupt the College Degree (Exclusive). Get a First Look at Google’s New Certificate Programs and a New Feature of Google Search Designed to Help Job Seekers Everywhere.”

Wow. The write up is an enthusiastic extension of Google Gibru-ish. Here’s why:

  1. Two candidates. One is a PhD from Princeton with a degree in computer science. The other is a minority certificate graduate. Both compete for the same job. Which candidate gets the job?
  2. One candidate, either Timnit Gebru or Margaret Mitchell. Both complete a Google certification program. Will these individuals get a fair shake and maybe get hired?
  3. Many female candidates from India. Some are funded by Google’s grant to improve opportunities for Indian females. How many will get Google jobs? [a] 80 to 99 percent, [b] 60 to 79 percent, [c] fewer than 60 percent? (I am assuming this grant and certificate thing are more than a tax deduction or hand waving.)

High school science club management decisions are fascinating to me.

Got your answers? I have mine.

For the PhD versus the certificate holder, the answer is it depends. A PhD with non Googley notions about ethical AI is likely to be driving an Uber. The certificate holder with the right mental orientation gets to play Foosball and do Googley things.

For the Gebru – Mitchell question, my answer is neither. Female, non-Googley, and already Xooglers. Find your future elsewhere is what I intuit.

And the females in India. Hard to say. The country is far away. The $20 million or so is too little. The cultural friction within the still existing castes are too strong. Maybe a couple is my guess.

In short, Google can try to disrupt education. But Covid has disrupted education. Another outfit has zoomed into chinks in the Google carapace. So marketing it is. It may work. Google is indeed Google.

Stephen E Arnold, March 15, 2021

T-Mobile: Privacy Is a Tough Business

March 12, 2021

Just a bit of mobile phone experience this morning. T Mobile (the magenta or pink outfit) notified me I could opt out of its forthcoming “sell your data” initiative. I dutifully clicked on the link to something which appeared in an SMS as t-mo.com/privacy12. Surprise. The page rendered with a notice that it was a new domain. I fiddled around and was able to locate the page via the search box on T-mobile.com. I filled in the data, including a very long Google ad tracker number. I clicked the submit button and nothing happened. I spotted an email address which was “privacy@tmobile.com.” Guess what? The email bounced. I called 611, the number for customer service. I was told that T Mobile would call me back in 30 minutes. Guess what? No call within the time window.

Privacy is a tough business, and it is one which amuses the marketers and thumbtypers who work with developers to create dark patterns for paying customers. Nice work.

Nifty move. Well, the company is magenta or pink. It is dark, however. Very dark and quite sad.

Stephen E Arnold, March 11, 2021, 435 pm US Eastern

Funding Terrorism with Information about Wretched Situations

March 2, 2021

People often try to help. I recall talking to a street person in San Francisco in the chocolate chip cookie shop near the Diva Hotel on Geary. The chocolate chip shop is, I believe, long gone. I asked the person which cookies he liked the best. He said, “I buy them every day for my family. I get a dozen or so. I eat one on the BART to Daly and then take the rest to the family.” I asked, “What do you do?” He said, “I beg. It works really well. People are very generous.”

Funding the Needy or Funding Terror?” reminded me of this little life lesson from the 1980s. What looked like a person who was down on his luck was a hard working exploiter of people’s desire to help others. None of those Berkeley coupons for the beggar in the cookie store. Now the stakes are higher.

The article reports:

Last year, online fundraisers began to appear on behalf of al-Hol residents. Many were seeking to finance escapes, others to pay for food and supplies. (While some donations have likely gone toward terrorism, the campaigns are careful to avoid mentioning violence.) The petitions spread via social networks, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and often involved PayPal and other payment systems as well as messaging apps, like WhatsApp and Telegram. Before long, intelligence and law enforcement agencies began to monitor them.

The idea is that money flows in and some of it goes to fund activities not included in the video, the email, or the TV commercial.

How do social media platforms police this allegedly fraudulent activity?

Well, that’s a good question.

The write up reports:

he architects of these networks tailor their messages and methods to geography, specific donors and goals, and national laws and platform regulations. Of the Facebook accounts identified by Rest of World that claim links to al-Hol, only some explicitly asked for donations. Others disseminated pictures or news from the camp in different languages, alongside Islamic scripture and memes. A few users fondly reminisced about their time in the caliphate. Facebook disables and deletes accounts that share terrorist propaganda, so ISIS was never explicitly mentioned. Instead, references to the organization were camouflaged by alternative spellings. “I miss the Dawl@,” one said, with a crying emoji, referencing the Arabic word for “state” in ISIS’s full name.

Again. What are social media platforms doing to address this issue?

Outputting words, forming study teams, and hand waving.

Is this a problem? Not if there are cookies at the meeting. No faux street people needed.

Stephen E Arnold, March 2, 2021

Google: The Curse of Search

March 2, 2021

Remember when Eric Schmidt objected to information about his illustrious career being made available? I sure do. As I recall, the journalist used Google search to locate interesting information. MarketWatch quoted the brilliant Mr. Schmidt as saying:

If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place, but if you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines including Google do retain this information for some time, and it’s important, for example that we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act. It is possible that that information could be made available to the authorities.

Nifty idea.

Forbes, the capitalist tool I believe, published “Google Issues Quality Warning For Millions Of Google Photos Users.” That write up pivots on using information retrieval to illustrate that Google overlooked its own “right to be forgotten” capability.

The capitalist tool states:

At its 2015 launch, Google Photos creator Anil Sabharwal promised that High Quality uploads offered  “near-identical visual quality” when compared to your original photos. But now Google wants us to see a seemingly huge difference in quality between the two settings and to be willing to pay extra for it. It seems “Original Quality” is now suddenly something for which we should all be willing to pay extra.

So what?

Google, which is struggling to control its costs, wants to generate money. One way is to take away a free photo service and get “users” to pay for storage. And store what, you ask.

Google is saying that its 2015 high quality image format is no good. Time to use “original quality”; that is, larger file sizes and more storage requirements.

The only hitch in the git along is that in 2015 Google emitted hoo-hah about its brilliant image method. Now the Google is rewriting history.

The problem: Google’s search engine with some coaxing makes it easy to spot inconsistencies in the marketing spin. Nothing to hide. Words of wisdom.

Stephen E Arnold, March 2, 2021

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