Google to Face Antitrust Charges for Monopolizing Online Ads

The verge | May 18, 2020

  • The US government is reportedly preparing to sue Google for its anti-market ad practices where it allegedly monopolized online ads.

  • Google has turned over more than 100,000 documents to investigators as part of the ongoing anti-trust probe.

  • The Justice Department is moving toward bringing a case as soon as this summer.


The Justice Department and a coalition of state attorneys general are likely to file antitrust charges against Google in the coming months, according to a new report by The Wall Street Journal. The reporting is consistent with earlier statements by Attorney General William Barr, who said he expected a decision to be made sometime this summer.


Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton confirmed the general timeline in a statement to the Journal, saying he would “hope to have the investigation wrapped up by fall,” although he would not commit to whether charges would be filed.


The investigation is one of the greatest efforts to regulate Google by the US government, with rare coordination between state and federal law enforcement. Google has turned over more than 100,000 documents to investigators as part of the ongoing probe, and civil demands have been served to a number of related third parties. Notably, the investigation does not include Justice Department antitrust chief Makan Delrahim, who has recused himself because of former lobbying work involving Google.


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On a call with reporters on Thursday, Paxton said the primary focus was the broad reach of Google’s online advertising network, the economic heart of the company.

We think Google has 7,000 data points on just about every human being alive, Paxton told reporters on the call. They control the buy-side [of online advertising], the sell-side and the market which we are concerned gives them way too much power.

-Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton


The investigation encompasses Google search because of its role in the ad business, but it does not involve the various platform moderation decisions made by Google on either YouTube or the Google Play Store. Still, conservative ire at perceived bias in Google’s moderation has become an important rallying point for Republicans, and it has stoked much of the political drive to prosecute the company.


Reached by The Verge, Google declined to speculate on the accuracy of the report. “We continue to engage with the ongoing investigations led by the Department of Justice and Attorney General Paxton,” a representative said, “and we don’t have any updates or comments on speculation.”


On the Thursday call, Paxton said he expected more developments shortly. “We are on a good path to completing our investigation,” Paxton told reporters, “and I think you’ll see things happening relatively soon.”


Read More: GOOGLE'S AI-POWERED ROBOT CAN GRASP OCCLUDED OBJECTS, DO NEVER-SEEN-BEFORE TASKS

Spotlight

The American Red Cross and Intel are using artificial intelligence technology (2nd generation Xeon Scalable processors with DL Boost) to put vulnerable populations on the map. According to the Red Cross and its Missing Maps project, disasters affect nearly 200 million people around the world annually. Many of the affected areas are missing from maps, which means that first responders lack necessary information.


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SOFTWARE

Copado Launches The First Natively Integrated DevOps and Testing Platform with Its Spring 22 Release

Copado | February 11, 2022

Copado, a leading DevOps platform powering the world's largest digital transformations, today announced it has natively integrated testing into its low-code CI/CD DevOps platform – the first company to achieve this milestone. Designed for the new breed of non-technical and technical low-code delivery teams, Copado's Spring 22 release enables customers to "shift-left" on testing to improve the quality and velocity of their multi-cloud releases. Gartner forecasts that the use of low-code and no-code technologies will nearly triple by 2025. This will make quality-driven development critical for these delivery teams as low-code teams are much larger and less technical than traditional software delivery teams. Copado is the only low-code DevOps and testing platform that empowers delivery teams composed of admins, developers, release managers, architects, quality assurance, and testers, to work more collaboratively throughout the software development lifecycle from planning, building and testing through to delivery. Natively integrating Copado Robotic Testing into the Copado DevOps platform and CI/CD development pipelines provides a more advanced way of ensuring quality, security, and governance across every step of the cloud development process. With Spring 22, Copado is fully optimized for the needs of cloud delivery teams that now work across multiple geographies, departments, and cloud platforms to deliver modern digital transformation projects. Now customers can implement Copado CI/CD and Robotic Testing individually or together on the Copado DevOps platform, based on specific use cases and needs. Re-engineering our platform to integrate automated testing is a milestone event for the industry – no other company has built a DevOps platform that natively integrates testing to improve software quality and security, Copado is delivering the next wave of innovation to further our multi-cloud strategy and empower the next generation of delivery teams. Customers and partners are using Copado as a strategic platform to align their people, process and technology investments and accelerate their journey to build a digital business." David Brooks, Senior Vice President of Products for Copado. In Spring 22, the Copado DevOps platform has been rearchitected to be more open and extensible for developing quality-driven pipelines across multiple clouds, platforms, or applications. Key new innovations include Copado Actions, which define new DevOps building blocks that automate key actions such as commit, test, deploy and backup across any cloud application development process. Copado also introduced new point-and-click automation templates and deeper Jira integration, enabling both low-code and pro-code teams to unite in orchestrating and delivering software across multiple cloud applications. As customers of Copado Robotic Testing, we are excited to see it now natively integrated on the Copado DevOps platform, We have seen the quality of our development pipelines increase by incorporating automated testing. Another major benefit is that you don't have to write it – Copado simplifies the process with low-code functionality. This makes it much easier for our team to get people up and running on the platform." Laura LaRocca, QA Manager at Brunswick's OneASG. Copado is redefining how to achieve success with enterprise SaaS and low-code platforms with its data-driven approach to delivering faster, higher quality releases and improving trust across customer transformation projects. Organizations that implement DevOps and automated testing best practices have been shown to deploy more often, fail less often and recover faster. Forrester Consulting found Copado delivered 20x shorter lead times, 10x faster recovery times, 4x reduction in change fail rate and 7% higher productivity. Further, organizations using Copado's DevOps platform can achieve $4.5 million in value and an ROI of 307% over three years with payback in less than 6 months. About Copado Copado is the leading DevOps and testing solution for SaaS platforms that run the world's largest digital transformations. Backed by Insight Partners, Salesforce Ventures and SoftBank Vision Fund, Copado accelerates multi-cloud, enterprise deployments by automating the end-to-end software delivery process to maximize customers' return on their cloud investment. More than 1,000 companies rely on Copado to drive digital transformation with speed, quality and value including Boston Scientific, Coca-Cola, Fair Trade, Linde, MassMutual, Schneider Electric and Shell. Copado processes over 50 million DevOps transactions per month and is rated with a 100% score on the Salesforce AppExchange.

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SOFTWARE

Mendix and Atos expand global partnership to drive efficient, digital decarbonization across every industry with enterprise low-code

Mendix | April 21, 2022

Mendix, a Siemens business and global leader in enterprise application development, and Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, today announced that they have signed an expanded partnership agreement to empower Atos to leverage the Mendix low-code platform to drive hyper-automation and decarbonization in enterprises. This partnership with Mendix enhances the longstanding, trusted partnership between Atos and Siemens, cementing Atos’ commitment to providing world-class, low-code solutions for global businesses. At launch, the agreement will give Atos the license to sell Mendix low-code platform in multiple regions where Atos has a joint business collaboration with Siemens, including APAC, EMEA, and the Americas. The offering will become available in more and more countries after the initial launch. Speeding up digitalization in manufacturing, retail, public sector, telecommunications, and financial services While enterprises continue to undergo rapid transformation as they digitalize business processes and operations, increasing economic sectors and industries are adopting IT solutions that streamline efficiency, optimize resources, and increase revenue. Atos will leverage the Mendix low-code platform to offer the broadest range of application modernization services and to fortify its industrial expertise and capabilities. Through this partnership, Atos will enable organizations to maximize the potential of low-code applications to support new user needs for fast and modern services across the manufacturing, retail, public sector, telecommunications, and financial services industries. With the help of the Mendix low-code platform, Atos customers can now launch complex, business-oriented digital initiatives without prohibitive investment in extensive technological capabilities and expertise. Accelerating digital decarbonization The agreement will also support Atos’ mission to push boundaries of scientific and technological excellence to ensure that its business partners, clients, and the greater society can thrive and function sustainably in a digitally secure information environment. The Mendix platform integrates with existing components to take a circular economy approach to software development. By enabling organizations to upgrade their services one application at a time, it reduces the need for infrastructure overhauls, effectively enabling organizations to do more with less. The Mendix platform is cloud native and allows for containerized applications. This enables organizations to deploy anywhere and scale their apps to any size without redesign. With the Mendix low-code platform, Atos can support its customers to develop low-emissions applications and thereby contribute to lowering their carbon footprints. According to the ‘Exponential Climate Action Roadmap’ laid out by the World Economic Forum, digital technologies could help reduce global carbon emissions by up to 15% – or one-third of the 50% reduction required by 2030 – through digital solutions in energy, manufacturing, agriculture, transportation and traffic management. Through the new agreement, Atos and Mendix will provide those industries with solutions that immediately support their needs for decarbonization. Atos is already building industry specific solutions based on the Mendix platform to monitor, report, and track real-time energy consumption and carbon emission across 1,800 locations globally. Using low-code to propel legacy systems into a digital-first economy “We are pleased to build on Siemens’ long-standing relationship with Atos and create high-value services that will further support hyper-automation and decarbonization in enterprises. With a strong background in application modernization, Atos has the expertise to establish a clear roadmap to modernize legacy applications and systems. This is crucial for enterprises seeking to rebuild or replace their legacy systems. Our low-code platform and Atos’ expertise are perfectly suited to accelerating that transformation,” said Tim Srock, CEO, Mendix. “Through this partnership with Mendix, Atos will help organizations streamline processes, reducing the total cost and time required to change or improve their application development systems.” “As we operate within today’s fast-paced digital landscape, this partnership will allow us to capitalize on the Mendix low-code platform to offer unique services that rapidly adapt and respond to our clients’ market changes and opportunities, across all the industries we serve. We are confident this extension to our existing partnership with Siemens will bolster our joint commitment to create innovative solutions for enterprises looking to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives.” Rakesh Khanna, Head of Digital at Atos While enterprises continue to undergo rapid transformation as they digitalize business processes and operations, increasing economic sectors and industries are seeking IT solutions to streamline efficiency, optimize resources, and increase revenue. With the help of the Mendix low-code platform, organizations can now launch complex, business-oriented digital initiatives without prohibitive investing in extensive technological capabilities and expertise. About Mendix In a digital-first world, customers want their every need anticipated, employees want better tools to do their jobs, and enterprises know that sweeping digital transformation is the key to survival and success. Mendix, a Siemens business, is quickly becoming the engine of the enterprise digital landscape. Its industry-leading low-code platform and comprehensive ecosystem integrates the most advanced technology to support solutions that boost engagement, streamline operations, and relieve IT logjams. Built on the pillars of abstraction, automation, cloud, and collaboration, Mendix dramatically increases developer productivity and empowers a legion of not-so-technical, ‘citizen’ developers to create apps guided by their particular domain expertise, facilitated by Mendix’s engineered-in collaborative capabilities and intuitive visual interface. About Atos Atos is a global leader in digital transformation with 109,000 employees and annual revenue of c. € 11 billion. European number one in cybersecurity, cloud and high performance computing, the Group provides tailored end-to-end solutions for all industries in 71 countries. A pioneer in decarbonization services and products, Atos is committed to a secure and decarbonized digital for its clients. Atos is a SE (Societas Europaea), listed on Euronext Paris and included in the CAC 40 ESG and Next 20 Paris Stock indexes.

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Silicon Labs Brings AI and Machine Learning to the Edge with Matter-Ready Platform

Silicon Labs | January 24, 2022

Silicon Labs, a leader in secure, intelligent wireless technology for a more connected world, today announced the BG24 and MG24 families of 2.4 GHz wireless SoCs for Bluetooth and Multiple-protocol operations, respectively, and a new software toolkit. This new co-optimized hardware and software platform will help bring AI/ML applications and wireless high performance to battery-powered edge devices. Matter-ready, the ultra-low-power BG24 and MG24 families support multiple wireless protocols and incorporate PSA Level 3 Secure Vault™ protection, ideal for diverse smart home, medical and industrial applications. The SoC and software solution for the Internet of Things (IoT) announced today includes: Two new families of 2.4 GHz wireless SoCs, which feature the industry's first integrated AI/ML accelerators, support for Matter, Zigbee, OpenThread, Bluetooth Low Energy, Bluetooth mesh, proprietary and multi-protocol operation, the highest level of industry security certification, ultra-low power capabilities and the largest memory and flash capacity in the Silicon Labs portfolio. A new software toolkit designed to allow developers to quickly build and deploy AI and machine learning algorithms using some of the most popular tool suites like TensorFlow. The BG24 and MG24 wireless SoCs represent an awesome combination of industry capabilities including broad wireless multiprotocol support, battery life, machine learning, and security for IoT Edge applications." Matt Johnson, CEO of Silicon Labs. First Integrated AI/ML Acceleration Improves Performance and Energy Efficiency IoT product designers see the tremendous potential of AI and machine learning to bring even greater intelligence to edge applications like home security systems, wearable medical monitors, sensors monitoring commercial facilities and industrial equipment, and more. But today, those considering deploying AI or machine learning at the edge are faced with steep penalties in performance and energy use that may outweigh the benefits. The BG24 and MG24 alleviate those penalties as the first ultra-low powered devices with dedicated AI/ML accelerators built-in. This specialized hardware is designed to handle complex calculations quickly and efficiently, with internal testing showing up to a 4x improvement in performance along with up to a 6x improvement in energy efficiency. Because the ML calculations are happening on the local device rather than in the cloud, network latency is eliminated for faster decision-making and actions. The BG24 and MG24 families also have the largest Flash and random access memory (RAM) capacities in the Silicon Labs portfolio. This means that the device can evolve for multi-protocol support, Matter, and trained ML algorithms for large datasets. PSA Level 3-Certified Secure VaultTM, the highest level of security certification for IoT devices, provides the security needed in products like door locks, medical equipment, and other sensitive deployments where hardening the device from external threats is paramount. AI/ML Software and Matter-Support Help Designers Create for New Innovative Applications In addition to natively supporting TensorFlow, Silicon Labs has partnered with some of the leading AI and ML tools providers, like SensiML and Edge Impulse, to ensure that developers have an end-to-end toolchain that simplifies the development of machine learning models optimized for embedded deployments of wireless applications. Using this new AI/ML toolchain with Silicon Labs's Simplicity Studio and the BG24 and MG24 families of SoCs, developers can create applications that draw information from various connected devices, all communicating with each other using Matter to then make intelligent machine learning-driven decisions. For example, in a commercial office building, many lights are controlled by motion detectors that monitor occupancy to determine if the lights should be on or off. 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Alpha Program Highlights Variety of Deployment Options More than 40 companies representing various industries and applications have already begun developing and testing this new platform solution in a closed Alpha program. These companies have been drawn to the BG24 and MG24 platforms by their ultra-low power, advanced features, including AI/ML capabilities and support for Matter. Global retailers are looking to improve the in-store shopping experience with more accurate asset tracking, real-time price updating, and other uses. Participants from the commercial building management sector are exploring how to make their building systems, including lighting and HVAC, more intelligent to lower owners' costs and reduce their environmental footprint. Finally, consumer and smart home solution providers are working to make it easier to connect various devices and expand the way they interact to bring innovative new features and services to consumers. Silicon Labs' Most Capable Family of SoCs The single-die BG24 and MG24 SoCs combine a 78 MHz ARM Cortex-M33 processor, high-performance 2.4 GHz radio, industry-leading 20-bit ADC, an optimized combination of Flash (up to 1536 kB) and RAM (up to 256 kB), and an AI/ML hardware accelerator for processing machine learning algorithms while offloading the ARM Cortex-M33, so applications have more cycles to do other work. Supporting a broad range of 2.4 GHz wireless IoT protocols, these SoCs incorporate the highest security with the best RF performance/energy-efficiency ratio in the market. About Silicon Labs Silicon Labs (NASDAQ: SLAB) is a leader in secure, intelligent wireless technology for a more connected world. Our integrated hardware and software platform, intuitive development tools, unmatched ecosystem, and robust support make us an ideal long-term partner in building advanced industrial, commercial, home, and life applications. We make it easy for developers to solve complex wireless challenges throughout the product lifecycle and get to market quickly with innovative solutions that transform industries, grow economies, and improve lives.

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GENERAL AI

Headroom launches to combat Zoom fatigue with AI

Headroom | December 16, 2021

To say that the global pandemic has transformed the workforce would be something of an understatement, with remote work still a reality for millions of people globally. To help with the rapid transition from centralized working environments to a more distributed network of home-working hubs, cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools such as Zoom have shown their worth. But at what cost? In a world where major businesses, from Salesforce and Microsoft to VMware and Dropbox, have confirmed a permanent shift to a remote-first or hybrid working policy, people are spending less time face-to-face and more time face-to-screen. As such, better and more adaptive virtual collaboration tools will prove to be vital — Zoom fatigue, after all, is very real. That is precisely what Headroom is setting out to solve, with an AI-powered platform that automates many of the laborious tasks involved in virtual video meetings, and removes some of the stress entailed in catching up with key discussion points. Headroom was formed in 2020 by a triumvirate of founders with experience in building products at companies such as Google and Magic Leap. CEO Julian Green previously founded an AI-powered photo startup called Jetpac, which Google acquired in 2014. He then went on to become a group product manager at Google, where he launched the Google Cloud Vision API and Android Vision on-device API, as well as overseeing various augmented reality visual search products. More recently, Green served as a director at Alphabet’s “moonshot factory” X. Headroom raised $5 million in seed funding last October, with big-name backers, including Google’s AI-focused fund Gradient Ventures and Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang. As of this week, Headroom is officially available for anyone to sign up for after an extended beta period. Zoom on steroids While Headroom is a video communication platform in a similar vein to Zoom, it packs a number of notable tools on top of its core video chat functionality — it has been built with productivity, inclusiveness, and organization at its core. Headroom automatically transcribes a meeting, enabling users to search the transcript for keywords that are relevant to them — rather than having to sit through an entire two hour replay to get to the stuff that matter’s for their role. With this transcription in place, Headroom can also conduct a textual analysis using natural language processing (NLP), and by leveraging computer vision to analyze body language — including gaze-tracking and facial expressions — to generate highlights based on the perceived energy levels of the participants. Moreover, built-in gesture recognition allows meeting participants to quickly show their (dis)approval without unmuting their microphone, either by giving a thumbs up/down, or raising their hand to indicate that they have a question without verbally interrupting the current speaker. On a technical level, Headroom uses what is known as “real-time super-resolution,” which essentially transforms low-definition video into high-definition using lower bandwidth. And with its server-based architecture, Headroom doesn’t consume users’ local computing power — everything takes place in the cloud. “We can provide all these AI features without taking up all your CPU cycles, and having your computer fan running when you have a meeting,” Green explained. “Our differentiation from the many other efforts in this area stem from having developed a next-generation video-conferencing platform that enables low latency real-time AI to be run on real-time communication — older architectures can’t do this. Incumbents are in the pixel delivery business, we are in the intelligence delivery business.” Meetings of the future In the future, Headroom sees itself serving as a sort of centralized knowledge base that allows users to ask questions — such as “what was project XYZ’s outcome?” — and receive answers. This means those that couldn’t attend a meeting can easily discover any agreements or conclusions that were reached. “Meetings will become a more flexible way to drive a business forward, from rich in-person communication all the way to rapid information-retrieval and value-added analytics. -Green “We have had inbound interest from consultancies, banks, healthcare, and educational companies, So there is value there for enterprises, which are very interested in the things we do well — coaching, improving inclusion, and transparency in meetings. Having a searchable store of meeting information, reducing duplicated meetings, and improving efficiency is attractive to companies of all sizes.” -Green

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