Antitrust, billion dollar fines, privacy violations and numerous federal investigations. Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon are feeling the pressure from a wave of government inquiries. Will they be broken up? Or will they survive? In this video we explore the issue.
Posted: Monday, July 29, 2019 9:05 AM
There’s a movement building within tech. Workers are demanding higher standards from their companies — and because of their unique skills and talent, they have the leverage to get attention. Walkouts and sit-ins. Picket protests and petitions. Shareholder resolutions, and open letters. These are the new tools of tech workers, increasingly emboldened to speak out. And, as they do that, they expose the underbellies of their companies’ ethics and values or perceived lack of them.
In this episode of IRL, host Manoush Zomorodi meets with Rebecca Stack-Martinez, an Uber driver fed up with being treated like an extension of the app; Jack Poulson, who left Google over ethical concerns with a secret search engine being built for China; and Rebecca Sheppard, who works at Amazon and pushes for innovation on climate change from within. EFF Executive Director Cindy Cohn explains why this movement is happening now, and why it matters for all of us.
Rebecca Stack-Martinez is a committee member for Gig Workers Rising.
Check out Amazon employees’ open letter to Jeff Bezos and Board of Directors asking for a better plan to address climate change.
Cindy Cohn is the Executive Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. EFF is a nonprofit that defends civil liberties in the digital world. They champion user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development.
There’s a danger zone, not a stranger zone
Than the little plot I walk on that I call my home
Full of eerie sights, weird and skeery sights
Ev’ry vicious animal that creeps and crawls and bites!
On the Amazon, the prophylactics prowl On the Amazon, the hypodermics howl On
the Amazon, you’ll hear a scarab scowl and sting zodiacs on the wing
All the stalactites and vicious vertebrae
Hunt the stalagmites while laryngitis slay
All that parasites that come from Paraguay in the spring
Hmm, hmm hmmm
Snarling equinox among the rocks will seize you
And the fahrenheit comes out at night to freeze you
Wild duodenum are lurking in the trees
And the jungle swarms with green apostrophes
Oh, the Amazon is calling me
On the Amazon, the pax vobiscum bite
On the Amazon, the epiglottis fight
On the Amazon, the hemispheres at night all slink where the agnostics drink
All the hippodromes that lie concealed in mud
Hunt the metronomes that live in swamp and flood
Then the kodachromes run out and drink their blood, poor ginks
While velocipedes among the weeds will scare you
And the menopause with hungry jaws ensnares you
Frenzied adenoids infest the hills and slopes
Everyone avoids the deadly stethoscopes
Oh, the Amazon is calling
Yes, the Amazon is calling
Oh, the Amazon is calling me-ee!
On The Amazon ( Don McClean )
Tech More: Google Amazon
The Single Most Terrifying Trend Facing Google
Two and a half years ago we wrote a post headlined “Forget Apple, Forget Facebook: Here’s The One Company That Actually Terrifies Google Execs.”
That company? Amazon.
Google is a search company, but the searches it makes money from are the searches people do before they are about to buy something online.
These commercial searches make up about 20% of total Google searches. Those searches are where the ads are.
Two and a half years ago we wrote, “What Googlers worry about in private is a growing trend among consumers to skip Google altogether, and to just go ahead and search for the product they would like to buy on Amazon.com, or, on mobile in an Amazon app.”
We noted that, according to ComScore, “the trend is real.” Searches on Amazon.com were up 73% year over year.
Well, we checked back with ComScore recently, and the news remains bad for Google. Desktop search queries on Amazon increased 47% between September 2013 and September 2014, according to ComScore.
Even worse for Google, that number doesn’t tell the whole story.
In the past two and a half years, the number of mobile internet users surpassed desktop internet users.
desktop versus mobile users in 2014Comscore
On mobile, using Google as a starting point when you want to buy something makes even less sense.
Think about it. Why go through these steps?
Open your web browser on your phone.
Google search “bike gloves.”
Scan some text links.
Click on a link to go to a product page at some e-commerce store.
Click to add the item to your cart.
Input your credit-card info.
Type in your address.
Select the shipping preferences you want to pay for.
When you can just …
Open the Amazon app on your phone.
Search “bike gloves.”
Click one button to buy the product with your usual credit card, and have it shipped to your usual address free.
Two and a half years ago, we wrote that Google’s Amazon nightmare would get scarier if Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets and (rumored) phones ever got wide adoption.
That hasn’t happened yet. Kindle Fire sales are pretty bad. But earlier this month, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos made it clear in an onstage interview at our BI Ignition conference that he’s not giving up on the project.
Bad news for Google execs trying to get eight hours a night.
Nicholas Carlson is the author of “Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo!”