Google has around $130 billion in cash reserves. It isn’t giving it to shareholders. It isn’t acquiring much. And it has started cutting costs (lower salaries and lesser support for ad customers). What is Alphabet planning to do with all that cash?

This is definitely a join-the-dots exercise, because on the surface Alphabet (the parent company of Google) are a law-abiding company only interested in making information available to everyone.

Yet, given that we all fear having AI overlords, detecting the start of something early will mean getting a feel of what is happening, even if not prove-able.

The Cash

Google has…


Google is a massive corporation with 135,000 employees (excluding contractors), so how on Earth could it be running on auto pilot?

I want to focus on only one product, Google Ads, without which Google would not exist. In 2011 it accounted for 96% of Google’s revenue, and 83% today.

It is no secret that Google is slowly but surely turning the Google Ads platform into an automated offering. In the future Google will scan your website and make your ads for you — all you do is pay for the ad clicks. An easier to use service should equate to…


Many of us can now (in theory) work from anywhere we choose, because we just need our laptop and an internet connection.

That means we can work in our own backyard, or from the best beaches in the world — being outside makes it feel like not working at all!

Source

But wait! Is it so great after all?

There are some serious negatives to computing outside:

  • Screen glare
  • Distractions
  • Heat / cold / wind / rain / snow
  • Bugs
  • Toilet & kitchen are further away

Wirecutter even suggest noise-cancelling headphones for blocking out the sounds of street traffic, birds, barking…


Photo by stephan sorkin on Unsplash

Based on history, existing behemoths tend not to win brand new segments. They move too slowly and too safely. So let’s start with my vision of what is required, and then see where each is at.

BTW, the key here is advertising and the expectation that one augmented reality system will win. Advertisers and businesses won’t be interested in spending time and effort on multiple systems when one will be sufficient. So don’t be surprised if we end with a big/small duopoly, with the small one keeping the dominant one honest with pricing.

Through Your Phone / Glasses / Contact Lenses

Contact Lenses are the ultimate, and you…


If the current trends continue unchecked, society and lives are at risk from bad actors online. We have a president who says “fake news” on a daily basis, and people have killed themselves because of the impact anonymous online comments can have.

Problem #1 — Privacy

People love being anonymous online. We know this from user names — regardless of platform, most people choose to no use their first and last names. And there is a real use in anonymity for heated but lawful discussion.

Forcing people to be identifiable online will simply scare them from a platform that requires it.

  • Don’t want your…

I don’t recommend that any small businesses should even consider suing Google, and I’m not a legal expert of any kind. But these are potential issues that could lead to class actions if they got enough publicity…

Location Settings

When you make ads in Google Ads, you choose a location where you want your ads to run. Most businesses only advertise where they service or sell to. Yet the default setting, buried away in advanced options, is to show ads to people in your location, or people who are “interested” in your location.

The main support article, Target ads to geographic locations


East vs West: The Cold War on Steroids — Two Walled Worlds

There is a future that I don’t think anyone has thought of, or at least few people are discussing — our planet split into two worlds that have nothing to do with each other. Essentially East and West.

And it will occur when considers regarding ethics and technology combine. Blame China. Well, actually, blame us for buying Chinese goods and enabling this potential outcome.

  • China is using technology to enable a surveillance state straight out of dystopian fiction.
  • Last week there was news of possibly designer babies being…


There are a number of default settings in Google Ads (previously known as AdWords) that benefit Google primarily, and typically cost advertisers money.

Fixing these would be a problem for Google, because it would bring up the questions of why wasn’t this fixed earlier, and should we start a class action.

I have audited hundreds of accounts… and worked on thousands. Here’s what I know that your typical advertiser does not know —some thing that collectively costs them a lot of money.

Default location settings

This is an advanced option that is not immediately apparent when creating a new Google Ads campaign. …


For all of Google’s commitment to giving their searchers a great experience, the same can’t be said for the AdWords interface, which just had a major overhaul.

After 17 years, and having a massive user base, a lot of data, lots of expert users who would be willing to give their thoughts, and hundreds of employees with PhDs… they still get many basic things wrong.

Take the Keyword Planner in AdWords, a tool that is used so much that Google recently stopped non-advertisers from accessing it. …


Hard currency these days isn’t backed by anything more than a universal belief system, so the argument is that crypto-currencies can be an alternative or replacement. But that belief system didn’t happen over night, it evolved over many centuries. And until recently it was backed up by, for example, the gold standard.

A new digital currency won’t easily be adopted by the masses, because it lacks faith and tangible backing. To succeed it will need the following, none of which Bitcoin or the other contenders have:

  • Easy to use
  • Can’t be stolen
  • Stable value
  • Backed up with something tangible

Ease…

Kiwi Rob

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