Google vs Amazon?
Eric Schmidt, Googles chairman, has revealed that the firm looks to Amazon as its main rival. Correcting the long-held assumption that the tech giant would instead be looking over its shoulder towards Yahoo or Bing for competition.
During a speech in Berlin, Schmidt said: “Many people think our main competition is Bing or Yahoo. But, really, our biggest search competitor is Amazon.”
“People don’t think of Amazon as search, but if you are looking for something to buy, you are more often than not looking for it on Amazon.” Adding: “They are obviously more focused on the commerce side of the equation, but, at their roots, they are answering users’ questions and searches, just as we are.”
Amazon has been stepping up their activity outside of its comfort zone recently, with steps including the acquisition of Twitch Interactive (for a gigantic $970m) earlier this year and the Amazon Prime Air campaign featuring futuristic delivery drones, which went viral in late 2013.
Could this be a sign of Google putting a heavier emphasis on its products in the future? Or is the Silicon Valley firm simply sharing some heart-felt admiration for the worlds no.1 ecommerce platform?
Red Bull Doesn’t Give you Wings
This week Red Bull was forced to cough up a massive $13 million to consumers, after a customer took the company to court over the famous Red Bull gives you wings slogan.
The firm settling out of court with the plaintiff, who claimed false advertising after receiving no enhanced athletic or intellectual abilities despite consuming the product for over 10 years.
Following the settlement, Red Bull pledged to refund the tidy sum of $10 to any US customer who purchased the drink since 2002.
$6.5 million from the settlement will go towards refunding an estimated 1.4m customers who have claimed. Users also managed to crash the energydrinksettlement.com website following heavy interest in Red Bulls refund promise.
Further developments have revealed that the amount refunded per customer is set to be significantly lower than expected, since the $6.5m will have to be divided equally among those customers who have claimed. Reports indicate that due to the volume of applicants, $3 is the likely sum for those claiming before March 2, 2015.
Snapsaved Shuts Down
Snapchat have been under fire recently after a threat that over 200,000 personal Snapchat images would be released. However it has now since been announced that third-party app Snapsaved.com is responsible for the leaked images. Although Snapchat deletes images within a matter of seconds, users can use websites or download apps that allows them to save the images they receive without the senders or Snapchat’s knowledge.
In a Facebook post Snapsaved stated: “In response to recent media events and the statement made by http://pastebin.com/cJcTbNz8 I would like to inform the public that snapsaved.com was hacked, the dictionary index the poster is referring to, was never publicly available. We had a misconfiguration in our Apache server. SnapChat has not been hacked, and these images do not originate from their database.”
The Snapsaved website and app has now been taken down and the URL redirects to a blank page. They have also offered a full apology: “I sincerely apologize on the behalf of snapsaved.com we never wished for this to happen. We did not wish to cause SnapChat or their users any harm, we only wished to provide a unique service.”
Advertisers to Scan Social Media Images
You might think twice about what pictures you put on social media after this. It has been revealed this week that advertisers are using image recognition technology to scan social media images looking for brand logos. According to a privacy campaign group advertisers have been scanning pictures posted on social media accounts such as Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr.
As the images are posted publically the marketing tactic is legal, although it has been said that the majority of social media users are unaware that such activities are taking part. The technology, created by Ditto Labs in Massachusetts, can also scan the background of the image, what the people are wearing and where the picture was taken.
Emma Carr, director of Big Brother Watch told MailOnline: “Social media companies are well within their rights to scan photos for marketing purposes, which will certainly come as a surprise to many users. We are all very used to receiving targeted adverts based on the information we provide about ourselves online, whether that be via our emails or status updates, but scanning our photos for logos and certain backdrops will go far beyond what many would expect companies to do with the photos we post.”
Samsung have claimed that they have discovered a way to make wi-fi data travel five times faster than its current speed. In a statement Samsung said “they have managed to limit the amount of interference data travelling on different channels, suffered when many devices were connected to a wi-fi hub or hotspot”.
The engineers are working on wi-fi that operates in the 60GHz band. It is expected that the first devices using this wi-fi will be available in 2015. Samsung are rumoured to be using the technology in phones, TVs and smart home appliances.