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  • Yesterday, 8:52 PM
    • The car group's finances were separated from  Google's (GOOG, GOOGL) research lab X on Jan. 1 this year, says X chief Astro Teller, speaking at the WSJDLive 2016 conference. The team is now completing a series of corporate and legal moves to become its own business.
    • It's a major step in the vehicles' path to commercial operations, writes the WSJ's Jack Nicas, and as a stand-alone operation, the car group would likely be expected to soon begin generating revenue (though not necessarily a profit).
    • “The world is going to have cars that are sold to individuals and cars that are shared by individuals, and which one Alphabet does, we have our thinking on it,” says Teller. “But right now we’re very focused on safety.”
    • Teller says Alphabet's self-driving cars will likely roll out incrementally over the next several years as they improve with more time on the road. They will, however, be fully autonomous from the start. "You press a button and tell the car where you want to go."
    | Yesterday, 8:52 PM | 24 Comments
  • Yesterday, 5:35 PM
  • Tue, Oct. 25, 8:02 PM
    • The chief of Google's Fiber business (GOOG -0.7%, GOOGL -0.9%) is out and the unit will pause development in cities where it's not yet active, and set up for layoffs.
    • In a blog post, Google Access CEO Craig Barratt confirmed the moves.
    • "In terms of our existing footprint, in the cities where we’ve launched or are under construction, our work will continue," Barratt writes. "For most of our 'potential Fiber cities' — those where we’ve been in exploratory discussions — we’re going to pause our operations and offices while we refine our approaches."
    • In the handful of exploratory cities and in some parts of the support operation, "we'll be reducing our employee base," he says, and "I’ve decided this is the right juncture to step aside from my CEO role. Larry [Page, Alphabet chief] has asked me to continue as an advisor, so I’ll still be around."
    • The change-up comes months after Google Fiber acquired Webpass, largely seen as an admission that fixed wireless might be a preferable route to laying fiber in order to deploy last-mile high-speed Internet.
    | Tue, Oct. 25, 8:02 PM | 14 Comments
  • Tue, Oct. 25, 1:18 PM
    • Google's (GOOGGOOGL) looking to bring real-time collaboration, powered by G Suite, to physical meetings through its new Jamboard hardware.
    • Features – 55-inch, 4K display, touchscreen, HD camera, speakers, Wi-FI
    • Not yet available (2017 noted), and with an "under $6,000 USD" price point, the Jamboard isn't exactly a dramatic near-term development. Nonetheless, beyond just the benefit of getting Google's digital G Suite workplace products physically in front of users, however, is a continued emphasis by the company on integrating Google software throughout Google-developed hardware.
    • Jamboard — the whiteboard, reimagined for collaboration in the cloud
    • Introducing Jamboard (video)
    | Tue, Oct. 25, 1:18 PM | 14 Comments
  • Tue, Oct. 25, 11:04 AM
    | Tue, Oct. 25, 11:04 AM | 3 Comments
  • Mon, Oct. 24, 1:51 PM
    • Android Pay (GOOGGOOGL) functionality on hundreds of thousands of sites accepting Visa Checkout (V +1.2%) and Masterpass (MA +0.5%) to come.
    • Integrations to begin rolling out in early 2017.
    • Competition in the digital payments arena is sharp, with offerings from Apple, Samsung, PayPal and others all focused on simplifying the process of transacting payments. Google, with its newly-launched Pixel, and Apple, however, are in unique positions to blend their respective payments operations throughout software and hardware at a time when the spotlight on ecosystems is particularly bright.
    • Related (October 4): Apple Pay now available in Russia
    • Blog post
    | Mon, Oct. 24, 1:51 PM | 1 Comment
  • Sat, Oct. 22, 10:42 AM
    • While Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) may have grabbed some headlines this week for its ambitious goals with autonomous driving (SAE level 5), the technology is being widely discussed across industries as a potential future reality.
    • At a real estate conference in New York this week, a panel member called autonomous vehicles the biggest tech news concerning real estate in the last ten years. Some see a future reversal of urbanization trends in a development that could have significant investment implications.
    • City planners and architects are already thinking of next-gen design. A paper titled "Beyond Google's Cute Car" (.pdf version) is a good example of how cities are being reimagined.
    • Then there's this from the man who designed the 2015 Ford Mustang. "The next 10 years in this business is going to be the biggest change and challenge since the turn of the last century when cars took over for horses," said Ford design chief Moray Callum. Ford (NYSE:F) aims to have a high-volume, fully autonomous SAE level 4-capable vehicle in commercial operation in 2021.
    • Self-driving car development is a topic of discussion on FedEx (NYSE:FDX), UPS (NYSE:UPS), Lyft (Private:LYFT), Uber (Private:UBER), Hertz Global (NYSE:HTZ), Google (GOOGL, GOOG), Avis Budget (NASDAQ:CAR), Domino's Pizza (NYSE:DPZ) and Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA). Earnings season is just heating up, but a host of companies -- including OTCPK:TMOAF, OTCPK:DDAIF, OTCPK:VOLVY, MXIM, CPRT,  WBC, GNTX  and XLNX -- have already talked up the trend on their conference calls. GM reports earnings this week and will update on any self-driving Chevy Bolt plans.
    • Looking ahead, insurance companies, chipmakers, truckers and cybersecurity firms (NYSEARCA:HACK) will be firmly in the self-driving conversation.
    • So who has a profitable trade idea off of the evolution of cars?
    | Sat, Oct. 22, 10:42 AM | 223 Comments
  • Fri, Oct. 21, 5:23 PM
    • AT&T's (T -3%) interest in Time Warner (TWX +7.8%) progressed quickly from "had talks" to "advanced talks" and now a deal could be set by Monday -- which Bloomberg says is due to a sped-up timetable caused by Bloomberg's initial report.
    • That's because AT&T is said to be concerned that the publicity could allow other interested suitors like Apple (AAPL -0.4%) or Alphabet (GOOG +0.3%, GOOGL +0.3%) to jump in -- and indeed Apple is said to be monitoring the deal talks, after it made its own approach to Time Warner a few months ago, The Wall Street Journal reports.
    • Those talks involved execs under Apple chief Tim Cook and didn't get beyond a preliminary stage. A source tells the WSJ that Google doesn't look interested in an offer for Time Warner.
    • But the story of the deal points out just how much behind-the-scenes strategic talk is going on in the media/telecom spaces, as companies vie to be among the new leaders in an upended, converged digital media climate.
    • Sumner Redstone was said to be considering not only the merger of CBS (CBS +2.1%) and Viacom (VIA +2.7%, VIAB +2.8%) that he's already pushing for, but also to combine that entity with Time Warner.
    • Meanwhile, Comcast (CMCSA -0.5%) could join another company to get involved, the WSJ says, though that makes more sense if Time Warner's open to being parted out.
    • Unlikely to join in this time: Twenty-First Century Fox (FOX +2.2%, FOXA +2.2%), whose own pursuit of Time Warner failed in 2014 at $85/share, and Walt Disney (DIS +1.1%).
    • Previously: Time Warner at 15-year highs on merger talk; media companies rise (Oct. 21 2016)
    | Fri, Oct. 21, 5:23 PM | 64 Comments
  • Fri, Oct. 21, 3:16 PM
    • Integrations between Google's (GOOGGOOGL) G Suite (Calendar, G Suite Marketplace initially) and Intuit's (INTU +0.6%) Quickbooks Online highlighted.
    • Intuit: "This is the beginning of an exciting collaboration between Intuit and Google that will deliver huge benefits for the millions of small businesses that we serve around the world. Our data indicates that 56 percent of QuickBooks customers are using Google Calendar to book appointments, schedule meetings and track client work. By bringing our technologies together, we will create important efficiencies between two solutions customers are already using."
    • QuickBooks on G Suite Marketplace
    • Google Calendar for QuickBooks
    • Last week: Google, Salesforce plan new cloud work integrations
    | Fri, Oct. 21, 3:16 PM | 3 Comments
  • Thu, Oct. 20, 10:07 AM
    | Thu, Oct. 20, 10:07 AM | 23 Comments
  • Thu, Oct. 20, 8:28 AM
    • Shares of Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) are lower in early trading after the company announced it is loading all new cars with self-driving hardware.
    • Elon Musk told reporters last night that he envisions that by the end of 2017 a Tesla vehicle will be able to drive from Los Angeles to New York without the driver touching the wheel. He also said the software system will be built by Tesla and run off of Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) chips.
    • Tesla's timetable is aggressive in relation to the stated plans of some rivals. Earlier this year, Ford (NYSE:F) said it aims to bring a high-volume, fully autonomous vehicle to the ride sharing industry by 2021, while Nissan has a target of 2020 for "commercially viable" autonomous models. General Motors (NYSE:GM) already has a pre-production Bolt EV out in the wild, but hasn't set a specific timetable for a fully autonomous version.
    • Google (GOOG, GOOGL) is the company that has posted the most information about the challenges of the self-driving car initiative. A scan of Google's monthly reports is not a bad way to catch up on the burgeoning technology.
    • Previously: Tesla announces all vehicles to be loaded with self-driving hardware (Oct. 19)
    • TSLA -1.74% premarket to $200.01.
    | Thu, Oct. 20, 8:28 AM | 269 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 19, 2:51 PM
    • A new TV service from Google (GOOG +0.8%, GOOGL +0.6%) is likely to come in early 2017 after the company reached a carriage deal with CBS (CBS +0.7%) and is near distribution deals with Disney (DIS +0.6%) and Fox (FOX +0.8%, FOXA +0.4%) as well, The Wall Street Journal reports.
    • Reportedly called "Unplugged," the service would target cost-conscious viewers with a "skinny" bundle of live channels at $25-$40 per month, sources told the paper.
    • While it would be housed on Google's YouTube infrastructure, it would be separate from the existing ad-free YouTube Red subscription offering, though a curated part of Red would be part of the Unplugged bundle.
    • The bold move (with deals coming more rapidly than Apple's progress into TV) comes ahead of a planned live service from Hulu (CMCSA +0.2%, DIS, FOX, FOXA, TWX -0.1%) as well as AT&T's (T +0.2%) DirecTV Now offering arriving later this year (likely at $50/month or more), and enters a skinny space that already holds Sling TV (DISH +1.4%).
    • Updated 3:48 p.m.: Viacom (VIA +0.3%, VIAB +0.8%), home of MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and BET, is also in advanced talks to join the service.
    • Wall Street Journal report
    | Wed, Oct. 19, 2:51 PM | 35 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 19, 2:38 PM
    • Google (GOOG, GOOGL) has reached a deal with CBS (NYSE:CBS) on a planned Web TV service -- and the search giant is also in advanced talks with Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) and Twenty-First Century Fox (FOX, FOXA) to join, according to Dow Jones Newswires.
    • The service would be housed on Google's YouTube, which has made inroads this year on live-streaming as well as subscription offerings, including ad-free product YouTube Red.
    • The move comes slightly ahead of an expected late-2016 launch from AT&T (NYSE:T) of its DirecTV Now streaming service. AT&T chief Randall Stephenson has said that service would be "very, very" aggressively priced; most analysts expect an offering around $50 a month or as much as $60/month.
    • AT&T (T) makes a dip down, now up just 0.3% on the day.
    | Wed, Oct. 19, 2:38 PM | 30 Comments
  • Tue, Oct. 18, 4:02 PM
    | Tue, Oct. 18, 4:02 PM | 4 Comments
  • Tue, Oct. 18, 1:29 PM
    • While initial reviews of Google's (GOOG, GOOGL) Pixel device are mostly favorable ( "home run""first rate"), a broad theme to develop across the write-ups is the perception that the offering is mainly good relative to prior and existing Android smartphones.
    • Though consideration as "the best Android phone" is nonetheless positive, Google is hoping to not only challenge Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) with the Pixel, but compete with Apple (AAPL +0.5%) and position itself as a major player in the market where its products can be viewed as a top option across all ecosystems.
    • Still in the early stage of a hardware strategy redirection, Google will release the Pixel onto the market this Thursday with consumer reception, eventual sales figures and other factors to detail more comprehensive impact of the device in coming time.
    • Further reviews: Associated PressWall Street Journal, The New York TimesLos Angeles Times, WIRED, CNETEngadget, VentureBeat, Gizmodo
    | Tue, Oct. 18, 1:29 PM | 174 Comments
  • Mon, Oct. 17, 1:01 PM
    • Target on Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) previously set at $940 (current price Class A – $810.20, Class C – $783.60)
    • Analyst Stephen Ju cites advertiser budget deployments for search increasing into Q3 and the holiday period, advertising product diversity, revenue growth acceleration realized in Q2 and anticipated multiple expansion in the call.
    • Outperform rating and status as top pick in coverage universe maintained.
    • Earlier: Credit Suisse raises Amazon target to $1,050
    | Mon, Oct. 17, 1:01 PM | 3 Comments