Ted Talk organizers today hosted a conversation with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. The conversation went mostly as planned. It centered on opportunities and challenges faced by the platform, and what it was doing to address them. But in one bit of poor planning, someone decided it’d be a good idea to feature a hashtag, #AskJackAtTED, on a projector screen behind Dorsey during the talk. #TED2019, were you overwhelmed or distracted by the questions on the screen? Take a look at what everyone asked on #AskJackAtTED. Thank you to everyone who participated in our conversation with @jack. The video of the…
House lawmakers on Wednesday approved a Democrat-backed bill (alternative source) that would restore rules requiring AT&T, Verizon and other Internet providers to treat all Web traffic equally, marking an early step toward reversing one of the most significant deregulatory moves of the Trump era. From a report: But the net neutrality measure is likely to stall from here, given strong Republican opposition in the GOP-controlled Senate and the White House, where aides to President Trump this week recommended that he veto the legislation if it ever reaches his desk. The House’s proposal, which passed by a vote of 232-190, would reinstate federal regulations that had banned AT&T, Verizon and other broadband providers from blocking or slowing down customers’ access to websites. Adopted in 2015 during the Obama administration, these net neutrality protections had the backing of tech giants and startups as well as consumer advocacy groups, which together argued that strong federal open Internet protections were necessary to preserve competition and allow consumers unfettered access to movies, music and other content of their choice.
In addition to shutting down Google+, Google URL Shortener, and Inbox by Gmail this week, the company has stopped selling its Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones through its online store, which means whatever remaining stock at other retailers will likely be extremely limited. It also means that the $799 Pixel 3 is now the cheapest phone Google sells. PCWorld summarizes the other three products coming to an end this week: Inbox by Gmail: When the Inbox by Gmail app launched in 2015, it was a revelation. A completely new way to view and organize your messages, Inbox boiled your emails down to a smart task manager, with bundles, pins, scheduling, and shortcuts that made managing your inbox a breeze. But over the years, Google’s interest in Inbox faded, and it never really got the attention it deserved. Most of its unique features are now part of the Gmail app (though we’re still waiting for bundles), and several third-party apps have adopted Inbox’s style. Apparently that’s good enough for Google, because as of this week you won’t be able to use it anymore.
Google URL Shortener (goo.gl): Back in 2009, link shortening was still a novel idea, and Google was one of the first to bring the concept to the masses with the Google URL Shortener. It was a simple way to turn a lengthy web address into a short one that consisted of goo.gl and a short string of letter and numbers. With the rise of bit.ly and similar services, Google’s own URL shortener became less important to people’s work flow and now, nearly 10 years later, it’s gone for good.
Google+: Google+ was once supposed to be the one-stop shop for social and support among Google users, but it never really caught on. And then it was revealed that some 50 million users may have had their name, email address, occupation, and age exposed to third-party developers, which accelerated its demise. Now it’s going away for good, but we can’t imagine that anyone will actually notice.