Google's strategic move into selling own branded Mobile phones is another step in the merging of "Software plus Hardware" that Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and recently Facebook have realized at the making of the "Internet of Things" Era. This is the critical issue of not just providing the software and operating system but increasing the value in the devices that become the Interface to the Customer: the smart phone, the smart tablet/laptop of Microsoft Surface, the Smart Speaker of Amazon Echo and Alexa, and the Facebook Oculus Rift and Microsoft Hololens that are the new foundations of Natural Language speech recognition services and the VR Virtual Reality and AR Augmented Reality breaking now and into 2017 and onward. Google's long-term market is changing, the advertising revenue from search engines while still strong is now seeing new ways to search via speech or Virtual image recognition and virtual interaction Google has been late to realizing perhaps the shift to software hardware is where the Internet of Things may be shaping the market with the Connected Home, Connected Car and Connected Work through these devices. It's all about "market marking" beyond just the big cloud data centers and big data analytics to how to build out the edge of the cloud network with all these potentially billions of connected sensors and devices. If the Mobile phone is becoming the "remote control to this world" and platforms the "fabric of social networks and connected experiences" then Google like others is rushing to get into this space with stronger software and hardware offerings
Much of the internet appears to be broken. A distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack has taken down systems run by Dyn, Inc, one of the largest providers of internet services in the world. And as a result it seems to be causing problems for a variety of websites – including Reddit, Spotify and Twitter. Dyn runs domain name servers or DNS. They work as a phone book or map to the internet, making sure that when someone writes an address into their computer or phone, it can be directed to the right place and show the right information.
Google just killed the Captcha, perhaps the most obstructive thing on the entire internet. For years, Captcha served as the primary way of telling humans and robots apart on the internet. It made sure that the person looking to access a website was actually a human being – ensuring that robots couldn't be used to send spam or flood a website with requests, for instance. But over time, robots have gradually become too clever for the often simple tests – which early on required people to transcribe hard-to-read text. With that, the technologies have become more complex, too.
An ongoing internet outage appears to be spreading and taking down many of the world's biggest websites. Companies including Twitter, Netflix, PayPal and eBay appeared to have their websites broken. And other services like PlayStation Network appeared to be hit by the outage. Almost every major service that isn't part of a major internet provider seemed to be having issues. As such, Google and Facebook appeared to stay up – but almost everything else was down, according to Down Detector's dashboard.
I have been invited to write a book chapter on lexical choice for translators (contact me if you want to see a preprint). To get acquainted on this audience different from my usual computer science I read a few papers on professional translators use of technology. Two of them are quite interesting and I recommend them not only because they make for a good read and they have implications outside translation: Translation Skill-sets in a Machine-translation Age by Anthony Pym (2013) and Is Machine Translation Post-editing Worth the Effort?: A Survey of Research into Post-editing and Effort by Maarit Koponen (2016). This search finished by reading a short ebook by researchers at the MIT Center for Digital Business titled Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy. In that book plus the papers there's this call for humans, if we want to remain employed, to hybridize our work and to seek out ways to work with the computer as some sort of partnership.