In the US, today is Inauguration Day, and as Joe Biden prepares to take the oath as our 46th president, it's worth taking a look back at the discussions four years ago. Back then, the "most tech-savvy" president exited as all eyes turned to Donald Trump trading in his Android Twitter machine for a secure device. We know how things went after that. Donald Trump isn't tweeting anymore (at least not from his main accounts), and the country is struggling through a pandemic. The outgoing president just saw his temporary YouTube ban extended and, in one of his last official acts, pardoned Anthony Levandowski for stealing self-driving car secrets from Google's subsidiary Waymo.
You may even be using one to read this article. Wi-Fi has become essential to our personal and professional lives. The smartphone and the internet we use today wouldn't have been possible without wireless communication technologies such as Wi-Fi. In 1995 if you wanted to "surf" the internet at home, you had to chain yourself to a network cable like it was an extension cord. In 1997, Wi-Fi was invented and released for consumer use.
Alphabet is using its dominance in the search and advertising spaces -- and its massive size -- to find its next billion-dollar business. From healthcare to smart cities to banking, here are 10 industries the tech giant is targeting. With growing threats from its big tech peers Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon, Alphabet's drive to disrupt has become more urgent than ever before. The conglomerate is leveraging the power of its first moats -- search and advertising -- and its massive scale to find its next billion-dollar businesses. To protect its current profits and grow more broadly, Alphabet is edging its way into industries adjacent to the ones where it has already found success and entering new spaces entirely to find opportunities for disruption. Evidence of Alphabet's efforts is showing up in several major industries. For example, the company is using artificial intelligence to understand the causes of diseases like diabetes and cancer and how to treat them. Those learnings feed into community health projects that serve the public, and also help Alphabet's effort to build smart cities. Elsewhere, Alphabet is using its scale to build a better virtual assistant and own the consumer electronics software layer. It's also leveraging that scale to build a new kind of Google Pay-operated checking account. In this report, we examine how Alphabet and its subsidiaries are currently working to disrupt 10 major industries -- from electronics to healthcare to transportation to banking -- and what else might be on the horizon. Within the world of consumer electronics, Alphabet has already found dominance with one product: Android. Mobile operating system market share globally is controlled by the Linux-based OS that Google acquired in 2005 to fend off Microsoft and Windows Mobile. Today, however, Alphabet's consumer electronics strategy is being driven by its work in artificial intelligence. Google is building some of its own hardware under the Made by Google line -- including the Pixel smartphone, the Chromebook, and the Google Home -- but the company is doing more important work on hardware-agnostic software products like Google Assistant (which is even available on iOS).
The world never changes quite the way you expect. But at The Verge, we've had a front-row seat while technology has permeated every aspect of our lives over the past decade. Some of the resulting moments -- and gadgets -- arguably defined the decade and the world we live in now. But others we ate up with popcorn in hand, marveling at just how incredibly hard they flopped. This is the decade we learned that crowdfunded gadgets can be utter disasters, even if they don't outright steal your hard-earned cash. It's the decade of wearables, tablets, drones and burning batteries, and of ridiculous valuations for companies that were really good at hiding how little they actually had to offer. Here are 84 things that died hard, often hilariously, to bring us where we are today. Everyone was confused by Google's Nexus Q when it debuted in 2012, including The Verge -- which is probably why the bowling ball of a media streamer crashed and burned before it even came to market.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveils the iPad on January 27, 2010, in San Francisco. When I hustled out of CNET headquarters in San Francisco on May 26, 2010, and slipped into a rental car with two of my co-workers to head to a meeting across the Bay, one of them slipped me a copy of The Wall Street Journal and pointed to a headline that announced Apple had passed Microsoft to become the world's most valuable tech company. "What do you think of that?" she said. "Unreal," I responded, shaking my head. Just over a decade earlier, Apple had nearly been on its deathbed and needed a $150 million investment from Microsoft simply to stay alive.
While we prepare for Apple's "show time" event -- check in with us live at 1 PM ET on March 25th -- it's time to look back at some of this week's highlight stories. Apple kept the news rolling all week with updated Macs, AirPods and more, while Microsoft brought its Defender antimalware setup to Chrome, Firefox and macOS. Then on Friday Netflix set a date for Neon Genesis Evangelion and Clippy stepped back into the spotlight. But not the Nolan flicks.DC Universe celebrates Batman's birthday with free access March 30th Batman is about to celebrate his 80th'birthday' (his first appearance in Detective Comics) on March 30th, and DC Universe is using that as an opportunity to hand out more freebies. That means free access to a wide swath of its Batman movies, TV shows and (of course) comics for 24 hours that day, starting at midnight ET.
Apple's stock market value is heading towards a new milestone and its latest product launch on 12 September could push the tech giant closer to becoming the first ever $1tn (£760bn) company. At the end of last week, the company's market capitalisation hovered around $830bn, continuing a 10-year run that has generally headed upwards since a low of $69bn in January 2009, during the financial crisis. Tuesday's event, with the iPhone 8 the star attraction, will strive to meet investors' – and customers' – vaulting expectations. But what will Apple tempt users with to justify Wall Street's faith in its future profits? An Apple spokesman declined to discuss what will be revealed at the event in the company's $5bn, spaceship-shaped Cupertino headquarters.
As Apple Inc.'s stash of cash grows, so does the possibility that the world's most valuable company will use some of the money for a huge acquisition that would expand its empire beyond iPhones and other gadgets. The company holds more than a quarter of a trillion dollars it could use to go shopping. So far, the guessing game has primarily focused on possible targets such as Netflix and Tesla. Either deal could make sense, given Apple's long-running interest in providing a TV service to consumers and its more recent work on self-driving cars. But in recent months the takeover talk has swirled around whether Apple might do something even more dramatic by making a bid for Walt Disney Co.
Le Holdings Ltd., better known commercially as LeEco, has announced the Oct. 19 launch date of its products in San Francisco, California. The China-based manufacturer will be expanding its services in the U.S. by making its streaming service and other hardware products available in the country. The company was formerly known as LeTV and was initially a Netflix-like streaming service in China. Over the past few years, the company has progressed to making its own hardware, like TVs and smartphones. The company even unveiled its own self-driving car concept back in April.
The company typically likes to stand on the bleeding edge of technology (think self-driving cars and multi-modal drones), but today it's looking back at the venerable landline. Google is launching Fiber Phone, a new service tied to its Fiber Internet service, which it has slowly rolled out in the U.S. over the past few years. SEE ALSO: Google's Project Fi now works with select iPads and Android tablets Fiber Phone is basically landline service for Google Fiber customers. It costs an extra 10 a month on top of the 70 (gigabit Internet only) or 120 (gigabit Internet TV) services that Fiber offers, which gives you unlimited local and nationwide calling. International calls cost the same as Google Voice.