The Death of Google: Part 1
By Andy Rester and Pamela Evans
(This is part 1 of a series of articles wherein we follow Google on it’s large, long, slow death-spiral down the drain…)
Larry Page, Eric Schmidt and Sergey Brin, the bosses of Google, have been told to lower their media profiles since all of their sex scandals, tax evasions and political shenanigans began taking the spotlight.
After Russia, China, The EU and most of the world, declared Google a “monopoly” protected by the White House (because Google funded the Obama campaign), Google’s future got a bit darker.
Then the EU started talking about forcing Google to break itself up. Google was forced, behind closed doors, to try to break itself up by creating a shadow facade called “Alphabet”. That smokescreen barely drew a minuscule of the stink off of Google’s tsunami of reek.
Then the actual voters saw that Google was not paying any taxes and told their elected representatives that they did not like the fact that they were having to close schools and fire-stations because Google was not paying it’s tax bills.
Then the 2016 season of the hit TV series HOUSE OF CARDS exposed Google, in episodes 6 and 7 of the series, as a flim flam operation designed to steal votes and rig elections.
Then Google hired some East-Indian brogrammer to pretend to be the CEO of Google in order to be the scape-goat and fall-guy for the fall of Google so that Schmidt, Page etc. could try to get a year or two more of hooker-laden private jet parties before the steel hand of the law descended on them.
Then the APPLE Vs. FBI media ruckus made even the most naive among the joe-six-pack crowd and nose-pickers understand what “invasion of privacy” means and the world finally got the point that Google exists entirely to manipulate and abuse its users.
So the biggest company in the world is now the most hated company in the world. With hundreds of charges of bribery, White House take-overs, corruption and other ills, Google is only surviving by wrangling stock market skims and government contract kick-backs.
Google now has to sell off all of it’s assets to try to stay alive until, at least, Obama gets booted out of the White House…that road is looking rocky, though.
Google’s insane billionaires really wanted a robotized world where personal sex-bots did their bidding and the unruly 22 year olds were not longer needed to provide code for their labor camps in the Google-plex. Google bought many robot companies but now, as they say: “Winter is Coming” and Google must start the big sell off. The robots are now on the auction block.
Google Puts Boston Dynamics Up for Sale in Robotics Retreat
Why Is Google Selling Boston Dynamics Robotics Unit?
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Why Is Google Selling Boston Dynamics Robotics Unit?
Alphabet executives questioned path to marketable products
Toyota, Amazon are among possible acquirers of division
The video, published to YouTube on Feb. 23, was awe-inspiring and scary. A two-legged humanoid robot trudges through the snow, somehow maintaining its balance. Another robot with two arms and pads for hands crouches down and lifts a brown box and delicately places it on a shelf — then somehow stays upright while a human tries to push it over with a hockey stick. A third robot topples over and clambers back to its feet with ease.
Tens of millions of people viewed the video over the next few weeks. Google and the division responsible for the video, Boston Dynamics, were seemingly pushing the frontier in robot technology.
But behind the scenes a more pedestrian drama was playing out. Executives at Google parent Alphabet Inc., absorbed with making sure all the various companies under its corporate umbrella have plans to generate real revenue, concluded that Boston Dynamics isn’t likely to produce a marketable product in the next few years and have put the unit up for sale, according to two people familiar with the company’s plans.
Possible acquirers include the Toyota Research Institute, a division of Toyota Motor Corp., and Amazon.com Inc., which makes robots for its fulfillment centers, according to one person. Google and Toyota declined to comment, and Amazon didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Google acquired Boston Dynamics in late 2013 as part of a spree of acquisitions in the field of robotics. The deals were spearheaded by Andy Rubin, former chief of the Android division, and brought about 300 robotics engineers into Google. Rubin left the company in October 2014. Over the following year, the robot initiative, dubbed Replicant, was plagued by leadership changes, failures to collaborate between companies and an unsuccessful effort to recruit a new leader.
At the heart of Replicant’s trouble, said a person familiar with the group, was a reluctance by Boston Dynamics executives to work with Google’s other robot engineers in California and Tokyo and the unit’s failure to come up with products that could be released in the near term.
Tensions between Boston Dynamics and the rest of the Replicant group spilled into open view within Google, when written minutes of a Nov. 11 meeting and several subsequent e-mails were inadvertently published to an online forum that was accessible to other Google workers. These documents were made available to Bloomberg News by a Google employee who spotted them.
The November meeting was run by Jonathan Rosenberg, an adviser to Alphabet Chief Executive Officer Larry Page and former Google senior vice president, who was temporarily in charge of the Replicant group. In the meeting, Rosenberg said, “we as a startup of our size cannot spend 30-plus percent of our resources on things that take ten years,” and that “there’s some time frame that we need to be generating an amount of revenue that covers expenses and (that) needs to be a few years.”
Aaron Edsinger, director of robotics at Google in San Francisco, said that he had been trying to work with Boston Dynamics to create a low-cost electric quadruped robot and felt “a bit of a brick wall” around the division, according to the minutes of the meeting.
Marc Raibert, a former Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor and the founder of Boston Dynamics, said that “I firmly believe the only way to get to a product is through the work we are doing in Boston. (I) don’t think we are the pie in the sky guys as much as everyone thinks we are,” the minutes show.
Raibert didn’t respond to multiple messages seeking comment for this story.
Part of the challenge was that Alphabet, created in 2015, was geared toward making Google inviting to startup founders and entrepreneurial executives who wanted to join companies driving toward products and revenue, which could increase shareholder value for those subsidiaries. Page wanted to invite top-tier engineers to join the companies within Alphabet and entice them with equity.
In December, Google announced that Replicant had been folded into Google’s advanced research group, Google X. In a private all-hands meeting around that time, Astro Teller, the head of Google X, told Replicant employees that if robotics aren’t the practical solution to problems that Google was trying to solve, they would be reassigned to work on other things, according to a person who was at that meeting.
Boston Dynamics, though, was never folded into Google X and was instead put up for sale. After the division’s latest robot video was posted to YouTube, in February, Google’s public-relations team expressed discomfort that Alphabet would be associated with a push into humanoid robotics. Their subsequent e-mails were also published to the internal online forum and became visible to all Google employees.
“There’s excitement from the tech press, but we’re also starting to see some negative threads about it being terrifying, ready to take humans’ jobs,” wrote Courtney Hohne, a director of communications at Google and the spokeswoman for Google X.
Hohne went on to ask her colleagues to “distance X from this video,” and wrote, “we don’t want to trigger a whole separate media cycle about where BD really is at Google.”
“We’re not going to comment on this video because there’s really not a lot we can add, and we don’t want to answer most of the Qs it triggers,” she wrote.
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