Anti Google campaign

Anti Google campaign

If you talk to the reporters who work for various big media companies, they insist that they have true editorial independence from the business side of their companies. They insist that the news coverage isn’t designed to reflect the business interests of their owners. Of course, most people have always suspected this was bullshit — and you could see evidence of this in things like the fact that the big TV networks refused to cover the SOPA protests. But — until now — there’s never necessarily been a smoking gun with evidence of how such business interests influences the editorial side.

Earlier this month, we noted that the Hollywood studios were all resisting subpoenas from Google concerning their super cozy relationship with Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, whose highly questionable “investigation” of Google appeared to actually be run by the MPAA and the studios themselves. The entire “investigation” seemed to clearly be an attempt to mislead the public into believing that it was somehow illegal for Google’s search engine to find stuff that people didn’t like online. A court has already ruled that Hood pretty clearly acted in bad faith to deprive Google of its First Amendment rights. As the case has continued, Google has sought much more detail on just how much of the investigation was run by the MPAA and the studios — and Hollywood has vigorously resisted, claiming that they really had nothing to do with all of this, which was a laughable assertion.

However, in a filing on Thursday, Google revealed one of the few emails that they have been able to get access to so far, and it’s stunning. It’s an email between the MPAA and two of Jim Hood’s top lawyers in the Mississippi AG’s office, discussing the big plan to “hurt” Google. Beyond influencing other Attorneys General (using misleading fake “setups” of searches for “bad” material) and paying for fake anti-Google research, the lawyers from Hood’s office flat out admit that they’re expecting the MPAA and the major studios to have its media arms run a coordinated propaganda campaign of bogus anti-Google stories: Bug Prediction at Google Bug Prediction at Google

In order to help identify these hot spots and warn developers, we looked at bug prediction. Bug prediction uses machine-learning and statistical analysis to try to guess whether a piece of code is potentially buggy or not, usually within some confidence range. Source-based metrics that could be used for prediction are how many lines of code, how many dependencies are required and whether those dependencies are cyclic. These can work well, but these metrics are going to flag our necessarily difficult, but otherwise innocuous code, as well as our hot spots. We’re only worried about our hot spots, so how do we only find them? Well, we actually have a great, authoritative record of where code has been requiring fixes: our bug tracker and our source control commit log! The research (for example, FixCache) indicates that predicting bugs from the source history works very well, so we decided to deploy it at Google.

In the literature, Rahman et al. found that a very cheap algorithm actually performs almost as well as some very expensive bug-prediction algorithms. They found that simply ranking files by the number of times they’ve been changed with a bug-fixing commit (i.e. a commit which fixes a bug) will find the hot spots in a code base. Simple! This matches our intuition: if a file keeps requiring bug-fixes, it must be a hot spot because developers are clearly struggling with it.

After some trial-and-error, we decided to score each file by weighting each bug-fixing commit by how old it is. As the commit gets older, so its influence tends towards 0. YouTube’s Chief Susan Wojcicki, Hitting a New ‘Play’ Button YouTube’s Chief Susan Wojcicki, Hitting a New ‘Play’ Button

When Ms. Wojcicki was named chief executive of YouTube in February, succeeding Salar Kamangar (Google employee No. 9), it was a kind of homecoming. In 2005, she was a leader of Google’s first foray into video, a short-lived product that came to be known as Google Video. The only problem was that Google Video was getting crushed by a competing start-up, and Ms. Wojcicki thought it was too late to catch up. So she encouraged Mr. Page and Mr. Brin to scrap Google Video and buy that start-up, YouTube, for $1.65 billion.

But Google typically prefers to recruit its leaders from inside. And Ms. Wojcicki had some relevant experience: She had helped build Google’s $50 billion-plus ad business. “YouTube is one of the most used media assets in the world and one of the most undermonetized media assets in the world,” Mary Meeker, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, told me.

Silicon Valley legend has it that Google was started in Ms. Wojcicki’s garage in Menlo Park in 1997. This is not the whole truth. The company’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, also rented three of her four bedrooms for their start-up. It was the first home for Ms. Wojcicki and her husband, but according to the words scrawled across a whiteboard inside, it was also “Google Worldwide Headquarters.” Their monthly rent of $1,700 gave Google’s early employees access to the hot tub and washer-dryer, too.

Ms. Wojcicki was raised in Silicon Valley before it was Silicon Valley, the oldest of three girls who would all go on to high-powered careers. Her middle sister, Janet, is a medical anthropologist and an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, who has studied obesity in the United States and the decriminalization of prostitution in South Africa. Her youngest sister, Anne, is the chief executive of 23andMe, a biotech company near Google headquarters that specializes in genetic testing. (Anne also married Mr. Brin, though they are now separated.)

The sisters grew up on the campus at Stanford, where their father, Stanley, taught physics. A next-door neighbor was George Dantzig, the mathematician who invented a widely used algorithm known as the simplex method. Many of their family’s friends were scientists. Chromium Blog: Saying Goodbye to Our Old Friend NPAPI Chromium Blog: Saying Goodbye to Our Old Friend NPAPI
We feel the web is ready for this transition. NPAPI isn’t supported on mobile devices, and Mozilla plans to make all plug-ins except the current version of Flash click-to-play by default. Based on anonymous Chrome usage data, we estimate that only six NPAPI plug-ins were used by more than 5% of users in the last month. Still, we appreciate that it will take time to transition away from NPAPI, so we will be rolling out this change in stages. Starting in January 2014, Chrome will block webpage-instantiated NPAPI plug-ins by default on the Stable channel. To avoid disruption to users, we will temporarily whitelist the most popular NPAPI plug-ins that are not already blocked for security reasons. These are: Silverlight (launched by 15% of Chrome users last month) Unity (9.1%) Google Earth (9.1%) Java (8.9%) * Google Talk (8.7%) Facebook Video (6.0%) * Already blocked by default for security reasons.