“A Look at Google Trends - InfoToday.com” plus 2 more

“A Look at Google Trends - InfoToday.com” plus 2 more


A Look at Google Trends - InfoToday.com

Posted: 22 Jun 2020 09:16 PM PDT

What is the world searching for? Google Trends can tell you. Its FAQ notes that while the data reflects the searches made every day, "it can also reflect irregular search activity, such as automated searches or queries that may be associated with attempts to spam our search results." Google Trends has "mechanisms in place to detect and filter irregular activity," but it retains these searches for security purposes.

Google employees demand the company cancel all police contracts - Digital Trends

Posted: 22 Jun 2020 10:40 PM PDT

More than 1,600 workers at Google have put their name to a letter to CEO Sundar Pichai demanding that the company stop selling its products and technology to police departments.

The move comes amid growing calls for police reform as part of efforts to tackle systemic racism.

Noting the protest movement that began with George Floyd's murder and which has since expanded globally "into a rebellion against racism and police terror," the letter demands that Google ends its ties with police departments and stops selling everything from its relatively innocuous G Suite software (Google Docs, Gmail, etc.) to more contentious facial recognition software.

The letter, signed by "Googlers against racism," highlights several cases, including that of Gradient Ventures, a venture capital arm of Google that focuses on supporting artificial intelligence-related companies, one of which has helped police to track people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

It also mentions Google's ongoing contract with Clarkstown Police in New York, which the employees point out "has been sued multiple times for illegal surveillance of Black Lives Matter organizers." In a "customer story" on the Google Cloud site, the police department says how it's able to save up to $30,000 a year in IT licensing costs by using Google products.

"We're disappointed to know that Google is still selling to police forces, and advertises its connection with police forces as somehow progressive, and seeks more expansive sales rather than severing ties with police and joining the millions who want to defang and defund these institutions," the letter says, adding, "Why help the institutions responsible for the knee on George Floyd's neck to be more effective organizationally?"

The employees told Pichai: "We want to be proud of the company we work for. We want the company we build to speak to our values and how we want to show up in the world."

The letter follows a message to employees posted a week ago by Pichai in which he laid out new commitments to racial equity within the company that included increasing Black employees in senior positions and an ambition to expand leadership representation of underrepresented groups by 30% in the next five years. The web giant also promised to invest $175 million in supporting Black business owners, startup founders, and job seekers.

In a re-evaluation of how its technology is used, Amazon earlier this month imposed a one-year moratorium on police use of its facial recognition technology, called Rekognition. It arrived at the decision after activists pressured members of Congress to regulate or ban the use of the technology for police activity, and said it wants Congress to consider imposing tighter regulations on the technology before the moratorium ends.

In a similar move, IBM announced recently that it will no longer develop facial recognition software, saying it would "not condone uses of any technology, including facial recognition technology offered by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of basic human rights and freedoms," or for any purpose that is not consistent with its values and principles.

Digital Trends has reached out to Google to find out about its response to the letter, and whether it intends to continue working with police forces, and we will update this piece when we hear back.

Editors' Recommendations

3 tech stocks that surged in price this year — but didn’t get much attention - The Next Web

Posted: 22 Jun 2020 08:34 AM PDT

While the broad S&P 500 index hasn't fully recovered yet from the coronavirus-induced crash — it's still trailing its all-time high by about 9% — the tech focused NASDAQ-100 has already hit a new record. On June 5, it broke its February 19 high of 9,718 points, and it currently resides above 10,000.

But while most attention is focused on the FAANGs and MAGAs — the largest tech companies by market capitalization, like Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Alphabet, and Facebook — an undercurrent of public tech companies with values around $10 billion instead of $1 trillion has been making the biggest moves to the upside. That is, if you focus on stock price changes.

Now, many of these have had plenty of attention, both from the media and general public. They're active in ecommerce (e.g. Shopify), streamlining working from home (e.g. DocuSign with its digital signatures and contracts solutions), and cyber security (e.g. Zscaler, CrowdStrike), for example.

Yet some publicly listed tech companies have miraculously stayed somewhat under the general public's radar despite their astronomical surges this year. We combined stock data with Google Trends' web search interest data to identify them. And we found one surprising overarching theme. Let's go through them.

Bill.com (BILL) – Up 120% year-to-date

Bill.com is a provider of cloud-based software that digitizes and automates payments for small and midsize businesses.

Its stock has surged from $38.70 to $85 so far this year, after hitting a corona-induced low of $29 in March. It's currently got a market cap of $6.5 billion.

Its search interest pre and post the corona crash are at similar levels, when we compare them on trends.google.com using the search phrase 'BILL stock'.

Coupa Software (COUP) – Up 70% year-to-date

Coupa is another tech company active in the area of business payments management, but it is much more focused on larger companies. In 2017, it also launched a new cloud-based product called Coupa On Demand for small and midsize companies.

Its stock has jumped from $153.57 to $262 so far this year, after hitting a corona-induced low of $109 in March. It's currently got a market cap of $17.5 billion.

Its search interest pre and post the corona crash are also at relatively similar levels, when we compare them on trends.google.com using the search phrase 'COUP stock'.

Avalara (AVLR) – Up 60% year-to-date

Avalara is also a financial software provider. It's known for its sales tax automation software, which helps businesses achieve compliance related to sales tax, VAT, excise tax, and other indirect taxes.

Its stock has risen from $78.05 to $124 so far this year, after hitting a corona-induced low of $58 in March. It's currently got a market cap of almost $10 billion.

Its search interest pre and post the corona crash haven't changed, when we compare them on trends.google.com using the search phrase 'AVLR stock'.

So, there you have it. Tech companies providing financial software solutions to small, midsize, and large corporations are the ones surging so far this year without getting much attention from the broader public.

Perhaps their products aren't the most in the public eye or the sexiest, but behind-the-scenes their usage is surging. Therefore, their revenues and stock prices are surging as well, in the hope of one day becoming massively profitable companies. Yes, caution is warranted when trading these companies, as none of them turn a net profit yet.

Published June 22, 2020 — 15:24 UTC

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