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Alex Webb

Recent and archived articles by Alex Webb

19 Apr 2019 | 4:10 PM

The terrible timing of YouTube’s Notre-Dame snafu: opinion

Almost instantly after the sparks ignited at Notre-Dame de Paris on April 15 evening, footage of the flames proceeding to swallow the cathedral’s iconic spire spread through social media. And whenever a disaster becomes international news, as we’ve seen time and again, a Silicon Valley mishap is sure to follow close behind.

On April 15, for videos of the Notre-Dame fire, YouTube’s systems decided to display information about the Sept 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The two towers of the cathedral’s façade seem to have befuddled the image recognition system. — AFP
20 Feb 2019 | 3:30 PM

Volkswagen tries to play catch up on driverless tech: opinion

Volkswagen AG’s next step into autonomous driving looks like it could be disappointing. But it’s also probably the best option the German giant has if it’s going to become a serious player in driverless technology.

19 Feb 2019 | 5:30 PM

Brexit means Facebook can breathe easy in Britain: opinion

Facebook Inc might have one reason to be thankful for Brexit.

The UK’s latest inquiries have left the issue of how to regulate the likes of Facebook on the doorstep of the CMA, but its ability to take the lead looks limited. — AFP
29 Jan 2019 | 5:00 PM

What Microsoft can teach Google about playing nice

As another European Commission mega-fine on Alphabet Inc nears, it prompts the question: can the Google parent ever free itself from the specter of penalties from the region’s regulators?

Google needs to find similarly common ground, and it could start by toning down moves that seem like threats. — Bloomberg
25 Jan 2019 | 3:00 PM

Apple self-driving car layoffs are a nod to reality: opinion

Project Titan, Apple Inc’s increasingly abortive plan to build an autonomous car, doesn’t seem to have the strength its name implies.

It’s probably sensible for Apple to retain a core of engineers to ensure the company understands the technology well enough to acquire a relevant company when autonomous cars really do arrive. But it’s also sensible for Cook not to sink any more cash into Titan. — AP
25 Jan 2019 | 2:00 PM

Britain’s new Instagram rules could make Facebook money: opinion

Brands spend billions of dollars for social media influencers to promote their products on Instagram. Unfortunately Facebook Inc, the photo-sharing platform’s parent, doesn’t see much of that money.

Huntington-Whiteley can charge as much as US$11,500 (RM47,564) a post, according to influencer consultancy Hopper. — Reuters
3 Jan 2019 | 6:46 PM

Germany wants more 5G faster. That may not be better: opinion

5G mobile networks will be better, faster and stronger than their forerunners. In Germany, at least, they could also make life a lot harder for carriers.

11 Oct 2018 | 2:00 PM

Ubisoft could unlock a game changer with Zynga: opinion

An Ubisoft Entertainment SA acquisition of Zynga Inc could be just what the French computer game company needs to get to the boss level.

Channelling Ubisoft’s existing games, which include Rainbow Six and Assassin’s Creed, through Zynga’s advertising platform could further turbocharge growth. — Reuters
28 Sep 2018 | 7:58 PM

Silicon Valley ad business gets a lift from the feds: opinion

Somewhere in Silicon Valley, a bunch of Facebook Inc and Google ad salespeople must be rubbing their hands with glee.

The risk for the ad agencies is that the probe gives Facebook and Alphabet Inc's Google a chance to wrest this lucrative business line away from them. — AFP
13 Aug 2018 | 5:30 PM

Google ads will be targeting a billboard near you

Google Ads Will Be Targeting a Billboard Near You: Alex Webb

Google has been testing programmatic ad technology for billboards since at least 2015. — Reuters