Eric Schmidt Stories September 14, 2015

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt speaks at a Motorola phone launch event in New York, in this file photo taken September 5, 2012. European regulators are preparing what could be a stern challenge to Google Inc's mobile software business in the coming months after a nearly four-year investigation into the company's Web search practices left rivals and European politicians dissatisfied. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS TELECOMS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY)
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Eric Schmidt (Reuters)

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google parent company Alphabet, has made a thinly-veiled attack on Apple Music in a BBC op-ed on artificial intelligence. He described human-curated music selections as a decade out of data and an elitist approach.

A decade ago, to launch a digital music service, you probably would have enlisted a handful of elite tastemakers to pick the hottest new music.

Today, you’re much better off building a smart system that can learn from the real world – what actual listeners are most likely to like next – and help you predict who and where the next Adele might be … 

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Eric Schmidt Stories September 3, 2015

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A class action lawsuit against Apple, Google and other tech companies for agreeing not to poach each other’s employees has finally been settled. Steve Jobs, Google’s Eric Schmidt and others had agreed in emails not to offer higher salaries to each other’s employees in order to reduce the risk of losing valuable employees. When the emails came to light, the 64,000 employees affected successfully argued that this had limited their earning potential.

After Apple’s originally settlement offers were rejected by Judge Lucy Koh as inadequate, the company increased its offer to $415M, which the judge agreed was fair. Reuters reports that Koh has now granted final approval of this sum.

Koh did, however, reject the $81M cut the lawyers in the case had demanded …  expand full story

Eric Schmidt Stories February 13, 2015

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We learned earlier this week that Tim Cook would be speaking at a White House cybersecurity summit today, and it now appears he will be the only tech CEO to do so. USNews is reporting that CEOs of other top tech companies all declined President Obama’s invitation, sending lower-ranking execs in their place.

Unlike Apple’s Cook, other top executives at key Silicon Valley companies declined invitations to the summit. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer and Google’s Larry Page will not attend amid the ongoing concerns about government surveillance. Facebook spokesman Jay Nancarrow said Zuckerberg is unavailable to attend and that Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan will speak during a panel at the event.

It’s believed other CEOs consider refusing to take part to be the best way to express their objections to increased government surveillance of electronic communications, while Cook takes the opposite view: that it is important to speak up in defence of user privacy …  expand full story

Eric Schmidt Stories October 2, 2014

Talking Schmidt: Google ‘far more secure & encrypted’ than Apple

There’s been an awful lot of Schmidt talk lately with the Google chairman’s new book How Google Works available for your reading and analysis, and Eric Schmidt continued his defense of Google after Apple CEO Tim Cook’s recent comments contrasting the two competitors on privacy. “Someone didn’t brief him correctly on Google’s policy,” Schmidt told CNN adding that Google’s systems “are far more secure and encrypted than anyone else including Apple.” Schmidt did credit Cook for correctly pointing out ads on Gmail, though, so they can at least concede on that point. Video below:

Eric Schmidt Stories September 24, 2014

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg are on their How Google Works book tour and they got the fun questions from Bloomberg.

At 5:30 in the video:

RUHLE: You mentioned smartphones. How do you feel in the last week when you drive by any Apple store, San Francisco, LA, New York, and there are people lined up around the block? So even though way more people carry Android phones, how does Apple have that desire factor?

SCHMIDT: I’ll tell you what I think. Samsung had these products a year ago.

Amusing.

More Schmidt: expand full story

Eric Schmidt Stories September 23, 2014

Key Speakers At Global Investment Conference

In his letter on privacy shared last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook contrasted the business model of Apple against that of its competitors while strongly taking a shot at Google, Gmail, and Android without actually naming the company and services. The infinitely entertaining executive chairman of Google and former Apple board member Eric Schmidt was recently asked by ABC News about Cook’s open letter on the company and privacy.

In short, Schmidt, who is making the media rounds to promote his upcoming book How Google Works, said Cook’s description of Google and privacy is incorrect, which you would expect from the Google chairman. But his first shot at debunking Cook’s claim was sort of out of left field (okay, as you also might expect): expand full story

Eric Schmidt Stories December 17, 2013

Quick video: Tim Cook & other CEOs meet w/ Obama to discuss healthcare.gov, NSA surveillance, House of Cards

Update: Bloomberg caught up with Tim Cook on his way out of the White House today and reports Cook described the talk as “a great meeting.” Video report below.

Following yesterday’s announcement that Apple CEO Tim Cook along with other tech executives would be meeting with President Obama today, we now have some of the first images from inside the meeting.

While Politico’s report is light on details regarding what was discussed at the meeting, we get a brief video clip below showing Cook seated across from Obama (and next to Google chairman Eric Schmidt and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings) as the President makes a joke about if Hastings brought advanced copies of Netflix show “House of Cards.”

“I’m just wondering if you brought advance copies of ‘House of Cards’?” Obama said to Netflix head Reed Hastings. The executive laughed and invited the president to show up for a cameo, according to a pool report.

“I wish things were that ruthlessly efficient,” Obama said in reference to the show and its Machiavellian lead character. “This guy’s getting a lot of stuff done.”

It looks like cameras were asked to leave following the brief introduction, but on top of the expected discussions regarding the controversial launch of Healthcare.gov, the report also notes that “industry leaders made it clear they wanted to prioritize” issues related to NSA surveillance programs. The White House also announced today following the meeting that it has hired former Microsoft Office exec Kurt DelBene to oversee fixing issues that still exist with the Healthcare.gov website.

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Eric Schmidt Stories November 12, 2013

Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs points to a member of the audience during a Q&A session at the end of the iPhone OS4 special event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino

Steve Jobs isn’t exactly a man known for keeping his thoughts to himself which is why excerpts from the upcoming book Dogfight found by Business Insider documenting the Google-Apple smartphone war are grabbing attention. According to the book written by Fred Vogelstein, Google was already working on its first Android-powered smartphone when Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007 but had to stop in its tracks…

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Eric Schmidt Stories April 11, 2013

Six years after Apple took the smartphone industry by surprise with its release of the iPhone, former market leader BlackBerry Limited, or RIM as it called itself until just recently, launched what some consider to be a true iPhone competitor.

The problem is that almost no one has seemed to notice, and half of those who have were unhappy.

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Eric Schmidt Stories March 21, 2013

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Update: Apple responds.

Google chairman Eric Schmidt spoke at the company’s Big Tent Summit in India this morning, and, on top of claiming there are no immediate plans to merge Chrome and Android, the executive discussed the possibility of Google Now coming to iOS devices. It appears Google is in a similar situation to when it launched a standalone Google Maps app, as Schmidt claimed it’s up to Apple to approve or reject Google Now for the App Store. TechCrunch pointed us to the comment from the Google executive at around 17 minutes into the interview:

You’ll need to discuss that with Apple” (at around 17:50). “Apple has a policy of approving or disapproving apps that are submitted into its store, and some of them they approve and some of them they don’t,” he went on to say.

A video that appeared to be an ad for the debut of Google Now on iPhone and iPad landed on YouTube last week before quickly being removed. The video (above) showed that Google could implement Google Now functionality—currently only available as a Siri-like voice and contextual assistant app on Android devices—into the Google Search app.

Google already updated its Google Search app with voice recognition and Google Now-like features last October, and a number of comparison videos have since appeared online and show Siri has some serious competition with even the scaled back voice search features. Bringing the contextual assistant features that Google Now implements on Android to the Google Search app would give iOS users yet another reason to use it rather than Siri for a large number of tasks. expand full story

Eric Schmidt Stories February 26, 2013

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Apple’s stock share price has risen today, after being down this morning, due to a rumor of an imminent stock split announcement. SeekingAlpha points to a tweet from The Street’s Doug Kass that seems to be the original source of the rumor. Apple’s next shareholder meeting will be held tomorrow, and this is where the announcement is rumored to take place.

We’d caution that this is just a rumor (if reliable, why didn’t he post it on the Street.com?)at this point and Kass’s past hits include things such as:

“I am also hearing that Google CEO Eric Schmidt has already begun low-level discussions with several Apple board members regarding his role as a possible temporary replacement to Steve Jobs should the options-backdating issues intensify at legal levels.”

Also Kass has a big personal interest in AAPL’s share price: expand full story

Eric Schmidt Stories January 18, 2013

Tim-Cook-apologyApple CEO Tim Cook has been ordered by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose to give a deposition related to an ongoing private lawsuit that claims Apple, Google, and others entered “no-poach” agreements, as reported by Bloomberg. Cook isn’t the only executive named in yesterday’s order. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt will also be deposed on Feb. 20, as well as Intel Chief Executive Officer Paul Otellini later this month.

Koh told lawyers yesterday that Apple founder Steve Jobs was copied on e-mails at issue in the case, and that she found it “hard to believe” that Cook, as Apple’s chief operating officer at the time in question, wouldn’t have been consulted about such agreements.

The judge said she was disappointed that senior executives at the companies involved hadn’t been deposed before yesterday’s hearing over whether she should certify the case as a group lawsuit. The class would include different categories of employees whose incomes, their lawyers argue, were artificially reduced because of the collusion. Koh didn’t rule on class certification. expand full story

Eric Schmidt Stories October 14, 2012

Developer allegedly gets his hands on photos of Google’s Maps for iOS?

Developer Ben Guild posted alleged screenshots of Google’s upcoming Maps for iOS app. He claimed the photos show the alpha version of the app that is “speedy” and supports the iPhone 5. Further details in the report assert that Maps for iOS is vector-based and supports two-finger rotation.

The photos do not show anything too mind-boggling. However, if real, they show Google is actively working on the app which many hope is coming. Last month, we reported that Google has a Maps for iOS coming—and others agree.

The hope for Google to release a standalone app came after the flop of Maps that Apple introduced in iOS 6. Users have complained, while Apple CEO Tim Cook promised Maps would get better over time. Google chairperson Eric Schmidt voiced last week in Tokyo that Apple should have kept Google Maps: “We think it would have been better if they had kept ours. But what do I know?” He would neither confirm nor deny working on a Maps app for iOS, but he mentioned Apple would “have to approve it. It’s their choice.”

If it is released, I think it is safe to say that a Google Maps for iOS would quickly reach top of the charts in the App Store.

Update: A Twitterer shows how easy these are to fake:

Eric Schmidt Stories October 11, 2012

Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt sat down for an AllThingsD talk last night with Walt Mossberg. Among other topics, they not-surprisingly discussed Android and his thoughts on Apple. Much of the talk centered around Schmidt’s thoughts on the Android-Apple platform fight, which he called “the defining fight in the industry today.” He also noted there is a “huge race specifically between Apple and the Android platform for additional features,” and he commented on Apple’s Maps situation:

The Android-Apple platform fight is the defining contest. Here’s why: Apple has thousands of developers building for it. Google’s platform, Android, is even larger. Four times more Android phones than Apple phones. 500 million phones already in use. Doing 1.3 million activations a day. We’ll be at 1 billion mobile devices in a year.

At the 17:30 mark, Schmidt began to talk about Apple’s new Maps app controversy: “Apple should have kept with our maps”… expand full story

Eric Schmidt Stories April 5, 2012

Yesterday, as part of a wider interview with Larry Page, Bloomberg quoted Google’s CEO as saying:

I think the Android differences were actually for show. I had a relationship with Steve. I wouldn’t say I spent a lot of time with him over the years, but I saw him periodically. Curiously enough, actually, he requested that meeting. He sent me an e-mail and said: “Hey, you want to get together and chat?” I said, “Sure, I’ll come over.” And we had a very nice talk. We always did when we had a discussion generally….I think that [Anger at Android] served their interests. For a lot of companies, it’s useful for them to feel like they have an obvious competitor and to rally around that. I personally believe that it’s better to shoot higher. You don’t want to be looking at your competitors. You want to be looking at what’s possible and how to make the world better.

However, Page likely was not present for the behind-the-scenes remarks from the former Apple CEO. Jobs probably put on a more distinguished game face, especially in the last meeting the two had when Jobs was very ill. In addition, Jobs’ anger was more than likely focused on former Apple board member and then previous Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

Biographer Walter Isaacson was present behind-the-scenes with Jobs, and last night he disputed Page’s assertion that Jobs’ anger was “for show”:

Isaacson continued: “It’s almost copied verbatim by Android. And then they licence it around promiscuously. And then Android starts surpassing Apple in market share, and this totally infuriated him. It wasn’t a matter of money. He said: ‘You can’t pay me off, I’m here to destroy you’.”

As for what will happen now that Jobs isn’t around to go ‘thermonuclear’ on Google, Isaacson thinks that Apple CEO Tim Cook will handle things differently. “Tim Cook will settle that lawsuit”, Isaacson added.

In the book, Isaacson quoted Jobs as saying: expand full story

Eric Schmidt Stories September 2, 2011

U2 frontman Bono responded to the story The Mystery of Jobs’s Public Giving,” in the NYTimes Opinion pages today telling readers that Jobs was indeed a generous giver through the product (Red) campaign.  Bono further hinted that Jobs is a private person and his donations may not all be on the books.

I’m proud to know him; he’s a poetic fellow, an artist and a businessman. Just because he’s been extremely busy, that doesn’t mean that he and his wife, Laurene, have not been thinking about these things. You don’t have to be a friend of his to know what a private person he is or that he doesn’t do things by halves.

Apple and U2 of course collaborated on a U2 iPod and later Apple built red iPods with a portion of the proceeds going to Bono’s private fund to fight AIDS in Africa. Steve Jobs reportedly said when Bono first approached him about (RED), “There is nothing better than the chance to save lives.”  Apple’s involvement encouraged other companies to get involved.

Jobs has also been active in organ donation causes since his liver transplant. expand full story

Eric Schmidt Stories June 1, 2011

Twitter’s CEO Dick Costello just went off stage at D9 with the announcement that Twitter would be doing native photo-sharing. Obviously he didn’t release Apple’s plans but many think Twitter is set to be a lower level service in Lion and iOS 5.

From the Twitter blog:

Today we’re starting to roll out a completely new version of Twitter search. Not only will it deliver more relevant Tweets when you search for something or click on a trending topic, but it will also show you related photos and videos, right there on the results page. It’s never been easier to get a sense of what’s happening right now, wherever your curiosity takes you.

We’re hearing rumblings that Apple will let you Tweet from any app with hooks from Lion and iOS.  If so, you’ll have a Twitter login in the general settings, almost like we  had for Facebook in iOS 4.

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Eric Schmidt Stories May 31, 2011

More fun from the D9 event: Kara Swisher told Eric Schmidt that Steve Jobs told her “to do more privacy stories on Google” and that “Android is a probe in your pocket.”  The conversation would have been off the record until now. More at 9to5Google.com expand full story

Eric Schmidt Stories May 27, 2011

From 9to5Google:

With Apple’s purchase of two mapping companies over the last couple of years – Poly9 and Placebase – many have speculated that iOS 5 will finally be the iOS release where Apple moves from a Google Maps backend to an Apple backend. Multiple job postings on Apple’s official site backed up this speculation and even Apple promised some under-the-hood maps tweeks for their next-generation iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch operating system.

Now, sources have told 9to5Google that although Apple is working to improve the iOS Maps application, iOS 5 will not bring an Apple developed maps service and Google Maps is still in. Besides Apple’s purchase of both Placebase and Poly9, some speculated that Apple is building their own maps service to either compete with Google or step away from their input into iOS.

Apple began the process of distancing themselves from Google when former Google CEO Eric Schmidt resigned over “conflict of interest.” Apple has also added Microsoft’s Bing as a Safari search option and will be competing with Google head-to-head with their upcoming cloud-based music service. Those who enjoy Google Maps should not fear iOS 5, though, and hopefully Apple is working to implement turn-by-turn directions or something else to improve their maps application without changing the backend.

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Eric Schmidt Stories January 20, 2011

Google CEO Eric Schmidt is stepping down. Larry Page to take over on April.

When asked for comment on Steve Jobs’ illness and Eric Schmidt’s resignation, Steve Ballmer had this to say:

Other possible titles below. Please add in comments. expand full story

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