Government Wants to Disguise Driverless Cars

google driverless cart

A review by the Department for Transport into issues surrounding the introduction of driverless cars onto British roads, has recommended that they be disguised as normal cars so as not to spook other drivers. A recent survey found that 43% of British drivers don’t trust driverless cars  to drive safely and 16% say they are horrified by the idea.

While admitting that there is “an argument for other road users being warned in advance of such testing and provided with information and reassurance about how the testing will affect them,” the DoT recommend that the automated test vehicles soon to be driving on our streets  are not marked in a way which would enable them to be “easily distinguished to prevent  unusual reactions from other road users.” Test vehicles in the US, such as those belonging to Google’s Self-Driving Car program, are easily recognisable from their markings and exposed sensor equipment.

The robots are coming, whether you notice or not…

Google, Microsoft and Amazon Extorted By Adblock

shake down

Internet giants Google, Amazon, Microsoft have been shaken down for an undisclosed amount of cash by AdBlock Plus, the world’s most popular adblock service. In exchange for a “fee”, AdBlock Plus will stop blocking adverts on their websites. With the ability to decide what adverts its 300 million users do or do not see, Eyeo, the owners of Adblock Plus have found themselves in the unusual position of being able to dictate terms to the likes of Google who depend on advertising for revenue.

Eyeo operates a “whitelist” of acceptable adverts that it doesn’t block. While joining the list is free for small websites, large companies are required to pay a “fee” to keep their advert revenue streams protected. While the amount Google, Amazon and Microsoft coughed up is unknown, one digital media company told the Financial Times that Eyeo had asked for  equivalent to 30% of the additional ad revenues that it would make from being unblocked.

 

What Happened to Newspaper Advertising Revenue?

GoogleAdRevenue

Peter Preston points out that the recent announcement from Times Newspapers Limited (London) that 51% of revenue was coming from print and digital sales seemed to boast how digital subscriptions were soaring; “it may equally have been demonstrating how far ad revenue had slumped”This is why Buzzfeed is valued at more than The Times…

Google Sells More Advertising Than Newspapers & Magazines

google-v-print

These numbers courtesy of Henry Blodget show the impact Google has had on the advertising world in the last 10 years. Two observations: Google this year will sell more advertising than magazines ever have, newspapers were ripping off advertisers who were wasting their money – there was a truth in the old saying that “half the advertising spend was wasted, we just don’t know which half”. Now Google lets relevant advertisers target the right customer. Although these numbers are from the U.S., the rest of the world is following closely behind…



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Quote of the Day

Asim Quereshi, research director of CAGE, the British “independent advocacy organisation”, on Jihadi John:

“[He is] a victim… extremely kind, gentle, the most humble person… a beautiful young man”

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