Starbucks and Walmart join growing list of advertisers boycotting YouTub

After Verizon, AT & T and Johnson & Johnson boycott the Google, some more companies’ pulls ad from you tube. On Friday, Walmart, Starbucks and PepsiCo confirmed that they have also suspended their advertising on YouTube.

By doing so companies show that they doubt Google’s ability to prevent marketing campaigns from appearing alongside repugnant videos.

Talking about the suspension Walmart said in a Friday statement.

“The content with which we are being associated is appalling and completely against our company values,”

Besides suspending their spending on YouTube, Walmart, Pepsi and several other companies have said they will stop buying ads that Google places on more than 2m other third-party websites.

The defections are continuing even after Google apologized for tainting brands and outlined steps to ensure ads don’t appear alongside unsavory videos.

If Google can’t lure back advertisers, it could result in a loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. Most analysts, though, doubt the ad boycott will seriously hurt Google’s corporate parent, Alphabet. Alphabet shares have fallen more than 3% since Monday, closing at $839.65 on Thursday.

Although they have been growing rapidly, YouTube’s ads still only represent a relatively small financial piece of Alphabet, whose revenue totaled $73.5bn last year after subtracting commissions paid to Google’s partners. YouTube accounted for $5.6bn, or nearly 8%, of that total, based on estimates from the research firm eMarketer.

Whether the recent events are a mere blip on the radar for Google or a harbinger of bigger problems to come may depend on whether the company can quickly improve its technical tools to give advertisers more control over where their ads appear.

YouTube has begun reviewing its advertising policies and will take steps to give advertisers more control, Philipp Schindler, Google’s chief business officer, wrote in a blog post this week. Google also plans to hire more people for its review team and refine its artificial intelligence – a key step, since much of the ad-serving is handled by automation.

Researchers give driverless cars better cooperation skills

Are you really ready to ride with just a robot at the wheel? To make self-driving cars safer, researchers from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland want them to communicate both with each other and non-robotic vehicles to avoid any nasty surprises. As such, they rigged up three vehicles, including a robotic truck and non-autonomous vehicle, to function as one unit on a real road. By working in a team and using each other’s sensors, the vehicles were able to anticipate each other’s moves, making lane change maneuvers safer.

In the EPFL’s scheme, vehicles can travel together as a convoy that doesn’t have any particular “leader.” Rather, they work as a group with other vehicles in the near vicinity, sharing GPS, laser, video camera and other sensor data via WiFi. That way, each vehicle can take advantage of its neighbor’s “eyes” to sense hazardous situations and better coordinate their movements.

The system is managed by special algorithms that allow cars “to work together and achieve complex group behavior,” says researcher Alcherio Martinoli. That allows the convoy to reorganize and adapt when vehicles join the group, change lanes or exit. To prove that it works, they did a demo on Swedish roads with three vehicles, including a robotic and non-robotic car, along with a robotic big-rig truck (video, above). When a vehicle wants to merge, “it sends a specific message and the others reorganize to leave enough space,” says EPFL’s Guillaume Jornod.

While three cars isn’t a lot, “for the first time we were able to validate what we had achieved in a simulation,” says Martinoli, adding that it should be relatively easy to scale up. The point, he adds, is to put the coordination algorithms on top of the robotic driving tech, but make it robust enough to handle regular, unconnected cars, too. “We are hoping that, with a rise in demand, carmakers will come up with ever cheaper solutions for converting legacy vehicles … and that we will be able to deploy and improve this multi-lane convoy system.”

China Got A Magnetic Levitating that can go an insane 373 mph

World’s largest train manufacturers, The China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) recently announced that it had begun work on new type of magnetic levitation train that will able to achieve a top speed of 373 mph (600km/hr.), which is faster than any other train currently in operation.

China’s high-speed rail network is the world’s largest, with over 12,400 miles of track already built, funded with $538 billion in government money. In recent years, train operators from around the world have been chasing faster and faster speeds. Last year, a maglev train in Japan reached a speed of 366 mph, breaking a world record that had stood for 12 years. But the train won’t be ready for commercial use until 2027, due to the concerns about the infrastructure and costs to build the long tracks.

Meanwhile, the Shanghai Maglev is currently the world’s fastest commercially operational train, routinely zipping back and forth between the city and Pudong International Airport at 267 mph.

CRRC is not just building high-speed rail projects in China. The company is also spearheading projects in the UK, Australia, Southeast Asia, Iran, Mexico, Turkey, Thailand, Indonesia, and Russia. Noticeably absent from that list is the US, which is still struggling to get its own high-speed rail network off the ground.

Pokémon GO Holding First Ever Special Event Soon?


We often see Halloween events pop up in a number of games each year and this years’ event is almost upon us. This year, players have been trying to earn loads of Halloween items in Overwatch, Destiny has its “Festival of the Lost” full of candy and masks, and games like League of Legends always have a few new skins here and there.

Pokémon GO is not an exception. Recently, Niantic teased that the first special event of the hit mobile game may be arriving at the end of the month.

“With Halloween around the corner, we anticipate Trainers may encounter more Pokémon in the real world,” wrote Niantic Labs in the Facebook post. “The AR camera is a great way to capture and share these encounters with your friends!”

Moreover, Niantic head John Hanke said back in September that players can pretty much predict the future by looking into the past.

The popular speculation is that a Pokémon Go could be some unique Pokémon that will spawn on Halloween. Players who capture unique Pokémon can then share their catch with their friends, who can try going to the location where it was caught to try and acquire it for their own.

It is also possible that, during the event, ghost type Pokémon will be everywhere in the world, with players seeing their maps filled with Gastlys, Haunters and Gengars for catching. Niantic Labs can adjust the spawn rate of Pokémon, and it would be very appropriate to see ghost type Pokémon swarming around the neighborhood on Halloween.

All these are mere speculation though. Pokémon trainers will need to wait for Niantic Labs to make an official announcement for a Halloween event to know more details, assuming that there will be such an event.

Google and Fiat Chrysler turns to kids to sell Pacifica minivan

All new Chrysler Pacifica Minivan by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which was popular for its minivan three decades ago and remains its top seller, were spotted on the streets of Mountain Views in California Over the weekend.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with Google turned to a group of kids to help sell its 2017 Pacifica minivan in new social media campaign that debuts today and gives consumers a chance to win a new minivan. To create the campaign, the automaker put actors ages 8-13 in charge of a California auto dealership for a day. As 12 families came in to shop for an all-new Chrysler Pacifica, they were greeted by the PacifiKids instead of the dealership’s adult workforce.

Google is about to speed up its effort by deploying a lot more vehicles through its partnership with Fiat-Chrysler to build a fleet of self-driving Pacifica. Google is currently equipping a fleet of 100 Pacifica minivans with a new suite of sensors to test its self-driving system. The 100 prototypes will represent a significant addition to Google’s fleet which currently consists of only 24 Lexus Rx450h SUVs and 34 prototypes of its own design spread out in 4 cities: Mountain View, Kirkland, Phoenix, and Austin.

‘Messenger Lite’ launched by Facebook for Android

Facebook Inc. launched a slimmed down version of its Messenger chat app. New App, which is called “Messenger Lite”, is useful for the people who used older phones that don’t have enough room to store or ability to run the full-featured application due to slower internet speeds or other issues.

Users with Android phones will still be able to use the core features of Messenger, including the ability to send text messages, photos and links but will not be able to make video or voice calls or make payments.

Initially the app will be launch in Kenya Malaysia, Srilanka, Tunisia and Venezuela, but hit other countries in the coming months.

“We want to make sure Messenger products are truly for everyone,” David Marcus, head of Messenger, said in an interview.

Tesla Set New Quarterly Record

Tesla announced its third quarter deliveries number were up over 70% to 24500 cars, which is more than double from previous quarters.

The deliveries this quarter were made up of 15,800 Model S sedans and 8,700 Model X SUVs, with vehicle production rising to 25,185. That’s up 37 percent from Q2’s production of 18,345.

Since Tesla says it only counts a vehicle as delivered when all the paperwork is done, there are another 5,500 or so that are “in transit” and will be counted in the fourth quarter figures. Tesla said it expects to deliver about as many vehicles in Q4 as it did in Q3, for a total of 50,000 in the second-half of 2016.