Weekly Digital Roundup: JULY 22 – JULY 29
Verizon Announces $4.8 Billion Dollar Deal With Yahoo’s Internet Business
- According to The New York Times, Verizon is seeking to build an array of digital businesses that can compete for users and advertising with Google and Facebook. Verizon announced on Mondaythat it was buying Yahoo’s core internet business for $4.83 billion in cash.
- The deal, whichwas reached over the weekend, unites two titans of the early internet, AOL and Yahoo, under the umbrella of one of the nation’s largest telecommunications companies. Verizon bought AOL for $4.4 billion last year. Now it will add Yahoo’s consumer services — search, news, finance, sports, video, email and the Tumblr social network — to a portfolio that includes AOL as well as popular sites like The Huffington Post.
- Verizon plans to keep most of Yahoo’s current products, including its still popular email service, and invest in them to make them stronger. “Our strategy is to structure ourselves as a house of brands,” Mr. Armstrong said. However, he said that Verizon has not yet decided what it wants to do in search, an area where Yahoo has waged a losing fight against Google for a decade.
Batteries, Robots & Model 3s – A Look Inside The Tesla Gigafactory
- According to Wired Magazine, the Gigafactory is where Tesla Motors will build the batteries that power its electric vehicles. The company has long imported batteries from Asia, but if it is to meet Elon Musk’s goal of producing 500,000 cars a year, it must build those batteries here. There’s simply no other way to meet its own demand, because the company expects to use more batteries in 2020 than were produced worldwide in 2013.
- When finished, the Gigafactory will cover 5.8 million square feet. Musk, never given to understatement, promises it will be beautiful. Plans call for a jewel-shaped building topped by a roof glittering with solar panels. Robots will do much of the work in a factory with shiny grey floors and white walls with red trim. Huge red X-shaped braces secure the walls, providing a measure of seismic security. Engineers work at desks not far from the production line, so they can keep a close eye on the machine that will make the machine.
- Finishing the factory is imperative. Tesla plans to start building the Model 3 sedan in 2018, and wants to produce half a million vehicles annually the same year. The only way that works is if Tesla can dramatically increase battery production while bringing down costs. Global demand for the limited supply of lithium-ion batteries—used in everything from power tools to cell phones to automobiles—will grow as automakers build more hybrids and EVs.
Google Announces Android Add-ons For Docs & Sheets
- According to Tech Crunch, Google announced that Android add-ons for Docs and Sheets will allow an easier way to use third-party services when working with Google’s office programs on your mobile device. These Android add-ons available within downloadable applications available on the Google Play store, as well as within both Google Docs and Sheets. The add-ons let you do things like pull in CRM data into your spreadsheet, or get a contract ready for e-signing, among other things.
- The company worked with several partners on the initial set of add-ons. For example, DocuSign‘s add-on will allow you to trigger or complete a signing process in Docs or Sheets. ProsperWorkslets you pull CRM data into Google Sheets. AppSheet lets you create mobile apps from data in Sheets, and Scanbot lets you scan business documents using OCR then insert their content into Docs as editable text.
- In addition to Google Play, the add-ons can also be accessing from add-ons menus in both Google Docs and Sheets on mobile. Add-ons have been common to the office desktop software programs for years, as well as online productivity software. Google also has an extensive list of third-party plugins that wor with Google Apps and Google Drive. However, this mobile-first approach from Google addresses the fact that many more people are using their office programs not just via the web, but their phones too.