GOOG Jan 2020 1160.000 call

OPR - OPR Delayed Price. Currency in USD
188.68
0.00 (0.00%)
As of 3:16PM EST. Market open.
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Previous Close188.68
Open188.70
Bid0.00
Ask0.00
Strike1,160.00
Expire Date2020-01-17
Day's Range188.68 - 193.71
Contract RangeN/A
Volume7
Open InterestN/A
  • 'Disney Plus’ was Google’s top US trending search term in 2019
    TechCrunch

    'Disney Plus’ was Google’s top US trending search term in 2019

    Google today released its annual "Year in Search" data that takes a look back at some of the most notable searches of 2019. Specifically, Google looked at the biggest trends -- meaning, search terms that saw the largest spikes in traffic over a sustained period in 2019 compared to 2018. In the U.S., Disney's new streaming service "Disney Plus" was the biggest search trend of 2019, followed by Cameron Boyce, Nipsey Hussle, Hurricane Dorian, Antonio Brown, Luke Perry, Avengers: Endgame, Game of Thrones, iPhone 11 and Jussie Smollet.

  • Google Cloud gets a new family of cheaper general-purpose compute instances
    TechCrunch

    Google Cloud gets a new family of cheaper general-purpose compute instances

    Google Cloud today announced the launch of its new E2 family of compute instances. The E2 family runs on standard Intel and AMD chips, but as Google notes, they also use a custom CPU scheduler "that dynamically maps virtual CPU and memory to physical CPU and memory to maximize utilization." In addition, the new system is also smarter about where it places VMs, with the added flexibility to move them to other hosts as necessary. To achieve all of this, Google built a custom CPU scheduler "with significantly better latency guarantees and co-scheduling behavior than Linux’s default scheduler." The new scheduler promises sub-microsecond wake-up latencies and faster context switching.

  • Behind the Big Tech antitrust backlash: A turning point for America
    Yahoo Finance

    Behind the Big Tech antitrust backlash: A turning point for America

    There's a dramatic sea-change within the specialized biosphere of antitrust experts.

  • Google, Facebook Market Power Gets More Scrutiny in Australia
    Bloomberg

    Google, Facebook Market Power Gets More Scrutiny in Australia

    (Bloomberg) -- Google and Facebook Inc. will come under greater scrutiny from Australia’s competition regulator as the government seeks to rein in the market dominance of the digital giants.Prime Minister Scott Morrison said a special unit will be set up within the competition watchdog to monitor digital platforms, with an immediate focus on online advertising. The government will also review privacy laws to better protect consumers. Morrison pledged to tackle the “power imbalance” between tech companies and traditional media and will force them to negotiate over revenue sharing and the use of news content.The announcement Thursday was Morrison’s response to a sweeping report from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission this year that raised concerns about the use and storage of personal data and the erosion of the mainstream media. The government supported, in varying degrees, most of the watchdog’s 23 recommendations but said more time was needed to consider such complex issues.“I want us to be the model jurisdiction in the world for how we are dealing with digital platforms,” Morrison told reporters. “We have regulation and restrictions that were written for an analog economy. If it’s wrong in the real world, it’s wrong in the digital world.”Tech platforms will have to work with news companies to develop a voluntary code to govern their relationship by November 2020, or else the government will consider a mandatory code.Some RejectionsMorrison rejected the ACCC’s call for new rules to force content to be taken off digital platforms in the event of copyright infringement. He also rejected changing tax rules to encourage philanthropic support for journalism.Australia’s government is “kicking the issues down the road a little bit,” said Rob Nicholls, a senior lecturer at the University of New South Wales Business School in Sydney. While the need for further consultation is understandable, delays in acting “essentially mean that competition and consumers are left in the status quo that the ACCC has already identified as being unacceptable.”Google, Facebook Face Australia Crackdown on Market PowerRegulators worldwide have been trying to loosen the tech giants’ grip on everything from advertising and search engines, to news, data and elections.Broader HurdlesFacebook, the world’s largest social media company, is grappling with a mushrooming list of challenges, including antitrust investigations, criticism of its handling of personal information, and dissatisfaction with its treatment of political content.In July, Facebook agreed to pay $5 billion to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission -- the largest privacy fine in the agency’s history -- to resolve the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. Google was also fined by the FTC to settle claims it violated children’s privacy on its YouTube platform.Google said Thursday it would continue to engage with the ACCC and the Australian government on areas “such as privacy, ad tech and our work with publishers.”Facebook said it was an opportune time for the government and industry to work on new regulation “that affords choice and opportunities for millions of Australians that use our services.” The company remains focused on “achieving economy-wide privacy protection.”To contact the reporters on this story: Edward Johnson in Sydney at ejohnson28@bloomberg.net;Sybilla Gross in Sydney at sgross61@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edward Johnson at ejohnson28@bloomberg.net, Angus WhitleyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters

    UPDATE 2-Australia tells Facebook and Google to commit to competition rules, or else

    Australia said on Thursday technology giants such as Facebook Inc and Google will have to agree to new rules to ensure they do not abuse their market power and damage competition, or the government will impose new controls on them. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will create a code of conduct to address complaints that the technology companies have a stronghold on advertising, the main income generator of local media operators.

  • Bloomberg

    YouTube FTC Push on Kids’ Privacy Criticized by Consumer Groups

    (Bloomberg) -- A coalition of 19 privacy and children’s advocacy groups called on the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to maintain privacy protections for all viewers of content aimed at young people, pushing back on an exception sought by YouTube.The latest clash between the advocacy groups and the internet video giant comes as the agency considers changing its rules under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, which bans data collection on those under age 13 without parental consent. Initial comments on the rewrite are due Wednesday.In September, YouTube agreed to pay $170 million to settle claims by the FTC and New York State that it violated COPPA, and it announced it would change how viewers can interact with videos directed at kids.In a Monday blog post on the proposed rewrite, the Google unit argued that adults watch content aimed at kids and those over 13 don’t need the protections when engaging in nostalgia viewing, research or seeking parenting advice. Currently companies must extend the protections to anyone watching content aimed at children.Kids and privacy groups, including the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the American Academy of Pediatrics, said on Wednesday that creating an exception for those over 13 would be “troubling” and result in under-protection.“Children undoubtedly will patronize child-directed content on their parents’ devices, logged in to their parents’ profiles,” the groups wrote.They also reiterated the call to subpoena information from companies such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google to find out how many adults are actually watching content for kids.The company has maintained that the main YouTube service isn’t for children, and doesn’t allow viewers under the age of 13. In Tuesday follow-up comments to the FTC, Google said methods such as requiring users who are already signed to reenter their passwords or device PINs could demonstrate that an adult is watching, as could providing a fingerprint or prompting facial recognition.The FTC will consider the comments as it reviews the regulations.To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Brody in Washington, D.C. at btenerellabr@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net, Alistair BarrFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Facebook, Google Drop Out of Top 10 ‘Best Places to Work’ List
    Bloomberg

    Facebook, Google Drop Out of Top 10 ‘Best Places to Work’ List

    (Bloomberg) -- Big tech companies like Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, long seen as some of the world’s most desirable workplaces offering countless perks and employee benefits, are losing some of their shine.The Silicon Valley companies dropped out of the Top 10 “best places to work” in the U.S., according to Glassdoor’s annual rankings released Tuesday. HubSpot Inc., a cloud-computing software company, grabbed the No. 1 ranking while tech firms DocuSign Inc. and Ultimate Software were three and eight, respectively.Facebook, which has been rated as the “best place to work” three times in the past 10 years, was ranked 23rd. It’s the social-media company’s lowest position since it first made the list in 2011 as the top-rated workplace. Facebook, based in Menlo Park, California, was ranked seventh last year.Google, voted “best place to work” in 2015 and a Top-10 finisher the previous eight years, came in at No. 11 on Glassdoor’s list. Apple Inc., once a consistent Top-25 finisher, was ranked 84th. Amazon Inc., which has never been known for a positive internal culture, failed to make the list for the 12th straight year.Microsoft Corp. was one of the lone big technology companies to jump in the rankings. The Redmond, Washington-based software company moved to No. 21 from 34 a year ago. A few technology companies made the list for the first time, including SurveyMonkey at No. 33, Dell Technologies Inc. at No. 67 and Slack Technologies Inc. at No. 69.Twenty companies on the list have their headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area, more than any other metro area, Glassdoor said.The annual list ranks companies using employee reviews on areas such as compensation, benefits, culture and senior management. Many of the big tech companies, including Facebook and Google, have been criticized this year for a myriad of issues, and in some cases employees have publicly opposed executive decisions.At Google, employees have protested against the company on a number of topics, including the company’s “intimidation” tactics against worker organizers. The results of an internal employee poll at the internet search giant, reported by Bloomberg in February, showed that fewer employees were inspired by Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai’s vision than a year earlier. It also found fewer workers believe senior management could successfully lead the company into the future.At Facebook, which just like Google provides employees with perks including free meals, corporate transportation and laundry services, workers have pushed back internally against leadership on some policy issues, such as the decision not to fact-check political advertisements.(Updates with new tech entrants in the fifth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at kwagner71@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Andrew Pollack, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Disney+ Hits These New Milestones Just A Month After Launching
    Investor's Business Daily

    Disney+ Hits These New Milestones Just A Month After Launching

    Disney+ streaming service has hit 22 million downloads a month after launch, generating $20 million, new research shows.

  • Cisco Enters Chip Market, Supplying Microsoft, Facebook
    Bloomberg

    Cisco Enters Chip Market, Supplying Microsoft, Facebook

    (Bloomberg) -- Cisco Systems Inc. has started supplying switch chips to major data-center operators, including Microsoft Corp. and Facebook Inc., opening up a new avenue to win orders from some of its largest networking-equipment customers.Cisco Silicon 1 is a switch semiconductor that’s already being used by Microsoft and Facebook in crucial networking equipment, the companies said Wednesday at an event in San Francisco. San Jose, California-based Cisco is now offering the chips, which it says are the fastest in the industry, to all of its customers, regardless of whether they buy its networking machinery. Previously Cisco’s chips were only available as components of its machines.The shift toward standalone chip sales is another departure from the business model that made Cisco one of the biggest companies in the technology industry. Cisco’s expensive proprietary combinations of hardware and software make up the backbone of much of the internet and corporate networks, and these products generate the bulk of the company’s revenue. The new initiative has the potential to attract business from customers who want to build their own machines instead of buying whole packages. It also puts Cisco in direct competition with its suppliers, Intel Corp. and Broadcom Inc., which also make switch chips that the networking equipment maker uses in some of its products.“From today -- and this is something that some of you never thought we’d do -- some of our customers will buy our silicon and build their own products if that’s what they choose to do,” Chief Executive Officer Chuck Robbins said at the event. “We really want our customers to consume this technology in any way they want.”As the internet infrastructure business moves away from suppliers who provide all the needs through locked-down combinations of hardware and software, Robbins has been pushing Cisco to adapt by becoming a bigger supplier of networking services and software. On his watch, software has risen to provide about 11% of revenue. Hardware still generates more than half of sales.Cisco shares rose less than 1% to $44.24 at 2:02 p.m. in New York. The stock gained 1.8% this year through Tuesday’s close.The move into selling components is an attempt to win orders from the hyperscalers, such as Microsoft, Google and Amazon.com Inc.’s AWS, a group that has increasingly turned away from Cisco’s offerings and equipped their data centers with computers and networking gear designed in house. Those big cloud-computing vendors contribute as little as 2% of Cisco’s total sales, according to Raymond James analyst Simon Leopold.Switch chips perform the crucial function of deciding where packets of data should go in a network of computers. They are designed to handle that task at great speed, and only a few companies have been successful in the market. Broadcom is the biggest provider of this type of chip as an individual component and has as much as 80% share, Leopold said. Intel took a bigger interest in the market in June when it bought startup Barefoot Networks.Cisco’s new offering will combine the attributes of both switch and routing chips, the company said. It’ll be able to move data very quickly and still be programmable, carrying the ability to have its function changed. Routing, directing traffic among networks, is typically conducted by groups of chips that bring other attributes but are unable to direct data fast enough for modern internet traffic loads. One chip providing all of the functions will simplify the operation of networks by eliminating the need for different layers of software, Cisco executives said.Offering up what was previously guarded as a proprietary advantage shows a flexibility at Cisco that has been increasing as Robbins works to transform the company. Analysts predict the build-it-yourself approach to networking, pioneered by the large cloud-service operators, over time will be copied by companies looking to reduce the cost of their data-center spending. That corporate market is one of Cisco’s biggest sources of revenue.Cisco’s equipment, including its chips, is designed by the company and manufactured by a third party, which it hasn’t identified.The company also announced a new router machine at the event, designed to better serve as the backbone for new fifth generation, or 5G, cellular networks. The Cisco 8000 will be based on the new chip. The company also unveiled plans for products that will support faster data transmission speeds over fiber-optic cables. Like the rest of the networking industry, Cisco is positioning itself to be a main provider of equipment for the predicted surge in internet traffic and data created by the proliferation of mobile systems.(Updates with comment from Cisco CEO in the fourth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Ian King in San Francisco at ianking@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • ‘Silicon Valley’ Exits With Serious Points About Big Tech
    Bloomberg

    ‘Silicon Valley’ Exits With Serious Points About Big Tech

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The sixth and final season of the HBO comedy show “Silicon Valley” — which concluded, sadly, on Sunday — begins with a speech.Richard Hendricks, the chief executive officer of Pied Piper, the internet company he started five seasons earlier, is testifying before a Senate committee alongside executives from Facebook, Google, Amazon and, of course, Hooli, run by Hendricks’s archnemesis Gavin Belson. The hearing is about data privacy.When it’s Hendricks’s turn to speak, he gets up from his seat on the panel and starts pacing (“I just think better on my feet”), grabbing a bulky microphone box so the senators can hear him. Thomas Middleditch, who plays Hendricks, is a master of physical comedy, and the image of him walking back and forth with a big microphone box under his arm is hilarious. But what he’s saying isn’t remotely comical:These people up here — you want to rein them in. But you can’t. Facebook owns 80% of mobile social traffic. Google owns 92% of search. And Amazon Web Services is bigger than their next four competitors combined. … They track our every move. They monitor every moment in our lives. And they exploit our data for profit. You can ask them all the questions you want, but they’re not going to change. They don’t have to. These companies are kings and they rule over kingdoms far larger than any nation in human history. They won. We lost.For the previous five seasons, “Silicon Valley,” which was created by Mike Judge — the same man who gave us “Beavis and Butt-Head” and “Office Space” — had gleefully skewered the inanities and pretensions of the tech industry. Who can forget Judge’s eccentric venture capitalist Peter Gregory (said to be based on Peter Thiel) inspecting the sesame seeds on the burger buns arrayed on his desk (all bought from Burger King) and realizing that a  shortage of said seeds was on the horizon — and that he could make a killing in the sesame seed market?Or the time the pompous stoner Erlich Bachman, whose house is “incubating” Pied Piper, goes to a private dinner claiming to be a “pescapescatarian” — “one who eats solely fish who eat other fish” — and all the other tech execs decide they want to be pescapescatarians, too.Or, in perhaps the single greatest line in the entire series, the ruthless, platitude-happy Belson, warning of a coming “datageddon,” tells his executives that Hooli’s compression algorithm has to beat Pied Piper’s. After all, he explains, “I don’t want to live in a world where someone else makes the world a better place better than we do.”(1)But as Hendricks’s speech suggests, this season felt a little different. Having mocked everything from companies that viewed revenue as a distraction to billionaires comparing their treatment to Holocaust victims, “Silicon Valley” seemed this season to turn its attention to more pressing matters. The short, seven-episode final season had its share of gags and funny lines, but it also seemed to me that Judge and his fellow showrunner, Alec Berg, wanted to point out not just what was inane and pretentious about tech culture but what was wrong with it.In the second episode for instance, Hendricks finds out that a contractor is using an internet game he created to collect data from Pied Piper’s customers — something the CEO has vowed his company would never do. When he tries to get rid of the contractor by collecting some of the conversations he has taped, the man instead plays them for his board — who are impressed with his gaming software’s ability to mine data.In the next episode, a sleazy billionaire offers Hendricks $1 billion for Pied Piper. Why? Because he wants to use it to sell data he will collect from the company’s customers.  Hendricks turns him down, intent on creating a “new, democratic, decentralized internet” where the bad behavior of Big Tech “will be impossible.” That, he believes, is the only viable workaround to such problems as monopoly behavior and privacy violations. (The billionaire then buys the contractor’s gaming company.)But the high point of the season comes in the fifth episode, when Belson, who has been tossed out of Hooli (Pied Piper bought it), realizes that he can create a new persona by promoting ethics in the tech industry. “Tethics,” he calls it. Pretty soon he has every tech titan in the valley signing on to his “tethics pledge” and contributing money that will allow Belson to build the “Belson Institute of Tethics.”It turns out that every banal line in the tethics pledge was plagiarized from the mission statements of Applebee’s, Starbucks and other companies. Thus do Judge and Berg dispense with the hollow promises of Facebook and others to do better whenever they are called out on some new example of, well, untethical behavior. As Odie Henderson, a coder-turned-critic who recapped “Silicon Valley” for Vulture, put it recently, “Tech goodness is a naive fantasy.”Needless to say, the crew at Pied Piper fail spectacularly in its attempt to create a new democratic internet. In the final episode, filmed partly as a documentary a decade in the future, Hendricks, now the Gavin Belson professor of ethics in technology at Stanford, is asked whether he thinks Pied Piper made the world a better place.“I think we did OK,” he says wistfully. Judge and Berg, on the other hand, did better than that. For six too-brief seasons, they did indeed succeed in making the world a better place.(1) Mocking the phrase “making the world a better place” was a “Silicon Valley” preoccupation. See here, for instance.To contact the author of this story: Joe Nocera at jnocera3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at dniemi1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Joe Nocera is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering business. He has written business columns for Esquire, GQ and the New York Times, and is the former editorial director of Fortune. His latest project is the Bloomberg-Wondery podcast "The Shrink Next Door."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • YouTube Outlaws Insults Based on Race and Sex, With Caveats
    Bloomberg

    YouTube Outlaws Insults Based on Race and Sex, With Caveats

    (Bloomberg) -- Google’s YouTube video service expanded its definition of banned speech after months of criticism, saying it will now remove clips and comments that make “veiled or implied threats” against individuals or insult people based on attributes such as race and sexual orientation.The new harassment guidelines are part of YouTube’s efforts to clean up its platform, which has been plagued by videos that advertisers, users and regulators find toxic.Read more: YouTube Managers Ignored Warnings, Let Toxic Videos Run RampantIn June, journalist and YouTube creator Carlos Maza publicly accused Steven Crowder, a conservative comedian, of repeatedly harassing him with homophobic remarks on YouTube. The company said Crowder’s videos didn’t violate its policies and didn’t remove them. Employees at Google protested the decision. YouTube responded by pulling ads from Crowder’s videos, sparking accusations of bias from some politicians.“We will no longer allow content that maliciously insults someone based on protected attributes such as their race, gender expression, or sexual orientation,” Matt Halprin, YouTube’s head of trust and safety, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday. “This applies to everyone, from private individuals, to YouTube creators, to public officials.”Videos that “repeatedly brush up against” YouTube’s policies may be removed from its advertising program, Halprin added. This means that the controversial Crowder videos would now be considered a violation of YouTube’s policies, a company spokesman said.But there are exceptions. YouTube said videos that include harassment language in certain contexts, such as a documentary or a scripted satire, will not be removed. Neither will clips featuring or discussing powerful people “like high-profile government officials or CEOs of major multinational corporations.” YouTube will decide when videos meet these exceptions or not.Maza said he was skeptical of the new policy after it was announced on Wednesday. YouTube’s prior rules around harassment already covered protected groups and people, Maza said, but the company hasn’t be able to police content across its sprawling site. “The issue has never been the scope and language of the policy. The problem was with enforcement,” he said by phone. “I’ll believe it when I see it.”Crowder didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment. He posted a video on Tuesday titled, ‘Urgent. The YouTube ‘Purge’ is coming.”(Updates with comments from YouTube creator in seventh paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Bergen in San Francisco at mbergen10@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Alistair BarrFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Investopedia

    How Alphabet Makes Money

    Alphabet makes money through advertising, fees, and subscriptions to Google Search, YouTube, Google Cloud, and other services as well licensing of the Android operating system.

  • Bloomberg

    Russian Artist Puts $150,000 Banana to Shame

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Forget Maurizio Cattelan’s $150,000 banana, duct-taped to the wall at Art Basel in Miami last week and eaten by a less well-known trickster artist. (The buyers of the artwork are fine with that — it came with a manual that prescribes replacing the fruit every week or so, anyway.) The best art of this type comes from Russia, because there, it actually means something.The art object that, as any responsible critic should recognize, eclipses Cattelan’s headline-grabbing “Comedian,” was sold online on Dec. 9 for 1.5 million rubles ($23,600). It was created by Artem Loskutov, an artist from Novosibirsk, Russia, who started the now nationwide tradition of “Monstrations,” annual rallies where people carry nonsensical signs. (“We Can’t be Knocked Off Course: We Don’t Know Where We’re Going,” one said this year.) The object is a piece of canvas-covered cardboard with a steel plaque glued to it and Loskutov’s signature, in marker, underneath. On the plaque, a woman named Nailya professes her love for a man named Andrey Kostin, in English, and tells him, “We are of the same blood,” an apparent corruption of the line from Rudyard Kipling’s “Jungle Book,” “We be of one blood, ye and I.”Loskutov’s description of the materials used in creating the work says, “found object, stainless steel, 5X14 cm; marker, canvas on cardboard.” But the plaque is, strictly speaking, a stolen object, not a “found” one. Until a few days ago, it was affixed to one of the 6,800 benches in New York City’s Central Park “adopted” by donors to the Central Park Conservancy.It came from what’s probably now the most famous of these benches: Earlier this month, it got a prominent mention in a 29-minute video by anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny, an arch-foe of Russian President Vladimir Putin, that has been viewed more than 5 million times (and counting) on YouTube. The video is dedicated to the relationship between Andrey Kostin, the (married) president and chief executive officer of the state-owned bank VTB and state television anchor Nailya Asker-Zade. The state banker, according to Navalny, has showered Asker-Zade with expensive gifts, including prime real estate and the use of a yacht and a private plane. The cost of it all appears to be too high even for Kostin’s significant legitimate income, Navalny wrote.Kostin hasn’t commented on the video, nor has VTB, Russia’s second biggest bank by assets. Asker-Zade, known for her fawning interviews with members of Putin’s close circle, thanked Navalny on Instagram for the publicity.Navalny’s made-for-YouTube investigations are political tools rather than journalistic endeavors, and much of the film’s substance should probably be classed as opinion rather than fact. But when it comes to the Central Park plaque, Asker-Zade is mentioned in Central Park Conservancy’s 2015 annual report among donors of between $10,000 and $24,999. Navalny specializes in exposing impossibly lavish lifestyles that embarrass Putin allies and scandalize the average Russian. Judging by his video’s viral spread and the indignant comments it’s spawned on social networks, he handily hit his mark here.To put his allegations in context, Navalny wrote in a separate post that by his count the total value of the gifts is comparable to the amount that’s been raised by Rusfond, one of Russia’s biggest charities dedicated to funding medical treatment for seriously ill children, over its 23-year history. That would be difficult to prove, but is important for what happened next.Suddenly, the plaque disappeared from the bench, an event Navalny was quick to report on Twitter. On Dec. 9, it resurfaced in Loskutov’s possession. To turn it into art, Loskutov didn’t just paste it on cardboard and scribble his name underneath. He promised to donate the proceeds from its sale to Rusfond. The same day, he announced the object had fetched 1.5 million rubles in an informal auction he had run online. (The original screws from the bench were offered as a bonus.) To complete the performance, proof of the transfer to Rusfond is still needed. But Loskutov’s work has already garnered numerous comments to his tweets and Facebook posts — both accusing him of theft (even many Putin foes were uneasy about this) and praising him for his audacity.  One commentator summed the whole situation up like this: “They stole our money and we’ll steal their memories.” Although there's no proof Asker-Zade or Kostin engaged in theft.On Tuesday, Loskutov took to Facebook and Twitter again to post a quote attributed to a host of greats, most often to Pablo Picasso: “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” It’s unclear, though, if he meant himself or the bureaucrats and managers of state-owned companies whom Navalny often accuses of graft.The New York Times’ art critic Jason Farago recently offered what he called “a reluctant defense” of Cattelan’s banana on the basis of the artist’s “willingness to implicate himself within the economic, social and discursive systems that structure how we see and what we value.” If that defense is valid, Loskutov’s action works on more levels than Cattelan’s work. It’s art as Robin Hood-style theft, art as tabloid journalism, art as political protest, art as social commentary, art as commerce and art as charity all rolled into one. It’s not a case of art imitating life or the other way round, but art’s bold intrusion into life as it plays out under one of the world’s most dispiriting authoritarian regimes.Loskutov’s performance, whatever its consequences for him, deserves a place among other audacious Russian art works such as Voina Art Group’s 2010 depiction of a gigantic penis on a St. Petersburg drawbridge exactly opposite the secret police office or Petr Pavlensky nailing himself to the pavement on Moscow’s Red Square in 2013. It’s easy these days to be cynical about the value of art and to play tricks on audiences based on the amount of money some wealthy people are willing to pay for fatuous objects. It’s much riskier, and much more meaningful, to challenge allegedly corrupt elites and the enforcers and benefactors of authoritarian nations. Where political opposition is feeble, art has a role to play.To contact the author of this story: Leonid Bershidsky at lbershidsky@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at mpozsgay@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Leonid Bershidsky is Bloomberg Opinion's Europe columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Facebook, Google plummet in Glassdoor rankings of top companies to work for
    American City Business Journals

    Facebook, Google plummet in Glassdoor rankings of top companies to work for

    Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.-owned Google have both dropped out of the top 10 of Glassdoor's annual Employees’ Choice Awards "best places to work" awards, a sharp decline for a pair of Silicon Valley giants that have long been known for their sky-high salaries and cushy employee perks. The No. 1 company on Glassdoor's list, released Wednesday and based on ratings from employees on the career website, is Cambridge, Massachusetts software maker HubSpot. The highest-ranked Bay Area company is DocuSign, Inc., at No. 3.

  • Dow Jones Futures: Stock Market Rally Seeks Direction, But Reveals Apple, Google As True Leaders
    Investor's Business Daily

    Dow Jones Futures: Stock Market Rally Seeks Direction, But Reveals Apple, Google As True Leaders

    Dow futures: The stock market still seeks China trade clarity, but Apple, AMD, Google, Microsoft and Target are acting like true leaders.

  • Reuters

    Self-driving car firms rooted in U.S. government competition

    Bryan Salesky had little way of knowing in 2007 that his teammates and rivals in a U.S. Defense Department-sponsored competition were laying the foundations for future self-driving businesses now valued at billions of dollars. Twelve years later, even some of his former Carnegie Mellon University teammates have become business competitors of Salesky, who with CMU alumnus and faculty adviser Peter Rander founded Argo AI and went on to attract substantial investments from Ford Motor Co and Volkswagen AG. At the 2007 self-driving competition staged by DoD's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in remote Victorville, California, Salesky's CMU team and one from rival Stanford University included the future founders of at least four self-driving startups.

  • Sanofi to restructure Newton diabetes startup Onduo, saying it 'over-invested'
    American City Business Journals

    Sanofi to restructure Newton diabetes startup Onduo, saying it 'over-invested'

    Sanofi’s new CEO laid out plans Tuesday to shake up one of the Bay State’s biggest drug companies, potentially throwing its 3-year-old diabetes-focused startup Onduo for a loop.

  • Benzinga

    Google Hires AliveCor Chief Medical Officer For Its Health Initiative

    Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL ) has hired medical device maker AliveCor Inc's chief medical officer Jacqueline Shreibati to be a part of the Google Health initiative, CNBC reported on Tuesday. Shreibati, ...

  • TikTok Owner Is Testing Music App in Bid for Next Global Hit
    Bloomberg

    TikTok Owner Is Testing Music App in Bid for Next Global Hit

    (Bloomberg) -- TikTok owner ByteDance Inc. is testing a new music app in emerging markets as it tries to pull off another global sensation akin to its viral video-sharing service.Called Resso, the new app is now available in India and Indonesia, two of Asia’s most populous countries and places already keenly familiar with TikTok. Since an initial launch six months ago, Resso has been installed by about 27,000 users across the iOS App Store and Google Play, according to data compiled by Sensor Tower, which said the numbers indicate promotion of the app began in earnest at the end of November.ByteDance, the world’s most valuable startup, has been quietly developing the app to challenge the likes of Spotify and Apple Music in countries where paid music services have yet to garner large audiences.“The dilemma for all three companies is how to monetize a price-sensitive user base with low relative incomes,” said Michael Norris, research and strategy manager at Shanghai-based consultancy AgencyChina. “At the moment, it’s a race for active users in the developing world. Commercial realities will be put aside, at least for now.”Unlike Spotify, Resso displays real-time lyrics and lets users post their comments under individual songs. They can also generate music-accompanied GIFs and videos, emulating a favorite feature of TikTok. The app offers a monthly paid subscription service, which costs 119 rupees ($1.70) in India, the same as Spotify. Premium Resso users will be able to download music and listen ad-free.The Beijing-based company has secured rights from Indian labels T-Series and Times Music, Bloomberg News previously reported.A TikTok Craze Is Minting Celebrities and Ruining Lives in IndiaYet there are still no rights deals with the world’s three largest music companies -- Warner Music Group Corp., Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment -- which control the vast majority of popular music and whose catalogs would be crucial for Resso to catch on globally, according to people familiar with the matter.Record companies credit TikTok with minting a new generation of music stars, including Lil Nas X, the singer of “Old Town Road.” As it has attracted hundreds of millions of users with their music, however, those companies are now demanding ByteDance increase the licensing fees it pays.“Resso is currently in a beta testing phase,” a Resso representative said in a statement. “We are optimistic about its long-term prospects but we are still very early in the process and only in a limited number of developing markets.”ByteDance was valued at $75 billion last year in part because investors are confident about its reputation as a mobile app factory. But the seven-year-old startup is still on the lookout for its next major breakout hit after TikTok and news aggregator Toutiao, its first signature app. With the paid music app, ByteDance is also looking to expand its revenue stream beyond advertising to counter a slowing home economy that has dampened advertisers’ appetites.A rare global feat for a Chinese internet company, TikTok has been installed nearly 1.5 billion times since launching in 2017. New U.S. users grew 38% to 11.6 million in the third quarter, according to Sensor Tower, up from 8.4 million a year earlier.But its Chinese ownership has become a lightning rod for criticism as tensions rise between the U.S. and China over trade and technology. American politicians and teen users alike have expressed concerns about the app’s handling of user data and censorship of politically-sensitive expression.Testing out Resso in its chosen markets gives ByteDance the breathing room to scale up the service slowly and out of the intense spotlight that’s placed on its other services.(Updates with analyst comment in fourth paragraph)\--With assistance from Muneeza Naqvi.To contact the reporters on this story: Zheping Huang in Hong Kong at zhuang245@bloomberg.net;Lucas Shaw in Los Angeles at lshaw31@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • The Most Popular Google Searches of 2019
    Investor's Business Daily Video

    The Most Popular Google Searches of 2019

    Can you guess the top Google search of the past year? Here's a hint: it's something we've been discussing quite often recently.