Google’s Stock Soars 1,293% in First 10 Years

It’s been 10 years since the initial public offering of the dominant search company, and how it’s grown up.

Google’s (GOOG) rise to power has been so swift and breathtaking, it’s shaken up the world order of the advertising industry, disrupted the technology industry and turned into a massive money maker for investors.

While the advertising company first rose to the fore due to its super-secret search algorithm, Google has used its power to collect vast amounts of data about its users and apply it to new areas. Google has pushed into new industries including mobile, where it is dominant, and also software systems.

For investors, the Internet advertising firm’s success has been astounding. Google is the 11th best performing stock in the current Standard & Poor’s 500 since its Aug. 19, 2004, IPO, gaining 30.15% a year on average, says Howard Silverblatt, strategist at S&P Dow Jones Indices. The stock has rocketed 1,293% since its IPO, says Bespoke Investment Group.

Google’s IPO broke the mold from the very start. Advised by academics, Google sold shares using the Dutch Auction model, where all potential buyers used an online system to indicate how many shares they wanted and at what price. The IPO establishment was outraged since they did not get the preferential treatment and power to dole out shares to their own clients.

Interestingly, Google has outlasted several of these banks that normally would have sold shares. Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers were two of the top investment banks in 2004, Bespoke says, and both are now gone.

And it’s not just the investment banking industry that’s been rocketed since Google. There are 145 stocks that were in the S&P 500 at the time of the Google IPO that are no longer publicly traded, Bespoke says.

The founders also found themselves in a bit of trouble at the time of the IPO when they appeared in Playboy magazine with an interview prior to the offering. It was quickly resolved with a press release and update to the registration documents.

Recently, the company orchestrated a complex stock split, which created another class of stock. Some declared the move, which concentrates more voting power in the hands of founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, as anti-investor. But the company is so profitable, investors can’t resist holding it.

Many people may consider Google to be a technology company, but its secret to success is that it is an advertising company. Google uses its technology products as a way to lure more users from which the company can collect data and sell information about them to the highest bidder. More than 60% of the value of Google’s stock price comes from advertising, delivered both on desktop computers and on mobile devices, says stock information firm Trefis.

These data and Google’s dominant position on the Web with its services gives it so much power, it’s very difficult to compete against. Media magnate Rupert Murdock this weekend again groused at how powerful Google has become with a post on Twitter.

Google’s business model might be difficult for consumers to understand. But it allows the company to offer products at no cost that a traditional software company would charge money for. And those data, it seems, are worth more than the price of the software and services being given away for free.

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Latest Siri vs Google Now Comic

So it not new the battle between Apple and Google.

This time, the debate is over Apple’s digital assistant, and maybe the best out there, Siri, and Google Now, produced by the gigantic Google.

Siri-vs-Now

The guys behind “The Joy of Tech“, who always entertain us with hilarious comic strips, presented a new funny comic after Google Now came face to afce with Siri on iOS devices.

The comic strip is very simply, but entertainingly beautiful. The first part, out of four, shows Siri telling the user that he should take an umbrella with him, while Google Now is instructing him not to since it will not rain today. In the end, the man leaves the house without an umbrella, after following Google Now’s advice.

Google-vs-Siri-JOT

The result, the man baking in the heat of the sun, and Siri taking advantage of this situation to gloat!

This comic underscores the fact that many people use both apps and receive contradictory information. Yet, most people prefer to use one of the apps more frequently. Very few people ask both apps and comapre between the information they provide.

So which app do you use, and how frequently?

Google X Phone Images Leaked Online

Definitely Google caused a huge fuzz in the tech world after it decided to pay $12.5 billion to buy Motorola Mobility. Since then, rumors about a glorious X phone, that might be accompanied by an X tablet later on, have been around for some time.

Few days ago, evleaks leaked several images for the X phone. And last March, a Tunisian blog published a series of images for an unspecified Motorola device. But no one believed the images; however, after the leaked images by evleaks, many are thinking that it might truly be the X phone.

If we take a look at the phone, we can see the curved rear shell (which is very similar to HTC One). Besides, it looks similar to the current Samsung line of mobile phones.

Several experts guessed the X phone to bear a 4.7-inch display, and a resolution not less than 1080p. This in addition to 32 GB of storage, 2 GB RAM, and 4.2 Jelly Bean.

We will be waiting for this anticipated device.

Facebook Buys Parse

With its acquisition of Parse, Facebook has gone a long way toward filling its mobile-shaped hole.

“Today we’re making it even easier to build mobile apps with Facebook Platform by announcing that we have entered into an agreement to acquire Parse, a cloud-based platform that provides scalable cross-platform services and tools for developers,” wrote Douglas Purdy, Facebook’s director of product management, on the Facebook Developer Blog.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the deal was for $85 million in a stock and cash transaction.

Parse doesn’t provide a mobile operating system per se, but it does give Facebook developers a framework that will let them more tightly integrate their apps with the Facebook platform. It will also let them create an app that works the same on other mobile platforms as it does on Facebook.

This opens up news levels of integration — and monetization — for Facebook and its business customers.

For its part, Parse was reportedly being wooed by many suitors. It chose Facebook, according to Parse CEO Ilya Sukhar, because the two companies and their missions are a good fit.

“Combining forces with a partner like Facebook makes a lot of sense,” wrote Sukhar in a blog post. “In a short amount of time, we’ve built up a core technology and a great community of developers. Bringing that to Facebook allows us to work with their incredible talent and resources to build the ideal platform for developers.”

Does Facebook’s acquisition of Parse raise the social network’s mobile profile? What more does it have to do to provide a truly valuable mobile experience — for users and for business customers?

Adapted from Google News

NASA To Capture A 500-Ton Asteroid

Did we just enter into the new era of asteroid hunting?

It seems yes!!

On Friday, Senator Bill Nelson stated that NASA is planning to develop a spaceship to lasso a small asteroid and park it next to the moon so that astronauts and scientists can explore it.

The asteroid is 500-tons and 25 feet in length. It will be captured in 2019, and in 2021, a group of four astronauts will start spacewalking exploration.

Interestingly, Sen.  Nelson declared on Friday that the President Barak Obama will allocate more than $100 million to accelerate the project by finding a better small sized asteroid.

This is will be the first time man attempts to manipulate space objects at a grand scale like this one, and it will something great for NASA to achieve in this century.

However, finding the right asteroid with the right size and the right time to pass by earth is not that easy.

For all those of you who are worried about the damage that the asteroid might cause to Earth, I assure you that a 25-foot asteroid will burn up completely in case it entered Earth’s atmosphere.

Other than the interesting scientific explorations that NASA will achieve by studying the asteroid, such a project will help NASA nudge away any dangerous asteroid heading to Earth any time in the future.

So let us wait and see what will happen. Personally, I am very excited for this project!

Facebook Home Interface

In an unexpected step, Facebook decided to enter the world of operating systems and compete with Android.

Facebook home is the new operating system developed by Facebook that integrates several features of Facebook with the home screen of mobile phones.

According to Mark Zuckerberg, “Our phones are designed around apps and not people. We want to flip that around.”

So the new interface allows you to swipe through photos and status updates of your circle of friends. Besides, messaging has a new interface with Chat Heads, which is basically a group of icons with profile pictures that pop up whenever you are using Facebook messages.

To start solidifying its place in the smartphones market, the smartphones company HTC and the wireless carrier AT&T revealed the new smartphone HTC First, that already has the new interface integrated and optimized for users. 

Finally, for all those of you who are excited for Facebook Home, the new interface will be availble for Android after starting April 12. Supporting devices include HTC One, Samsung Galaxy Note II, and Galaxy S3 and S4.

Now who is excited for the new interface in town?

Your Facebook Likes Reveal More Than You Probably Like

Facebook users‘ Likes on the social network may be unintentionally revealing more about their personality traits, sexual orientation, and intelligence, according to a new study.

By studying the Likes of 58,000 Facebook users on the social network, researchers at the University of Cambridge say they were able to determine users’ IQ, gender, sexual orientation, political and religious beliefs, and even substance use, with an accuracy rate of more than 80 percent

Users’ expressions of approval on the social network for things such as photos, friends’ status updates, as well as pages for sports, musicians, and books were analyzed by researchers employing a model that reduced the number of random variables under consideration. When compared with user-provided demographic profiles and other psychometric tests, researchers learned they had correctly predicted sexual orientation 88 percent of the time, ethnicity 95 percent of the time, and political leanings in 85 percent of the cases.

“This study demonstrates the degree to which relatively basic digital records of human behavior can be used to automatically and accurately estimate a wide range of personal attributes that people would typically assume to be private,” researchers said in the study, which was published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PDF).

“Likes represent a very generic class of digital records, similar to Web search queries, Web browsing histories, and credit card purchases,” researchers said. “In contrast to these other sources of information, Facebook Likes are unusual in that they are currently publicly available by default.”

While recognizing that predicting attributes and preferences could be used to improve a wide range of products and services, researchers noted that there were considerable negative implications to the predictability model, especially when digital records are analyzed without individuals knowledge or consent.

“Commercial companies, governmental institutions, or even one’s Facebook friends could use software to infer attributes such as intelligence, sexual orientation, or political views that an individual may not have intended to share,” researchers concluded. “One can imagine situations in which such predictions, even if incorrect, could pose a threat to an individual’s well-being, freedom, or even life.”