The companies may care deeply, but who among us really gives a damn which logo our smart home tech has on it? When we walk in the door of an evening, we just want the tabletop voice-activated doohickey to talk to a bunch of stuff like the lights and the wall-mounted temperature control thingy. Don't make us think more deeply than that about it. We've had a long day.
If you play well together, if everything just works with everything else, the whole market takes off faster. But if you're fighting a battle of disconnected formats, nobody wins, because nobody wants to take the time to figure out what talks to what.
Google and Amazon and Apple, and Samsung could easily spend the next decade locked in a battle for the smart home just as Android and iOS have spent the last decade fighting for the smartphone. But the smartphone, at least, is a platform: Our homes are not platforms. They're our personal environments.
Who's going to feel comfortable letting their private castle be dominated by a single company? I don't want a Nest brand home. I don't want an Alexa brand home. Seriously, you might as well hand the house keys to HAL and be done with it. Instinctually, when we let devices into this most personal of realms, we see the safety in diversity.
Every device gets a little bit of insight into our behavior but no one company gets to build up a complete picture. Besides, we just want to pick and choose what to buy on a device-by-device basis, and when we do that we invariably end up with a hodgepodge: Amazon for our voice assistant, Google for our thermostat, Hue for our lights, MyQ for our garage door, and so on. What are you going to do, hire every last brilliant engineer with an idea for a new home gadget to stop new companies from springing up?
You can try to fight the trend. You can be greedy and dream of controlling the entire flow of juicy analytic data flooding in from the home front, even though you know the market would never stand for such a monopoly.
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To achieve such democratisation, the vendor introduced Cloud TPUs, custom processors designed from scratch to accelerate machine learning tasks. The third generation of such an offering is now available in alpha, in a bid to make support for larger amounts of machine learning computation possible for more businesses.
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With a single click, a faceless Google employee decided that Think Computer Corporation's membership in the AdSense program "posed a significant risk to our AdWords advertisers," and the account was disabled with no warning. Your AdSense account for this login is currently disabled. We recommend checking your email inboxes for any messages we may have sent you regarding your account status. If your account was disabled for invalid click activity, please visit our Disabled Account FAQ for more information. Knowing only that I was somehow posing "a significant risk" to advertisers, I e-mailed Google to ask about exactly what had happened.
An errant automated response told me that my records could not be found. Going back and using the on-line appeal form on the AdSense web site similarly yielded no result; not even a confirmation that the appeal had been received.
Why I Sued Google (and Won) [Updated]
In the appeal I offered to send Google hundreds of pages of log files to prove that no fraud had taken place, but no one replied. More than once, I tried calling Google at its corporate offices in Mountain View. Invariably the person on the other end of the line sounded like they were approximately my age, and there's a chance I might have even gone to college with some of them, but despite all of those similarities the difference in bureaucratic flexibility could not have been more vast.
While I was capable of authorizing any action on behalf of my company, Google's overachieving receptionists were not even permitted to transfer my phone call to AdSense customer service. There was no AdSense customer service.
Even if there had been, it would not have mattered much. I also couldn't be transferred to any of the engineers who worked on AdSense. It made no difference that I was also a paying AdWords customer. Trying a more aggressive approach, I tried instead to be transferred to the legal department. That, too, was not an option. Despite the clear existence of the legal department, I was told again and again that I was not allowed to speak with anyone in it.
For the time being, I gave up. Two days after the account was disabled, on December 11, , Google's AdSense team posted a message on its blog introducing a new system called "AdSense for Domains. When I had tried to sign up for it previously, given that my domain name needed exactly such a service, it had been "closed"--code for "available to a limited number of companies with large numbers of domain names. Another flurry of phone calls to the AdSense employees who had written on the corporate blog got me nowhere.
I left voicemails about my disabled account diligently, to no avail. I even called AdWords customer support, intentionally asking for the wrong department to see if a real human being could help.