The Big Botch


App-pocalypse in Iowa

Coding problems and human errors led to Shadow Inc.’s botched operations at Tuesday’s Iowa caucus, the Washington Post reports. The company’s vote-recording app apparently was developed in a matter of months and was almost entirely untested. On the day of the caucus, it was used by inexperienced volunteers.


Alphabet Finally Reveals YouTube’s Revenue


For the first time ever, Google parent Alphabet this week released revenue numbers for YouTube, Fortune reports. The video streaming service raked in $15.1 billion from ads in 2019. YouTube’s ad revenue represented 10 percent of Alphabet's overall business, and grew 36 percent year-over-year.


LinkedIn CEO Plans to Step Down

LinkedIn’s chief executive officer, Jeff Weiner, said on Wednesday that he would leave his position effective June 1 and be succeeded by head of product Ryan Roslansky, Reuters reports. LinkedIn, which was bought by Microsoft in 2016, has more than 675 million members.


Probe Sets Its Sights on Google’s Ad Tools


The Justice Department has contacted publishers, advertising technology firms and advertising agencies in its antitrust probe of Google, as the company’s online ad tools, branded as Google Ad Manager, become a major focus of the investigation, people familiar with the inquiry have told the Wall Street Journal


Hacking Google Maps Is This Easy 


An artist in Berlin threw some old phones in a squeaky, hand-drawn wagon and made Google Maps think it’s seeing a traffic jam. It's a hilarious, low-tech troll of a $1 trillion technological giant, Fast Company says, but it's also proof that big data can make some big mistakes.


A Tool That Spots Doctored Images

As image-editing software and AI-assisted tools become increasingly powerful, journalists need a way to spot doctored images, Engadget reports. So, Jigsaw, which is owned by Alphabet, has created Assembler, which spots the signatures of image manipulation using seven different "detectors," helping reporters to determine the authenticity of the images they publish.


How to Drive Growth with Organic Search


In 2017, HubSpot experienced something that had never happened before—its blog’s monthly traffic flattened. The firm’s decision to pivot and focus on the channel that has consistently generated the majority of its blog’s traffic—organic search—restored its growth.


Ad-Free News Startup Scroll Launches

After a yearlong beta, the ad-free news startup Scroll has launched to the general public, NiemanLab reports. Founded by former Chartbeat, Spotify, and Foursquare executives, Scroll promises an ad-free reading experience on more than 300 news sites for $5 a month.


Why Spotify Is Buying The Ringer

Spotify is making yet another big-budget purchase aimed at getting a lead in the growing podcast industry, Recode reports. The streaming music company has agreed to a deal to purchase The Ringer, the podcast-centric media venture. This is the fourth podcast company acquisition Spotify has made in the last 12 months.


Is Robot Antiperspirant Next?


Just when it seemed like robots couldn’t get any cooler, Cornell researchers have created a soft robot muscle that can regulate its temperature. They took inspiration from the natural cooling system that exists in mammals: sweating. This form of thermal management could enable untethered, high-powered robots to operate for long periods of time without overheating.