Bottom Line: In a 2014 legal ruling the EU began requiring search engines to delete personal information when an individual requested it and if the information was embarrassing or out of date. But recently the European court of justice said that this law did not require search engines to remove that information outside of the EU. This ruling lets companies like Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) keep serving search results to the rest of the world from the nearly 1.5 million links that have been removed from European search results. A Google lawyer said that the result struck ‘a balance between people’s rights of access to information and privacy’, but it also can’t be bad for Google’s costs moderating worldwide search results.
Bottom Line: Cloudflare (NYSE: NET) whose primary business is to provide internet speed and security solutions to website and app providers has just launched a consumer VPN product called Warp. The Warp mobile app will let Cloudflare use their existing Internet infrastructure to help consumers browse the web more privately on their mobile devices. Similar to Cloudflare’s other products the VPN offers both free and paid tiers. Just keep in mind that web traffic is only one way your privacy can be compromised on your mobile device.
Bottom Line: A paper by Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) researchers that was briefly posted on a Nasa website claimed that their quantum computer performed a calculation in a few minutes that would take the most powerful supercomputer (IBM’s Summit) 10,000 years. While the calculation was very specific and by no means represents the imminent replacement of classical computers, it’s the first time a quantum computer has been able to perform a calculation that would be impractical for classical computers which is known in the field to be ‘quantum supremacy’. Quantum computing could emerge as a massive growth opportunity in processing power in specific fields but still remains specialized in its potential applications particularly in cryptography, AI, and optimization.
Bottom Line: Amazon’s (NASDAQ: PTON) recent hardware event debuted a refresh of some of its popular products featuring its voice assistant Alexa, such as the Echo and the Dot, but also unveiled a slew of new products featuring Alexa. A high-end Echo Studio brings higher quality audio, the Echo Buds are wireless noise reduction earbuds, the Echo Flex a smaller scale smart speaker, an Amazon Smart Oven, integration with GM vehicles and even beta, invite only hardware devices like smart glasses and a smart ring are all broadening the reach of Alexa. Since Amazon doesn’t get to put Alexa in our phones like Google and Apple can with their voice assistant, Amazon is clearly putting it everywhere else they can think of.
Tech Investing Chart of the Week
Is a trend starting to emerge where private markets pump up valuations and then public markets either laugh them out of the room (i.e. WeWork) or bring a healthy dose of reality (i.e. Uber, Lyft, et al). Peloton is the latest ‘unicorn’ to IPO and while the bankers got greedy in pricing, the public markets weren’t kind to the fitness company on the first day of trading dropping over 11% by close.