Alphabet, the company formerly known as Google, continues to forge ahead since reorganizing in August 2015. Its core unit, Google, which includes its money-printing search and advertising businesses, mobile operating system Android, and video network YouTube, remains the company’s crown jewel. In the fourth quarter of 2016, Alphabet’s core business generated $26.1 billion in revenue, far eclipsing the $262 million its moonshots (like self-driving cars) and other bets (like home automation company Nest) generated in the same period. Consumer products from Google continue to push to the top. Android counts more than 2 billion monthly active users; even the Google Photos fan club has grown to 500 million since its debut two years earlier. But that doesn’t mean Alphabet is putting its unorthodox ideas on the back burner. Despite an ongoing legal battle with Uber, the company’s self-driving car unit, Waymo, is moving full steam ahead in tandem with Uber’s chief rival, Lyft. Google’s virtual reality dreams are also becoming reality. The company is building a new VR headset to follow the Daydream View and Cardboard, which was so popular that Google has shipped over 10 million of its cheap, do-it-yourself headsets since their debut in 2014.
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Nest is also partnering with other groups including Habitat for Humanity.
The venture will focus on consumer media and artificial intelligence.
Founder Pavel Durov rejected as “unconstitutional” Russian officials’ demands to turn over encryption keys.
This is your Data Sheet newsletter for Tuesday, April 17, 2018.
It partnered with nonprofit CyArk, which is creating the images.