Google News – January 2021

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For years, most car manufacturers have backed away from cloud solutions from Big Tech Companies. They would not give the Big Tech companies access to their cars and read to the data of their customers. They kpt the entire migration to the digital world in their own hands.

With the announcement of the partnership between Ford and Google – a six-year agreement – the next automaker is throwing in the towel. All Ford’s efforts were in vain. The gap with Tesla could not be closed. And the clock is ticking on mercilessly. Not only does the switch from combustion engines to electric engines still have to be made, but there is also the change where people opt for services rather than products (e.g. I don’t buy a car, but look for transport options measure of the needs of the moment). There are too many wars to fight simultaneously. And that’s why Ford is now bringing Google on board to take over some of the work.

The focus in the Belgian news was on what you will experience as a driver. The seamless integration with Maps, the possibility to control your operation with voice thanks to Google Assistant, access to YouTube or other infotainment for your passengers, all thanks to the use of Android as the underlying OS in your car.

But that’s only part of the story. In addition, Google will assist Ford in its migration to the digital enterprise in two more areas. In the creation of the “always connected car”. A car that permanently exchanges data, making software updates possible over the internet, for example. But which also permanently enables the car to deliver contextual information to the network. The condition of the road, adjustments to the infrastructure (such as new speed bumps) an other technical issues in the car. But also in the opposite direction. Towards the car, making it permanently aware of the context in its environment (such as other traffic, unsafe situations and specific weather conditions).

Changes that will eventually bring automation of driving a lot closer. Nothing new you will think. These are things Tesla has been offering for years. That’s right. But Ford now realizes that it must bring in a party with proven expertise in that field in order to make that catch-up possible.

In 2023, the first results of the collaboration must become visible in the cars. We are already curious.

A virtual car in your driveway:

No, we will not become a blog about cars. But the next part is about a car as well. One specific car this time. The Wrangler Jeep. And not so much the car itself, but the AR application that allows you, in these pandemic times, to virtually place the car in your driveway, admire it from all sides and also fully explore the inside of the car. All virtual.

Nothing new in itself, as it was already announced at last year’s Google Search event. But the Google blog now provides more background information on how it works. How do you manage to get the car correctly depicted from all angles in real time with your mobile phone? Do you not need a lot of computing capacity on your smartphone? It turns out not to be the case. After all, the rendering of the images takes place at ‘the edge’. So the computing capacity is on the edge of the network, so that low latency can be guaranteed. And as a user you can also enjoy a perfect user experience with a standard smartphone. You can read how it works here.

How to outline and roll out your data security strategy in GCP?

The migration to the cloud is a fact. But as a result, customers are confronted with the question of how to perfectly secure their data there. How do you do that in unknown territory? And customers often struggle to adapt their security policies to this new reality. There is a realization that data security is critical, but a lack of well-understood principles to drive an effective security program. To address this, Google released a new white paper in January, “Designing and Implementing a Data Security Strategy Using Google Cloud.” This document is based on two points of view. From the cloud-native approach as well as from the position of a classic company that has to adapt existing security programs to the new cloud reality.

Imagine that you are migrating to the cloud and that you are a traditional company. You have a range of data security tools and most likely you have an existing day-to-day security program that is part of your overall security program. Maybe you implemented tools such as DLP or data classification. And then you migrate some of your data processing and some of your data to the cloud. What should you do now? Are your controls still working? Are your practices still up to date? Are you still looking at the right threats?

On the other hand, you may well be the company born in the cloud. In this case, you may not have an existing data security activity. However, if you plan to process sensitive or regulated data in the cloud, you should create one. What does a cloud-native data protection program look like? Which lessons from on prem can you ignore in the cloud environment? What are some of the cloud specific ways to keep the data secure?

These and many answers can be found in this document. And you can read the full blog here.

Flutter event in early March creates expectations!

A few weeks ago I wrote an article about Flutter, a cross-platform development environment that is already very successful today. (Flutter, a game changer in Frontend developtment) When Flutter announces a worldwide event, the expectations are high!

What’s on the agenda? Flutter 2.0? Flutter for Web General Available? Flutter for Windows and macOS from alpha to beta status? A combination of all this? Or something completely different? The rumored mills are working overtime. But we will still have to wait until the beginning of March to be sure.

Sign up for updates here

Google Remains World’s Hottest Cloud Vendor as Q4 Growth Surges to 46.5%!

The public cloud did a fantastic job in 2020. Almost all cloud players recorded good growth figures. But as the headline from the Cloud Wars article points out, those from Google were really something! Not only are they the largest of all cloud players, but – and that’s remarkable – they are growing quarter after quarter. Although on average only by a percentage per quarter, it puts Google on the right track towards doubling its turnover in two years.

I fully realize that the gap with AWS and Azure is still large. Moreover, both also present fantastic growth figures for 2020. But look at this from a different point of view. At this rate, the Google Cloud operation within three years will be the same as the Microsoft Cloud operation from 2020.

You can read more background in the Cloud Wars article.

Bart Gouweloose

Google evangelist

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