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Inside Google & Alphabet

Inside Google & Alphabet (Jan 11th, 2019)

1. Alphabet’s board has been sued over an exit package negotiated for Android co-founder Andy Rubin. A lawsuit, filed by Alphabet investor James Martin, said minutes from board meetings showed directors had agreed to ask for Rubin’s resignation, while approving the exit package to keep the matter quiet, despite Rubin being under investigation for sexual harassment claims. The minutes were redacted in the court filing. Martin says Alphabet’s board and other executives breached fiduciary duties by covering up the claims, asking the company to change its shareholder voting structure. — NYT

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2. Chromecast Audio is being discontinued. Google will no longer produce the audio device that allowed any speaker to stream music from a device using Wi-Fi. The company said it would still offer support to existing Chromecast Audio users, but it would no longer manufacture the product. An existing supply of Chromecast Audio dongles are being sold at $15, roughly half of what it previously cost. — TECHCRUNCH

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3. Google is looking to build a new data center in Minnesota. The building is being considered in Becker, which is about an hour north of Minneapolis. The facility would cost at least $600 million to build and would be powered by two dedicated wind farms. The data center would create 50 full-time tech jobs and about 2,000 construction jobs over an estimated 24 months, with Xcel Energy playing a role in the project. — STAR TRIBUNE

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4. Despite a year of strong growth, YouTube Premium is still reportedly not representing a meaningful source of revenue. The figures, shared by four different publishers with channels that average at least over 100 million views per month, say overall YouTube revenue generated by YouTube Premium views remains low. These figures typically sit in the single-digit percentages of overall YouTube revenues, despite an overall year-over-year growth of over 100 percent. — DIGIDAY

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5. The parents behind the controversial DaddyOFive YouTube channel have received a reduced sentence. Michael and Heather Martin had their sentence reduced to unsupervised probation, from five years of supervised probation. — NY MAG

6. Wikipedia has partnered with Google to allow editors to translate within its content translation tool. As a result, Wikipedia’s translation tool will now support 15 additional languages. — VENTURE BEAT

7. Amazon Fire TV reportedly has over 30 million users. The television operating system runs off of a version of Android. Google’s official TV OS, Android TV, has a smaller market share than Amazon. — THE VERGE

8. Black Enterprise profiles the podcasts selected to participate in Google's Podcasts creator program. The initiative targets minority podcasters, in collaboration with PRX, remove barriers within the industry. — BLACK ENTERPRISE

9. The Wall Street Journal caught a video of Alphabet’s Project Wing drones delivering coffee and food in Australia. — YOUTUBE

10. The Play Books app is receiving an update to Google’s Material Theme. — ANDROID POLICE 

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This newsletter was written and curated by Johan Moreno. Johan is based out of Los Angeles, CA and has covered technology and automotive extensively for a variety of publications, including The Orange County Register. Follow him on Twitter @dudejohan

Editing team: Lon Harris (editor-in-chief at Inside.com, game-master at Screen Junkies), Krystle Vermes (Breaking news editor at Inside, B2B marketing news reporter, host of the "All Day Paranormal" podcast), and Susmita Baral (editor at Inside, recent bylines in NatGeo, Teen Vogue, and Quartz. Runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram).

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