More than 100 technology companies TripAdvisor Expedia demand Europe Google antitrust intervention: Google is on the verge of increased antitrust scrutiny in Europe. After a coalition of 135 companies signed a joint letter criticizing the company's "unwarranted advantages" in vertical Pursuit, the tech giant faces a new era in which it could be more tied up in short for community institutions.
TripAdvisor, Expedia and Trivago are among the best-known companies on this list, including also hosting, Travel and job sites from around the world that accuse Google of "[leveraging] its unquestionable dominance in general internet search to gain a competitive advantage."
His complaint centers on Google's expansion beyond general web search, toward searching for specific sectors, such as flights, shopping, and jobs. That is, those known as vertical searches.
As early as 2017, for example, Google received a fine of 2.4 billion euros for promoting its own Google Shopping services above competitor services in the search engine, which is currently considered a monopolistic practice. However, according to the writing of this collective, "the ruling did not lead Google to change anything significant."
Nor in those known as"OneBoxes".
This is known as the prominent text or image boxes that appear when searching for, for example, travel or shopping destinations. Among them are recommended videos, frequently asked questions, etc., which work according to the company's criteria and are referenced by the tech giant.
TripAdvisor Expedia demand Europe Google antitrust intervention
"These OneBoxes are positioned prominently over all generic search results," complain the signers. "No competing service can compile and display equivalent tables within Google's general search result pages, even though they may offer more relevant results than the Google service," they say.
Basically, what this means is that it's costing rival services traffic, according to the collective.
"If Google were allowed to continue the anti-competitive favoritism of its own specialized search services until any significant regulation comes into force, our services will continue to lack traffic, data and the opportunity to innovate on the merits," the statement said. "Our companies remain trapped in a vicious circle: providing benefits to Google's competing services while leaving our own services obsolete in the long run," zanjan.
In response to the letter, a Google spokesperson told Business Insider that " people expect Google to give them the most relevant and highest quality search results they can trust, not that we give preference to certain companies or business rivals over others, or that we stop launching useful services that create more choice and competition for Europeans."
TripAdvisor Expedia demand Europe Google antitrust intervention
Researchers are inspired by camels to create a cooling system that works without power supply
Camels have developed a seemingly contradictory approach to staying cool since, while conserving water in a scorching desert environment, they have a thick layer of insulating skin.
MIT researchers have been inspired by this phenomenon to develop a system that helps keep things like pharmaceuticals or food cool in warm environments without the need for a power supply, according to a press release.
Most people would not think of wearing a camel hair coat on a hot day, but the truth is that many people who live in desert environments tend to wear heavy clothing for the same reason.
These types of products can help reduce moisture loss while allowing enough evaporation of sweat to provide a refreshing effect. Tests have shown that a hairless camel loses 50% more moisture under identical conditions.
The new system developed by MIT engineers uses a two-layer material to achieve a similar effect.
The lower layer replaces the sweat glands and is formed by hydrogel, a gelatinous substance composed of water and contained in a sponge-like matrix that allows it to be easily evaporated. It is then covered with a layer of aerogel that plays the role of skin and maintains extreme heat while allowing steam to pass through.
Hydrogels are already used to achieve cooling in some fields, but more detailed tests have shown that the two-layer material (less than half an inch wide) can provide cooling of more than 7 degrees Celsius and five times longer than only this first element.
This system could be used for food packaging with the aim of preserving freshness and opening up greater distribution options for farmers to sell their perishable crops. In turn, it could also allow drugs such as vaccines to be kept safely while being delivered to remote locations.
In addition to providing cooling, the passive system, powered only by heat, can reduce the temperature variations experienced by goods, eliminating spikes that can accelerate deterioration.
One of the authors explained that such packaging materials could provide protection for perishable foods or medicines from the farm or factories, through the distribution chain and into the home.
In contrast, existing systems that rely on refrigerated trucks or storage facilities can leave spaces where temperature peaks are reached during loading and unloading.
The authors have pointed out that, although the basic raw materials involved in the system of two layers are economic, since the aerogel is composed of silica (beach sand), the processing equipment is expensive, so this aspect will require further development to expand the system of useful applications.
The basic principle of using water evaporation to provide a cooling effect has been used for centuries in one way or another, but the idea of combining it with an insulating layer, as camels do, had not used human-designed cooling systems before.
The hydrogel material is 97% composed of water that gradually evaporates. In the experimental configuration it took about 200 hours for a 5-millimeter layer, covered with 5 millimeters of aerogel, to lose all its moisture, compared to the 40 hours of hydrogel with nothing.
The cooling level of the two-layer material was slightly lower, a reduction of 7 degrees Celsius (about 12.6 degrees Fahrenheit) versus 8 C (14.4 F), but the effect was much longer lasting.
Once the moisture disappears from the hydrogel, the material can be recharged with water so that the cycle can start again.
The authors have stressed that this discovery can be a great benefit for developing countries where access to electricity is limited.