Nick Bastone, The Information

Nick Bastone

The Information

San Francisco, CA, United States

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Past articles by Nick:

Two Senior Lyft Execs Depart on Eve of California Ballot Showdown

Two senior executives at Lyft, in charge of strategic initiatives and design, are leaving the ride-hailing firm, The Information has learned. News of their departures, which follow the exits of three other senior executives in the past few months, came on the eve of the vote on Proposition 22, ... → Read More

The Quiet Rise of Google’s New Head of Search —

When Google CEO Sundar Pichai reshuffled his most senior executives earlier this summer, he gave one of the biggest jobs to Prabhakar Raghavan, a former Yahoo research director who had earned acclaim within Google for technology predicting what Gmail users planned to type. Raghavan now heads ... → Read More

Briefing: Google Announces Pixel 4a and Next Generation 5G Phones —

Google officially announced its next-generation mid-tiered smartphone, the Pixel 4a, on Monday. The new device, which is available for preorder now and will ship on August 20th, will cost $349—$50 cheaper than both its predecessor, the Pixel 3a, and its competitor, the iPhone SE. The release has been expected for months, but Google told The Information that issues related to the pandemic → Read More

Briefing: Google in Talks to Expand Services on Samsung Devices, Report Says —

Google and Samsung are in negotiations that could give Google’s services, like its app store and digital assistant, more prominence on the smartphone makers devices, Bloomberg reports. Specifics of the deal could not be learned. But Bloomberg says that the talks could lead to Google having more control of search functionality on Samsung devices, as well as Samsung potentially sidelining its → Read More

Briefing: Gmail for Business to Become Unified Communication Tool —

Gmail for business is getting a major overhaul, Google announced on Wednesday . In the coming weeks, users will be able to access video, chat, and Google’s other productivity tools, like Google Docs and Sheets, right from the Gmail app or web page. The Information first reported plans for the unified communications tool in January. “One thing we’ve heard again and again from our users is how → Read More

Briefing: Alphabet’s Loon Launches First Commercial Service in Kenya —

Alphabet’s internet balloon company Loon launched its first commercial operation on Tuesday in central and western Kenya, The New York Times reported. The effort is in partnership with the country’s third largest carrier, Telkom Kenya. Loon’s 35 high-altitude balloons will be able to beam a 4G LTE network connection across a nearly 31,000-square-mile area, including Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. → Read More

Google Reorg Gives Top Exec Portfolio to Jump-Start Shopping —

Until a few weeks ago, when Google staffers wanted to test new shopping features for Google’s search home page, the need to get approval from Google’s search team sometimes held things up, former employees say. But a management shake-up earlier this month, giving a key executive responsibility ... → Read More

Google Plans to Expand Google Pay Into Commerce Portal —

Google is working on a major overhaul of its payment app, Google Pay, in hopes of jump-starting its use in the U.S. Google Pay plans this year to let online and brick-and-mortar merchants set up their own branded buttons inside the U.S. version of the app, potentially turning it into a one-stop ... → Read More

Antitrust Battle Focused on Ads Might Play to Google’s Advantage —

As regulatory agencies intensify their probe of Google’s business practices, the discussion in Washington, D.C., and Silicon Valley has shifted from whether the Justice Department will sue Google for anticompetitive behavior to when it will do so.But one question remains unclear: what exactly ... → Read More

Answers to Six Big Questions About Trump’s Social Media Order —

President Trump launched a new front in his long-running battle against the large tech platforms this week. On Thursday, he issued an executive order challenging a legal protection that has played a key role in the ability of companies such as Facebook and YouTube to grow into global digital ... → Read More

Google’s Pixel Division Undergoes Shakeup After Disappointing Launch —

When Google announces its latest Pixel smartphone in the coming weeks, it will be without some key architects of its previous model, which drew rare internal criticism from the company’s head of hardware, Rick Osterloh, The Information has learned.The mastermind behind Google’s Pixel camera, ... → Read More

How YouTube Stars Are Getting Paid During the Pandemic —

Patrick Lacey, a YouTube creator who runs the 2 million subscriber TierZoo channel, was pulling in nearly $11,000 a month from ads on videos that rated wild animals as if they were players in a video game. Then came the coronavirus shutdowns and a dive in spending from advertisers. His paycheck ... → Read More

Boom in Home Electronics Sales Shows Signs of Peaking —

When cities across the U.S. shut down due to the coronavirus, consumers flocked online to beef up their home office and entertainment setups. The surge in spending for consumer electronics has extended into April, with only a slight cooling in growth, according to an analysis of email receipts ... → Read More

A Guide to Coronavirus Apps for Contact Tracing, Symptom Reporting —

Governments, academics and tech companies—including giants like Apple, Google and Facebook—are betting that software and smartphones can play a role in the next phase of the response to the coronavirus pandemic. Their efforts may be creating another unwanted condition: confusion.In recent weeks, ... → Read More

Managing Google During the Coronavirus Crisis —

Google, which began humbly in a garage in Palo Alto, California, has unexpectedly gone back to its domestic roots.Like other tech companies, Google last month sent nearly all of its employees—around 114,000 of them in total—to work from home with the aim of curbing the spread of the coronavirus. ... → Read More

Cash-Rich Tech Giants Could Provide Alternative to Federal Loans —

The Small Business Association has a $349 billion emergency fund to provide some relief to small businesses across the country hurt by the coronavirus. But a possible alternative source of funding for cash-strapped tech startups could be the tech giants, which between them have much more cash ... → Read More

How Apple Is Working From Home —

Normally, Apple’s hardware teams meet in person at the company’s Cupertino, California, headquarters to review upcoming products, often bringing key components of their devices to show colleagues.But now that they are sidelined at home due to Covid-19, members of those teams are improvising new ... → Read More

Google Suspends Employee Reviews as Virus Disrupts Operations —

Google will suspend company-wide performance reviews of employees, as its leaders deemed the process a distraction from more pressing challenges facing the company amid the coronavirus pandemic, The Information has learned.Google’s vice president of people operations, Eileen Naughton, announced ... → Read More

Dinner Parties in the Age of Coronavirus —

For her 33rd birthday later this month, entrepreneur Sherrell Dorsey planned to throw a dinner party with friends before embarking on a celebratory road trip from Atlanta to Tennessee. She even bought a bright red cocktail dress from a designer on Instagram that she planned to wear at the ... → Read More

Google’s Parent Trap —

In early 2015, Google co-founder Larry Page had a problem. His once nimble startup had become a slow-growing behemoth, missing out on big tech innovations and struggling to incubate new products.Page’s answer was Alphabet, a new corporate entity that would allow Google’s cash cow—its search ... → Read More