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FTC Reviews Google's Purchase of Navigation App Waze

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the taking-a-closer-look dept.

Google 95

An anonymous reader writes "Google's acquisition of Waze has piqued the interest of the FTC and is now facing an antitrust review. "Google confirmed that it has been contacted by lawyers from the Federal Trade Commission over the company's '$1.1 billion acquisition of the mobile navigation company Waze, which closed in mid-June. A Google spokeswoman declined to comment on details of the antitrust review by the FTC. Representatives of the agency didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.'"

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Lemme be the first to say it... (-1, Offtopic)

atom1c (2868995) | about a year ago | (#44087555)

Ha ha.

Re:Lemme be the first to say it... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44087583)

You beat me to it.

The RNG I've been using to compose Slashdot posts just dialed up 25647 which by coincidence corresponds to "Ha ha".

More Microsoft corruption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44088907)

OP is not offtopic. The "Nelson" laugh is an appropriate response to seeing bullying in progress.

This Waze acquisition is too small to require Federal Trade Commission involvement. The only reason for them to become involved is if somebody was able to "influence" them.

Microsoft is the only other company with a hand in real-time traffic game, and it's clear they're going down the old familiar path of clearing out any competition. Once they have the field to themselves, they'll rake in more monopoly profits and let any US government TLA know where you are and where you've been.

"Ha ha" indeed, America. Your pants are down around your ankles yet again.

Shutting out competitor or buying up talent? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44087565)

I guess the question is, is this Google trying to shut out a potential competitor (I don't see them being a real threat, the technology is easy to copy before they get too big), or simply buying up obvious top talent. I think its the later in my mind.

Re:Shutting out competitor or buying up talent? (4, Interesting)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44087585)

I guess the question is, is this Google trying to shut out a potential competitor (I don't see them being a real threat, the technology is easy to copy before they get too big), or simply buying up obvious top talent. I think its the later in my mind.

if it's like a normal google acquisition it's the latter - but will end up effectively as the former.

Re:Shutting out competitor or buying up talent? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44087625)

There may be some element of data-buy as well. Just ask Apple how easy it isn't to build good maps fast.

Re:Shutting out competitor or buying up talent? (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44087665)

Wayz does not build good maps.
Its a one trick pony: Traffic reporting.

Re:Shutting out competitor or buying up talent? (2)

msauve (701917) | about a year ago | (#44087863)

Wayz does not build good maps. Its a one trick pony: Traffic reporting.

Waze developed their own maps. The others who've done that are Navteq, TomTom (Tele Atlas), and Google.

Re:Shutting out competitor or buying up talent? (5, Informative)

dwillden (521345) | about a year ago | (#44088123)

Waze's maps on initial import from official sources are poor. But are rapidly exceeding the quality of the maps of services (including Google) which are built entirely by paid employees. Even Google's adoption of user editing has still lacked in the rapid update ability of Waze.

When there are active editors in an area (a key criteria) the maps are accurate and update to match new construction far more quickly. When something significant happens (for example the Hwy 89 landslide in AZ back in Feb, or the bridge collapse in WA). Waze's maps are updated within minutes of the news being reported. Google was quick on the AZ slide but still trailed by a couple days. Waze had the road disconnect, implemented and updated into the live map within 24 hours, changing the routing instructions users received to take them on one of the alternate routes. (I know, I made the edits in Waze.)

When I started with Waze I immediately liked it because of two new commuter routes that had been recently built, my Tom Tom still didn't have the older of the two routes even though it had been in existence for two years by then. Google had that one but another one that opened up just a couple weeks before was already mapped into Waze and Google didn't have it yet. Waze's maps are good, and if an area has active editors are more accurate than even Google's maps and overhead images.

I do grant that in many areas there is still much to be done, but Waze's maps even in the areas needing work are improving faster than Googles.

There are even countries with entirely user built road networks that are not only more complete but more accurate than what Google or anyone else has. Waze is NOT a one trick pony, live traffic reporting and on the fly re-routing is the primary reason for it's creation, but it has progressed beyond that point.

Re:Shutting out competitor or buying up talent? (1)

petman (619526) | about a year ago | (#44088651)

Not entirely by paid employees. Waze allows users to edit maps using an online map editor.

Re:Shutting out competitor or buying up talent? (2)

Krojack (575051) | about a year ago | (#44092589)

Which from my experience was very slow to apply those changes. Two of the major highways in my city raised the speed limit from 55 to 65 on one and 70 on the other. I submitted these changes and it took 1 1/2 years till they appeared in Waze. I was pretty shocked it took that long assuming they even looked at my submission.

Re:Shutting out competitor or buying up talent? (1)

tag (22464) | about a year ago | (#44093305)

What alpha version of Waze have you been running for more than 1 1/2 years? Displaying a speed limit is one of the most-requested features for Waze, but it's not in there yet.

Re:Shutting out competitor or buying up talent? (1)

dwillden (521345) | about a year ago | (#44096775)

You miss-understood me, I was saying Google, and the other services rely heavily on paid map-makers. Waze relies almost entirely on users.

Re:Shutting out competitor or buying up talent? (1)

adolf (21054) | about a year ago | (#44089257)

Google allows maps to be updated by end-users. There is an approval process, and a system that seems to operate somewhat like Slashdot's karma/moderation system.

So Waze isn't so different, unless it allows direct editing by end-users.

And if it does allow that, then Waze is not so different from OpenStreetMap, except for being less open.

Indeed, I'm not sure, as an end-user, what advantage Waze has for the mapping data.

However, I did use it today for the first time. I was struck with joy when I was able to enter a destination, have a sane route planned for me, AND peruse a list of places along that route which have coffee and add one as a stop. (Google Maps can't do this. My old Garmin can, but it's got its own set of issues that make it a PITA.)

(Routing around traffic automatically is neat, but I almost never drive in places that actually suffer from Real Traffic. :) )

Re:Shutting out competitor or buying up talent? (1)

dwillden (521345) | about a year ago | (#44096819)

Waze does allow users to directly edit, similar to OSM, they chose not to use OSM's map data as they did want to retain control over the data for commercial purposes, something that OSM's license would not allow. While at times an approval or verification system is nice, in Waze if a road is sensitive in nature or critical infrastructure needing protection editing abilities can be locked to higher level, more experienced editors (most interstates are so locked).

The problem with Google's system is in the approval. I made a critical edit necessary due to new construction, and it was denied by some idiot in South Africa because the aerial imagery didn't show the new construction. With Waze any user can make edits, if wrong other users will quickly correct them. It does leave some vulnerability to vandalism but is mostly self correcting.

Glad your first use was so positive. Next log into the website and take a look at the editor.

Re:Shutting out competitor or buying up talent? (1, Insightful)

MotorMachineMercenar (124135) | about a year ago | (#44090471)

So you and thousands of others are working for free for a for-profit company on a proprietary platform? And people wonder why there's so much unemployment...

Nothing new, though. Games have done this for years with open betas. Hell, some games charge people to beta test their games!

While that in itself boggles the mind, wouldn't your time be better spent contributing to Openstreetmap, which is open and can't be appropriated by a megacorp?

mod parent up! (1)

Herve5 (879674) | about a year ago | (#44091089)

To begin with: Waze *started* with using Openstreetmap (and somehow even announced that their own edits they would give back to OSM, of course, since otherwise given the open license they'd had had just no right to use the maps)

So yes, what we're all talking here is just some private editing interface to Openstreetmap, that's restricted to fast-updating traffic-jam-generating roadworks issues basically.

On /. I'd better appreciate a larger discussion about how to maintain Openstreetmap independent, for instance, but sure, google bought waze, well, so they'll spit Openstreetmap out and replace the mapping with theirs, and then use the supposedly faster updating for themselves.

But you know, any user of Openstreetmap can do this too, and as fast.

Maybe a question worth asking, in the Hwy89 example above, would be: when did it appear on Openstreetmap to begin with.
Because, you know, anyone of us having free editing access, it may well have been updated straight by OSM users, *before* Waze guys did react.

The funniest is, because Waze did use OSM, the very same Waze users in such a case wouldn't even have understood who did the updating actually.

So, yes: mod parent up, please!

Re:mod parent up! (1)

Sleuth (19262) | about a year ago | (#44093771)

While an interesting point, it's not quite that good. I don't believe any more updates are being pulled from OSM. Only the initial base maps used OSM in some areas.

Re:mod parent up! (1)

dwillden (521345) | about a year ago | (#44096855)

As to the Hwy 89 edit I don't know how quickly OSM reacted to it. I was mostly checking to see when I started getting alternate routing instructions via Mapquest, Google Nav and Waze (and even that watching was mostly just cursory checks)

As to the parent post, OSM doesn't drive the navigation instructions on my smart phone. If it did, then it would get my time. I started editing to make the local roads work better, I kept editing because it was fun to do, and fun to see my efforts make a difference. Perhaps if OSM's maps weren't so restrictively open I would edit there. But I see the results of my efforts on a daily basis with Waze, I got real edits denied by someone from the other side of the world in Google, Bing takes months to implement user suggested edits and TomTom takes months if not years to implements user suggested edits. Waze implements edits on a near daily basis now (wasn't always that way last year we once went over six weeks between map updates).

Re:Shutting out competitor or buying up talent? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44087667)

There may be some element of data-buy as well. Just ask Apple how easy it isn't to build good maps fast.

well yeah, I've heard opinions that wazes userbase(data!) is the reason for it getting bought. but for that to stay relevant they need to keep the users and not kill the product - even migrating the users to a google product might prove to be quite a challenge.

of course if we are talking about why it was valued so high then the reason is just that, the users and the data generated by the users which they show to the users... the tech alone wouldn't have fetched a million dollars from any buyer..

Re:Shutting out competitor or buying up talent? (1)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | about a year ago | (#44088863)

There may be some element of data-buy as well. Just ask Apple how easy it isn't to build good maps fast.

well yeah, I've heard opinions that wazes userbase(data!) is the reason for it getting bought. but for that to stay relevant they need to keep the users and not kill the product - even migrating the users to a google product might prove to be quite a challenge.

of course if we are talking about why it was valued so high then the reason is just that, the users and the data generated by the users which they show to the users... the tech alone wouldn't have fetched a million dollars from any buyer..

They can replicate the data from waze to google maps, thus minimizing the update lag between the two

Re:Shutting out competitor or buying up talent? (1)

GenieGenieGenie (942725) | about a year ago | (#44087901)

(I don't see them being a real threat, the technology is easy to copy before they get too big)

There are such things as software patents, you know.

Re:Shutting out competitor or buying up talent? (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44087657)

According to TFA:

Some antitrust lawyers say it is unlikely the FTC would ask Google to unwind the deal. In order to break it up, the agency would have to uncover evidence that the deal would significantly crimp competition in the mapping market.

Waze’s revenue was too low to trigger an automatic review by the agency, but it can examine such deals even after they close.

So reading between the lines, someone probably complained, because Waze is too small to affect the market place, already crowded with mapping companies ranging from Nokia to Apple to Microsoft to Tele Atlas. I wouldn't be surprised to find any of those names on the original complaint.

Of the companies that might benefit from merger of Wayz technology clearly Google is the top candidate.
They Google is the only company other than Microsoft that has made a push toward real-time traffic analysis and reporting.

In fact the real-time traffic reporting space is much smaller than the mapping space, and if there is any grounds for complaint
it is probably that the realtime reporting market becomes much smaller.

Oddly, Google would probably have to totally redesign the Waze method of realtime reports on traffic and road conditions, because fiddling with your phone to report a traffic accident is likely to cause yet another accident.

Re:Shutting out competitor or buying up talent? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44087765)

The NSA has bugged your car (GPS + microphones), so all you need to do is mention there's an accident and they'll know.

Re:Shutting out competitor or buying up talent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44087779)

Oddly, Google would probably have to totally redesign the Waze method of realtime reports on traffic and road conditions, because fiddling with your phone to report a traffic accident is likely to cause yet another accident.

Use the voice method of reporting traffic issues. Anything else is likely illegal in many places. (Unverified mere speculation, POV is from California where doing just about anything in your car, including scratching your butt seems to be illegal while in motion.)

Re:Shutting out competitor or buying up talent? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#44093091)

So reading between the lines, someone probably complained, because Waze is too small to affect the market place, already crowded with mapping companies ranging from Nokia to Apple to Microsoft to Tele Atlas. I wouldn't be surprised to find any of those names on the original complaint.

There aren't that many, actually

You have Tele Atlas and Navteq for maps available commercially. TomTom owns Tele Atlas. Nokia owns Navteq.

Google uses a combination of Tele Atlas and Street View (the Street View generates maps, and where there isn't street view data, they use Tele Atlas. They used to use Navteq but the licensing fees got too much).

For non-commercial map data, you have Waze and OpenStreetMaps.

Apple internally uses TomTom/Tele Atlas. They combine it with their own overhead flybys.

Garmin etc., use Navteq.

There isn't a whole lot of mapping going on - really two companies providing worldwide coverage that everyone else uses. The value-add that everyone else provides is combined with the maps - POIs, street view, aerial view, satellite view, routing, traffic, etc.

It's not really that crowded a market, and Waze is pretty much one of the few independent mapping companies out there.

Re:Shutting out competitor or buying up talent? (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44094087)

Google uses a combination of Tele Atlas and Street View (the Street View generates maps, and where there isn't street view data, they use Tele Atlas.

That tells a tiny part of what goes into Google Maps.

Google has dozens of major mapping sources and partners. Actually hundreds or thousands, when you count all the State and Local government in the US Canada and parts of Europe. Google pays fees to these these governments for the data and in return offers them imagery they might not be able to afford on their own. Zoom in to Trenton New Jersey, or San Francisco, CA. You will actually see LOT LINES in neighborhoods. This is true in many many places, and none of that data comes from Tele Atlas. It comes from public records held by local government.

Zoom in to various parts of the world and you will see the copyright data change on the screen. This is readily apparent in Google earth.

Google buys imagery from a multitude of different satellite companies such as Digital Globe, TerraMetrics, Cnes, Spot Image, Mapabc, and half a dozen others. Google's has banks of computers trained to follow roads on these images, and extract that to street maps.

Google has a fleet of satellites [answers.com] , for their own data transmission and mapping. More than any other mapping company.

Google street-view cars actually seldom reveal unknown streets or roads. They already know the road is there, but the cars can pick up street signs for places where they have no name on file, and also a much more precise GPS track to pin down the exact location of the road. In places where Street View cars have traveled, you never see the map line wandering away from the road in the imagery as you do in remote parts of the world and places where street view hasn't yet traveled.

There is no single mapping company upon which Google is dependent for mapping data. In fact the reverse is true. Most Google data acquisition agreements are a two way street, with Google giving back as much as they get.

You seem to think Google is in this on a shoe string. As of this point in time, there is nobody NOBODY that can come close to what Google has amassed in mapping data. Simply shift your view away from any urban area and you will get an abrupt education at how pathetic Wayz mapping really is.

Nope, buying the customer base (1)

ukemike (956477) | about a year ago | (#44087915)

Waze figured out a way to make their users want to share their location data. Waze also leveraged that information to build a sort of self-healing map. If you are in a place like the Bay Area where there are enough users, the Waze traffic routing is vastly superior to anything any competitor has. A few months ago there was a dumb error in a google map that tried to send me on the freeway sought to the next exit get, off, turn around, get back on north and get back off, when I just wanted to drive over the open overpass. On Waze I could have fixed it that evening. With google I put the same effort into alerting google of the problem and two months later I got a thank you email telling me they had fixed it. This was a major overpass in San Jose!

So I see two very clear reasons for Google or another mapper to want Waze, user location/travel data, and self drawing / self fixing maps.

Re:Shutting out competitor or buying up talent? (3, Insightful)

Stiletto (12066) | about a year ago | (#44088063)

I'm sorry, what exactly makes Waze's talent "top" as opposed to any other software company out there that could get bought?

And if Google is hurting for talent (something tells me it isn't), surely they could hire people for less than $12 million per head in this difficult job market.

The only talented person in this transaction was whoever convinced Google to pay over $1.2B.

Re:Shutting out competitor or buying up talent? (1)

iamhassi (659463) | about a year ago | (#44088993)

What Waze offers isn't special, Google could have copied all of it, from real time traffic to police speed traps to allowing users to update the map. Look how much Android pulled from iOS.

Google bought Waze for one reason only: to keep competitors from buying them.

Re:Shutting out competitor or buying up talent? (1)

Goose In Orbit (199293) | about a year ago | (#44091143)

Look how much Android pulled from iOS.

Odd ... seems to be the other way around these days (iOS6 - notification bar; iOS7 - swiping apps off the task manager screen to kill them...)

Re:Shutting out competitor or buying up talent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44089743)

at 1 Bill, this purchase exceeds 9hundred-and75million dollars in
at 1 .2 Billion Talents, inssider trading esstabblished!

Re:Shutting out competitor or buying up talent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44091135)

errr.... "exceeds 975million dollars in INFLATED OVERVALUATION"?
"yeah but theyre really deserving and good folks" says Brin referring to his former fellow-soldiers in the IDF....
so if google does what facebook did (i.e. insist that they relocate their base from israel to the usa), or people are made redundant,
is that "friendly fire"?

and i will be first to say (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44087567)

piqued

[To Ed.: piqued] (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44087569)

piqued past participle, past tense of pique (Verb)
Verb
Stimulate (interest or curiosity).
Feel irritated or resentful.

Who needed the other? (5, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | about a year ago | (#44087575)

Let me answer that:

Google didn't need Waze. This is a purchase to keep Waze out of Microsoft or Apple's hands. They won't admit it but It must be painful for Microsoft because they are a Waze investor. [bgr.com]

Re:Who needed the other? (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#44087649)

Thats what I was thinking.

Reminds me of Microsoft of old. Where they would buy competition or buy a company a competitor needs to bring their product to the market in order to hurt them. Google is turning into the new MS, as MS turned into the old IBM before.

FirefoxOS needs a good maping program to succeed and right now Google is the monopolist. Bing maps suck with Windows Phone and is one of the reasons why I didn't buy one.

Apple owns the market with music too. If you listen to music a lot on your phone than an iphone would be better than Android. Android better for those who travel. If another product ever came close and was available for all platforms say goodbye for needing a Droid.

But Google is more cool here so I wonder if it will be bashed as much?

Re:Who needed the other? (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44087951)

I will point out that Firefox gets almost 100% of its funding from Google, so It seems unlikely they will be setting up their own traffic or mapping service.
There are limits to Google largess.

Search engine monopoly (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#44088273)

I will point out that Firefox gets almost 100% of its funding from Google

Its gets that funding by...being the default search. In fact Apple received $400Million (Raising to $1Billion) for being the default search on their(not your) iphone. In fact Firefox will likely get even more money if FirefoxOS is a success.

The only problem is nobody wants to compete with Google in the search arena, even Microsoft don't want Bing, Yahoo can't compete now(being Microsoft Bitches)...and Apple giving cash back to investors(now they listen to Dell)

Re:Search engine monopoly (1)

Clsid (564627) | about a year ago | (#44088601)

I don't know about you but I use Bing everyday. It is the only true alternative to Google Search imho.

Re:Search engine monopoly (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#44089225)

Bing is part of iOS 7 if you have been watching the news?

Also Firefox came out with a version with Bing that you can search for and MS supports. Only after this did Google relent. They originally planned to halt payments or pay less and Firefox was about to go all bing on them in return.

I am not saying it is better but any Android phone from Verizon is bing only and locked where you can't change. Mighty evil for MS to do as Google losses money for each one and makes it up with search results. ... but hey Bing now how boolean search! Wahoo we can party like its 1999.

No alternives to Google (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#44088245)

Apple owns the market with music too. If you listen to music a lot on your phone than an iphone would be better than Android. Android better for those who travel

Seriously never get a job selling phones. Apple sell a lot of music...they owned the now defunct mp3 player market, but that market is dead (okay last legs), and itunes is looking a clunky relic, and music playing and purchasing from through the cloud with your favourite application can be done on the cheapest Android without any of that ugly legacy baggage.

On the flip side Google offer a competing service on the Apple phone, the embarrassment from Apple came from replacing that service with an obviously inferior Apple one, something it should never have done...but that and the youtube application are still the top downloads for the iPhone.

This is strange marketing bullshit.

Speaking of garbage scowls... (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#44088401)

Seriously never get a job selling phones.

What an ironic foreshadowing!

itunes is looking a clunky relic, and music playing and purchasing from through the cloud with your favourite application can be done on the cheapest Android without any of that ugly legacy baggage. ... and also on any iPhone. Talk about being someone who doesn't know anything about phones! You haven't needed to use iTunes on a PC for what, six years?

Seems like you could probably get a job at Radio Shack with that level of technical expertise.

On the flip side Google offer a competing service on the Apple phone, the embarrassment

It is pretty embarrassing that Apple is so powerful that Google is forced to write apps that work on the iPhone, eh? It's not like Apple has to write map apps for Android. But Google does for iPhone if they do not want to wither and grow irrelevant.

This is strange ... bullshit.

Edited down the helpful summary of your post and general level of mobile understanding.

Google demands Apples mapping Apps (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#44088537)

It's not like Apple has to write map apps for Android. But Google does for iPhone if they do not want to wither and grow irrelevant.

WOW....just WOW

Re:Google demands Apples mapping Apps (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#44089195)

Nothing Wow about it. Remember the maps issue that plagued iOS5? Apple redid their contract with Google to reintroduce Google Maps for the IPhone.

Re:Speaking of garbage scowls... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44099433)

Talk about being someone who doesn't know anything about phones! You haven't needed to use iTunes on a PC for what, six years?

Nowhere near 6 years, it was with iOS5 that they stopped requiring syncing with iTunes before you could use your phone, so less than 2 years.

Re:No alternives to Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44088515)

alternives

oh Tuppe666! You're my favourite Google fanboy on Slashdot. You always have some inane Apple bashing to do any time Google, Apple - or heck, who am I kidding, *anything* is brought up. Never stop fellating Google online, otherwise you may have to get an identity and a sense of self worth.

Re:No alternives to Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44088685)

do you post anything other than pure google shillery? honestly, I see you spouting this pro-Google anti-Apple/MS FUD on every bloody Google or Apple/MS article.

Re:No alternives to Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44088861)

Wipe the Google spooge off your chin. It's too obvious mate.

Re:No alternives to Google (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#44089197)

Speaking as someone who has never had the misfortune of using SamSung Kies to sync their galaxy. Itunes doesn't look half bad in comparison!

Oh bullshit (1)

Outtascope (972222) | about a year ago | (#44088707)

Everyone prefers Bing to Google. Microsoft keeps telling me that, so you must be wrong.

Re:Who needed the other? (2)

slimjim8094 (941042) | about a year ago | (#44087853)

Why didn't Google need Waze? I mean, 'need' is a strong term, but are you asserting that they have no use for a mobile crowdsourced traffic service to go with their mobile map/directions service?

Re:Who needed the other? (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44087965)

Why didn't Google need Waze? I mean, 'need' is a strong term, but are you asserting that they have no use for a mobile crowdsourced traffic service to go with their mobile map/directions service?

Because Google's crowd sourced traffic info already exceeds Wayz coverage and accuracy by several orders of magnitude.
The get it from GPS location of millions of android phones.

Question: Have you indeed NEVER turned on the traffic layer in Google maps?

Re:Who needed the other? (2)

kkwst2 (992504) | about a year ago | (#44088127)

As others have pointed out, there are things that waze does better than google, such as the real time updates of map errors and traffic reports. Google maps has to wait for the traffic to start backing up, and that can occasionally screw you. Waze seems to sometimes be able to warn you before the cars really stack up.

If google could integrate some of these ideas in improving the speed of real time updates, it could drastically improve the usefulness.

Also, the rerouting functionality of google maps is pretty limited. There are very few routes it will tell you to choose. You can often figure others out by looking at the maps manually, but this is hard if you are by yourself.

If they can integrate some of the better rerouting and real time update tech from Waze, I could see it being a significant improvement to the overall experience. Would certainly keep them well ahead of the race. Sure, they're already drubbing everyone else, but in this business you need to kick them when they're down.

Not somehow, somebody (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#44088325)

Google maps has to wait for the traffic to start backing up, and that can occasionally screw you. Waze seems to sometimes be able to warn you before the cars really stack up.

That's because if a Waze user is driving by as an accident happens or just after, they can mark it on the map.

The question is, will people stay after Waze is owned by Google? I used Waze because I didn't want my traffic data fed into Google to correlate with everything else I do.

The problem is, nothing else quite like Waze exists so there are not a lot of options (that I know of).

If people do leave, it will affect the value Waze has... a risky move by Google where all the value is based on a user base that may shift elsewhere (though I 'm sure Waze has some good infrastructure, does Google really need a company to help them with good geolocated infrastructure? I think not).

Re:Not somehow, somebody (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44088411)

That's because if a Waze user is driving by as an accident happens or just after, they can mark it on the map.

It's even more brilliant than that. By bringing the addictiveness of social network gaming into the car on a cell phone, Waze has found a way to actually cause the accident in question. Using the phone's embedded accelerometer, the app can register when the Waze user has created an accident and update the traffic status nearly instantly. Google's comparatively hands off user experience lets drivers devote far too much focus on driving to get anywhere near the immediacy in accident reporting that Waze does.

Re:Not somehow, somebody (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year ago | (#44090519)

That's because if a Waze user is driving by as an accident happens or just after, they can mark it on the map.

And cause another accident while doing so.

Re:Not somehow, somebody (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | about a year ago | (#44091767)

That's because if a Waze user is driving by as an accident happens or just after, they can mark it on the map.

You know, that is my major complaint with Waze, unless I haven't figured this out. If I drive past an accident, or more recently have a near-tornado drop trees across a bunch of roads, I CAN'T MARK THE EXACT SPOT OF THE INCIDENT!

Dear Waze, All I want is to be able to tap the map on the exact spot of an issue and add an incident report. I DO NOT EVER WANT YOU TO USE WHERE MY CAR IS WHEN I TAP THE SCREEN - the problem is NEVER there unless I'm in the crash, and then Waze is the last thing I'd be interested in using.

So if someone out there knows how, please mark the bridge on Greenwood Road over the Chickahominy River at the Hanover/Henrico County VA line [google.com] as being closed until at least 6/30 [511virginia.org] .

Have to admit, would like that feature... (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#44093265)

There are a number of times by the time I was able to get to mark something on Waze I'm really too far past it to mark anything accurately...

I think the reason they do that though is to prevent too many false reports. Because it's fixed to where you are you can't have too many people lying about things.

One thing they could do though is to limit reports to places you had been in the past five minutes, or along the general road you are on going back a few miles.

I guess with Waze being bought by Google it's time to make a better Waze that corrects all the flaws in current Waze.

Re:Not somehow, somebody (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44104245)

The question is, will people stay after Waze is owned by Google? I used Waze because I didn't want my traffic data fed into Google to correlate with everything else I do.

The problem is, nothing else quite like Waze exists so there are not a lot of options (that I know of).

If people do leave, it will affect the value Waze has... a risky move by Google where all the value is based on a user base that may shift elsewhere (though I 'm sure Waze has some good infrastructure, does Google really need a company to help them with good geolocated infrastructure? I think not).

Agreed. The day I found out Google was buying Waze, I uninstalled it (after months of being an active, daily user.) I was going to leave feedback on Google Play, but it stated it would be a public post from my Google+ account. The last time I did that, I received a ton of spam. Screw that.

I was OK with Google having lots of data in the past when they stored it in discrete silos (YouTube, Maps, Search, Docs, Gmail, Google+, etc.) but now they are consolidating everything under one umbrella, I am not such a fan.

On Waze & routing (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#44088349)

Also, the rerouting functionality of google maps is pretty limited

Forgot to comment on this - believe me, Waze has NOTHING to teach Google about routing. As you say they have better information when something happens to trigger a re-route, but Waze has sometimes really bad routing. I would use pretty much any app except Waze for routing (though I do like how Waze displays all known events along the route it has picked).

Re:On Waze & routing (1)

kkwst2 (992504) | about a year ago | (#44088753)

Well, that may be true. But Waze seems to give you more options. I've not used it long enough to judge whether the options are bad, so I'll hold judgement. But when I try to reroute it seems to give more varied options, and thus far they've been pretty reasonable.

Re:On Waze & routing (1)

bonehead (6382) | about a year ago | (#44094263)

Yeah, the Waze routing can be truly horrible sometimes.

On one trip I used to drive regularly I would skip a turn it wanted me to take and take a different route that I preferred. Even an hour down the road later, Waze re-routing was telling me to turn around, retrace my steps, and take the path it had originally selected.

I also don't like the idea of being told to take a certain path just because Waze wants to collect data about that road. I want the best route, not the one that will get them data that they lack.

Re:Who needed the other? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44089969)

Google just need a pare of nike shoes nike sb dunks [shopcheaps...rstore.com]

Analysis (2)

Optimal Cynic (2886377) | about a year ago | (#44087663)

Re:Analysis (1, Redundant)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44087925)

Actually, its a poor analysis. It totally misses the point that Wayz is NOT a mapping company. Its a traffic reporting one trick pony company.

That space (traffic reporting) is vastly smaller than the mapping segment. Google does this mostly by cell phones stacking up on roads.
Microsoft does this by tying into existing into Traffic.com [traffic.com] , and also some State and Local traffic reporting systems, which is why their coverage are is so miserable.

Traffic.com is the major player in this sphere, and their service is really slow and difficult to expand [traffic.com] .

Traffic.com is owned by Navteq which is owned by Nokia. I'm sure neither of those companies would object to Google getting a toe-hold in the traffic market. *Cough*.

piqued at peaked (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44087721)

OP: phrase should be "piqued the interest of the FTC".

Editors are fucking illiterate morons (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44087873)

"piqued"

You fucking illiterate editors.

Re:Editors are fucking illiterate morons (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44088045)

Editors are fucking illiterate morons. "piqued"

You fucking illiterate editors.

Who cares if its piqued or peaked, the real bit of news is that the Slashdot Editors are fucking illiterate morons. But as we don't want illiterate morons to procreate, they better be using protection so that the illiterate morons don't have any children.

Hey, don't complain OP, if you want to be a pedantic smartass, I'm allowed to be one too.

Re:Editors are fucking illiterate morons (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44088115)

Agreed, 4 posts on something that is not even technically wrong.

While not using the old phrase, "peaked their interest" is syntactically correct. [wiktionary.org]

Peaked is the simple past, and past participle, of the verb "peak".

Re:Editors are fucking illiterate morons (1)

goodmanj (234846) | about a year ago | (#44088167)

It's not syntactically wrong, it's semantically wrong. "peaked" implies that FTC's interest has reached a maximum, and is now declining. "piqued" means FTC's interest has just started. The author clearly meant #2.

The only thing worse than people being illiterate morons is people making up ridiculous excuses for illiteracy.

Re:Editors are fucking illiterate morons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44088579)

The only thing worse than people being illiterate morons is people making up ridiculous excuses for illiteracy.

Amen---I'm sick and tired of these uneducated cretins trying to ram their diction down our throats.

Re:Editors are fucking illiterate morons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44089521)

Agreed, 4 posts on something that is not even technically wrong.

While not using the old phrase, "peaked their interest" is syntactically correct. [wiktionary.org]

Peaked is the simple past, and past participle, of the verb "peak".

By your logic, any program that compiles is "not technically wrong". There's more to communication than syntax.

Re:Editors are fucking illiterate morons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44089545)

Agreed, 4 posts on something that is not even technically wrong.

While not using the old phrase, "peaked their interest" is syntactically correct. [wiktionary.org]

Peaked is the simple past, and past participle, of the verb "peak".

By your logic, any program that compiles is "not technically wrong". There's more to communication than syntax.

And he's wrong in any case: the verb "peak" is intransitive.

Re:Editors are fucking illiterate morons (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44089559)

Not necessarily so.

The temperature peaked at 105 degrees.

Re:Editors are fucking illiterate morons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44095071)

Wictionary is no more an authority on language than the Urban Dictionary is. See what vocabulary.com says [vocabulary.com] .

Look up "peak" in any real dictionary (NOT wictionary or the urban dictionary but a REAL dictionary edited by people who know their shit).

peak /pÄ"k/Noun
The pointed top of a mountain.

Verb
1.Reach a highest point, either of a specified value or at a specified time.
2.Decline in health and spirits; waste away.

Adjective
Greatest; maximum.

Synonyms
noun. top - summit - pinnacle - apex - tip - acme - vertex
adjective. top - maximum - utmost - ultimate

Neither peek nor peak are synonyms for pique. They're homophones, and saying "their interest was peaked" is as incorrect, aliterate (look that word up) and uneducated as saying "there interest was piqued".

Using wictionary to see if a statement is gramtically correct is like going to the Onion for news.

Re:Editors are fucking illiterate morons (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44096389)

The word "peak" has a verb form. (Your own post showed that, it should have been your first clue).

The past tense of the verb form of "peak" is "peaked".
      The Dow Jones average peaked just before the bell.

Verb Walk
Past tense walked.
      I walked the dog.
Past perfect tense have walked, and, yes, wait for it.... was walked.
      The dog was walked this morning.

Verb form Bill
Past tense Billed.
      I billed your insurance last week.
Past perfect tense was billed
      Your insurance was billed last week.

So it is perfectly correct to say

Verb form Peak
Past tense peaked
      My interest in baseball peaked in college.
Past perfect tense was peaked
    My interest in baseball was peaked in college.

It is clearly obvious that this is syntactically correct, logically correct, and grammatically correct.
Does it differ from pique? Yes.
But it is not wrong. Its just different. Piqued implies heightened, peaked implies maximized.

But it isn't all that much different.

English evolves, and the turn of a phrase from the past imposes no hard and fast rules upon the present.
English is not French, even if Pique is.

Re:Editors are fucking illiterate morons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44100205)

Are you really trying to argue that saying the FTCs interest in Google's buying Waze has reached a maximum is correct?

Re:Editors are fucking illiterate morons (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44102085)

Yup. Because looking into it is all the FTC will do.
They aren't going to roll back the deal.

This is profunctory, and they lose interest quickly from here on out.

Re:Editors are fucking illiterate morons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44103389)

Fair enough, I guess. I'd still wager that meaning is not what was intended.

Re:Editors are fucking illiterate morons (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44104005)

No, I doubt it was what was intended.

I fully concede that the story used the wrong spelling, but occasionally grammar Nazis need to be shown that their way is not the only way, and old idioms are re-purposed in English. Verbing Weirds Language [baltimoresun.com] , yet we do it every day.

Re:Editors are fucking illiterate morons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44089311)

Actually the names of the two companies Googol and Ways had hip misspellings within that same sentence, so it seemed fitting to do the same for 'piqued' (maybe a reference to the breastaurant Twin Peaks?)

Re:Editors are fucking illiterate morons (1)

parodigm_shifter (2756449) | about a year ago | (#44093135)

Piqued: plucked/triggered/alerted etc...., Peeked: took a quick look at, Peaked: reached the top, or having a pointed top, or looking peaked=looking sick Or something like that

Piqued (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44088531)

Seriously.

Piqued.

Ugh.

Really?? (2)

Outtascope (972222) | about a year ago | (#44088699)

The same FTC that allowed Comcast to buy NBC? Now they are concern trolls?

Re:Really?? (0)

Thantik (1207112) | about a year ago | (#44089065)

That's because Microsoft is the one pushing this "antitrust" bit, hoping that it'll stick. They've been doing it for the past 2 years.

Please, editors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44088741)

"piqued" the interest of the FTC, not "peaked". Were they mountain climbing? Is this some kind of mountain climbing extended metaphor?

I saw, I came, I corrected.

Horsecrap (3, Interesting)

The Cat (19816) | about a year ago | (#44088755)

Disney didn't face any review when they bought Lucasfilm, Pixar and Marvel all within a few years of each other.

no "antitrust" issues here (1)

l3v1 (787564) | about a year ago | (#44089627)

I mean (from Wikipedia/US antitrust law) "they restrict the mergers and acquisitions of organizations which could substantially lessen competition". Last I checked there are dozens of navigation apps and companies there, and by dozens I really mean nx12. Plus, it's not like "the" two market leaders merged to monopolize the market (i.e. "they prohibit the creation of a monopoly and the abuse of monopoly power"). Overall, I really don't see much of an issue here, aside the fact the Google managed - again - to buy something useful, which some of their competitors probably aren't that happy about.

Re:no "antitrust" issues here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44091395)

probably borderline antitrust; insider trading proven! It aint the FTC they gotta worry about (not that the lobbys worried....)
what about that other israeli start-up that got the tender to hook up the wifi in the Capitol Building? (Foxcomm)
seems they got all the bases covered! or was it the SEC that deals in insider trading?
I came across this slashdot comment from a year ago, seems that we have a case...
-------by quantic_oscillation7 (973678) on Friday July 27, 2012 @05:57PM (#40796455) --------

Re:no "antitrust" issues here (1)

Laxori666 (748529) | about a year ago | (#44095949)

"antitrust" basically means "one or more of your competitors managed to convince some people in the government to give you some trouble for their own benefit". What a great system we have here in America.

PIQUED (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44089843)

PIQUED YOU ASSES
P
I
Q
U
E
D

Peaked Curiousity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44090621)

https://www.vocabulary.com/articles/chooseyourwords/peak-peek-pique/

I am not the author, nor an English major, but merely a confused reader.

This interest of the FTC has now been:

A) Maximized ( peaked), or

B) Aroused (piqued), or

C) Looked at briefly (peeked)?

Perhaps the author or the editor that posted the story could clarify?

Seriously.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44091961)

Google has to be stopped. They are trying to take over everything.

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