Google is shaking things up again, rolling out a new logo that indicates where the company is going even as it keeps the colored letters that have become so familiar. The company’s most significant redesign since 1999 does away with the old font and its serifs (those little lines at the end of each character) and replaces them with the same custom typeface used in the logo for Google’s new parent company, Alphabet.
The new look does more than just make the logo sleeker and more modern while echoing the newly created holding company. It also speaks to where Google is going — namely, its increasing presence on our mobile devices. Google’s Vice President of Product Management Tamar Yehoshua and Director of User Experience Bobby Nath explained the transition on the company’s blog:
“Once upon a time, Google was one destination that you reached from one device: a desktop PC. These days, people interact with Google products across many different platforms, apps and devices—sometimes all in a single day. You expect Google to help you whenever and wherever you need it, whether it’s on your mobile phone, TV, watch, the dashboard in your car, and yes, even a desktop!”
Google said in May that the number of searches on mobile devices had surpassed those on computers in 10 countries, including the U.S. and Japan. Its simplified new logo will load faster and read better “even on the tiniest screens.” And when six letters are still too much to fit on one of those tiny screens, the company will present a four-color “G” icon that matches its new logo, or four animated dots that morph into other forms; the swirling new feature is meant to “represent Google’s intelligence at work and indicate when Google is working for you,” according to a post on Google’s Design blog.
In other words, they’re a tiny bit of swirling fun that will placate you as you wait for your information to load — and remind you that you’re using a Google service and not some other company’s product. Together, the new logo, the new “G” icon and the colored dots are Google’s way to keep stamping its brand on our increasingly mobile world.
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The U.S. could save billions of dollars a year if Medicare were empowered to negotiate drug prices directly with pharmaceutical companies, according to a paper published by JAMA Internal Medicine earlier this week. Researchers compared the prices of the top 50 oral drugs in Medicare Part D to the prices for the same drugs at the Department of Veterans Affairs, which negotiates its own prices and uses a national formulary. They found that Medicare’s total spending was much higher than it would have been with VA pricing.
In 2016, for example, Medicare Part D spent $32.5 billion on the top 50 drugs but would have spent $18 billion if VA prices were in effect – or roughly 45 percent less. And the savings would likely be larger still, Axios’s Bob Herman said, since the study did not consider high-cost injectable drugs such as insulin.
It may be small beer compared to the problems faced by unemployed federal workers and the growing cost for the overall economy, but the ongoing government shutdown is putting a serious crimp in the craft brewing industry. Small-batch brewers tend to produce new products on a regular basis, The Wall Street Journal’s Ruth Simon says, but each new formulation and product label needs to be approved by the Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which is currently closed. So it looks like you’ll have to wait a while to try the new version of Hemperor HPA from Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing, a hoppy brew that will include hemp seeds once the shutdown is over.
The amount spent on medical marketing reached $30 billion in 2016, up from $18 billion in 1997, according to a new analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and highlighted by the Associated Press. The number of advertisements for prescription drugs appearing on television, newspapers, websites and elsewhere totaled 5 million in one year, accounting for $6 billion in marketing spending. Direct-to-consumer marketing grew the fastest, rising from $2 billion, or 12 percent of total marketing, to nearly $10 billion, or a third of spending. “Marketing drives more treatments, more testing” that patients don’t always need, Dr. Steven Woloshin, a Dartmouth College health policy expert and co-author of the study, told the AP.
An overwhelming majority of registered voters say they want the president and Congress to “compromise to avoid prolonging the government shutdown” in a new The Hill-HarrisX poll. Seven in ten respondents said they preferred the parties reach some sort of deal to end the standoff, while 30 percent said it was more important to stick to principles, even if it means keeping parts of the government shutdown. Voters who “strongly approve” of Trump (a slim 21 percent of respondents) favored him sticking to his principles over the wall by a narrow 54 percent-46 percent margin. Voters who “somewhat approve” of the president favored a compromise solution by a 70-30 margin. Among Republicans overall, 61 percent said they wanted a compromise.
The survey of 1,000 registered voters was conducted January 5 and 6 and has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.