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Google-ACE mock - Google Associate Cloud Engineer - 2023 Updated: 2024

Kill your Google-ACE test at first try!
Exam Code: Google-ACE Google Associate Cloud Engineer - 2023 mock January 2024 by Killexams.com team

Google-ACE Google Associate Cloud Engineer - 2023

Length: Two hours

Languages: English, Japanese, Spanish, Indonesian.

Exam format: Multiple choice and multiple select, taken in person at a test center. Locate a Test Center near you.

Prerequisites: None

Recommended experience: 6 months+ hands-on experience with Google Cloud



An Associate Cloud Engineer deploys applications, monitors operations, and manages enterprise solutions. This individual is able to use Google Cloud Console and the command-line interface to perform common platform-based tasks to maintain one or more deployed solutions that leverage Google-managed or self-managed services on Google Cloud.



The Associate Cloud Engineer test assesses your ability to:



Set up a cloud solution environment

Plan and configure a cloud solution

Deploy and implement a cloud solution

Ensure successful operation of a cloud solution

Configure access and security



Setting up a cloud solution environment

Setting up cloud projects and accounts. Activities include:



Creating projects

Assigning users to predefined IAM roles within a project

Managing users in Cloud Identity (manually and automated)

Enabling APIs within projects

Provisioning one or more Stackdriver workspaces



Managing billing configuration. Activities include:



Creating one or more billing accounts

Linking projects to a billing account

Establishing billing budgets and alerts

Setting up billing exports to estimate daily/monthly charges



Installing and configuring the command line interface (CLI), specifically the Cloud SDK (e.g., setting the default project).



Planning and configuring a cloud solution

Planning and estimating GCP product use using the Pricing Calculator

Planning and configuring compute resources. Considerations include:



Selecting appropriate compute choices for a given workload (e.g., Compute Engine, Google Kubernetes Engine, App Engine, Cloud Run, Cloud Functions)

Using preemptible VMs and custom machine types as appropriate



Planning and configuring data storage options. Considerations include:



Product choice (e.g., Cloud SQL, BigQuery, Cloud Spanner, Cloud Bigtable)

Choosing storage options (e.g., Standard, Nearline, Coldline, Archive)



Planning and configuring network resources. Tasks include:



Differentiating load balancing options

Identifying resource locations in a network for availability

Configuring Cloud DNS

Deploying and implementing a cloud solution

Deploying and implementing Compute Engine resources. Tasks include:



Launching a compute instance using Cloud Console and Cloud SDK (gcloud) (e.g., assign disks, availability policy, SSH keys)

Creating an autoscaled managed instance group using an instance template

Generating/uploading a custom SSH key for instances

Configuring a VM for Stackdriver monitoring and logging

Assessing compute quotas and requesting increases

Installing the Stackdriver Agent for monitoring and logging



Deploying and implementing Google Kubernetes Engine resources. Tasks include:



Deploying a Google Kubernetes Engine cluster

Deploying a container application to Google Kubernetes Engine using pods

Configuring Google Kubernetes Engine application monitoring and logging

Deploying and implementing App Engine, Cloud Run, and Cloud Functions resources. Tasks include, where applicable:



Deploying an application, updating scaling configuration, versions, and traffic splitting

Deploying an application that receives Google Cloud events (e.g., Cloud Pub/Sub events, Cloud Storage object change notification events)



Deploying and implementing data solutions. Tasks include:



Initializing data systems with products (e.g., Cloud SQL, Cloud Datastore, BigQuery, Cloud Spanner, Cloud Pub/Sub, Cloud Bigtable, Cloud Dataproc, Cloud Dataflow, Cloud Storage)

Loading data (e.g., command line upload, API transfer, import/export, load data from Cloud Storage, streaming data to Cloud Pub/Sub)



Deploying and implementing networking resources. Tasks include:



Creating a VPC with subnets (e.g., custom-mode VPC, shared VPC)

Launching a Compute Engine instance with custom network configuration (e.g., internal-only IP address, Google private access, static external and private IP address, network tags)

Creating ingress and egress firewall rules for a VPC (e.g., IP subnets, tags, service accounts)

Creating a VPN between a Google VPC and an external network using Cloud VPN

Creating a load balancer to distribute application network traffic to an application (e.g., Global HTTP(S) load balancer, Global SSL Proxy load balancer, Global TCP Proxy load balancer, regional network load balancer, regional internal load balancer)



Deploying a solution using Cloud Marketplace. Tasks include:



Browsing Cloud Marketplace catalog and viewing solution details

Deploying a Cloud Marketplace solution

Deploying application infrastructure using Cloud Deployment Manager. Tasks include:



Developing Deployment Manager templates

Launching a Deployment Manager template



Ensuring successful operation of a cloud solution

Managing Compute Engine resources. Tasks include:



Managing a single VM instance (e.g., start, stop, edit configuration, or delete an instance)

SSH/RDP to the instance

Attaching a GPU to a new instance and installing CUDA libraries

Viewing current running VM inventory (instance IDs, details)

Working with snapshots (e.g., create a snapshot from a VM, view snapshots, delete a snapshot)

Working with images (e.g., create an image from a VM or a snapshot, view images, delete an image)

Working with instance groups (e.g., set autoscaling parameters, assign instance template, create an instance template, remove instance group)

Working with management interfaces (e.g., Cloud Console, Cloud Shell, GCloud SDK)



Managing Google Kubernetes Engine resources. Tasks include:



Viewing current running cluster inventory (nodes, pods, services)

Browsing the container image repository and viewing container image details

Working with node pools (e.g., add, edit, or remove a node pool)

Working with pods (e.g., add, edit, or remove pods)

Working with services (e.g., add, edit, or remove a service)

Working with stateful applications (e.g. persistent volumes, stateful sets)

Working with management interfaces (e.g., Cloud Console, Cloud Shell, Cloud SDK)



Managing App Engine and Cloud Run resources. Tasks include:



Adjusting application traffic splitting parameters

Setting scaling parameters for autoscaling instances

Working with management interfaces (e.g., Cloud Console, Cloud Shell, Cloud SDK)



Managing storage and database solutions. Tasks include:



Moving objects between Cloud Storage buckets

Converting Cloud Storage buckets between storage classes

Setting object life cycle management policies for Cloud Storage buckets

Executing queries to retrieve data from data instances (e.g., Cloud SQL, BigQuery, Cloud Spanner, Cloud Datastore, Cloud Bigtable)

Estimating costs of a BigQuery query

Backing up and restoring data instances (e.g., Cloud SQL, Cloud Datastore)

Reviewing job status in Cloud Dataproc, Cloud Dataflow, or BigQuery

Working with management interfaces (e.g., Cloud Console, Cloud Shell, Cloud SDK)



Managing networking resources. Tasks include:



Adding a subnet to an existing VPC

Expanding a subnet to have more IP addresses

Reserving static external or internal IP addresses

Working with management interfaces (e.g., Cloud Console, Cloud Shell, Cloud SDK)



Monitoring and logging. Tasks include:



Creating Stackdriver alerts based on resource metrics

Creating Stackdriver custom metrics

Configuring log sinks to export logs to external systems (e.g., on-premises or BigQuery)

Viewing and filtering logs in Stackdriver

Viewing specific log message details in Stackdriver

Using cloud diagnostics to research an application issue (e.g., viewing Cloud Trace data, using Cloud Debug to view an application point-in-time)

Viewing Google Cloud Platform status

Working with management interfaces (e.g., Cloud Console, Cloud Shell, Cloud SDK)



Configuring access and security

Managing identity and access management (IAM). Tasks include:



Viewing IAM role assignments

Assigning IAM roles to accounts or Google Groups

Defining custom IAM roles



Managing service accounts. Tasks include:



Managing service accounts with limited privileges

Assigning a service account to VM instances

Granting access to a service account in another project



Viewing audit logs for project and managed services.
Google Associate Cloud Engineer - 2023
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Question: 92
You significantly changed a complex Deployment Manager template and want to confirm that the dependencies of all defined resources are properly met before
committing it to the project. You want the most rapid feedback on your changes.
What should you do?
A. Use granular logging statements within a Deployment Manager template authored in Python.
B. Monitor activity of the Deployment Manager execution on the Stackdriver Logging page of the GCP Console.
C. Execute the Deployment Manager template against a separate project with the same configuration, and monitor for failures.
D. Execute the Deployment Manager template using the C-preview option in the same project, and observe the state of interdependent resources.
Answer: D
Explanation:
Reference: https://cloud.google.com/deployment-manager/docs/deployments/updating-deployments
Question: 93
Several employees at your company have been creating projects with Cloud Platform and paying for it with their personal credit cards, which the company reimburses.
The company wants to centralize all these projects under a single, new billing account.
What should you do?
A. Contact [email protected] with your bank account details and request a corporate billing account for your company.
B. Create a ticket with Google Support and wait for their call to share your credit card details over the phone.
C. In the Google Platform Console, go to the Resource Manage and move all projects to the root Organization.
D. In the Google Cloud Platform Console, create a new billing account and set up a payment method.
Answer: D
Explanation:
Reference: https://www.whizlabs.com/blog/google-cloud-interview-questions/
Question: 94
You have experimented with Google Cloud using your own credit card and expensed the costs to your company. Your company wants to streamline the billing process
and charge the costs of your projects to their monthly invoice.
What should you do?
A. Grant the financial team the IAM role of Billing Account User on the billing account linked to your credit card.
B. Set up BigQuery billing export and grant your financial department IAM access to query the data.
C. Create a ticket with Google Billing Support to ask them to send the invoice to your company.
D. Change the billing account of your projects to the billing account of your company.
Answer: D
Question: 95
You want to configure a solution for archiving data in a Cloud Storage bucket. The solution must be cost-effective. Data with multiple versions should be archived after
30 days. Previous versions are accessed once a month for reporting. This archive data is also occasionally updated at month-end.
What should you do?
A. Add a bucket lifecycle rule that archives data with newer versions after 30 days to Coldline Storage.
B. Add a bucket lifecycle rule that archives data with newer versions after 30 days to Nearline Storage.
C. Add a bucket lifecycle rule that archives data from regional storage after 30 days to Coldline Storage.
D. Add a bucket lifecycle rule that archives data from regional storage after 30 days to Nearline Storage.
Answer: B
Explanation:
Reference: https://cloud.google.com/storage/docs/managing-lifecycles
Question: 96
Several employees at your company have been creating projects with Cloud Platform and paying for it with their personal credit cards, which the company reimburses.
The company wants to centralize all these projects under a single, new billing account.
What should you do?
A. Contact [email protected] with your bank account details and request a corporate billing account for your company.
B. Create a ticket with Google Support and wait for their call to share your credit card details over the phone.
C. In the Google Platform Console, go to the Resource Manage and move all projects to the root Organization.
D. In the Google Cloud Platform Console, create a new billing account and set up a payment method.
Answer: D
Explanation:
Reference: https://www.whizlabs.com/blog/google-cloud-interview-questions/
Question: 97
You have experimented with Google Cloud using your own credit card and expensed the costs to your company. Your company wants to streamline the billing process
and charge the costs of your projects to their monthly invoice.
What should you do?
A. Grant the financial team the IAM role of Billing Account User on the billing account linked to your credit card.
B. Set up BigQuery billing export and grant your financial department IAM access to query the data.
C. Create a ticket with Google Billing Support to ask them to send the invoice to your company.
D. Change the billing account of your projects to the billing account of your company.
Answer: D
Question: 98
You have a web application deployed as a managed instance group. You have a new version of the application to gradually deploy. Your web application is currently
receiving live web traffic. You want to ensure that the available capacity does not decrease during the deployment.
What should you do?
A. Perform a rolling-action start-update with maxSurge set to 0 and maxUnavailable set to 1.
B. Perform a rolling-action start-update with maxSurge set to 1 and maxUnavailable set to 0.
C. Create a new managed instance group with an updated instance template. Add the group to the backend service for the load balancer. When all instances in the new
managed instance group are healthy, delete the old managed instance group.
D. Create a new instance template with the new application version. Update the existing managed instance group with the new instance template. Delete the instances in
the managed instance group to allow the managed instance group to recreate the instance using the new instance template.
Answer: B
Question: 99
You are migrating a production-critical on-premises application that requires 96 vCPUs to perform its task. You want to make sure the application runs in a similar
environment on GCP.
What should you do?
A. When creating the VM, use machine type n1-standard-96.
B. When creating the VM, use Intel Skylake as the CPU platform.
C. Create the VM using Compute Engine default settings. Use gcloud to modify the running instance to have 96 vCPUs.
D. Start the VM using Compute Engine default settings, and adjust as you go based on Rightsizing Recommendations.
Answer: C
Question: 100
You are the team lead of a group of 10 developers. You provided each developer with an individual Google Cloud Project that they can use as their personal sandbox to
experiment with different Google Cloud solutions. You want to be notified if any of the developers are spending above $500 per month on their sandbox environment.
What should you do?
A. Create a single budget for all projects and configure budget alerts on this budget.
B. Create a separate billing account per sandbox project and enable BigQuery billing exports. Create a Data Studio dashboard to plot the spending per billing account.
C. Create a budget per project and configure budget alerts on all of these budgets.
D. Create a single billing account for all sandbox projects and enable BigQuery billing exports. Create a Data Studio dashboard to plot the spending per project.
Answer: C
Explanation:
Reference: https://cloud.google.com/billing/docs/how-to/budgets
Question: 101
Your company publishes large files on an Apache web server that runs on a Compute Engine instance. The Apache web server is not the only application running in the
project. You want to receive an email when the egress network costs for the server exceed 100 dollars for the current month as measured by Google Cloud Platform
(GCP).
What should you do?
A. Set up a budget alert on the project with an amount of 100 dollars, a threshold of 100%, and notification type of email.
B. Set up a budget alert on the billing account with an amount of 100 dollars, a threshold of 100%, and notification type of email.
C. Export the billing data to BigQuery. Create a Cloud Function that uses BigQuery to sum the egress network costs of the exported billing data for the Apache web
server for the current month and sends an email if it is over 100 dollars. Schedule the Cloud Function using Cloud Scheduler to run hourly.
D. Use the Stackdriver Logging Agent to export the Apache web server logs to Stackdriver Logging. Create a Cloud Function that uses BigQuery to parse the HTTP
response log data in Stackdriver for the current month and sends an email if the size of all HTTP responses, multiplied by current GCP egress prices, totals over 100
dollars. Schedule the Cloud Function using Cloud Scheduler to run hourly.
Answer: D
Question: 102
Several employees at your company have been creating projects with Cloud Platform and paying for it with their personal credit cards, which the company reimburses.
The company wants to centralize all these projects under a single, new billing account.
What should you do?
A. Contact [email protected] with your bank account details and request a corporate billing account for your company.
B. Create a ticket with Google Support and wait for their call to share your credit card details over the phone.
C. In the Google Platform Console, go to the Resource Manage and move all projects to the root Organization.
D. In the Google Cloud Platform Console, create a new billing account and set up a payment method.
Answer: D
Explanation:
Reference: https://www.whizlabs.com/blog/google-cloud-interview-questions/
Question: 103
You have been asked to set up Object Lifecycle Management for objects stored in storage buckets. The objects are written once and accessed frequently for 30 days.
After 30 days, the objects are not read again unless there is a special need. The object should be kept for three years, and you need to minimize cost.
What should you do?
A. Set up a policy that uses Nearline storage for 30 days and then moves to Archive storage for three years.
B. Set up a policy that uses Standard storage for 30 days and then moves to Archive storage for three years.
C. Set up a policy that uses Nearline storage for 30 days, then moves the Coldline for one year, and then moves to Archive storage for two years.
D. Set up a policy that uses Standard storage for 30 days, then moves to Coldline for one year, and then moves to Archive storage for two years.
Answer: A
Explanation:
Reference:
https://books.google.com.pk/books?
id=q0nhDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA52&lpg=PA52&dq=Set+up+a+policy+that+uses+Nearline+storage+for+30+days+and+then+moves+to+Archive+storage+for+three+years.&
source=bl&ots=kYLZN1ymA8&sig=ACfU3U2XLmzQ39cmPDwjfWxRbNtDNLc_6g&hl=en&sa=X&
ved=2ahUKEwjZmefOpr7qAhVzQkEAHTUgASYQ6AEwAHoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&
q=Set%20up%20a%20policy%20that%20uses%20Nearline%20storage%20for%2030%20days%20and%20then%20moves%20to%20
Archive%20storage%20for%20three%20years.&f=false
Question: 104
Your company uses a large number of Google Cloud services centralized in a single project. All teams have specific projects for testing and development. The DevOps
team needs access to all of the production services in order to perform their job. You want to prevent Google Cloud product changes from broadening their permissions
in the future. You want to follow Google-recommended practices.
What should you do?
A. Grant all members of the DevOps team the role of Project Editor on the organization level.
B. Grant all members of the DevOps team the role of Project Editor on the production project.
C. Create a custom role that combines the required permissions. Grant the DevOps team the custom role on the production project.
D. Create a custom role that combines the required permissions. Grant the DevOps team the custom role on the organization level.
Answer: C
Explanation:
Understanding IAM custom roles
Key Point: Custom roles enable you to enforce the principle of least privilege, ensuring that the user and service accounts in your organization have only the permissions
essential to performing their intended functions.
Basic concepts
Custom roles are user-defined, and allow you to bundle one or more supported permissions to meet your specific needs. Custom roles are not maintained by Google;
when new permissions, features, or services are added to Google Cloud, your custom roles will not be updated automatically.
When you create a custom role, you must choose an organization or project to create it in. You can then grant the custom role on the organization or project, as well as
any resources within that organization or project.
https://cloud.google.com/iam/docs/understanding-custom-roles#basic_concepts
Question: 105
You need to enable traffic between multiple groups of Compute Engine instances that are currently running two different GCP projects. Each group of Compute Engine
instances is running in its own VPC.
What should you do?
A. Verify that both projects are in a GCP Organization. Create a new VPC and add all instances.
B. Verify that both projects are in a GCP Organization. Share the VPC from one project and request that the Compute Engine instances in the other project use this
shared VPC.
C. Verify that you are the Project Administrator of both projects. Create two new VPCs and add all instances.
D. Verify that you are the Project Administrator of both projects. Create a new VPC and add all instances.
Answer: B
Question: 106
Your organization uses G Suite for communication and collaboration. All users in your organization have a G Suite account. You want to grant some G Suite users
access to your Cloud Platform project.
What should you do?
A. Enable Cloud Identity in the GCP Console for your domain.
B. Grant them the required IAM roles using their G Suite email address.
C. Create a CSV sheet with all users email addresses. Use the gcloud command line tool to convert them into Google Cloud Platform accounts.
D. In the G Suite console, add the users to a special group called [email protected]om. Rely on the default behavior of the Cloud Platform to grant users access if they
are members of this group.
Answer: B
Explanation:
Reference: https://cloud.google.com/resource-manager/docs/creating-managing-organization
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"Take a shot when someone says AI."

AI-AI-I/O

Google employees reportedly came up with a drinking game during the company's I/O developer conference last week, mocking just how many times its executives mentioned artificial intelligence.

As seen in a TikTok mega cut put together by The Verge, Googlers must've gotten absolutely hammered that day, with CEO Sundar Pichai uttering the letters "AI" a dizzying number of times.

According to CNBC, a meme posted internally on a message board suggested employees should "take a shot when someone says AI during I/O." They even made references to the classic nursery rhyme "Old MacDonald" by replacing the lyrics with "AI-AI-I/O."

The exchange shows just heavily Google focused on AI tech during this year's developer conference — which isn't exactly surprising, given the gold rush that has captured the attention of almost every major tech juggernaut as of late.

Snarky Memes

Big tech firms are practically stumbling over each other to capitalize on generative AI. Leadership at Meta, Alphabet, Microsoft, and Amazon mentioned AI a total of 168 times during their Q1 earnings call this year, according to Insider.

Despite the ribbing of their AI-obsessed execs, Googlers generally appeared to be pleased with the company's showing at the event.

"As someone who expected to make snarky memes the whole time, it was nice to be wowed," one employee wrote, as quoted by CNBC.

Investors were also clearly pleased, with the company's stock rising 4.3 percent on the day of the event.

Google announced it would enhance many of its core products, including Google Docs, with the use of AI. It also announced that its Bard AI chatbot would be able to respond in a number of languages and even generate images.

And that's only the beginning. As more tech giants integrate AI into their products, we should expect to hear their CEOs utter the words "AI" countless more times in the coming months — whether we like it or not.

More on Google: Google Unveils Plan to Demolish the Journalism Industry Using AI


Sun, 14 May 2023 12:01:00 -0500 text/html https://futurism.com/the-byte/google-employees-mock-execs-ai
The 10 Highest-Paying Cloud Certifications In 2023

A new report from online boot camp provider Simplilearn reveals the cloud computing certifications with the highest average annual salaries, including those from AWS, Microsoft and Google Cloud.

“Google Certified Professional-Cloud Architect,” “Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert” and “AWS Certified Solutions Architect-Associate” are among the cloud certifications linked with the highest average annual salaries.

That’s according to Simplilearn, a San Francisco-based online boot camp provider that partners with universities as well as companies.

Simplilearn recently published a report on the cloud computing certifications with the highest average annual salaries, featuring certifications from top cloud computing vendors Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google Cloud.

[RELATED: 10 New Google Cloud Programs, Certs, Incentives For Partners]

Best-Paying Cloud Certifications

CRN has ranked the list according to average annual salary, from lowest to highest.

CRN also has reached out to Simplilearn, Microsoft, Google Cloud and AWS for comment.

AWS is still considered the dominant cloud business with about one-third of the market. Microsoft is No. 2 with less than a quarter of the market. And Google ranks third with about one-tenth of the market.

A longtail of other vendors including IBM and Oracle are far behind the three vendors.

According to Simplilearn, all of the exams on this list require a 70 percent or higher score to pass. They also feature multiple-choice questions as well as those with multiple responses.

Some other certifications mentioned include:

*AWS Certified Developer Associate

*Microsoft Azure Fundamentals

*Google Associate Cloud Engineer

Here’s what you need to know.

Microsoft Azure Administrator Associate

Average Annual Salary: $107,683

The “Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate” is an intermediate test on Simplilearn’s list.

The test shows who can deploy, monitor and manage Azure services with significant compute, storage, network and security involved.

The test has 40 to 60 questions, according to Simplilearn. It lasts 120 minutes and costs $165.

Simplilearn recommends that test takers be familiar with Azure security, privacy, pricing, support and other concepts.

Google Associate Cloud Engineer

Average Annual Salary: $109,415

Google Associate Cloud Engineers deliver and protect apps and infrastructure, according to Simplilearn. These engineers also oversee project operations and maintain corporate products and services to make sure performance goals are met.

These engineers, programmers and developers demonstrate an ability to work with public clouds and on-premises systems. They deploy, monitor and manage operations of cloud-based web apps.

This intermediate test costs $125 to take and lasts 120 minutes, according to Simplilearn. The test has 50 questions.

Simplilearn recommends that test takers have an understanding of virtual machines, containers, networking and other cloud concepts.

Microsoft Azure Fundamentals

Average Annual Salary: $110,000

The “Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals” test shows which professionals understand Azure services, workloads, security, privacy, pricing, support and principles, according to Simplilearn.

The test is considered an easier one, along the lines of AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, Solutions Architect Associate and Developer Associate, according to Simplilearn.

The test costs about $99 and lasts 85 minutes. It has at least 40 questions, according to Simplilearn.

AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate

Average Annual Salary: $111,966

The “AWS Certified SysOps Administrator–Associate” test is another intermediate difficulty one akin to the AWS Certified Developer Associate certification.

Systems operations (SysOps) administrator associates can develop, manage and operate AWS workloads.

The $150 test lasts 130 minutes and has 65 questions, according to Simplilearn.

Simplilearn recommends that test takers have at least one year of AWS deployment, management and operation experience. They should understand AWS CLIs (command line interfaces), SDKs and APIs. They also should understand AWS tenets, network technologies, security concepts and compliance.

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

Average Annual Salary: $113,932

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification holders understand essential cloud infrastructure, architectural concepts and AWS services.

The test ranks on the easier side of the difficulty spectrum, akin to AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate and AWS Certified Developer Associate, according to Simplilearn. The test costs $100, has 65 questions and lasts 90 minutes.

Simplilearn recommends test takers have experience in creating a cloud implementation strategy, AWS apps deployment, AWS platform architecture creation oversight and cloud platform management and monitoring.

AWS Solutions Architect Professional

Average Annual Salary: $118,266

At $300, this is the most expensive test on Simplilearn’s list. The “AWS Certified Solutions Architect-Professional” certification is meant to show acumen in creating distributed apps and systems on AWS.

Certification holders can develop, implement and evaluate AWS apps under a variety of conditions, according to Simplilearn.

The test is on the harder side of the difficulty spectrum, akin to Google Professional Cloud Architect and Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect Expert. The test has 75 questions and lasts 180 minutes.

Before taking the exam, professionals should understand AWS CLI, AWS APIs, AWS CloudFormation templates, Windows environments and Linux environments, according to Simplilearn.

They also should know best practice architectural design across multiple corporate apps and projects.

AWS Certified Developer Associate

Average Annual Salary: $130,272

This test shows programmers’ and software developers’ ability to develop and maintain applications on AWS, according to Simplilearn.

The test costs $150 and is considered intermediate in difficulty, according to Simplilearn. Simplilearn ranks this test harder than the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate one but easier than the Google Professional Cloud Architect and Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect Expert exams.

This test runs 130 minutes and has 65 questions, according to Simplilearn.

Simplilearn recommends that before people take the test they should gain an understanding of the AWS shared responsibility model and practice writing applications with AWS’ CLIs, APIs and SDKs.

Simplilearn also recommends learning the continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) method popular with DevOps engineers.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate

Average Annual Salary: $130,883

The “AWS Certified Solutions Architect-Associate” certification shows that a professional can work with an enterprise architecture, build distributed systems on AWS and deploy those systems.

The test costs $150 and is considered an easier test than others, according to Simplilearn. The test has 65 questions on the harder end of these certifications and lasts 130 minutes.

Simplilearn suggests that, before taking the exam, professionals work with AWS for at least a year and understand Java, Python, C# or another programming or scripting language.

Before taking the exam, professionals should also develop an understanding of data storage fundamentals, networking and cloud technologies.

Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect Expert

Average Annual Salary: $135,000

Programmers, developers and engineers who pass the “Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert” test demonstrate the ability to work with cloud administrators, cloud database administrators and customers, according to Simplilearn.

They can advise stakeholders and translate business requirements into dependable, scalable and safe products and services.

The test costs $165 and lasts about 150 minutes, according to Simplilearn. The test features at least 40 questions on the harder end of these certifications.

Before taking the exam, professionals should demonstrate an ability to implement workloads, implement security, deploy infrastructure, configure infrastructure, create and deploy applications for the cloud and Azure storage, implement authentication and secure data, according to Simplilearn.

Google Professional Cloud Architect

Average Annual Salary: $140,000

The certification with the highest average annual salary is the “Google Certified Professional-Cloud Architect.”

These cloud architects must show abilities in designing and planning cloud service architectures and managing and provisioning cloud infrastructure.

The certification measures designs for security and compliance, according to Simplilearn. Certification holders can work with Google tools such as Big Table, Big Query and the Google Cloud Platform.

The test costs $200 and lasts about 120 minutes, according to Simplilearn. The test has 40 questions.

Simplilearn suggests test takers become proficient with CLI, Linux operating systems, systems operations and have more than three years of industry experience.

Fri, 03 Mar 2023 01:32:00 -0600 text/html https://www.crn.com/news/cloud/the-10-highest-paying-cloud-certifications-in-2023
The People of Solano County Versus the Next Tech-Billionaire Dystopia

It is easy to mock the absurdity of California Forever, the new city that a group of tech billionaires want to build amid cattle pastures 60 miles north of San Francisco. Its wealthy backers frame the project—envisioned as a mega suburb with dense housing and walkable streets set on 60,000 rural acres—as an innovative solution to California’s housing shortage. But their bumbling and villainous antics may ensure it never gets built.

The particulars of this caper veer into the ridiculous. Flannery Associates, the billionaires’ front group, sneaked around for five years on a stealth mission to snatch up $900 million worth of agricultural land in Solano County, where land use laws expressly forbid projects like the one the group proposes. The company lavished money on local landowners, overpaying for the land by millions and creating a frenzy. Then, after some local landowners resisted their offers, the billionaires filed a $510 million lawsuit against them. Ironically, the plutocrats turned plaintiffs accused this handful of holdouts of “endless greed.”

Solano County residentswhose approval will be needed next November for the project to move forwardare understandably dubious of the shady billionaires and their secretive plan for a new community whose name sounds like a celebrity cemetery. At packed town hall meetings, community members from cities like Fairfield, Rio Vista, and Vacaville have voiced fierce opposition. They fear the project will spur environmental damage, traffic, pollution, and sprawl.

Yet there’s potentially a more sinister angle. California Forever aligns suspiciously with a cultish dystopian movement to build so-called “network statesprivate zones where tech zillionaires can abandon democratic society to live under the rule of their own private micro governments. The secret plot to assemble vast swaths of land and build a new city fits a pattern of wealthy Silicon Valley types attempting to construct similar enclaves around the globe. San Francisco billionaire Michael Moritz, a driving force behind California Forever, appeared to hint at the idea in his pitch to potential investors back in 2017.

“He painted a kind of urban blank slate where everything from design to construction methods and new forms of governance could be rethought,” reported The New York Times, which first revealed the billionaires’ plan.

What does it mean to rethink “new forms of governance”? In a new book called Crack-Up Capitalism: Market Radicals and the Dream of a World Without Democracy, historian Quinn Slobodian chronicles the efforts of billionaires to create “alternative political arrangements at a small scale” through “acts of secession and fragmentation, carving out liberated territory within and beyond nations.”

In a world of intensifying crises like climate change and economic inequality, some billionaires have a novel solution: high-tech secession.

“We can secede by removing children from state-run schools, converting currency into gold or cryptocurrency, relocating to states with lower taxes, obtaining a second passport, or expatriating to a tax haven,” writes Slobodian. “We can secede, and many have, by joining gated communities to create private governments in miniature.”

Despite Silicon Valley’s talk of techno-optimism and abundance, many tech plutocrats are plagued by a “creeping sense of paranoia” about the future, said Slobodian in an interview. Fearing the possibility of civilizational collapseor driven by “greed, megalomania and the desire to have a zero percent tax rate”some tech elites seek a retreat into bespoke fortress societies.

Slobodian’s book details ongoing efforts by wealthy interests to acquire land and carve out independent territories for themselves. It’s a dystopian vision in which existing countries and governments, hollowed out by capital flight and declining tax revenues, will theoretically be left to collapse outside their highly fortified walls.

“The proponents of crack-up capitalism envisioned a new utopia: an agile, restlessly mobile fortress for capital, protected from the grasping hands of the populace seeking a more equitable present and future,” writes Slobodian. First, however, these wannabe tech sovereigns must convince current governments to sanction the development of these special zones.

Creating special zones where normal rules don’t apply is an old idea. Slobodian, a critic of these new schemes, traces their global history. For example, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and Bermuda are Caribbean tax havens with weak regulatory laws designed to serve corporations and wealthy individuals. Dubai’s 22-square-mile “economic free zone” caters to 9,500 corporations enjoying long, union-free tax holidays there. Communist-ruled China has over a dozen Special Economic Zones where capitalism (but not democracy) reigns supreme.

The planet is pocked with designated places where wealthy people and corporations can evade rules. But a new generation of venture capitalists seeks to innovate the concept further by creating spaces where they can evade democratic society altogether. Slobodian cites venture capitalist Peter Thiel, an early secession proponent and an investor in one such proposed community called Praxis, who wrote in 2009: “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.”

Initially, the concept involved creating independent offshore communities in the world’s oceans, outside of the reach of national jurisdictions. To that end, Thiel funded the Seasteading Institute, which sought to structure the governments of these floating communes after corporations.

“Democracy is not the answer,” declared the institute’s founder, Patri Friedman, a grandson of conservative economist Milton Friedman.

But since no one wants to be stuck on rusty oil rigs or claustrophobic cruise ships, the idea evolved. Today, the focus has shifted to “cloud communities.” These are virtual “nations” of people united via digital networks. Just as cryptocurrencies like bitcoin aim to replace traditional currency, creators of these online crypto societies hope to replace traditional countries. Once they have a sufficient number of citizens in their cloud, they can migrate to their chosen lands.

Tech barons have worked to fund the creation of these future zones in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the United States. Newly proposed billionaire-founded cities include Praxis, envisioned as a “crypto commune” in the Mediterranean, and Telosa, a new city of five million people somewhere in the United States. Just last week, even Kanye West jumped on the bandwagon, announcing plans to build a new city on 100,000 acres in the Middle East.

In 2020, Balaji Srinivasana close associate of both Thiel and California Forever investor Marc Andreesen—published “The Network State: How to Start a New Country.” Srinivasan, the idea’s leading evangelist, defines a network state as “a highly aligned online community with a capacity for collective action that crowdfunds territory around the world and eventually gains diplomatic recognition from pre-existing states.”

Srinivasan envisions an explosion of new mini-nations in which “the people are spread around the world in clusters of varying size, but their hearts are in one place.”

He depicts traditional patriotism as an outdated concept with no place in the world of the future. “Is the US establishment a force for good in the world?” asks Srinivasan, who Donald Trump reportedly considered appointing as head of the Food and Drug Administration in 2017. “Is the US establishment a force for good at home?” His answer: “No.”

Srinivasan, whose manifesto favors short paragraphs and numbered lists, also speaks matter-of-factly about the possibility of another Civil War.

“It’d be nothing like the movies, with huge movements of uniformed soldiers, tanks and planes,” he writes. “Instead, it’ll just be a continuation and escalation of what we’ve seen over the last several years: a network-to-network war to control minds, rather than a state-to-state war to control territory.”

In October, Srinivasan gathered like-minded techies in Amsterdam for the first annual Network State Conference. Speakers informed the audience about the latest efforts to establish autonomous communities. They included Jason Benn, founder of The Neighborhood, a network of interconnected co-living projects located within one square mile in San Francisco and funded by Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic arm of former Google CEO Eric Schmidt. Garry Tan, the Y Combinator CEO currently leading a tech-funded campaign to take over the San Francisco Board of Supervisors next year, touted successful efforts to create a “parallel media” and political machine. (Srinivasan lists capturing local governments via elections as an alternative to starting new ones.)

California Forever also had a brief cameo during a dramatic presentation by a security expert and former Army artillery officer named Spencer MacDonald.

“Network states and startup cities are starting to get more momentum,” said MacDonald, founder of a cryptosecurity firm, during a slide deck presentation titled “Parallel Security of Network States.” “So we need to start talking about security.”

The fourth slide of his deck featured an artist’s rendering of the proposed California Forever development, which was publicly released in September. “I interviewed many startup city founders,” read the text accompanying the image. “They are thinking about security (and other aspects of execution) in close coordination with host nation governments.”

A few slides later, MacDonald’s presentation featured a picture of the destroyed border wall between Gaza and Israel. Pausing on the stark image, MacDonald urged the audience of aspiring sovereigns to abandon the idea that technology and walls alone can protect start-up cities. “There was a bunch of … robotic video cameras that were monitoring the wall, and they didn’t have enough troops to guard the wall,” said MacDonald. He encouraged the audience to consider hiring private police forces (ideally advised by former Special Operations soldiers) along with social media teams capable of waging “info war.”

Perhaps it’s a coincidence that Andreesen, one of Srinivasan’s longtime colleagues, is one of California Forever’s investors, and that Srinivasan name-checks two of the project’s other billionaire investors—Moritz and Stripe founder Patrick Collisonin his book. Maybe it’s just happenstance that their mystery project matches the trend of other proposed start-up societies around the globe, or that Moritz evoked the idea of new forms of governance in his investor pitch.

Or could it be that the project’s fleeting appearance at Srinivasan’s conference was the clearest indication yet of its true goal? California Forever vigorously denies any connection to MacDonald or the Network States Conference.

“We have nothing to do with this person/company presenting or this conference,” wrote California Forever after an eagle-eyed critic of the project posted a screenshot of MacDonald’s slide on Twitter in November. “They used the image from our website without our permission and we have no idea why.”

Given the company’s history of evasiveness, its denials mean little. The project’s website also specifically rejects the idea that it’s a “utopian fantasy” like “those that have been proposed around the world.” 

It also mentions the possibility of creating a special district. Specifically, the company pledges to work with local governments on issues like the “formation of special districts, but those issues would generally come up during later stages of the process, after the general plan and zoning change have been approved by the voters.”

Voter approval seems like a tall order, but the billionaires have 10 months to wage an unprecedented information war upon the minds of Solano County. They’re already throwing the money around, including $500,000 in grants for local nonprofits. Given the stakes, Solano voters should prepare to find themselves manipulated and pressured nonstop between now and November’s election.  

The people of Solano County are fighting a billionaire land grab that they fear will bring traffic headaches and pollution. Without knowing it, they may also be on the front lines of a battle over whether tech plutocrats can buy enough power to radically transform the political map by yanking democracy right out from under their feet and replacing it with a dystopia of their own design.

Thu, 04 Jan 2024 05:44:00 -0600 en-us text/html https://newrepublic.com/article/177733/billionaire-solano-california-tech-secession
How Is YouTube Partner Money Calculated?

Based in London, Jake Redfield has been working as a video games designer since 2009. In addition, he has written articles for many computer based online and offline publications. Redfield holds a degree in computer game design from Newport University.

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 02:50:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://smallbusiness.chron.com/youtube-partner-money-calculated-74076.html
Google Streamlines Privacy Policy

Google on Friday said

Google, in a company blog post, said it wasn’t undertaking a total transformation of its privacy codes, but rather tweaking policies to make them easier to understand.

“Long, complicated and lawyerly—that's what most people think about privacy policies, and for good reason. Even taking into account that they’re legal documents, most privacy policies are still too hard to understand,” Mike Yang, Google associate general counsel wrote in the blog.

“So we’re simplifying and updating Google’s privacy policies. To be clear, we aren’t changing any of our privacy practices; we want to make our policies more transparent and understandable. As a first step, we’re making two types of improvements,” Yang wrote.

The company will delete 12 individual policies relating to specific products to cut repetition.

“These changes are also in line with the way information is used between certain products—for example, since contacts are shared between services like Gmail, Talk, Calendar and Docs, it makes sense for those services to be governed by one privacy policy as well,” Yang wrote.

The company is also rewriting the Google Privacy Policy to cut down on legal jargon and make it easier to understand.

In addition, Google will add more information to its product Help Centers to explain privacy policies more fully, and initiative Privacy Tools page for the Google Privacy Center. The changes will start October 3.

The move comes as Google and other Web-based companies such as Facebook, are coming in for more and more criticism for their privacy codes.

Also on Friday, an advocacy group called Consumer Watchdog ran an advertisement on the Times Square jumbotron in New York City, criticizing Google for having “lost its way” by recently collecting personal data from unsecured wireless networks as it developed it Street View Service and, and allowing Gmail contacts to become public through its Buzz social networking site.

Mon, 11 Dec 2023 04:23:00 -0600 text/html https://www.crn.com/news/security/227300211/google-streamlines-privacy-policy
The 12 stories that defined 2023 No result found, try new keyword!Nothing helps to reflect on the year behind us and celebrate the festive period more than looking back on the biggest stories of the past 12 months. That is, unless they're notable mostly for scandal, ... Tue, 12 Dec 2023 18:18:36 -0600 en-us text/html https://www.msn.com/ Rolling Stone’s Top 25 Deep Dives, Investigations, and Profiles of 2023 No result found, try new keyword!From revealing cover stories to in-depth tales of crime, justice, and political intrigue, here are the Rolling Stone long reads that readers loved the most. Fri, 29 Dec 2023 09:17:00 -0600 en-us text/html https://www.msn.com/ 22 Easy Spanish Appetizer Recipes No result found, try new keyword!Here are some easy Spanish appetizer recipes for your next tapas party. Pair these easy Spanish tapas recipes with a bottle of Spanish red wine and a loaf of fresh, crusty bread and you will make a ... Mon, 24 Jul 2023 06:11:50 -0500 en-us text/html https://www.msn.com/ NYC protesters for Gaza ceasefire hold mock funeral

Fri, 29 Dec 2023 02:16:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.elkvalleytimes.com/news/national/nyc-protesters-for-gaza-ceasefire-hold-mock-funeral/article_caf0a5f5-140f-57dd-a720-0c7934a3897d.html
Fortune favors the books: Our editors’ favorite non-fiction of 2023 pulls back the curtain on a year of major transition

So much (digital) ink has been spilled about 2023 marking the end of a certain era of the internet: Elon Musk’s Twitter misadventure, Sam Altman’s creative destruction of the commons via artificial intelligence, Google’s dominant position in search assailed by multiple antitrust challenges, not to mention the AI forces mentioned above—as Max Read noted in a exact New York Times column, the millennials who formed the shape of the early internet are aging out of their dominance over the zeitgeist. In many ways (in my opinion, not Max’s), new technology is splintering the web back to its wild mid-1990s roots. Still, though it may be a poor era for the web, you can’t convince me it’s not a golden age of reading. 

The iPhone, at nearly two decades old, may not be the hottest tech anymore, but has any invention since the printing press done more to encourage literacy? Words jump from our palms into our brains at unparalleled immediacy and frequency thanks to the device that also gave birth to the digital media industry that has employed me for going on four years now. I joined Fortune to build a new digital news desk in early 2022, having learned how the iPhone-adjacent model works at Business Insider (which makes a cameo in one of my books of the year), and the centrality of phone-based reading has allowed Fortune to grow by leaps and bounds, even if we are something of a 93-year-old startup. The algorithm appears to be changing now, but one thing is certain: Words are immediate in the 21st century in such a way that we take them almost for granted. We swim in a sea of words daily (a minor but increasing portion of those words being Fortune.com stories), and the humble book will never go out of style. It just might be a digital one.

That being said, I and other Fortune editors have picked our favorite, even the best books of the year, the nonfiction books that explain not only how the algorithm of life and business are changing, but who the humans are who created this algorithm world, this sea of words that we swim in every day. Here’s to a 2024 full of words, too.

Courtesy of Penguin Press

Traffic: Genius, Rivalry, and Delusion in the Billion-Dollar Race to Go Viral by Ben Smith (Penguin)

“Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” That was the Sex Pistols’ famous message to America as the Sex Pistols flamed out in punk rock’s first searing explosion onto the scene, but it might be Ben Smith’s reflection on the media industry’s punk rock moment: the explosion of digital traffic in the early 20th century. But instead of Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious, Smith gives us the figures of Nick Denton and Jonah Peretti (his former boss), the men who figured out the currency of internet 2.0: going viral and getting big traffic. Of course, neither of their startups quite exist in the same way anymore. Blogging pioneer Gawker Media was sued into oblivion by former wrestler Hulk Hogan, famously and secretly backed by billionaire Peter Thiel, before being sold for parts, largely to private-equity-backed G/O Media, losing its entire character in the process. BuzzFeed News shuttered this year, while BuzzFeed the brand lives on in a bigger company with Huffington Post that trades for pennies on the dollar, billions off its peak valuation. Smith’s beautifully reported and written book explicitly conjures a Shakespearean analogy to the Hamlet characters Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, except he brings them up in the Stoppardian sense. That would be Tom Stoppard, the great British playwright who burst onto the scene in 1966 with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, about how Hamlet’s college friends and would-be assassins believed they were the main characters only to find out they had just a cameo in the greatest play of all time. But I can’t look beyond how punk rock changed music forever, even though it died after just a few years. All revolutions do. —Nick Lichtenberg, executive editor, news

Book cover of The Fund: Ray Dalio, Bridgewater Associates, and the Unraveling of a Wall Street Legend

Courtesy of Macmillan

The Fund: Ray Dalio, Bridgewater Associates, and the Unraveling of a Wall Street Legend by Rob Copeland (Macmillan)

The unauthorized tell-all has a long and (sometimes in)distinguished history, but there can’t have been many like this scathing look inside the culture at the world’s biggest hedge fund. Rob Copeland has been covering the industry, and billionaire Ray Dalio in particular, for well over a decade at the top newsrooms in the U.S., first the Wall Street Journal and currently the New York Times, and his copious reporting on Connecticut’s richest man and his fund, Bridgewater Associates, yields astonishing fruit: From former Deputy Attorney General James Comey running a weeks-long investigation (and mock trial!) into the case of a missing order of bagels, to Dalio instructing a top consultant that a “baseball card” ranking system designed to mimic his famous invented set of “principles” meant that Dalio himself needed to have the top score in “believability.” The reporting includes horrific accounts of sexual harassment, sprinkled among its many anecdotes of cultish behavior around Dalio’s “principles,” which bring to mind another word starting with the same letter: a panopticon of constant surveillance, with Dalio playing video of one (female) lieutenant that he humiliated, openly crying, for years afterward to staff in a ritual of cruelty. Dalio was still furious about the book when he addressed the Fortune Global Forum in Abu Dhabi in late November, but so far he isn’t challenging any of its claims in any courtroom outside Bridgewater’s own Connecticut headquarters, which of course, isn’t a real one. —N.L.

Book cover of

Courtesy of Atria/One Signal Publishers

Glossy: Ambition, Beauty, and the Inside Story of Emily Weiss’s Glossier by Marisa Meltzer (Atria/One Signal Publishers)

Journalist Marisa Meltzer’s chronicle of Glossier’s rise and fall is both an enjoyable read and a thought-provoking cautionary tale. In the late 2010s, direct-to-consumer brand Glossier dominated cosmetics with its minimalist marketing and “no-makeup makeup” focus. At its helm was Emily Weiss, the MTV Hills and Vogue alum and Into the Gloss founder who would go on to become a prolific leader of the now defunct “girlboss” era. Meltzer’s portrait of the enigmatic Weiss makes the book gripping and readable. The book’s portrayal of Glossier’s crumbling empire seems emblematic of the overall “vibe shift” from the 2010s to the 2020s: When consumers tired of millennial pink, TikTok’s raw authenticity replaced Instagram’s curated sheen, and investors became increasingly wary of so-called unicorns. Equal parts dishy, informative, and nostalgic, I found myself finishing Meltzer’s book in just a few days. —Ashley Lutz, executive director, editorial growth

Cover of Pandora’s Box: How Guts, Guile, and Greed Upended TV by Peter Biskind

Courtesy of HarperCollins

Pandora’s Box: How Guts, Guile, and Greed Upended TV by Peter Biskind (HarperCollins)

The ’70s gave us the Jack Nicholson–style antihero. The ‘90s gave us the indie movie revolution personified by, among others, Quentin Tarantino. The peak TV era that started at the turn of the 21st century gave us Tony Soprano, Don Draper, and then a long slow decline. That’s the story told by longtime Hollywood watcher (and muckraker) Peter Biskind, who has completed an unofficial trilogy of sorts on what he calls “movements” in entertainment, first with Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, then Down and Dirty Pictures, and now Pandora’s Box. To Biskind-heads like myself, it’s a breath of fresh air to have the take of the former Premiere magazine executive editor, and current Vanity Fair contributing editor, on what is now the well-trodden subject of the revolution that was televised, first on HBO, then basic cable, then the streamers. His distinctive mix of cultural criticism with hard-nosed reporting has former HBO head Michael Fuchs waxing bittersweet about how being forced out in the 1990s “broke my fuckin’ heart,” while the subtitle of his book gives away what he really feels about the streaming revolution: “How guts, guile, and greed upended TV.” Spoiler alert: He finds by the end of his investigation that content isn’t king, it’s always been cash. —N.L.

Courtesy of Macmillan

Exit Interview: The Life and Death of My Ambitious Career by Kristi Coulter (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

If the post-pandemic years brought a breath of worker empowerment with the so-called Great Reshuffle and quiet quitting, Exit Interview offers a timely examination of the hustle culture that they rejected. This often exhausting memoir chronicles Coulter’s time working at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters in the aughts, but Amazon isn’t really the star: It’s Coulter’s frequently frustrated ambition as she tries to navigate a maze of ever-escalating demands presented in proprietary corporate jargon. A sort of Uncanny Valley for the corporate set, the memoir offers something for everyone: the chaos of a bare-bones startup (employees sometimes work on “desks” mounted on sawhorses) with the mind-numbing bureaucracy of America’s now-second-largest employer (Coulter describes starting work Sunday night to be ready for a companywide meeting on Wednesday; in other meetings, managers breezily ranked their direct reports according to the order in which they’d be tossed off a lifeboat.) The sometimes absurd, often infuriating drama will strike a chord with any woman who has spent time in the heavily male land of tech. —Irina Ivanova, deputy editor, news

Cover of

Courtesy of Crown

The Coming Wave: Technology, Power, and the 21st Century’s Greatest Dilemma by Mustafa Suleyman with Michael Bhaskar (Crown)

Despite its title, DeepMind and Inflection AI cofounder Mustafa Suleyman’s landmark book is not entirely pessimistic. The advent of artificial intelligence, he argues, can solve humanity’s greatest challenges—and there are chances it could lead to catastrophic events that we are unable to preempt owing to the very nature of transformative technologies.

The real question is whether our systems can adapt fast enough. Immediately, Suleyman sees the threat of AI being used to manipulate elections, as he warned in a Fortune commentary piece in September. The coming months are set to test that theory as dozens of nations hold critical elections in 2024, heightening uncertainty around the world. Within a few years, the world as we know it will not exist, as our fortunes are upended by this transformation. 

To take full stock of the author’s stark warnings and idyllic promises, bear in mind that these are not the words of another tech entrepreneur opining on the latest technology, but those of an ethics and policy geek who found himself at the front line of a technological revolution—or as he calls it, a shift in power. —Mohamed El Aassar, editor, commentary

Crack-Up Capitalism: Market Radicals and the Dream of a World Without Democracy by Quinn Slobodian

Courtesy of Macmillan

Crack-Up Capitalism: Market Radicals and the Dream of a World Without Democracy by Quinn Slobodian (Macmillan)

First, there were the “globalists,” then came the “crack-up.” That’s the vision painted by Canadian historian Quinn Slobodian, a professor at Wellesley College soon moving to Boston University. Where his last book focused on the birth of neoliberalism and the somehow-true story of the Bond villain–sounding Mont Pelerin Society, which was literally founded by the legendary historian Friedrich Hayek in a village in Switzerland, his new book is about other earthshaking economic developments hiding in plain sight. Why is it, he asks, that capitalist development wants to divorce the democratic nation-state? It would much prefer to make business in “special economic zones” instead, he argues. As evidence he offers up Hong Kong, Singapore, and Dubai as zones that flourished in the 1970s, ‘90s, and 2000s when big business wanted to lighten its tax burden and a lot of pesky regulations. But there’s also the example of Honduras and a potential zone there called “Prospera,” boosted by Stanford economist Paul Romer. One thing’s sure: That zone won’t be the last. —N.L.

Book cover of "Flawless: Lessons in Looks and Culture from the K-Beauty Capital"

Courtesy of Penguin

Flawless: Lessons in Looks and Culture from the K-Beauty Capital by Elise Hu (Dutton)

Korean cosmetics are the world’s best—or, at least, so I’ve heard. But the observation doesn’t surprise me: South Korea has long punched above its weight in innovation, cultural influence, and soft power. But what does the “K-beauty” industry—not just cosmetics, but K-pop and cosmetic surgery—look like in practice? What does it mean for South Korea’s women and men? In Flawless, Elise Hu turns her reporting during her time in the country as National Public Radio’s Seoul correspondent into a broad investigation of business, gender politics, and technology. —Nicholas Gordon, editor, Hong Kong

"The War Below" book cover

Courtesy of Simon and Schuster

The War Below: Lithium, Copper, and the Global Battle to Power Our Lives by Ernest Scheyder (Atria/One Signal Publishers)

To uncover the inconvenient truths and the often overlooked tradeoffs of the energy transition, Reuters reporter Ernest Scheyder takes readers on a journey through American history, geopolitics, and the business world.

It’s almost ironic. To move away from fossil fuels, humanity must rely on an unlikely hero: the mining industry, with its history of violence and pollution. And in light of global competition over key metals to power tomorrow’s electric vehicles and electronic devices, there are no good choices. Does the U.S. rely on China for key minerals, or accept the havoc their mass mining could wreak on American landscapes and communities? Does the government know what it’s doing, when the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act, which encourages adoption of clean technologies, seems to be so uncoordinated? Can the businesses of the future deliver their lofty promises, when key projects are facing serious setbacks? 

Fortune readers will find the chapters about Tiffany & Co. CEO Michael J. Kowalski’s revolutionary stand on ethical sourcing 20 years ago, and Elon Musk’s efforts to secure Tesla’s future supply of critical minerals of particular interest. —M.E.

Cover of "Unscripted: The Epic Battle for a Media Empire and the Redstone Family Legacy" by James Stewart and Rachel Abrams

Courtesy of Penguin

Unscripted: The Epic Battle for a Media Empire and the Redstone Family Legacy by James Stewart and Rachel Abrams (Penguin)

The past few years have been a rich era of family drama, seen in TV and tabloid coverage of the Kardashians, the Murdochs, and the British royal family—as well as in their fictionalized counterparts in HBO’s Succession and Netflix’s The Crown. Against that backdrop, New York Times journalists James Stewart and Rachel Abrams deliver Unscripted, a barely believable true tale of intrigue, manipulation, and colossal amounts of chutzpah in the media world. A chronicle of the last few years of Sumner Redstone, who before his 2020 death was majority owner of Viacom and CBS, the book depicts the waning days of a mogul whose influence outlived his mental capacity—and the war that ensued between his daughter, Shari, and the older men (and one woman) on the companies’ boards. The pre–Me Too setting makes for occasionally jaw-dropping scenes. In one, a police precinct captain who received a report of an assault by a CBS executive immediately tips off the company, which is also his side hustle. Some pages later, a board member investigates rumors of assault by asking the alleged perpetrator whether he did it and taking the response as fact. This unsparing and often uncomfortable takedown of several powerful men who misjudged the extent of their influence ends with perhaps the only eternal lesson: Power and money always corrupt. —I.I.

Courtesy of Hachette Book Group

The Peking Express: The Bandits Who Stole a Train, Stunned the West, and Broke the Republic of China by James Zimmerman (PublicAffairs)

In 1923, Chinese bandits—or political freedom fighters, if you asked them—attacked a train between Shanghai and Beijing and took its many wealthy passengers, including a sister-in-law of John D. Rockefeller Jr., hostage. The “Lincheng Incident” soon sparks a crisis for the weak Republic of China: The local warlord wants to go in guns blazing, hostage safety be damned, while foreign diplomats demand Beijing do everything in its power to keep the foreigners alive. 

This book by James Zimmerman, former chair of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, is a reminder of how precarious the country was between the two World Wars—a situation that leaders in Beijing still complain about today. —N.G.

Book cover of

Courtesy of Hachette Book Group

Plunder: Private Equity’s Plan to Pillage America by Brendan Ballou (PublicAffairs)

It can seem like America’s social fabric, of late, is fraying. Everywhere you look, life costs more but seems to deliver less, with fees and fine print proliferating like mushrooms. Once publicly funded emergency services, including ambulance care, fire departments, and even hospitals have abandoned large chunks of the country. The dream of homeownership seems ever more out of reach, with people relegated to paying more and more rent to faceless entities. And lest you think the consumer economy is healthy, a quick look at the many retail bankruptcies of exact years would convince you otherwise. In Plunder, antitrust attorney Brendan Ballou gathers the disparate strands of a troubled nation to point to a very convincing villain: private equity, a once-niche corner of the financial world that this year has ballooned to more than $22 trillion in value, with a foot in every industry. Ballou works for the Department of Justice, and his prosecutorial bona fides shine through the writing, where methodical examples of the worst-managed companies add up to frequently blood-boiling results. Consider: nursing-home residents with open wounds who are left untreated because the staff has “too much to do”; prison inmates served rotten meat “not fit for human consumption”; a town that jacks up residents’ water bills even as the treatment plant fails and the water becomes toxic. Ballou’s takedown ends with recommendations for fixing this societal decay—from beefing up the government’s enforcement authority to banning specific types of mergers. —I.I.

Courtesy of Simon and Schuster

Fortune’s Bazaar: The Making of Hong Kong by Vaudine England (Scribner)

Every capitalist economy celebrates its tycoons, and Hong Kong is no exception. Much like how the U.S. is littered with buildings celebrating the Carnegies and Rockefellers, the Chinese city is littered with references to the Chaters, Kadoories, and Hotungs. In the 19th century, migrants from all over the world traveled to the newly founded British colony to make their fortune. Journalist-turned-historian Vaudine England takes on Hong Kong’s Wild West—or, should I say, “Wild East”—days in her book Fortune’s Bazaar, a reminder that the city’s history isn’t exclusively British or Chinese, but a hodgepodge of influences, cosmopolitanism, and entrepreneurial grit. —N.G.

Godzilla and Godzilla Raids Again, by Shigeru Kayama, translated by Jeffrey Angles (University of Minnesota Press)

Courtesy of University of Minnesota Press

Godzilla and Godzilla Raids Again, by Shigeru Kayama, translated by Jeffrey Angles (University of Minnesota Press)

Godzilla is back. Godzilla Minus One, the latest movie from Japan’s Toho Studios, has the highest domestic box office for a live-action Japanese movie. And Warner Bros. will get its own shot at the monster movie with next year’s Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire. But this franchise got its start with 1954’s Godzilla, written by Japanese author Shigeru Kayama. Jeffrey Angles has put out the first English translation of Kayama’s novelizations of the film and its sequel, and their strong antinuclear messaging. Angles also gives important context behind Kayama’s time with Godzilla—including the author’s growing discomfort with how the kaiju became a beloved mascot, instead of a warning against uncontrolled progress. —N.G.

Fri, 29 Dec 2023 20:30:00 -0600 en text/html https://fortune.com/2023/12/30/best-books-2023-business-non-fiction-fortune-editors/




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