Posts Tagged ‘google’

Nyah! Google is the Kevin the Teenager

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

“Nyah”

For years, Google has been the Stroppy Teenager Kevin when it comes to copyright – full of attitude, and refusing to tidy up the bedroom. But do yesterday’s concessions make any difference?

No.
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Facebook: Privatising the internet, one Poke at a time

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

The world has been pretty slow to wake up to the power of Facebook and Google, web services with the power to make internet standards disappear faster than a Poke. But maybe people will sit up now. Mark Zuckerberg’s embrace and extend attitude doesn’t just encompass your data – but email protocols too. And there’s very little you’re going to be able to do about it.

At a typically oversold launch event yesterday, Zuckerberg complained about the “friction” generated by having to compose a simple email. You had to type a subject line in, he said, incorrectly, making people wonder if he’d ever used email himself. It’s too formal, he concluded. The poor love – I’m surprised he hasn’t thought about suing the developers of POP3 for emotional distress, as well as repetitive strain injury.

The Facebook plan is to integrate email and SMS into Facebook, into one great big inbox, which will be stored forever. And which will naturally drown people who are not on Facebook under a tide of real-time chaff – Web2.0rhea, as we call it here.
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Hollywood ruling sends piracy chill through Google

Monday, November 1st, 2010
“Why is it so hard to make the decision not to enter into business partnerships with sites whose business model is obvious infringement of the works of U.S. creators?”

Hollywood is going after advertising companies who help fund pirate websites, and has now won a landmark victory.
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The Google-eyed economy

Thursday, October 28th, 2010
“The report laments that ‘collective intelligence’ such as crowdsourced user-generated content isn’t measured by GDP”

A new report commissioned by Google, and timed to coincide with the first ever Parliamentary debate on the company today, puts itself and the internet at the heart of the British economy. But it does so by using some creative and interesting definitions.
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Mobile phones: where does the money go?

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Dediu’s analysis is a good one: winning the commodity smartphone battle really isn’t a battle worth winning. It’s another example of the delusion that turnover is as important as profit.

One of the oldest mottos at Vulture Central is Show Us The Money. There’s one even better, I think, which is Show Us The Profits. Are there any? If there are, where are they going? At a stroke, this cuts through huge amounts of hype and puts entire industries (and, for good measure, almost anything WiReD magazine has ever endorsed) in a much clearer perspective. So have a gander at the following analysis of the mobile phone business – it’s quite startling.

Asymco is a one-man analyst company operated by Horace Dediu, a former Nokia manager in Helsinki, erudite and informative with a good eye for history. Earlier this week he looked at the profits of the largest seven manufacturers, responsible for 80 per cent of the phones sold, over the past three years. The trend indicated last year is now quite clear, with two North American companies capturing the lion’s share of the profits. In Q2 2007, Nokia pocketed 63 per cent of profits; Apple and RIM just seven per cent between them. Wind forward three years, and Apple and RIM snag 65 per cent of the profits, largely at the expense of Nokia, but helped by the collapse of Sony Ericsson and Motorola, who are a tiny shadow of their former selves.

There’s a conclusion to be drawn for Google and the Android licensees, thinks Asymco. None of the three leaders are likely to abandon their in-house platforms for Android, it’s either inferior (to iOS) or (as with BlackBerry OS, Symbian or Meego) switching simply isn’t worth it. So Android is left to target the very manufacturers who have been squeezed. And that in turn leaves them with some tricky choices to make. Android is becoming a commodity platform, so they need to differentiate themselves from the rest of the Android rabble: we’ve seen Sony Ericsson, HTC and Motorola invest heavily in their own UIs. But because Android is a commodity platform, this investment isn’t worth it. (more…)

On Google and erasing your identity

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

I appeared on BBC World Service’s Newshour to discuss Eric Schmidt’s advice to erase your digital identity every few years. Click here to listen.

Original story

How neutrality locks in the web’s ‘Hyper Giants’

Monday, August 9th, 2010

By the mid 1990s it had become pointless to compete with Microsoft in operating systems and office software – and investment in potential competitors dried up. The best you could hope for as a software company was to carve out a niche as part of the Windows Office system; this was a very small niche indeed.

The same thing is happening today with web services. But what Google and other web giants are doing goes largely unnoticed, even by analysts, pundits and Presidential advisors. What they are able to do is use their scale, and clever and cynical politics to obscure how they’re solidifying their competitive advantage. In particular, they’re swearing allegiance to (and lobbying for) an idea which doesn’t apply to their operations, but which will keep smaller competitors out of the market. A Zoho, for example – or the next new YouTube.

To understand this, you have to keep in mind that there isn’t really such a thing as ‘The Internet’, which may sound strange. It might be even stranger to consider that the internet was never designed as a masterplan to be ‘The Internet’, thankfully, as it turned out.

Instead of one network, picture lots of private networks. The internetworking protocols (the clue’s in the name) provide guidelines for some lowest common denominators by which these private networks can cooperate.

The good thing is that the architects’ more modest ambition of "internetworking" succeeded where many grand plans had failed. It explains why the internet is so resilient, and why it’s so hard to regulate, or control. The downside is that it’s hard to improve upon today’s internet, either, since innovation chugs along at the pace of the slowest significant network.

But one way around the bottlenecks is permissible. Deliverers of content and services can climb off the public internet, and do deals directly with the customer-facing networks to which you or I subscribe. Instead of making a journey of two dozen hops around the world, the material need only take two or three.

This is what Google, Amazon and others do. They operate private internets of their own, and peer with the largest ISPs.

Read more at The Register

Breaking Google’s last taboo

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Google has traditionally charged into other business areas with all the subtlety of a bull in a china shop. This isn’t always a bad thing: there are plenty of cosy industries that are ripe for a shake-up, and advertising is one of the cosiest. But there’s one area that’s been strictly taboo.

Google has always linked to other people’s stuff, and stayed out of retailing bits itself. Over time it’s blurred that line, without ever really crossing it. This was a line that Microsoft never really crossed either, although Windows Marketplaces were announced, then came and went phut, as regularly as Service Packs.

Now we can confirm that Google is gearing up for a Music Store – CNet’s Greg Sandoval hears this could be upon us as soon as the autumn, it may decide this high-minded distinction is no longer one worth preserving. The rumours strongly suggest Google will be integrating music into search – no surprise, there – but there’s plenty of speculation that it will go the final step, and retail the music directly.
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Google Street View logs WiFi networks, MAC addresses

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

streetview_pliers_sidey Google’s roving Street View spycam may blur your face, but it’s got your number. The Street View service is under fire in Germany for scanning private WLAN networks, and recording users’ unique Mac (Media Access Control) addresses, as the car trundles along.

Germany’s Federal Commissioner for Data Protection Peter Schaar says he’s "horrified" by the discovery.

"I am appalled… I call upon Google to delete previously unlawfully collected personal data on the wireless network immediately and stop the rides for Street View," according to German broadcaster ARD.

Spooks have long desired the ability to cross reference the Mac address of a user’s connection with their real identity and virtual identity, such as their Gmail or Facebook account.

Read more at The Register

Obama’s got a Google problem

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Obama has created an exquisite problem by hiring so many senior executives from Google – some of the Oompa Loompas don’t seem to realise they no longer work for the company. Now a Congressman has called for an enquiry.

The issue was made apparent when a trail of correspondence by administration official Andrew McLaughlin was exposed recently. McLaughlin is Obama’s deputy CTO – a freshly minted post, with CTO meaning either Citizens Twitter Overlord, or Chief Technology Officer – we believe it’s the latter. He was previously Google’s chief lobbyist, or ‘Head of Global Public Policy and Government Affairs’.

McLaughlin’s contacts were also exposed. In an irony to savour, the exposure was by Google itself, as it introduced its privacy-busting Buzz feature in February. As our Cade pointed out, it would be hard to imagine a better Google story.
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