David Kirkpatrick

September 4, 2009

Google blackout bad omen for cloud computing?

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:11 pm

Incidents like Google’s outage are exactly what gives me qualms about cloud computing. I had a pretty dodgy DSL line for a while and every time it was down for any amount of time I was a train wreck. If I was busy at the time it was even worse since I work out of a home office. I know for a fact I lost at least one contract because my service was out for an afternoon.

Thinking about going total cloud makes me imagine that scenario jacked up a few orders of magnitude. If your documents are in the cloud any outage takes them away. Running a cloud operating system? A blackout means a black desktop.

Anyone who runs a business using Gmail for a primary email and Google Apps for document storgage was totally shut down Tuesday afternoon.

Cloud computing definitely has some serious kinks to work out before it’s a serious option for real-world application.

From the link:

What have we learned from Google‘s latest outage? That 99.9 percent uptime doesn’t matter during the other one-tenth of one percent.

Yesterday’s outage was not Google’s first. They don’t happen very often, but they do happen often enough that anyone seriously considering Google for cloud computing ought to think again.

Gmail is the core of the Google Apps suite that is targeting Microsoft Office. Imagine Google does that successfully and tens, maybe hundreds of millions of users’ connected offices go offline simultaneously due to some Google glitch.

(My colleague Ian Paul agrees that the outage casts a dark cloud over cloud computing).

That prospect ought to be enough for sensible people to let others enjoy Google’s growing pains. Which is also why Gmail and Google Apps users are wise to retain other ways of getting their work done. But, if we can’t rely on Google Apps, why are we using them?


September 2, 2009

Monetizing YouTube …

through streaming movie rental. Interesting idea since YouTube is currently something of a monetary black hole with massive bandwidth costs.

From the WSJ link:

Google Inc.’s YouTube is in discussions with major movie studios about allowing users to stream movies on a rental basis, according to people familiar with the company’s plans, marking one of the video giant’s first moves toward charging for content instead of making it available free with advertising.

While some studios already make full-length movies available on YouTube, they tend to be older, lesser-known titles. Now YouTube is talking to Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.,Sony Corp. and Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. about integrating newer titles into the existing YouTube site.

Most newer titles would carry a rental charge. In some cases, these titles might be available the same day they come out on DVD. It is unclear to what extent older movies or television shows will be part of the new agreements.

A YouTube spokesman said the company is always working to expand on “its great relationships with movie studios and on the selection and types of videos we offer our community.”

While details vary from studio to studio, generally speaking the agreements would allow consumers to stream movies for a fee. However, in some cases, the movies would be available the same way that they have been previously on YouTube — free, with advertising.

Negotiations are continuing and there are no guarantees a deal will be struck. Many details remain in flux, including whether users also will eventually be able to download movies.

August 28, 2009

Google Chrome mini-review

Filed under: Media, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:30 pm

Finally broke down and actually tried out Chrome.

The quick reaction? I like it.

It’s pretty spare and not totally user friendly for this particular user, but it feels agile, websites look good, no Flash problems (hint go the Chrome features page and get the auto-download for the plug-in there) and feels a little quicker than my current IE install.

Update 8/29/09 — It’s definitely more quick and might end up my default browser. All in all I’m very impressed with Mountain View’s entry into the browser wars.

August 26, 2009

Wireless industry under the gun

Filed under: Business, Politics, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:13 pm

I won’t go all the way out to say the wireless sector regularly engages in bad business practices, but it’s pretty hard to argue the industry has been best serving the customer for, let’s say, the last 15 years.

Good luck in staring down a government with rolled-up sleeves and the political will to impose heavy regulation on offending businesses.

More regulation may not be the answer, but a bit more electronics liberation would be nice.

Check out the disingenuous quote from the CTIA veep below — wireless offerings are cheaper than 15 (fifteen!) years ago? Really? And there are services you can get today that weren’t available in 1994? Wow that progress thing is just so cool! Thanks for setting this story straight Mr. Spokesman.

From the link:

Facing an unprecedented onslaught of criticism of its pricing practices, exclusive handset deals and other moves, the wireless industry is gearing up to defend itself in hearings before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other government groups.”The wireless industry in the U.S. has the coolest handsets, the applications are more robust, and the networks have the highest speeds with the lowest pricing,” said Christopher Guttman-McCabe, vice president of regulatory affairs at the CTIA in an interview today. “Can things get better? Yes. But things will get better.”

The CTIA, an association of carriers, handset makers and a growing number of wireless ecosystem players like Google Inc., says it is a bit confused by the level of criticism heaped upon the industry in recent weeks. Critics have leveled a variety of complaints ranging from what they contend is a lack of wireless innovation to overcharging for monthly services, Guttman-McCabe said.

Click here to find out more!“I think it’s extremely hard to understand the criticism we’re hearing,” Guttman-McCabe said. “People pay … a hell of a lot less than they paid [for wireless services] 15 years ago, and think of what you get now that you couldn’t get then.”The CTIA is planning to carefully watch the FCC’s meeting on Thursday to consider whether to conduct three probes, or “inquiries,” into the wireless industry. The FCC will decide whether it will work to find ways to encourage wireless vendors to be more innovative, competitive and open in providing information to consumers looking to buy wireless services.

August 12, 2009

Microsoft and Nokia join forces to take on BlackBerry

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:54 am

First Google hints at using Android to challenge Research in Motion’s BlackBerry for business mobile dominance, now Microsoft and Nokia announce a partnership for the same purpose.

Industry insiders have been speculating BlackBerry is sitting at an absolute peak and has nowhere to go but down. Looks like a lot of players have decided to enter the business mobile fray and put some of the speculation to the test.

From the second link:

Microsoft Corp and Nokia announced an alliance on Wednesday to bring advanced business software to smartphones in a bid to counter the dominance of Research in Motion Ltd’s Blackberry device.The alliance between the world’s largest software firm and the largest cellphone maker means the latest online versions of Microsoft’s Office suite of applications, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint, will be available on a range of Nokia handheld devices.

The two companies, at one time fierce rivals in the mobile telecommunications business, expect to offer Nokia phones running Office sometime next year, targeting the lucrative market for business users.

“This is giving some of our competitors — let’s spell it out, RIM — a run for their money,” said Nokia executive vice president Robert Andersson, in a telephone interview.

August 7, 2009

Microsoft cooks Bing search results

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:18 pm

Disappointing and potentially lethal to the popularity of Bing, Microsoft’s reworked and rebranded search engine. The ad campaign was working, the Yahoo deal complete and it looked like Microsoft was doing something right in the search space.

And now this.

From the link:

Case in point: a search on Bing for the phrase, “Why is Windows so expensive?” returned this as the top link….

“Why are Macs so expensive.”

That’s right. You’re not hallucinating. That was the top response on Bing to a question about the price of Windows.

But it’s not just the top link. The rest of the links on the first search page don’t get much better. There is one link about the price of vinyl windows (actual windows that you look out), one on why Windows hosting providers are so expensive, and one about fish. The five other links on page one are about the expensive price of Macs. The Windows client OS is not even mentioned.

If Microsoft is going to resort to blocking and self-protection with their search engine, they could at least be subtle. This is about as subtle as a machine gun.

Also from the link:

The first of the search results about the Microsoft Word question linked to a page about how expensive Manhattan is (Is Microsoft competing with Manhattan now?). The top responses to the “Is Microsoft Evil?” question were, get this, a link to a New York Times story about whether or not Google is considered evil, a link about proxy servers, and a link to a story about Microsoft being charitable. Wow.

To be fair Microsoft has responded search results are based on an algorithm, blah, blah …

The results found in the linked article are more than fishy, and Microsoft is under a pretty heavy burden in public perception to avoid looking like, well looking exactly as the Redmond behemoth does right now.

August 6, 2009

Will Google’s Android challenge BlackBerry …

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:27 pm

… as the go-to option business mobile? Looks like Google is at least making a push that direction.

From the link:

Google says future versions of its Android operating system will have a more business focus, putting it in greater competition with RIM. This is from a Reuters reportthat simply confirms the obvious: BlackBerry seems ripe for picking.

According to the news service, “Andy Rubin, Google’s top Android executive, said on Friday that as well as expanding consumer features like social networking and gaming, future Android versions would support businesses who give phones to employees working on the road.”

July 16, 2009

Google, New America Foundation and public opinion on the National Broadband Plan

A release from today’s inbox:

For Immediate Release

July 16, 2009 

As part of the economic stimulus legislation (ARRA), Congress charged the FCC with creating a National Broadband Plan by next February.
The Commission has called for “maximum civic engagement” in developing a broadband strategy, reflecting input from all stakeholders.  Initial comments have been filed and now it’s the public’s turn to contribute their views and ideas.
To encourage public input, the New America Foundation is joining forces with Google to launch a Google Moderator page to aggregate public opinion on this critical policy issue. Google Moderator provides the general public with a forum to submit and vote on ideas you think the Commission should include in its National Broadband Plan.
After two weeks, Google and NAF will take the most popular and most innovative ideas and submit them to the official record at the FCC on your behalf.
We hope you will post your views on Google Moderator – and also forward this to your contacts and constituents. 
We can all help answer the FCC’s call for input from stakeholders ‘outside the beltway,’ including “industry, American consumers; large and small businesses; federal, state, local, and tribal governments; and disabled communities.”  
Among the key elements of a national broadband plan under consideration:

  • The most effective and efficient ways to ensure ubiquitous broadband access for all Americans;
  • Strategies for achieving affordability and maximum utilization of broadband infrastructure and services;
  • Evaluation of the status of broadband deployment, including the progress of related grant programs;
  • How to use broadband to advance consumer welfare, civic participation, public safety and homeland security, community development, health care delivery, energy efficiency, education, worker training, entrepreneurial activity, job creation and other national purposes.

As Commissioner Michael Copps noted, “Broadband can be the great enabler that . . . opens doors of opportunity for all Americans to pass through, no matter who they are, where they live, or the particular circumstances of their individual lives.”  A national broadband plan promises far-reaching consequences for economic growth and equal opportunity across all sectors for decades to come.
You can join the discussion at: http://moderator.appspot.com/#16/e=a4977 

New America’s Wireless Future Program develops and advocates policy proposals aimed at achieving universal and affordable wireless broadband access, expanding public access to the airwaves and updating our nation’s communications infrastructure in the digital era. For more information, visit http://www.newamerica.net/programs/wireless_future.
About the New America Foundation
The New America Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute that invests in new thinkers and new ideas to address the next generation of challenges facing the United States.

July 8, 2009

Google to offer netbook OS

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:10 pm

Taking another swipe at Redmond, it’ll be interesting to see if Google tries to port this new OS up to the desktop if the netbook rollout is successful.

From the link:

Google Inc plans to attack Microsoft Corp’s core business by taking on the software giant’s globally dominant Windows operating system for personal computers.Google, which already offers a suite of e-mail, Web and other software products that compete with Microsoft, said on Tuesday it would launch a new operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks.

Microsoft shares fell 1.4 percent to $22.22 in early Nasdaq trade on Wednesday. Google shares rose 1.2 percent to $401.36.

Called the Google Chrome Operating System, the new software will be in netbooks for consumers in the second half of 2010, Google said in a blog post, adding that it was working with multiple manufacturers.

July 2, 2009

Expanding your search engine horizons

Filed under: Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:26 pm

There’s more out there in the online search space than Google, Microsoft’s Live … — er, Bing, and Yahoo. The new Wolfram|Alpha decision engine comes to mind.

Here’s five more search options from CIO.com.

Number three from the link:


Hunch is all about a decision engine, asking the user 10 questions or less to arrive at a solution to a problem or concern. At the core of the search site is a question selection algorithm built by Hunch’s small collection of Massachusetts Institute of Technology computer scientists with backgrounds in machine learning.

The design is such that questions are asked just like a human would structure a line of questioning. The questions asked vary based on what has already been asked and how it was answered.

Click here to find out more! And Hunch is another search engine with a social aspect. The smarts are a collection of common knowledge derived from users who can submit new topics, questions to ask and decision outcomes.Hunch says its algorithm is a mathematical framework married with a group of users who provide “personality by contributing to it and making it clever, funny, and nuanced.”

May 30, 2009

Google Wave

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:24 pm

I don’t see this overtaking email, but it’s an interesting idea. You have to hand it to Google, it really does get outside the box to find brand new utilites and apps.

From the link:

Google co-founder Sergey Brin has put his reputation behind a project launched today by a team from Google Australia which seeks to overthrow email as the dominant mode of internet communication and replace it with a new hybrid.

“What we are seeing with Wave really rethinks how communication works,” Brin said today. “I think you will see a form of interaction that you would not have previously imagined.”

Christened Wave, the new system is a combination of email and instant messaging and document-, maps- image- and video-sharing all housed in one spot (screenshots can be found here).

Much like a conference call, it also allows for conversations between more than two people to happen simultaneously. And it can happen in different languages using an instantaneous translation tool.

And because it all takes place inside a web browser, there is no special software to download or plug-in – which means it can be used from any computer or internet-enabled mobile phone.

Update 6-1-09 — More on Wave from CIO.com.

May 29, 2009

Microsoft announces Bing as new search engine

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:18 pm

Bing is the latest incarnation of Microsoft’s search engine space efforts. I really don’t see how this latest rebranding will do anything in terms of market share for the Redmond behemoth, but I guess it won’t do any real harm either. Google is just dominant and the brand new engine with brand new tech in Wolfram Alpha will continue getting all the buzz.

Just on timing and the overall feel we’ve seen this before, I’m going to say this is another misfire from Microsoft.

From the link:

Microsoft’s latest vehicle for achieving the elusive goal of Web dominance is Bing. Previously known as Kumo while in development, Bing replaces Microsoft’s Live Searchbrand and carries forward the company’s strategy for taking on Google and Yahoo. Besides introducing a new look to Microsoft’s search interface, Bing adds a spruced-up navigation for search results, including a new left-hand navigation bar, a hover feature that lets users preview Web pages before visiting them, and a categorized search feature that groups search results by topic category.Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer publically demonstrated Bing for the first time Tuesday at the D: All Things Digital technology conference. Bing goes live to the public beginning on June 3; it will be phased in over the course of several days.

May 21, 2009

Cloud computing not ready for prime time

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:51 pm

A fact pounded home by Google’s recent problems with outages and malicious links in search results.

Here’s a CIO.com article on cloud computing and why a slow and steady approach is best:

These are troubling events that illustrate just how perilous the cloud can be. But don’t believe those who suggest this is a new threat. It merely validates the security concerns smart people have been raising for a very long time.

One of the people I trust on this issue is Chris Hoff, whose recent cloud security talk at SOURCE Boston attracted a crowd that included security luminaries like Dan Geer [ CSO podcast interview with Geer] and Marcus Ranum.

Hoff has warned repeatedly that companies are moving too fast on cloud computing without truly understanding what it’s about first. [“This love affair with abusing the amorphous thing called ‘THE Cloud’ is rapidly approaching meteoric levels of asininity,” he told me in one interview.]

Another voice I trust on the issue is Ariel Silverstone, a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces with experience in physical and information security who regularly contributes to information technology certification exams and to newspapers, magazines and online publications like CSOonline.

In his latest CSO column [ Cloud Security: Danger (and Opportunity) Ahead] Silverstone noted that the breathtaking pace of cloud computing adoption demands that the technology evolve with stronger security woven into the architecture.

“We approach quickly the point in which the amount of data and of processing in the cloud will be not only unmanageable but also pose a security and related privacy risk to the users of the data, and to people who the data concerns,” he wrote.

May 11, 2009

Google better watch out …

Filed under: Business, Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:02 pm

… the U.S. government is about to crack down on antitrust regulation.

April 28, 2009

A Google Profiles primer

Filed under: Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:21 pm

Courtesy of CIO.com. A nice breakdown of how to set up a Google Profile and why you might want to do it.

From the link:

This week, Google launched Google Profiles, which lets you build an online biography listing your interests, educational and professional background, and links to your data on websites like Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.

While some industry analysts view Google Profiles as a competitor to Facebook’s profiles, Google says the main purpose of Google Profiles (right now) is to create a centralized repository for your information on the Web, so that when someone uses Google’s search engine to find you, they actually find you, not another person with the same name.

April 15, 2009

No rush to monetize Twitter …

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:06 pm

… according to co-founder Biz Stone. The buzz and profile is skyrocketing, but at some point that will max out. This should be an interesting rollout to keep your eyes on because at some point some serious money will change hands for an open API application that lets people send 140 characters at a pop. Think about that for a second and then realize there is no way to predict what will hit next in the online universe.

From the link:

“It’s not tough for us because we have a lot of money in the bank and patient investors [and a] patient board,” said Stone, adding that the company first wants to focus on growing the network, increasing its user base and adding new features to the site. “We want to focus on this before profit. If we focus on profit, then we take people away from focusing on features.”

Online pundits and bloggers have been closely eyeballing Twitter and criticizing the company’s lack of a business plan, doling out dire warnings about the future of the microblogging site unless it comes up with a viable strategy for making money sometime very soon.

A Wall Street Journal blog post written by Kara Swisher on Thursday is whipping up the rumor mill again.

About a week after rumors flew saying that Google Inc. was in talks to buy Twitter, Swisher’s post led to reports that Google and Microsoft Corp. are sparring to grab a piece of Twitter’s potential search advertising revenue.

In other Twitter news, hit this link for information about the Twitter worm and how to combat the virus.

Find me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/davidkonline.

April 7, 2009

Twitter and Google

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:08 pm

Here’s a CIO.com Web 2.0 adviser post on whether Twitter makes a better fit with Google because of its searchable information or Facebook for the social networking aspect. Efforts to monetize Twitter ought to be interesting as well as tracking its potential acquisition.

You find me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/davidkonline.

From the CIO.com link:

We pump lots of information into Twitter, and Google has shown, time and again, that it’s the mechanism on the Web that lets us sort through that information.

But to me, Twitter is just as much about people as it is information, and that’s where a Google acquisition falls a little short. While Google’s social team has been making some innovative products (like Friend Connect), the company hasn’t been the place where people want to connect with the people important to them in their life; Facebook has been that place for a couple years now.

April 1, 2009

April Fool’s fun …

Filed under: et.al., Technology — Tags: , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:02 pm

from Google.

March 10, 2009

Google’s Android on the desktop?

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:53 pm

It may just end up there.

From the link:

It’s not news that Microsoft will get Windows 7 out as fast as possible this year. Vista has been a complete dog, so Microsoft will rush to deliver what is essentially a cleaned-up, lightweight version. What is news is that Google will have its own contender for desktop operating system king: Android.

Android, you ask? What would a Linux-based phone operating system be doing on the desktop? Running it, perhaps. You see, Matthäus Krzykowski and Daniel Hartmann, founders of start-up Mobile-facts, discovered late last year that Android has two product policies in its code. Product policies, they explained, are instructions in an operating system aimed at specific uses. Android’s two policies are phones and MIDs (mobile Internet devices). You probably know MIDs by their more popular name: netbooks.

The light begins to dawn, doesn’t it? But just because a program says it can do a job doesn’t mean it can actually deliver the goods. Recall, for example, just how well Vista ran on “Vista Capable” PCs.

So, Krzykowski and Hartmann decided to see if they could get Android to work on a netbook.

It took them about four hours to compile Android for an Asus’ Eee PC 1000H. Then, they reported on VentureBeat.com, “we got the netbook fully up and running on it, with nearly all of the necessary hardware you’d want — including graphics, sound and wireless card for Internet.” In other words, Android is already a desktop operating system.

February 26, 2009

Google tweets …

Filed under: Media, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:26 pm

… a riddle.

The first tweet from Google’s Twitter account (@google):


And here’s some context and explanation:

Roughly translated to : I’m F E E L I N G L U C K Y

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a sign. No, it’s not a sign of a Google acquisition, although John Battelle did start off my morning with an excellent post on how Twitter is the new YouTube :

So why did Google really buy YouTube? My answer, which of course looks brilliant given it’s 20/20 hindsight: YouTube was a massive search asset.

After all, YouTube now gets more searches than Yahoo, Google’s closest search rival.

Battelle argues that Twitters main asset may not be its userbase or its buzz, but its “Real time. Converational Search

So, does Google opening up it’s Twitter account with binary riddles spell the ultimate acquisition of Twitter by Google. Not really. Instead it more or less signifies that Google has accepted Twitter as a form of mass communication in the same way that Google was interested in Blogger and Blogging. Remember when the Official Google Blog was first launched in 2004? Before that, Google relied on Google Groups and various webmaster forums to communicate with its users, webmasters, publishers and other target audiences.

October 16, 2008

Google’s profit up over 25%

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:16 pm

Big Q3 numbers for Google.

From the WSJ link:

Google Inc.’s quarterly profit rose 26% as revenue jumped with strong demand for online search advertising despite the turbulent U.S. economy.

The Mountain View., Calif., search giant Thursday posted third-quarter net income of $1.35 billion, or $4.24 a share, up from $1.07 billion, or $3.38 a share, in the same period last year.

Revenue jumped 31% from a year earlier to $5.54 billion. Excluding traffic acquisition costs, or commissions paid to marketing partners, the search giant’s revenue rose 34% to $4.04 billion.

Google’s U.S. paid clicks–which includes clicks related to ads served on Google’s site as well as partner sites–grew 18% from a year earlier.

October 3, 2008

Microsoft gets scare as P&G considered Google Apps

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:28 am

This CIO.com article outlines the measures Microsoft went to in order to keep Procter & Gamble as a customer. P&G was seriously considering moving the entire company away from Microsoft products in favor of Google Apps after some in the company were using, and liking, the Google product.

From the link:

Microsoft is now taking the threat from Google quite seriously: In July 2008 COO Kevin Turner was dispatched to consumer-products giant Procter & Gamble to dissuade P&G from moving to Google Apps—and ditching Microsoft.

Back in February 2007, Google launched the Google Apps edition for businesses. Executives told media outlets that initial customers included a unit of Procter & Gamble. At some point in 2008, hundreds of P&G employees were testing Google’s e-mail, word-processing and spreadsheet applications as potential replacements for Microsoft products, according to a recent Bloomberg article about the P&G incident.

P&G execs viewed Google’s new tools as cheaper and more Internet-capable options than what Microsoft was delivering. (To read two stories of large organizations adopting Google Apps, see “Fighting Government Waste One Google App At a Time” and “Cost Savings Found When Microsoft Outlook Ousted for Gmail at British Construction Firm.”)

P&G, of course, is a massive consumer products goods company, with $84 billion in annual revenue this past year. To lose that kind of a customer—especially to Google—would have been catastrophic for Microsoft.

September 25, 2008

Google’s $10M challenge

Filed under: Business, et.al., Media, Technology — Tags: , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:09 pm

From KurzweilAI.net — Google is putting $10 million up for “changing the world.” 

Google offers $10M for ideas that can ‘change the world’
Computerworld, Sep. 24, 2008

Google has unveiled a $10 million effort to implement ideas that can “change the world by helping as many people as possible.”

As part of the Project 10^100 (pronounced Project 10 to the 100th), Google plans to ask its users to submit ideas until Oct. 20 for ways to improve people’s lives. Google will choose what it feels are the 100 best ideas and then allow its users to vote on which of them should be funded.

The users will narrow the results to 20 finalists, and a panel of judges will choose up to five ideas that will receive funding.
Read Original Article>>

September 24, 2008

Google’s OS for mobile phones introduced

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:20 am

Android, Google’s operating system for mobile devices was introduced yesterday. Looks like Google is pushing hard into established spaces — the browser war with Chrome, iPhone’s ubiquity with the Android OS, etc.

From the Technology Review link:

At a press conference in New York yesterday, Google and T-Mobile showed off the long-anticipated G1, a powerful smartphone that runs Google’s Android operating system for mobile devices.

The handset, priced at $179, will be available from T-Mobile on October 22. It boasts features to rank it at the top end of the smartphone market, and its software offers some neat surprises and tricks. At the same time, the G1 undoubtedly lacks the sparkle of the iPhone, probably its closest competitor. Furthermore, some experts question whether Google’s scheme for delivering new applications for the phone–an online store called Android Market–could run into problems that slow down mass adoption.

T-Mobile’s G1 is the first phone that uses Google’s Android operating system.

T-Mobile’s G1 is the first phone that uses Google’s Android operating system.

September 22, 2008

The internet is not making us more dumb

Filed under: Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:48 pm

From KurzweilAI.net — this article directly challenges Nicolas Carr’s Atlantic piece from the July/August issue that opined the internet is dumbing down its users. I blogged on that bit here.

I fall on the side of this New York Times article. Google, the internet in general and other online tools are a great boon, not a hindrance for users. Collectively all these powerful applications and databases are liberating.

But don’t get me started on “text speak.”

Technology Doesn’t Dumb Us Down. It Frees Our Minds.
New York Times, Sep. 20, 2008

Over the course of human history, writing, printing, computing and Googling have only made it easier to think and communicate, says Times writer Damon Darlin, challenging an article in The Atlantic magazine called “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”

Read Original Article>>

September 13, 2008

Daft Punk’s “Interstella 5555”

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Media — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:06 pm

This anime was released in 2003 and came out in DVD early last year. I’ve had a copy for a while and finally got around to watching it this week. Pretty cool. It’s anime with a plotline, but no lines for the characters. Daft Punk’s music is the soundtrack and the driver of the plot.

A little hard to explain, but pretty cool to watch. It’s described as an “animated house musical” and the full title is, “Interstella 5555, The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem.”

Here’s a link to the Wikipedia page, the IMDB pagethe page at Daftpunk’s site and a Google search for the film.

If you like Daft Punk, check this out, and if you enjoy anime you’d probably still like this quirky “story” of a rock band from across the universe kidnapped and hauled to Earth. You’ll just have to watch it to find out what happens in the end …

From the Wikipedia link:

Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem (インターステラ5555 Intāsutera Fō Faibu?) is a feature-length Japanese animated musical film originally released on December 1, 2003.[1] The film is the visual realization of Discovery, an album by Daft Punk. Each track from the album has been animated as an episode in the story of the abduction and rescue of an interstellar pop band. The film was produced by the creators of the Discovery album, along with Toei Animation, under the supervision of Leiji Matsumoto.[2] The film has no dialogue and minimal sound effects.

Hit this link to find Daft Punk – Interstella 5555 at Amazon.

September 9, 2008

Infovell mines the deep Web

This may turn out to be a very important tool specifically for research, but really even for basic web searching for detailed information.

From the link:

According to a study by the University of California at Berkeley, traditional search engines such as Google and Yahoo index only about 0.2% of the Internet. The remaining 99.8%, known as the “deep Web,” is a vast body of public and subscription-based information that traditional search engines can’t access.

To dig into this “invisible” information, scientists have developed a new search engine called Infovell geared at helping researchers find often obscure data in the deep Web. As scientists working on the Human Genome Project, Infovell´s founders designed the new searching technology based on methods in genomics research. Instead of using keywords, Infovell accepts much longer search terms, and in any language.



Infovell is being demonstrated at DEMOfall08, a conference for emerging technologies taking place in San Diego on September 7-9. Users can sign up for a 30-day risk-free trial at Infovell´s Web site, and Infovell is initially available on a subscription basis. Later this year, Infovell will release a free beta version on a limited basis without some of the advanced features in the premium version.

September 8, 2008

Yahoo-Google pact gets “thumbs down” from ad group

The online ad partnership between Google and Yahoo is opposed by the Association of National Advertisers. The group sent a letter to the Justice Department to voice its concerns.

From the link:

The Association of National Advertisers said on its Web site that the letter to Thomas Barnett, assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s antitrust division, came after a “comprehensive, independent analysis” and meetings with Google and Yahoo executives.

The ANA did not disclose the text of the letter but said it states its concern that “a Google-Yahoo partnership will control 90 percent of search advertising inventory and … will likely diminish competition, increase concentration of market power, limit choices currently available and potentially raise prices to advertisers for high quality, affordable search advertising.”

The ANA says it represents 400 companies – including Apple Inc., The Coca-Cola Co., Exxon Mobil Corp., Proctor & Gamble Co. and General Motors Corp. – with 9,000 brands.

September 1, 2008

Google restarts browser war

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:24 pm

Interesting move from Mountain View:

Google Inc. plans to launch its own Web browser, people familiar with the matter said, in the latest twist in a battle with Microsoft Corp. over key Internet technologies.

The browser, called Google Chrome, is likely to be announced soon, according to these people. They say software is designed to make it easier and faster to browse the Web, by offering enhanced address-bar features and other elements that are very different from those on other browsers. The product will be open-sourced, meaning others can modify the code.

News of the project spread after an unconventional leak. Google Blogoscoped, a blog that follows the company, reported Monday that Google had sent it a comic book outlining the specifications of the browser – which include a new format for “tabs” and the ability to view Web pages as thumbnails.

The launch is a risky move for Google, which competes against Microsoft’s search service but has has so far refrained from taking on the near-monopoly of its Internet Explorer browser. While there has been speculation for years that Google has been working on a browser, the Internet company has preferred to focus on Web applications and supported other browsers trying to compete indirectly.

For the record, this move should not affect Google’s involvement with Mozilla/Firefox. The two groups recently extended their agreement to 2011.

August 14, 2008

Wikipedia to enter web search space

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:12 pm

Currently 90% of all web searches are conducted through Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, wants to broaden the search marketplace, and take on some internet giants in the process.

From the PhysOrg.com link:

Wales said Wikia Search will run on an open platform, similar to the principles behind Wikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia in which entries can be made and edited by anyone with an Internet connection.

“All of the existing search engines are proprietary black boxes,” said Wales. “You have no idea how things are ranked and what’s going on.”

With Wikia Search, users “can participate in meaningful ways” when they browse the Internet, he said.

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