Archive for the ‘Google’ Category
Straight from Slashdot: “After maneuvering the major carriers into agreeing to open access rules via the recent spectrum auction, Google appears to be looking into a new area of spectrum that could provide internet connectivity. ‘In comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission, the Internet leader outlined plans for low-power devices that use local wireless airwaves to access the ‘white space’ between television channels. A Google executive called the plan ‘Wi-Fi 2.0 or Wi-Fi on steroids.’ Interestingly, Google has Microsoft, Intel, and others on their side in this one. Was this spectrum their target all along?”
Straight from Ars Technica: “The search giant has just announced its plans to enter the 700MHz spectrum auction in January, potentially paving the way for a transformation of the US wireless space. In a statement, a Google spokesperson told Ars, “Our goal is to make sure that American consumers have more choices in an open and competitive wireless world. FCC rules require us to reveal our plans by December 3, and we fully intend to do so. In the meantime, we are making all the necessary preparations to become an applicant to bid in the auction.”
Coupled with the company’s recent launch of Android and formation of the Open Handset Alliance, the announcement is certain to ignite a new round of frenzied speculation about just what, exactly, the Big G would do with a nationwide swath of 700MHz spectrum.
Conventional wisdom has had it that Google has no interest in actually becoming a network provider, what with all the hassles from those grubby customers who can’t make feature X work on Y handset. And then there’s billing and engineering and marketing and local storefronts and all the rest of it that makes up a modern wireless carrier’s operations.
But if Google is truly serious about the four open access provisions it pushed at the FCC earlier this year, that may not be the company’s plan at all. One of those provisions would have forced any winning bidder on the spectrum to lease network access at wholesale rates to others, thus paving the way for a host of innovative wireless providers who could not afford to build a national infrastructure themselves. The FCC rejected that provision, but there’s nothing keeping Google from supporting the idea itself.”
Straight from Slashdot: “A court in Brussels, Belgium, has just found Google guilty of violating copyright law with its Google News aggregator. According to the ruling, Google News’ links and brief summaries of news sources violates copyright law. Google will be forced to pay $32,600 for each day it displayed the links of the plaintiffs. Although Google plans to appeal, this ruling could have chilling effects on fair use rights on the web in the rest of Europe as well if other countries follow suit.”
Straight from Slashdot: “A court in Belgium has found that Google’s website caching policies are a violation of that nation’s copyright laws. The finding is that Google’s cache offers effectively free access to articles that, while free initially, are archived and charged for via subscriptions. Google claims that they only store short extracts, but the court determined that’s still a violation. From the court’s ruling: ‘It would be up to copyright owners to get in touch with Google by e-mail to complain if the site was posting content that belonged to them. Google would then have 24 hours to withdraw the content or face a daily fine of 1,000 euros ($1,295 U.S.).’”
Straight from Slashdot: “Marking the 25th anniversary of Banned Books Week, Google is inviting users to celebrate their freedom to read by making Banned Books available to all. From the Google Blog: “…you can use Google Book Search to explore some of the best novels of the 20th century which have been challenged or banned.” Those books challenged this year include ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and ‘Lolita’.”
Straight from Ars Technica: “Search giant Google has launched a new project hosting service for open source software. Designed to leverage the robust Subversion version control system, the new service provides repository hosting and support for issue tracking. With extremely limited functionality and plenty of rough edges, the nascent open source project hosting service is noticeably inferior to most other Google betaware. Despite the deficiencies, the project has potential, and it will probably become more useful as it continues to evolve. The main page bears the common open source meme “Release early, release often,” a principle that Google seems to have embraced with great enthusiasm given the raw status of the system.”
Straight from Slashdot: “eBay has added Google Checkout to the list of payment options banned on eBay. A recent update to the Accepted Payments Policy includes Google Checkout (click on ‘Show’ next to ‘Some Examples’ to reveal the list). More comments on this action can be found at the eBay Strategies Blog.”
Straight from Ars Technica: “Google has strong words for legislators who are currently mulling over net neutrality issues: the company will take any perceived abuse to the US Department of Justice. Speaking at a news conference in Bulgaria, Internet pioneer and now Google VP Vint Cerf said that the company will be “happy” if legislators ultimately opt to support net neutrality principles, but in the absence of such support, the company will take a wait-and-see approach.”
Straight from Slashdot: “KinderStart, whose page hits and AdSense revenue dropped sharply after changes by Google demoted its appearance in search results, brought suit claiming the search engine effectively suppressed its first amendment rights by lowering the site’s visibility. While the Court rejected that argument out-of-hand, it appeared more amenable to KinderStart’s argument that since it was a search page, Google’s suppression of a rival search engine is prohibited by antitrust laws. The suit may go forward with the judge’s commentary.”
Straight from Slashdot: “Google is set to introduce a test version of its GBuy online-payment service as early as this week, presaging a shake-up in the online-payments market now dominated by eBay’s PayPal, the Wall Street Journal reports. From the article: ‘Here is how the service will work: Consumers who search for items like “shoes” or “strollers” on Google’s search site will see text ads with a symbol or icon designating advertisers that accept GBuy payments. Shoppers normally would have clicked on an ad and been linked to that merchant’s Web site. Now, while they will still be linked to the merchant’s site, they will go through a different checkout process integrated with Google if they choose GBuy for their transaction. Details of the service could still change before Google’s official GBuy announcement.’”
Straight from Slashdot: “A story just released by the Inquirer shows that 80% of incoming search requests from Microsoft’s domain arrived via Google’s search engine. In contrast, 64% of Yahoo! staff and 100% of Google staff use their own company’s search engine. How’s that for a product endorsement? I’d guess that Microsoft may soon add google.com to the list of blocked URL’s on their intranet.”
Straight from Ars Technica: “Businesses in general, and technology companies in particular, tend to regard increased federal regulation with the distaste usually reserved for blind, furry crabs. That’s why the recent spectacle of big business petitioning the government to pass the laws is so intriguing. The Consumer Privacy Legislative Forum today released a statement calling on Congress to enact a comprehensive data privacy bill that would help reassure consumers that their private information is safe both online and off.”
Looks like Google decided to fire a shot across the bow of Flickr.
Straight from Slashdot: "We're very happy to announce that the a new version of Google Earth has been released. It features 3D textured buildings, some neat UI updates, better internationalization and, with this release, a native Linux version is available for download as well. The Google Earth team (with the help of Ryan Gordon) worked very hard to make this possible. Please see the Earth support site and check out the BBS for more information."
There is also an excellent comment posted on Slashdot regarding this story that details one person's experience using Google Earth to help deal with the aftermath of Katrina in New Orleans. It's definitely worth the read if you have time.
Straight from Ars Technica: "Googlespotting can be an amusing if sometimes tiresome game, with many stories (such as the GoogleOS and Google Browser) turning out to be nothing more than wishful thinking on the part of eager Internet denizens. However, occasionally the rumors turn out to be true, especially if they are backed up by a reliable source.In this case, the source is the Wall Street Journal, which has reported (subscription required) that Google is planning to release their own spreadsheet application to compete with Microsoft Excel.
This news comes on the heels of the company's March purchase of the web-based word processing application Writely. Writely was billed as "The Web Word Processor," and used AJAX, XML, and ASP.NET technology to deliver a fairly convincing simulation of a word processor, albeit a fairly feature-thin one. The program allowed the import of Microsoft Word documents and featured the ability to easily collaborate with other users, as well as offering quick and easy publishing in HTML format for the web."
Straight from Ars Technica: "Google Notebook has finally arrived. What is it? Google calls it "an online 'notebook' where you can organize all your research, add personal notes to it, and share it with others," and this is an apt description. A more technical description might describe Google Notebook as a kind of "web clipboard," inasmuch as you can "cut and paste" links, text, images, etc., into your online notebook.Better than "cut and paste," Google Notebook uses browser extensions to allow users to easily mark materials using a right-click contextual menu, as pictured below. The two-click operation silently adds the item to your Google Notebook, which you can then retrieve later from any location. Google Notebook users will also see modified Google search results, with "Note this" appearing to the right of the usual "Cached – Similar Pages" links on search results."
Straight from Ars Technica: "Today the company announced a grab bag of new services and updated products: Google Co-op Beta; a community-based tagging system where users can label web pages for relevance; Google Desktop 4 Beta, an improved version of their indexed file searching tool; and Google Trends, a statistical analysis page that shows how often search terms are being used and in what geographical locations."
Straight from Ars Technica: "Google Desktop 4 brings us Google Gadgets, which are basically an update to Google's panels, but with extra eye candy. If you have used Mac OS X or Konfabulator, they should look very familiar. Like the Panels, Gadgets can either live in your sidebar, or be pulled out to float above or below your other application windows, Konfabulator-style. Upon installing Google Desktop 4, users are presented with a window chock full of gadget options (there are nearly 160 of them available as of the launch). These range from the usual clock and calendar gadgets to the more esoteric like Cricket scores and a virtual flower pot. Your Gadget settings can be saved online for a quick restore in the case of system crashes."
Straight from Ars Technica: "Google just rolled out their calendar application to the public (yes, it's in Beta now), and it looks quite usable. The rumors and screenshots were all true, and it looks like an attempt to return to Google's roots as a provider of simple, usable tools for everyday use."
Google, eBay And Amazon To AT&T: We'll Build Our Own Network
"AT&T and the telcos are threatening to charge Google and other Web sites extortion-type fees unless Google and others pay for adequate bandwidth. But Google and others may soon have this answer for them: No, thanks. We'll build our own fat pipe into customers' homes."