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Google on Ulitzer Consumer Watchdog  filed a Freedom of Information Act request today with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy seeking copies of email between Internet Policy chief Andrew McLaughlin and his former employer, Google Inc. The nonpartisan, nonprofit consumer group made the request after an online publication printed an article showing that McLaughlin's "Buzz" profile revealed that many of his most frequent email correspondents were Google employees. Before being appointed the OSTP's Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Internet Policy, McLaughlin was Google's head of Global Public Policy, its top global lobbyist. Consumer Watchdog opposed McLaughlin's appointment by President Obama saying that it violated the intent of the Administration's ethics rules meant to end the revolving door between lobbyists and the executive branch. "The ... (more)

Okta Seeks to Accelerate Secure Adoption of Cloud Apps

"Enterprises everywhere are realizing the inherent benefits of running their core IT services in the cloud,” said Todd McKinnon, most recently VP of Engineering at Salesforce.com from 2003 to 2009, and now CEO of the on-demand identity and access management service, Okta. "This shift fundamentally requires them to rethink their IT infrastructure and how their employees access it," McKinnon added. "Okta," he continued, "is the only enterprise class, on-demand service purpose built to help customer secure and manage their entire cloud services network and the people who need access to it, with no professional services required." McKinnon was commenting on the day that he and his team launched a new on-demand service to accelerate the secure adoption of Cloud Apps. Pandora, LiveOps, Enterasys, FusionStorm, and AMAG Pharmaceuticals are the first to roll out Okta identity... (more)

Google China Has Called the Movers: Reports

Google's reportedly admitting that it's met somebody that's bigger, tougher and even more dominance-minded than it is, namely the Chinese government, which isn't going to let a little thing like Google leaving the country come between it and a censored Internet. Whatever talks Google has had with the Chinese government have apparently gone nowhere. The Financial Times has it from "a person familiar with the company's thinking" that Google is 99.9% certain to shut down its Chinese search engine and has drawn up a detailed evacuation plan. The Chinese government, meanwhile, in a "here's your hat what's your hurry" public warning Friday told Google that if it imagines it can run an uncensored search engine even for a moment, well then, "that would be unfriendly, that would be irresponsible, and they would have to bear the consequences." The New York Times says the go... (more)

[Updated] Google Twists in the Wind over Beijing

Google's quixotic and poorly executed attempt to do business in China on its terms rather than the Chinese government's has suffered another serious setback. Google's Internet Content Providers (ICP) license to run google.cn expired on Wednesday and the Communist regime told the company it won't be renewed if Google keeps automatically redirecting google.cn search traffic to its uncensored Chinese language site in Hong Kong. That's where Google unilaterally retreated to in March after the government called its bluff on leaving the country if search was going to be censored. Now Google hopes that if it puts up an intermediate "landing page" where users have to click on the message "We have moved to google.com.hk" it won't get kicked out of the largest, fastest-growing Internet market in the world on its ear. If the gambit doesn't fly, well, as its general counsel Davi... (more)

Google Cloud Client Almost Here

The rumors are approaching consensus that a pair of new netbooks running the Google Chrome OS may/will be available early in the New Year.  The details of the specs and marketing plans are still a bit vague, but we do know that they will run the Chrome OS, which is best imagined as the Chrome web browser and the Linux operating system grafted together. We think that they will be called "Smartbooks".  We have a persistent, unconfirmed notion that they will be Google-branded.  And, we suppose that Google may sell them directly, possibly supplemented by other channels.  After the Google Nexus One smartphone fiasco, though, the odds of Google branding and selling them directly are far from certain. If you believe a lot of what has been written so far, you might think that Smartbook is a misnomer.  Much of the reporting about the Google netbooks refers to them as "web-on... (more)

Obama Endorses the Value of U.S. Social Technologies

"We are the nation that put cars in driveways and computers in offices; the nation of Edison and the Wright brothers; of Google and Facebook. In America, innovation doesn’t just change our lives. It’s how we make a living." With this one sentence, spoken Tuesday during his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama ushered in once and for all the Age of Sociotechnology, the age that recognizes the importance of the interaction between people and technology in both workplaces and society. Obama recognizes perhaps better than anyone in America the extent to which technology nowadays is socially constructed and society is technically constructed. "We are the nation...of Google and Facebook" - those eight words may well go on to become the most significant President Obama has ever uttered to date. For better or for worse, it would seem that the destiny of the U.S.... (more)

Facebook, Google, and the Near-Term Future of the USA

On the day when the Dow Jones Industrial Average topped 12,000 for the first time since June 2008, it was impossible not to correlate the eloquence and optimism of President Obama's "State of the Union" speech on Tuesday night with the restoration of a sense of perspective and hope in the USA about the future. Obama grasped the nettle full-on. "We are poised for progress," he declared, adding: "Two years after the worst recession most of us have ever known, the stock market has come roaring back. Corporate profits are up. The economy is growing." As one blogger expressed it, though - and he is a former Goldman Sachs trader called Tyler Durden, so he ought to know wheref he speaks: "There was a massive pink elephant in the room called reality though." Durden's gripe is with what he deems to be the unreality of Obama's praising Google and Facebook so highly in an Ameri... (more)

Google’s Knowledge Graph Bringing Semantics to the Masses

With Facebook’s IPO upon us, the timing of Google’s latest press blitz should probably be regarded with a healthy dose of suspicion, but the unveiling of the Knowledge Graph is an important step in Google’s journey — and a reaffirmation of values diluted by recent dalliances in social networking. Writing for The Atlantic, Alexis Madrigal perhaps describes it best; “To me, this update is the epitome of what Google does best. The graph makes the process of Googling something faster, easier, and better. The corporate imperative to keep people searching on Google in the face of renewed competition matches up very nicely with consumers’ desires for the best, fastest search experience. That hasn’t always been the case with the company’s social search integration, so this update feels so refreshing. It’s like a friend in the midst of a midlife crisis returning the Porsche... (more)

China Gives Google-Motorola Merger Conditional OK

China's antitrust regulators gave Google's $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility the nod Saturday provided Google's Android operating system remains open and free-of-charge for the next five years. The "free" stipulation apparently doesn't apply to applications or services, but it remains to be seen how that works out. Google will have to report about its compliance with the terms to a Chinese monitor. "At the end of the five years, the Ministry of Commerce will continue to assess the state of the Chinese smartphone operating system market," the agency said on its web site. Google's relationship with China has been tense since it moved its Chinese search operation to Hong Kong complaining of censorship. There's also the little matter of China reportedly hacking its computers and stealing its secrets. China was the last approval the giant deal needed so it m... (more)

Twitter & Facebook Get a Buzz Cut

New Media on Ulitzer Reportedly unable to buy Twitter last summer, Google got Twitter-ized Tuesday. It has integrated a self-affirming, "I tweet therefore I am," so-called babble-style capability smacking a lot of Facebook and Twitter into Gmail so users can share media and status updates with a connected circle of their friends - and the web, if they choose, where it will be indexed and searchable. And Google said an enterprise version is not far behind. Google has been using it internally and claims it's changed their communications. Google Wave is also on the wish list. The widgetry is called Google Buzz and there's also a location-based Buzz application for iPhone and Android phones integrated with Google Maps and local chatter that libel lawyers will doubtless have a field day with. (Imagine users claiming that carbonized onion in their soup down at the local... (more)

Ulitzer Launches Google Buzz News Topic

Google Buzz "new media" topic launched on Monday on Ulitzer with recent news, articles and blog entries contributed by more than 10,000 Ulitzer published authors. Google Buzz is a social integration and messaging tool by Google, designed to integrate into the company's web-based email program, Gmail. Shared links and messages show up in the user's inbox. Buzz focuses on integrating photos, videos, and links as part of the "conversations" aspects of Gmail like conversation threading. Ulitzer Live! New-Media Conference & Expo The first "Ulitzer New-Media Power Panel" took place at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California. Streamed live to 60,000 viewers via SYS-CON.TV, the panel was moderated by Jeremy Geelan. Geelan's guests in the first power panel were Ian Thain and Tim Crawford. Ulitzer Live! New-Media Conference & Expo will debut on June 14, 20... (more)