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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)

Consumer Watchdog to Follow Google's Dangerous Dominance Over the Internet

Santa Monica, CA - Consumer Watchdog today formally launched its new Website, Inside Google, to focus attention on the company's activities and hold Google accountable for its actions. The sites' URL is http://insidegoogle.com. The nonpartisan, nonprofit public interest group is launching Inside Google to educate the public and opinion leaders about Google's dangerous dominance over the Internet, computing and consumers' online lives.  Inside Google's blog is authored by experienced consumer advocates and journalists working to expose the "black box" at Google with an eye towards holding Google engineers accountable to social mores, ethical customs and the rule of law. "Google  advocates openness and transparency for everyone else, but when it comes to their own activities, the company is extremely secretive," said John M. Simpson, consumer advocate with Consumer Watchd... (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)

Digital Footprint and Virtual Social Influence

I’ve been thinking about my presence on the internet from the early days, from my time at Argonne National Labs near Chicago in 1988-1989 and from my graduate school days at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis in 1989-1992. That was even before the web browser days, which didn’t come out till 1993-94. Mosaic browser was first released in 1993. And I remember the excitement we had at work when we installed an early version of Netscape browser in 1994.Partial map of internet 2005,via Wikipedia There was internet of course even before the browser. In addition to the worldwide email which primarily linked major universities and research labs, there were numerous user groups — virtual discussion groups — that I used to take part in and contribute to. I suppose that was the equivalent of today’s social networking. Amazingly enough, after all these years most of tha... (more)

What Did Google Just Buy & What For?

Google, which has got more secrets than the CIA, has just bought that mystery outfit Agnilux that the PA Semi guys who didn't fit into Apple - or picked up their winnings from Apple's $278 million 2008 acquisition of PA and moved on to the next crap game- are supposed to have started. Nobody knows what Agnilux is doing. A couple of months ago the New York Times was told by an ex-PA person that Agnilux was working on a server and repeated scuttlebutt that it had a partnership in place with Cisco. Well, Google does love to build its own servers. But since PA Semi apparently provided the A4 ARM chip for the iPad, maybe it's reinventing that wheel for Google. Or maybe it's working on something brand new!!! Nah. After poking around a little and sending out a few e-mails we heard from the brotherhood that Amarjit Gil, co-founder and VP of sales at PA Semi, who mostly help... (more)

Chrome Architect Jumps Ship to Facebook as Google Me Rumor Surfaces

Google has lost the guy who started and led its Chrome OS project to Facebook. Matthew Papakipos (pictured), who joined Google in 2007 when it acquired PeakStream which he founded, tweeted the news Monday morning, saying “Now that Chrome OS & WebGL are in good shape, it’s time for something new. I’m going to work @ Facebook! Love the product and team. Woot!” Google, meanwhile, is running up a Facebook clone according to a tweet Saturday by Digg co-founder and CEO Kevin Rose that said, “Ok, umm, huge rumor: Google to launch Facebook competitor very soon ‘Google Me,’ very credible source.” Rose’s tweet led to speculation that Google could be combining Orkut and Buzz or doing some kind of takeover off on Google Profiles. Google’s got to be worried about where its traffic is going these days. Facebook is now supposed to have 450 million members, going on 500 million ... (more)

Google To Show Off ‘ChromeBook’

Google is supposed to unveil a beta Chrome OS on a generic Atom-based netbook Tuesday and put the Google-branded thing into limited circulation in the run-up to a commercial product next year. Reportedly no more than 65,000 of this first-stab widget will be made as an appeal to developers. Google missed the netbook wave, which receded with the tablet onslaught and it’s questionable whether the Chrome cloud device can revive it. Chrome OS doesn’t have the touchscreen facilities needed for a tablet. Anyway Google’s got Android for tablets. The Chrome widget is expected to need the services of the anticipated Chrome Web Store if it’s to have anything to run since everything supposed to be done in the cloud. Presumably Google might have something to say about Internet access and carriers. Google was originally supposed to have a commercial product out from mainline OE... (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)

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)

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)

iPad’s Loss of Market Share to Android Greatly Exaggerated

The latest tablet figures claim that shipments doubled sequentially in Q4 to 9.4 million units, up 120% from 4.4 million units in Q3, and that iPad – which owned 96% of the market in Q3 – suffered a 21% share loss to Android – up 2,000% – complements of Samsung purportedly getting off two million of its Android-based Galaxy Tabs. There’s only one little thing the headline-grabbing researcher, Strategy Analytics, didn’t make quite clear. According to the Wall Street Journal those Samsung tablets weren’t sold through to paying end users. They’re floating around somewhere in the channel. Actual purchases, Samsung admitted, were actually “quite small.” Apple, on the other hand, by its own count, actually sold 7.3 million iPads. iPad’s next test will be the Motorola Xoom, the first Honeycomb-based Android slate due to be promoted during the Super Bowl this Sunday like the ... (more)