Change your name to protect the guilty

Posted in Google, Privacy by Tony C on August 23, 2010

Google's CEO Eric Schmidt says young people should be allowed to change their names to escape their past lives on Facebook

After Eric Schmidt told us a little while ago, and I’ll quote as it’s a dozy, “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place."  He now thinks the young should be able to change their identity to hide the things they shouldn’t have been doing in the first place.

Ah…the irony!


Digital Switzerland?

Posted in Google, Net Neutrality, Verizon by Tony C on August 20, 2010

NetneutralityIf you take an interest in web based goings on then you’ve probably been following the often heated debate over the question of Net Neutrality; if you haven’t then please take this as an opportunity to start.  It turns out to be a more complex issue than you might imagine as those for and against don’t even seem, on occasion, to agree what they’re arguing about.  Wikipedia makes a fair stab at it however

At the centre of the argument is should Governments regulate and all that implies or should Corporates be able to freely do whatever they like and all that implies.  In other words who controls your choice.  What makes this even more interesting is that Google have waded into the debate and teamed up with Verizon to offer US legislators a few ideas, as you can imagine this has kicked off a fierce debate as to whether Google are in favour or not of net neutrality.  They claim they are, others disagree.  Although Google CEO Eric Schmidt doesn’t make it clearer after claiming in a press conference that Google and Verizon have been talking “for a long time about trying to get an agreement on what the definition of Net neutrality is.  What we mean is that if you have one data type, like video, you don’t discriminate against one person’s video in favour of another. It’s ok to discriminate across different types…”   Let me see if I can put the lid back on that can of worms…no sorry I can’t.

Maybe in these circumstances we should always ask, “What does Tim think?”

Wave Google Wave Bye Bye

Posted in Google by Tony C on August 5, 2010


Twelve months on and Google has given Wave the chop.  Whilst not the prettiest thing I’ve seen it was interesting idea as it tried to mash together a number of web based communication technologies but alas suffered from the usual Google problem.  It was an engineering idea looking for a market.  Now more often than not this is exactly the way new technology and ideas are born but 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway have a particular track record in trying to find an alternative revenue stream to search.  Hard to believe people were selling Wave invites on eBay not so long ago.

Hat doff to Tara.

Brave New World not 1984?

Posted in Apple, Google, Privacy by Tony C on June 11, 2010

Amusing Ourselves to Death

It was interesting to see a little while back John Naughton refer to 1984 and Brave New World in the context of Apple and the iPad.  I even blogged about it and I’m now wondering if he’d read Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death first.  I stumbled upon it as Ken Auletta refers to it in his book Googled in the context of their rather lax attitude to privacy and whether or not we are happy to trade away our data for a subsidised service. 

Contrary to common belief even amongst the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesise the same thing.  Orwell warns us we will overcome by an externally opposed oppression.  But in Huxley’s vision, no big brother is required to to deprive of their autonomy, maturity and history.  As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo the capacity to think…Orwell feared those who would deprive is of information.  Huxley feared those who would give us so much information we would be reduced to passivity and egoism.

Well are we happy for that to happen?

Music in Dreamland?

Posted in Google, Music by Tony C on June 4, 2010

music_logo-gif-gif-image-180x40-pixels The battle for the hearts and minds continues as Google wants into the digital music arena, primarily to take a chunk out of iTunes dominance but also add a key component to their Android strategy and should it ever see the light of day the much vaunted Google Tablet.  Two things spring to mind.  How much work have Google had to do to bring the music publishing industry to the table?  Historically Google and the traditional media publishers haven’t gotten on.  And how much of this is just another way to collect even more data about your preferences, tastes and listening habits and create better targeted ads?

If anyone is listening a couple of things I’d like to see.  A real alternative to iTunes as a platform for podcasts, if my experience is anything to go by over 90% of podcast downloads are from iTunes.  No arbitrary limit on the number of machines authorised to download content.  Apple.  Why only five?  OK I reset the counter every six months but why?

Or it could be like the two hundred odd other projects they’ve ‘launched’ only for it never to get out of beta and then quietly forgotten.

Cap doff to TechCrunch.

Google learn the harsh reality of selling hardware

Posted in Google, mobile, support by Tony C on January 9, 2010

Google_Phone_NYBZ171_standalone_prod_affiliate_81Google’s support has always be challenged by their aspirations to be more than just a search engine and as anyone who sells mobile devices will tell you when you bring a new product to market how you support your customers post sale will be severely tested.  Just ask any mobile operator or Nokia or Apple or <fill in manufacturer of choice>.   Google in this regard then has been found wanting

To quote John McClane from Die Hard as he shouts  to poor Sergeant Al Powell when his car his filled with bullets, ‘Welcome to the party, pal.’

Is five close enough?

Posted in Google, trademark by Tony C on January 7, 2010


Coming up with catchy product names is always tough especially when you’re guaranteed a ton of column inches.  Looks like Google have upset the estate of Philip K Dick by using the name Nexus One which they feel is a bit too close to Nexus-6 for comfort.  Nexus-6 if you remember is the name of replicants in both the movie Bladerunner and the novel it’s based on, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

Whether the claim that five is close enough for people to assume that somehow there is a connection between Dick’s seminal work and Google’s new Smartphone is something lawyers will undoubtedly argue over for sometime.  But there is of course the Argentinean electro/industrial band Nexus-6 who I assume do want their fans to see the connection.

Rumours, half truths and hype

Posted in Apple, Google, smartphone, Tablet by Tony C on January 4, 2010

apple-tablet-big_01 With Apple remaining typically tight lipped it hasn’t stopped t’internet getting into a frenzy of speculation and Chinese whispers over the iSlate/iTablet/iHalfwaybetweenaniPhoneandaMacbook.  Cupertino course loves it but what ever the eventual product looks like it will either delight or disappoint depending on your view of Apple’s walled garden.  That is of course if it exists at all.  Richi Jennings does a great round up of current comment and speculation.

Googletablet Google too are believed are getting in on the ‘tablet’ act using an HTC device unsurprisingly running Google’s upcoming Chrome OS as they too attempt to create a walled garden.   The Google approach is an interesting one as it appears benign to the open source crowd but will operate a Google ‘approved’ approach like Apple.  At least I suppose Apple are up front about it what is and isn’t verboten…well sort of.  Throw in the wonderfully named Nexus One Smartphone from Google, again using on an HTC device, to try and knock some of the shine off iPhone and we have a year which promises much in Walled Garden Wars or WGW as I think I’m going to call it.

Which side of the fence you sit on, if sit on the fence you do in this instance, is I imagine down to which approach you prefer.  Apple of course will control the value chain from end to end and charge a premium, Google has to partner with HTC in this case and use both devices to push ads. 

Happy New Year!

Maybe on online ads are not so great after all?

Posted in eBay, Google by Tony C on July 24, 2007

Found an interesting piece one of the Fortune blogs about eBay and Google.  EBay recently stopped, as a test, keyword advertising on Google and found:

“It actually had no impact on the financials of the quarter, and we learned a lot about where we want to spend money and where we think we can save money on Internet marketing.”

The key point as Adam Lashinsky mentions is not that someone reckons that Google ads aren’t as wonderful as the hyperbole would let you believe, but that it’s eBay saying it.  Think about that.