free html hit counter February 2006 | Page 7 of 8 | John Battelle's Search Blog

Gossip…

By - February 05, 2006

WebTod writes: Gossip about the rich and powerful is something new? It comes with the territory.

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Two Sources: Lycos May Have Laid Off Search Team

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Two sources have confirmed that Lycos has laid off its search team, keeping just a skeleton crew to run the service. More as/if I know more….

Google, et al, Funds Fon

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Google, Skype, and Sequoia, others, fund 21.7 million into FON. Will it work out?Glenn and Om has a take. So does Dirson. Glenn is skeptical. Speaking to Google’s supposed interest in blanketing the world with WiFi, he points out:

I argue strongly that Google will not become a Wi-Fi provider beyond San Francisco and Mountain View (at least not on any large scale) because their interest is high-margin businesses like advertising not low-margin ones like service provision.

Yes, but what if you need that distribution to run those high margin services over? More as the Superbowl buzz wears off.

Udpated: Google To Take on Navteq?

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NavMy partner Tim O’Reilly likes to call data the “Intel Inside” of Web 2.0 – the idea being that if you own great data, you can license it all over the place. His favorite example is Navteq, the mapping company that powers all sorts of applications, including loads of auto navigation systems.

But now Google is getting in on the game. From the Reuters piece:

Volkswagen AG of Germany’s American unit on Friday said it is working on a prototype vehicle which features Google Inc.’s satellite mapping software to give drivers a bird’s eye view of the road ahead.



And, when Google gets into your car, you think, well, Google itself will be far behind?

(thanks KK)

Update: Many readers point out that Google is not providing data competitive to Navteq, it’s only providing Google Earth satellite data. Yeah, well…not yet folks. But when that hybrid satellite data is populated with comments from the Force of Many on every store and location of note, and when Google buys or borrows and overlays the entire Yellow Pages, and when…well, when that happens, they sure as hell will be….not that that’s the plan. Of course not.

Light Day

By - February 03, 2006

Traveling today, will catch up over the weekend. Headlines for your Friday morning:

It’s a trifecta in earnings – First Yahoo, then Google, now Amazon is down.

ValleyWag has launched. This is Nick Denton’s (Gawker) attempt to make the Valley worthy of public gossip. I’m not sure if the Valley is built with the same genes as Washington, LA, or NY. Should be interesting to watch.

Not content with just Google Video, CBS is going to sell its wares on its own site too.

ZoomInfo gets a people search patent.

Google’s infrastructure and index update, BigDaddy, explained.

As one…

By - February 02, 2006

Chris writes: As one of the few right-wing readers of BattelleMedia, it's my duty and privilege to make clear to you that the Bush administration being secretive about its domestic spying is *necessary*…. Read More Read More

Google's Submission to the Congressional Human Rights Caucus

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This is the statement from Google counsel Andrew McLaughlin. It’s pretty comprehensive. It reviews Google’s approach, and states:

“We believe that our continued engagement with China is the best (and perhaps only) way for Google to help bring the tremendous benefits of universal information access to all our users there.”

and

“Google supports the idea of Internet industry action to define common principles to guide technology firms’ practices in countries that restrict access to information. Together with colleagues at other leading Internet companies, we are actively exploring the potential for Internet industry guidelines, not only for China but for all countries in which Internet content is subjected to governmental restrictions. Such guidelines might encompass, for example, disclosure to users, and reporting about governmental restrictions and the measures taken in response to them.”

I’d be very keen to hear about progress on this front.

And lastly, the statement concludes:

“There is an important role for the United States government to address, in the context of its bilateral government-to-government relationships, the larger issues of free expression and open communication. For example, as a U.S.-based company that deals primarily in information, we have urged the United States government to treat censorship as a barrier to trade.”

Good luck there, guys.

You Don't Need To Understand How We Work, Just Trust Us

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From the Times: The Bush administration is rebuffing requests from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee for its classified legal opinions on President Bush’s domestic spying program, setting up a confrontation in advance of a hearing scheduled for next week, administration and Congressional officials said Wednesday.

The Justice Department is balking at the request so far, administration officials said, arguing that the legal opinions would add little to the public debate because the administration has already laid out its legal defense at length in several public settings.