free html hit counter March 2006 - Page 4 of 8 - John Battelle's Search Blog
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AdWords As Political Weapon

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BarragaThe Drum Major Institute, a local public policy group in New York, recently released a report grading New York state legislators’ voting records with regard to middle class issues. Pretty traditional stuff, save for the way the group has decided to market it. For the next 30 days, if you Google any one of the state legislator’s names, you will see a paid ad which shows that legislator’s grade. The next step, of course, will be those legislators who got terrible grades fighting back with their own AdWord campaigns. My guess is Thomas F. Barraga will be first in line.

(Thanks, Tom).

Amazon S3

By - March 14, 2006

It’s late, I’m tired. But I have to say. Anyone who thinks Bezos and Google are not on a collision course is just not paying attention.

Updated: Judge in Google v DOJ: Likely Force Google to Turn Over Info

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From a WSJ story (paid reg):

A federal judge said he is likely to require Google Inc. to turn over some information about its users’ searches to the Justice Department, after the government said it would scale back its request.

After a hearing in San Jose, Calif., U.S. District Court Judge James Ware said he will pay special attention to privacy concerns as he weighs the government’s request for the information with the interests of a private company.

The legal showdown over how much of the Web’s vast databases should be shared with the government has pitted the Bush administration against the Internet giant, which resisted a subpoena to turn over any information because of user privacy and trade secret concerns.

Update: Google has provided me this comment from counsel Nicole Wong:

“We’re very encouraged by the judge’s thoughtful questions and comments.

They reflected our concerns about user privacy and the scope of the

government’s subpoena request. At a minimum we’ve come a long way from the

initial subpoena request, which was for billions of URLs and an entire

week’s worth of search queries. When the government was asked to justify

their demand they conceded that they needed much less. Now the government

has on its own already reduced that to 50,000 URLs and 5,000 search queries

as a result of this process.”

Danny Hillis Has A Company…

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MetawebAnd Metaweb is its name. Danny isn’t telling me much (but at least he did email me to tell me about it!), but here’s what the site says:

Based in San Francisco, Metaweb Technologies, Inc. was spun out of Applied Minds, Inc. in July, 2005 to build a better infrastructure for the Web. Metaweb was founded by Danny Hillis and funded by Benchmark Capital, Millennium Technology Ventures, Omidyar Network and other prominent investors. It is led by battle-hardened alumni of Netscape, The Internet Archive, Alexa, Tellme, Intel and Broderbund.

The funding was announced today. Here’s the release. From it:

Metaweb Technologies, Inc., announced today that it has received $15 million of funding. Led by Benchmark Capital, other investors in the round included Millennium Technology Ventures, Omidyar Network and prominent individuals. As part of the financing, Kevin Harvey from Benchmark Capital joined Metaweb’s board of directors.

Danny Hillis, chairman of Metaweb, remarked, “We are delighted to receive financing from investors who share our long-term vision to fundamentally change how information is stored, organized and shared online.” Mr. Harvey

noted, “My partners and I are very excited to be working with the Metaweb team. This is a disruptive technology that puts a lot of power into the hands of individuals.” Doug Solomon, vice president at Omidyar Network, Pierre

Omidyar’s mission-based investment group, said, “Metaweb enables individuals to pursue what matters most to them and dramatically expands their role in enhancing the value of online information.”

When your *first round* is $15 million, you ain’t messing around. One to watch, for sure. For more on what Danny has been up to, read my post on Applied Minds here.