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Inside the GDrive Platypus –Almost

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Picture 3-11Philipp has yet another Google GDrive teaser— this is the most revealing yet. He’s accessed “Google’s internal Gdrive client, named “Platypus”, but notes that from the look of things it’s intended to remain an internal system for Google employees to store and share files… (though, many more G products have been tested as internal projects before public exposure).

Says Philipp:

Google’s Platypus help, which I’ve mirrored here in its Windows and Linux version, says:

“We encourage you to keep all of your files with us, including your Office documents, photos, and personal notes, except for sensitive data (including electronic protected health information) and other files inconsistent with the internal user agreement.”

…As one can expect, I can’t get past the login screen after installing Gdrive on my local machine. If I’d be able to do so, I could synchronize and share files with other Googlers who also installed Gdrive, and also access files with a web browser.

He’s also uploaded the configuration files, for those who want to play around.

Meanwhile, Yahoo Does A Lot of Video

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This deal (Lost Remote) shows that while Google is getting the YouTubian glory, Yahoo is still paying attention to things that, in the end, will also matter quite a bit. From the release:

CBS Television Stations, a division of CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS) (NYSE:CBS.A), and Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO) today announced an exclusive video syndication agreement in which local news video from 16 of CBS’s owned stations will be made available on Yahoo! to the Internet’s largest news audience. The relationship, which begins tomorrow, marks the first video agreement between a network-owned television station group and an Internet news provider. CBS and Yahoo will share revenue from advertising sold adjacent to CBS Stations’ content on the site.

Yahoo has moved a lot of chips to Local, and in time I expect that bet to payoff, at least in the marketplace – it remains to be seen if Yahoo wins the table.

(BTW, CBS also pushes feeds of its local videos into Google Maps. And that might be how we get our local news at some point. At some point….)

How To Win in China

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Google Blogoscoped notes the difference between Wikipedia, which is blocked in China (save some Chinese pages) and the new competitor from Baidu, which is monitored by the government, and, Philipp says, most likely to grow market share, just as Baidu’s main service has. If Google or others want to beat Baidu in China, they’ll have to join them more vigorously, it seems.

Why Web 2.0 Is About to Shift the Enterprise

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What? Battelle writing about the enterprise? Well, don’t get used to it. But I do have to say, this example from Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun, is really, really instructive about how Big Business can learn from Web 2.0. He started with a question in an earlier post – whither the datacenter?, in short. Big companies and the entrenched CXOs within them change slowly, and only when pushed, shoved, and forced by trends too big to ignore. I think Jonathan has found an example of such a trend in this anecdote from his latest entry:

I was talking to the CIO of a large financial institution last week. He told me he was in the midst of building out two new datacenters, spending $250,000,000 (yes, a quarter of a billon) on one, more than that on the other. He was beyond frustrated (as I’m sure was his CFO).

I asked him how long it was going to take, he said nearly three years. Years.

And then Dave Douglas reminded me that two to three years is longer than it took for YouTube to incorporate, build out their infrastructure, scale their business to serve the entire planet – and get sold.

Companies are really spending a quarter BILLION dollars on datacenter implementations that take three YEARS to execute? My God. On what planet?

I know, I know, sometimes YouTube goes down, and if you are running the NYSE, that ain’t an option. But man, one might hope you could figure out a way to failsafe with less than $250,000,000…..

Web 2: What Would You Ask The Majors?

By - October 15, 2006

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Esteemed members of the Searchblog community:

The Web 2 conference is coming up in three short weeks, and I have one hell of a job to do: I am interviewing quite an assortment of Internet leaders on stage, in front of nearly 1,200 people, for three days straight (I’ll be aided here and there by Tim O’Reilly, thankfully). The program of course has all sorts of other elements – presentations, panels, debates, and the like. But one of the hallmarks of Web 2.0 has been the one-on-one interviews, and this year, we have one hell of a lineup.

In the course of three days, among scores of others who will give presentations and speak on panels, we’ll be interviewing on stage:

Eric Schmidt – CEO Google

Arthur Sulzberger – Chair/Publisher The New York Times Co

Barry Diller – CEO IAC

Jack Ma – CEO Alibaba (including Yahoo China)

Niklas Zennström – CEO Skype (his first ever interview on US soil since the settlement)

Jeff Bezos – CEO Amazon

Bruce Chizen – CEO Adobe

Ross Levinsohn – CEO Fox Interactive (Myspace/Newscorp)

Jonathan Miller – CEO AOL

Ray Ozzie – Chief Software Architect, Microsoft

Roger McNamee and Ram Shriram- Venture investors (Elevation Partners and Board member, Google)

Eric Nicoli – Chairman, EMI

David Filo – Founder, Yahoo

Crikey. I need your help.

Now, I know that the event is sold out, and therefore not everyone can come, and many of you wouldn’t spend the dough (it ain’t cheap) to come even if you could spare the time.

Nevertheless, we plan to make the sessions available on the web as soon as we are able, in a format that will make them quite accessible. And with nearly 100 press and bloggers in attendance, your questions will certainly get coverage in real time. So, if you have any interest at all, I beg you to help me question these leaders while we got ’em on the spot. I promise to report back to you once all is said and done.

Over the next few days (I’m traveling so it might be sporadic…) I’ll be posting one entry per interview, and asking for your comments on the post – what do you want to hear from these leaders?

I’ve already started with Eric, I posted my request here late last month – please add your thoughts; clearly we need to ask about YouTube….

Next up will be Arthur of the Times, then Barry Diller, and so on.

Thanks for your feedback, it means a lot to me to hear what you want asked of these folks. And I am truly honored to be part of these dialogs. Onwards….

Oh For $30 million in Google Stock, Circa 2003

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The Times does the Friendster tick tock. Biggest ouch:

Mr. Abrams spurned Google’s advances and charted his own course. In retrospect, he should have taken the $30 million. If Google had paid him in stock, Mr. Abrams would easily be worth $1 billion today, according to one person close to Google.

Is Yahoo Up For Grabs? Fred Speculates

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Yahoo-1When a stock price declines, speculation increases that a company might be vulnerable to an acquisition. Yahoo’s been beaten up lately, and Fred Wilson takes his readers through an exercise in who might be tempted to buy Yahoo. His speculation is that were anyone to move, the most logical suitor would be Microsoft.

Microsoft can afford Yahoo! and a combined MSN/Yahoo! would certainly be a stronger competitive player against Google, something that is clearly on Ballmer’s mind right now. That seems the most likely deal to me.

It’s surprising that Yahoo! finds themselves in this place. They made the right move to get into search with the Overture deal and are the only other viable competitor in search right now. Microsoft may get there, but they aren’t yet. But Yahoo!’s user and page growth is slowing and their monetization efforts are slowing too. And the market doesn’t like slowing.

Sour Grapes: Time To SueTube?

By - October 12, 2006


Surprise: Time Warner is rattling copyright sabers (BoingBoing) over Google’s acquisition of YouTube. Let’s pull back and take a look at this, shall we? Time Warner not only owns a shitload of content that is now playing on YouTube, it also owns AOL, and with it the self-inflicted wounds which came from buying AOL, or rather, buying into the idea of AOL back when it had its mid-life crisis of confidence about its own ability to execute in that wooly digital world, that late 90s coke binge where it seemed everyone in California was poised to kick Time Warner’s collective ass. Thank God, it turned out to be wrong….for a few years, anyway.

But now, the problem is back, and it’s much more serious, at least, it’s serious if you’re committed to your old ways of doing business. And for those who are afraid of the future, its name is Google. Time Warner CEO Dick Parsons is in a tought spot – he knows that disparaging dismissals of the upstarts will no longer suffice. But damned if he won’t “fire a shot across the bow” in any case.

From the Guardian coverage:

Dick Parsons, the chairman and chief executive of Time Warner, fired a shot across the bows of Google, saying his group would pursue its copyright complaints against the video sharing site

Be careful, Dick, for a shot across the bow may bring a broadside from the other side. And the gorgeous fact of it is this: The other side isn’t Google. It’s everyone who uses Google (and now, YouTube.) Huh. Worth a pause, a drink, and a think.

Update: Apparently more companies are rattling sabers. From the Journal:

…lawyers for the group of media companies, which includes News Corp., General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal and Viacom Inc., have concluded that YouTube could be liable to copyright penalties of $150,000 per unauthorized video, people familiar the matter say. Viacom believes that pirated versions of video clips from its cable channels — including MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon — are watched 80,000 times a day via YouTube. At that rate, potential penalties could run into the billions of dollars.