free html hit counter March 2007 - Page 2 of 8 - John Battelle's Search Blog

Rich Speaks Again

By - March 27, 2007

Every so often, Rich gets up and rips one off. His most recent is called “How to beat Google, part 1.”

From it:

Our entire industry is scared witless by Google’s dominance in search and advertising. Microsoft and Yahoo have been unsuccessful at staunching the bleeding of their search market share. VCs parrot the Google PR FUD machine that you need giant datacenters next to hydroelectric dams to compete. They spout nonsense about how startups should just use Alexa’s crawl and put some ajax on top of it. Ye gods.

Grow a spine people! You have a giant growing market with just one dominant competitor, not even any real #2. You’re going to do clean-tech energy saving software to shut off lightbulbs in high-rises instead? Pfft. Get a stick and try to knock G’s crown off.

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It's Trench Warfare Now

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Google, Microsoft, Yahoo… It’s now a war of distribution as much as innovation. Why do I say this? Read on, a release from Google:


LG Handsets to integrate Google Search, Google Maps for mobile, Blogger Mobile and Gmail for mobile

Seoul, Korea, and Orlando, Florida March 28, 2007 – LG Electronics (LG), a leading worldwide provider of advanced wireless handsets and accessories, and Google today announced a global collaboration to pre-install Google’s services on millions of LG mobile phones. Mobile users around the world will now be able to easily search for information, find locations, update blogs and manage email while on the move.

“Building on our efforts to set new standards for wireless handsets, we are excited to partner with Google to offer extra value to consumers with enhanced mobile Internet experiences,” said Mr. Paul Bae, Vice President of the Product Planning Team at LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “LG’s mobile devices, combined with Google, will provide consumers with easy access to their favorite Internet services even without a PC and make it easy for them to stay connected while in motion.”

Say it with me: Distribution Distribution Distribution Distribution Distribution Distribution Distribution Distribution Distribution!

Previously in the distribution wars: Dell, Facebook, AOL, Pack….

COPA Is Struck Down

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Remember when the DOJ went on that enormous fishing exercise under the guise of defending/resurrecting COPA, the Child Online Protection Act? Well, a Ed Felten tell us that the Federal judge just killed the act dead. We hope.

This is the end of a long legal process that started with the passage of COPA in 1999. The ACLU, along with various authors and publishers, immediately filed suit challenging COPA, and Judge Reed struck down the law. The case was appealed up to the Supreme Court, which generally supported Judge Reed’s ruling but remanded the case back to him for further proceedings because enough time had passed that the technological facts might have changed. Judge Reed held another trial last fall, at which I testified. Now he has ruled, again, that COPA is unconstitutional.

Note On the New West Summit, Special Discount

By - March 26, 2007

My pal Jonathan Weber emailed me with a special code for any Searchblog readers who might want to register for the conference I referenced here. Use code SPK0607 for $150 off!

Do You Trust The Govt. To Not Abuse Patriot Act? Really?

By - March 25, 2007


I’ve covered how uncomfortable I am with the Patriot Act since the dawn of this blog in 2003, but this post from Mary really drove it home. It covers a Washington Post story that details how, in just two years, the FBI issued more than 140,000 – yes that’s 140 THOUSAND – “national security letters,” in essence, requests for detailed information on the Database of Intentions that have no requirement of probable cause or judicial review.

Last Friday the Post ran a story from an anonymous but verified source. Read this story. From it:

Three years ago, I received a national security letter (NSL) in my capacity as the president of a small Internet access and consulting business. The letter ordered me to provide sensitive information about one of my clients. There was no indication that a judge had reviewed or approved the letter, and it turned out that none had. The letter came with a gag provision that prohibited me from telling anyone, including my client, that the FBI was seeking this information. Based on the context of the demand — a context that the FBI still won’t let me discuss publicly — I suspected that the FBI was abusing its power and that the letter sought information to which the FBI was not entitled.

Rather than turn over the information, I contacted lawyers at the American Civil Liberties Union, and in April 2004 I filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the NSL power. I never released the information the FBI sought, and last November the FBI decided that it no longer needs the information anyway. But the FBI still hasn’t abandoned the gag order that prevents me from disclosing my experience and concerns with the law or the national security letter that was served on my company. In fact, the government will return to court in the next few weeks to defend the gag orders that are imposed on recipients of these letters.

The piece concludes:

…At some point — a point we passed long ago — the secrecy itself becomes a threat to our democracy. In the wake of the recent revelations, I believe more strongly than ever that the secrecy surrounding the government’s use of the national security letters power is unwarranted and dangerous. I hope that Congress will at last recognize the same thing.

I completely agree.

RIP, InfoWorld

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Latest Issue Print Cover

It’s set to become a web site only soon, Matt tells us. InfoWorld has been around for three decades, but IT ad spending is clearly moving online, and it’s hard to justify a weekly trade covering a space that lives online.

When I was running the Standard, InfoWorld was a sister publication, and a good one at that. I really hope the publication thrives online, but its owner, IDG, will have to take painful measures to make it relevant in a world where coverage is owned by online pubs and blogs already deep in the flow. The transition to online only means losing 70-80 percent of operating costs. Good luck, guys.

Ozzie's Working On It

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Bio Ozzie

Microsoft’s Ray Ozzie gave a speech last month that is worth pondering. In it he said that there is “a sea change going on in the industry” and “one of the things I’ve been working on is driving a services vision throughout the company.”

So what’s he working on? LiveSide has some thoughts:

While Ray Ozzie has been keeping details of his Software as a Service platform quiet, some small bits of information are emerging from other members on his team. Two of his direct reports, David Treadwell and Amitabh Srivastava are both listed as working on developing the next generation Live services platform known as Windows Live Core:

“This start-up effort will define the vision and create the implementation for cloud-based platform services that will allow the creation of compelling applications that make deep use of network-based information.”

Other members of the Windows Live Core team that we’ve tracked down include David Cutler, who led the development of Windows, Abolade Gbadegesin, former architect of networking in Windows Vista and Elissa Murphy, Principal PM for Windows Live Core. This team has “joined Ray Ozzie to focus on next generation cloud services; to build an highly efficient computing fabric for Microsoft data centers and a services platform for agile development of high-quality cloud services.”

I am encouraged by the idea that Ray is out there trying to boil the Microsoft ocean. More fuel, Bill!