free html hit counter July 2007 - Page 3 of 7 - John Battelle's Search Blog

Auction Theory

By - July 25, 2007

Alas, I am on a plane most of today, but this caught my eye:

U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin said an airwaves-leasing proposal by Google Inc. may discourage bidders in a government auction from developing their networks.

Google said last week that it will bid at least $4.6 billion for the airwaves if the winner of the auctioned spectrum is required to lease access to the airwaves at wholesale rates. That may make bidders “less willing” to build out that network, Martin said today.

Google, owner of the most popular search engine, has sparred with AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless, the two biggest U.S. mobile- phone companies, over rules for the auction. The carriers plan to use the airwaves to offer more of their own mobile Web content, while Google wants the network to be open to all devices. Google also wants the spectrum to be resold if there’s excess capacity.

The auction rules should provide “maximum incentive to invest in the underlying wireless network,” Martin said during a U.S. House of Representatives Telecommunications subcommittee hearing. The FCC expects to vote on the rules by July 31, Martin said after the hearing.

Martin, who has proposed a minimum bid price of $4.6 billion for the spectrum Google is seeking, wants the winner to open its network to any legal mobile device or application. While his plan would allow companies to resell airwaves, it wouldn’t require it.

Seems that Google’s game theory is starting to play out…OK, I’d wager Google isn’t playing games, per se, but I plan to speak to Google about this in the coming days…

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AOL Takes Tacoda

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And the beat goes on

Time Warner Inc.’s AOL unit said on Tuesday it has agreed to buy Tacoda, an online advertising company that uses behavioural targeting techniques to track Web user habits.

The deal is the latest acquisition by AOL to bolster its online advertising tools following its decision to move away from its Internet access business and instead offer consumers free services supported by ads.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed by the companies. A person familiar with the situation said AOL was paying $275 million (133 million pounds) in cash for Tacoda.

Gone Fishin'

By - July 13, 2007

My annual trek to the mountains starts today. Posting will be….more than light over the next week.

This Is Not How To Do It – Updated

By - July 12, 2007

Sprint decided to pull the plug on 1200 of its customers who complained too much (including some soldiers, oops).


Did the company not realize the letters would end up on the web? Did it not think through the potential jujitsu it might do – instead of giving these customers the finger, it just might find a way to turn them into brand evangelists?

Why not listen to these complaints, see if there are valid ones that the company can address, address them, and enlist these chief complainants as citizen omsbudmans of a sort?


Updated: Sprint is now saying the customers it cut off were defrauding the company. Well, that’s a good reason. Why not say that to begin with? (Thanks, Darius)

The Microsoft Cloud

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This is getting interesting-er and interesting-er. I can’t wait for my time away (starts soon) where I will have more time to write and think. From a Cnet article:

Microsoft is in the early stages of a plan that will see virtually its entire lineup of underlying Internet services opened up to developers, the software maker made clear this week.

In addition to making available its existing services, such as mail and instant messaging, Microsoft also will create core infrastructure services, such as storage and alerts, that developers can build on top of. It’s a set of capabilities that have been referred to as a “Cloud OS,” though it’s not a term Microsoft likes to use publicly.