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Hear Hear, Larry

By - October 14, 2008

I like how Larry puts this in today’s Journal:

This war must end. It is time we recognize that we can’t kill this creativity. We can only criminalize it. We can’t stop our kids from using these tools to create, or make them passive. We can only drive it underground, or make them “pirates.” And the question we as a society must focus on is whether this is any good. Our kids live in an age of prohibition, where more and more of what seems to them to be ordinary behavior is against the law. They recognize it as against the law. They see themselves as “criminals.” They begin to get used to the idea.

That recognition is corrosive. It is corrupting of the very idea of the rule of law. And when we reckon the cost of this corruption, any losses of the content industry pale in comparison.

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Google's Project 10^100

By - September 28, 2008

This will be interesting to watch:

To mark our 10th birthday and celebrate the spirit of our users and the web, we’re launching Project 10^100 (that’s “ten to the hundredth”) a call for ideas that could help as many people as possible, and a program to bring the best of those ideas to life. CNN will be covering this project, including profiles of ideas and the people who submit them from around the world. For a deeper look, follow along at Impact Your World.

The site is here. I wish we could see the ideas streaming by and vote on them. It’s too opaque right now. But this is VERY Web Meets World, which is the theme of Web 2 this year, and Larry Brilliant, the head of, will be our first speaker. Good timing.

Not Everybody. But Passions Do Run High…

By - September 26, 2008

Fortune gave this piece a Diggbait title:

Everyone Hates Comscore (I am quoted)

But the truth is more like this: Everyone Wishes They Shared the Same Reality.

The promise of online marketing is not yet delivered upon. Meanwhile, we have an arbiter that often seems disconnected from reality, at least from the point of view of website publishers.

There’s alot of work to be done to bridge the gap, and it’s not all Comscore’s fault. I am looking forward to my interview with Comscore founder Gian Fulgoni at the upcoming CM Summit in October, where we can really suss some of these issues.

I will also be interviewing Twitter (and Blogger) co-founder Evan Williams, as well as Laura Desmond, the global CEO of Starcom (one of the largest media buyers in the world) and David Rosenblatt, who runs DoubleClick.

I Love Baseball. I Don't So Much Love the MLB

By - September 22, 2008

But they are learning. From Larry’s blog:

Russ Gooberman wrote to tell a happy story about Major League Baseball.


A month ago, I created a mashup clip of some MLB’s All-Star Game Home Run Derby. Specifically, I wanted to feature the record-breaking home run streak of Texas Rangers youngster, Josh Hamilton. So, I cut up some YouTube footage of his longest homerun of the contest, and set it to the audio of the final homerun sequence of the movie, The Natural. The next day, the mashup was featured on as their “Video of the Day.” Here’s
My Mashup. The following day, MLB Advanced Media sent a trademark claim to YouTube, and had the video taken down.

….The interpretation of such an event in the public discourse is not for Major League Baseball to determine or influence. These events that affect our perceptions of our national pastime cannot be copyrighted. The discussion and dissemination of ideas relating to them cannot be censored. There are countless cases of MLB pursuing copyright infringements that go beyond their rights as copyright holders. Evidence of overzealous prosecution has been abundant. This Sisyphean struggle to stop any and all interpretations of MLB material will eventually fail.

Google Clears "Abortion" As An AdWord

By - September 21, 2008

Google settled a suit in the UK around the issue of whether or not religious groups can buy the keyword “abortion.” Long story short: They now can (via NYT).

Expect a lot more of this kind of thing going forward. Google has the responsibility of being an arbiter of who can declare what online, and that responsibility will only increase.

The Bailout

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It’s not related to the content of this site, but I am so damn mad about the financial bailout, mainly because the folks who profited the most from this mess are getting bailed out. So when I saw this post from Fred, summarizing Tom, I had to pass it along. I agree totally.

Rule #1: Cut salaries now

Part of the bailout bill ought to be that any organization which proffers securities for government purchase must agree not to pay any employee or contactor more than $1 million per year for the next four years. No cheating with trips to events on the corporate jet or other perks with draconian penalties TO THE RECIPIENT for violations.

Rule #2: No new golden parachutes

Some executives have contracts which entitle them to huge golden parachutes – especially if their pay is cut. These need to be annulled.

Rule #3: End payment on old golden parachutes

Payments on existing golden parachutes should be stopped.

Rule #4: No dividends for a year

This seems harsh to us shareholders who may have bank securities in our portfolio, but it’s not. Clearly an organization which is being bailed out needs to conserve cash to survive.

Google + GE = Boil the Energy Ocean

By - September 17, 2008

Still ill, but I can’t help but read my email. This sounds very interesting:


WHAT: Eric Schmidt and Jeff Immelt will discuss America’s energy challenge and announce ways Google and GE will be working together to contribute to solutions. A fact sheet with additional details will be emailed following the call at 3pm.

WHEN: Wednesday September 17, 2008, 11:20am PDT / 2:20pm EDT

WHO: The following executives will participate in the call:

Eric Schmidt, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Google Inc.

Jeff Immelt, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, General Electric Company

And Google Knows…

By - September 08, 2008

….that what it knows is scary. Hence, this move. From the post on the Google Blog:

Today, we’re announcing a new logs retention policy: we’ll anonymize IP addresses on our server logs after 9 months. We’re significantly shortening our previous 18-month retention policy to address regulatory concerns and to take another step to improve privacy for our users.

And The Worm Slowly Turns

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If you don’t think this is keeping the folks up late at night over at Google, you’re wrong. And if they are NOT up late at night, sell your shares. From the Journal piece:

The Justice Department has quietly hired one of the nation’s best-known litigators, former Walt Disney Co. vice chairman Sanford Litvack, for a possible antitrust challenge to Google Inc.’s growing power in advertising.

Mr. Litvack’s hiring is the strongest signal yet that the U.S. is preparing to take court action against Google and its search-advertising deal with Yahoo Inc. The two companies combined would account for more than 80% of U.S. online-search ads.

Have you read John Heilemann’s excellent book on the impact of the Microsoft anti-trust deal on that company’s culture and business? It’s worth another look. Yeah, it’s called…Pride Before the Fall.