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Ask Eraser Launches

By - December 11, 2007

From SEL: has launched AskEraser, giving searchers the ability to search anonymously. told us about this tool back in July, and six months later, it’s now live for all searchers to use.

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Google Wins Key Fair Use Suit

By - December 04, 2007

Google has proven willing to use its lawyesr when needed, in this case involving Perfect Ten, I am happy with the result. Not because I’m all about thumbnails of nudes, though I find nothing wrong with ‘em, but because anything that strengthens fair use is a good thing, I think.

Facebook: New Ad Plan

By - November 30, 2007

Facebook has released the details of its new approach to user control:

Under the changes outlined late Thursday, Facebook’s 55 million users will be given greater control over whether they want to participate in a three-week-old program that circulates potentially sensitive information about their online purchases and other activities.

Facebook provided two different opportunities to block the details from being shared, but many users said they never saw the “opt-out” notices before they disappeared from the screen.

With the reforms, Facebook promised its users will now have to give their explicit consent, or “opt-in,” before any information is passed along.

More coverage in the Times.

No Surprise: Google Will Apply for 700Mhz Auction

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From the release (more here):

“We believe it’s important to put our money where our principles are,”

said Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO, Google. “Consumers deserve more

competition and innovation than they have in today’s wireless world.

No matter which bidder ultimately prevails, the real winners of this

auction are American consumers who likely will see more choices than

ever before in how they access the Internet.”

Facebook Calls a Privacy Huddle

By - November 29, 2007

Via Salon, Bizweek reports:

In the wake of mounting criticism, Facebook executives are discussing changes to a controversial advertising tool that publicizes users’ Web activities outside of the popular social network. Alterations to the recently introduced Beacon system could be announced as early as Nov. 29, has learned.

Googler Reflects on Google's Influence

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Chris Sacca, whose blog I follow, is a director of special projects at Google. His latest has been figuring out wireless with a team of minded colleagues. This post is quite worth the read.

Turns out, a lot of people at Google cared deeply about these issues. So we built a humbling team of like-minded folks to explore what we could do to make the wireless industry more open. At first, it was comprised of all volunteers, though we have since grown to much bigger ranks including dozens of full-time RF engineers and policy gurus. In fact, we have now grown too big for the room in which we hold our meetings and chairs are scarce.

PS – a good speculation on what it all means (Google’s entry into telcom) here on Gigaom.

The Database of Intentions Meets Blogger

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An example of what I’ve been on about (via TC) for years – Google hands over information in a case in Israel, the company insists it did so only after full legal process, which I am sure is true, the point however is that your tracks in this digital sand are most certainly discoverable.

Will The Results of Google's Power Tilt Be A Competitive Advantage, or Shared with All?

By - November 27, 2007

Just wondering, given this news. From a Weisel report:

Voracious power needs: Given the rapid expansion of Google’s user base and the increasing volumes of search activities, Google’s power needs are large. The company has strategically positioned many of its data center to be closer to the power that is required to run its business, but if usage spikes, costs can increase and the RE<C initiative would be one way to increase the consistency of attractive pricing for its power needs. While the company does not disclose its power expenditures, we estimate all of Google’s power needs reside it in its cost of goods line and that power is responsible for 20-30% of COGS (ex depreciation). This would suggest that Google could potentially spend $500-700mn annually in 2008 on power alone, resulting in three to four points of margin. As such, the cost savings associated with affordable renewable energy and a steady source of reliable power could ultimately put the company at a competitive advantage.

Er…but will the learnings be shared? Is this a new business Google intends to own, or an initiative it intends to spearhead? I’ll ask…