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, BusinessWeek.com has learned.
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.
Google has changed its language with regard to paid links.
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.
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…
How do you all feel about Facebook’s new platform? Are you using it? Move On isn’t so pleased.
Two US Senators yesterday urged the FTC to give Google’s Doubleclick deal “serious scrutiny.” While I imagine that’s already been done, it’s interesting to see the letter sent.
Mike pinged me yesterday to note that perhaps someone was listening over at the new Dow Jones – the walls are coming down from the biggest paid site, (AP report), and the Journal is integrating paid links into Digg, a smart move. My book rant on “The Point to Economy,” a major meme in my ongoing research on the Conversation Economy, is here.
Well, it sure took a while (11 years), but Northeastern University claims to own the patent on Google’s approach to search (its intellectual property spawned a company called Jarg). So it sued last week. Thanks to Gary, who has the docs, for the tip.
Google responds in the linked Cnet story that the suit is “without merit.”
Is Facebook Ads illegal? Probably not, but …. one would hope this issue had been vetted prior to launch, given the launch was in New York…
There is at least one problem with this idea: It may be illegal under a 100-year-old New York privacy law. The statute says that “any person whose name, portrait, picture, or voice is used within this state for advertising purposes or for the purposes of trade without the written consent first obtained” can sue for damages. Moreover, such a use is also a criminal misdemeanor.
According to William McGeveran, a professor at the University of Minnesota Law School who wrote about these laws in a blog post today, the law would apply to Facebook users anywhere if the ad were displayed in New York. Arguably, it could apply if the ad was displayed on a computer screen within the state.
I doubt this is going to go very far, but at the very least it shows a lack of due diligence…a quick change in the TOS would have addressed this.