Meet The New Borg: Google, Facebook & Apple

Back in 1996, the now defunct Boardwatch Magazine had a classic cover depicting Microsoft and CEO Bill Gates as the Borg. For 2010, we'd like to submit some more modern candidates: Google, Facebook and Apple. The article below assumes some knowledge of the Borg from Star Trek. Never heard of them? Nasty creatures that "assimilated" everything into their "collective" society. The Google Borg Google started as that lovable search engine that found what you wanted. Google still finds what you want, but to some, it feels much less lovable these days. The company has assimilated many web [...]

Bloomberg To Air “Game Changers” Documentary On Google

Bloomberg Television is airing a documentary on Thursday, Oct. 28 at 9PM Eastern about Google, as part of its "Game Changers" series. It features interviews with a number of Google watchers, such as Ken Auletta who wrote Googled, author Steven Levy and myself. Former Googler and now notable venture capitalist Chris Sacca is also interviewed, among others. I haven't seen the documentary yet, so I'll be watching along with others to see the final product. There are two preview clips you can watch now, a short 30 second one: and a longer 3:30 minute one: If you don't have Bloombe [...]

Google Opens Retail Google Schwag Store

Louis Gray reports that Google has opened up a physical retail store, to compliment their online store. The physical store is located on the Google Campus at 2000 Charleston Road building, known as the 2000 Alza building. The building houses the Google Buzz team and "consumer-facing products" according to Gray. When Gray visited Google recently he said he found the "lobby swarming with gadget seekers today, and a line with dozens of customers looking to sport the Google logo." He took a video of the inside of the store, which shows a nice line at the checkout counter: Can you ju [...]

Google’s Automated Cars: The Perfect Venue For Ads

Imagine this: You're driving across town to catch a concert by a new artist that friends have been talking about for weeks. Only you're not really driving. The car is driving itself. And you're actually paying as much attention to the video screen on your car's dashboard as anything. You've already bought the singer's latest album and it's stored in your car's hard drive. As you listen, some ads pop-up on the screen inviting you to "like" the artist on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. There are also ads offering tickets to see her perform, but you don't need those. You do need a pla [...]

Not Hot Air: Google Investing In Offshore Wind Energy

Google announced last night that the company has invested "in the development of a backbone transmission project off the Mid-Atlantic coast" that will help support future harvesting of power from offshore wind turbines up and down 350 miles of the US East Coast. The windmills have yet to be built, but this is key infrastructure for the development of wind power on the Atlantic Coast. According to the NY Times the "backbone" project is valued at $5 billion. Google, Good Energies and a Japanese company Marubeni have all invested in the first phase of development. Google and Good Energies are [...]

Google Working On Auto Driving Cars

Google's mission is "to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful." Their next step into that realm is making auto driving cars. The Google Blog announced Google has "developed technology for cars that can drive themselves." Yes, auto-driving cars, like from the movies and high tech TV shows. Google's reasoning behind this move is to make the roads safer and reduce accidents. Google said they have been testing this for a while and have already driven 140,000 miles with trained safety drivers who can override the system at any time. Google explaine [...]

How Google Killed “Phone A Friend” From “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”

Google gets blamed for everything these days. Even game show format changes. This past Wednesday, with our SMX East conference winding down in New York City, I walked up to ABC studios to watch a couple tapings of Who Wants To Be A Millionare. I also stayed after the tapings to take the audition test, hoping to qualify to be a contestant on the show. Who wants to be a millionaire? Duh. Me. Now, watching TV shows being taped can be a very dull experience. There are takes, re-takes, breaks, stops, starts, edits, interruptions, and so forth. (It took more than two hours to tape two 3 [...]

Privacy, “The Creepy Line” And Beyond: It’s Not Just About Google

Most of you have seen the recent and now semi-infamous quote from Google CEO Eric Schmidt about how Google goes right "up to" what it considers a taboo boundary -- "the creepy line" -- but not beyond: "There is what I call the creepy line," he said at an event at the Newseum. "The Google policy on a lot of things is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it." If you look at the slightly larger context of this comment you see that it's intended to be a joke of sorts. But the degree to which this quote was repeated and blogged about reflects the sensitivity (and fear) that exists a [...]

Google Phone Gallery Presents A Comparison Engine For Android Handsets

It's the return of the Nexus One online store. In fact the old URL for the Nexus One site is now occupied by a mini shopping comparison site for Android handsets called the "Google Phone Gallery." Note that it's called Google Phone Gallery and not "Android Phone Gallery." Indeed, it's meant to showcase "Android-powered devices that deliver the best Google experience today." Android devices are multiplying like rabbits and consumers are going to be confused by all the handset choices. Verizon in the US, for example, has six Android handsets to choose from. It's therefore helpful to be abl [...]

Study: Apple Gets More Positive Ink Than Google

A newly released year-long study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism looked at US tech coverage in general and individual company coverage in particular and found some interesting things. Most of the technology coverage from June, 2009 to June 2010 was positive. However the single biggest story was about the dangers of texting while driving: "Nearly one-in-ten technology stories were about this subject, more than five times the coverage of either the U.S. plan for broadband access and six times the coverage devoted to the debate over net neutrality." Ac [...]

Need Pre-Facebook Movie Drama? Go Read “Googled” This Week

With the Facebook movie's debut a week away, how about something to keep you entertained while you wait? A book. About that other major internet drama story, Google. The book? "Googled, The End Of The World As We Know It," by Ken Auletta. Googled came out at the end of last year, and I've been terribly remiss in not writing my review of it until now. It is a masterwork. Required reading for anyone trying to understand how disruptive the internet has been to businesses, and how Google has ridden that disruptive wave, as well as having churned it up. You want drama? Here's drama, about [...]

Google New: Find Google’s Latest Releases At One Web Page

Google announced a new portal named Google New. Google New is the one stop shop to find all the latest Google product and services. Google New seems to aggregate all the Google blogs and shows the latest posts from them on this site. It provides a search box to search for Google products. It also displays a highlighted Google product, today's highlighted product is Google Instant. Google also has a directory of all their blogs, products, ads, developer tools and more at one location. Google New however isolates the latest Google releases. Check it out at [...]

Google Updates Anti-Censorship Weapons

Earlier this year Google launched an innovative "Government Requests map," which showed how regularly governments around the world were asking Google to remove information or content from its index and services. Google won plaudits for the initiative, as well as criticism from some governments that the map allegedly made look like censoring regimes. Yesterday Google folded the Government Requests Map into a new two pronged "Transparency Report." The new "report" will feature the existing Government requests for content removal, which have been updated, and a traffic timeline. The lat [...]

Privacy, Profit & The Emergence Of Google’s “Evil Twin”

There's a funny and satirical 1989 British film called "How to Get Ahead in Advertising." The movie focuses on an ad executive, played by actor Richard E. Grant, who experiences an ethical and mid-life crisis. He develops a boil on his neck, which grows into a literal head (a kind of evil twin) and eventually takes over. That struck me as a kind of metaphor for Google today. Indeed, it would would appear there are now "two Googles." One is a socially conscious company that develops great products and stakes out bold, consumer-centric public positions. The other, Google's boil or "evil twin, [...]

Google’s New Philosophy: We’re A Portal

After years of refusing the "portal" label, it seems that Google has finally had a change of mind. Google's new attitude is evident on its Our Philosophy - Ten things we know to be true page. As Eric Goldman points out, that page has changed: On June 3, 2004 (per, the page said "Google may be the only company in the world whose stated goal is to have users leave its website as quickly as possible." (emphasis added) On September 6, 2010, that same line now reads "We may be the only people in the world who can say our goal is to have people leave our homepage as quickly as [...]

Feds Consider Google-ITA Deal: Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t

In what is becoming an annual ritual Google announces a dramatic acquisition, pundits speculate about the potentially market-changing impact and anti-trust investigators give it a long, hard look -- only to allow it in the end. Last year the transaction in question was AdMob; this year it's ITA software. Since the roughly $700 million deal was announced in July federal regulators and anti-trust authorities have been seeking information from Google and talking to online travel companies. (The review is being conducted by the US Justice Dept. in ITA; it was the FTC in the case of AdMob.) Sinc [...]

Angstro Buy, Shopping, Gaming Investments Point To Multi-Pronged Google Social Strategy

Last week Google acquired Angstro. The site has been described as a way to discover and organize information about individuals across various professional networks. Here's how Angstro describes itself: Ångströ represents the ability to hone in on highly focused, relevant news across professional networks. Where search engines such as Google and other news aggregator services have immense infrastructures that return a huge array of random results, Ångströ analyses a wide breadth of information from multiple data sources to deliver very few, yet very intelligent results. The pundit consens [...]

Google, The Movie?

Deadline New York reports Google might make it to the movie screen. Deadline said Groundswell Productions and producer John Morris are attempting to acquire movie rights to the book "Googled: The End of the World As We Know it." The film will be about Google's co-founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, rise to riches and fame. London's Groundswell Productions said: It's about these two young guys who created a company that changed the world, and how the world in turn changed them. The heart of the movie is their wonderful edict, don't be evil. At a certain point in the evolution of a c [...]

Gnarly, Dude: Google Solves Rubik’s Cube In 20 Moves

This'll make a lot of us feel a lot dumber: Scientists have used Google to prove that Rubik's Cube can be solved in 20 moves or less. So, that was about two years of my early 1980s life wasted. The UK's Daily Mail says that a Kent State University professor worked with a Google engineer and other researchers to show how silly the rest of us are for spending so long on that little, square toy: Using Google's supercomputers, a team of researchers have processed every one of the Rubik's Cube's 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 different configurations to work what is the maximum number of moves ne [...]

Will “Google Me” Be A Worthy Facebook Challenger Or Will It Be DOA?

Let's take "Google Me" seriously as a social networking site, successor to Orkut and overall Facebook challenger. As everyone by now knows Digg's Kevin Rose started a wave of coverage when he asserted over the weekend, in a Twitter post now removed, that Google was working on a Facebook competitor. Yesterday I asked Google for a comment and received a friendly but anonymous response: "We do not comment on rumor or speculation." Of course not. That almost certainly means that something is coming. I told several people yesterday that it was probably a beefed up version of Google Profil [...]

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