Tag Archives: Google


New Yahoo CEO

New Yahoo CEO

Innovative and thought provoking! A renewed focus on Product (vs bringing in a media/ad specialist). Yahoo had two great options to chose from for the leadership role….very interesting to watch this unfold.

Web 2.0 Women

Fast Company wrote a good article on some of the most influential women on the web.

Some names you would expect to see, including Marissa Mayer at Google and Arianna Huffington at the Huffington Post, along with a few others that were interesting to read about.

Fast Company Women of the Web

Fast Company Women of the Web

Cabinet position – CTO of the United States of America

BusinessWeek (and TechCrunch) have a recent article that covers Obama’s suggestion that if elected “the Illinois Senator promised … he would create the first-ever Cabinet-level post of chief technology officer.” Some expected names popped up as potential candidates: Vint Cerf of Google, Microsoft’s chief executive officer Steve Ballmer, Amazon’s CEO Jeffrey Bezos and Ed Felten of Princeton.

The two main goals for this White House CTO would be to improve broadband penetration as “the country ranked 15th among industrial nations in penetration, with a mere 23 out of 100 Americans having access to broadband service”.  Secondly, the CTO “would almost certainly be deeply involved in overseeing a federally-backed $50 billion venture capital fund that Obama has proposed to develop more environmentally friendly technology”.

Its compelling to watch and see how people respond to a CTO offer? Do these captains of industry forsake their silicon valley (or Seattle) dominions and take the same road Henry Paulson and his brethren in the finance industry a la Goldman Sachs took to the beltway?

The brilliant article this weekend in the NYT, “The Guys from Government Sachs” follows Goldman alum as they travel the road from Wall Street to Washington and give up their careers in high finance for that of the Treasury or White House.

A little reported fact that surprisingly hasnt popped up in the discussion around Henry Paulson and his covey of Goldman-ites he placed in various positions during the latest banking crisis is the tax breaks they may receive.

While I am not so cynical that Paulson is motivated by tax incentives to head to Washington, and I understand there are “conflicts of interest” motivating these types of structures, its interesting to note such savings.

If an official such as Paulson puts his assets into a blind trust, he is exempt from capital gains. Taking the job at Treasury, by some estimates, saved Paulson $200m in tax liabilities! Not a bad move afterall…despite a decrease in salary from $27m a year to a $183k!

Goldman HQ

Goldman HQ

iPhones, android, and the new T-Mobile G1

First time in over a year that I am excited again for a new phone / gadget. I will admit, the iPhone has kept me entertained and involved with the continuous stream of apps (currently enjoying the recently downloaded Vicinity), Pandora for music and as always, the photo tool whereby I can show friends snaps from past weekends.

But, I have now had it with that ever frustrating device.  My patience has been expended and my nerves are frayed (not really, but sounded dramatic).  Sometimes my iPhone rings, sometimes calls go straight to voicemail? Hmm, and I rely on my phone for business!  Since this is my third iPhone in under a year, I dont think this specific device is buggy. Its much bigger than that!

NYT Rendering of a Google mobile enthusiast!

NYT Rendering of a Google mobile enthusiast!

Thus, my curiosity for the latest shiny object is (drum roll) the latest android based phone from Google. When does this hit AT&T’s network? Please….soon?! The NYT article suggests it has similar functionality to the iPhone, will enable additional apps that the iPhone (and Apple) prevent (ie free calling via skype type tech) but will not have Flash enabled video?

* Side note: Adobe came out with Flash 10 this week after many months of beta…and yet mobile is so far behind with using Flash? Flash enabled video on the web accounts for 85%+ of all videos viewed according to a recent article….so why isnt the iPhone (or any of these smart-phones) enabling Flash? Obviously to engender the usage of their own core tech…but annoying! Requiring video content publishers to encode in various file formats for the web and then for mobile platforms (expensive and time consuming and limiting adoption)…but that is for another rant!

What are the pitfalls for this new device you ask? As the article suggests, “…where Android really falls down is in the department. There’s no companion program like iTunes to sync your photos, music and videos to the phone; you’re expected to drag these items to the phone manually after connecting via USB cable to your Mac or PC. More time-consuming fussiness.”  Since I sync my life (music, photos, calendar) daily, this could be very problematic?  MocoNews (a PaidContent site) has an interesting review of the feature set.

What I look forward to are the android features: “voice dialing, picture messaging, built-in audio recording and the ability to turn any song into a ring tone are all included — no charge.”

Not earth shattering, but enough fun on long train rides to keep this enthusiast from catching the bored bug. As the Google blog on mobile described in an article titled “The Future of Mobile”, “…. it’s safe to say that the mobile phone may be the most prolific consumer product ever invented.”!

NYT photo of android handset

NYT photo of android handset

Google launches meme tracker

Techcrunch (and Google’s blog) reported today that Google launched a new blog tracker and search site.

I often look at Digg or Yahoo‘s “top search” box on Yahoo’s home page to get a sense of what people are talking about, looking for, etc. Digg may have a delayed effect and Yahoo’s result may be more mainstream than what interests me?

Google Blog Search

Google Blog Search

Will see if Google’s new site surfaces timely and relevant stories or themes “before the masses” and/or at the same time as Drudge (which acts as a proxy for mainstream media).

2008 Elections!

I am watching in awe as this voter season turns from energized to frenetic!  So many different ways to engage in the process….with the web playing the biggest role “ever” (how is that for hyperbole)!

A few things that caught my eye:

(1) Video hosted by Leonardo DiCaprio – Hollywood Declares Themselves with a hilarious, albeit left leaning “register to vote” video.  Some pretty funny quips from Sarah Silverman. Crass as always!

(2) I checked out the Declare Youself site (a competitor to Rock the Vote?) and was amazed at how easy the site made it for unregistered users to sign up in their local towns.

(3) Laughing Squid had interesting coverage on Al Gore and his use of Twitter (or lack thereof). They were all bent out of shape that Al doesnt Twitter? What….the ex VP has no time to navel gaze? Hmm… I would probably be more distraught if he was Twittering vs saving the planet from environmental collapse.

(4) Google’s blog had some interesting helpful hints on voting. Interesting fact” ..roughly 1 in 4 Americans still aren’t registered to vote, according to the most recent Census report.” Is that possible?  Last stat I read suggested only 30% of American’s have a passport. Only 25% vote for the man/woman leading the country for the next 4/8 years? Apathy? Difficulty in registration?  Google’s Voter Info Map currently puts registration, absentee and early voting information in one place.

(5) Twitter Election 2008 is quite interesting. Not the most sophisticated commentary, but interesting process of providing the people a voice (in addition to enabling them to vote – see above)! Amazing at the inputs involved across the web and the aggregation process! Real time commentary that struck a cord with me as we unleash the internet to allow people to share, collaborate, opine, etc. Nothing new…but exciting to watch!

Twitter 2008

Twitter 2008

(6) Twitter part deux: Hacking the Debate is incredible! “Current TV will be broadcasting updates on live television during the debate.” Streaming commentary from the sphere as the candidates discuss and argue real time.

And of course, you can check out CNN and all the other talking heads that have an opinion on this or that as it relates to the election!

Chat, Social Media and Virtual Worlds

How do these three mediums converge in the coming year(s)?

While IM, text and email are firmly planted into our daily rituals (unless you are under the age of 21, where communication is via a social network site). Recently, the question of this convergence bubbled to the surface as I spoke with a 17 year old and found out he and his friends rarely, if never, used their email accounts? His group of friends, not unlike other people his age, supposedly converse via the platforms such as Facebook. You dont use email I asked?

Is this a tidal shift in user adoption or a “stage of life” whereas once the late teens and early collegiate kids hit the work world, their email address will become indespensible…like the rest of us? Or, will Facebook (or fill in the blank social media platform supplant email and its ilk to become the connectivity factor that is dominant?

Thinking more on this subject, if social media becomes the entry point to the web and THE platform for communcation, then a more personalized experience will gradually morphy/evolve from the static experience of today. Thus, virtual worlds (or elements of these experiences – games, sticky apps, personalization via avatars, etc) will make their way into the mainstream dialogue.

Thus, I took a look at a few of the virtual worlds that are teeming with small, but very active users. Sites such as Gaia with their bobble heads focusing on the early teen market with their sticky casual games made me think the casual game market is going to continue to explode. 

Club Penguin, geared towards the 6-14 year old was not that interesting but then again I wasnt the target demo! Hangout.net and the ability to personalize one’s “room” was intriguing in that its controlled experience, ie one room (unlike Second Life’s free for all) suggested personalization for the college dorm set.

There.com which was geared towards late teens, provided hip avatars that personified the zeitgeist of that age bracket – wanting to be someone much cooler than reality!  Habbo was another interesting site that focused on the early teen market and had an active chat community. I wont touch on Second Life, arguably the most profound and social developed of all sites with its DYI model and functioning currency.

Other sites caught my attention, like Moove with its edgy avatars seemingly geared towards an older audience.

Active Worlds was another DYI build and linux based for the more sophisticated EE amongst us. Zwinky, which was bought by IAC was geared entirely at the tween girl market. Other sites that hit my radar were Stardoll for the late teen demo, whose consumption oriented fashionista behaviors seemed the most likely for ecommerce based revenue streams. Kaneva with their edgy avatars had a high “cool” factor.

Google’s Lively (which I couldnt access since they dont support Mac based OS….annoying) is a must see at this point, despite a lack of fanfare from those I know who have toyed with their app. Meez, a site with 3d avatars and games was another site speaking to the interactivity of entertainment and personalization,

Sites that I plan to review are Cyworld and Roma Victor (an MMORPG based on Hadrian’s wall and Rome;  where in 2007, corporal punishment was instituted amongst its players for crimes against others for misdeeds).