Tag: search engines

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Europe’s Anti-Google Ruling Stifles Competition

Today the European Union gave Apple a great gift to celebrate iPhone’s 10th anniversary (on June 29th): The ridiculous, record $2.7 billion fine, and associated sanctions, against Google that once again demonstrates the EU’s small-minded oversight that wrongly regulates evolving technologies in a big world. The adverse antitrust ruling finds that the online titan favored its own online shopping services (and paying customers) over rivals.

In February 2010, with the EU Competition Commission’s preliminary investigation starting, I rightly called “Google a dangerous monopoly“. Seven years later, the competitive landscape has dramatically changed, and rapidly evolves. The Commission’s action is too much, too late, and in the short-term can only benefit rivals like Apple that will dominate online activities and commerce as what we knew as traditional web search becomes something else. 

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Google, Love You, Love You Not, Love…

As a working journalist, I am conflicted about Google. In my ebook Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers, I call the company a “leech that feeds off the intellectual property of legitimate content producers” and rail on the Google free economy’s negative impact on the Fourth Estate. That said, I am a huge consumer of the company’s products and services, which enable me to better do my job and that empower my life.

Something else: A decade ago (yes, 2005), I identified “Search as the New User Interface“—and it has proved to be for a generation of computer users. The UI, particularly from Google, helps to democratize content, and so doing empowers (there’s that “e” word again) everyone. But search also encourages content piracy. Philosophically, I strongly believe in information for all. Economically, I want to earn a living from writing, which is much more difficult in 2015 than 2005.

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Google, Give Thanks!

It wouldn’t be U.S. Thanksgiving without my writing about gratitude, and why some tech company’s executives, employees, and partners should prostrate and pray “Thanks”.

This year I to Google, which continues a great run that started with Larry Page’s return as CEO in April 2011. If he’s not all smiles this Turkey Day, someone should slap that man aside the head. I could tick off a hundred things for which he should give thanks. For brevity’s sake, so you can get back to the big game and bigger bird, I select some things that might not come to mind. 

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Yahoo searches for Itself

Ah, shucks, I missed Yahoo’s 19th birthday yesterday. That’s okay, because 20 will matter more. Yahoo is cloud computing’s elder statesmen, long before anyone used the term. Just a handful of first-wave dotcoms—Amazon is another—are public companies today, making the transition from venture-backed startup with a dream and no viable revenue source ahead.

Yahoo is a warrior. A survivor. A transformer. I use the latter term not to describe a company that transforms industries but one that transforms itself. Yahoo is many things over 19 years—search engine, web portal, and media mogul to name a few. Under CEO Marissa Mayer, the company changes again, but still seeks new identity. Good luck with that.

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Bubbling Bing Soda Story is Flat

Microsoft employee evangelist Heather Hamilton is my darling today (Please don’t tell my wife!). She writes quite convincingly that “Sometimes, when something looks like a fizzy scoop, it totally isn’t.” Heather responds to a weird story circulating the blogs—soda cans marketing Bing to Microsoft employees. Anyone who works for Microsoft or has visited the campus should know there are fridges on every floor (or there sure seem to be) filled with soda and other beverages. Microsoft coolers pack a better selection than my local 7-Eleven, and for better price: Free. I’ve seen product branded cans in the coolers before, but hadn’t thought much of them. Branded gear of every shape and size can be found at most consumer companies.

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Google: It’s Not About Search

These days, Google seems to be interested in just about everything—portals, search, VoIP, instant messaging, email, photos, blogging, maps, topography, Wi-Fi and NASA, just for starters. Google’s eclectic interests must aggravate Microsoft’s competitive analysis folks. Every week, someone asks me what any part of all this stuff has to do with search. After all, Google is a search company.

I disagree. Google no longer is just a search company, if it ever really was. Search is really a means to an end, and that end is the access to information. Looked at from this perspective, access to information, all of Google’s recent announcements make sense. And combined they foreshadow where the company is going and why Microsoft really should worry about Google.