Patent Wars: Oracle v. Google (and then the world?)

Thursday, 12 August, 2010

Oracle is suing Google over use of Java in Android. I wonder if Sun’s former CEO and GC were still in charge, would there be the lawsuit? If I were a betting man, I would say no.


PAC-MAN forever! – Sucked up 4.82 million work hours (so far!)

Sunday, 23 May, 2010

Lovely idea but don’t waste/spend too much time playing the 30th anniversary Google PAC-MAN doodle. A win-win cooperation between Google and NAMCO.

May 25, 2010 Update: Google’s Pac-Man logo sucked up 4.82 million work hours

[via Google's PAC-MAN rules & Celebrating PAC-MAN's 30th birthday]


Google’s new approach to China

Monday, 22 March, 2010

Google Mainland China service availability - Mar 21, 2010

After weeks of waiting since,
Google.cn decision (part 1)
Google.cn decision (part 2) and China’s Foreign Ministry & White House responses
More Google China photos
US diplomatic note re Google China
Sergey Brin on Google’s China decision @ TED
Today, we finally have Google’s new approach to China.

So earlier today we stopped censoring our search services—Google Search, Google News, and Google Images—on Google.cn. Users visiting Google.cn are now being redirected to Google.com.hk, where we are offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong.

[...] Figuring out how to make good on our promise to stop censoring search on Google.cn has been hard. We want as many people in the world as possible to have access to our services, including users in mainland China, yet the Chinese government has been crystal clear throughout our discussions that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement. We believe this new approach of providing uncensored search in simplified Chinese from Google.com.hk is a sensible solution to the challenges we’ve faced—it’s entirely legal and will meaningfully increase access to information for people in China. We very much hope that the Chinese government respects our decision, though we are well aware that it could at any time block access to our services. We will therefore be carefully monitoring access issues, and have created this new web page, which we will update regularly each day, so that everyone can see which Google services are available in China.


Google launches Nexus One in Canada

Tuesday, 16 March, 2010

CBC is reporting, “Google launches Nexus One in Canada“. Good news for WIND Mobile customers.

By the way, I will write more about my WIND Mobile experiences when I can find some time. I’ve become a WIND customer since last week. I am so glad that I didn’t stay on with Bell Mobility and signed that 3-year contract.

If you are going to get a Nexus One in Canada, please leave a comment and share your experiences.

Ref: Google’s blog entry about shipping Nexus One to Canada.


Sergey Brin on Google’s China decision @ TED

Sunday, 28 February, 2010

First time I heard a little more discussion about the China situation.

Sergey Brin on Google’s China decision @ TED

TED BLOG EXCLUSIVE: Onstage at TED2010, TED curator Chris Anderson interviews Google’s Sergey Brin about the company’s recent statement on China. (Recorded at TED2010, in Long Beach, California, February 2010. Duration: 8:24.)


Google Buys Aardvark for $50M

Thursday, 11 February, 2010

Interesting info from Google Buys Aardvark for $50M,

As of October 2009, Aardvark said it had 90,000 users, with more than half of them having asked or answered a question. Eighty-eight percent of questions had been answered, and 60 percent within 10 minutes.


Google 1Gb/sec experimental fiber network

Thursday, 11 February, 2010

From Google “Think big with a gig“,

“Imagine sitting in a rural health clinic, streaming three-dimensional medical imaging over the web and discussing a unique condition with a specialist in New York. Or downloading a high-definition, full-length feature film in less than five minutes. Or collaborating with classmates around the world while watching live 3-D video of a university lecture. Universal, ultra high-speed Internet access will make all this and more possible. [...]

We’re planning to build and test ultra high-speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the United States. We’ll deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today with 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections. We plan to offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people.”

Love this kind of experiment to push the boundary of possibilities and set higher expectations for customers thus forcing the broadband providers to up their services.And pushing city or state governments themselves and via their citizens to act. Neat.

More news about this from CBC.


US diplomatic note re Google China

Friday, 15 January, 2010

New development re Google.cn decision today,

  1. U.S. to send formal message to China on Google case [reuters]
  2. US to formally ask China for explanation on cyber-attacks [AFP]
  3. To grow rich is [redacted] (The Economist]
  4. U.S. Will Protest to China Over Google Cyber Attack [Bloomberg]

Google.cn decision (part 2) and China’s Foreign Ministry & White House responses

Thursday, 14 January, 2010

For the record, I will list the China’s Foreign Ministry response to  David Drummond, Google Chief Legal Officer in Chinese and then English, both from Xinhua, the Chinese government officially approved, sanctioned, and mandated news source for all internal Chinese websites re the Google.cn decision (yes, it is illegal to quote or use any other news sources).

From 新华国际 “2010年01月14日 (外交部网站) 姜瑜就谷歌、海地地震、印度逮捕中国工程师等答问“,

问 [Question]:中国政府对谷歌公司宣布可能退出中国市场,不再和中国政府合作对网络内容进行审查有何回应?美国国务卿希拉里·克林顿要求中国对谷歌网络被攻击作出解释,中方对此有何回应?

答 [Answer]: 我想强调的是,中国的互联网是开放的,中国政府鼓励互联网的发展,努力为互联网的健康发展营造良好的环境。中国的法律禁止任何形式的黑客攻击行为。中国同其他国家一样,依法管理互联网,有关管理措施符合国际通行做法。我还想强调,中国欢迎国际互联网企业在中国依法开展业务。

关于第二个问题,如果美方联系中方,我们将向美方重申这一立场。

From Xinhua “China says its Web open, welcomes Int’l companies“,

China’s Internet is open and welcomes international companies, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Thursday, just two days after Google issued a statement saying it might quit China.

Spokeswoman Jiang Yu told a regular news briefing that China encouraged development of the Internet.

“China’s Internet is open,” said Jiang. “China has tried creating a favorable environment for Internet,” said Jiang while responding to a question on Google’s possible retreat.

“China welcomes international Internet companies to conduct business within the country according to law,” she said. “China’s law prohibits cyber crimes including hacker attacks.”

Here is the thing, China’s constitution is supposed to guarantee freedom of speech too but that hasn’t exactly done Prof. Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波) any good, has it? A sentence of 11 years imprisonment right on Christmas 2009 for signing Charter 08 along a few hundred other Chinese intellectuals and human rights activists.

So the bottom line is that we will need to see what the discussion between Google and the Chinese government comes down to.

Now Google has made a strong stand, I hope Google will make the right decision to be transparent and make the right choice between “good” and “profit”.

See my Google.cn decision – part 1.

P.S. What the Chinese based companies are saying now have little creditability in my eyes as the only way for them to survive is to obey the Chinese government.

In fact, I will go one step further and treat all Chinese companies’ spokespeople and senior executives as mouthpieces of the Chinese government. I will be very surprised if they suddenly decided to grow some political spine right at the time when spinelessness is the best way to stay profitable in China and be friends of the Chinese government.

P.P.S. For the record from NYT “Follow the Law, China Tells Internet Companies” (emphasis added),

After a day of silence, the Foreign Ministry said that China welcomed foreign Internet companies but that those offering online services must do so “in accordance with the law.” Speaking at a scheduled news conference, Jiang Yu, a ministry spokeswoman, did not address Google’s complaints about censorship and cyberattacks and simply stated that “China’s Internet is open.”

The remarks, and those of another high-ranking official who called for even tighter Internet restrictions, may speed Google’s departure and increase friction between Beijing and the Obama administration, which has made priorities of Internet freedom and online security.

Read the rest of this entry »


More Google China photos

Wednesday, 13 January, 2010

See more Google China photos in this post compiled by Elliott. I have deepest admiration of the Chinese paying their respect at Google China HQ. Knowing they are watched and monitored by the Chinese government at Google HQ takes lot of courage.

Yes, there are reports that you now need permission from Chinese government to bring flowers to Google China HQ!


Google Washington DC Talks by Jeff Jarvis, author of “What Would Google Do?”

Wednesday, 13 January, 2010

In light of the Google.cn decision, I am watching the following Apr 2009 Google Talk by Jeff Jarvis, author of “What Would Google Do?” and self-proclaimed Google fanboy, to see if I can gain some additional insights.

Interesting ideas at time codes: 21:40 and in particular at 23:38 where there is a discussion censoring results at Google.cn & Google not operating in China.


Google attacked and likely to exit China

Tuesday, 12 January, 2010

Here is an excerpt from an entry posted by David Drummond, Google Chief Legal Officer on Google’s official blog (emphasis added),

First, this attack was not just on Google. As part of our investigation we have discovered that at least twenty other large companies from a wide range of businesses–including the Internet, finance, technology, media and chemical sectors–have been similarly targeted. We are currently in the process of notifying those companies, and we are also working with the relevant U.S. authorities.

Second, we have evidence to suggest that a primary goal of the attackers was accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. Based on our investigation to date we believe their attack did not achieve that objective. Only two Gmail accounts appear to have been accessed, and that activity was limited to account information (such as the date the account was created) and subject line, rather than the content of emails themselves.

Third, as part of this investigation but independent of the attack on Google, we have discovered that the accounts of dozens of U.S.-, China- and Europe-based Gmail users who are advocates of human rights in China appear to have been routinely accessed by third parties. These accounts have not been accessed through any security breach at Google, but most likely via phishing scams or malware placed on the users’ computers.

[...] We launched Google.cn in January 2006 in the belief that the benefits of increased access to information for people in China and a more open Internet outweighed our discomfort in agreeing to censor some results. At the time we made clear that “we will carefully monitor conditions in China, including new laws and other restrictions on our services. If we determine that we are unable to achieve the objectives outlined we will not hesitate to reconsider our approach to China.

These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered–combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web–have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. [*****] We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China. [*****]

The decision to review our business operations in China has been incredibly hard, and we know that it will have potentially far-reaching consequences. We want to make clear that this move was driven by our executives in the United States, without the knowledge or involvement of our employees in China [k-note: I read this as a message to Chinese government, don't blame the Chinese employees] who have worked incredibly hard to make Google.cn the success it is today. We are committed to working responsibly to resolve the very difficult issues raised.

An excerpt from WSJ “Google Warns of China Exit” (emphasis added),

For Google to withdraw from China would be an extremely rare repudiation by a Western company of what is almost universally seen in business circles as one of the world’s most important markets. The country has 338 million Internet users as of June, more than any other country. Even the public suggestion that it is considering such a move is likely to infuriate Chinese authorities. Google’s statement could complicate matters for other tech companies sensitive to being seen as [****] accomplices of the Chinese government. [****]

More reports in UK Guardian “Google sends a shockwave through Chinese internet”, TIME “Google Ends Policy of Self-Censorship in China”Wired, CNet, ZDnet, Reuters “Chinese Internet activists applaud Google, see no backdown”, UK Guardian “Google strikes a blow to China’s Great Firewall”.

Congrats to Google for regaining its backbone in China! And I also agree with ZDnet in saying “Bravo! Google takes a stand for human rights in China”.


Google Nexus One BoM cost $174.15 (Build of Materials cost estimated by iSuppli)

Sunday, 10 January, 2010

Check out this iSuppli’s Build of Materials estimate of the Google Nexus One.

[HT Techmeme]


Google Nexus One Teardown

Thursday, 7 January, 2010

iFixit has a good Google Nexus One Teardown with beautiful pictures. Enjoy.

[HT mashable]


Engadget’s Google Nexus One review

Tuesday, 5 January, 2010

Engadget's Google Nexus One review

Engadget’s Google Nexus One review. I wonder will this phone work on WIND Mobile‘s network?


Google’s Eric Schmidt on What the Web Will Look Like in 5 Years

Sunday, 3 January, 2010

I am late on this one. But the Oct 27, 2009 video is still worth watching.

* Interesting: Chrome’s tabs have individual address spaces (like an OS) to enhance security.

[via ReadWriteWeb HT Alyssa]


How to Run a Meeting Like Google

Wednesday, 30 December, 2009

An excerpt from “How to Run a Meeting Like Google” (emphasis added),

Mayer holds an average of 70 meetings a week and serves as the last stop before engineers and project managers get the opportunity to pitch their ideas to Google’s co-founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Eight teams consisting of directors, managers, and engineers—all at various stages of product development—answer to Mayer.

In a shop like Google (GOOG), much of the work takes place in meetings, and her goal is to make sure teams have a firm mandate, strategic direction, and actionable information, while making participants feel motivated and respected. Mayer’s six keys to running successful meetings follow:

1. Set a firm agenda.
Mayer requests a meeting agenda ahead of time that outlines what the participants want to discuss and the best way of using the allotted time. Agendas need to have flexibility, of course, but Mayer finds that agendas act as tools that force individuals to think about what they want to accomplish in meetings. It helps all those involved to focus on what they are really trying to achieve and how best to reach that goal.

[HT O'Reilly Radar]


Innovating Search – Marissa Mayer, VP Search Products and User Experience, Google

Wednesday, 25 November, 2009

Fascinating and insightful talk “Innovating Search” by Marissa Mayer, VP Search Products and User Experience, Google. Here is the talk info,

Lecturer for A. Richard Newton Distinguished Innovator Lecture Series. Marissa Mayer leads the company’s product management efforts on search products web search, images, news, books, products, maps, Google Earth, Google Toolbar, Google Desktop, Google Health, Google Labs and more. She joined Google in 1999 as Google’s first female engineer and led the user interface and web server teams at that time. Her efforts have included designing and developing Google’s search interface, internationalizing the site to more than 100 languages, defining Google News, Gmail, and Orkut, and launching more than 100 features and products on Google.com. Several patents have been filed on her work in artificial intelligence and interface design. In her spare time, Marissa also organizes Google Movies outings a few times a year to see the latest blockbusters for 6,000+ people (employees plus family and friends).

Dec 30 update: BW: How to Run a Meeting Like Google
No one wastes time searching for a purpose at Marissa Mayer’s meetings—even five-minute gatherings must have a clear agenda


May be later: Google Wave changes news

Monday, 23 November, 2009

Interesting read and some examples of “How Google Wave is Changing the News“. Very neat early day experiments.

At the moment, the early adopters of Google Wave are trying things out and playing with it. And this group is likely biased towards the tech savvy ones and spread around the world (thus not necessary local in your city nor even care about things happening in your country). I think it will be dangerous to draw much conclusions from people participating in Wave conversations and then concluding their views as representative of your town/city/society as a whole.

Surveying people “randomly” over the the phone in the early early days of telephone will bound to produce biased result with people who are “rich” enough and “savvy” enough to want a phone in their home. It is probably not fair to survey people on their satellite phones (or Google Wave) to get their views on Oprah ending her show in 2011 and then try to draw some general conclusion. :)

P.S. I think Google Wave has the potential to be a powerful tool, but we need to see how the experiments pans out first and also what we learn from these experiments. For example, a Wave that collects factual eye witness accounts of a notable event (a fire, a concert, an accident, etc) may be a neat way to use Wave.

Now I want to see some Canadian news media doing some Waving! How about CBC News, as the leader in many things internet, you want to give it a try?


What is Google Wave?

Monday, 23 November, 2009

Some people may not know what is Google Wave. Here are a few videos that will give you some ideas what is Wave.

A nicely done explanation

Google Wave: 15 features. Pretty clean and concise instructions on how to use some features.

OK, this one is the infamous 80 minutes long original launch video. Watch at your own risk! :)


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