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The Week We Searched For- October 2, 2009

Google Ventures into the Biotech Industry

Google Ventures invested in the biotechindustry this week. Google Venture is the venture capital arm of Google, which was formed in March. Google’s investment in Adimab [1], which produces anti-bodies using yeast-based molecules, comes as part of their plans to invest heavily, a planned $100 million, in the health care industry over the coming year. Antibody therapies are considered a vital part of the pharmaceutical industry [2], but one which requires a lot of technology, which Google has in abundance.

AT&T and Google Voice

When AT&T complained [3] to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last week about Google Voice [4] blocking calls to remote locations, they probably were not trying to spearhead an analysis of the relationship between traditional telecommunications and internet services, but that very well may be what they achieved. Their original complaint [5] was that Google Voice violated call-blocking laws. According to AT&T, Google should be held to the same standards as their telecom competitors and should be required to complete calls to rural areas at their own cost.  It is unclear to the FCC, however, whether Google Voice and other internet telecom services like Skype are truly telecom services.  As result, analysts suspect that the FCC will conduct an investigation into the relationship between these services and develop a new set of classification terms for traditional telephone services and internet providers. To read more, check out the Washington Post [6].

Apple Buys Placebase

Amidst a slew of mystery, it’s unclear whether or not Apple purchased Placebase, a mapping site, this week, but chances are they did. [7] The deal apparently happened in July, but it was only leaked this week at ComputerWorld. With Placebase, Apple puts itself back on the map (my first pun in years) for online mapping services, which could further harden Apple’s relationship with Google and Eric Schmidt. Check out the blog Laptop-Computers [8] to read more about the partnership and a comparison of Apple’s mapping services and Google’s Latitude.

IBM Launches New Email Service

IBM launched their LotusLive iNotes system this week, offering email, contact and daily planner management. The system as targeted at small businesses looking for a dependable flexible email system. LotusLive iNotes main selling point thus far, however, is its competitive pricing at $3 a month, compared to Google Apps Premier Edition at $50 a year. Check out Chris Kanaracus’ article [9] to read more about the service and SaaS (software as service).

Google Wave

Google has caused quite the stir this week with Google Wave [10], although it’s unclear what the hype is really all about. Google Wave is described as an online tool that will provide real-time communication between users, allowing people to work together on documents, photos, and videos. The tool is public and boasts that it enables users to rewind the ‘wave’ to review who modified what and when. It has been described by some as a hybrid between Wikipedia, Twitter and email. It’s difficult to tell now, however, whether the ‘wave’ will provide viable information or become another platform for blabber. [11] To read more about the new service, check out Omar L. Gallaga’s article [12] from National Public Radio.

The Bits and Bolts of the Week

‘Bits and Bolts’ is a quick rundown of some important stories that popped up over the week.