Google’s Bagel and Cream Cheese Meeting on Wednesday
Google had a breakfast meeting with reporters on Wednesday morning, in which they further articulated the company’s ambitions and responded to some recent disputes. Amidst cream cheese and lox, Google defended themselves against critics of their book plan and widespread coverage of their recent outages, claiming that they seek to be inventors. Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, also reiterated his belief that the worst of the economic crisis is over.
- The Other Google Economy- The grass is apparently very green on Google’s side of the campus, as Eric Schmidt predicted on Wednesday the steady recovery of America’s economy. At the press conference, Schmidt explained that Google’s roughest patch of the year came in the spring, but that their revenue started picking up again in the middle of summer. Both Schmidt and Sergey Brin, co-founder, seemed confident that Google will continue to grow as the economy rebounds.
- Google Books: Will There Ever Be a Solution?- Brin took the press conference as an opportunity to dispel the rumor that Google Books will become a monopoly of the world’s literature. According to Brin, the book agreement would not preclude others from creating digital library systems. If you haven’t been keeping tabs on Google Books, I recommend checking out Mguel Helft’s article “In E-Books, It’s an Army vs. Google,” which details the history of the conflict and the current legal proceedings. I would also suggest Motoko Rich’s article on the must recent legal ruling.
- Google Apps- Google’s efforts to generate demand for a a strong, reliable application system have been slowed by recent outages and a flurry of commentators, who claim that Google should focus on perfecting their current products, rather than spreading their energies too thin. Google founders reacted to such comments on Wednesday, apologizing that the outages have been so frequent and lengthy, but asserting that their Chrome project is strong and has a healthy adoption rate.
Twitter Outage and Other Tweeting News
According to Twitter, Thursday’s outage was caused by a bug in one of their core servers. Thursday was a busy day for Twitter, whose founders reportedly met with Google and Microsoft to discuss the possible integration of Twitter into their search engines. If these conversations lead to a deal, Twitter would not only become an even larger internet presence, but would also have a solid, i.e. more transparent, revenue model.
YouTube reached agreements with Harmonic, Telestream and Digital Rapids this week. The three companies produce software, which converts digital files, allowing media companies to transfer shows from television to the internet and mobile devices. YouTube and Google, which acquired the company in 2006, have consistently battled with media companies about illegally uploaded content. Over the past year, these companies have stopped persecuting YouTube and have instead taken authorship of illegally posted videos, enabling YouTube to sell advertisements. The profits of these adverts are split between media companies and YouTube. To read more about the how YouTube’s partnership with Harmonic, Telestream and Digital Rapids will affect the production of these videos, check out Miguel Helft’s article in the New York Times.
The Bits and Bolts of the Week
- Amazon started taking pre-orders for the launch of their $40 Kindle and their new international version of the beloved digital book reader, which will premiere on October 18.
- Second Market acquired InsideVenture this week to further its ambitions to help exit the economic crisis by providing a marketplace for investors to trade shares of private companies.
- Google joined forces with Energy, Inc. to produce the Google PowerMeter, which enables consumers to monitor their home electricity use in real time.
- The federal appeals court found eBay and Skype not guilty of copyright infringement in their suit with the California based company Peer Communications.
- The Norwegian based telecommunications company Telenor reached an understanding this week with their Russian adversary Altimo. After a five-year dispute, the two agreed to set aside their differences, drop their lawsuits against each other and merge their assets.
- Twitter is preparing to expand into foreign markets and is looking for individuals to help them translate into German, French, Italian and Spanish, for starters.
- Dell confirmed their plans to produce an Android smart phone using Google’s software.