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Google = Google+ Earlier this week I participated in Google’s partner conference, entitled Zeitgeist after the company’s annual summary of trending topics. Deep readers of this site know I have a particular affection for the original Zeitgeist, first published in 2001. When I stumbled across that link, I realized I had to write The Search. The conference reminds me of TED, full of presentations and interviews meant to inspire and challenge the audience’s thinking. I participated in a few of the onstage discussions, and was honored to do so.

I’d been noodling a post about the meaning of Google’s brand*, in particular with respect to Google+, for some time, and I’d planned to write it before heading to the conference, if for no other reason than it might provide fodder for conversations with various Google executives and partners. But I ran out of time (I wrote about Facebook instead), and perhaps that’s for the good. At the moment, Google’s brand is a bit confusing. Oh, and Motorola. But Google? The Implications of Amazon's Silk Web Browser - ReadWriteCloud. Jeff Bezos wasn't just rambling today when he was talking about Amazon's cloud services in the middle of the consumer-focused Kindle triple-launch. Amazon's Kindle has massive implications for the tablet market, but the Silk browser has some implications for the Web at large. And don't expect the Silk browser to stay confined to the Kindle Fire. By funneling traffic through Amazon's own servers, it may create some privacy implications and security concerns for individuals and businesses.

It also changes the landscape a bit for cloud computing providers. Technical Implications From a technical perspective, it seems Amazon has come up with a fairly creative solution for dealing with the problem of Web browsing for mobile devices. As Amazon says, modern Web sites are getting more and more complex. Focusing on EC2 means that Amazon is putting out a clarion call for companies to host their sites on AWS infrastructure. Another side-effect of Silk is that Amazon is making AWS a household name. Google+ had a chance to compete with Facebook. Not anymore. AFP/Getty Images. Shortly after Google launched its new social network in June, many companies—including several online magazines, Slate among them—attempted to create “brand profiles” on the service.

The rush was a testament to Google’s power to drive a flood of users to any new site it launches. Though Google+ was pretty rough around the edges, many observers called it a credible alternative to Facebook, so it made sense for companies to get in on the ground floor. Farhad Manjoo is a technology columnist for the Wall Street Journal and the author of True Enough. Follow Yet Google seemed completely surprised by this turn of events. Google did finally release brand pages this week—here’s Slate’s page—but at this point the effort might be moot.

The real test of Google’s social network is what people do after they join. I was an early Google+ skeptic. And yet, I’ve been surprised by just how dreary the site has become. Why am I so sure that Google+ can’t be saved? GoogleMart: Google's Plan to Become the One-Stop-Shop of the Mobile Web - Jordan Weissmann - Business. The Internet is entering its big-box phase, and Google wants to be Walmart. Reuters Google Music will not change your life. The new service, which debuted Wednesday at an event in Los Angeles, cobbles together a bunch of features that should be familiar to music fans. There's an iTunes-style library that sits in your web browser. There's a music store that lets you share songs with friends via the web giant's social network, Google+. There's 20,000 songs worth of free cloud storage. The free bit is nice. It doesn't have to be. The Internet is entering its big box phase, and Google wants to be Walmart.

Google became a $194 billion company by dominating search. Google still wants to own that new world. Right now, roughly five companies are fighting for dominance of the next generation Internet economy: Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft. You can see this as a bunch of simultaneous tug-of-war battles, or you can see it one big fight to the same finish line. Google+ Was Never a Facebook Competitor. The social web is a well reported topic within the media today, and for good reason. We are in a transitional change with how we communicate with each other online, how brands reach consumers and how organisations market to their audience. We are undoubtedly immersed in the technology age, and our lives, the way we interact with others, is changing totally.

The monumental success of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg's world leading social platform, has enticed brands, consumers, investors alike, and the world is continually awaiting for that 'next big thing'. A likely reason therefore that the majority of news stories, magazine articles and blog posts on Google's latest foray into the social web repeatedly draw up comparisons to Zuckerberg's global giant. Brad Jordan is Head of Social at U.K. Predicting the next big thing is often easier than some might think. Take the iPod for example. Better Than Anyone Else Advertising. Social = Data.

Is Too Much Plus a Minus for Google? « Thursday, January 12th, 2012 On Tuesday, Google announced something called Search, plus Your World (SPYW). It marked a startling transformation of the company’s flagship product, Google Search, into an amplifier of social content. Google’s critics—as well as some folks generally well intentioned towards Google—have complained that the social content it amplifies is primarily Google’s own product, Google+. They have a point. With SPYW, the search experience deeply becomes intertwined with Google’s social networking product. In short, they say there’s too much Plus and not enough of Our World, which has oodles of content on other social networks.

Let’s take a step back. Google CEO Larry Page prepped us for this recently by saying that Google+ was only the first part of Google’s social ambitions—the next step is to “light up” all of Google. But when it came to search, there was a big question: would lots of social results will actually improve search for Google’s users? Understandable? Daniel Soar reviews ‘The Googlisation of Everything (and Why We Should Worry)’ by Siva Vaidhyanathan, ‘In the Plex’ by Steven Levy and ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ by Douglas Edwards · LRB 6 October 2011. This spring, the billionaire Eric Schmidt announced that there were only four really significant technology companies: Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google, the company he had until recently been running. People believed him. What distinguished his new ‘gang of four’ from the generation it had superseded – companies like Intel, Microsoft, Dell and Cisco, which mostly exist to sell gizmos and gadgets and innumerable hours of expensive support services to corporate clients – was that the newcomers sold their products and services to ordinary people.

Since there are more ordinary people in the world than there are businesses, and since there’s nothing that ordinary people don’t want or need, or can’t be persuaded they want or need when it flashes up alluringly on their screens, the money to be made from them is virtually limitless. Together, Schmidt’s four companies are worth more than half a trillion dollars. Some people find all this frightening. The reason is that Google is learning. The Grand Map, Avi Steinberg. RV890, Norway 2011. Toward the end of Lewis Carroll’s endlessly unfurling saga Sylvie & Bruno, we find the duo sitting at the feet of Mein Herr, an impish fellow endowed with a giant cranium. The quirky little man regales the children with stories about life on his mysterious home planet. “And then came the grandest idea of all! We actually made a map of the country, on the scale of a mile to the mile!”

“Have you used it much?” Among Mein Herr’s many big ideas, none is as familiar to us as the Grand Map. First, we noticed the fantastical creatures. 80 Rua Giulio Eremita, São Paulo, Brasil, 2010. Midday house break-ins and hillbillies with guns. Carrer Martimo, Beniparrell, Valencia, España, 2009. Then there was bloodshed. Or the parable of the Lady in the Trunk: On occasion, it was truly dreadful. Finally, there was the question of the mapmakers’ role in all of this. On a rural road we found a clue. A blog-fueled furor followed (“Google Killed Bambi!” B5, Jurby West, United Kingdom, 2011. Use Google? Time to Get Real About Protecting Your Digital Self - Sara Marie Watson - Technology. Google's decided to integrate the data it has about you, which means you better think about the digital tracks you're leaving.

Search, browser, email. These are the most essential tools of an Internet-connected life, and for many of us, Google offers the best of breed. Aside from sharing a common log-in, it hasn't been clear how complete Google's consolidated view of any given user might be across its suite of products -- until yesterday. Now it is patently clear: Going forward, Google is compiling its user data across all of its products, resulting in an omniscient, informed, one-true profile of you, all in the name of serving you more relevant information -- and, of course, ads.

This comes as no surprise. It was only a matter of time before Google pulled together its rich data stores across all its products. Hints of user-data consolidation started dropping last summer and early fall, with the introduction of Google+. To what end, you might ask? Image: Alexis Madrigal. How Google's New Privacy Policy Could Affect You. You’re on the way to a meeting. Traffic seems to be slowing. A text comes in: “You’re going to be late. Take the next exit for alternate route.” It’s from Google. This is not Google’s version of Siri. It’s a result of the company’s push to use data it collects from you in novel ways that could be helpful, or unsettling. "That’s not something I want my computer telling me. “Google has always collected information. Google’s new policy replaces more than 60 existing product-specific privacy documents, for services including Gmail , YouTube and Google Docs. Connecting the dots Further, Google will merge data from the products you use and then analyze it to make new assumptions.

Opsahl also pointed out that there are many people who have more than one Google account, such as one they use for business and one for personal communication. “If Google received a warrant to disclose documents, and your business and personal docs are intermingled — that’s a problem,” he said. Trouble ahead. Why Google will soon answer your questions directly - tech - 06 June 2012. Search engines are morphing into something new: vast brains that don't just show links, but respond directly to questions you ask in everyday language Editorial: "Do internet companies have all the answers? " SEARCH engines have barely changed since Google was founded in 1998.

Sure, they run on blazingly fast servers and are powered by sophisticated algorithms, but the experience itself is basically the same: users enter a word or two and the engine spits out links to the most relevant pages. That is about to change.Last month, Google rolled out its "knowledge graph", which serves up facts and services in response to search terms - not just links to websites. It is the latest step in a process in which search engines are morphing into something quite new: vast brains that respond directly to questions posed in everyday language. "Search does a good job of returning pages," says Shashidhar Thakur of Google.

Links are not necessarily the best way to answer a query. When only a human will do. Google+ comScore: Google's social networking lags behind FaceBook, MySpace. Technology - Alexis Madrigal - How Google Can Beat Facebook Without Google Plus. Look, Google, we've got a plan to help you win on social. There's only one catch: You have to give up on the notion that animates Google Plus.

Out in the Mojave Desert, there's a place called California City that's fascinated me ever since Geoff Manaugh brought its story to the Internet's attention. The city is one of the largest in the state by land area, but its population sits at a mere 14,718. The facts together indicate the grandeur of the planned community's conception and its failure. tl;dr version Google Plus is an abandoned city in the desert.I.e. "Google's social tool (G+) has no community and its communities (Books, Scholar) lack social tools. " As pitched by the town's founder Nat Mendelson, California City would be the home of the American dream, a wonderland for sun and job seekers to go after Los Angeles' population burst across that city's eastern mountains. Who did not arrive as expected.

Those people did stop going to Los Angeles. Google/Alexis Madrigal Ouch. Reuters But. Why Hath Google Forsaken Us? A Meditation. (image) Here’s a short overview of Google’s past few months: It’s angered policymakers and pundits with a sweeping change to its privacy settings. It’s taken a beating for favoring its own properties in its core search results. It’s been caught with its hands in Apple’s cookie jar, and despite the fact Facebook and others previously condoned the practice, it was savaged for doing so. It’s continuing to fight an expensive and uncertain patent war. And its blinkered focus on beating Facebook - a company which, at its core, couldn’t be more different philosophically – has caused many to wonder….What on earth has happened to the Google we once knew? Has it abandoned its principles of supporting the open web, data liberation, and doing no evil? Well, those are questions I’ve been pondering for a while now, and I think I have an answer, or at least, some reasonable speculation as to an answer.

Think about it. Now think about Apple. Ditto for Apple’s terms of service and privacy policies. Americans Love Google! Americans Hate Google! - Megan Garber - Technology. This morning, the Pew Internet and American Life Project released the results of a February survey analyzing Americans' feelings about online privacy. The main takeaway is something of a paradox: The majority of us are uncomfortable with personalized search and targeted ads. At the same, time, though, we're more satisfied than ever with the performance of search engines. Taken together, the polling shows that there is a great uneasiness about the status quo of data collection on the Internet.

And yet, people like using the Internet. In phone calls with Pew, 65 percent of Internet users said it's generally "a bad thing" if a search engine collects information about individual searches and then uses it to rank someone's search results -- because it may limit the information you get online and what search results you see. Only 29 percent said this practice would generally be "a good thing," because it would offer better and more relevant search returns.

The disconnect here is striking. It's Official: Google Is Now a Hardware Company. Last August, Google (GOOG) Chief Executive Officer Larry Page fulfilled a pledge made to one of his senior executives, a square-jawed former attorney named Dennis Woodside. Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook had been trying to poach Woodside to make him Apple’s head of sales; Google had persuaded him to stay, in part by promising him a bigger job, according to two people with knowledge of the matter, but who asked not to be named because the discussions were private.

Now it was time to make good. Woodside says he was speaking with board member K. Ram Shriram when Page asked him to run Motorola Mobility, the company Google had just announced it was acquiring for $12.5 billion. Woodside agreed and is now the leader of one of the most storied names in technology. When Google first came calling, it was mostly interested in getting Motorola’s trove of 17,000-plus patents to help defend the Android operating system against lawsuits by Oracle (ORCL), Microsoft (MSFT), Apple, and others. The Case Against Google. Google Wants to Legalize Same Sex Marriage Worldwide - National.