Mark Ames follows up on The Techtopus
) with a new report
showing a much larger conspiracy than has been previously reported: [more inside]
Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple, LinkedIn and Aol have all teamed up to oppose
widespread government surveillance. In an open letter to the US president and members of congress, the companies urge
the government to reform
its digital spy apparatus.
reactions at the Guardian.
A consortium of mobile phone makers including Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Ericsson and Sony have launched a barrage of patent suits against Google and major Android handset makers such as Samsung, Huawei and HTC. Unlike previous patent suits from the major shareholders, these suits are on the rocket docket of Eastern Texas.
Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple are being monitored by the FBI and NSA, with Dropbox "coming soon."
So what can you do? Use some alternatives
. As Gabriel Weinberg, founder of DuckDuckGo
, told NPR: "we made the choice to just not track people so there is nothing to turn over.
(a group led by Microsoft, Oracle and Expedia) has filed a complaint
[PDF] with the EU claiming that
Google has a monopoly in the mobile market and is using its mobile position
to force its other products on users.
“These companies are willing to shove 1,000 attorneys down your throat if you share music, but won’t even respond to a legal order about actual music theft and piracy.”
] [more inside]
"Why I left Google": James Whittaker joined Google from Microsoft
in 2009. Now he want back to MS, and explained why he left Google
Your pal Microsoft wants to warn you against the Googlighting Stranger
A new form of wireless network known as White Spaces
will come online next month, the FCC announced
today. White Spaces
has been called "WiFi on steroids". White spaces are unused spectrum between broadcast television channels. It is faster than WiFi so it can handle more data. It can bring (nearly) free Internet access to the most remote areas of the country, places that can't get WiFi. Because it uses broadcast television signals, any place that can pick up a broadcast TV signal should be able to tap into White Spaces
In a two minute-and-forty-two-second advertisment against advertising, Microsoft explains why
you should use their product instead of that of their competitor [via
Mozilla's HTML 5 Circus rolls into town.
The emergence of HTML 5 is marked by, among others, emerging browsers (or browser versions). The soon to be released Firefox 4, often delayed, mirrors the slow march to an HTML 5 Flash reduced web. Like others, Mozilla feels the need to sell HTML 5. We also have Chrome Experiments
, Canvas Demos
, IE HTML 5 demos
and Never Mind the Bullets
, and Apple's (warning: sniffer protected) HTML 5
showcase. [more inside]
Google set up a sting operation to prove that rival Microsoft search engine Bing is cheating, using Internet Explorer to track users' Google search results and mining that data to improve Bing. Here's the proof.
We expect even more rapid innovation in the web media platform in the coming year and are focusing our investments in those technologies that are developed and licensed based on open web principles. To that end, we are changing Chrome’s HTML5 <video> support to make it consistent with the codecs already supported by the open Chromium project. Specifically, we are supporting the WebM (VP8) and Theora video codecs, and will consider adding support for other high-quality open codecs in the future. Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies.
- Google's Chrome is will be joining Firefox in no longer licensing the MPEG-LA H.264 video codec
favoured by Apple and Microsoft for use in the HTML5 <video> tag (previously
). Not everyone is seeing this as a good thing
Seeking $335,000 in unpaid advertising bills, Google Inc. filed suit against a small Internet site in Ohio in October. The complaint was so routine it was just two sentences long.
Last month, the small Internet site countered with a 24-page antitrust lawsuit against Google, accusing the search-engine giant of a litany of monopolistic abuses. But what really caught Google’s attention was the Internet site’s legal counsel: It was (Cadwalader’s) Charles “Rick” Rule, long the chief outside counsel on competition issues for Google archrival Microsoft Corp." Google faces further scrutiny in Europe
where it leads with near 90% of the search market, "While it has always maintained that advertising prices are set by auction, leaving it without any direct influence over pricing, it has faced complaints from a number of companies over its practice of setting minimum bid levels." [more inside]
Microsoft Office 2010
- for free, on the web. Yeah, you heard me right. [more inside]
Google Chrome OS:
Google says it will release a new operating system, built around its Chrome browser, which will be open source and will initially be targeted at netbooks. Shipment is expected second half of 2010. No response yet from Microsoft. [more inside]
Microsoft's new search engine, Bing, goes beta.
Cribbed from live.com, the layout for bing is... strangely familiar. Early reviews
are mixed, with mixed results
, mostly noting that the results less useful than google, especially when it comes to google
Microsoft buys stake in Facebook. Microsoft
has paid $240m (£117m) for a 1.6% stake in Facebook
that values the hugely popular social networking site at $15bn (£7.3bn). Facebook spurned an offer from Microsoft's rival Google
, which was also keen to invest the site.
Microsoft will also sell internet ads
for Facebook outside the United States as part of the deal that took several weeks of negotiating. Mark Zuckerberg
started the online social networking site in his Harvard University dorm room less than four years ago. [more inside]
The Open Content Alliance
poses a threat to Google and Microsoft's competing library digitization projects. OCA was founded by the Internet Archive
, whose main claim to fame is the Wayback Machine, designed to archive the internet's web history. OCA's mission is to open the nation's library collections to universal web search by digitizing books and making them as widely accessible as possible. [more inside]
Life at Google - The Microsoftie Perspective
Microsoft Employee writes: "The following has been making the rounds on just about every internal email list I belong to in Microsoft. Here it is to share a little insight with the rest of the world. Microsoft is an amazingly transparent company. Google is not. Any peek is a good peek." Let the metavalanche begin
A9 gets MS?
Amazon's search tool / portal, formerly powered by Google, is now using Microsoft's Windows Live
search service. I first noticed when my image results went missing (which sucks, but I still use it for the incentive program
). Does this mean MS is shifting out of the half-assery phase of its search strategy? What happens when its adCenter
keyword program opens up? [commentary
NSA,FISA, and Privacy It is of course the president who finally approves of actions that may or may not be deemed legal but before 9/11, this is what he had been advised to consider
"The largest U.S. spy agency warned the incoming Bush administration in its "Transition 2001" report that the Information Age required rethinking the policies and authorities that kept the National Security Agency in compliance with the Constitution's 4th Amendment prohibition on "unreasonable searches and seizures" without warrant and "probable cause," according to an updated briefing book of declassified NSA documents posted today on the World Wide Web.
If this is the sort of reading you enjoy, then by all means dig about here:
But then Windows
allowed NSA to have a sure access to your machine .
And by now we all know that Google
will fight the government on making its search data base available in order to protect your privacy.(Reality: to protect Google stuff). And if you worry about search engines tracking you and making data available, then here is a workaround
Google pays $1 for every IE user converted to Firefox
- but why? Google don't own Firefox, so is this only to piss off Microsoft?
It's long been known that if you type "failure" into Google and hit "I'm feeling lucky", you get this page.
Haha. Funny. The phenomenon is explained here.
Now, Microsoft's live.com
went public recently. Guess what page it returns as the number 1 result for "failure"?
"A look at the average number of page views per title reveals that Microsoft gets about half as many page views per title as compared to Google and Apple"
a strong indication of where reader interest actually
resides." - ZDNet. Intelliseek's Blogpulse
reveals similar numbers: #1 Google: 473K, #2 Apple: 381K, #3 Microsoft: 262K. Venture capitalist, Ed Sim, says
: "While the OS is important, Microsoft has lost its complete and utter dominance
as we move to a service-oriented world where broadband is everywhere, apps are in the cloud, and the browser becomes king."
Microsoft wipes Apple from the face of the Earth. Virtual
Earth, that is. A search for "1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA" renders only an empty field and some sort of barn. This is what it really looks like
. Finding that other microcomputer company is obviously not a problem
Microsoft blames old photographs
(from 1991) for the omission, but copyright notices on the images go only as far back as last year.
The John Markoff of the New York Times [registration required]
reports that Google plans to roll-out a text and file search tool code-named Puffin
for finding information stored on PCs. The move is seen as a defensive one; Microsoft plans to include PC searching in its new operating system, scheduled to be released in 2006 (at the earliest).
Microsoft fires back at Google News.
As described in this article
in New Scientist, MSN is trying its own version of Google News with a twist: theirs adds customized
content tailored to the interests of the current reader.
Google: the God that failed?
is the title of the article on MSN Slate
. All of us know Microsoft is working on a new search engine technology. Till date everyone considers Google
to be the Guru
. MS obviously doesn't like that, so what it is doing? Well, the same thing it always does - to survive competition, eliminate it.
The reasons being given by the article are pretty silly and more aimed at 'faming down' Google.
Searching MSN for the phrase "Linux"
yields some pretty amusing (but yes, unsurprising) results. The first site seems moderately legit - Amazon stuff related to linux. The second one - MSN has a tech section about Linux? Not exactly. It doesn't really have much linux content at first glance. The third link is most amusing - see for yourself.
Comparatively, a google search for "linux"
yields much more useful results.
This makes me wonder: should ethics be taken into consideration on search engines? MS has every right to have whatever they want come up when you type in "linux" - but they are willfully contaminating search results, which makes one wonder what other search terms
Microsoft might want to rig the output of, and also, which they might have overlooked
It starts with Delaware...
Over at Google Answers, a Microsoft Games Studio employee has posted a most interesting puzzle to solve. Over the course of the last twenty months
a list of states has been gradually revealed by his boss, but under what criteria are they listed? He's giving $200.00 to the winner; just think of what
you could buy
. The fine folks at the Straight Dope
are already on the case. To the Googlemobile! [via Cardhouse
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.--In 28 years, commercial airline passengers will routinely fly in pilotless airplanes. Sound ludicrous?
Not to Microsoft Chief Technology Officer Craig Mundie, who recently bet Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt $2,000 that the prediction will come true.
This site is all about, well long bets. Oh, and it's all for charity.