[As ever, you can also read this on the BBC News Website. And Bud Smith at Google Voice Daily mentions it in his round up of GV news.]
The announcement that Google’s chief executive Eric Schmidt is standing down from the Apple board hardly came as a surprise.
Google’s Android is already powering smartphones that offer an open alternative to Apple’s iPhone, while the recent announcement of plans for Chrome OS, an operating system that will directly challenge Mac OS, makes Google a direct competitor to Apple in its core market.
Apple’s recent decision to keep Google Voice out of the iPhone App Store must surely have increased tension on the board, and may have been the last straw.
The move not only annoyed customers, who wanted to take advantage of the single phone number and voice-over-IP calls it offers, but has also invited the attention of the US Federal Communications Commission, which has asked Apple, Google and network provider AT&T to provide it with details of their decision making process.
Continue reading “Oiling the Digital Society”
I wrote this last week and forgot to post it here – it’s on the BBC News site and I’ll add it here when I get home:
Will Bing boom or be a big bust?
While sales of hardware may be suffering greatly it seems that the general economic gloom has not yet diminished the ambitions of the larger technology companies to give us new products and services online.
In the last few weeks we have had Wolfram Alpha offering a way to search structured data and provide results in a form suitable for further computation. We have had Google Squared promising a simple way of pulling organised data from websites into a spreadsheet style format.
Finally, a new controller-free interface for the Xbox 360 games console from Microsoft that – the company hopes – will open up gaming to the millions who are intimidated by the complexity of current controllers.
And now, after years of effort, billions of dollars worth of investment and several failed attempts, Microsoft has launched Bing, a search engine that it thinks has a chance of unseating Google and which it would like us to think of as a “decision engine.
read the rest..
[As ever, this is on the BBC News website for your delectation and delight]
The Conficker worm will be active again on April 1st, according to an analysis of its most recent variant, Conficker.C, by the net security firm CA.
This malicious piece of software, also known as Downup, Downadup and Kido, spreads among computers running most variants of the Windows operating system and turns them into nodes on a multi-million member ‘botnet’ of zombie computers that can be controlled remotely by the worm’s as yet unidentified authors.
Since it first appeared last October it has apparently infected over fifteen million computers around the internet, though even that number is no more than an educated guess because the worm works very hard to disguise its presence on a PC.
Conficker spreads through a security vulnerability in the Windows Server Service that allows a carefully written program to persuade the attacked computer to run malicious code instead of the Microsoft-written software.
Continue reading “Worming our way out of trouble”
I’m writing a piece for Ariel, the BBC’s in-house newspaper, about Google Chrome, so I did some searching and was surprised just how many entries about the browser Google managed to find and how many of them were about the browser rather than the metal: if you search for ‘chrome’ on Google then the top seven hits refer to their browser
Yet a similar search in Microsoft’s live search offers a range of Google-related news articles as the top hit, followed by a lot of links about chrome-plated cars. For those who have ever believed that Google’s organic search is somehow an objective reflection of the internet’s current interests and activities, this should make the Google-centrism of its worldview clearly evident.
When you search at google.com you are looking through rainbow-coloured glasses into a representation of the web where Google values and Google interests come first.
Later, via Twitter from mattjones
@billt Ranking algorithm at work? More queries relating to the browser, not chrome plating. So top results should be about Chrome, surely?
I’m not convinced…
[This is my BBC column from Monday – I forgot to post it here in all the week’s excitement (2gether08, New Media Awards, Shift Happens). You can read it on the BBC News website too.]
The publicity surrounding Bill Gates’ departure from Microsoft should not obscure the fact that he is still deeply involved in the company he founded in 1975.
Steve Ballmer, Ray Ozzie and Craig Mundie may now be in charge, but they were chosen by Gates, worked with Gates and are still answerable to Gates. After all he remains company chairman and a major shareholder, and he will be working as an ‘advisor’ on special projects.
Gates also played a major part in setting Microsoft’s strategy for the next few years, as it continues to try to figure out how to convert its enormously profitable operating system and office software business into something that can generate money as we all move applications online and look for stripped-down, secure and reliable operating systems on our desktops, laptops and handheld computers
Continue reading “Closing the Gates after Bill”