Tag Archives: google


I’ve been exploring the potential of Google+, the new social media platform from Google. So far the platform appears to have a lot of potential as a platform for team collaboration and communication. It feels more professional (like Twitter or LinkedIn) than social (like Facebook).

Please feel free to add me to one of your circles there. Here’s my Google+ profile.

If you don’t have an invite yet leave a comment and I will send one to you (while Google lets me).

We Still Need a Common Definition for ‘Net Neutrality’

Along the lines of my post last night about the WSJ’s claim that Google is abandoning the concept of network neutrality, Larry Lessig posted this to his blog, calling the situation a made-up drama.  Specifically Lessig is responding to suggestions that his stance on network neutrality has changed.  Rather it seems that WSJ is simply discovering nuance that was there all along.

The WSJ article has been a hot topic in the blogosphere today (I’ve been sharing some news using Google Reader as I’ve come across it).  This illustrates for me the fact that there is still a need for a firm definition of network neutrality.  It’s still too easy for journalists, think tanks, pundits and hacks to try to claim that something does or does not “violate” the principal of network neutrality.

Google Wants Its Own Fast Track on the Web – WSJ.com

A colleague of mine was kind enough to call to my attention this article from the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) that briefly describes a proposal by Google called OpenEdge.  Some comments in the article suggest that Google’s proposal is a violation of the very concepts of network neutrality for which Google’s policy representatives in Washington and elsewhere have been the most vocal advocates.  It looks to me more like traditional content delivery models taken directly to the carrier network.  I’ve tried to make the case before that traditional models for content delivery acceleration such as services provided by Akamai and similar companies are not a real violation of the concept of network neutrality (or at least perhaps my own narrow and admittedly vague and evolving definition of the concept).

Googles proposed arrangement with network providers, internally called OpenEdge, would place Google servers directly within the network of the service providers, according to documents reviewed by the Journal. The setup would accelerate Googles service for users. Google has asked the providers it has approached not to talk about the idea, according to people familiar with the plans.

via Google Wants Its Own Fast Track on the Web – WSJ.com.

The Joy of RSS

Have I ever mentioned what a useful tool I think RSS can be? I think I might have mentioned that a time or two. RSS makes it possible to broaden our information networks and manage a tremendous flow of information. When I talk about RSS to competitive intelligence audiences I call it “drinking from the firehose.”

As I’ve been working to rebuild this blog I’ve begun exploring ways that I can improve my own use of RSS to share information, and indirectly exploring the potential of RSS to allow teams to collaborate. I’m trying to figure out how to best incorporate RSS feeds of the news items that I find each day into this blog, and I’m impatient for my Movable Type and CSS knowledge to improve. I don’t get the chance to sit down and write blog entries as often as I would like, but I am constantly sharing items in Google Reader (my RSS aggregator of choice after years using the NetNewsWire client on my Mac– a program I still think is terrific, actually). I’d like to figure this out so that short of writing a full blog entry I would like to be able to say “Hey, take a look at this!” several times a day.

So let me take a stab at this: here is an embedded feed of my latest shared items from Google Reader. Let’s see if this works with the page layout (one of the challenges that I’m having.

State Department uses Google

In today’s Washington Post there is an article about the State Department using Google to identify Iranians to sanction for their role in developing the country’s nuclear capability. This article is an example of the poor application of Internet searching, and the potential application of the results of said poor searching is a cause for concern. If you’re going to use the Internet as part of your sourcing strategy it is worth your time to learn how to do it right.

Frustrated, the State Department assigned a junior Foreign Service officer to find the names another way — by using Google. Those with the most hits under search terms such as “Iran and nuclear,” three officials said, became targets for international rebuke Friday when a sanctions resolution circulated at the United Nations.

An initial Internet search yielded over 100 names, including dozens of Iranian diplomats who have publicly defended their country’s efforts as intended to produce energy, not bombs, the sources said. The list also included names of Iranians who have spoken with U.N. inspectors or have traveled to Vienna to attend International Atomic Energy Agency meetings about Iran.

The potential for open source secondary research for government intelligence and security research is significant. That potential is only going to realized if you apply appropriate techniques in your searching and then conduct the appropriate analysis to place your results within the context of the situation or subject.

Technorati Tag: Competitive Intelligence

Google Threatens Anti-Trust If The Net’s Not Neutral

Vint Cerf, Father of the Internet and a vice president with Google, mentioned this week that the company might file antitrust complaints against telco and cablecos that block the Internet traffic of competing services. A piece on Yahoo! has more detail.

“If we are not successful in our arguments … then we will simply have to wait until something bad happens and then we will make known our case to the Department of Justices anti-trust division,” {Cerf] said on Tuesday.

I think a claim of anti-trust violation only really works against broadband providers if the DOJ and courts can accept a claim that a monopoly of Layers 1 and 2 (and perhaps Layer 3) of the OSI layer are being unfairly leveraged to establish control over the other layers of the OSI stack. Im not sure how well such an argument will resonate. I think this is a difficult argument to make to the legal types, as the legal types who dominate our legislative branch of government clearly have not understood net neutrality. The lobbyists representing the incumbent broadband providers have done a very good job confusing this issue.

Speaking of confusion, listen to this attempt by Senator Ted Stevens (R, AK) to explain how the Internet works and net neutrality. Its really, really painful.

Tags: Net Neutrality

NPR References April Fool’s Joke About Google

As I listened to the NPR Technology podcast today I heard commentator Mario Armstrong mention a revolutionary development I had not heard before in a piece about closing the digital divide. He mentioned a Google plan to blanket the world with “Glo-Fi,” ubiquitous global wireless broadband Internet connectivity. My ears perked up and I let out a big “No f’ing way!” How could I not have heard of this before, and how could anybody give this plan technical credibility?

A quick search on Google revealed this April Fool’s Day entry from “Lowenstein’s Lens on Wireless.” Very cearly an April Fool’s Joke. So, I am not as out of the tech loop as I might have worried there for a moment.

Whenever the winds whistles, I’ll always remeber “Lowenstein. “

Google PR Comments on RBOC Extortion

I came across this piece on the Networking Pipeline blog (thanks to this entry on Techdirt).

Google’s {PR Spokesperson] Barry Schnitt told Paul in an email: “Google is not discussing sharing of the costs of broadband networks with any carrier. We believe consumers are already paying to support broadband access to the Internet through subscription fees and, as a result, consumers should have the freedom to use this connection without limitations.”

It’s great to finally here some (muted) response from the other side of the argument over network neutrality. Of course sending a big “F you!” to the Bell companies doesn’t mean anything if you can’t play the regulatory game the same way that they do.

On a somewhat related topic, I’m very slowly making my way through the second draft of the telecom bill, which was released way back in November. The legal language has holes wide enough to accommodate a speeding semi tractor-trailer and ensure that Internet content and service companies will be in litigation with Bell and Cable companies for at least a decade after the bill actually passes (if it passes in anything like its current form).

Google + Equant = VoIP? Not so Fast.

I came across this piece talking about a possible partnership of Google with Equant. Equant, so you all know, is the global business services arm of France Telecom.

“We’re in talks with Google about some things. I can’t talk about [what things in particular], but it’s kind of their next evolution as a company, as they begin to grow, there are some things that could be of interest,” said [Equant president for sales and marketing in the Americas Mack ] Treece on the second day of a two-day stop in Santiago, Chile.

I found this comment very interesting. The BNAmericas article where this quote appears goes on to indicate that Equant are an ideal choice for partner should Google launch a broader set of VoIP services, particularly for business. I would expect otherwise.

Equant is a partner to consider if Google somehow wanted to go forward with a business VoIP offering more global in scope. Equant have points of presence or operations in something like 140 countries. (I cant give an exact number because their marketing material is all over the place, and I dont even think an Equant employee would ever be able to give you a definitive answer. I’ll leave discussion about how questionable any of their coverage claims really are for another day). Equant are a company you partner with if you want to go global with a telecommunications service. If you want to focus on any specific national markets you look elsewhere for better in-country capabilities.

Its also interesting that Equant never top any list of a low-cost, low-maintenance partners. I would expect to Google to focus more on partnering with one or more wholesale companies offering VoIP for re-sale. Think Level(3) in the US, COLT in Europe or perhaps Asia Netcom in Asia. All of these carriers would be much cheaper and probably a better fit for Google if Google wished to maintain a higher level of product control. Companies with big wholesale businesses have a better capability to provide the capacity and keep their hands off of the end product and marketing. Ive never seen Equant particularly skilled or willing to take a wholesale approach, generally eager to be active in the definition of the product and very keen for partner marketing. France Telecom, to their credit, have always kept their wholesale business away from Equant.

I dont see the deal being involved with VoIP. If it does theres some angle Im not seeing or anticipating to make Equant a partner Google would tend to favor. So I think it’s something other than VoIP, though I can’t see what yet. If Google are looking to expand on their VoIP offerings they would be well-advised to look for partners that would be low cost and take a hands-off approach to the final product.

Google Lobbyist in Washington

There are so many things that Google are up to these days with legal implications. There are copyright issues and disputes with licensing in their efforts to digitize libraries. Any forays into municipal broadband are likely to have implications at federal, state and local levels. The Google Talk voice over Internet service and forthcoming multimedia over Internet give Google a stake in the applications of any regulations of network neutrality. With so much going on its probably a good thing for Google that they have policy representation in Washington now.