Is Google Vulnerable in Advertising?

Steve Rubel just twittered an article from today’s International Herald Tribune entitled “Google shows vulnerability in Advertising.” It’s almost a completely ridiculous article, but for the small weaknesses that Google does have in its ad platform. Of course, because the Time Magazine, Digg and Facebook havedecided to go with other ad partners other than Google, it isn’t necessarily spelling the beginning of the end for the giant. In June, Vivek Shah of Time magazine awarded a three-year, $100 million contract to Quigo Technologies, a venture capital-backed New York company that will handle ad space on more than 15 sites, including CNNMoney.com and People.com after spending six months assessing whether Google, Yahoo or Microsoft could most effectively attract advertisers to the publisher’s Web sites. The article in the IHT focuses on an alleged weakness that the Google AdSense system supposedly possesses – the inability to target your ad towards a single site. Granted, the system is set up on a bidding system, but there is the capability built in to not only put text advertisements on a preferred site (albeit at a CPD, elevated rate), but also video ads, one of the hot new areas of advertisement that is supposedly (at least according to IHT) being ignored by Google. What is the big problem with Google then? Why are big sites like Digg and Facebook going with Microsoft right now? Essentially, it comes down to two things, in my analysis: targeting and subsidy. I doubt that in any of their cases, Google is offering publishers big lucrative deals to switch the entire site’s ad platform to Google. Microsoft clearly is,...

gPhone: 30 pre-Beta Tests Underway

Hey Rizzn-ites and gPhone Hounds, Last week I picked up a stray bit from a LiveJournaler about there being 30 rumored pre-beta gPhones wandering around in Mountain View California. Blogger Michael Bazeley recounts an experience he had in an Emeryville Apple store several days ago: So I’m standing in the Emeryville Apple store today trying to troubleshoot a problem with a sales rep when a young woman bolts up to us saying she wants an iPhone. Like, now. After some back-and-forthing about the particulars, she says she’s a Google employee and she was going to wait for a demo of the gPhone, but it turns out Google’s only letting 30 people test it internally and she’s not one of them. So she’s going with the iPhone instead. At which point, the Apple rep and I exchange glances and he says “gPhone? So it’s real, huh?” And the Google gal realizes she’s probably said too much and changes the subject. There you go. By the way, if you’re interested in carrier information, price, and design, check out this post. Want to be part of the Rizzn-ite army? Indoctrination instructions...

gPhone: Belaboring the Point on the NYT Article

Hey Rizzn-ites, I posted a bit yesterday about the NYT piece on the gPhone. The coverage of the NYT analysis has been spun as wrong as it can possibly be, with the grand take-a-way being that there is no gPhone coming. The original article was a bit off in the first place. I actually got an email from Miguel Helft this morning, responding to my analysis of what he said. I’m puzzled that you call this a hit piece. Really? A story that lays out the facts, as I known them, and strategy behind Google’s mobile ambitions and plans. In fact, most readers would probably come away with the notion that loosening carrier control and more competition for are good things. No? As for quoting Google enemies, the one and only source I quoted who is in that camp is Scott Cleland, and I very clearly disclosed his point of view. In fact, the one CEO of a carrier I quoted was Vodafone, by some metrics the largest mobile operator in the world, and a Google ally, since they provide easy access to Google services (unlike US carriers). The problem is, Miguel, that very few facts were reported. The leading items were your unqualified (by any sourcing) analysis, and the quotes from those that would be decidedly out of the Google camp. Karsten Weide? Ex-Yahoo. Dan Olschwang? Potential Google mobile competitor. Arun Sarin? T-Mobile competitor (gPhone carrier). Throughout the article, Miguel and all the quoted sources seemed mystified by the hype. As I stated yesterday, the gPhone promise is what the iPhone used to be, but without the threat...

Google + Jaiku

digg_url = ‘http://www.rizzn.com/2007/10/google-jaiku.asp’;I just found out via C.C. Chapman on Twitter, but it would appear that Jaiku has been purchased by Google! This from the Jaiku FAQ today: Jaiku is joining Google. While it’s too soon to comment on specific plans, we look forward to working with our new friends at Google over the coming months to expand in ways we hope you’ll find interesting and useful. Our engineers are excited to be working together and enthusiastic developers lead to great innovation. We look forward to accomplishing great things together. In order to focus on innovation instead of scaling, we have decided to close new user sign-ups for now. But fear not, all our Jaiku services will stay running the way you are used to and you will be able to invite your friends to Jaiku. We have put together a quick Q&A about the acquisition. Jyri Engeström and Petteri Koponen, Jaiku Founders I guess Leo Laporte was right to bet on Jaiku back when he made the switch. I’ll have to take a second look at the service, since it’ll likely be pitched at me within the next couple months in the form of Google’s new social networking initiative (yeah, bet on that!). @sugree had an interesting observation: zingku+jaiku = google phone. It’s a thought, and it is clearly related to the gPhone. Don’t think it’s the totality of it though, by a longshot. Registration to Jaiku is currently closed, but you can request an invitation from the Jaiku site./rizzn Want to be part of the Rizzn-ite army? Indoctrination instructions...

gPhone: In Defense of Google

Hey Rizzn-ites, Well, if you’re like me, you woke up this morning with an inbox full of emails and a Google reader that pointed to mostly links to the New York Times article on the gPhone. Instead of tapping out thirty or forty replies to emails on my comment on the story, I’m simply going to post here, and refer all the bozos who wrote me back to this article. You can hear me talk about this today on RizWords, daily politics and technology (subscribe for free to listen). Everyone in the new media seems to be taking the New York Times article as if it were gospel, on not a poorly written re-hashing of everything else Crunchgear, Information Week, DigiTimes and I have written previously. Very little primary source research work was done for the article, and everything mentioned as a ‘fact’ about the gPhone, I’ve mentioned previously (to little fanfare) on my blog. The only difference is that the New York Times didn’t attribute me as a source, nor did the even bother to contact me and ask me where I got my facts from. That’s right. I’m saying plagiarism. If not from me, then from the blogosphere in general. That they’ve not checked me out or asked me about anything (or that anyone but the Boston Globe has contacted me from the MSM) to try to get a couple of the rumors they’re reporting as fact correct completely floors me. Here are the first four paragraphs of the NYT article, translated and condensed down to a sentence a piece: Everyone is saying there’s a gPhone coming....

gPhone: Rumored to be in the Wild!

Hey Rizzn-ites and gPhone hounds, Just a bit of gPhone news for the weekend, it has been reported by Alex Lewis over at Network World that Google may have released some ‘pre-beta gPhones into the wild’: Google has reportedly released approximately 30 pre-beta gPhones to current employees for testing. There are a lot of rumors, but if you hang around Mountain View, CA much you may see one in the wild. I was talking to a Googler yesterday but as soon as I asked he quickly shoved the device into his pocket and changed the subject. IF this was one of the fabled Gphones, it appeared similiar in shape to the iPhone, maybe a little thicker, with a bright screen and video. So there ya go, another tasty gPhone rumor snack for you. Carry on! /rizzn Want to be part of the Rizzn-ite army? Indoctrination instructions...

gPhone: Unsubstantiated Rumor

I haven’t spoken with “Deep Throat” in a couple of days, so I’ll have to ask him about this, but I just picked up an unsubstantiated rumor from a student at Rochester Institute of Technology: So apparently Google’s Phone really truly for all times for serious is coming, whether one likes it or not. It seems that there are displays at the Googleplex where people (that is, Google employees) can check it out. It also seems that the phone will be partially ad supported, in the sense that walking around town if you get close enough to some restaurant you will receive […] I’ve heard of something similar in Korea where instead of getting coupons, you get texts whenever one of your friends is within x miles of you. Interesting. I’ll update you later. Gonna go record a show real quick now. /rizzn Want to be part of the Rizzn-ite army? Indoctrination instructions...

gPhone: ExpansysTV demos the possible HTC/gPhone Platform

digg_url = ‘http://www.rizzn.com/2007/10/gphone-final-countdown-starts-here.asp’;As we mentioned yesterday, the new HTC Dual touch has been released. ExpansysTV has released a five minute long YouTube video demonstrating the device. It has been speculated by some that this could be the platform for the new gPhone in development by Google (and my trusted sources at least haven’t denied this could be one of the platforms, either). So, figured you gPhone hounds might be interested in taking a peek. Enjoy. Want to be part of the Rizzn-ite army? Indoctrination instructions...

gPhone: The Final Countdown Starts Here

digg_url = ‘http://www.rizzn.com/2007/10/gphone-final-countdown-starts-here.asp’;Update (11:52 AM CST 10/3/2007): You might be interested in this video demo of the HTC Dual Touch, which is rumored to be the hardware platform for the gPhone. I’d also like to re-iterate that the release dates are less trusted than the details in the main post. I mentioned that the dates I’ve heard have ranged from late Sept to early Oct. I haven’t had any two sources say the same date twice, as I mentioned on the show, as well, so I don’t trust those dates as much as I trust the rest of the details I’ve disclosed. Everyone seems keen to discount me using the dates I mentioned as ‘proof’, so I thought I’d re-iterate the authenticity of specific facts (or lack thereof). In other words, read the entire article in context. Update (8:38 PM CST 10/1/2007): Several people have written in to me with the caveat that after the $400 gPhone is purchased the carrier connection might be subsidized by ads, thus technically free service. No one has said anything that would indicate this explicitly, but then no one has said anything to directly contradict it either. I wouldn’t count on this fact personally, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility. Trust me, though. I’d love it if it was free.Update (5:00 PM CST 10/1/2007): Finally heard back from T-Mobile. A spokesperson who preferred not to be named stated: “…regarding the gPhone, T-Mobile does not comment on rumors or speculation.” Almost verbatim what Google currently says publicly when asked. In response to my queries about data network specifications, the spokesperson said: “…I...

Google and Facebook

Hey Rizzn-ites, It seems that every time I gear up to do a blog post, Google or Facebook have to worm their way into my monologue at some point. Today is no exception. A few days ago, Mike Arrington dropped a bombshell that got a little play in the blogosphere and then evaporated in regards to Google’s impending response to the Facebook phenom. We all knew it was coming down the pike, because Orkut just isn’t cutting the mustard in terms of the the US market. I immediately commented on my blog that I simply couldn’t see Orkut in any way retooled as a social networking tool, and it having a chance at all to compete with Facebook. In fact, I said that “[m]y advice to Google employees whenever they’ve brought up the social network issue with me has always been dump Orkut!“ Shortly after the post hit the web, I received a call from a Google employee that agreed with me. Here’s what Mike said we’d see: On November 5 we’ll likely see third party iGoogle gadgets that leverage Orkut’s social graph information – the most basic implementation of what Google is planning. From there we may see a lot more – such as the ability to pull Orkut data outside of Google and into third party applications via the APIs. Here’s what I’m hearing: instead of leveraging Orkut’s social graph information, we’re going to see leveraging of GMail’s social graph. Does GMail have a social graph? Sure it does. For those of us that aren’t bleeding edge early adopters, what’s the best measure of who’s in our...

gPhone: Rumor Control.

Hey Rizzn-ites and gPhone hounds… Several folks, most notably these guys at DigiTimes, are talking about the gPhone again. I ran some of the theories past ‘Deep Throat’ over at Google (and remember, you guys named him that, not me). I’m forced to sit on some of the information he gave me for a time being, but I can comment on some of the rumors in broad generalities, as I did on the show last Friday (see episode 135). From the DigiTimes rumors: Although market rumors previously stated that Google is likely to use an EDGE solution developed by Texas Instruments (TI) for its planned handset, recent developments indicate that Google is also evaluating the possibility of launching a 3G handset initially. I’m still waiting on confirmation of some information from a certain American carrier regarding their technology platform, but, as I understand it, Google is past the evaluation stage in development for this iteration of the gPhone in terms of which mobile network they’ll use. Google [may] postpone the launch of the so-called Gphone to the first half of 2008 instead of the latter half of this year as expected due to the change of platform and problems related to licensing… Obviously nothing is set in stone, as the product is still in late-stage development, but it sounds to me that the product will be released sooner, rather than later. Deep Throat didn’t give me an exact date, but other sources tell me that it will be publicly released (not just demo’ed behind an NDA-wall) between 9/27 and 10/5, and released simultaneously (more or less) world-wide. I’m not...

Google to be 100% Open

Mike Arrington says he’s talked to four of several folks who attended a super-secret meeting over at the Googleplex that more or less say: The short version: Google will announce a new set of APIs on November 5 that will allow developers to leverage Google’s social graph data. They’ll start with Orkut and iGoogle (Google’s personalized home page), and expand from there to include Gmail, Gtalk and other Google services over time. Here’s basically what Mike thinks that means: “On November 5 it is likely we’ll see third party iGoogle gadgets that leverage Orkut social graph information – the most basic implementation of what Google is planning.” My advice to Google employees whenever they’ve brought up the social network issue with me has always been dump Orkut! Orkut is only good if you’re in South Florida or South America. Other than that, GMail is your ultimate social networking tool. Tool up GMail, tighten up it’s integration with iGoogle, and ad the widgetizing feature to both to allow real-time social network via the oldest internet social tools in existence: email and chat. I can’t be the only person who sees this, can I? /rizznWant to be part of the Rizzn-ite army? Indoctrination instructions...

gPhone: Vindicated!

Rizzn-ites! (further discussion on this can be found on Episode 121 of RizWords. Subscribe in iTunes for the first scoops!) Don’t ever doubt me again! When a leak or a confirmation comes from me, you know it’s true! :-p What am I talking about? Obviously you haven’t checked Engadget or your copy of the Boston Globe yet. The gPhone was demo’ed in Boston, according to Scott Kirsner, to: Dan Roth of Nuance, Mike Phillips of Vlingo, Paul Ferri of Matrix Partners, and Murali Aravamudan of Veveo. It’s an interesting assortment of names, and include a lot of names and companies we talk about here on the show. Off that tidbit, what can be assumed? Well, given that Google specializes in search, and has a considerable amount of resources devoted to video and voice recognition (GOOG-411 and Video Search), we can assume they’ll be either trying to incorporate their’s or other’s technology into the device. Additionally, Om Malik came out today with a number of other confirmations on things we already knew here at Rizzn: Google Phone is based on a mobile variant of Linux, and is able to run Java virtual machines. We knew this to be true from Deep Throat… Linux-based kernel. All applications that are supposed to run on the Google Phone are java apps. The OS has ability to run multimedia files, including video clips. We didn’t know that it would have video on it, although it would be rather silly for Google not to include one of it’s leading draws, currently, YouTube in the mix somehow. The Java angle makes me a bit nervous –...

Friday Wrap-Up

Hey, Rizzn-ites. It’s been an odd week for us here at Studio.Rizzn. It would appear that the gPhone story has knocked us onto a lot of people’s radars. There are actually enough people posting here to warrant a bit more attention from me to my blog. I know I’ve broken this promise many times in the past, but I’ll be posting a bit more often around here. And in the spirit of wrapping up the gPhone rumors, I’ll put in writing here what I’ve been trying to put out on the show the last couple of days… I got a call from my friend over at Google (the guy everyone calls ‘Deep Throat’), and he told me that “oops, yeah, um, I should have told you that stuff off-the-record, or not at all, because that demo I was talking about? yeah, it was a private demo, not a public one. Sorry!” On the up side, though, he’s not fired. On a similar note, I’ve finally contacted my old buddy at HTC to try to confirm the rumors CG started about them doing the hardware for the gPhone. Unfortunately, by the time I called him, the lockdown had already initiated. I know the fellow pretty well, so it was unusual for him to be so tightlipped. His exact quotes were “I know nothing,” and “I know only what I read on blogs.” This can be interpreted so many different ways, I’m not even going to try to extrapolate. Mostly, though, I surmise that very possibly the CrunchGear story is correct. Nothing in there directly contradicts anything I’ve heard. So, for...

gPhone Hubbub!

While the world continues to try to figure out whether to believe me and my unnamed source, I’ve got a list of a few of the folks talking about gPhone confirmation. Most folks are seeming to repeat what I say, and accurately interpreting the words, although a couple have taken an aspect of my analysis and skewed it. That’s ok – it’s expected. Since I don’t have any other breaking news today, and my Developing for Facebook story isn’t ready yet, I’m going to round up some of the coverage here. (hey! it’s not every day that the entire blogosphere mentions my name. let me bask in it for a second!) Google alerted me this morning that: Wired said that: Rumor: Google Phone Will Be Linux-Powered, GPS-Loaded and Cheap: “If the murmurs are true, the GPhone cometh in September.” the UK Guardian said that: The gPhone: “Speculation continues about Google’s mobile phone plans.” IntoMobile said that: Google GPhone confirmed as low-cost sub-$100 device: “Rizzn.com has also allegedly confirmed that the Google Phone will be using an ad-based model to help subsidize the cost of the phone – serving up Google ads whenever possible.” [a point of clarification… that’s analysis on my part, not confirmation. There will be ads on the phone, and the price-point is allegedly going to be low, but that one will subsidize the other, it’s just an educated guess on my part] SEOPrincipal said that: Google Phone “Confirmed” – Will Be The Computer For The Poor: “Finally, someone posted something that looks like a reliable confirmation of the coming release of the Google Phone.” [thanks! finally...

Badware: 1700 Posts that No One Will Read

According to Google, rizzn.com is a site that “may hurt your computer.” Don’t you just feel dangerous as heck reading this right now? I’m not exactly sure why, although I was sent an email from a business associate last week: When I empty my cache, and visit your site, my Computer Associates anti-virus reports the Microsoft Data Access pop-up there, is infected with the JS/Petch virus. I ignored it when it first happened Wednesday, thinking it was just an ant-virus hiccup; and it didn’t re-occur until I cleaned out my IE cache, and re-visited you today. I checked the server, and all the domains with a virus scanner on the system, but found nothing. I chalked it up to a random error, until just now, when I discovered that virtually all my Google traffic has disappeared. Below any link from Google to rizzn.com, appears the following warning message: “This site may harm your computer.“ This is very disconcerting for me. I went through the Google webmaster tools and requested a ‘review.’ I’ll let you know how things turn out. All recent virus scans of the domain and web pages show no infections. I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that the infection came from a GoogleAd – I heard on Buzz Out Loud a while back that there were some worms that were launched through GoogleAds. I haven’t confirmed this to be the source, but call it a hunch. We have a bunch of virus protection on the server, I’ve personally verified that. I can’t imagine that a virus has penetrated that many layers of protection there. At any rate, stay...

RizWords – Daily Politics and Tech – EP58

RizWords – Daily Politics and TechEpisode 58 – download now – subscribe now – review us on iTunes! A member of the TechPodcast Network @ techpodcast.com. If it’s Tech, it’s here. Remember, if you’re listening on the podcast recording, you can call into the show live if you tune in through TalkShoe.com at 2:30 PM EST every weekday. If you like the podcast (and you haven’t alreadyf given us a rating), head over and do so, and don’t forget to sign up for the discussion list. Other Podcast Plugs: TalkGirls comes on Tuesday nights. Check out the TalkGirls Podcast … it’s good times! Cotolo Chronicles: Frank is a good friend of the show, and an associate of the late great Wolfman Jack. Check out his podcast. NewsReal: Good friend to Art and I – has one of the best hours of news podcast each week. You Are the Guest: Bill Grady turns the microphone on the internet’s most interesting people. Sponsors: Try GoToMeeting for 45 days! Visit www.GoToMeeting.com/podcast to start your free trial today. J. Douglas Barker – Voice-overs for you! www.romancingthetone.com Hey. As I mentioned on the blog earlier this week, we’re the number three rated podcast on TalkShoe.com right now. Read more about it here. Our new found celebrity status is getting people to write us. Email us with that link to get your letter read on the show! We kicked the show off with a lively discussion and report card on the various candidate performances on last night’s presidential primary debate. We eventually segued into the results of the Scooter Libby trial, which was announced late...

RizWords – Daily Politics and Tech – EP55

RizWords – Daily Politics and TechEpisode 55 – download now – subscribe now – review us on iTunes! A member of the TechPodcast Network @ techpodcast.com. If it’s Tech, it’s here. Remember, if you’re listening on the podcast recording, you can call into the show live if you tune in through TalkShoe.com at 2:30 PM EST every weekday. If you like the podcast (and you haven’t already given us a rating), head over and do so, and don’t forget to sign up for the discussion list. Other Podcast Plugs: TalkGirls comes on Tuesday nights. Check out the TalkGirls Podcast … it’s good times! Cotolo Chronicles: Frank is a good friend of the show, and an associate of the late great Wolfman Jack. Check out his podcast. NewsReal: Good friend to Art and I – has one of the best hours of news podcast each week. You Are the Guest: Bill Grady turns the microphone on the internet’s most interesting people. Sponsors: Try GoToMeeting for 45 days! Visit www.GoToMeeting.com/podcast to start your free trial today. J. Douglas Barker – Voice-overs for you! www.romancingthetone.com Due to a real big screw up on my part, yesterday’s show notes are irretrievably lost. Here, however, are today’s show notes: George Bush has flip-flopped on the environment, and has decided to create a bumbling government effort to stop global warming, the same day that NASA proclaims it’s a stupid idea: Bush’s ‘new climate strategy’Today’s headlines are full of the news that President Bush is &; quot;unveiling a new climate strategy.&; quot; If your immediate reaction is cynicism, well … looks like you learned something over...

RizWords – Daily Politics and Tech – EP53

RizWords – Daily Politics and TechEpisode 53 – download link coming soon: check the feed for details: subscribe now A member of the TechPodcast Network @ techpodcast.com. If it’s Tech, it’s here. Remember, if you’re listening on the podcast recording, you can call into the show live if you tune in through TalkShoe.com at 2:30 PM EST every weekday. If you like the podcast (and you haven’t already given us a rating), head over and do so, and don’t forget to sign up for the discussion list. Other Podcast Plugs: TalkGirls comes on Tuesday nights. Check out the TalkGirls Podcast … it’s good times! Cotolo Chronicles: Frank is a good friend of the show, and an associate of the late great Wolfman Jack. Check out his podcast. NewsReal: Good friend to Art and I – has one of the best hours of news podcast each week. You Are the Guest: Bill Grady turns the microphone on the internet’s most interesting people. Sponsors: Try GoToMeeting for 45 days! Visit www.GoToMeeting.com/podcast to start your free trial today. J. Douglas Barker – Voice-overs for you! www.romancingthetone.com A bunch of new startup acquisition news. We talk a bit about the acquisitions specifically, and then a bit in general about the prevalence in the news lately of all the startups getting bought: Look For Confirmation of eBay/StumbleUpon TodayI’m hearing that the eBay/StumbleUpon acquisition will be officially announced sometime today. Keep an eye our for the press release. We originally broke this rumor in April when a term sheet was reportedly signed. The Wall Street Journal picked up the story earlier this month. I don’t...

RizWords – Daily Politics and Tech – EP52

RizWords – Daily Politics and TechEpisode 52 – download now – subscribe now A member of the TechPodcast Network @ techpodcast.com. If it’s Tech, it’s here. Remember, if you’re listening on the podcast recording, you can call into the show live if you tune in through TalkShoe.com at 2:30 PM EST every weekday. If you like the podcast (and you haven’t already given us a rating), head over and do so, and don’t forget to sign up for the discussion list. Other Podcast Plugs: TalkGirls comes on Tuesday nights. Check out the TalkGirls Podcast … it’s good times! Cotolo Chronicles: Frank is a good friend of the show, and an associate of the late great Wolfman Jack. Check out his podcast. NewsReal: Good friend to Art and I – has one of the best hours of news podcast each week. You Are the Guest: Bill Grady turns the microphone on the internet’s most interesting people. Sponsors: Try GoToMeeting for 45 days! Visit www.GoToMeeting.com/podcast to start your free trial today. J. Douglas Barker – Voice-overs for you! www.romancingthetone.com Solo show today… I talked a bit about this: Bill calls for better tracking of faster broadbandHow fast is U.S. “broadband” service, anyway? The FCC says 200 kbps is good enough to count, which sets the bar kind of low. Then again, it lets the government claim that broadband service is available in 99 percent of all ZIP codes (another fairly useless measure). A bill introduced in the Senate last week requires broadband providers to use smaller geographic areas than ZIP codes to report statistics, and force the FCC to think again...