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Google Execs Say 'The Power Of Information Is Underrated'

Google executives Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen — coauthors of a new book, The New Digital Age — recently returned from a highly publicized trip to North Korea. In the second part of their conversation with NPR's Audie Cornish, they discuss the role of the Internet in more repressive countries. "We fear that the natural action for, in particular, autocratic governments experiencing what we describe as 'virtual urbanization' will be to balkanize the Internet," says Cohen, "filtering out content so that way the Internet experience in that particular country looks as much like the physical society as possible."

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Can a small search engine take on Google?

Duck Duck Go is a small search engine based in Pennsylvania that is, according to Google at least, a Google competitor. OTM producer Chris Neary talks with Duck Duck Go founder Gabriel Weinberg, SearchEngineLand's Danny Sullivan, and a dedicated Duck Duck Go user about the site. Also, each of the OTM producers try Duck Duck Go, and only Duck Duck Go, for a week.

Full piece:On The Media

Don’t Hate Google for Reader — Award It the Nobel Prize for Books

In a Wired opinion piece, Jonathon Keats argues that this year's Nobel Prize for literature should be awarded to Google.

"Given that literary fame is so fickle, it might make more sense to anoint a work that’s mutable—an all-encompassing text that changes at the pace of society itself. Today there is such a work. And that is why, in 2013, the Swedish Academy should award the Nobel Prize in Literature to Google.

Is Google literature? As a search engine, of course, it lacks a conventional narrative. But a traditional bildungsroman would hardly suit our era. Not even James Joyce could capture the fractured nature of 21st-century life, let alone the nearly unlimited interconnectedness among people and events these days."

Comparison of Google Reader Alternatives

Fabian Scherschel at The H Online presents a feature comparing alternatives to Google Reader for those looking to replace it in their daily lives.

LISTen: An LISNews.org Program -- Episode #236

This week's program starts off with a bite-sized edition of Tech for Techies led by the owner & engineer of Erie Looking Productions, Mike Kellat. News is also highlighted relative to Google Reader and its impending demise. The new comment line is mentioned as being 1-206-299-2120, extension 1580. For those willing to risk using a SIP client, sip:1580@sip.sdf.org is also usable addressing.

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6:31 minutes (5.99 MB)
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Google Reader To Disappear

On March 13th, Google announced that its Reader application would disappear on July 1, 2013. Dan Seifert wrote at The Verge about the matter where it was indicated that Google is doing this as part of a regular service reduction exercise and that Google clims usage of Google Reader has declined. Chris Ziegler later noted at The Verge that this has generated some backlash.

Debian developer Richard Hartmann noted that this shows some of the dangers of relying solely on cloud services. Work is underway to bring the self-hosted reader Newsblur into the JuJu Charm Store for easy deployment to the Amazon Web Services public access cloud to have your own personal web-based RSS reader. The personal cloud platform ownCloud is available with an RSS reader mode added to the latest version. Ars Technica writer Casey Johnston speculates this closure is an attempt to make RSS reading social by moving it into Google+ perhaps.

The situation continues to develop especially as librarians like Michael Sauers explain how to migrate from Google Reader back to Bloglines.

British Novelist Calls On American Mega-Companies to Help Save Britain's Libraries

From the Guardian:

A fiery Jeanette Winterson has called for the hundreds of millions of pounds of profit which Amazon, Starbucks and Google were last week accused of diverting from the UK to be used to save Britain's beleaguered public libraries.

In an impassioned speech at the British Library this evening, the award-winning author of Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit said: "Libraries cost about a billion a year to run right now. Make it two billion and charge Google, Amazon and Starbucks all that back tax on their profits here. Or if they want to go on paying fancy lawyers to legally avoid their moral duties, then perhaps those companies could do an Andrew Carnegie and build us new kinds of libraries for a new kind of future in a fairer and better world?"

Winterson was referring to the meeting at parliament's public accounts committee last Monday which saw executives from the three companies vigorously quizzed by MPs over their tax affairs, and accused of diverting UK profits to tax havens. Her lecture was to mark the 10th anniversary of the independent charity The Reading Agency, and was attended by fellow authors including David Nicholls, Julian Barnes, Joanna Trollope and Sarah Waters.

Book Scanning As Fair Use: Google Makes Its Case As Authors Guild Appeals Hathitrust Fair Use Ruling

Two new developments in the two big cases concerning book scanning and fair use: first up, we've got the somewhat unsurprising news that the Authors Guild is appealing its rather massive loss against Hathitrust, the organization that was set up to scan books from a bunch of university library collections. As you may recall, Judge Harold Baer's ruling discussed how the book scanning in that case was obviously fair use. It was a near complete smackdown for the Authors Guild.

Google, My Co-Author

"I didn't really write the book so much as Google it. It's amazing what a major, major literary figure can accomplish chained to his keyboard in a cloud of his own stench."

7-Year Battle To Stop Google From Digitizing Libraries Is Ending With A Whimper

A nice, non-legalese summary of the Google Books story from Read Write Web:

"Google's long-running fight to digitize the world's written works has closed two more chapters, but the story hasn't quite reached the end. Despite stakes that include millions of dollars of ad revenue for Google versus the potential loss of revenue and royalties for publishers and authors, however, the epic saga's climax is turning out to be surprisingly muted.

There are three parts to this story so far, with Google Books the protagonist (or antagonist, depending on your point of view) at the center of all of them. Following two separate court decisions this week and last, two of those parts are now concluded, leaving only one more thread of the tale to wrap up."

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