With the Democratic and Republican national conventions coming up in Denver and St. Paul in the next few weeks, we are planning our coverage across CNET News and CBSNews.com. (Being part of CBS has some nice advantages.) CNET News reporters Declan McCullagh, Stephanie Condon, and Kara Tsuboi will be on the scene, covering the tech policies and positions of the presidential and vice presidential candidates. In addition, they will be roaming the convention floors, interviewing delegates, politicians, and pundits on tech-related issues such as Net neutrality, Internet taxation, and privacy.
During a CNBC interview Wednesday with Mad Money's amped-up Jim Cramer, Google CEO Eric Schmidt was asked about placing ads on the home page of the leading search engine. He said Google wouldn't allow ads on the home page, even though it could bring in "some number of billions of dollars."
Let's say that some number of billions is $2 billion annually, which would be close to a 10 percent bump in revenue for violating the home page with ads.
"People wouldn't like it. We prioritize the end user over the advertiser," … Read more
On this week's EIC Squared podcast, ZDNet Editor in Chief Larry Dignan and I debate whether Amazon.com's Kindle e-reader is the next iPhone.
That is a big stretch, especially given the way the iPhone has turned the smartphone business on its head, at least from a product design standpoint. The Kindle is a nice product, and Amazon could bring music, video, and other kinds of content to the device, but it's doesn't have the Steve Jobs touch.
In addition, all the talk about Kindle's skyrocketing sales doesn't ring true. If the Kindle were … Read more
It's not clear why anyone should be surprised that Gmail, Amazon.com's cloud services, Salesforce.com, MobileMe, or Netflix have periods of instability or downtime. These services are not promising five-nines of uptime, and they are dependent on complex code and a vast network "tubes," as the beleaguered Sen. Ted Stevens has said, to deliver bits to users. Services such as Twitter have set a new standard for unreliability, making the other cloud-based services look good in comparison despite their outages.
The much-ballyhooed cloud from which Web services emanate is inherently unstable and prone to odd … Read more
Guest post: Jean-Louis Gass?e looks into Apple's MobileMe launch misfire and whether Apple can run a worldwide wireless data synchronization service for tens of millions of users. The essay was originally posted on Monday Note.Simple is hard. Easy is harder. Invisible is hardest. So goes one of the many proverbs of our computer lore. As Apple found out last month with the MobileMe launch misfires, the lofty promise of "Exchange for the rest of us" translated into a user experience that was neither simple nor easy--in a highly visible way. Four weeks later, the service … Read more
On this week's EIC Squared podcast, ZDNet's Larry Dignan and I talk about the big story of this month--the Olympics. Microsoft and NBC are hoping that their servers and software can handle the load as the Silverlight code (Microsoft's competitor to Adobe's Flash) takes its maiden voyage at NBCOlympics.com. In addition, the Department of Homeland Security is advising that people traveling to the Olympics leave their phones, laptops, and other digital equipment at home. "Somebody with a wireless device in China should expect it to be compromised," said Joel Brenner, the U.S. … Read more
Guest post: Christopher Lochhead, the former chief marketing officer at Scient and Mercury, offers his advice on how companies can do more than pray for survival in a prolonged economic downturn.
It's easy to be great when things are going great. The real test of leadership is who are you when things are tough. Leaders take market share in bad times, and losers lose share, money, and market cap.
We seem to be heading into a multi-quarter (or maybe longer) downturn. Planning for a long downturn is the right approach, even if you think this is just a blip.… Read more
In November 1999, Patrick Grady gathered some friends and advisers to talk about creating an Internet service that would transform the way businesses services are delivered to large corporations. The idea was to build an on-demand Web services platform and a digital personal assistant that takes the hassle out of making travel and dining plans, shipping packages, setting up Web conferences, procuring event tickets and scheduling parking or car services. The metadata-driven technology would take into account user and business preferences and normalize service interfaces so that users could access data from several providers, such as airline or hotel reservations.… Read more
In March, Radar Networks launched Twine, an application that organizes information and connects people, places, companies, products, Web pages, videos, and photos. Along with Metaweb's Freebase, Powerset (sold to Microsoft), Hakia, Reuters' Calias, AdaptiveBlue and a few other start-ups, Radar Networks is trying to crack the code on building a piece of the semantic Web.
In a Times Online article, Web creator Tim Berners-Lee gave an example of how the semantic Web would work:
"Imagine if two completely separate things--your bank statements and your calendar--spoke the same language and could share information with one another. You could drag … Read more
On this week's EIC Squared podcast ZDNet's Larry Dignan and I discuss Dell's ambitions to get into the crowded music player industry, Microsoft's interesting focus group with Vista and how the broadband wars are shaking out.
Dell might make another attempt at bringing a music player to market. With DRM unraveling, Dell doesn't need to beat iTunes, just offer a relatively cool and cost effective listening device that accesses multiple music services via Wi-Fi. Microsoft has a perception problem with it comes to Vista. That is well known, but it may not be because the … Read more