Google and Facebook have ceased to innovate, according to venture capitalist Fred Wilson, an allegation that John Doerr, a rival VC and Google board member, found hard to refute at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.
Mr Wilson (pictured right, photo courtesy of Web 2.0 Summit), author of the popular A VC blog and a managing partner at Union Square Ventures, said Google had not come up with anything truly transformative that was a home-grown product since Gmail, introduced in 2004. It had relied on acquisitions instead to develop new services. Read more
Green energy is often seen as the next gold mine for US innovation and entrepreneurship – following Silicon Valley’s successes in software and the internet – but it is a costly and complex business.
At a General Electric event in New York this morning, I was struck by a figure quoted by Jeff Immelt, GE’s chief executive – that a single solar panel plant costs as much to build as the entire venture capital investment in Google. Read more
After more than a year of arguing and pressure from regulators, Apple has finally blessed Google’s official Google Voice application for the iPhone.
Google announced the approval on its blog on Tuesday, touting features including low-cost international calls and free transcription of voicemail messages. Read more
Baidu chief executive Robin Li said he is planning to expand into new countries and offer more languages to users beyond the dominant Chinese search engine’s two-year-old foray in Japan.
Speaking for the first time at a US technology industry conference, Mr Li said Baidu also has dramatic room to grow in the company’s home country, which has one-third internet penetration.
He said that only 150m of China’s 800m mobile phones have internet access, and that eventually all will. Read more
More than a third of a billion people are active users of Facebook Messages, which made major strides to becoming a fully fledged email service on Monday.
I am among the first batch of users to get an @facebook.com address in a rollout expected to take many months. First impressions on the new features after the jump: Read more
The version of Google’s Android operating system for smartphones due out in a few weeks can be used with specialised chips to authenticate the precise location of the mobile devices, paving the way for secure payments at physical stores, Google chief executive Eric Schmidt said Monday.
Because the Near-Field Communication chips can store and exchange precise data about the phones, well beyond ordinary GPS, their adoption will allow phone owners to tap their gadgets against a physical surface to confirm their presence and identity, Mr Schmidt said. Read more
The bitter dispute between Google and China rumbles on. In the latest episode, the company has released a white paper urging the international community to fight internet restrictions, which it calls the “trade barriers of the 21st century”.
Naturally, Google officials denied that the report was targeted at a specific country. Bob Boorstin, Google’s director of public policy, told the FT: Read more
Google has never been shy about the fact that it automatically puts results from some of its own services at the top of search results pages if these help answer a users’ query faster. If you type in an address, a map from Google Maps might give you the instant answer you need.
But how often does Google do this, does it always result in superior results, and what effect does it have on companies that offer rival services? Ben Edelman, an assistant professor at Harvard Business School, has tested what he calls “hard-coding” by the search engine – that is, where it overrides the normal algorithmic results to put a Google answer first – and concludes the practice is now common. Read more
It took a while for tablet rivals to emerge to Apple’s iPad, but Lenovo has wasted no time in coming out with a laptop competitor to the new MacBook Air.
The IdeaPad U260 will go on sale on Monday on Lenovo’s website starting at $899 as “the world’s first 12.5-inch ultra-portable consumer laptop, giving users a 16:9 widescreen dimension in a 12-inch form factor for the first time.” Read more
One of the things noted in my review last week of the Samsung Galaxy Tab was the inferior screen compared to the iPad and Samsung’s own Super Amoled Galaxy smartphones.
Well, it looks like Samsung already has plans to fix that with the unveiling of a second-generation Tab with Amoled screen in Japan this week, although it’s unlikely to appear before the second half of next year. Read more
No one can deny that India is going through a digital revolution. The country has seen a boom in mobile telephone usage, with subscriptions doubling from 300m to 600m in just two years, and its software services industry is thriving.
But in a country where some 42 per cent of its population still live below the extreme poverty line of $1.25 a day, the government has strides to make in bridging the digital divide, a new report released by the World Economic Forum says, especially if it wants to leverage information and communication technologies (ICT) to increase growth and development.
Continue reading “Digital India: less talk more action”
Waving at our televisions is replacing button pushing with the new motion controllers for games consoles from Microsoft and Sony.
The Kinect, launched in Europe this week, and Sony’s Move are inspired by the Wii, but what do they offer that’s better or different from Nintendo’s big success? – a question I sought to answer in the Personal Technology column in the FT’s Business Life section this week. Read more
In today’s FT Comment, John Gapper gives his opinion on Larry Ellison’s recent “policing” of Silicon Valley.
Gapper writes: Read more
Firefox may have disqualified itself from the iPhone, but expect the browser to appear in its Firefox for Mobile version in the Android Market in the near future.
It’s not finished yet, but there are so many bogus versions of Firefox appearing in the Market that its creator Mozilla is considering pushing out the beta version, already available on its website. Read more
Three years on from its private beta launch, on-demand TV streaming service Hulu.com is expected to earn more than $240m this year.
Jason Kilar, chief executive, revealed the figure at the NewTeeVee Live conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, but refused to comment about reports that the US service was heading for an IPO. Read more
It’s probably too good an opportunity to miss. Tencent, the company which holds 80 per cent of China’s instant messaging market with its QQ tool, has gotten itself into a real PR mess with its fierce fight with Qihoo 360, a rival antivirus software maker.
Now there is talk in the industry that MSN is teaming up with Sina, China’s largest online news portal and platform for China’s largest microblogging site, in instant messaging. Read more
Plastic Logic, best known for its pricey, delayed and now abandoned Que eReader, has received a significant investment from a Russian state-owned nanotechnology corporation.
As we predicted when reporting talks in August, Plastic Logic is to open a factory in Russia to make its next-generation plastic electronics displays as part of the deal with the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies.
Rusnano is putting more than $100m into the company for a “hefty” minority stake, according to a source close to the deal. Read more