Posts tagged ‘Google’

May 1, 2011

Rugged Android Smartphone Takes a Licking [Video-Today]

by Avinash Saxena

VIDEOS  Casio‘s made tough “feature phones” before, including the other members of the G’zOne family, the Ravine and Brigade. But this is the G’zOne family’s first smartphone, a relatively slim and compact Android 2.2 handset ($199.99 on Verizon with a new two-year agreement) that offers a variety of features to roughnecks both real and imagined.

As you can see in the video above, this bruiser can take a beating, surviving a half-hour of immersion, even in a whirlpool. Although we didn’t drop it 26 times from a height of 4 feet, Casio says it can handle that too. It can withstand saltwater spray and 95% humidity for 24 hours, as well as 15,000 foot altitude for an hour, unbearably high and low temperatures and even dust storms. See the gallery below for the full list of indignities it can allegedly withstand.

The result? This is a smartphone that you can either take on any adventure, or place in the hands of your slightly uncoordinated daughter (sorry, honey).

Holding this phone in my hands, it reminds me of a little Jeep. Not only did it hang tough in my testing, it looks tough with its four exposed “tough-look” screws on each side and hard plastic encasement.

Even though this is a smartphone that’s obviously looking for adventure, it still packs the niceties of most Android 2.2 smartphones, including a decent 5-megapixel autofocus camera, Bluetooth and GPS. Oh, and its sound quality on cellphone calls is just as good most other cellphones. But if you’re looking for the latest 4G technology, this is not your phone — it only supports 3G/EV-DO data capability. That might not matter to you ifVerizon’s 4G service hasn’t made it into your area yet.

Beyond its Android 2.2 features, the Commando gives you a variety of outdoorsy and athletic features. Go into its G’z Gear menu, and you’ll see eight apps that are tailor-made for fitness buffs and outdoorsy types. Most are useful, and all are interesting. On board is a compass that shows you distances to national parks and landmarks, a pedometer, trip memory, indicators of tides and moon phases, a thermometer and even a star finder to help you point out constellations as you sleep under the stars.

Advertisements
April 29, 2011

What’s The Matter With Google TV?

by Avinash Saxena

Google and its partners made a major bet on Google TV, an ambitious attempt to bridge the gap between the web and TV worlds. But so far it has failed to pay dividends — quite literally, in the case of Google partner Logitech.

On Thursday, Logitech released its fourth quarter fiscal report, and the results were a mixed bag. Operating income was a mere $3.6 million, a far cry from the $24.5 million it made a year ago. But sales were up 4% compared to last year.

Logitech’s income missed the mark largely due to its investment in Google TV, which was revealed in dramatic fashion at last year’s Google I/O developer conference. Logitech developed the Revue, a $299 Google TV-powered set-top box.

As GigaOm points out, Logitech expected to sell $18 million in Google TV-related products in Q4. But in its earnings report, the company revealed that it only sold $5 million in Google TV devices. Logitech also revealed that its inventory is up 28% in Q4 — thanks to all those unsold Google TV devices.


A Series of Setbacks


When we first saw Google TV, we gave Google credit for its ambition. However, we also had a warning for the search giant: get the user experience right at launch. Otherwise, it risked alienating potential users.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened. Reviews were lackluster. Users complained about a complicated user experience and an array of bugs. Google delivered an update last month to fix some of these problems.

In December, we heard a rumor that Google would use Android 3.0 to fix Google TV. What we’re hearing now isGoogle TV will merge with Android Honeycomb and Gingerbread to create one multifaceted OS. This should make system updates and Android app development a simpler process. It could also be the start of the development of Android apps for Google TV, a major potential selling point.


Google’s Options


Google and its partners are far from giving up on their TV project. For one thing, there isn’t one major rival dominating the space. Connected TVs were a hot ticket at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), but the market is young and there isn’t a clear winner yet.

The search giant will have a second chance to breath new life into Google TV at its Google I/O conference in May, the same place it first introduced the product and the company’s best shot at sparking new interest in the platform.

So what might Google be able to do to lift Google TV sales and save it from Google Wave’s fate?

First of all, it can go all-in with Android, rallying developers to create amazing apps for the TV screen. Being able to use your favorite Android apps on the big screen — especially games — could be the selling point the search giant needs to get people interested.

Secondly, it can work with its partners to reduce the price. Apple TV costs $100, the Boxee Box retails for $190 on Amazon, and the Roku costs only $59 at Best Buy. The Logitech Revue, which originally retailed for $299, still costs $230 on Amazon. While Google TV is definitely a different product than Apple TV or the Roku, consumers are bound to shy away when they see the price difference.

To distance itself from the negative sentiments that linger around Google TV, the company may feel the need for some kind of public relaunch, with a fresh look and feel to the device. Call it Google TV 2.0. After all, it took multiple releases of Android before the Google phone OS began to gain traction.

Regardless of the strategy, if Google can’t get its TV engine roaring soon, partners and developers may start abandoning the platform — and there is no recovering from that.

April 28, 2011

Michael Lauer’s Acquittal Is A Good Sign For Rajaratnam [Video-Today]

by Avinash Saxena

Eight years after the SEC dubbed Michael Lauer’s business”one of the largest hedge fund frauds in the history of the United States” a jury acquitted him of criminal charges.

Lauer who founded New York-based Lancer Group was accused by prosecutors in Miami of swindling investors out of $200 million beginning in 1999, but was acquitted of charges today including wire fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud.

He was facing 25 years in jail so it’s no surprise that he “raised his clenched fists in the air when the verdict was read and tightly hugged his attorney” as the AP reported.

For Lancer investors, who included Alfred Taubman and Britney Spears, the verdict may not be so thrilling.

Lauer’s alleged scheme: Buy large quantities of restricted stock in worthless shell companies, then buy a smaller amount of shares in the same companies at higher prices in the open market in order to show big gains. Lauer would report these inflated valuations to a third party administrator, Citco (which is also facing accusations of gross negligence), to show investors.

Read more about Citco and the hedge fund administration industry’s shoddy efforts to protect investors.

The inflated valuations generated larger fees for Lauer and his associates at Lancer, the government alleged. In other words, Lauer made false and fraudulent representations about his hedge fund in order to make more money from investors.

But the jury didn’t find anything criminal about Lauer’s behavior. In fact, one juror told the AP that the only thing Lauer was guilty of was “surrounding himself with a bunch of jerks.”

At first, I was shocked by the acquittal. The evidence regarding the shell companies Lancer was invested in was pretty incriminating. For instance, in the case against Citco (the company that was responsible for OK’ing Lancer’s books and records before it sent monthly statements out to Lancer’s investors) e-mails show an executives’ concerns about Lancer’s valuation practices and calls them “absurd.”

But that’s neither here nor there. Today, Lauer walked away a free man (though he was already fined $62 million by the SEC in a civil case) and announced on the courtroom steps that he would return to the hedge fund business.

What I can’t help but wonder is if tomorrow or the next day Raj Rajaratnam will step onto Foley Square in downtown Manhattan after his own acquittal has been announced and let the world know he is getting back to work in the hedge fund business ASAP.

Yes, Rajaratnam and Lauer were accused of two different crimes at two different times and in different jurisdictions. But whether Rajaratnam is guilty or not is not what concerns me.  I’m more troubled about the government’s ability to successfully try Wall Street on criminal charges.

As Forbes contributor and veteran Wall Street lawyer Bill Singer points out the defense lawyers on such cases are usually much more experienced than the prosecutors who tend to be younger and have, in many cases, the more difficult job of proving the defendant guilty beyondreasonable doubt.

“It’s easy to raise a doubt, but it’s much more difficult to make it go away,” Singer says.

That’s probably most true when it comes to financial cases that involve complicated issues like insider trading, valuations, derivatives, hedge funds, etc.

“Defense lawyers in these cases know that these jurors are human beings and human beings have a short attention span,” Singer adds.

That doesn’t bode well for prosecutors who are charged with explaining not just what insider trading means but explaining “the bowels of the financial industry like how trades are entered, how they are executed, who is involved and so on,” Singer says.

Those are explanations even a Wall Street journalist might be guilty of zoning out on.

And one more thing to keep in mind as the Rajaratnam jury continues its deliberation for the third day tomorrow is how long it’s taking them to decide.

“If this was an open and shut case, they should have come back within an hour or two,” Singer tells me.

Also of note, jurors announced their verdict on the Lauer case in a little more than 3 days.

April 27, 2011

Mobile application management without the heavy hand [Infographic]

by Avinash Saxena

Mobile application management without the heavy hand

IT concerns are fast moving from mobile device management (MDM) to mobile application management (MAM) as part of a shift in thinking from whether to allow mobile devices in to how to best take advantage of them. At IT conferences, I hear more and more questions about how to manage those applications. For organizations used to controlling the software on a user’s PC via tools such as IBM’s Tivoli and Microsoft’s SMS, the iPhones, iPads, and Androids now becoming commonplace herald a Wild West environment.

The heterogeneity of those devices is daunting enough — most desktop application management tools can’t even do a decent job of handling Mac OS X applications, so no one expects them to go near the mobile devices. But mobile OSes veer even more dramatically from the desktop, making app management less suitable for IT’s traditional approach. The use of app stores means IT isn’t the central distributor of apps in mobile, while the mix of HTML and native apps raises another level of complexity. Sure, IT can put together its own mobile app “store,” but it’s often a glorified website or intranet site with links to approved or recommended apps, both internal and external.

[ Learn how to manage iPhones, Androids, BlackBerrys, and other smartphones in InfoWorld’s 20-page Mobile Management Deep Dive PDF special report. | Keep up on key mobile developments and insights via Twitter and with the Mobile Edge blog and Mobilize newsletter. ]

Even as IT has given up the notion of ruling over mobile devices and instead has come to view them as a device jointly “owned” with the user, IT rightfully wants to manage the business-oriented apps on those devices. That way, when an employee leaves the company or a device is lost, the application and its data can be removed from the device. IT also rightfully wants to be able to manage updates and licenses, as well as track usage — especially in the messy context of apps used by employees, contractors, and business partners, in which even a control-oriented organization simply can’t seize the traditional control over all the devices.

The first wave: Managing HTML app containers via policies
What’s evolved in the device management space is a policy-oriented approach. In this scenario, a tool such as BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), Microsoft Exchange (via Exchange ActiveSync protocol), or a third-party MDM utility, such as those from Good Technology, MobileIron, and Trellia, manages the data it provisions, including mail, contacts, and so on. It can also impose devicewide access policies, such as password requirements, remote lock, and more. Some of these tools can even manage applications they provision, essentially allowing or disallowing access, as well as pushing updates.

The same is beginning to happen in mobile application management. A few weeks back, I profiled the approach used by Antenna Software, whose MAM essentially puts HTML apps in a virtual box on the iPhone or Android device. IT can then control and monitor the apps in that box. The approach is very similar to how many MDM tools work, providing their own clients, managing the email, and so on, apart from the rest of the device; it’s akin to the VDI approach used in Citrix Systems’ Receiver app for mobile devices.

That box approach provides a clear separation between work and personal apps and data, but it’s a bit heavy-handed, forcing users (in the case of Antenna’s Volt) to open a container app to access business-provisioned HTML apps. That’s acceptable for HTML apps, as users typically first launch a browser before running a Web app, and you can think of the Volt client as a browser for enterprise apps. Plus, IT directly controls those apps because they run on IT’s servers just like a desktop Web app.

April 23, 2011

Browsing through the time and space with giga pan and chrome [News Report]

by Avinash Saxena

From the presidential inauguration to the World Series to gorgeous cityscapes, for the past few years the GigaPan team at Carnegie Mellon University has been making it possible to explore breathtaking panoramic photos from around the world. GigaPan pioneered the hardware design that captures these photos and used innovative rendering techniques—similar to those of Google Maps—to create seamless transitions between photos, so people can pan and zoom through the image for an interactive and incredibly detailed photo experience.

Yesterday, the GigaPan team took their creative and technical skills to the next level with theGigaPan Time Machine, which brings this same kind of visual interactivity to video using the power of HTML5 and modern browser technology. Time Machine works particularly well on Google Chrome, thanks to its support for the latest HTML5 features and its stability architecture, which ensures it can smoothly run complex web applications without crashing. Time Machine is featured on the gallery of Chrome Experiments, a showcase of creative web applications submitted by developers around the world, and built using the latest web technologies.

The sophisticated cameras the GigaPan team uses for their photographs capture hundreds or even thousands of digital pictures and stitch them together to form an interactive panorama. With Time Machine, the cameras capture these image mosaics at regular intervals to create a video with hundreds of millions or even billions of pixels in each frame. The result is a video that viewers have the ability to zoom in on while it’s playing and see incredible detail.

With Time Machine, watching paint dry or grass grow is actually pretty cool. Take a look at a table full of potted plants grow and bloom into flowers. Zoom in to examine a specific plant or even a single leaf, or watch a caterpillar bite off a leafy green for lunch.

One of the critical elements of making Time Machine work was developing algorithms that allow the site to shift seamlessly from one portion of a video to another, to give people the experience of zooming and panning across a video of almost limitless resolution. This is particularly challenging because a seamless transition between videos requires starting a new video before the old one is finished, and then queueing it to align perfectly in time before the swap. The GigaPan researchers were able to accomplish this successfully using HTML5’s video tag feature, as well as by taking advantage of Chrome’s speed and stability to render the content smoothly as videos start and stop dynamically.

While you can’t fast-forward to the weekend (yet), head over to GigaPan’s Time Machine to zoom around in space and time with some of the samples, or create your own Time Warp by building your own animated tour through any of the sample videos.

April 22, 2011

Oklahoma where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain [News Report]

by Avinash Saxena

Rodgers and Hammerstein weren’t kidding when they wrote what is now Oklahoma’s official state song. The gusts on the plains are fierce, which makes the Sooner State a great place to harness clean, renewable wind energy. Our commitment to greening our energy supply is also strong, which is why we’ve just signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for wind energy—our second in less than a year—in Oklahoma.

The purchase is similar in size and structure to the agreement we signed last July for wind energy in Iowa, but this time we will be applying the power to our Mayes County, Okla. data center, which will be fully operational later this year. We’ve agreed to purchase all of the energy from NextEra Energy Resources’ Minco II wind facility in Oklahoma for the next 20 years, through Google Energy LLC, an entity that enables us to participate in the wholesale energy market. This 100.8 megawatt facility will be built as a direct result of our financial commitment and should be operational in late 2011.

We’ve made the commitment to be a carbon neutral company, and this purchase is part of our effort to minimize our impact on the environment. We’ve managed to reduce our energy consumption by over 50 percent by building highly energy-efficient facilities, but we know that efficiency alone isn’t enough to eliminate our carbon footprint. We’ve been exploring ways, such as this PPA, to reduce emissions further by increasing the amount of renewable energy we use to power our operations; we purchase high-quality carbon offsets for any remaining emissions.

If you’re interested in learning more about the whys and wherefores of our renewable energy purchases, we’ve just published a white paper (PDF) on the topic. Our hope is that by laying out our reasoning and methods we’ll make it easier for others in the industry to explore similar arrangements.

These purchases represent long-term, meaningful actions to reduce our carbon footprint and power our operations with clean electricity. Our infrastructure team will continue to seek similar opportunities globally as Google’s businesses continue to grow. As a company we hope that purchases like these, plus the additional $350 million we’ve invested in renewableenergy projects, support the market and drive down the cost of clean energy. This will enable even more companies to invest in sustainable energy solutions.

Tags: , ,
April 22, 2011

Oklahoma where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain [News Report]

by Avinash Saxena

Rodgers and Hammerstein weren’t kidding when they wrote what is now Oklahoma’s official state song. The gusts on the plains are fierce, which makes the Sooner State a great place to harness clean, renewable wind energy. Our commitment to greening our energy supply is also strong, which is why we’ve just signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for wind energy—our second in less than a year—in Oklahoma.

The purchase is similar in size and structure to the agreement we signed last July for wind energy in Iowa, but this time we will be applying the power to our Mayes County, Okla. data center, which will be fully operational later this year. We’ve agreed to purchase all of the energy from NextEra Energy Resources’ Minco II wind facility in Oklahoma for the next 20 years, through Google Energy LLC, an entity that enables us to participate in the wholesale energy market. This 100.8 megawatt facility will be built as a direct result of our financial commitment and should be operational in late 2011.

We’ve made the commitment to be a carbon neutral company, and this purchase is part of our effort to minimize our impact on the environment. We’ve managed to reduce our energy consumption by over 50 percent by building highly energy-efficient facilities, but we know that efficiency alone isn’t enough to eliminate our carbon footprint. We’ve been exploring ways, such as this PPA, to reduce emissions further by increasing the amount of renewable energy we use to power our operations; we purchase high-quality carbon offsets for any remaining emissions.

If you’re interested in learning more about the whys and wherefores of our renewable energy purchases, we’ve just published a white paper (PDF) on the topic. Our hope is that by laying out our reasoning and methods we’ll make it easier for others in the industry to explore similar arrangements.

These purchases represent long-term, meaningful actions to reduce our carbon footprint and power our operations with clean electricity. Our infrastructure team will continue to seek similar opportunities globally as Google’s businesses continue to grow. As a company we hope that purchases like these, plus the additional $350 million we’ve invested in renewableenergy projects, support the market and drive down the cost of clean energy. This will enable even more companies to invest in sustainable energy solutions.

Tags: , ,
April 21, 2011

Google Said More Predictions in Autocomplete

by Avinash Saxena

This posted is posted on google’s blog by  Bartlomiej Niechwiej, Software Engineer ”
I work on a team that develops autocomplete—the feature that provides predicted searches while you type. When you combine autocomplete with Google Instant, you can really accelerate your searching. Because it is so important to your search experience, we’ve been looking for ways to provide predictions for even more queries. Today we’re improving the predictive powers of autocomplete, helping you search for things even when no one else in the world has.

One of the main ways autocomplete works is by looking at the most popular searches on Google. For example, most people who type “w-e-a” are going to search for [weather], so Google can make that prediction. What’s tricky is that a huge percentage of the queries we get have almost never been typed before, so this makes it difficult to provide predictions based on popularity. For example, very few people have searched for [florida state senate building], so until today, even when you typed nearly the whole search query, you wouldn’t get a prediction.

Now what we’re doing is making predictions based on only part of your search—specifically, the last word or words. While few people have searched for [florida state senate building], many more have searched for [state senate building]. By looking at just the last part of what you’ve typed into the box, in this case “state senate bui,” we can generate a prediction for “building.” You’ll see a dropdown box below the end of your search with predictions for just that word.

As before, to search for the predicted query you simply click the prediction or arrow down and hit enter. The feature can be particularly helpful for long queries, since the query is likely to be more unusual. For example, if you’re trying to figure out [how many stairs to climb the arc de tri]… now you’ll actually get the prediction for “triomphe” (a good thing, too, because there’s no way I’d spell that right). Or, if you’re looking for an [online store with underwater gad], you can save that extra second while you’re shopping for “gadgets.”

We’ve been experimenting with this change for a couple weeks and it’s currently rolling out to all users on google.com in English. As we continue to improve the feature and test additional languages and locales, I can predict with high probability (pun intended) that we’ll be expanding globally.”

April 20, 2011

Google Introducing Toolbar 7

by Avinash Saxena

The post is posted on Google’s official blog by Allen Huang, Associate Product Manager, Toolbar ”
Today we’re bringing the speed of Google Instant to the latest version of Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer. We’re also introducing a fresh, clean look that personalizes Toolbar with the tools you use most.

Toolbar Instant
If you’ve used Instant on google.com or in Chrome, you’ll be right at home with Toolbar Instant. Just start typing in the search box and search predictions and results will appear instantly as you type, getting you the results you want faster.

You can also type Alt+G to get to the Toolbar search box more quickly.

To enable Toolbar Instant, visit Toolbar Options and click “Enable Instant for faster searching and browsing.” Toolbar Instant works on IE8 and IE9; if you’re on an older browser, you can either upgrade your Internet Explorer version or try Instant in Chrome, which includes many of the same tools you’re familiar with in Toolbar.

Personalized Toolbar 
This new version of Toolbar is simpler, cleaner and emphasizes what’s important to you. The tools that you use most will remain visible on the toolbar, while buttons that you haven’t used recently will be moved to the new “More” button.

As you discover and use particular tools that help your browsing experience, like Share or Translate, they’ll automatically appear on the toolbar, making your most relevant tools easy to access. This personalization is stored only on your computer, so no information is sent to Google unless your usage statistics are enabled. You can learn more about this personalization at our Help Center.

Making Toolbar work for you
Some Google Toolbar features, such as PageRank and spell check, require sharing some information with Google in order to function properly. With Google Toolbar 7, we’ve made it easier for you to control your privacy settings. From a single settings menu, you can decide which of these features you’d like to enable and which ones you’d like to stay off.

We’ve also continued to improve the performance of Toolbar 7 without slowing down your browser, making it one of the fastest add-ons you can use in Internet Explorer.

Google Toolbar 7 is available in English on our download page and will be coming to our other supported languages over the next week. If you’re already using Toolbar, you’ll automatically be updated to the new version over the next few weeks. You can also find out more about Toolbar on our features page. “

April 19, 2011

Will Google Buzz Fallout Hurt Page's Social Push? [News Report]

by Avinash Saxena

Newly-installed CEO Larry Page hasdecreed that “social” is Google’s future — and has tied the bonuses of all employees to the company’s success in “integrat[ing] relationships, sharing and identity across [Google’s] products.”

Google has historically struggled at social — most of the social products they’ve launched have been ignored by their users. Google Buzz got everybody’s attention, but for the wrong reasons, when the company repurposed Gmail users’ private contact lists to build a public social network. That one also caught the attention of regulators, leading to an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC recently settled with Google, ordering it to submit to 20 years of privacy audits and to get “express affirmative consent” from Google users prior to making any changes to how and with whom it shares information previously collected.

“It’s quite a serious impediment to Google’s ability to innovate rapidly,” said NYU law professor Ira Rubinstein of the “draconian” FTC consent decree, during an event at the law school on privacy regulation. He’s particularly sensitive to the deleterious effects of government regulation as a former Microsoft associate general counsel. (The FTC is not the only regulator breathing down Google’s neck. The Justice Department has antitrust concerns, and the company agreed to submit to government monitoring in order to get its hands on a fare tracking company.)

“It’s breathtaking that Google agreed to do this across the board,” Rubinstein said. So could the settlement wreak havoc on Google’s attempt to be more social?

How do I know if I have Google Buzz?Thanks to Buzz, the FTC will be paying close attention to Google’s attempts at social

Rubinstein is not alone in his concern about the decree. There’s hand-wringing about it internally at the FTC. When it was issued, one of the FTC Commissioners issued a “consenting opinion,” which included a strong dissent when it came to the requirement that Google get opt-ins from users for any changes in how it shares user information with third parties. Commissioner Thomas Rosch, a Bush appointee to the FTC, wrote [PDF]:

Part II [Ed. note: the part of the order mandating “affirmative consent” from users for any changes Google makes] applies not just to Google’s social networking services or products, but to every single Google service or product that undergoes some “change, addition, or enhancement” (terms that are not defined in Part II) that results from the sharing of certain information.

“This will lead to a disaster a few years from now,” says James Grimmelman, as associate professor of law at NYU, who says it’s inevitable that the FTC and Google will eventually disagree on what a “change” to use of information is.

More from Rosch:

As a practical matter, this means that Google is at risk that Part II will apply across the board to every existing product or service that Google offers, including any product or service that involves the tracking and sharing of identified Google users’ browsing behavior.

The FTC has said this applies, for example, to the Android as well. That could be problematic given the firestorm of late over the information that mobile phones are handing over to apps (Apple currently faces a small army of class action lawsuits over this because of info-leaky iPhone apps).

Katie Ratte, senior attorney for the FTC’s Division of Privacy & Identity Protection, says, though, that this part of the order was drafted with Buzz in mind — and that’s the kind of reuse of data that they’re trying to prevent. “Google is free to develop new products,” she said. “We just don’t want to see information collected under one set of rules shared in a new way. That’s when Part II would kick in, requiring consent from users.”

Public nature of +1 is made promient

Ratte says the opt-in requirement is a “big deal,” and something that the FTC is expecting other companies to regard as a best practice moving forward. On the same day that the consent decree was handed down, Google launched +1, its version of the Facebook “Like” button. Seemingly to ensure compliance with the order, Google made sure to emphasize in all places where +1 appears that +1-ing is a public display of your affection for a url — and will be visible to others in your network. Users must check a box acknowledging this before they can start using the product.

Fast Company thinks the real downside of the decree is that Google can no longer take the “launch cool product half-baked, and apologize later if something goes wrong” approach — a popular one at Google and for  the rest of the Valley, especially when it comes to social products (as many Facebook users know):

Silicon Valley is renowned for its culture of innovation. There a common, renegade approach is to send products out into the world while they’re still half-baked, in the belief that it’s better to improve them based on real-world use, rather than trying to perfect them behind closed doors.

And the Valley accepts, of course, that this approach means that they’ll sometimes stumble, that some products might blow up in their faces. But it’s willing to live with that, believing that it’s ultimately better–and that they’ll innovate faster–if they ask forgiveness rather than permission. For the most part, the “Apology Approach to Innovation” works. Even when companies stumble, the consequences have generally been minimal–a few waves of invective from users and the tech press.

via What the Google Buzz-FTC Settlement Means for the “Apology Approach” to Innovation | Fast Company.

Google’s settlement with the FTC threatens that approach. If a half-baked product ends up violating people’s privacy in some way that Google did not foresee (as Buzz did, or as Beacon did when Facebook launched it) the company faces a fine of  $16,000 per violation, according to the order. With its millions of users, that could add up fast.

When it comes to social, Google wasn’t feelin’ it with this consent decree. It had nothing to say on the record about the settlement.

%d bloggers like this: