Apple’s Jobs: “Butterflies” and more jabs at Google

jobs1The media and industry analysts gathered at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, on Thursday got a heavy dose of commentary from CEO Steve Jobs on a range of subjects, representing probably his biggest mouthful in a single setting since returning from medical leave last summer.

In a session that lasted more than 90-minutes, including Q&A with reporters, a clearly energized Jobs expounded on the iPhone’s new system software, his nerves ahead of the iPad launch, Apple’s new role as a peddler of mobile advertising, and of course Google, the company’s nemesis du jour.

Jobs announced Apple new iAd platform, which thrusts the company into a small but fast-growing market where Google also has designs.  But Jobs made clear that his company had no plans to become a “worldwide ad agency,” and he acknowledged that Apple was indeed pursuing AdMob when Google swooped in to buy the mobile ad firm:

“Listen, we don’t now much about this advertising stuff. We’re learning. We tried to buy a company called AdMob, which is the biggest in mobile advertising, and Google came in and snatched them from us because they didn’t want us to have them. And we bought another much smaller but really good company called Quattro and they’re teaching us and we’re learning as fast we can about mobile advertising.”

(Google’s buy of AdMob is being held up as U.S. regulators examine it.)

On Google’s Android mobile platform, which some praise for being more accessible and open to a wider range of applications, where Apple’s iPhone platform is closed and regulated:

Verizon’s Seidenberg on broadband, China and Cheney


Verizon’s Chief Executive on Tuesday tackled subjects ranging from US healthcare reform,  iPhone, China, his lack of interest in a merger with Vodafone and his feelings about former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Here’s a sample of comments he made at an event held by the Council on Foreign Relations on Tuesday.

On the likelihood of a Vodafone/Verizon merger:
Absent new information a merger doesnt seem to have a lot of appeal.

LinkedIn no longer MIA on BlackBerry

BlackBerry smartphones and LinkedIn seem like a natural fit, with both heavily used by the corporate set.

Yet the business-oriented social network, which released an app for the Apple iPhone 18 months ago, hasn’t had a specialized app for the armies of BlackBerry-wielding users.

That changed on Monday evening, when LinkedIn made its BlackBerry debut with a free app designed for users of the Research in Motion BlackBerry Curve, Bold and Tour series of smartphones.

Apple’s Jobs and Google’s Schmidt: Let’s do coffee

An unusual — and unverified – photograph posted on the Internet by Gizmodo is triggering a minor sensation in tech circles.  Google and Apple may be at war, but — if this snapshot of CEOs Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt casually chatting over a coffee is to be believed — the generals of the two tech superpowers may have discussed matters of state via an intimate, streetside tete-a-tete on Friday.

According to Gizmodo, a perspicacious passer-by spotted Jobs and Schmidt at a restaurant in Palo Alto, California on Friday and duly relayed the resulting photos to the tech blog. Courtesy: Gizmodo

Courtesy: Gizmodo

For those who haven’t been following Silicon’s Valley favorite new drama: Jobs and Schmidt once sat on Apple’s board together and were allied in the battle against software giant Microsoft. But in recent years, the two chieftains have positioned their companies against each other, in markets like smartphones, mobile advertising and PC operating systems. And, according to some accounts, the relationship between the two has taken a turn for the worse.

PluggedIn: Struggling to ride Google Wave

google wave 2

What will Google do about China? Can Google’s Android defeat the iPhone? Important questions all, but I’m still curious about Google Wave, and wondering: do I want to use it?

Now undergoing testing with a limited number of users, the web-based email/word processing software was introduced last year, but it should begin open access later this year.

At its heart, Google Wave is a document living on the Internet, that can be edited by anyone collaboratively. What that means is a person can be working on one part of a document while his co-worker is changing another.

from Shop Talk:

European ruling makes it tougher on Google advertisers

All eyes are on China this week as Google watchers assess its potential risk in that fast-growing market. But across the globe in Europe, the world's most-used search engine is grappling also with the possible  fallout  from a spat over its advertising model.
The company scored a victory in Europe's top court on Tuesday over the legitimacy of its Adwords system, with a ruling that found Google does not infringe trademark law by selling to advertisers keywords that trigger paid ads.
The case, in which one plaintiff was luxury brand LVMH, was seen as a major challenge to Google's business model. LVMH -- the purveyors of all things Louis Vuitton --  argued it sought to protect brand holders' trademarks in the digital age. 
Yet despite the victory, as Reuters pointed out last week, the world's largest search engine is still not out of the woods. Some warn that Google could see its ad revenue slide if advertisers pull out of Adwords, concerned they could be found liable in future for trademark violations. 
That's because brand owners can now take up claims against advertisers who use their trademarks to confuse consumers, according to the court, which said Google  too may be liable if the company actively manipulates keywords or fails to act on legitimate complaints.

"Google's legal victory may prove to be a little hollow," wrote Eric Goldman, an associate professor of law at Santa Clara University School of Law in a blog this week. "It could still see revenue contraction if advertisers are dissuaded by their legal exposure."
Will advertisers, who depend on the exposure from Google's powerful search engine, balk? Goldman points out that trademark owners still have an arsenal of legal options to throw at advertisers, from legislative changes to going after advertisers one by one. 

LVMH, in a statement, acknowledged that the court's ruling did not test Google's business model. But it said the decision would make it easier for brand owners to combat illicit use of registered trademarks.

Yahoo concerned about search share slipping (video)

Yahoo’s share of the online search market has been sliding gently since Microsoft introduced its revamped Bing last June. It’s something of a concern for Yahoo, which has teamed up with Microsoft on search advertising in an attempt to rival market leader Google. But it risks becoming an also-ran in the fast-moving business.

During a visit to Yahoo’s Silicon Valley headquarters last week, search chief Shashi Seth admitted to some worries, but said his service can bounce back if it can come up with features to lure new traffic and entice the 600 million customers already using its portal and e-mail service to try its search product as well.

Under the deal with Microsoft, which got regulatory approval last month, Bing provides the basic search results for Yahoo’s search engine, while Yahoo adds on its own features.

YouTube has 24 hours of video uploaded every minute

YouTube, the world’s most popular video site, has just revealed that a whole day’s worth of online video is uploaded to its servers every single minute. That’s a mind-boggling statistic when you bear in mind this site is just five years old.

Last May YouTube, which is owned by search giant Google, revealed up to 20 hours of video are uploaded every minute.YouTube hours of video graph Clearly more and more people are using online video and this graphic from the YouTube blog shows the trajectory.

Google “advocate” goes on anti-Apple warpath

Apple and Google have been duking it out in the smartphone market, on the acquisition front and in proxy legal battles. Now, Google has escalated its information warfare efforts by unleashing a cowboy-hat wearing software developer and tech blogger.

Tim Bray, who recently left his gig at Sun Microsystems (now Oracle), announced his new role as a developer advocate at Google with a fiery blog post assailing Apple for its restrictive iPhone policies:

The iPhone vision of the mobile Internet’s future omits controversy, sex, and freedom, but includes strict limits on who can know what and who can say what. It’s a sterile Disney-fied walled garden surrounded by sharp-toothed lawyers. The people who create the apps serve at the landlord’s pleasure and fear his anger.

Google opens another app market

Online app stores are all the rage these days, whether for Apple’s iPhone, Nokia’s handsets or Google’s Android mobile phone software.

Now Google has hung out a shingle for yet another Internet market. The Google Apps Marketplace, which the company launched on Tuesday night, represents Google’s latest move to expand beyond search and bolster its online software business.

GoogFlag1With the new apps market, other companies will be able to offer applications that enhance Google’s existing family of Web-based software which includes everything from word processing and spreadsheet software to the Gmail email product.