Google layoffs don’t stop hiring efforts

Google may be giving pink slips to some 200 hapless souls, but that’s not stopping the company from hiring in certain places.

The search giant has about 360 job openings listed on its Web site, and a spokesman has confirmed that they are indeed open positions. Only about 30 of the US job openings are for work that appears related to sales and marketing – the kinds of jobs that were impacted by Thursday’s layoffs.

The job openings provide a fascinating window into the inner workings of the vast Google empire, which has a need for everything from a software engineer in Krakow to an account manager in Cairo.

A job listing for a “Peering Coordinator” at Google’s EU headquarters begins with a hint of international intrigue:

“When we’re not planning and designing our next secret data centre, we focus on selecting, negotiating for and acquiring the space, power and networks to expand Google’s global reach,” the ad reads.

Google funds photo advertising start-up

Google may not be buying companies as often as it once did, but that’s not stopping it from doling out funds to promising start-ups.

On Wednesday, Mountain View, California-based Pixazza, a developer of photo-based online ad technology, said Google was among the group of investors that plunked down $5.75 million in Series A funding. Pixazza’s technology lets Web surfers click on portions of online images to get more information, say the brand and price of the shoes that a celebrity is wearing in a photo.

“Google’s investment underscores the innovative and promising nature of Pixazza’s new advertising technology,” Pixazza said in a statement announcing the deal.

Google finds panacea to the ill-advised email

How many times have you smacked your forehead in frustration after sending a bawdy e-mail to your boss that had been meant for a friend?

Until now, there had been no way to retrieve the missive. Even if the person’s on vacation, it’s only a matter of time before – as the saying goes – your nether region is grass. Enter Google’s Gmail Labs and “Undo Send”. If you enable the feature, every time you hit ‘send’, a button allowing you to ‘undo’ the send will pop up along with confirmation that the e-mail has been sent. You have five seconds to decide.

Etiquette hounds coach you to leave the “to” blank while you write an e-mail (especially if it’s a subject you feel strongly about) and not forward an e-mail without permission. As author and business consultant Tim Sanders says, “you never need to send an e-mail that’s regrettable.” But it happens all the time.

Blockbuster sees its digital future

Here’s the thing about Blockbuster: like other cultural icons, its synonymous with its service — renting movies from a local store.

Sure it does other things, rents video games, sells gadgets and point-of-sale popcorn, but most of us hear the name Blockbuster and do a quick mental check — “did I return that rental copy of “To Sleep With Anger”? (Ok, maybe that’s just me.)

But even with the spectre of looming debt, and market talk that bankruptcy might be an option it’s exploring (an idea the company flatly denied), Blockbuster is mapping out a future where Blockbuster = Movies (not so much on the “local store” part).

Advertising works for Hulu, kind of

The jury is out on whether advertising will ever work for online video sites as they strive to become real profit-generating businesses. Well, it’s worked for Hulu, but not in the profit-generating kind of way — at least not right away.

Hulu jumped to become the fourth most-watched video site in the United States last month thanks to a major advertising spot during the Super Bowl, according to Internet audience measurement firm comScore in this Reuters story. Those spots featured Alec Baldwin telling viewers about Hulu’s “evil plot to destroy the world” by turning people’s brains to mush.

Comscore said Hulu’s viewership grew 42 percent to 34.7 million unique visitors watching around 333 million videos.

Google’s chief: small salary, big expenses

Protecting Google’s head honcho got more affordable in 2008, but the cost of air travel for CEO Eric Schmidt and his entourage rose sharply.


According to Google’s annual proxy statement, released on Tuesday, Google paid out $106,201 “on Eric’s behalf for costs related to aircraft chartered for Google business on which family and friends flew in 2008.”


That’s a good deal more than the $4,000 Schmidt’s friends and family racked up flying the friendly skies in 2007 or the $22,456 in tax “gross ups” for air travel in 2006.

Blue Sky for Baidu?

The dreams of Internet moonshot stocks have not disappeared amid the global economic slowdown.

Take Baidu, the No.1 Internet firm in China, which was bequeathed a lofty $432-a-share valuation by Deutsche Bank on Tuesday under a so-called “blue-sky scenario.”

That would be quite a bit above Baidu’s $186.50 opening price on Tuesday, but Deutsche Bank analyst Alan Hellawell points out in a note initiating coverage on Baidu that the stock has traded upwards of $380 in the past 52 weeks and that Baidu’s market cap still pales compared to Google’s.

How long will Google stay on a deal diet?

Is Google really on a deal diet?

Normally Google gobbles up companies — more than 30 deals since 2005, usually small, privately held companies priced from $20 million to $50 million. But it hasn’t announced an acquisition in six months and Google CEO Eric Schmidt says prices are still too high right now.

But with some $16 billion in cash and securities in its back pocket, experts say Schmidt may soon be making a call. With valuations so low, and Internet software competition so high, Google can’t afford to pass up new technologies and growth opportunities.

Are you listening, Twitter and Expedia? (Reuters) Keep an eye on:

A $1 bln suit won’t stop Google from getting its Dauman

The big highlight of the McGraw-Hill media summit in New York when NBC Universal’s Jeff Zucker took a couple of shots at Jon Stewart.

But our favorite story came at the end of the day, courtesy of Viacom top dog Philippe Dauman. The background to this story was a question about Viacom’s $1 billion lawsuit against Google’s YouTube  over copyright infringement.

That led Dauman to mention that his son, Phillippe Dauman Jr., happens to work at… wait for it… Google.

Googler jumps ship

It’s been less than a week since Google reset the price of employee stock options in order to provide “better incentives for employees to remain at Google.”

Apparently Google’s President of Americas Operations Tim Armstrong didn’t get the memo.

On Thursday, Time Warner announced that Armstrong is leaving the Googleplex to take the top job as CEO of AOL.