Salsa Scoop> tag: ”blog:google“

Corporate Realignment Spells Coming Network Neutrality Fight?

by Jason Z.


According to the Wall Street Journal, Google -- whose lobbying heft has been instrumental for network neutrality regulatory grapplings so far, is quietly seeking its own accommodations with tiered service.

And they're not the only ones.

In the two years since Google, Microsoft, Amazon and other Internet companies lined up in favor of network neutrality, the landscape has changed. The Internet companies have formed partnerships with phone and cable companies, making them more dependent on one another.

Microsoft, which appealed to Congress to save network neutrality just two years ago, has changed its position completely. "Network neutrality is a policy avenue the company is no longer pursuing," Microsoft said in a statement. The Redmond, Wash., software giant now favors legislation to allow network operators to offer different tiers of service to content companies.

Microsoft has a deal to provide software for AT&T's Internet television service. A Microsoft spokesman declined to comment whether this arrangement affected the company's position on network neutrality.

Amazon's popular digital-reading device, called the Kindle, offers a dedicated, faster download service, an arrangement Amazon has with Sprint. That has prompted questions in the blogosphere about whether the service violates network neutrality.

"Amazon continues to support adoption of net neutrality rules to protect the longstanding, fundamental openness of the Internet," Amazon said in a statement. It declined to elaborate on its Kindle arrangement.

Amazon had withdrawn from the coalition of companies supporting net neutrality, but it recently was listed once again on the group's Web site. It declined to comment on whether carriers should be allowed to prioritize traffic.

Yahoo now has a digital subscriber-line partnership with AT&T. Some have speculated that the deal has caused Yahoo to go silent on the network-neutrality issue.

Of course, we've got an incoming president who's staked out a pro-network neutrality position.

Richard Whitt, Google's head of public affairs ... says he's unsure how committed President-elect Obama will remain to the principle [of network neutrality].

"If you look at his plans," says Mr. Whitt, "they are much less specific than they were before."

(Via the foul-mouthed Atrios.)

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Do Progressive Techies Have a Google Blind Spot?

"No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks." -Mary Wollstonecraft A couple of weeks ago, there was a thread called "google & privacy" on the lib-techie mailing list Progressive Exchange, commenced with an innocent question about the search behemoth's ubiquitous IP tracking, and losing itself on the fringes of a trackless mire over the relative corporate responsibility of making profitable terms with the Chinese government. Google makes slick tools, and I've certainly left my own fingerprints all over their logs. But it's pretty surprising the degree to which many progressives are willing to let Google skate with no more accountability than its Wal-Mart-smiley slogan, "Don't Be Evil" -- or even, in criticism, to underscore some perceived failure of non-evilness as a matter for corporate ethos and little more.

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Guess What McCain's Running On.

Like most of the blogoverse, I've consented to the unsatisfying and barely compensated practice of selling myself to Google Adsense on my hobby blog, which I should add is pointedly non-partisan. I hardly monitor religiously the stuff Google pitches my paltry readership, but you get the occasional one that makes you scratch your head and flip back to the entry to figure out how it made the match. Other times, there's less mystery than an episode of Columbo. Like when you post about an execution in Iran, and you get ...

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Google Embeddable Maps Debut

The Mountain View borg strikes again. Google today went public with embeddable maps, YouTube style. Here's DIA's neighborhood:
View Larger Map So just like YouTube, you don't have to face the choice of rocking the API or sending people away from your site to give geographic data. Considering the plentitude of mashup awesomeness already on-hand for Google maps, and the obvious utility for some nonprofits of using geographic representations, it'll be a lot of fun to see how this gets used.

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More Popular Than You Thought

Google has a President's Day weekend warm fuzz for anyone publishing their blog's RSS feed with FeedBurner: Google Reader and start pages have just begun reporting successfully to the service. Anyone with a blog that uses FeedBurner, as this one does, should be sure to hit their dashboard this week. Via ProBlogger, where comments suggest a bump of +50% or so -- right around the neighborhood DIA's spiked up -- is fairly typical.

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