2008年10月31日 星期五

German Publishers Accuse Google Controlling Culture

Literature | 30.10.2008

German Publishers Accuse Google Controlling Culture

German book publishers denounced a historic accord between Google and US authors, dubbing it trick that would make the US company the master of the world's knowledge.

The Boersenverein, the German booksellers and publishers association which has bitterly opposed Google for years, rejected the accord as a "creeping takeover."

"This accord is like a Trojan Horse," Alexander Skipis, chief executive of the Boersenverein, said in a statement on Thursday, Oct. 30. "Google aims to achieve worldwide control of knowledge and culture.

"In the name of cultural diversity, this American model is out of the question for Europe," he said, adding that it contradicted "the European ideal of diversity through competition."

A pile of booksBildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Google has already digitized some 7 million books

The Boersenverein has funded a pay-for-use book-scanning service for German-language books, Libreka.

Google, which has scanned 7 million books to include their contents in its Internet search engine, announced Tuesday it would let US users read the pages of books that are out of print but are still in copyright.

Under the settlement with the US Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers, royalties will be paid for past and future use of the books by Google.

Millions of the books are outdated and their authors dead, so a Google-funded book registry will be set up to discover who now owns the copyrights. Google said it hoped to reach similar deals to benefit Europe and Asia.

In the United States the Google accord has been widely welcomed, since the bulk of books existing today are hard to obtain, as they are no longer on sale and uneconomic to reprint though their copyrights have not expired.

At US public libraries, those books from recent decades will be visible in their entirety on library computers, while 20 per cent of those books will be visible to home users.

For readers in the rest of the world, Google will only be showing about two lines of text at a time.

DPA news agency (sms)

「Google Apps」に99.9%のサービス品質保証制度

米Google、「Google Apps」に99.9%のサービス品質保証制度
米Googleは30日、「Google Apps Premier Edition」の利用者に対し、99.9%のサービス品質保証制度を導入すると発表した。 これまでGoogleは、Google Apps Premier Edition利用者に対して、Gmailのサービス品質保証制度を提供していた。これに加えて今回、Google ...

What we learned from 1 million businesses in the cloud

10/30/2008 11:42:00 AM
The reliability of cloud computing has been a hot topic recently, partly because glitches in the cloud don't happen behind closed doors as with traditional on-premises solutions for businesses. Instead, when a small number of cloud computing users have problems, it makes headlines. As with most things at Google, we are fanatical about measuring the availability of Gmail, and we thought it best to simply share our reliability metrics, which we measure as average uptime per user based on server-side error rates. We think this reliability metric lets you do a true side-by-side comparison with other solutions.

We measure every server request for every user, every moment of every day. Any millisecond delay is logged. Over the last year, Gmail has been available more than 99.9 percent of the time — for everyone, both consumers and business users. The vast majority of people using Gmail have seen few issues, experienced no downtime, and have continued to have a great Gmail experience, with exception of an outage in August 2008. If you average all these data together, including the August outage, across the entire Gmail service, there has been an aggregate 10-15 minutes of downtime per month over the last year of providing the service. That 10-15 minutes per month average represents small delays of a couple of seconds here and there. A very small number of people have unfortunately been subject to some disruption of service that affected them for a few minutes or a few hours. For those users, we are very sorry. And for Google Apps Premier Edition customers, we have extended service level agreement credits to them.

So how does greater than 99.9 percent reliability compare to more conventional approaches for business email? We asked some experts. Naturally, the normal caveats apply for on-premises solutions, since each individual business environment will vary, depending on server reliability, staff response time, and actual maintenance schedules for each application.

According to the research firm Radicati Group, companies with on-premises email solutions averaged from 30 to 60 minutes of unscheduled downtime and an additional 36 to 90 minutes of planned downtime per month.1

Looking just at the unplanned outages that catch IT staffs by surprise, these results suggest Gmail is twice as reliable as a Novell GroupWise solution, and four times more reliable than a Microsoft Exchange-based solution that companies must maintain themselves. And higher reliability translates to higher employee productivity. Gmail's reliability jumps to more than four times as reliable as a GroupWise solution and 10 times more reliable than an Exchange-based solution if you factor in the planned outages inherent in on-premises messaging platforms. But this isn't the only way Google Apps helps businesses do more with their resources. Compared to the costs of Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus or Novell GroupWise — including software licensing, server expenses and the labor associated with deploying, maintaining and upgrading them on a regular basis — Google Apps leaves companies with much more time and money to focus on their real business.

We are now extending what we've learned from Gmail to the other applications in Google Apps.

Today, we're announcing that we will extend the 99.9 percent service level agreement we offer Premier Edition customers on Gmail to Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Sites, and Google Talk. We have been delivering high levels of reliability across all these products, so it makes sense to extend our guarantees to them.

More than 1 million businesses have selected Google Apps to run their business, and tens of millions of people use Gmail every day. With this type of adoption, a disruption of any size — even a minor one affecting fewer than 0.003% of Google Apps Premier Edition users, like the one a few weeks ago — attracts a disproportional amount of attention. We've made a series of commitments to improve our communications with customers during any outages, and we have an unwavering commitment to make all issues visible and transparent through our open user groups.

Google is one of the 1 million businesses that run on Google Apps, and any service interruption affects our users and our business; our engineers are also some of our most demanding customers. We understand the importance of delivering on the cloud's promise of greater security, reliability and capability at lower cost. We are hugely thankful to our customers who drive us to become better every day.

1. The Radicati Group, 2008. "Corporate IT Survey – Messaging & Collaboration, 2008-2009"

2008年10月28日 星期二

Google Settles Book-Search Suits

Google Settles Book-Search Suits
Google will pay $125 million to resolve lawsuits from publishers and authors challenging its Book Search service, which showed snippets of copyrighted material.

A sweeping $125 million settlement between Google Inc. and the publishing industry clears the way for the Internet giant to make many millions of digital books available on the Web, with payments to authors and publishers for their use.

If approved by a federal court, the deal, struck after two years of negotiations, will let individuals and institutions buy online access to copyrighted, out-of-print works through Google, and will provide free online views of them at public libraries.

Current titles will be available only if publishers and authors agree to include them.

2008年10月22日 星期三

G1叫板iPhone by Walter S. Mossberg





T-Mobile USA


如果你追求iPhone的功能﹐但不喜歡它的虛擬鍵盤或用戶界面﹐或它的美國電信運營商美國電話電報公司(AT&T Inc.)﹐那麼G1也許正合你心意。不過G1有一些突出的缺點。目前來看﹐G1最大的差異化特徵在於它的實體鍵盤﹐滑開屏幕就可以看到。在我的測試中﹐鍵盤性能顯得一般﹐按鍵太平﹐明亮的光線下很難看清﹔而且鍵盤的右邊高於其他部分﹐輸入時手總要越過這個地方。不過﹐對於很多不能忍受在玻璃上輸入的人來說﹐G1的實體鍵盤應該會受歡迎。此外﹐G1還有一個類似黑莓手機那樣的導航軌跡球﹐方便用戶使用。







這款主要由谷歌設計並由臺灣宏達電(HTC)製造的手機包含了一些蘋果忽略的重要功能﹐如文本的複製粘貼(儘管十分有限)﹐直接發送圖片到其他手機而無需依賴電子郵件(這種常見的手機功能叫MMS﹐即多媒體通訊服務(Multimedia Messaging Service))。此外﹐跟AT&T不同的是﹐T-Mobile甚至允許用戶90天後合法解鎖手機﹐只要你支付一筆高額的提前終止服務費﹐就可以開始使用其他電信運營商的服務。



T-Mobile USA

















Walter S. Mossberg

(編者按﹕本文作者Walter S. Mossberg是《華爾街日報》科技欄目Personal Technology﹐Mossberg's Mailbox等欄目的專欄作家。這些欄目主要介紹一些最新的消費類科技產品和解決方案﹐並解答讀者提出的問題。)

2008年10月21日 星期二





DATE 2008/10/22 印刷用網頁
  【日經BP社報導】 最近,Google手機G1未出先轟動,Google以Iphone挑戰者的角色再次成為輿論焦點。而一個月前,Chrome瀏覽器的發佈與此相比也黯然失色。




  “Chrome”作為Google歷史上第一款瀏覽器產品,是秘密研發的,它的面世十分出人意料。輿論在意外之下,紛紛解讀為Google為爭奪瀏覽 器市場佔有率,向微軟IE發起的極速挑戰。在沒有任何前兆的情況下,于9月3日淩晨空降後,Chrome的用戶量以“Google速度”直線躥升,一時間 引起輿論大嘩。雷曼兄弟的分析師甚至預計,兩年內Google Chrome的市場佔有率將達到15%-20%。

  與之相比,G1的問世則大不相同。Google要推出自己的手機Gphone的消息早在兩三年前就在坊間流傳,Gphone的技術內核、開發 方向,媒體不斷出現各個版本的猜測傳言,它與蘋果iPhone智慧手機之間的比較更是不可避免,時時見諸報端。經歷了反覆的傳言、闢謠之後,Goole終 於宣佈,將於10月22日正式推出G1。此時的G1不僅掀起了一眾粉絲的預購風潮,它與iphone之間的競爭更是成為最熱門的話題。

  經過用戶一段時間的檢驗,Google Chrome瀏覽器的未來恐怕沒有這麼樂觀。GetClicky研究公司稱,Google瀏覽器的用戶數量在9月份之後一直在下滑,目前已經降至原來的一 半。而微軟 IE瀏覽器和Mozill火狐瀏覽器兩大主流瀏覽器似乎未受影響,仍分別佔據60%和30%的市場佔有率。

  這對Google而言是否是一種暫時的失敗?除了對測試版漏洞進行修補外,Google似乎處之泰然,並沒有拿出太大的舉措來補救目前的局 面。聯想到Chrome發佈之初,李開復就在媒體訪問時表示,中國區並不在其市場野心之內,只是給用戶提供一個額外的選擇而已。忽視上網人數最多的市場對 瀏覽器產品來說似乎不合情理。






  Google稱,G1手機正式發售後,Android應用程式市場(Android Market)將開通測試版,屆時將提供大量Android應用程式;隨著時間的推移,此類應用程式數量將不斷增加。Google預計,目前全球願意為 Android手機開發應用程式的活躍開發者數量已達1萬名以上。




  筆者推斷,以善於創造新機會聞名的Google,此次Chrome瀏覽器的推出絕不只是劍指微軟IE瀏覽器,而是與G1一樣,為其一貫致力的 網際網路移動終端應用服務即Android平臺鋪路,這也與其搜索引擎在網際網路的優勢相呼應。Google創始人之一謝爾蓋·布林就曾明確表示: Chrome是一個網路軟體應用平臺,而非作業系統。

  Google對瀏覽器市場格局不會不了解,硬碰硬的競爭對它來說優勢並不明顯。畢竟,IE從1995年發佈1.0版本到現在已經有13年歷 史,雖然中間有多個比IE速度更快、穩定性更高的競爭產品出現,但至今還是無人能撼動IE的市場佔有率,未來數年時間恐怕也將是這個基本格局。

  此前Google的高層也曾強調,瀏覽器並不針對任何同類產品,雖然不少行業分析人士認為上述說法不過是Google的“外交辭令”,但筆者 看來也不無道理。 Chrome瀏覽器的優點在於運行穩定性強、網際網路應用功能豐富,標籤頁各自獨立,將搜索查詢和鏈結網際網路融于一框,使用戶的操作更為便捷……。仔細 想來,這些優點對電腦用戶的吸引度其實有限,反而能使智慧手機使用更加方便。

  Android對手機的意義就好像Windows對個人電腦(PC)的意義,或者是蘋果OS X系統對Mac的意義。除了可以用使用Chrome瀏覽器上網,G1手機還附帶了很多有用的程式,比如Gmail、YouTube、通訊錄、日曆、IM和 Google地圖等。如果人們用Google手機上網,他們更有可能用Google搜索引擎,看Google的廣告,那麼Google將會從中獲利。

  自從去年Android平臺推出以來,Google就一直在強調,他們看中的並不是傳統手機市場,而是注重在應用軟體領域發展。由此看來,不 論是Chrome還是G1,Google的目的並不是與微軟或iPhone在對手的傳統優勢領域一決雌雄,而是以此為契機,借助自身網際網路優勢,一步一 步在移動網際網路應用市場搶佔先機,把Android平臺培育成這一新興領域的巨無霸。所以筆者推論,G1的推出只是一個開始,Google必然還將有一 系列震動業界的新動作出臺。(特約記者:王遲遲)

2008年10月4日 星期六

Google, the Efficient Datacenter Company

Google, the Efficient Datacenter Company


Google, the Efficient Datacenter Company

The world's largest search company documents how it's able to squeeze considerable energy savings out of its many datacenters.

October 3, 2008
By Andy Patrizio: More stories by this author:

Google has published a detailed post of its efforts to reduce datacenter power costs by targeting the center, not the computers.

Every hardware vendor out there, from IBM (NYSE: IBM) on down is frantically looking for ways to cut power and heat in their products, but the datacenter building has not gotten as much attention. IBM has tried with its green datacenter efforts, but by and large, the building remains an overlooked issue.

Big mistake, because for every watt of power used by the computers, you will spend 0.96 watts to run the datacenter - in other words, requiring 0.96 watts of power for the facility itself for every 1 watt of power for computers. Google datacenters, on the other hand, are 21 percent of the cost. In some cases, it's as low as 15 percent.

If you only worry about computers, you're fighting half the battle, according to Erik Teetzel, energy program manager at Google (NASDAQ: GOOG). "To do proper datacenter efficiency, it helps to have a holistic picture of operations," he told InternetNews.com. "You have to take into account what you would spend on capital costs."

But people have not. Power has been cheap in many places, so companies are not incentivized to be more efficient. Companies have been more anxious to get up and running, and thought about power efficiency later. And many IT managers say they are responsible for the computers in the datacenter, but not the building, said Teetzel.

That's changing. "We're seeing a lot of people saying 'hey, you can do both and you should do both.' You should look at total cost of ownership and make energy efficiency a priority. Being very efficient with the way you operate your computer infrastructure can have significant benefits to the environment of course but also to the bottom line."

Building management is overlooked

Google's strategy encompasses five elements: efficient equipment, efficient datacenter water management, server retirement and clean energy. The first part is rather straight forward. The company used highly efficient power supplies and voltage regulator modules, the two worst offenders for power loss in a computer, said Teetzel.

The company removed components not used, like sound and discrete graphics. The result is Google servers only lose a little over 15 percent of the electricity they pull from the wall during these power conversion steps, less than half of what is lost in a typical server. Google estimates it saves $30 per server, per year with this method.

For the datacenters, things get a bit more complicated. Teetzel said it is possible to retrofit an older building to gain maximum cooling efficiency, although it's easier to build from scratch as well.

Next page: Efficient and effective airflow

2008年10月3日 星期五

People default to Google as only search

Since its earliest days, Google Inc. has largely promoted its search engine and search-advertising products through word of mouth and partnerships.

But in recent months some of the Internet company's executives have been pushing for the company to overcome its aversion to paid advertising. That has created some conflict within Google, which is maturing and looking to reinvigorate its slowing growth.

An episode around the Olympics earlier this year illustrates the tensions. Some Google employees were considering a plan to sell airtime during the NBC broadcast to other advertisers and to take out a spot to promote a Google product as well, according to people familiar with the matter.

The idea didn't get past Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who felt a splashy television ad wouldn't fit with Google's image, these people said. A Google spokesman declined to comment.

But there are signs that the internal debate is causing Google to shake-off of its reluctance to advertise. The search giant has recently held discussions with several Madison Avenue agencies, including Wieden + Kennedy and the boutique firm Taxi New York, about new efforts to promote some products, according to people familiar with the matter.

In August, Google launched an advertising effort in Japan that included outdoor and online ads created by Wieden + Kennedy, which is best known for its Nike "Just do it" campaign.

The effort, dubbed "100 Things You Can Do With Google," was designed to promote the Google brand and several products such as Google Maps and Gmail.

Google is beginning to "break with its relatively low-key history" around marketing, says Greg Sterling, an Internet analyst with market-research firm Sterling Market Intelligence. "They're definitely doing more things that look like traditional marketing."

Google's own marketing staff, which is decentralized by product groups, is also trying new approaches, such as projecting massive images on buildings in New York to promote its custom homepage service.

And the company has started slapping its brand on products, like the G1 cellphone that runs its software. Google and T-Mobile USA are launching an online, outdoor and TV ad campaign to promote the device, which hits stores this month.

The company last year hired Andy Berndt, a former co-president of WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather in New York, to help evolve its strategy. As managing director of a new group called Google Creative Lab, Mr. Berndt's job is to find new ways to promote Google products while keeping its brand consistent.

His team is involved in everything from marketing Google's 10th birthday with a $10 million contest to launching its new Web browser Chrome with a comic book.

Google's new approach is still in its early stages and how much it will ultimately involve traditional advertising remains unclear. Messrs. Brin and Page remain cautious and have pushed back against some ideas they believe are inconsistent with the company's image, say people familiar with the matter.

The new efforts are significant for Google which has relied very little on paid advertising in the past. Despite its size and rapid growth, Google's offline ad spending has remained steady at about $20 million annually in recent years, according to research firm TNS Media Intelligence.

The company has long promoted its search and search-ad products through word of mouth, public relations and behind-the-scenes distribution deals with software companies. The company's marketing teams also cross-promoted services like Gmail and Google Book Search with search ads and through its corporate blog.

But Google is realizing its approach needs to evolve as it matures and starts tapping new areas, such as software for mobile phones and business software, for growth. The company's revenue growth slowed to 39% in its second quarter, down from 58% a year ago.

In many cases, it has struggled to grow the new offerings. What's more, these areas are crowded with competitors who rely heavily on advertising, like Microsoft Corp. and Apple Inc.

Some new products require working with partners that advertise regularly and are pulling Google in to join them. For the upcoming G1 cellphone, T-Mobile will lead the TV efforts while Google will lead the online efforts, according to a T-Mobile spokesman, who said the companies collaborated on the "creative and execution" for the ads. Both companies declined to say how much they are investing in the effort.

Branding experts say it's important Google takes the ad plunge. People "still default to Google as only search," says Rita Rodriguez, chief executive of the U.S. division of Brand Union, a unit of WPP Group.

Write to Jessica E. Vascellaro at jessica.vascellaro@wsj.com and Suzanne Vranica at suzanne.vranica@wsj.com