2012年2月28日 星期二

Google Fiber: Can ultra-fast internet change a city?

Google Fiber: Can ultra-fast internet change a city?

VIDEO: People in Kansas City discuss the arrival of Google's super-fast internet

Google is installing super-fast fibre optic internet service in Kansas City. Will it usher in a new era in industry and society - or just enable faster web browsing and media downloads?

For technology consultant Bret Rhodus, Google's newest venture is an amazing business opportunity.

"This can be a game-changer," he says. "The opportunity for entrepreneurs is significant."

For art supply clerk Danni Parelman, however, it's just a chance to download more music.

The California internet giant has begun installing fibre optic cable that will give Kansas City residents download speeds of up to 1Gbps - about 100 times faster than the broadband internet service currently available to most Americans.

'The future'?
Danni Parelman Danni Parelman says the high speed internet will enable her to download music faster

In dozens of interviews in the streets, shops, offices and cafes of Kansas City - a metropolitan area that straddles the Kansas-Missouri state line - residents and business people agreed that the project would be great for the town.

Analysts say the project, called Google Fiber, is the future of the web.

But the speed will be so much faster than what is currently available that even people familiar with the concept have a hard time imagining how it will affect industries and lives.

Although the seeds of the internet germinated in US Department of Defense laboratories and many of the most innovative internet companies are based in the US, Americans have far slower internet than residents of many other industrialised nations.

Google Fiber details

  • In March, Google chose the Kansas City metropolitan area from more than 1,100 cities and towns that requested the service
  • Google crews have begun hanging fibre lines from utility poles in selected neighbourhoods
  • The service will launch in residential neighbourhoods only - no commercial districts - the first half of 2012
  • About two million people live in the Kansas City metropolitan area, but Google has not said how many will have access to the service
  • Google has not said how much the monthly service will cost, but says it will be "competitive"

Source: BBC research

The average broadband internet speed across the US is 12.84 Mbps, according to Netindex.com. That makes the US 31st in the world (the UK is 32nd with 12.4 Mbps speed).

The ultra-high-speed unleashed by the fibre optic technology is a natural progression in the development of America's telecommunications infrastructure, says Aaron Deacon, a member of the board of the Social Media Club of Kansas City and a technology marketing consultant.

"This is the way the world is heading," he says.

"There are other places around the world that have this kind of connectivity, but around the US adoption has been pretty slow."

Uncertain impact

But what will be super-fast internet's affect on the town in practical terms?

Aaron Deacon Aaron Deacon says: "Being the first for a new infrastructure is kind of a double-edged sword"

At first, the ultra-high-speed could simply mean people use the same web sites and internet services they already do, just faster.

"People say, 'oh it's going to just be faster YouTube'. It's sort of a joke," says Mr Deacon.

"But actually to have fast YouTube and videos with no buffering, and instantaneous downloading of feature movies, is a pretty significant change in the way that video can work."

The high speed will enable small businesses and home-office workers to have high-definition video conferencing without the hiccups, lag-time, and buffering slogs frequently suffered with cable or DSL broadbased.

It will allow greater use of cloud computing by small businesses, for example by allowing them to keep customer databases and accounting systems online instead of in costly local servers.

"Once business people can collaborate and work together and they don't have to worry about lag times - when you're not frustrated with the limitations of internet speeds - things really start jiving and amazing things get done," says Dave Greenbaum owner of a Kansas City computer repair company, who predicts a burst of small business innovation.

Aside from the expected boon to businesses, analysts predict almost every aspect of people's personal lives could be affected.

Having affordable super-fast internet in the home will enable faster and more efficient telecommuting, which could take cars off the roads, analysts say.

Holograms and MRIs

Average broadband download speeds, in Mbps

  • South Korea: 32.96
  • Lithuania: 31.78
  • Latvia: 26.78
  • Sweden: 25.26
  • Romania: 24.80
  • Netherlands: 24.61
  • Singapore: 22.84
  • Bulgaria: 22.26
  • US: 12.76
  • UK: 12.44

Source: Netindex.com, based on volunteers who have tested their own connections through the speedtest.net

Doctors and hospitals will more easily be able to transmit data-heavy medical images like MRI scans. Businesses or local governments could install "dumb terminals" - computers with little more than a screen, keyboard, mouse and internet connection - across the city.

Communities could establish shared music, film and e-book libraries. High definition - even holographic - video conferencing could enable greater participation in local government: "Town hall in the home" is one catchphrase. Public safety could be improved by higher definition CCTV and video emergency calling.

Elsewhere in the US, an electric power firm in Chattanooga, Tennessee now offers 1Gbps internet to its customers - the broadest community-wide rollout of fiber optic connectivity in the nation.

But with its high cost for residential customers - about $350 (£223) a month - only nine have signed up, says EPB's spokeswoman Danna Bailey.

"It's not going to happen overnight," she says.

"It's a bit of a curiosity."

Google fiber video Google published web videos and a blog promoting its service to Kansas City residents

And in Britain, BT says it will begin offering 300Mbps - less than one-third of Google Fiber's advertised speed - in 2013.

Shift to wifi

Despite the overwhelming enthusiasm in Kansas City for Google Fiber, people familiar with it warn of potential pitfalls.

"Being the first for a new infrastructure is kind of a double-edged sword," Mr Deacon says.

"It can be a really great thing, and it can build a leadership position around that, but you're also sort of a guinea pig, so if you're not smart about how you use that opportunity you can be the bad example that somebody else learns from."

Since Google first announced plans to install the fibre network in 2010, internet users' attention has shifted away from desktop internet to mobile internet, as consumers spend more and more time on smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices, says Ed Malecki, a professor of geography at Ohio State University who studies technology and economic development.

As mobile providers tighten up on cellular data use, consumers will have greater need for high-speed wifi where ever they go in their home towns, he says.

Downtown Kansas City Residents said they hoped the project would help Kansas City outgrow its reputation as a "cow town"

"If Google wants to make super-fast community wifi, fine," he says. Google fiber is "not going to help anybody unless it's translated into wifi."

Meanwhile, Ms Bailey of EPB notes past world-changing technologies took years to have a broader impact.

"When electric power first became widely available in homes, it was a more convenient, somewhat novel alternative to the oil lamp for lighting," she says.

"At that time, it would have taken an incredible visionary to predict what kind of an impact electric power would have on business and ultimately quality of life."

2012年2月22日 星期三

display ad business (Google Inc.)

eMarketer週三公佈的數據顯示﹐谷歌(Google Inc.)展示廣告業務的增長速度快於預期﹐並有望於明年超過Facebook Inc.。



雅虎公司(Yahoo! Inc.)美國展示廣告業務明年的收入預計將從今年的14億美元增長至15億美元。雅虎此前曾經是這類業務的領頭羊﹐但在去年被Facebook趕超。


display ad,turn on

2012年2月19日 星期日



Posted at 12:03 AM ET, 02/14/2012

VALENTINE’S DAY GOOGLE DOODLE: Today’s charming musical animation makes for one sweet gift

SOMETIMES, not even Google keywords can navigate the search for love.

Today, Google is celebrating Valentine’s Day the world over with a charming animated “Doodle” that is free of dialogue — yet is all heart. In some countries, the strains of Grammy-winning Tony Bennett — crooning the bluesy Hank Williams tune “Cold, Cold Heart” — provide the only words.

“The animation alludes to that universality” of love, Michael “Lippy” Lipman, the Doodle’s animator, tells Comic Riffs. “These characters are archetypes, with no dialogue, so it can play around the world.”

2012年2月11日 星期六

a branded home-entertainment system,Chrome: taking the whole web

Stakes Rise in Apple vs. Google
Google plans to make a branded home-entertainment system, moving toward control of both the software and hardware process, a formula used by rival Apple.

Google Chrome: taking the whole web, everywhere
Google's SUndar Pichai says Chrome for Mobile will push the web forward. He talks to Matt Warman By Matt Warman, Consumer Technology Editor The mobile phone in your pocket took another leap towards becoming as capable as a desktop computer this week.

2012年2月9日 星期四

US to Clear Google's Deal/(RAND),tackle app store issues

US to Clear Google's Deal
Wall Street Journal
By THOMAS CATAN And IAN SHERR WASHINGTON—The US Justice Department is poised to clear Google Inc.'s $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. as early as next week, according to people familiar with the matter, giving Google a ...

Google Confirms Motorola Licensees Pay 2.25% Per-Unit Royalties
Today, Google took steps to assure many of Motorola Mobility's (MMI) existing licensees that it would adhere to that company's existing reasonable and non-discriminatory (RAND) licensing practices for mobile technologies. This after Apple sent a letter ...

Reasonable and non-discriminatory terms
(RAND), also known as fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms (FRAND), are a licensing obligation that is often required by standard-setting organizations for members that participate in the standard-setting process.[1] Standard-setting organizations are the industry groups that set common standards for a particular industry in order to ensure compatibility and interoperability of devices manufactured by different companies.


Apple, Google move to tackle app store issues

Someone using an iPhone The "app economy" has created nearly 500,000 jobs since 2007 according to a study

Related Stories

Apple has warned that any developers found to be artificially inflating the rankings of apps will be kicked off the App Store.

It follows a developer blowing the whistle on the practice of using automated PCs - known as bot farms - to push apps up the charts.

The anonymous developer said that it was common practice to pay bot farms to inflate rankings.

Meanwhile, Google's attempts to clean up its app store have been questioned.


Apple faced fresh scrutiny over how its apps are ranked following an anonymous posting to the Touch Arcade gaming forum.

In it, a developer claimed that an unnamed firm had offered to give his app a top 25 ranking in return for $5,000 (£3,144).

He said that the firm had listed some of its other clients, and openly described its business model.

"I was totally shocked when I heard that there were eight apps in the top 25 were all promoted by them.

"He said he had outsourced someone to build him a bot farm and the bots will automatically download his clients' apps and drive up their rankings," the developer wrote.

Bots are pieces of software that run automated tasks on the internet.

It prompted plenty of news chatter about bot farms and forced Apple to clarify its position.

In a statement on its developer forum, Apple said: "Once you build a great app, you want everyone to know about it. However, when you promote your app, you should avoid using services that advertise or guarantee top placement in App Store charts.

"Even if you are not personally engaged in manipulating App Store chart rankings or user reviews, employing services that do so on your behalf may result in the loss of your Apple Developer Program membership."

Real people

Apps are now big business. A recent study by tech industry network Tech Net suggested that since 2007, the "app economy" had created 466,000 new jobs in the US alone.

Getting a top 25 position in the rankings means more downloads for an app and more cash for the developer.

It seems to have spawned an industry dedicated to boosting rankings.

One firm, Top Deal Apps, has admitted the practice but says that it uses people rather than bot farms.

Speaking to gaming website Pocket Gamer, a spokesman for the firm said that it employed more than 200,000 users in the US with iOS devices and iTunes accounts.

"Each time we take a new case from an app developer, our users will be notified to download the certain app during the required time period. After the verification, the users will get money for this download," he told the online magazine.

Bouncing back?

As Apple fights its own issues, Google is determined to make its own app store more secure. Android apps have gained a reputation for attracting malware because of the more open way they are developed and the lack of pre-screening.

Last week the search giant revealed that it had been using a malware checker dubbed Bouncer for the second half of 2011, and its use had led to a 40% decrease in the number of potentially malicious apps on Android Market.

Security firms welcomed the step towards better security but warned that it might not be enough.

Writing on the Bitdefender Blog, security expert Catalin Cosoi said there it could be a problem that Bouncer only scanned the Android market.

"There are several other websites from where Android users can install applications. In fact, most malicious applications we discovered were actually hosted on third-party markets and not directly on Google's (Android) Market," he said.

Bouncer also only emulates apps uploaded on the Android market, he said.

"There is a high chance that we'll see apps behaving correctly when used on a simulator and turning malicious when used on the mobile device," he added.