Archive for the ‘Google’ Category

Das GooglePhone…Powered by GoogleOS…Will Be Connected Via GoogleFi via GooglePOPs…paid for by GoogleAds…

August 29th, 2007 2 comments

There have been no shortage of rumors, leaks and innuendo lately regarding Google’s plans for the production of the GooglePhone.

Google’s made no secret of the fact that it’s shopping for platform partners as they "explore" the potential.  It’s suggested an announcement will come officially after the Labor Day holidays here in the U.S.

Google has quietly made at least one acquisition that would support the case, namely that of a mobile software company called Android.  Android was started by one of Danger’s co-founders and developed a Linux based OS for mobile platforms.

Stick that OS on any number of platforms (such as those from HTC which recently leaked prototype information) and you get a nifty little extensible platform that runs a litany of Google Apps natively.  So far we’ve got the GooglePhone and GoogleOS labels out of the way…

Mitchell is smiling in anticipation in that he thinks he’ll be able to ditch his possessed PPC/SmartPhone and use a GooglePhone on Verizon’s network.  Not so fast, Mr. Happy…

Now, while many folks are happy to think that they can have a more usable, extensible, flexible, reliable and expandable mobile platform that natively runs Google’s Apps., what many are not piecing together is Google’s 4.6 Billion dollar decision to participate in the federal government’s upcoming auction of wireless spectrum
  in the 700 megahertz (MHz) band:


In a filing with the FCC on July 9, Google urged the Commission to adopt rules for the auction that ensure that, regardless of who wins the spectrum at auction, consumers’ interests are served. Specifically, Google encouraged the FCC to require the adoption of four types of "open" platforms as part of the license conditions:

  • Open applications: Consumers should be able to download and utilize any software applications, content, or services they desire;
  • Open devices: Consumers should be able to utilize a handheld communications device with whatever wireless network they prefer;
  • Open services: Third parties (resellers) should be able to acquire wireless services from a 700 MHz licensee on a wholesale basis, based on reasonably nondiscriminatory commercial terms; and
  • Open networks: Third parties (like internet service providers) should be able to interconnect at any technically feasible point in a 700 MHz licensee’s wireless network.

As a sign of Google’s commitment to promoting greater innovation and choices for consumers, CEO Eric Schmidt sent a letter to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, stating that should the FCC adopt all four license conditions requested above, Google intends to commit a minimum of $4.6 billion to bidding in the upcoming 700 MHz auction.

So, without the dark overlord overtones, let’s say that Google wins the auction.  They become a mobile operator — or they can likely lease that space back to others with some element of control over the four conditions above.  Even if you use someone else’s phone and resold service, Google wins.

This means that they pair the GooglePhone which will utilize the newly acquired GoogleFi (as I call it) served securely cached out of converged IMS GooglePOPs which I blogged about earlier.   If the GooglePhone has some form of WiFi capabilities, I would expect it will have the split capability to use that network connectivity, also.

…but here’s the rub.  Google makes it’s dough from serving Ads.  What do you think will subsidize the on-going operation and assumed "low cost" consumer service for the GooglePhone.

Yup.  Ads.

So, in between your call to Aunt Sally (or perhaps before, during or after) you’ll get an Ad popping up on your phone for sales on Geritol.  An SMS will be sent to your GooglePhone which will be placed in your GoogleMail inbox.  It’ll then pop up GoogleMaps directing you to the closest store.  When you get to the store, you can search directly for the Geritol product you want by comparing it to pictures provided by Google Photos and interact in realtime with a pharmacist using Google Talk whereupon you’ll be able to pay for said products with Google Checkout.

All. From. Your. GooglePhone.

All driven, end-to-end, through GoogleNet.  Revenue is shared throughout the entire transaction and supply chain driven from that one little ad.

Think I’m nuts?


Categories: Google Tags:

First Tibet and Now Me…The Great Firewall of China Claims Another Victim.

August 5th, 2007 2 comments

Thanks to Mr. Stiennon, it seems that I have been labeled a threat to the People’s Party and access to this, my seditious and politically undermining little pile in cyberspace has been, gasp!, blocked by the eeeeeviill Chinese Firewall of Disinformation.  Well, that sucks.

I have to say that Richard really did me a favor by posting this.

Firstly, it reminded me that despite my many travels, I’ve become quite an American-centric little drone without much of an appreciation for the hardships experienced by those in many other countries as it relates to censorship and net neutrality.  We take a lot of things for granted over here and in many cases Americans seem to wield the hammer of nationalism a little to heavily, even if inadvertently.

I was reminded of this by a high-ranking member of a British Telecoms company recently when, despite all attempts to rectify my ill-timed transgressions, he suggested that my sense of humor needed a much better cultural filter applied to it should I not wish to piss people off with my "Americanism."  Ouch.  I find it odd typing this because I’m somewhat culturally conflicted
because whilst I was born in the U.S. and love it dearly, I moved to
New Zealand and grew up there for most of my early life.

It made me think, so I really do owe you both a renewed apology and a thanks, Ray. 

Secondly, I would really like to be able to use something like Google to compare natively a search using any one of their engines to determine where, what and how searches and click-throughs are allowed or blocked in the countries they serve.  I reckon that as we get closer to GooglePOPs around the world, this ought to be plausible.

At any rate, back to the post at hand.  I quoteth Richard:

On my recent travels in China I had an opportunity to experience first
hand China’s so called “Golden Wall”. In each hotel I would try to get to several sites.  For some reason  this security blog
is censored throughout China. How does that make you feel Mr. Hoff?
a Google search on “Tibet” will have the usual results but you cannot
click through to any of the links on the first page of results. I did
not search on Falun Gong for
fear of really setting off the alarms and reprisals. Next time I think
I will set up GoToMyPC at home and use it as a poor man’s proxy.

To answer Richard’s question directly, I guess I’m flattered on two fronts; firstly that Richard bothered to try to get to my blog while surfing in China (bored much?) and secondly that some government other than my own considers me a threat to their sovereignty.

I could, of course, rant tirelessly about my opposition to widespread and targeted filtering of information and the impact on privacy, etc., but there are far more qualified people than I to do so.  At a much more basal level, I think it sucks, because now nobody in China will be able to follow along as Richard and I smack each other. ;(

In protest, no more General Tsao’s chicken for me.

{Posted @ 2:30am after I just got back from Blackhat/Defcon with no luggage.  Apologies for any perceived lack of sensitivity for the greater global political issue of censorship here, but I want my toothbrush back from United Airlines and it’s clouding my judgment}


More on GoogleTini…(Google/Postini Acquisition) by Way of Shimel’s Post

July 10th, 2007 8 comments

esterday’s post regarding my prognostication of the Google/Postini M&A activity yielded a ton of off-line feedback/opinion/queries.  I had three press/analyst calls yesterday on my opinion, so either I’m tickling somebody’s interest funny bone or I’m horribly wrong 😉

Either way, Alan Shimel piped up today with his perspective.  It’s not often I disagree with Alan, but the root of his comment leaves me puzzled.  Alan said:

I do not think that Google’s acquisition of Postini is a shot across
the bow of Microsoft.  I think Google goes about its business of
delivering on its vision.  I think its vision is rather simple really.
Google believes that the future belongs to Software as a Service
.  As part of their SaaS strategy, they need to secure their web
based apps, as well as offer security as a service.  This is not really
much different than Microsofts "Live" program, also a Software as a
Service play.  That is where the competition is.

It appears that Alan’s really re-stating what I said yesterday regarding SaaS and especially as I highlighted the security aspects thereof, but his statements are strangely contradictory in the scope of this single paragraph.

To wit, if Google is indeed focused on SSaaS (Secure Software as a Service) and they’re looking to displace at least for certain markets traditional "Office" applications which are Microsoft’s cash cow ($12B business?) how is this not a "shot across the bow of Microsoft?"

Further, if Microsoft is engaging in SaaS with Live, then it further underscores the direct competitive model that demonstrates that Microsoft (et al.) are firmly in the target hairs.

What am I missing here?


(EDIT: Added a link to an interview I did with here.)

Categories: Google Tags:

Tell Me Again How Google Isn’t Entering the Security Market? GooglePOPs will Bring Clean Pipes…

July 9th, 2007 2 comments

Not to single out Jeremiah, but in my Take5 interview with him, I asked him the following:

3) What do you make of Google’s foray into security?  We’ve seen them crawl sites and index malware.  They’ve launched a security  blog.  They acquired GreenBorder.  Do you see them as an emerging force to be reckoned with in the security space?

…to which he responded:

I doubt Google has plans to make this a direct revenue generating  exercise. They are a platform for advertising, not a security company. The plan is probably to use the malware/solution research  for building in better security in Google Toolbar for their users.  That would seem to make the most sense. Google could monitor a user’s  surfing habits and protect them from their search results at the same time.

To be fair, this was a loaded question because my opinion is diametrically opposed to his.   I believe Google *is* entering the security space and will do so in many vectors and it *will* be revenue generating. 

This morning’s news that Google is acquiring Postini for $625 Million dollars doesn’t surprise me at all and I believe it proves the point. 

In fact, I reckon that in the long term we’ll see the evolution of the Google Toolbar morph into a much more intelligent and rich client-side security application proxy service whereby Google actually utilizes client-side security of the Toolbar paired with the GreenBorder browsing environment and tunnel/proxy all outgoing requests to GooglePOPs.

What’s a GooglePOP?

These GooglePOPs (Google Point of Presence) will house large search and caching repositories that will — in conjunction with services such as those from Postini — provide a "clean pipes service to the consumer.  Don’t forget utility services that recent acquisitions such as GrandCentral and FeedBurner provide…it’s too bad that eBay snatched up Skype…

Google will, in fact, become a monster ASP.  Note that I said ASP and not ISP.  ISP is a commoditized function.  Serving applications and content as close to the user as possible is fantastic.  So pair all the client side goodness with security functions AND add GoogleApps and you’ve got what amounts to a thin client version of the Internet.

Remember all those large sealed shipping containers (not unlike Sun’s Project Blackbox) that Google is rumored to place strategically around the world — in conjunction with their mega datacenters?  I think it was Cringley who talked about this back in 2005:

In one of Google’s underground parking garages in Mountain View …
in a secret area off-limits even to regular GoogleFolk, is a shipping
container. But it isn’t just any shipping container. This shipping
container is a prototype data center.

Google hired a pair of
very bright industrial designers to figure out how to cram the greatest
number of CPUs, the most storage, memory and power support into a 20-
or 40-foot box. We’re talking about 5000 Opteron processors and 3.5
petabytes of disk storage that can be dropped-off overnight by a
tractor-trailer rig.

The idea is to plant one of these puppies
anywhere Google owns access to fiber, basically turning the entire
Internet into a giant processing and storage grid.

Imagine that.  Buy a ton of dark fiber, sprout hundreds of these PortaPOPs/GooglePOPs and you’ve got the Internet v3.0

Existing transit folks that aren’t Yahoo/MSN will ultimately yield to the model because it will reduce their costs for service and they will basically pay Google to lease these services for resale back to their customers (with re-branding?) without the need to pay for all the expensive backhaul.

Your Internet will be served out of cache…"securely."  So now instead of just harvesting your search queries, Google will have intimate knowledge of ALL of your browsing — scratch that — all of your network-based activity.   This will provide for not only much more targeted ads, but also the potential for ad insertion, traffic prioritization to preferred Google advertisers all the while offering "protection" to the consumer.

SMB’s and the average Joe consumers will be the first to embrace this
as cost-based S^2aaS (Secure Software as a Service) becomes mainstream
and this will then yield a trickle-up to the Enterprise and service
providers as demand will pressure them into providing like levels of service…for free.

It’s not all scary, but think about it…

Akamai ought to be worried.  Yahoo and MSN should be worried.  The ISP’s of the world investing in clean pipes technologies ought to be worried (I’ve blogged about Clean Pipes here.)

Should you be worried?  Methinks the privacy elements of all this will spur some very interesting discussions.

Talk amongst yourselves.


(Didn’t see Newby’s post here prior to writing this…good on-topic commentary.  Dennis Fisher over at the SearchSecurity Blog has an interesting Microsoft == Google perspective.)