June 6, 2009
Ninth Circuit Reinstates Antitrust Suit Against Verisign
The Ninth Circuit has ruled that Verisgn can be sued for antitrust violations regarding the way it sets prices for domain names, among other potentially illegal conduct. The complaint was dismissed at the District Court level, but reversed last Friday. The opinion is here, and the story in the San Francisco Chronicle is here.
Bing Popularity? Not So Fast
CNET disputes that Bing is as popular as other reports indicate. Read it here. Will Microsoft ever become the Avis of search engines?
Wiretap Suits Against AT&T Dismissed
The wiretapping suits against AT&T and other telecoms, pending in San Francisco, have been dismissed. The suits alleged constitutional violations for letting the United States have access to the various networks without a court order. Judge Vaughn Walker dismissed the suits noting the companies were protected under the FISA amendments signed into law in July of 2008. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, who provided legal assistance to plaintiffs, said it would appeal. Their statement is here, and includes links to Judge Walker's order. More details in Channel Web.
June 5, 2009
Bing Day Three
Or is it day five? Bing has transcended expectations and has become (for now) the second most popular search engine in the United States and the world. PC World reports market share numbers for Bing and Yahoo as 16.28% and 10.22% respectively in the United States and 5.62% and 5.13% respectively worldwide. Speculation is the novelty factor driving traffic, with Microsoft hoping that users will stick around after trying out Bing. Rob Pegoraro tries some searches in Bing and compares them to similar searches in Google. The results are mixed. Bing may not be a Google-killer, but it might be a Yahoo-killer. Bing did have a minor stumble when its feature allowing video previews to run from search results allowed users to view, ahem, adult content without visiting the source web site. A user has to disable safe search to get to the content. Microsoft gave administrators a line of code that disables the disable, no matter what the user does. Porn sites are understandably upset that Bing can deliver content without the user going to the source. It is possible that this may actually drive traffic to Bing, though Microsoft can't be happy about why their numbers might be up, if that's it. In a final note, Reuters notes five features for which Bing should not get credit mostly because they were in earlier versions of Microsoft search in one form or another. If no one noticed then will a $100 million ad campaign make a difference in the long run. [MG]
June 3, 2009
Google Squared is live. It is a grid representation of search results, particularly useful if building lists of comparable results. The main page has some sample searches. I used cat breeds as a sample and it brought up a list of 10 different breeds with links for additional results at the bottom of the page. Signing into Google lets a user save Squared searches, though one does not need to have a Google ID to use Squared . I thought I could fool it by typing in the name of the WB cartoon Pinky and the Brain. I wasn't sure what I would get, but Google Squared came through with episode lists and DVD offerings. Not bad at all.
Windows 7 Release Date Announced
It's official. Windows 7 gets to retail stores on October 22, right after back to school sales but well before the Christmas sales. There will be several versions targeted at consumers, businesses, and others. Pricing hasn't been announced but some news reports suggest those saddled with Vista may get an extra break on pricing for their upgrade packages.
Opera 10 Beta Available
The public beta of Opera 10 was released today. So far, it's been gathering good initial reviews, here, and here. The new version appears to have a cleaner interface than version 9, and is faster as well. Download the beta here.
June 2, 2009
Google's Android Comes to Netbooks
The Associated Press is reporting that Acer will offer Google's Android operating system on netbooks as an alternative to Windows. The AP notes lower costs to manufacturers, which means lower costs to consumers. Then again, who will support Android on a netbook? Is this the kind of tie in to Google services and Apps similar to Microsoft products and Windows? We will see how Google exploits this move.