Google Watches (and Sells) the Watchers

So now Google is looking to sell other people’s real-world ad spend they paid to grab your attention.  You gotta love the chutzpah.  Privacy will be a thing of the past in the not too distant future.

Pay per gaze advertising need not be limited to on-line advertisements, but rather can be extended to conventional advertisement media including billboards, magazines, newspapers, and other forms of conventional print media. Thus, the gaze tracking system described herein offers a mechanism to track and bill offline advertisements in the manner similar to popular online advertisement schemes.

via Google patents ‘pay-per-gaze’ eye-tracking that could measure emotional response to real-world ads | The Verge.

Take ‘Em to Church?

★ The Church of Market Share:

The truth is, the average Android user is not the same as an average iPhone user. iPhone users surf the web more, they’re more willing to buy software, they’re more willing to install and use apps

You can say that it’s elitist or arrogant to argue that iOS users are better customers than Android users. But you can also say that it’s the truth.

(Via Daring Fireball)

Apple has 2/3rds the share of industry profits while it has garnered only 5% in market share.  Why would I want to go after market share in this scenario?


Up in the iClouds

I recently was chatting over email with friend Mark Chandler over Apple’s release of iCloud and what it would mean for our personal music.  I lamented how Apple’s competitors seems to be making really obvious mistakes and with Apple’s solution in view, it didn’t seem like rocket science.  His response was great as always, post-worthy for sure.

Apple is a hardware company at the end of the day. They want to lock you into a model, and they have to make sure that they offer just enough to keep you hooked, but leave room for improvement in the next gadget that they want you to buy. In this case, they improved the service instead of the gadget, but the perception is that the “product” has been upgraded. User experience is also a core value at Apple. Regardless of whether or not anything they have trotted out was a success, the user experience was an integral part of the product.

The Amazon model was good enough, but they didn’t have the depth of offering. People using that service were using it to get music to put on their iPods for the most part anyway, so Apple still got a residual of sorts. M$ needs to clean out upper management (Balmer just needs to go the same way that Amelio had to go) and let some of what they have in research see the light of day. Courier was the best challenge to the iPad that never was . It had the potential to be truly disruptive since it wasn’t trying to copy the iPad, but instead bring a different paradigm to the tablet form factor. The music store model that Apple is trotting out is pretty similar to the Zune marketplace, but the device was the weak link in the Zune ecosystem. If M$ was really slick, they’d have supported other devices including the iPod with that store and laughed all the way to the bank.

Google needs to go see a shrink. They can’t figure out what they want to be right now, and with Oracle about to drag them over the coals over the JVM that’s part of Android, they are only further distracted. You’d figure with all the info that they have at their disposal they’d know exactly what people want and just deliver it. They are also suffering from what we all saw around MIT. A bunch of really intelligent people with zero street smarts that have a hard time accepting that they can and will be wrong at times. They nailed search, and expect to nail everything else with the same amount of ease. They need to hire the equivalent of an elementary school art teacher. Someone that knows when to take the construction paper away from the kid and hang it on the wall for everyone to admire, but also knows when to make the kid just start over with a new piece of paper. Google Wave is the best example of this. Unless you were an ADHD addled kid, that product was unusable. The idea behind it was sound, but the execution was lacking.

I’m not writing off any of the other players just yet, but they are going to need to come up with something that no one has seen before, or they are going to have to cater to high-end niche users.

Actually Rob, it is rocket science. One needs a bunch of smart people, a lot of money, and plenty of luck. You don’t get to the moon, much less stay in the air for any amount of time without all three.

I stand corrected.

Mark Chandler is a computer security professional, chef, and DJ.

Goals That Don’t Include Being a Sysadmin

My Month With the Nexus S – Release Candidate One:

“I said at the start that if the Nexus S were my first-ever smartphone I’d probably love it. But since it wasn’t my first, I come to it (and maybe more importantly to the operating system) with expectations of performance, stability, battery life, and general attention to detail that it just can’t meet. Sure, it comes with a whole host of freedoms that I can exercise, like installing a third-party keyboard component to replace the system keyboard, but I didn’t exercise those freedoms because I don’t care, I’m just not that guy. I never themed my Windows installations, never jailbroke my iPhone, never turbocharged my car. I want a phoneputer that just works and lets me pursue my own goals; goals that don’t include being a sysadmin. The Nexus S does everything one could reasonably expect of a smartphone, and it does them competently, but if you’ve experienced a smartphone that does those things exceptionally, mere competence is a big step backward.”

(Via Daring Fireball.)

Features vs. usability really is not a contest.

Windows Phone 7 Fails To Halt Microsoft’s Mobile Slide

Windows Phone 7 Fails To Halt Microsoft’s Mobile Slide:

Microsoft’s share of U.S. smartphone platforms slipped 1.7%, to 8%, during the three months ended Jan. 31, according to market watcher comScore. Over the same period, Google Android’s share increased 7.7%, to 31.2%, while Apple’s iPhone held steady—increasing .1% to 24.7%.

(Via InformationWeek – All Stories And Blogs.)

Ouch.  No hardware carrier needs two monkeys on their back.  Microsoft’s traditional model has been to charge for their OS and appropriate some value from the OEM.  Google’s turns all that on its head.  In fact, Google is willing to pay through revenue sharing on search.  Microsoft’s rumored “billions” paid to Nokia to implement on Windows Phone is too little, too late.  Microsoft can’t pay everybody to implement on their OS.

Malware on Android Market

Malware on Android Market:

Aaron Gingrich, for Android Police:

Openness — the very characteristic of Android that makes us love it — is a double-edged sword. Redditor lompolo has stumbled upon a perfect example of that fact; he’s noticed that a publisher has taken ‘… 21 popular free apps from the market, injected root exploits into them and republished.’ The really scary part? ‘50k-200k downloads combined in 4 days.’


There’s another APK hidden inside the code, and it steals nearly everything it can: product ID, model, partner (provider?), language, country, and userID. But that’s all child’s play; the true pièce de résistance is that it has the ability to download more code. In other words, there’s no way to know what the app does after it’s installed, and the possibilities are nearly endless. [emphasis mine]

(Via Daring Fireball.)

Do I even have to say it?

Time to Wake Up and Smell the Antitrust

Time to Wake Up and Smell the Antitrust:

“If it walks, talks, acts, and smells like a monopolist, odds are it’s a monopolist. And if this monopolist is earning extraordinary profits, and if there is even the possibility that this monopolist might be using those profits to restrain trade, then perhaps the Sherman Antitrust Act is not working. The possibility of online monopolists demands better theory than ‘there are no barriers to entry online’ and purported monopolists need better defense than ‘trust me.'”

(Via Eric K. Clemons.)

Clemons’ post elicits responses from Google within hours.  That should tell you something.

Is Google Guilty Of Deliberate Query Sabotage?

However, whether the results on Ben and on me are due to malevolence or the same unreliable reporting of result counts that appear to be prevalent in the other cases, the unreliability of the counts is striking. Until recently I had used counts of results reported as a rough measure of the significance of an individual or a piece of work, or at least of their popular visibility, which is not quite the same thing as significance.  Obviously I cannot use the number of results returned as a measure of anything until I understand them further. Can I use Google Scholar, or any other Google site, and assume that results have been returned with an even hand, without fear or favor, and with care for their accuracy? I suspect not.

via Is Google Guilty Of Deliberate Query Sabotage?.

This is such a biting damnation of Google’s search result count it garnered a response in less than 3 hours.  Unfortunately the response is more public relations than substantive explanation or even rebuttal.  Restricting a search should always do just that, restrict the search.  If the “estimate” goes up, these numbers are not even remotely accurate regardless of how many significant digits you care about.  Trying to hide behind the word “estimate” is simply disingenuous when a more accurate term would be “guesstimate.”  And Google has no plans to fix this bug since they don’t want to “spend the cycles on that aspect of [their] system.”  It’s only their core business.  Not very important stuff at all.

Google Asks N.S.A. to Investigate Cyberattacks –

Google Asks N.S.A. to Investigate Cyberattacks –

“By turning to the N.S.A., which has no statutory authority to investigate domestic criminal acts, instead of the Department of Homeland Security, which does have such authority, Google is clearly seeking to avoid having its search engine, e-mail and other Web services regulated as part of the nation’s ‘critical infrastructure.’”

(Via NY Times.)

I think anti-trust litigation is closer to their minds.