This Blog Has A New Home

With the acquisition of the bennis.org domain name, this blog will be moved in the coming weeks to http://bennis.org/blog.

Thanks for pointing your bookmarks and browsers to the new address and hope to see you there.

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Google: Finally, A Human Face Behind The C&D, Instead of Nastygram Lawyerbots

Google asks the creator of the Gaia project – “an attempt to reverse engineer famous Google Earth and implement its functionality in open, portable, customizable and extendable way” – to stop his attempts. But they’re actually asking nicely. Or, as Andy Baio puts it, “finally, a human face behind the C&D, instead of nastygram lawyerbots.” (via Google Blogoscoped)

Original letter from Michael Jones:

From: “Michael Jones”
Subject: Writing from Google about Gaia and Google Earth

Hello,

I am Michael Jones, the Chief Technologist of Google Earth, Google Maps, and Google Local search writing to the author(s) of the Gaia project (http://gaia.serezhkin.com/) with an urgent concern. We have now become aware of your efforts and are concerned that you may not understand the developing global social impact of your engineering creativity.

The data that we license for Google Earth and Google Maps is made available for use under the restriction that it not be accessed or used outside of Google’s client software. These products — Earth, Maps, and Mobile Maps –each have a data protection mechanism tailored to their environment. They
also all come with a clearly indicated end user license agreement, known as the Terms of Service, which means “these are the conditions under which we are providing access to valuable data through our client software for your use.” In all three cases, the ToS are very clear that the data services used by the client software must never be accessed directly and that the encryption, passkey, and other data protection mechanisms must not be circumvented.

We appreciate that you like our software and enjoy the many millions of dollars and years of labor that the licensed data represents. Unfortunately, your curiosity about the protected server mechanisms ignores the Google Earth Terms of Service, the software license agreement that you accepted when installing Google Earth, the built-in encryption mechanisms within the client/server protocol, the economic rights of a worldwide network of providers who license this data to Google, and most of all, the sense of fair-play that is the basic relationship between Google and its users worldwide.

The kindness through which Google has made the wonder of our planet available to more than 100 million users around the world is now threatened — not by a menacing and fierce business competitor — but by you. Please hear the seriousness in this statement. I am not an attorney. I am not posturing. Just the opposite. We on the engineering team are hopeful that despite the risk your actions (break the ToS, reverse engineer parts of the data protection mechanisms, publish the fact and code, encourage others)
pose to our product, team, company, and users, we remain hopeful that this was an unintended result of what started as intellectual curiosity by a smart engineer like ourselves who has a passion to learn how things work.

Are we right?

If so, we really need to have you take down that code and refocus your work toward building an open earth viewer that uses open earth images (such as from NASA) or licensed earth images from willing providers rather than having the basis of your project being the improper use of our images. If you understand the gravity of the situation and agree to respect or position in this, please let me know quickly (hours rather than days) and on an equally responsive time scale please modify your project pages to remove anything suggesting or teaching the improper access to our data servers.

Anxious to hear from you,
Michael


Michael T. Jones, Chief Technologist, Google Earth, Maps, Local

1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043Email: xxxxxx@google.com T:(XXX)XXX-XXXX M:(XXX)XXX-XXXX F:(XXX)XXX-XXXX

Explore Google Earth! Site: earth.google.com Community: bbs.keyhole.com

Posted in Google, Google Imaging, Google Maps, Google News, GoogleMaps, Opensource | 9 Comments

Wishful Thinking: Google/Apple World

Google/AppleThis is just great news! Apple and Google combining their brightest minds and setting a future course of fearless innovation is just what the world needs now.
Some of what I’d like to see from Google/Apple is:

1) .Mac fully being transmogrified into Google services. (Yes, that would imply the things like application sync, photocasting, web-publishing, etc, being available for Windows and Linux as well, I don’t see any reason why not.) The rumored GDisk would be the logical next step to seamlessly knit this together.
2) iTunes and Google Video somehow collaborating. Letting people sell their movies, videos, (music), etc through the iTunes store front with Google serving as the back end, and vice versa. Hollywood is already crumbling, and the distribution of the content is their last strong-hold on the industry. And with Google’s massive bandwidth and storage capacities, HD movies would not be impossible any more, would they? Hello iTV. What was that huge data-center I heard of up north going to be used for anyway?
3) iChat and Gtalk interoperate. Video and audio conferencing cross-platform. Jabber is nice, but not much more than text. (Oh yes, Gtalk for Linux, please. You got to feed those hungry Ubuntuans.) 4) Please, please let us sync Address Book and iCal with Gmail and Gcal! (See number 1.)
5) Geo-tagging photos in iPhoto via Google Earth or Google maps (…)
6) Perhaps OT, but it would be great to have Gcal, Gmail but especially Writely and Spreadsheet work as offline apps so we can use them while not on the Internet. Make everything we write save to a buffer on the hard-drive, to be synced next time we connect the computer.
7) Definitely OT, but it would be great if you could add a queue in Gmail to “send this mail on this date and this time”.
Again, best of luck to my two favorite companies!

Posted in Apple, Blogroll, Gmail, Gmail Chat, Google, Google Vision, Googleness, Gtalk, Steve Jobs | 2 Comments

“Merom” Runs Hot, “Yonah” Might Be The Better Chip For Notebooks

Intel Core 2 Duo“Intel began releasing specifications of the new Merom processor to its motherboard partners.  For those expecting Merom to increase performance over Yonah while simultaneously decreasing the thermal envelope, think again.

The top of the line Yonah processor, the T2700, has a TDP of 31W at 2.33GHz clock frequency.  All Core 2 Duo Merom processors have a TDP of 34W, including the lowly 1.66GHz T5500.  In comparison, the 1.66GHz Yonah rings in at 27W.

Surely with Enhanced Speed Step these numbers get better, we’d think.  In “Battery Mode,” all Merom processors clock down to 1GHz and 0.75V — yet amazingly the TDP is still 20W.  Yonah, which also clocks down to 1GHz in Battery Mode with a 0.95V core has a TDP of 13.1W.

Those expecting to pop in a Core 2 Duo Merom processor to alleviate an overheating MacBook Pro, look not here.  Merom is a better performing processor than Yonah, but its thermals on paper show its advantages are only in performance and not in thermals at all.

Intel will counter these poor thermals with more “Low Voltage” and “Ultra Low Voltage” processors.  Just a few weeks ago, Intel announced an Ultra-Low Voltage (ULV) Yonah processor running on a TDP of just 9W.  Intel’s newest roadmap includes the U7500, an ultra-low voltage version of Merom.  However, given the fact that the normal voltage Yonahs have a lower TDP than the average Merom processor, we’d be hard pressed to think U7500 could possibly run cooler than its Yonah predecessor.”

Those of you who are waiting for the next Macbook (Pro) to be realeased, think again!

Are you willing to buy a first generation CPU Macbook ?

Posted in Apple, Blogroll, Intel, Macbook | 2 Comments

Call Users From Inside Your Gmail

GmailGarett Rogers found a Gmail feature allowing you to call contacts from within Gmail.

Garett writes:

“Today I found several references to an unreleased feature in Gmail while digging through the source code. The code clearly referenced a feature that will enable users to call contacts from inside Gmail. While writing this post, I noticed the feature has started appearing in my account already.

if(v){N.push(bn(U,"call_"+f,U? "im/call_button.gif":"im/call_button_disabled.gif", " Call"))}

If my eyes are seeing correctly, it appears some users should have a “Call” button in their Gmail when Google Talk is connected — clicking this button opens up a new voice conversation with the selected user through Google Talk. As of right now, we are still unable to place or receive incoming calls directly through Gmail — but I have a feeling that’s is on the “to-do” list.”

Gmail Call Users

Posted in Blogroll, Gmail, Gmail Chat, Gtalk, Web 2.0 | Leave a comment

Time Magazine: 50 Coolest Websites in 2006

Time Magazine make a list of the 50 Coolest Websites in 2006.

Many of this year’s choices are shining examples of Web 2.0: next-generation sites offering dynamic new ways to inform and entertain, sites with cutting-edge tools to create, consume, share or discuss all manners of media, from blog posts to video clips. Can’t wait no more ? Here is the cut down:

A variety of amusements, from classic rock to famous photography, collage art to custom radio, plus our favorite video web logs

Yummy food, Hollywood fashion and helping hands for those do-it-yourself projects

The Web’s best war correspondent, a snarky sports blog, the pioneers of “social news” more

A humming social network, community sing-along, instant-messaging hub, mobile-launched pub-crawls and numbers-crunching by committee

Juicy celebrity gossip, mindless computer games and other guilty pleasures

An airfare predictor and subway guide, restaurant reviews and car sharing

Ordering take-out, finding phone numbers and a slew of alternative search engines

Posted in Blogroll, Coolest Sites, Startup, Web 2.0 | Leave a comment

Google Games

Philipp Lenssen compiled a nice list of Google Games:Google Games
Tripods
A multiplayer Google Maps Game

Google Image Quiz
Guess what was being searched for by looking at Google Image result

Montage-a-Google
About the same as above

Battleship Google Earth
Google Earth as platform for mobile gaming

Google Earth Game
“The earth’s biggest game”

Goggles
Fly over Google Maps satellite images (and shoot the scenery)

The eBay Ad Search Game aka EBads
Get points for finding funny Google ads

The Google Face Game
Just goofy faces via Google Images

Google Adventure
Play a text adventure taking place inside the Googleplex

Continue reading

Posted in Blogroll, Google, Google Games, Googleness, Parody | Leave a comment