Tech News Today 457

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Tech News Today
Episode 457

Tech News Today 457: Patents, Pimps, And Pi

Britannica quietly wins the digital transition, AT&T tries to silence small claims winner, why Google has become too 'corporate', and more.

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Top Stories

  • Former Googler Rips Company for ‘Corporate-Mandated Focus’ on Google+
  • Why I left Google
  • Goodbye, cruel Google--an ex-employee's lament
  • As ‘Why I Left’ Letters Reach Meme Proportions, Startups Hope Goldman’s Moral Loss Is Their Gain
    • James Whittaker, engineering director for Google+, and is now a “web futurist” at Microsoft, posted on a MS blog why he left Google.
    • Short version: It's Page's fault.
    • He called Google under Eric Schmidt a company that "empowered its employees to innovate." "ads were always in the background" and encouraged an entrepreneurial attitude with its employees with awards which led to things like Chrome and Gmail
    • Under Larry Page, social became the focus at the expense of things like Google Labs.
    • Whittaker suggests Page felt wronged that companies were willing to give themselves second billing to facebook via URLs like when they would never do that for google
    • of Google+ he said, " It was an ominous name invoking the feeling that Google alone wasn’t enough."
    • Whittaker says that Google+ failed to win users away from Facebook in large numbers.
    • "The Google I was passionate about was a technology company that empowered its employees to innovate. The Google I left was an advertising company with a single corporate-mandated focus."
    • Executive director of Goldman Sachs Greg Smith published his reasons why he's leaving Goldman Sachs calling it a toxic environment where clients' interests are sidelined.
    • Smith talked of how when he joined the company out of college that GS's culture was what made it great and that it is now gone due to the way it thought of leadership.
    • Tumblr president John Maloney used that letter as recruitment - saying to join the NYC tech startup community if you identify with Greg Smith's piece.
  • Android Tablets Gained on iPad in Late 2011: IDC
  • Android rules the world?
    • IDC report: Android tablets 32.3 percent to 44.6 percent between the third and fourth quarters.
    • 4.7 million Kindle Fire shipped in 2011 16.8% of market
    • iPad 54.7% of market
    • Samsung claimed 5.8 percent of the tablet market in the fourth quarter of 2011, up from 5.5 percent in the previous quarter.
    • Nook fell 4.5 percent to 3.5 percent.
    • IDC research director Tom Mainelli the sheer number of vendors shipping low-priced, Android-based tablets means that Google’s OS will overtake Apple’s in terms of worldwide market share by 2015.” “We expect iOS to remain the revenue market share leader through the end of our 2016 forecast period and beyond.”

Discussion Stories

  • Encyclopædia Britannica's 2010 edition to be its last
  • Change: It’s Okay. Really.
    • 244-year-old Encyclopedia Britannica will be going out of print this year. Usually prints new edition every 2 years but company decided 2010 is the last, made decision with 4k copies left.
    • Print edition costs $1400, comes in 32-book volume, represents 1% of sales. EB's subscription versions make up about 15% sales, online is $70/year, iOS app version $2/month. Majority 85% from sales of educational products like its online learning tools. Britannica might offer more free tools online to woo more subs.
    • The first EB printed in Scotland in 1768. Publication of the 3-volume 1st edition was completed in 1771. 7 million bound sets have been sold since.
    • Everything at is free for a full week beginning today.
    • 1981: Britannica created the first digital encyclopedia (for LexisNexis)
    • 1989: Britannica introduces Compton’s MultiMedia Encyclopedia on CD-ROM.
    • 1994: 1st encyclopedia on the Internet.
    • 2000: Britannica's 1st mobile version is introduced on the Palm VII.
    • 2006: over 50% of revenues now come from digital products
  • Cricket signs on with Clearwire for its LTE network
  • LightSquared hires Bush v. Gore lawyer to save doomed 4G network
    • ClearWire and Cricket Wireless have signed a deal for Clearwire to supply extra capacity for Cricket's own LTE network, which went live in Tucson late last year and should expand to two-thirds of customers over the next couple of years.
    • ClearWire's first cell sites go live next year.
    • This is ClearWire's second customer after Sprint
    • LightSquared has hired lawyer Theodore Olson, who helped President George W. Bush take office by winning the Bush v. Gore Supreme Court case, and former Department of Labor Solicitor Eugene Scalia.
    • LightSquared has reportedly explored potential lawsuits against the FCC and GPS industry members.
    • "What happened to LightSquared is 'an egregious example' of the government encouraging a company to invest an enormous amount of money to meet a national objective and then 'pulling the rug out from under them capriciously and precipitously,'" Olson said, according to Politico. “'On the face of things, it looks to me like the government has acted arbitrarily after inducing the expenditure of an enormous number of resources.'”
  • RIAA chief: ISPs to start fighting piracy by July 12
  • Post-SOPA, Industry Execs Pretty Sure ‘Engaging’ Key To Copyright Challenge
    • Association of American Publishers annual meeting
    • Panel: “Content Industries in Digital Transformation,” Moderator and AAP president and CEO Tom Allen, Fritz Attaway MPAA, Business Software Alliance’s Robert Holleyman and Recording Industry Association of America’s Cary Sherman
    • Attaway: “Our industries do something that no one else can do. We create content that people want to have.”
    • Allen: How in this environment can our respective industries do more to defend the principles of copyright when we’re confronting this wave of the public that goes every day to the Internet and downloads and reads all sorts of stuff for free?”
    • Attaway: “Education is key. It is absolutely ridiculous that a movie that cost $100 million to create, a copy of which you paid $20 for, to say that you own that movie and should make any number of copies you want to. The intellectual base of the Copyleft is pretty flimsy, and we need to do a better job of pointing that out to the public. We need to do it from a grassroots base of the millions of people whose livelihoods depend on copyright protection. [Paying $20 for a movie] doesn’t mean you have the right to make all the copies you want and share them with all of your friends.”
    • Cary Sherman, CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America, said most of the participating ISPs are on track to begin implementing an anti-piracy notification program by July 12. ----- requires that ISPs send out one or two educational notices to those customers who are accused of downloading copyrighted content illegally. If the customer doesn't stop, the ISP is then asked to send out "confirmation notices" asking that they confirm that they have received notice.

News Fuse







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Production Information

  • Edited by: Jason
  • Notes:
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