"A post on the Register, claiming that Google might be close to rolling out a 'Goobuntu' Linux desktop distro, has been making the usual rounds in the tech news circuit today. Despite today being earnings release day, presumably a very busy time at the Google press relations office, technology spokeswoman Sonya Boralv responded very quickly to my query on the topic. She said that "e use Ubuntu internally but have no plans to distribute it outside of the company." Elsewhere, Google's shares kinda dropped today as their earnings fell short of expectations.
Google's Dan Kegel will be keynoting at the 2006 Southern California Linux Expo on Feb 12th. He will be giving a presentation titled "Why doesn't Johnny run Linux? Or, Overcoming Desktop Obstacles". Dan will go over some of the main issues identified by the recent Desktop Linux Survey and Desktop Linux Architects' meeting at OSDL, as well as his own list of issues, and what's being done to solve them. This is interesting with regard to El Reg's story on 'Goobuntu'. Elsewhere, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols doesn't believe the rumours.
The Register is reporting that Google has been working on its own Linux distro, apparently known internally as "Goobuntu." It's not clear whether this distro will be released publically or remain an internal platform, but it certainly is no surprise given Ubuntu's near ubiquitous status as of late and the ever-present reports and predictions.
Google has been basking in good publicity from refusing US government demands to hand over search results but in China it is happy to create a search engine based on government specifications. Google will offer a censored version of its search engine running on servers in China. It will remove results on 'sensitive' topics like human rights and Tibet. The decision would not seem so bad coming from another company but Google used to pride itself on the morality of its business strategy and devotion to free speech.
"As the managing director of an Internet company people often (wrongly) assume that I’m an expert about everything to do with the Internet. So it is that I’m often asked whether Google is worth its currently high share price. I try to be diplomatic in my response, and point out that I’m neither a stockbroker nor an accountant, so what do I know? continue reading."
"During its first-ever appearance at the CES, Internet search giant Google unveiled two initiatives, both of which are aimed, in part, to counter Microsoft, the company it considers a primary competitor. The first is called the Google Video Store: users of this service will be able to buy and rent a wide range of video content online, including prime-time and classic TV shows from CBS, NBA games from this season and the past, Sony BMG music videos, and news and historical content from ITN. The second initiative, and the focus of this review, is Google Pack. Google describes Google Pack as a free collection of safe, useful software from Google and other companies that improves the user experience online and on the desktop."
As expected, Google on Friday announced several new products. "Google Pack, a bundle of software from Google and other companies that was announced by the Web giant on Friday, is aimed squarely at consumers. But Google's goal is to be the front end for everything people do on a computer, and enterprise use is not far off, analysts and solution providers said." Google also enters the video-on-demand business: "Google announced a service Friday that will let people rent or buy downloadable videos online, including classic and contemporary CBS television shows and NBA basketball games."
"Tomorrow Google will announce a new commercial video download service, according to multiple sources. In related news Google will also take the wraps off of Google Pack, a bundle of applications that will be made available for download in a single installation bundle. Sources tell us that Google pack will feature a Google-tweaked version of Firefox, Adobe Acrobat Reader, antivirus software from Symantec, AdAware, Trillian, and Google's own offerings, including Google Desktop Search, Picasa, Google Earth, Google Talk, and all of the toolbar action you can shake a stick at. Oh, and I left out one other item: the RealPlayer."
As many had already predicted, the LA Times rumour about Google entering the PC market has been squashed by both Google and Wall Mart. "Reporters calling Google's public relations staff about the rumor were told it is 'wholly inaccurate.' Similarly, Wal-Mart's rather busy PR team classified the Times speculation as 'a rumor without any truth to it at all.' And why would a high-flyer like Google want to enter the death match that is the PC industry? Slugging it out with the likes of Dell and HP for a few dollars doesn't seem appealing when you've got a high-margin ad business humming."
The LA Times is speculating the arrival of a Google PC running an OS also made by Google. "Sources say Google has been in negotiations with Wal-Mart, among other retailers, to sell a Google PC. The machine would run an operating system created by Google, not Microsoft's Windows, which is one reason it would be so cheap - perhaps as little as a couple of hundred dollars." They also say that Larry Page, Google's co-founder and president of products, will give a keynote speech at CES coming Friday, announcing all this.
A new, deceptive trojan horse program has surfaced. The program is engineered to produce fake Google ads that are formatted to look like legitimate ones. Since the Trojan Horse makes the deceptive ads look like normal Google ads, the program was nearly impossible to detect by the general public. However, Raoul Bangera, discovered the bogus program and contacted the Google AdSense team. Bangera emailed the team a number of cases, including various screenshots, log files of an infected computer and system files as proof. The AdSense team validated the news saying, “We can confirm from the screenshots that these are fake Google ads, formatted to look like legitimate ads. We agree that this phenomenon is likely the result of malicious software installed on your computer.”
A significant instant messaging project between Google and America Online is now underway. Google and AOL plan to let their respective instant messaging features communicate. This way, someone using Google Talk could chat with an AIM user, and vice versa.
Google has apparently won the battle to retain AOL's affections, edging out a bid from Microsoft. But the cost is high, and establishes several precedents for the Mountain View company that might have been unthinkable a couple of years ago. While AOL's parent Time Warner has yet to make a public statement, published reports claim that Google has paid $1 billion to take a 5 per cent stake in the media giant. AOL's sales team gets access to the Google Network, and Google will also give Time Warner's media properties preferential treatment.
Internet search is reaching an important pivot point, where market leaders are rewarded by Wall Street, laggards are punished, and start-ups try to fill niches left empty by the major players. Though the market has seen a few leaders come and go over the last decade - anyone remember AltaVista? - few would doubt that a distinct top tier has emerged, occupied by Google, Yahoo, AOL and MSN.
"Google Base is a place where you can add all types of information that we'll host and make searchable online. You can describe any item you post with attributes, which will help people find it when they search Google Base. In fact, based on the relevance of your items, they may also be included in the main Google search index and other Google products like Froogle and Google Local."
"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."
Dr. Dobb's Journal has published the first articles in a series on the popular Google Summer of Code. These articles cover the following four projects: 'Apache Axis2 JMX Front', 'CL-GODB: a Common Lisp GO Database Manipulation Library', 'Wide Character Support in NetBSD Curses Library' and 'gjournal: FreeBSD GEOM Journaling Layer'.
Alan Ritter, Western Washington Univ. senior and computer science major, received recognition on Oct. 16 for his successful participation in Google's Summer of Code. He spent the summer working on a code which makes Windows network drivers adaptable to the NetBSD operating system.
"I was thinking about all the cool stuff Google has done when I realized that none of it was original. The folks at Microsoft, long known for being copycats, must be furious, since nobody has ever accused Google of the same thing. Everything Google has done has been derivative. The search engine was taken from the AltaVista idea of huge computer farms. Gmail is a clone of Hotmail. The Google Chat is nothing special. Orkut is a copy of Friendster. Even the invention of ads targeted to search requests is derivative of the old GoTo.com search engine.
Google plans to hire programmers to improve OpenOffice.org, a demonstration of its affinity for open source initiatives and one the company believes also shows sound practical sense. "We want to hire a couple of folks to help make OpenOffice better."