A copyright lawsuit filed by Copiepresse last year over the publishing of articles, images, and links to Belgium newspaper websites will not only see the material removed, but will also cost Google in fines M&C reported this morning.

Along with the removal order, Google also has a hefty fine to pay of $32,390 per day for every day the copyright material was posted in Google. This retroactive total could be in excess of $4.7 million.

While Google argues they are simply sending traffic to the news sites, many of these Belgium sites do charge for access to their articles and images after a certain date, where it still ends up remaining in Google’s Cache.

The date has not yet been set for Google’s appeal.

Friday, February 16th, 2007

MSN Launches soapbox

If you are looking for an alternative to YouTube, MSN has officially launched the public beta version of soapbox. For several months now it has been available on an invitation basis, but now the general public can go see what’s been happening.

The beta launch was announced with a very brief blog post yesterday by the “soap box team“.

With all the copyright issues and controversy surrounding Google and YouTube one must wonder if the same issues are possible with soapbox, and what MSN has done, or what they will do, to help avoid copyright issues.

Last Wednesday Google released the results of a survey they conducted on the Valentine’s Day shopping habits of 2214 adults. Here is an excerpt of the most interesting data for retailers:

Highlights From Survey Results:

Among U.S. adults who typically buy Valentine’s Day gifts:

  • 50% indicated that they purchase multiple Valentine’s Day gifts.
  • Although men and women (both 71%) are equally likely to typically buy at least one Valentine’s Day gift, women (56%) are more likely than men (44%) to buy multiple gifts.
  • 55% of men indicated that they plan to buy for spouse, compared with 44% of women.
  • These adults are more likely to buy Valentine’s Day gifts for their pets (6%) than their fathers (5%) or grandfathers (1%).
  • Women (83%) are more likely than men (74%) to indicate that they typically buy a Valentine’s Day gift for at least one family member.
  • 41% indicated that they plan to purchase from more than one store/website this Valentine’s Day.
  • 11% indicated that they typically spend $10 or less. On average, U.S. adults spend about $70 in total on Valentine’s Day gifts.

Among U.S. adults who typically buy Valentine’s Day gifts for a significant other:

  • Men (50%) are more likely than women (37%) to indicate typically buying multiple Valentine’s Day gifts for a significant other.

The purpose of the survey was to pitch the benefits of being found on Google Checkout but either way the information is intriguing.

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

Google / NASA Partnership

A research and development partnership between NASA and Google was announced back in September of 2005, and now, more than a year later, they are just about ready to collaborate.

The two companies will work together through their formal agreement to study a number of issues from scientific-data search technology to expanding Google Earth to the moon and Mars.

According to CNET ” the first collaboration between Google and NASA Ames will concern the availability of NASA information over the Internet. For example, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin said in a statement that “soon” there will be Google Earth flyovers available for the surfaces of Mars and the moon. Additional data will include real-time weather forecasting and visualization, as well as tracking of the International Space Station and space shuttle activity”.

Not all projects will involve incorporating NASA information into Google but will include a number of research based items such as dealing with human-computer interaction and education-related collaborations.

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

Hacker Sentenced Cinched by Searches

According to ZDNet, something interesting has occurred. A hacker taping into wireless internet connections and disrupting service has been sentenced to 15 months in prison, nearly $20,000 in restitution, and 3 years of supervised released. What makes this story interesting is the actual nail in his coffin so to speak. Read more…

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

No More Answers

After 4 years of Q and A Google Answers is being retired and as of late this week they will no longer be accepting new questions.

Google Answers was first introduced back in 2002 by a small 4 person team based on a rough idea by Larry Page. Within 4 months of inception the product was launched in beta and answered some of the most important questions of all time such as why there is no channel 1 and how flies can survive in the microwave .

While new questions will no longer be accepted after this week, Google Answers will continue to accept answers to existing questions until the end of the year. The Questions and Answers will also remain online for the foreseeable future.

Google Answers is a paid service to help searchers find answers to questions. While Google and the other search engines can provide information on just about anything, even for experienced users it can sometimes be difficult to find just the right piece of information. Google Answers allows you to post a question, and for a fee, have an expert researcher provide you with just the right answer.

Thursday, November 2nd, 2006

Yahoo! Launches Yahoo! Food

Today Yahoo! announced the launch of Yahoo! Food, a site focused entirely on content from foodies and other culinary household names. In my opinion Yahoo! Food is a smart move and I look forward to seeing how it affects Yahoo!’s bottom line. After all, I don’t know about you but I know many people watch the Food network on a daily basis (including me) and I expect that a site run by Yahoo will offer yet another great resource for foodies.

When Deanna Brown, General Manager of Yahoo!’s Lifestyles was asked on MarketWatch how Yahoo! Food will compete against other food resources like the Food Network and Bon Appetit she had this to say,”I think it is the ease of use and the compelling design, kind of the comprehensive all in one destination.” She finishes by emphasizing the personalization that Yahoo! Food allows; (the site becomes) “your property… and keeps you in touch with what you are looking for.” – source MarketWatch blog.

Finally consider the marketing benefits of business owners who need to promote their cooking wares or resources (books, online directories, etc.); this addition to the Yahoo! Search Marketing network will prove a tasty one indeed.

Kudos to Yahoo, they are definitely trying hard to increase their bottom line. After announcing their 3rd quarter financial results on October 17th, Yahoo! definitely needs all the help they can get.

In a show of humility we are not used to seeing from Google, the Blogger team published an apology of sorts today regarding a hailstorm of Blogger outages this week.

According to the team the current version of Blogger is causing massive problems for a variety of reasons which can be summed up as one thing – they have outgrown it. The post is a good read and gives some enjoyable insight into the world of Google when it turns upside down; not something I figured happened over there 😉 Read more…

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

Google Sun?

First there was Google Earth, Then Google Moon, now Google Sun? Robyn Beavers announced on the Google Blog Monday that soon Google will be installing 1.6 megawatts of solar panels at their Mountain View campus. When complete Google will have the largest corporate solar installation in the US and possibly even in the world.

The electricity generated by these solar panels is equivalent to that used by about 1000 average California homes and will offset roughly 30% of their peak electricity consumption.

Good job Google on working towards a greener environment.

Brilliant! Sometimes I think the folks at Google are too smart for their own good. Okay, perhaps I am a little too excited about this but I just love to see a good idea. Yesterday Google announced “Google Teacher Academy”:

“The Google Teacher Academy is a pilot program designed to help K-12 educators get the most from innovative technologies. The Academy is a one-day experience at Google’s Mountain View Headquarters where participants get hands-on experience with Google products and other technologies, receive instructional resources to share with colleagues, and share innovative instructional strategies with other local educators. Upon completion, Academy participants will become Google Certified Teachers and will be asked to lead at least three related professional development activities for local educators.” (source, Google Teacher Academy) Read more…