A dekko at Blekko
At the week’s beginning eyes were cast on a new search engine which was flagged as a spam free alternative to Google. The delicious and affordable savoury meat has had a bad rep thanks to the internet, junk search returns and email. We should really give it a break because it’s all us TechEye hacks ever have for the lunch hour down at the old Dog and Gutter.
The idea is that Blekko keeps a list of categorised sites which are applied to queries meaning in theory you only get relevant returns – not, er, spam. That’s a goodbye to content farming, which is coincidentally what we’re about to do.
The Guardian reckons the service needs some ironing out, with Blekko making a blokko of genuine website and penny pincher’s favourite MoneySavingExpert.
Meanwhile ZDNet reports the service is certainly useful but the general public isn’t ready. It’s handy for the “geekorati”, says Christopher Dawson: “Imagine telling people that they can use a system of slashes to refine their searches on the fly – yeah, good luck with that one.”
But there is potential, says The Financial Times, as it talks to founder Rich Skrenta, 43. Skrenta has had previous start-ups, one which became the Open Directory Project, bought by Netscape.
Google employs subservient chore rabbits
Schmidt, not content with already having the world its bitch dominating in search and mobile, news and requiring everyone to think about the dreaded SEO, has hired a company called TaskRabbit to do all of its chores. TaskRabbit is basically an online job board where runners will do “almost anything” for dosh. That includes menial chores like laundry though we’re not sure if it runs all the way up to high level escorting.
Tom’s Hardware says it’s no wonder Google was named the best place to work in America with “people cleaning employees’ apartments and doing laundry.” Additionally Google staff enjoy “20 percent time projects, fantastic cafeterias and scooters to get around the building” – it’s all a bit Nathan Barley, really. We expect staff are mostly “self facilitating media nodes” too.
Gawker reports it as is, leading with the headline “Google is now providing servants to its employees”. Taskrabbit founder Leah Busque told Valleywag: “The perks are obvious – employees get the extra help they need and some work life balance, while companies get happy and loyal employees that are more focused on their work (without the stresses of the “little” stuff). Popular posts by people include taking shoes to the cobbler, getting Ikea furniture assembled, bags of donations picked up, and groceries delivered.”
TechEye’s office Task Rabbit is essentially useless. The mammal’s skinny and weak, leaves droppings all over the floor and trips us up on the stairs.
Google was told this week that it must stump up a handsome $8.5 million in a class action suit on its frankly not very great soc. media attempt, Buzz.
Forbes journalist Glenn G. Lammi takes a closer look, here.
California rejects lazy, hungry bill and turns down tech princesses
Of course, the mid term elections were on everyone’s brain as the world and its dog dreaded the Tea Party gaining traction with republican wins and the return of Sarah Palin. California’s governmnor elections decided that they didn’t want eBay founder Meg Whitman involved – she tried the “buy it now” option by plugging $160 million of her own money into the campaign. Democrat Barbara Boxer also stole the thrown from former CEO of Hewlett Packard, Carly “Winsome” Fiorina.
ComputerWorld calls “Hurrah!” as Richi Jennings says “Good. This is not a political opinion though; just plain old common sense. As I said back in June – when the GOP selected them – they both had terrible business track records, yet their messages dripped heavy with talk of business acumen and financial success.”
Winsome and Whitman, ltd., will be disappointed. So too will be the advocates of California’s Marijuana users, who had to cope with hearing they still won’t be allowed to smoke their very whacky tobaccy.
Skype snipes BoJo with free wi-fi
Mayor of London Boris Johnson has been promising free wi-fi access for all of London for some time now. At yesterday’s UK Trade and Investment conference he confessed he has no clue what 4G. TechEye witnessed Johnson’s technology advisor tweeting with despair. “We don’t know what 4G is, but lots of it for London!” suggested TechEye hack Dean Wilson.
Skype pledged that, in aid of Internet Week, it will be offering free wi-fi to everyone in the country. It almost makes it worth leaving the desktop and venturing into the scary shining rays of sunlight, if there are any in this dreary British November.
The Guardian provides a list of hot spots here.
Internet Week Europe is a “festival celebrating Europe’s thriving Internet industry and community.”
There are tons of events going on so if you like the internet and stuff it’s worth having a look. We’ll be getting kicked out of London’s Hospital Club on launch night, 8th November.
Lounge lizard Larry humiliates SAP and HP
HP’s new chairman Leo Apotheker has been put in the stocks by Lounge Lizard Larry Ellison of Oracle. Ellison claims Apotheker was involved in software theft when he was working at his old firm, SAP. As our own Nick Farrell says, “Firing Hurd on moral grounds would be ok, reasoned Ellison, if they didn’t then go and hire a software thief.”
Now it appears Apotheker will be testifying. HP responded in kind by accusing Oracle of harrassment, says Bloomberg. It reports: “Mylene Mangalindan, a spokeswoman for HP, said in an e-mailed statement that Oracle chose not to include Apotheker as a live trial witness until he was named CEO of HP.
“Oracle had ample opportunity to question Leo during his sworn deposition in October 2008,” Mangalindan said. “Given Leo’s limited knowledge of and role in the matter, Oracle’s last-minute effort to require him to appear live at trial is no more than an effort to harass him and interfere with his duties and responsibilities as HP’s CEO.”
Cameroon croons on patent reform
David Cameron and all his school chums from the old boys network that is the coalition have announced they are looking toward America for patent reform. We need something that suits the internet age, said Big D.C., though exactly what that is we’re not sure, and we suspect, neither is he.
He has obviously not been glancing at the world business pages which are rife, week in, week out, with patent disputes that stifle creativity rather than encourage it.
Indeed, the Free Software Foundation has said patents should never have existed for software and are the ruination of the business. Jeremy Hunt, MP, told TechEye yesterday that the American system is not perfect but there needs to be a review of patent laws in the UK – just as the East London Tech City is announced.
He must not be aware then that Europe is pondering a unified patent system with the United States essentially broadsiding any of the UK’s proposed patent reforms. Do the EuroSkeptics care? We’re not sure.
Here is Ben Rooney, of The Wall Street Journal Europe, talking some initial comments and reactions.
And lastly – here’s the week’s reading from the TechEye Bible. It’s from the book of smitings.
Some quotes from the quote engine:
“Go, and never darken my towels again” – Groucho Marx
“Where quantum leaps take their first steps” – Official Intel idiot
“Communism is like one big phone company” – Lenny Bruce
“A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money” – WC Fields
“Mobile phones are the only subject on which men boast about who’s got the smallest” – Neil Kinnock