Google Manipulated Search Results to Favor its Own Services Over Rivals.

WSJ — Officials at the Federal Trade Commission concluded in 2012 that Google Inc. used anticompetitive tactics and abused its monopoly power in ways that harmed Internet users and rivals, a far harsher analysis of Google’s business than was previously known… An FTC staff report reveals new details about how Google manipulated search results to favor its own services over rivals’.

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The staff report from the agency’s bureau of competition recommended the commission bring a lawsuit challenging three Google practices. The move would have triggered one of the highest-profile antitrust cases since the Justice Department sued Microsoft Corp. in the 1990s.
Inside the U.S. Antitrust Probe of Google. By Brody Mullins, Rolfe Winkler and Brent Kendall. WSJ, March 19, 2015

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Google 3G: Why Bing More Useful to Google Than to Microsoft.
By Gregory Gromov.

Yahoo switched to Bing-powered search results in August 2010. Shortly thereafter, search specialists at Google began noticing that many of the results for Yahoo! searches were the same as those Google searches of the same terms.

    Google engineers set up random results on their site for a series of unlikely search terms, such as ‘hiybbprqag.’ (Google arranged for the nonsense word to point to a Los Angeles theater seating plan on its search engine.) ‘Within a couple weeks of starting this experiment, our inserted results started appearing in Bing,’ Google said in a statement on its official blog …
    Google: Sting proves Bing copied search results‘ By the CNN Wire Staff

When Google published the search experts’ findings, their colleagues at Microsoft only shrugged, essentially saying that such things happen, that it was no big deal. However, they immediately stopped copying Google’s results. Yahoo! somehow skirted the debate altogether.

However, it was not until later that the most interesting part of the story emerged. At the outset, Google’s experts were very vocal in complaining about the abovementioned results. They then did an abrupt about-face, apparently accepting Microsoft’s explanation. As if on a signal, all the once-spirited grumbling ceased. Both sides suddenly stopped discussing the story.

The reason for this is that with the search engine market so out of balance, Google really needs at least a nominal competitor in the business. In other words, if Bing spontaneously combusted tomorrow – if, for example, Microsoft decided that there was no further need to pursue the already long-lost race for search engine dominance – this would in fact be a great blow to Google.

Google would then be completely vulnerable to accusations of having a monopoly on the US search engine market, and would quickly become the next subject of the Department of Justice’s anti-trust investigations. Conjoined twins Yahoo and Bing hold second and third places in the search engine market, protecting Google from allegations of monopoly, and making Bing more useful to Google than to Microsoft.
Read more: http://www.netvalley.com/silicon_valley_history.html

See also:

  • Larry about Larry: Google CEO did “evil” things …
  • Silicon Valley hiring practices gets class action status

  • Global Cash Reserves: U.S. Tech Companies vs. U.S. and Other Countries

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    … the combined cash of Apple, Microsoft, Google, Verizon Communications and Pfizer climbed to $US404 billion at the end of … [2013] year … That figure is up over 16.4% from the prior year and is in excess of some of Asia’s most cash-laden nations including South Korea, with foreign exchange reserves of $US336 billion, Hong Kong ($311 billion), Singapore ($270 billion) and India ($268 billion). America’s top five holders of cash not only have more in the bank than most Asian states, but their savings are also in excess of the entire Eurozone’s ($221 billion).
    Apple Has More Cash On Hand Than All These Different Countries

    Silicon Valley Investors Warns of Bubble again, and again …

      Mr. Gurley, a … partner at Benchmark, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm, has been warning of an impending Silicon Valley bubble burst for quite some time. He cites the multiplicity of so-called unicorns, or private companies valued at more than $1 billion by investors. By some accounts, there are more than 50 of these billion-plus companies in the Valley at the moment, with more added seemingly every other week…
      Read more: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/03/15/silicon-valley-investor-says-the-end-is-near/?_r=0

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    investment_number_of_deals_1995-2014

  • Here’s The Evidence That The Tech Bubble Is About To Burst,
    by Jim Edwards “Business Insider” Nov. 5, 2014.

  • Tech Bubble Won’t Burst In 2015. 2016?
    By Katie Benner. Bloombergview

    percentage_of_profitable_tech_companies_1969_2014_2

  • Why the Tech Bubble Will Burst in 2015, Startup Driving.
  • The Coming Financial Bubble: Why It May Be The Worst Of All by Mike Patton, Forbes. Advisor Network 2/24/2015.

    Meanwhile, actually there wasn’t any real signs of Bubble kind of trends at all:
    VC_Funding_1995_2013

    InternetCompanyIPO_1990-2013

  • Musk Next Project: “Movement Against Artificial Intelligence”

    About two dozen protesters, led by a computer engineer, echoed that sentiment in their movement against artificial intelligence… Tesla founder Elon Musk donated $10 million to the Future of Life Institute because of his fears. USA Today
    anti-robot_protest-students_USA_TODAY

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    See also, some quotes from Business Insider’s article “… Tesla’s Only Profitable Because Of Your Tax Dollars“:

    Elon Musk has a plan to get rich. It involves you. The taxpayer. You pay taxes. The government gives huge dollops of that money to Elon. Elon gets rich. Who could possibly object? Who could deny Elon’s genius?… Musk has three ventures: Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity. All are heavily dependent on government largesse.

    Mr. Musk is Occupy’s favorite crony capitalist. And Occupy is one of Mr. Musk’s favorite movements.Yes, once upon a time Musk started a real business, Paypal*, that proved very successful without any government help. That was then, this is now.

    Musk has three ventures: Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity. All are heavily dependent on government largesse… It’s a lucky thing for Tesla Motors shareholders that the U.S. Department of Energy loves the company’s loan applications… Without the hundreds of millions of dollars Tesla (US:TSLA) has received from the federal government … the electric-car maker’s financials would be gasping for air as 2012 winds down… sadly, Elon Musk is a Man For Our Age, in more ways than one.

    – By Dr. Craig Pirrong, Professor of Finance, and Energy Markets Director for the “Global Energy Management Institute” at the Bauer College of Business of the University of Houston
    ___
    */ PayPal was initially established in December 1998 as Confinity, a company that developed security software for handheld devices founded by Max Levchin, Peter Thiel, Luke Nosek, and Ken Howery. PayPal was developed and launched as a money transfer service at Confinity in 1999. In March 2000, Confinity merged with X.com, an online banking company founded by Elon Musk. Read more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PayPal

    Microsoft & Silicon Valley Have Had a Divorce

    Microsoft Research Silicon Valley was founded in August 2001 and quietly closed in September 2014… Lab’s primary focus was on distributed computing and included privacy, security, protocols, fault-tolerance, large-scale systems, concurrency, computer architecture, Internet search and services, and related theory. Research in these areas continues in other Microsoft Research labs around the world. Read more: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/labs/siliconvalle/

    In other words, … everywhere around the globe but not in Silicon Valley. Why? There appears to be a crises of corporate cultural incompatibility, that can be traced to early 80th and then continued in 90th:

    • “If the company does well, I do pretty well,” says [Mark] Andreessen. “If the company doesn’t do well” – his voice takes on a note of mock despair – “I work at Microsoft.”
    • Bill Gates:”…an Internet browser is a trivial piece of software. There are at least 30 companies that have written very credible Internet browsers, so that’s nothing… ”
    • Steve Jobs: “The most important thing for the Web is stay ahead of Microsoft.”

    Roads and Crossroads of the Internet History by Gregory Gromov

    What Is the Target Audience of Gold “Apple Watch”?

    Gold_Apple_Watch_1

    techcrunch.com expressed its expectation in strong words: … we don’t need solid gold on something that is disposable after a couple years. So, I’m lost. Who is this watch for? Without a technological advantage, and no upgrade or trade-in path, I would imagine the value to the consumer is that of broadcasting wealth. There are certain markets where this watch will sell well, regions of China (just put a goat on it) and Dubai come to mind. “The Gold Apple Watch Is Perfect For Douchebags” by Kevin Rose, @kevinrose

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    See also: What is a Real Value of “The Economist” Tech Market Predictions?