Not a bad day for privately held SAS, considering that it just announced that its revenue rose 2 percent in 2009, to $2.3 billion. That's 34 consecutive years that SAS has enjoyed year-over-year increases.
Google isn't a stranger to bad publicity. Privacy advocates aren't exactly the biggest fans of the company. And CEO Eric Schmidt didn't win over many people with his infamous statement about online privacy last month: "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place." Those recent Gmail outages stung too.
But the Nexus One debacle -- combined with investor concerns that Google's potential pullout of China could negatively affect its future growth -- could make this one of the search powerhouse's worst weeks ever.
The French government is considering a plan that would tax online ad revenues to help subsidize Internet outlets for buying books, movies and music. The idea is to help rescue the creative industries from Web portals that encourage users to access content for free.
The recommendation comes from a report commissioned by the French government. And one of the paper's primary contributors was Patrick Zelnik, a music producer who runs a record label in France -- not, shall we say, a disinterested party. "The world of culture is not only turned upside-down but profoundly threatened by the development of the Internet," Zelnik told a French newspaper Thursday, according to the LA Times.
I don't know about you, but I'm suffering from Android burnout. Yes, I know it's just an operating system, which makes that not unlike saying I have Windows 7 burnout. But then nearly every hardware vendor and wireless carrier isn't hyping a new device that runs on Windows 7 this week, are they?
On Tuesday, Google kicked off what might as well be called Android Week with an announcement that wasn't exactly what it had been hyped to be. Observers had expected that the new smartphone Google is pushing, Nexus One, would be designed by Google -- making it the first real Google Phone. But Google was quick to point out that the heavy-lifting was done by HTC, and it just pitched in to ensure that the phone took full advantage of Android's potential.
As Google shows off Nexus One, its much hyped new smartphone, in a heavily covered press conference today, one thing is clear: Apple and Google are no longer best friends forever.
While the debate has raged about whether Nexus One will be a game-changer, or perhaps more of a game-tweaker, there's no question that the device is a direct challenge to Apple's iPhone. We're not talking about Google offering up a free OS to cellphone manufacturers, but rather a phone designed by Google and poised to make a big splash in Apple's pool.
Santa went Google back in 2004, when the Internet giant began using Google Earth (then called Keyhole Earth Viewer) to display St. Nick's journey around the world on Christmas Eve. This year Santa gets an upgrade; the Google Earth plug in will be integrated into the official Santa tracking site so that followers can see Santa's path in a three-dimensional environment from within their browsers.
Google didn't invent the idea of tracking Santa, of course. That started in 1955, when a Sears and Roebuck ad that ran in a Colorado Springs magazine printed the wrong number to call for its "Talk to Santa" hotline. Children ended up calling the commander-in-chief hotline for Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD), which has now become NORAD, the bi-national U.S.-Canadian military organization responsible for aerospace and maritime defense. The director of operations receiving calls from children decided to give them updates on Santa's location based on its own radar signals, and a tradition was born.