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Planet Google

Planet Google

FTC More Serious Than Ever About Federal Action Against Google

google_domination_1

The FTC has been examining Google’s business practices for a while and tonight the New York Times reports that the commission has prepared a memo recommending the United States file suit against the company for allegedly massaging search results to favor Google products, among other things.

It’s not a done deal that the government and Google will end up arguing the case in court, but a memo currently being prepared by the FTC is a big step in that direction: Read More

Planet Google

Google Rolling Out Micropayments for Web Content

Google Wallet for Business (Screengrab)

Oh, yay, Google is set to implement a micropayment system for online content. CNET reports the search giant has confirmed that users will be able to purchase articles for prices between $0.25 and $0.99 apiece.

Google isn’t trying subvert free content, it says the project is experimental and intended to promote creation of “high-quality content” online.

As CNET notes, micropayment systems have never fared well: Read More

Planet Google

Google Refuses White House Plea to Remove Controversial Anti-Muslim Video

Still from a trailer for Innocence of Muslims

Google will not delete an inflammatory video currently playing a role in Muslim protests around the world, in spite of a take-down request from the White House.

The search giant is only censoring Innocence of Muslims in India, Indonesia, Egypt and Libya, where violent and deadly protests have broken out following the video’s translation into Arabic. Reuters reports on the company’s legalistic explanation for not just wiping the video completely from the web: Read More

Planet Google

Sunbathers and Day Drinkers, Beware: Google Snapping Street View Pics in Central Park This Week

(Photo: 1x57.com)

Planning to sunbathe topless in Central Park this week? You might want to make sure you’re okay with having your voyeur-friendly moments played out across the Internet. Turns out Google has mounted some cameras on a dorky-looking bike and is inspecting “every nook and cranny of the 843-acre park” this week. Quick, hide that open canister!

Of course, Google insists that they will blur out faces and other identifying details as they do for all street view photos, so teenage couples that treat the park like the urban equivalent of the backseat of their parents car are safe from prying eyes.

Your move, Chuck Schumer.

Planet Google

Googles Goes On the Offensive In Washington: $5 M. in Lobbying and a Republican Lead

Ms. Molinari (www.harrywalker.com)

Adopting the mantra “don’t be evil” has a way of inviting extra scrutiny, and and in recent months Google has faced questions about its Street View practices, privacy policy revamp, and even its CAPTCHAs. But the New York Times reports that rather than sit quietly, the company has launched a lobbying offensive, shelling out $5.03 million in the last three months alone. Then there’s the fact Google has a former GOP Congresswoman Susan Molinari commanding its troops in D.C.

If that seems like quite a lot of money, that’s because it is. It’s 240 percent more than the company spent over the same period last year. The number looks even bigger when you line it up next to what other tech companies spent: It’s more than Apple ($500,000) or Microsoft ($1.79 million) or even Verizon Wireless ($4.51 million). Read More