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Planet Google

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

Planet Google

World So Beholden to Google That Old Things are New Again

google_domination_1

In college, this reporter once took a “new media” class where the professor let loose a terrifying edict: As homework, we would not be allowed to use any Google products for the entire week. That meant no Google search, no Gmail, no Gcal… nothing.

The experiment was supposed to teach us just how reliant we were upon one company for many of a college student’s basic needs, like learning, communicating and organizing.

It was not the darkest hour of this reporter’s life, but it was a very, very dark one. Read More

Planet Google

Google’s New York City Office Went on a Hiring Binge and Added 750 People in 2011

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The Wall Street Journal devotes considerable inches today to covering Google’s expansion in New York City. In 2011, the tech giant added about 750 employees to its Chelsea outpost, bringing the total number of employees here up to 2,750.

About half of those new staffers are from acquisitions. Google acquired four companies, also in New York City, last year.

While the company overall grew 33 percent from 2010 to 2011, Googleplex East expanded by 38 percent. The Journal called it, “the most prominent example of a technology company shifting its focus toward New York. “

It reminds us of what one former city official said after Facebook’s big presser about vague plans to start an engineering hub in New York. “Thank you? I guess,” said the source, contrasting it with Google who just “all of a sudden had 1,400 engineers.” Read More