Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, chatted with the Wall Street Journal‘s Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher at the 92nd Street Y here in New York tonight.
Their conversation touched on the so-called “Gang of Four” (Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook), the importance of the mobile sector, technology in education, patent wars, quality journalism, and — yes — PSY.
Here are my Tweets, in reverse chronological order.
To sum up, Schmidt @ #92YDigital: Gang of Four persists. Huge potential in mobility. Innovation key. "Patent wars are death."Newley Purnell
Schmidt says future biz might involve celebrity driven news brands. In online world, people care what celebs think. #92YDigitalNewley Purnell
Schmidt: promise in digital-1st approach like @ Politico and HuffPo. And established brands like WSJ and NYT will survive. #92YDigitalNewley Purnell
Summing up: Schmidt at @ #92YDigital: Ailing newspapers means less investigative journalism. That’s bad…Newley Purnell
@EricSchmidt says @HuffingtonPost and @Politico are innovative news models of journalism’s future. #92YDigitalKhadeeja Safdar
Talk over. Will share a few final thoughts from Eric Schmidt on quality journalism…Newley Purnell
Asked if Google would buy Twitter: Schmidt says can’t comment on M&A. But bullish on Twitter. It’s “place where news breaks fast.”Newley Purnell
Schmidt: Next big thing: more mobility. Innovation possible w/ devices is incredible. Also: big data. Getting closer to true AI.Newley Purnell
Schmidt: we don’t talk about future products and services specifically but “we have a lot of stuff coming.”Newley Purnell
Schmidt on self-driven car: better to think of as autopilot. Will have button to disconnect. Doesn’t say when thinks cars’ll be mainstream.Newley Purnell
Schmidt on tech in ed: massive online courses are just version 1. Very little innovation and competition in K-12. Hopes can change.Newley Purnell
Schmidt on @Google cars: “it’s an error that we drive cars. A 100 year old error.” Likely scenario: car companies use some features.Newley Purnell
.@ericschmidt says @Google’s goal is to be at the center of the information revolution. #92YDigitalSree Sreenivasan
Schmidt on PSY and Gangnam Style: he is “truly expression of a new form of celebrity.”Newley Purnell
Schmidt: “Patent wars are death.” Bad for innovation. And annoying.Newley Purnell
Schmidt: survey shows there’s 4x as many Android phones as iPhones. Mobile is where it’s at. Bigger than PC industry and growing.Newley Purnell
Schmidt: “Apple should have kept with our maps…what Apple has learned is maps are really hard.”Newley Purnell
Swisher: w/ Facebook’s stock struggles, is it Gang of 3.5 now? Schmidt: No, 4. FB has 1 billion users. You can make money off that.Newley Purnell
From 8 p.m. EST I’ll be sharing tidbits from 92nd St. Y talk w/ Google exec. chairman Eric Schmidt, @waltmossberg, & @karaswisherNewley Purnell
Google Inc. today officially unveiled its new Street View service for Thailand, releasing online a vast collection of panoramic street-level images of the country.
That means that anyone with a Web connection can now view high resolution photos of everything from Bangkok street food stalls to the ornate spires of the city’s Grand Palace. There are also images of the northern city of Chiang Mai and the southern beach resort of Phuket.
Please check out the story and share the love, if you like it.
You can go to Google Street View for Thailand directly here.
“Shades of Meaning,” an NYT review of Asterios Polyp, a graphic novel by David Mazzucchelli. Not (all that) new, but new to me.
More NYT: the Goal blog has a Q. & A. With Simon Kuper, Author of “Soccernomics”. The book’s subtitle: “Why England Lose, Why Germany and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia, Turkey — and Even India — Are Destined to Become the New Kings of the World’s Most Popular Sport.”
As the year comes to a close, it’s time to look at the big events, memorable moments and emerging trends that captivated us in 2008. As it happens, studying the aggregation of the billions of search queries that people type into the Google search box gives us a glimpse into the zeitgeist — the spirit of the times. We’ve compiled some of the highlights from Google searches around the globe and hope you enjoy looking back as much as we do.
— WSJ: “Asia’s Tourism: Boon and Bane: Low-Cost Countries With Popular Spots Better Off Than Others” ((There’s this about Thailand, which should come as no surprise: “Tourism in Thailand, which in 2007 had 14.8 million visitors, naturally is getting seriously impacted by political unrest that for the past week severed Bangkok’s busy air links with the world. While the city’s two airports are now expected to be functioning normally by Friday, the way hundreds of thousands of people have been stranded or inconvenienced by the shutdowns will have a lingering impact on tourist numbers. Dozens of countries have issued warnings to avoid traveling to Thailand.”))
Recession in major economies around the world has hit Southeast Asia’s pivotal tourism industry, but increased domestic and regional travel by cash-squeezed travelers based in Asia means some countries will be hurt less than others.
Governments around the region are cutting forecasts for income as both long-haul tourists and business travelers get increasingly cost-conscious. That is a problem because tourism accounts for a hefty 6% or more of most economies in Southeast Asia.
Still, some low-cost countries with attractive tourist spots and large homegrown populations should lose out less.
— Daily Routines: How writers, artists, and other interesting people organize their days. Sample entry: Truman Capote ((One of my favorite Capote passages, from The Grass Harp: “Below the hill grows a field of high Indian grass that changes color with the season: go see it in the fall, late September, when it has gone red as sunset, when scarlet shadows like firelight breeze over it and the autumn winds strum on its dry leaves sighing human music, a harp of voices.”))
What are some of your writing habits? Do you use a desk? Do you write on a machine?
CAPOTE I am a completely horizontal author. I can’t think unless I’m lying down, either in bed or stretched on a couch and with a cigarette and coffee handy. I’ve got to be puffing and sipping. As the afternoon wears on, I shift from coffee to mint tea to sherry to martinis. No, I don’t use a typewriter. Not in the beginning. I write my first version in longhand (pencil). Then I do a complete revision, also in longhand. Essentially I think of myself as a stylist, and stylists can become notoriously obsessed with the placing of a comma, the weight of a semicolon. Obsessions of this sort, and the time I take over them, irritate me beyond endurance.
1. The Surge in Afghanistan Starts Early
2. Colombian Coca Production Increases
3. The Next Darfur Heats Up
4. The United States Helps India Build a Missile Shield
5. Russia Makes a Play for Africa
6. Greenhouse Gas Comes from Solar Panels
7. Shanghai Steel Fails Basic Safety Tests
8. Aid to Georgia Finances Luxury Hotel in Tbilisi
9. For the First Time, U.S. Citizen Convicted of Torture Abroad
10. American Company Sells ‘Sonic Blasters’ to China
— An interesting motorcycle story from the New York Times’s Handlebars section: “To Attract New Riders, Motorcycles Go Shiftless“: ((A thought: does the barrier to entry presented by the fact that large motorcycles require their operators to understand how to use a clutch and shift gears keep unqualified/unsafe drivers off the road?))
Car sales, already in a deep funk, would probably be slower yet if automakers decided to offer no alternative to manual transmissions.
Makers of street motorcycles have largely painted themselves into that corner. And with the effects of stalled credit markets flattening out a 14-year streak of steady growth — despite the allure of good gas mileage in a wobbly economy — it’s no surprise that manufacturers are mounting an effort to introduce more rider-friendly bikes.
Makers as big as Honda, the world’s largest, and as specialized as Aprilia, a style-centric Italian brand, are working to eliminate the perceived obstacles of shifting gears and mastering a clutch with new models that let riders simply gas it and go.
Now that the airports have re-opened here in Thailand ((The latest news from Bangkok: The revered Thai King — the world’s longest reigning monarch — failed to deliver his annual birthday eve speech on Thursday. There was a huge amount of anticipation regarding his remarks, as he was expected to weigh in on the ongoing Bangkok protests. The King, who turned 81 yesterday, was apparently too ill to speak. And yesterday, exiled prime minster Thaksin Shinawatra’s ex-wife returned to the country. For an overview of the situation in Thailand, I suggest this recent AP story: “Travelers leave behind a Thailand still in crisis“)), I wanted to point out an intriguing tool: StateStats.
The site allows you to compare Google search patters for various US states; the terms are also linked with other demographic data ((But take the demographic info with a grain of salt. From the site: “Be careful drawing conclusions from this data. For example, the fact that walmart shows a moderate correlation with “Obesity” does not imply that people who search for ‘walmart’ are obese! It only means that states with a high obesity rate tend to have a high rate of users searching for walmart, and vice versa…”))
Media and the Internet The Wire is a popular search term in Maryland (the show is based in Baltimore), while Sopranos is big in New Jersey, New York, and surrounding states. Various Web/tech-related search terms, meanwhile, are especially popular in the West and in New York. Twitter is big in the Pacific region, in New England, and in Texas (though the more generic microblogging is huge in California, as is WordPress); Flickr is big on the West coast and in New York; and Tumblr is especially popular in New York.
Other terms worth a look: Soccer is a popular term in the Northeast, North Carolina, Texas, and Washington, while Real Madrid and Barcelona are both popular terms in California and Virginia. And in other long-running football (soccer) derbies, Virginia is also prominent: check out River Plate and Boca Juniors.
Dogs are big in the south and mid-west, while cats are extremely popular in New Hampshire. Saab is also a popular term in New England, while Volvo is a popular query on both coasts.
Searches for some of the Andean nations reflect an interesting pattern: Bolivia is a popular term in Virginia and Florida, while Ecuador is big in New York and the mid-Atlantic. (New York is home to many Ecuadorian immigrants.)
And, last but not least, Newley (pictured above) is a popular search term in New York, Texas, and California. ((I suspect that these are not searches for newley.com, but for Anthony Newley. Or perhaps they’re misspellings of the adverb newly.))
(StateStats link via Kottke, where you can find a list of other revealing queries.)
The Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination; The Mansell Collection from London; Dahlstrom glass plates of New York and environs from the 1880s; and the entire works left to the collection from LIFE photographers Alfred Eisenstaedt, Gjon Mili, and Nina Leen. These are just some of the things you’ll see in Google Image Search today.
We’re excited to announce the availability of never-before-seen images from the LIFE photo archive. This effort to bring offline images online was inspired by our mission to organize all the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. This collection of newly-digitized images includes photos and etchings produced and owned by LIFE dating all the way back to the 1750s.
Only a very small percentage of these images have ever been published. The rest have been sitting in dusty archives in the form of negatives, slides, glass plates, etchings, and prints. We’re digitizing them so that everyone can easily experience these fascinating moments in time. Today about 20 percent of the collection is online; during the next few months, we will be adding the entire LIFE archive — about 10 million photos.