The Economist's global digital rankings differ from OECD's rankings

If you care about the reality of American competitiveness and innovation be sure to check out the recent Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) global digital rankings.

  • "The EIU e-readiness rankings for 2007 ranked 69 countries in terms of six criteria. In order of importance, these are: consumer and business adoption; connectivity and technology infrastructure; business environment, social and cultural environment, government policy and vision; and legal and policy environment."

What's most interesting, is that this objective ranking by the respected Economist, does not show the negative broadband outlook or assessment of the US that the OECD ranking does

  • In this EIU overall ranking, the United States ranks #2, not 12th or 15th like in the OECD rankings.
  • The EIU full report also has North America ranked higher than Western Europe in broadband affordability!
  • Listen to this quote from the full report:
    • "The US, with its heavily entrepreneurial culture, penchant for innovation and highly IT-literate workforce and student population, stands clear at the top of the group." 
  • Concerning "Consumer and business adoption: The report says:
    • "In the sheer scale of individual and business Internet use, the US certainly dwarfs all other countries."
    • "There is some concern that the great weight of the US in online activity makes it a sponge for the world's available digital resources, including talent and funding."

So why is this EIU report important? 

Good ClickZ article on pros & cons of Google-DoubleClick

Harry Gold on ClickZ gives a good and balanced review of the "Pros and cons of Google and Doubleclick."

  • As an industry insider, he gives a sophisticated analysis that is worth the read.  
  • This was the most interesting factoid to me:
    • Doubleclick's "DART does have a hold on over 70 percent of the ad-serving marketing, according to a March 2007 CIMA/William Blair study. Also on the paranoia side of the equation: the data Google and DART collectively have on the population at large are already rather Big Brotherish, never mind Google extending its cookies' reach onto DART's network of sites.

Google sued yet again for "rampant" copyright infringement

eGoogle-YouTube was sued yet again for rampant copyright infringement in U.S. District Court in New York.

Plaintiffs, including the English Football Association Premier League and others said in their court filing that Google-YouTube is "pursuing a deliberate strategy of engaging in, permitting, encouraging, and facilitating massive copyright infringement" in order to increase the value of Google by generating more traffic which it could monetize without having to pay for.

Why is this British suit particularly interesting? Remember the fact that Google already has 75% share of the search market in the UK?

Microsoft Ballmer's insights into Google-DoubleClick merger

I always take time to read interviews with CEOs because I always learn something.

What did he say that was relevant to the Google-DoubleClick?

First, he made the case why the Google-DoubleClick merger is a big deal:

  • "I do think that it would be worth the regulators taking time to understand this market, much the way they took the time to understand other parts of the technology business, because the whole future of the media and advertising will move to the Internet. "
  • "What we think of television today, what we think of newspapers, magazines, you name it -- all of these things are going to move to the Internet and be funded by advertising. And so we are talking about a pretty important part of ... people's basic lives." 
    • What this means is that Google-Doubleclick is about the evolution and the future of advertising. 

In response to a question about being third in search -- Ballmer said:

Search is not neutral for the little guy! -- according to the WSJ

I just got around to reading the WSJ small business insert section from April 30, and to my surprise what do I find?

In the WSJ section cover story: "In search of traffic" by Kelly Spors, she notes this in her third paragraph:

  • "Search engines don't disclose their ranking formulas, making it tough for small companies to figure out how to boost their site's results. Even worse, big competitors can afford to pour lots of resources into the same effort putting small companies at a bigger disadvantage."

Very interesting that search is not neutral. It favors big companies!

  • Horrors!
  • How could Google, the champion of all garage entrepreneurs, the corporate guardian of net neutrality, the defender of free content, and the only corporate chieftains organizationally committed to not being evil --how could they, the Googlers, be allowing harm to come to the little guy?
  • Where is their sense of justice? Where is their moral center? Where is their outrage?  
  • Say it ain't so Sergey, Larry and Eric!
    • We so want to believe your billionaire-nesses are true to the cause!  

If Google is the dominant search engine and the main Internet access technology for upwards of a half billion Internet users, and Google itself is not net neutral -- how is that setting a good example for the broadband companies Google demands should be net neutral?

Schwartz' brings adult supervision to Wu's sophomoric NN analysis

It is always a joy to read clear thinking rigorous analysis. I have known and respected Marius Schwartz's mind and work for several years, and I am delighted that he brought the heft of his intellect and  DOJ experience to the question of "wireless net neutrality" in his white paper:

For anyone who cares about the merits or substance of net neutrality as a proposed public policy, it would be hard to find a better debunking of Columbia Law Professor Tim Wu's sophomoric and vacuous work on wireless net neutrality than Marius'.

Exposing DoubleClick's misdirection on Google-Doubleclick merger

The WSJ yesterday had an illuminating interview with David Rosenblatt CEO of DoubleClick about its acquisition by Google.  

Mr. Rosenblatt engaged in some pretty effective "spin" so I thought it would be helpful to shine a brighter light on some of his pat answers that were... how should I say it... less than forthcoming.

In response to a question about whether he could reassure web publishers that Google did not have too much market power, he said: "Google shares revenues with publishers so it makes sense that their interests are pretty much aligned." 

listen to Larry Irving's podcast on America's broadband challenges

I recommend listening to Larry Irving's, (President of the Internet Innovation Alliance) keynote at the Killer App expo that can be heard by podcast.

  •  On one point near to my heart, not taxing the Internet, Irving asked, "Why is telecommunications such a highly taxed product (3rd behind alcohol and gambling) when it's such an important tool for growth and competition?" Two of those products can hurt people, but better communications access can only help the economy.

He makes a great point. It makes no sense to tax an engine of economic growth as mucha s we do.  

Great study debunking Wu's Wireless net neutrality scam

I recommend a strong academic paper that debunks the sloppy thinking and analysis behind Columbia Professor Tim Wu's call for wireless net neutrality -- its by: Robert Hahn and Robert Litan of AEI/Brookings and Hal Singer of Criterion Economics.

  • It is an important rebuttal that concludes that the costs of wireless net neutrality would exceed any benefits.

What I like most about the study is that it is a systematic evisceration of the logic and evidence behind Mr. wu's call for wireless net neutrality.

Translating Google's real meaning in the Viacom Copyright suit

Google blasted Viacom today in the press for suing Google in court for "building a business on a library of copyrighted video clips without permission," according to the NYT today.

Let's have some fun and dissect some of the Google quotes and translate what they are really thinking behind their PR spin...

  • "We are not going to let the lawsuit distract us." Michael Kwan Google lawyer.
    • We are very worried we can't buy off this company like we bought off all the others.
    • We are in deep do-do if Viacom is smart enough to gain access -- through the discovery process -- to the many internal emails that show Google senior management was supportive or complicit in their systematic copyright heist.

Google's filing said:

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths