Pilgrim’s Picks for June 5

How about that Stanley Cup Final, huh? After a thrilling Penguins victory in game 5, they were just outplayed by the Red Wings last night.

Unlike Fleury, none of these Picks slipped through my legs and bumped into the net by my own butt. ;-)

  • Yahoo has announced the public launch of the Yahoo! Search Gallery–now you can customize your search experience.
  • Finally signs that mobile applications might actually be worth using. Yelp is working on an iPhone app that will automatically show you restaurants within 5 blocks of your location, complete with reviews!
  • We don’t need better advertising platforms, we need better ad creative!
  • Aegis Group–which owns Isobar and iProspect–has acquired Russian marketing agency AdWatch in a deal reported to be worth more than $20 million.

Building Google Takes Many Rocket Scientists

With the ubiquity of new "Google killers" you’d think that building a search engine wasn’t exactly rocket science. Well, actually, it is. So Google has signed a 40-year lease for a 1.2 million-square-foot campus at the NASA Ames Research Center.

It seems Google needs the space for more than just parking its 767 jet plane.

The NASA deal sets Google’s initial rent for 42.2 acres of land at $3.66 million per year. Google didn’t estimate how much it would cost to build the new campus, which will begin construction in 2013 and will include some housing for employees. Google expects to start the final phase of the campus in 2022.

How’s that for confidence? Google expects to be a fully functioning death star search engine for at least the next 14 years!

Being a Blogger Does Not Give You Diplomatic Immunity

I’m all for freedom of speech, but does it seem to you that us "bloggers" are getting just a little too big for our boots?

I ask, because there seems to be some kind of uproar over a US blogger in Singapore, who was arrested and released on bail after taunting a judge.

According to a court document, [Gopalan] Nair is charged with insulting Justice Belinda Ang Saw Ean last week by sending an email which said she "was throughout prostituting herself during the entire proceedings, by being nothing more than an employee of Mr Lee Kuan Yew and his son and carrying out their orders".

searchme; the “Apple” of your Search Eye?

Google is to the PC (utilitarian) as searchme is to the MAC (elegant).

At least, that’s what an impressive group of VC’s that just plunked down another $12.6 Million on searchme are hoping you’ll think.

Including previous investment, this brings the total capital they have netted to date, to $43.6 Million (or about $28.25 Million Euros *sigh*). Investors include Sequoia Capital, DAG Ventures, Deepfork Capital and Lehvan Brothers Venture Capital.

So, who are these cats anyway? You may remember the now defunct WikiSeek, who focused on providing results based solely on content referred to within the pages of Wikipedia. Without going into details, let’s just say – they sucked at it. Fortunately for the dev team, CEO Randy Adams remembered that old nursery rhyme – “If at first you don’t succeed….”, which brings us to searchme.

Google Private about Privacy: and Breaking the Law?

What a difference a blog makes. Last Tuesday, The New York Times Bits Blog covered Google’s efforts to join the Network Advertising Initiative (a group that sets standards in collecting data in advertising; DoubleClick helped to form the NAI). The NAI requires members to link to their privacy policies clearly and conspicuously; this is usually taken to mean on the home page. Google refuses:

Larry Page, the company’s co-founder, didn’t want a privacy link “on that beautiful clean home page,” said one executive at a Google competitor who is involved in reviewing Google’s N.A.I. application. (The executive didn’t want his name used because the applications are meant to be considered privately.)

“His argument is when you come to Google and you are looking for information, it is that big fat box” for search and little else, the executive said.

Yahoo Partners With CBS and Walmart.com

Two Three new partnerships for Yahoo to brag about today.

First, Reuters reports the company has signed a web video partnership with CBS.

The deal will have Yahoo join the CBS Audience Network, which already includes major outlets like Google Inc’s YouTube, Time Warner Inc’s AOL and Microsoft Corp’s MSN, as well as sites like Joost, Veoh, and Bebo.

Second, Yahoo will sell display ads on Walmart.com and will become the site’s exclusive reseller of display inventory. Want your ad on Walmart.com? It’s the Yahoo way, or the highway!

Update: Yahoo has been busy! It also announced a partnership with interactive agency Havas Digital.

Google & Amazon Please Step Forward; the Rest of the Internet, You Can Go Home Now

In 2004, the chilling video “EPIC 2014″ predicted that Google and Amazon would merge in 2008 and pretty much rule the world.

Brace yourself, because Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Jeffrey Lindsay argues in a 310-page report that the video is becoming a reality. OK, he’s actually predicting strong growth for Google and Amazon–and few others–but the outcome is pretty much the same. According to Reuters

“We expect two players to continue to perform strongly, Google and Amazon,” Lindsay writes. “Both Google and Amazon.com are still racking up annual growth rates in the 30-40 percent range, with only a relatively modest slowdown in sight.”

If you’ve not ever seen Epic 2014, you must–I repeat must–watch it.