Rumor Mill: "Google Idol" Coming to a TV Near You!

image There’s no doubt that Simon Fuller has had great success in is life–bringing us Pop/American Idol and the Spice Girls–but does he really have the magic touch to help Google?

The UK’s Guardian newspaper reports

Executives from the £229bn internet giant have been in discussions with Fuller, who invented Pop Idol, the world’s most successful TV franchise, for about a year. Although details of the deal are a closely guarded secret, sources close to Fuller say it could revolutionise the way entertainment and music are distributed.

‘It’s a big idea on a global scale,’ he said. ‘It will change television in much the way iTunes changed the way music is disseminated.’

Death to Russian Scammers

Here’s one way to eliminate spam – corporal punishment. We all hate spam, especially the ones that advertise Viagra, and pills for penis enlargement (and as I write this I’m thinking of the related ads I might trigger just by writing this). You can rest easy knowing that the man responsible for around 30% of those ads won’t be spamming you anymore. He’s dead. Or at least that’s what everyone thought. Now it appears the story is a scam.

The story made the home page of Digg, and quickly got picked up by bloggers. The story goes that a man named Alexey Tolstokozhev (which in Russian means ‘Thick Skin’) was shot in his luxury house near Moscow. Shot by Russian hit men.

Now Confirmed: Google Finally Announcing Cell Phone Project Today

UPDATE: The announcement is now confirmed, please see below.

There are many reports from credible news sources that suggest Google will finally put us all out of our misery and tell us what its mobile initiative actually is. Reuters, USA Today, and CNET are among those with "sources familiar with the matter."

Don’t have time to read all the buzz?

Here’s the 411:

  • They’re launching a mobile platform based on Linux.
  • It’s either going to be called "Android" (CNET) or "G-System" (USA Today).
  • Phone manufacturers on board include Qualcomm, HTC, Samsung, and Motorola. Nokia is conspicuous by its absence.
  • Wireless carriers signed-up include Sprint, NTT DoCoMo, and T-Mobile. AT&T & Verizon are hesitant to sign on.

TechCrunch Backs-up Our Google Social Network Theory

Last Thursday, I shared my opinion on why Microsoft needed the Facebook deal more than Google did. Here’s the bottom line…

A social network that already has all of the pieces in place: email, instant messaging, blogs, image and video sharing. If Google really wanted to own a social network, it could take the $240M it just saved and put that towards building a kick-ass one. A few rumors, closed beta invites, and denials of competing with MySpace later, and the whole world’s going crazy over Google Connect (or whatever they want to call it).

Today, TechCrunch shares some insider knowledge that suggests Google’s working on bringing its applications together. While I suggested "Google Connect," it appears they’re going with–at least internally–the more descriptive "Maka-Maka." (which makes it sound like something Gonzo would head-up).

Rumor Mill: Microsoft & Google Vie for Facebook’s Hand in Marriage

image The New York Post is bold in its prediction that Facebook will announce which suitor will win its hand in marriage, in the next 48 hours.

It seems it’s a two-horse race with Google and Microsoft both vying to buy a 5-10% stake in the social network.

The Post suggest Google’s trying to run-up the price to try and scare off Microsoft. It doesn’t appear to be working…

…Microsoft is hanging tough, despite recent comments by CEO Steve Ballmer that social-networking sites were “a bit faddish.” One source said the Redmond, Wash.-based company is “willing to give any valuation possible” to keep Facebook away from Google.

Google Ads on Facebook: Via Developers

It’s no secret: Facebook’s platform might be the social networking development of the year. But so far, not very many have successfully built careers on developing third party apps for the site. Google might be doing something to change all that.

Venture Beat reports that:

Google is actively recruiting third-party developers with applications on Facebook to run Adsense ads within applications pages, VentureBeat has learned.

These aren’t just any old Adsense ads, according to our sources — developers have been inserting plain-vanilla Adsense into Facebook applications since the developer platform launched in May. Now, Google is specifically building this network for advertisers who want to be on Facebook, and will let advertisers run their ads across all Facebook apps that sign up for it.

GPhone: Low Cost, Low Tech?

The highly-touted, much-rumored GPhone may (or may not) actually be a reality—but it may not take the form we’re all expecting.

Ever since the rumor first began late last year, the GPhone is portrayed as the next-gen iPhone. We all hoped, however, that it would be the cheaper alternative. However, USA Today reports today that the GPhone may go another route: low cost, low tech.

Aside from the most recent infamous leaked pictures (which confirm the low cost/low tech theory), USA Today cites Google’s recent acquisitions of Jaiku and Zingku as evidence of this direction. (Okay, the didn’t really cite the photos. But they should have.)