Google Video Coming to Apple’s iTV?

Newsweeks’ Steven Levy speculates that we might see Apple’s forthcoming iTV ship with built-in access to Google Video.

“Is it possible that when iTV ships next year, you may also be able to choose a menu item called Google Video, and then zip through the best of the thousands of user-submitted videos on the search giant’s service? Google’s consumer product chief, Marissa Mayer, tells me that indeed, the two companies are engaged in talks,” Levy reports.

Of course, “engaged in talks” means little more than, “go ahead and speculate”.

Via MacDailyNews.

Belgian Courts Stick-it to Google

The Belgians must have taken anti-Google lessons from the French if a recent Belgian court order is anything to go by.

Inside Google reports Google has been ordered to remove all news stories from Belgian publishers (including any cached items) from Google News.

In a move that seems a little ridiculous, the court also ordered Google to display the entire judgement document on the homepage of Google.be for five days.

Fines, for failing to comply, could cost Google 1m – 1.5m Euros a day!

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The Rise and Dominance of Baidu

CNET’s lengthy profile of China’s most popular search engine, Baidu.com, is an interesting read for anyone needing to get up to speed on the company.

Baidu has so far managed to keep the top search engine spot in China, despite its search results showing more ads than Google or Yahoo. The secret to its success is its compliance with the Chinese government – which imposes strict censorship rules on foreign internet companies.

Some interesting snippets include:

Baidu has a market value of $3 billion and operates the fourth-most trafficked Web site in the world.

In 1996, founder, Robin Li, developed a search mechanism he called “link analysis,” which involved ranking the popularity of a Web site based on how many other Web sites had linked to it.

Can IPO of Japan’s Mixi Help Value MySpace and Facebook?

Forrester analyst Charlene Li has an overview of the recent successful IPO of Japan’s largest social networking site, Mixi.

She crunches some numbers and tries to apply Mixi’s valuation formula to giants MySpace and Facebook.

A rough back-of-the-envelope would value MySpace’s 100 million users at US$1.86 billion and Facebook’s 7.5 million users would be worth $139.5 million. Granted, the I’m not taking into account the multiplicative network value of additional members, so this is likely undervaluing the value of MySpace’s and Facebook’s audiences.

$140 million valuation for Facebook? Someone should have given them that figure, before they turned down the rumored $1.4 billion buyout offer from Yahoo!

Can Textic Talk Help With Web Usability?

Usability diva, Kim Krause Berg, briefly mentions a new tool that reads the content on a web page – yes, it talks to you.

Obviously, the tool has benefits for those visually impaired, but Kim also points to another use – testing your copy to make sure it sounds right.

Unfortunately, my quick visit to the Textic Talk site was less than successful. The tool kepts restarting itself and was very jerky in its audio. It also sounded like it was placing the wrong emPHAsis on the wrong sylLAble. ;-)

Google Market Share Slide Just a Blip

We suspected Google’s recent market share slide was nothing more than an anomoly. Now Bill Tancer confirms that Google regained its market lead and then some.

Google’s market share:

July = 60.23%
August = 59.99%
4 weeks ending Sept 9th = 60.29

Phew, now we can all sleep easy.

Snakes on a Search Engine

Forget Snakes on a Plane, there’s a bigger problem at Google’s Mountain View offices.

Judging by software engineer, Niniane Wang’s blog, it looks like snakes attacked the campus and brought down Google’s servers!

Someone snapped a photo of the suspected snake and signs point to one culprit…