Concerns Raised With AOL’s $1 billion Google Deal

Verne Kopytoff of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that not everyone is excited about AOL’s deal with Google.

Concern #1 – Selling 5% ownership may scare away potential suitor.

“…billionaire investor Carl Icahn called the plan potentially disastrous and said another company may be a more lucrative partner…in a letter to the board Monday, Icahn told directors they “may be on the verge of making a disastrous decision.” Any agreement with Google that precludes a future merger or transaction with another company would be a breach of their duty, he said.”

Concern #2 – Exactly how will Google help AOL content do better in the search result?

Google’s claiming that they’re not going to give AOL anything to too juicy…

Topix.net Sees a Great 2005

Gary Price has a phenomenal overview of Topix.net‘s achievements this year. I’m not even going to try and summarize it, as you should just go straight there to read it, but here are some bullet points.

  • Acquisition of 75% of the company from three different news sources
  • Announcing a deal with the New York Times
  • Increased from 300,000 to 360,000 categories/channels
  • Offering RSS feeds for each category/channel
  • The addition of over 15,000 blogs

The list just goes on and on and on…

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Ask Jeeves Prepares to Increase Staff by 20%

TheStreet.com reports that Ask Jeeves is preparing to increase staff by 20%, “expanding both its operations center and its corporate headquarters staff in order to compete more publicly with it’s larger colleagues in the search space.

“What we really want to do is grow share,” says Berkowitz, who has headed Ask Jeeves since 2001, in an interview. “A lot of stuff is going to be happening” next year.

Wikipedia Pretty Close to Brittanica, Sets Donations Goals

As Wikipedia becomes larger and more widely accepted, now with an Alexa rank in the range of the top 30 websites on the Internet, it’s beginning to have an impact on people’s perception, accuracy, and donations strategies. All of which have been, for the most part, positive.

A recent study by Nature Magazine, shows that Wikipedia is actually fairly close in accuracy to the Encyclopedia Brittanica.

A ZDNet blog post states that “The study found both had an equal number of what were called “serious errors,” while Wikipedia had somewhat more modest errors.

Additionally, it seems that Wikipedia has recently begun a donations effort in order to continue operations as a free resource, and aims to be the PBS of the Web.

Japan Wants Its Own Search Engine

Japan’s government is a little jealous of the money being made by Google and plans to meet with 20 companies to discuss creating a rival search engine.

The companies will include leading electronics firms Matsushita Electric Industrial, Hitachi, NEC and Fujitsu as well as telecom carrier Nippon Telegraph and Telephone and public broadcaster NHK.

Who Needs a Brain When You Have Google?

USA Today takes a light-hearted look at how Google is fast replacing our need to memorize facts or even learn how to correctly spell words.

Googlezon Video Becoming Reality for Google?

Gregory Lamb of The Christian Science Monitor takes a look back at the “EPIC 2014” video – a mock documentary looking back from 2014 at the merger of Google and Amazon and the death of traditional news – and wonders if it might come true after all.

He chats with the creators Matt Thompson and Robin Sloan about the video. Some interesting thoughts, including…

One reason EPIC 2014 continues to resonate may have to do with the darkening image of Google, Thompson says. The December issue of Wired magazine asks “Who’s Afraid of Google? Everyone.” And Charlene Li, a principal analyst at Forrester Research, which closely tracks Google, told Investor’s Business Daily that the company is evolving: “They are becoming a model for what a media company needs to be in order to be competitive in the future.”