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Esther Dyson on Google vs. Yandex

Esther Dyson on Google (vs. Yandex) and her preference of market forces for regulation of information on the Internet: Big Brother Google?


As it happens, I have a complex relationship with Google. I have fed at its trough many times – as a personal guest; as an advisory board member of Stop Badware, an NGO it sponsors; and as a speaker at its events. I also sit on the board of 23andMe, co-founded by the wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

But I also sit on the boards of Yandex in Russia, one of a small number of companies around the world who beat Google in their local markets, and of WPP, a worldwide advertising/marketing company famous for its rivalry with Google. Finally, I’m suspicious of concentrations of power of any kind.

So I welcomed the chance to clarify my thinking. I took the con side of the debate: Google does not violate its motto. However, I do think there is a danger that someday it could.

A Google that is accountable to its users – searchers, advertisers, investors, and governments – is likely to be a better outfit that does more good in today’s relatively open market. In short, there is no regulatory system that I trust more than the current messy world of conflicting interests. Whatever short-term temptations it faces – to manipulate its search results, use private information, or throw its weight around – Google, it is clear, could lose a lot by succumbing to them in a world where its every move is watched.

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Internet Japan Search

mishandled from day 1

Reuters: Japanese group asks Google to stop map service

AFP: Japanese seek to scrap Google’s Street View

Best read is this one-

SearchEngineLand: Japanese Lawyers, Professors Try To Block StreetView

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Blogs Japan

2008 – Change and Japanese Politics

If you read only one article on Japanese politics this year, make it Tobias Harris‘ overview of 2008 at Néojaponisme 2008: Change and Politics

One way or another, Japan needs political change. The latest economic downturn will only exacerbate the problems already facing Japan. It will make it all the more difficult for the government to provide pensions and other social services. It will delay the government’s efforts to pay down Japan’s national debt to more sustainable levels. It will swell the already swollen ranks of Japan’s temporary workers, who now constitute nearly a third of the labor force. And it will do little to encourage younger Japanese to marry and start families.

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Internet Japan

gree IPO

Japan’s second largest SNS, Gree, has IPOed, at 4800 yen for a total market cap of $1.2 billion with a b dollars (on annual profits of $10 million?!?!)

I have a gree account, have had one for a while.  I’m an AU user too (AU’s mobile SNS is gree.)  Maybe I’m blind but I just don’t see the $1 billion in value here.

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Funny News

How to save Detroit

Barry Ritholtz is awesome.

How to Save Detroit | The Big Picture