Internet News Search

Google and network neutrality

UPDATE: Google says that the WSJ doesn’t know what it is writing about and that this is about content caching, not network neutrality: Google Public Policy Blog: Net neutrality and the benefits of caching. If that’s the case, this is either really shoddy reporting or there’s something about “content caching” that is too similar to a real benefit in network access. If you’re an entity like Google, and you’re willing to pay ISPs around the world to put google content on cache servers all over the Internet, that amounts to a benefit that others without such pockets or agreements cannot get.
What say you?
WSJ: Google Wants Its Own Fast Track on the Web

Google Inc. has approached major cable and phone companies that carry Internet traffic with a proposal to create a fast lane for its own content, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Google has traditionally been one of the loudest advocates of equal network access for all content providers.

Quite different from what Vint Cerf said in late 2008:

Or in 2006: U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Hearing on “Network Neutrality” February 7, 2006

Or in 2005 to Joe Barton & John Dingell: Vint Cerf speaks out on net neutrality

Japan News

Nomura and Madoff

Nomura looks like a place that does not do enough due diligence.
Bloomberg: Nomura Has 27.5 Billion Yen at Risk Linked to Madoff (Update2)
Reuters: Nomura says has $303 mln Madoff-related exposure
Associated Press: Nomura: $306 million in Wall Street Ponzi scheme
AFP: Nomura says it could lose 302 mln dollars in Madoff scandal


Cerberus Capital, Chrysler and the bailout

First, read Louise Story’s piece on Cerberus and Chrysler.

Chrysler is the smallest of the Big Three automakers, but it stands apart from its peers in another crucial respect. While General Motors and the Ford Motor Company are public corporations, Chrysler is controlled by one of the world’s richest and most secretive private investment companies.

That investment company is Mr. [John] Snow’s employer, Cerberus Capital Management, which has used its wealth and deep connections in Washington to shape the debate over the foundering automakers to its advantage.

In recent weeks, Mr. Snow has personally lobbied Mr. Paulson and others for a federal rescue that would salvage Cerberus’s investments in Detroit. Cerberus has also deployed a corps of lobbyists and former government officials to secure a bailout and protect its interests.

Chrysler’s Friends in High Places

Then Dan Gerstein op-ed in Forbes starts to sound very important. More important than corporate jets worth $100 million or whatever. Because the bailout of Chrysler would be in the BILLIONS, when Chrysler should be going to Cerberus for financial support, NOT the American taxpayer.

Chrysler’s Hidden Coffers: Why is Cerberus, one of the world’s richest private equity firms, begging for a bailout?

If the US taxpayer were to fund the Chrysler bailout, Gerstein (and I think the US taxpayer should also) wants:

1) complete open books for Cerberus

2) Cerberus CEO, John Snow, to explain why Chrysler will not receive funding from Cerberus; why the bailout needs to come from the US taxpayer when Chrysler’s owner is one of the richest private equity funds in the world.

3) Safeguards for the Chrysler bailout money should GM & Chrysler merge (such a merged entity would not receive as much funding as two organizations separately)

4) If Chrysler’s bailout is paid for by the US taxpayer, Cerberus forfeits it’s investment in all Chrysler & GMAC completely.

5) Our politicians should demand that Cerberus pay for the Chrysler bailout, and not pass the buck to the US taxpayer.

Gizmo Photo

The Automotive Rigs pool

The Automotive Rigs pool at Flickr is small but impressive.  Shots of cars either from the car being photographed or from a second vehicle, showing the car in question at speed.

China News

CCTV Reporter’s Arrest Causes a Stir

The Wall Street Journal is reporting about a the arrest of a CCTV reporter in Beijing by policemen from Shanxi Province, China, which is newsworthy because CCTV is the Chinese Government’s official TV station: CCTV Reporter’s Arrest Causes a Stir.

I actually met this reporter last month here in Tokyo and heard her story first-hand. What is not reported on by the WSJ is a key point, the reporter, Li (which is not her real name), was not on the CCTV payroll when she was researching and reporting on this particular news item. Her tapes and reporting media were all confiscated so I’m almost positive we’ll never see that article she was going to write or the information that she had gathered.

What I was impressed by was her commitment to ethical journalism and her desire to get the story out even if she wasn’t on the CCTV payroll at that particular time. She deserves to be praised for what she did, not jailed, and Reporters Sans Frontieres should be supporting her (not to mention CCTV itself.) For all of the negative imagery there is about the media in China, especially the state-run media, I was impressed to met a young journalist who could stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Woodward & Bernstein.