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For some reason, the news that interested me the most dealt primarily with two words: music and Google.

Google phone is nice, but not a game-changer

Google officially introduced its G1 phone to the world this week. While there are those who are impressed and there are those who aren't, some have gone so far as to argue that the G1 is better than the iPhone.

Since I prefer "dumb" phones, I wouldn't know.

The G1 will be sold exclusively through T-Mobile and is the first mobile phone to feature Android, Google's mobile platform.

Yet despite all of the hype, it remains unclear just how big a splash the G1 will make.

MarketWatch's Jeffry Bartash notes that while the G1 will likely appeal to T-Mobile's existing customers, "it's unlikely the T-Mobile phone will do much to wrestle customers away from rival carriers."

He points out that the iPhone costs only $20 more than the G1 and that AT&T's iPhone data plan is only $5/m more. Given the strength of the iPhone brand in the market the G1 targets and the fact that AT&T supposedly has the superior network, it remains to be seen just how big an impact the G1 will make for both T-Mobile and Google.

Google, of course, is far more interested in the widespread adoption of Android than it is about selling mobile phones and from that perspective, Google's foray into the mobile space has only just begun.

MySpace Music Offers Free Tracks

MySpace's much anticipated (and much hyped) launch of its new music joint venture finally occurred this week.

Just prior to launch, MySpace was able to get EMI - the only Big 4 label that was not yet part of the joint venture - to come on board.

MySpace Music enables users to stream ad-supported music and initially received its fair share of positive press. The references to MySpace Music as a legitimate iTunes competitor have already begun.

As the hoopla dies down, however, the reviews are more mixed.

And independent record labels claim that the joint venture essentially ignored them. Reuters reports that "the leading independent music trade body complained that its small music label members had been shut out and treated like second class citizens."

One thing is certain: regardless of whether or not MySpace Music becomes a real player in the digital music space, the fact that it has been able to get the Big 4 to come together as part of a joint venture providing ad-supported music is quite an accomplishment.

We'll see if it's a fruitful one over the next year.

Universal Music plans Hulu-like site

Attracted by the success of Hulu, the online video service operated by News Corp. and NBC Universal, Universal Music Group (UMG) is reportedly planning to launch its own Hulu-like service.

The service will feature music videos and other content from the label's talent.

Given the level of success Hulu has achieved in a short period of time (especially on the monetization front), UMG's plans aren't all that surprising.

Interestingly, even though UMG is apparently happy with the promotion it receives through the distribution of its videos on YouTube, Doug Morris, Universal's CEO, needs more:

"...Morris wants to change how music videos are perceived, the source said. They cost too much to produce and generate too much interest to be used exclusively as a promotional tool, the source told me. Morris wants to extend his initiative to monetize music videos and create more revenue from them."

As News.com notes, this "may not be easy," but is it worthwhile? In my opinion, it absolutely is and the results should be interesting to track.

Fake Windows warnings continue to trick users

Researchers at North Carolina State University have found that computer users are not very adept at distinguishing between real Windows error messages and fake ones.

As reported by PC Advisor:

"In an experiment that tested the responses of 42 web-browsing university students, they found that almost two-thirds of them - 63 percent - would click 'OK' whenever they saw a popup warning, whether it was fake or not."

This, of course, is not entirely surprising - if fooling people was far more difficult, there would be far fewer phishing schemes, far less spam, etc.

Although I wasn't particularly intrigued by North Carolina State University's findings, I couldn't help but think - if Windows generated far fewer error messages, perhaps users would actually take the time to read them, potentially creating a more secure Internet.

Just a thought. I'm probably asking for too much, as usual.

Google's "third founder" emerges

For those in need of a funny video to end the week with, look no further than a video posted to YouTube by a would-be billionaire.

A day late and a dollar short, a man named Hubert Chang has claimed that Larry Page and Sergey Brin had a third Google founder. That founder's name is, of course, Hubert Chang.

Chang claims that he was introduced to Page and Brin by Stanford computer science professor Rajeev Motwani in 1997 when he was looking for someone who could implement a web search idea he has developed.

Not surprisingly, Motwani rejects Chang's claims and conveniently, Chang no longer has any of the emails that he claims to have exchanged with Page and Brin. Don't you hate when that happens?

But for those who still want to believe - Chang's insistence that he, Page and Brin conceived of Google's advertising business model at the start doesn't quite fit Google's official history.

Nonetheless, I hope Chang's video earns him a job interview at the Googleplex since he deserves an A for effort.

Drama 2.0

Published 26 September, 2008 by Drama 2.0

237 more posts from this author

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