Fry Up: Schmidt happens

In the room the lobby groups come and go

Schmidt happens

As Tweeter @caro put it, 'Schmidt happens'. This followed news that Google's erstwhile co-founder Larry Page is to take over the reins from incumbent Eric Schmidt in April, with Schmidt remaining at Google as executive chairman.

Analysts and other industry-followers will be poring over the implications for months to come, but there's one vital question here: Will Page continue on the $1 a year salary that he, co-founder Sergey Brin and Schmidt himself have earned in recent years?

Or will he take an executive salary more in keeping with that of the CEO of a tech titan? He may well continue with the $1 rate, as he and fellow Brin own gazillions of dollars' worth of Google stock, and have begun an extensive stock selling programme that will net them millions in cash over the next few years.

Meanwhile Twitter commentary on the change at the top is likely to continue. This from doctorlinguist - "clarification from Google: slogan was not "Don't Be Evil" but "Don't Be Eric."

Larry Page to become Google CEO

Google co-founders plan to sell 10 million shares

In the room the lobby groups come and go

New Year, new lobby group. This week saw the formation TPP Watch, a lobby consisting of trade unionists and others, set up to demand transparency over talks to form the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement.

Although TTP Watch is interested in a number of areas, of particular concern to the ICT community is that the TTP could re-visit the controversial clause in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which had suggested making ISPs liable for illegal downloads.

TTP has kicked off with a website, an online petition and a press release.

Not all lobby groups are born of such humble beginnings. Fry Up is reminded of the Telecommunications Industry Group.

It began with a hiss and a roar, but is now down to six members and seven board members – three of them representing Telecom in its various guises. Its home page appears to have been last updated in October 2010, when its inaugural CEO left for another job. Does it still exist? We enquired of its Chairman Russell Stanners.

“We are still meeting regularly with our next meeting in February,” he assured us.

“CEO process (of recruitment) still pending clarification of the future industry make-up post UFB decisions, which we expect will be clearer in the first few months of this year.”

Alive, not exactly kicking.

Lobby group formed to force openness on free trade agreement

Virtual transport

Apparently there are a large number of New Zealanders who don’t live in Auckland. If that’s you, please be tolerant.

Chris McDowell, who contributes to Sciblogs, daydreamed about what the Auckland public transport network might look like as an aerial view. He turned his dream into reality when he created an animated map after Auckland Transport published its Google Transit Feed data.

See the results here.

The amateur user

Respect to all you good people on IT help desks for whom this video, discovered on Gizmodo, is a daily reality.

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