Google hirings makes Monkey Boy mental

I've mentioned the parliamentary Hansards on the internet before, as a useful source of information on what our elected representatives say and also whinged about how badly they're presented. Therefore, I was pleased to discover the KiwiMP nz.hansard.js utility on SourceForge.

Top Stories

- Google hirings makes Monkey Boy mental

- Woosh finds it voice next week?

- Making New Zealand's Government Transparent

I’ve mentioned the parliamentary Hansards on the internet before, as a useful source of information on what our elected representatives say and also whinged about how badly they’re presented. Therefore, I was pleased to discover the KiwiMP nz.hansard.js utility on SourceForge. This tidies up the Hansard HTML pages and makes them actually readable. It does however rely on Firefox and the Greasemonkey extension, which has copped a lot of criticism for lack of security, so be careful.

- KiwiMP: nz.hansard.js

- Google hirings makes Monkey Boy mental

The company that might become the internet has hired one of the people behind it. The internet, that is. Google has given the man who put together some of the foundations of today’s internet, Vint Cerf, a job. I don’t think it’s going to change anything much — Cerf was asked to build a network of interconnected computers for military purposes back in the seventies, and had no idea then that the whole shizzle would end up as today’s internet — but the PR value for Google is enormous.

And, Cerf’s hiring is likely to make Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer go even more ballistic. Whatever Google’s paying Cerf for that, it’s worth double as it tears down the carefully assembled façade of reasonableness and cooperation that Microsoft is displaying currently. I’ve always known Microsoft as an ultra-competitive company. It has missed quite a few Big Things initially, including the internet, but once it wakes up to a competitive threat, Microsoft pulls out all stops to overcome it. Yes, this includes cosying up to the Open Source movement and some of the big players on today’s internet.

Not Google though. Oh no, Microsoft does not like Google or when its senior staff want to work for the search engine giant. According to court documents filed Friday last week, Microsoft CEO flew into a chair-throwing rage when a senior engineer said he was going off to work for Google. The documents are part of a court case against Google and ex-Microsoft executive Kai-Fu Lee. To be fair, Ballmer’s alleged antics mask that Microsoft may have a point when it accuses Lee of violating the terms of his employment agreement but someone should give Steve an award for livening up tech journos’ days like this.

- Internet pioneer Vint Cerf goes to work for Google

- Next Google-Microsoft employment ruling coming

- Court docs: Ballmer vowed to 'kill' Google

- Ballmer Does the Developers Dance

- Woosh finds it voice next week?

Next Wednesday all will be revealed. Well, we don’t quite know what yet, because the invitation from Woosh for a media briefing didn’t actually say what it is all about, but it could be the long-awaited voice service.

Old fashioned telephony is a shrinking market, as we note with each Telecom fiscal report and it’s becoming just another service running over the all-conquering Internet Protocol or IP.

It is a service that people want, however. What’s more, if possible, people don’t want separate arrangements for internet connections and phones, with multiple providers and bills. From that point of view, a voice service could be a real shot in the arm for Woosh but as always, the devil’s in the technical details. The competition for Woosh is Telecom DSL, which includes a voice line and lets you run apps like Skype and Voice over IP like CallPlus for cheap or even free calls. Woosh will have to come up with something that’ll let you do all that, but at a cheaper price.

If indeed Woosh is launching a voice service next week, the low-key approach surprises. Once it was ready, Vodafone fired up the corporate megaphones to announce the launch of its 3G network for instance. Oh well, we shall see. It’s fair to say though that not only our patience with Woosh is wearing thin.

- Woosh to roll out wireless voice service (from July this year)

- Woosh delays voice rollout to Q3 (April 2004)

- Hiss and a roar from Woosh

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