Googlextreme, Fiorina fired, MSAV

My apologies, but I can't resist scratching the Google itch this week either because the Google Maps beta appeared. As the name implies this is a searchable navigation tool (currently only of the US).

Top Stories

- Googlextreme

- Fiorina fired

- It’s MSAV all over again

- iToys for iCultists

Sold out already though…

- Podbrix

- Googlextreme

My apologies, but I can’t resist scratching the Google itch this week either because the Google Maps beta appeared. As the name implies this is a searchable navigation tool (currently only of the US).

Google Maps is at this stage not massively useful, like the odd Google Local search engine, and certainly not as spectacular as the Google-acquired Keyhole service which lets you virtually fly through 3D satellite photos of places and spaces, down to 8cm resolution in some cases. Interestingly enough, Keyhole has maps of Afghanistan, Baghdad and North Korea, but none of New Zealand and Australia.

Then we have sites like Amazon’s A9 Yellow Pages, where you can search for businesses and see digitised photos of their shop fronts along city streets. There clearly is no such thing as too much information for the search engine wizards.

Where will end? Robin Sloan and Matt Thompson took Google, blogging, TiVO, online shopping and more to its logical consequence, which is EPIC. Total customisation and individualisation of content, which in turn is supplied by users but edited by Google’s computers … it could happen.

- Google Maps beta

- Google Local beta

- Keyhole “The Ultimate Interface to the Planet”

- A9 Yellow Pages

What is EPIC?

- Museum of Media History

- Fiorina fired

What’s the difference between a Presario and a Pavillion? Not a lot, which is one reason why Carly Fiorina of HP was fired this week. The Compaq albatross around her neck was too much to bear in the end.

Both Hewlett-Packard and Compaq were engineering-led companies that struggled to compete in the commoditised PC market, and Fiorina’s idea that their combined size would conquer all was offset by product lines that were too similar to each other.

Speculation is now building up as to who will replace Fiorina and whether HP will be chopped up into separate units. The profitable printer division is a prime candidate to become an independent operation, for instance — a move that Fiorina resisted but the HP board wanted.

Meanwhile, HP’s competitors are wasting no time in taking advantage of the upheaval and uncertainty over the future. Existing HP customers can expect sales pitches from Dell and IBM, which must be rubbing its corporate mitts with glee at the opportunity.

- HP board dismisses Fiorina

- After Fiorina: who’s next?

- HP’s customers can count on calls from Dell, IBM

- It’s MSAV all over again

Microsoft is arguably the most tenacious software house of them all. Look how it persisted with Internet Explorer, which really wasn’t much to browse home about, and made it into a steamroller that flattened the competition until Firefox rose out of the ashes.

However, it seems Microsoft’s tenacity extends to not learning from history. For the past couple of years, the Redmondians have been prepping to launch themselves into the anti-malware market again, clearly forgetting the lessons that should have been learnt with the disastrous Microsoft Anti Virus for DOS.

While MSAV Mk II is still at the “purchase stage” (two AV firms have been bought and are currently being assimilated), Microsoft’s AntiSpyware was launched a month ago, and surprise, surprise, it’s already being targeted by malware writers. It’s a safe bet to assume the forthcoming Microsoft Antivirus will be a prize target for virus programmers.

You’d think that instead of painting a big red bullseye on its bum for the virus writers, Microsoft would focus its efforts on making Windows less vulnerable to malware, but no…

- New program attacks Microsoft’s AntiSpyware

- Microsoft snaps up another antivirus company

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