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Beanstalk's Internet Marketing Blog

At Beanstalk Search Engine Optimization we know that knowledge is power. That's the reason we started this Internet marketing blog back in 2005. We know that the better informed our visitors are, the better the decisions they will make for their websites and their online businesses. We hope you enjoy your stay and find the news, tips and ideas contained within this blog useful.


September 20, 2012

Dublin the Airports: iOS 6 Maps is Rotten


Apple’s extra Airport..

Was anyone expecting Apple to replace Google’s Maps application with something superior? Apparently, the iPhone user base and Apple actually expected this to happen.

If you look at the most extremely biased sites reviewing the new ‘Apple’ Maps app for iOS 6 you will see guarded optimism and lots of ‘reasoning’ clash with angry rants from amazed and disappointed users.

One thing I don’t see is anyone calling it the ‘Maps app that Apple bought from TomTom’ the best I’ve seen is a mention that they relied heavily on TomTom and OpenStreetMap for data alone.

Instead I see a very consistent collection of sympathetic remarks like: ‘this is beta, it can only get better’, ‘for a first attempt this is outstanding’, ‘people will question anyone who takes their own path..’

But Apple isn’t taking their own path, they are merely attempting (badly) to replace something that wasn’t really broken.

Sure, Google wasn’t toiling endlessly to include all the updates it was adding to the Android version of Google Maps.

I’m guessing Apple really expected Google to beta test ideas on the Android and then polish them up and finalize them on the iPhone?

So sure, Google put Android development first, and there were things that Google Maps did better on the Android, but that still doesn’t mean it ‘had to go’.

Apple could have offered both solutions in a ‘use what you like’ approach to pleasing it’s user base, but this is a company making headlines for outrageous profits and the working conditions of it’s manufacturing partners.

Removing the choice to pick another company’s solution would clearly explain why Apple didn’t take a settlement from Samsung and wanted to ban their phones. Apple want’s profits, and if Apple wants really happy customers they could lower prices and focus on better apps vs. removing the best ones for inferior versions.

And in other News

Google has blessed a new meta tag!
meta name=”news_keywords”

content=”Apple Maps, iOS 6, Google Maps, Android, TomTom, Google news meta tag”

Do you publish content that you would call ‘news’?
Would you like Google to better understand the topic of your posts?
Would you like the freedom to ignore keyword use in a topic for style reasons?

Then brothers and sisters, this new meta-tag is what you’ve been waiting for!

The format is very simple, and it belongs near the top of your page content, usually in the <head> … </head> section.

Here’s an example:

<meta name=”news_keywords” content=”10 keywords, separated, by commas, just like, meta keywords, etc..”>

That’s some ‘easy breezy’ SEO optimization, and it’s great if you are indeed publishing ‘news’; Not just ranting about Apple. :)

SEO news blog post by @ 11:51 am


 

 

September 18, 2012

Google-a-gram? Insta-oogle? Google-Shop?

Do you like pictures? Pretty pictures?

Google just purchased an online graphics startup called ‘Snapseed‘, adding the outstanding features of it’s tools to Google’s already growing list of image editing options.
A photo of Blueberries with the Google logo hidden in the middle
While we like to get people’s attention, this news does not require Snapseed to suddenly be elevated to the status of ‘Instagram rival‘ just for the sake of writing an article.

In fact Snapseed was popular with photographers, not just ‘people taking pictures of their cats’; Something which already declassifies it from comparison to Instagram; Above and beyond the fact that photographers actually paid for Snapseed’s services.

In fact I don’t even need to pretend that:

Google and Facebook Inc are locked in a battle for social network followers

..to bolster this article either, but thanks for your attempt at ‘journalism’ Reuters.

The truth is that G+ isn’t for the MySpace holdouts, nor has it been designed to force people off of FB.

Heck I’m sure there’s users of both systems who will never make the switch and I’m just as sure that the developers working on G+ are fine with that.

You heard it here folks:

  • Google+ is not Facebook.
  • Does Facebook allow me to video chat with my GMail contacts?
  • Can anyone guarantee efforts on Facebook will always be favored by Google?
  • Do FB business pages give me the same professional exposure that a company page on G+ would provide?
  • Would it be worth it to setup rel=author links for employees FB profiles when G+ is far more business worthy?
  • Etc.. etc..

People keep saying things like, “Google is playing catch up in social…“, which is true if you completely ignore the innovations and ways that they are leading social tech.

Google already has some great graphics options like SketchUp:

.. and SVG Edit which is great for HTML5 authoring:

(This is a 3kb SVG script)SVG Edit Logo in SVG Format

.. and Picasa for photos:

Picasa logo

Oreo the Cat - Politely explaining his deepening interest in eating some of his owner's food.
(Which in version 3.9 has a lot of image filters already!)

Heck, speaking of Picasa and Google+, with Picasa installed locally I can organize/edit photos on my desktop and have that organization flow seamlessly to email contacts/friends/public.

With multiple PCs at my disposal, having my efforts tied to a single online sharing point is ‘huge’ to say the least.

In fact, some tools, like SVG Edit, are directly available online, making it a very accessible tool for quick web design work on-the-fly.

If Nik Software’s Snapseed adds even more options to the process then I’m super happy to be a G+ user.

Thanks for all the free love Google!

SEO news blog post by @ 12:43 pm


 

 

September 13, 2012

Mmmmmm Bacon..

Did that get your attention? Some crispy fresh smoky bacon?

It’s a pity then that the story isn’t about hot pork but instead about degrees of bacon.

Degrees of Kevin Bacon to be exact.

Google has given us yet another nerdy Easter Egg, not unlike the StarCraft inspired ZergRush or StarFox inspired BarrelRoll, Easter Eggs. (Shame on PCWorld for their typo this morning!).

If you add ‘bacon number’ to an actor’s name in a Google Search, Google will tell you the degrees of separation between the actor and Kevin Bacon.

Heck it even works with actresses!

Try a Google search for: “Oliva Wilde bacon number

..you should get a Bacon Number of “2″!

This is because Oliva worked with Ryan Reynolds in ‘The Change-Up’..

Ryan Reynolds is working with Kevin Bacon on the action/comedy film ‘R.I.P.D.’ that’s coming out in early 2013.

Thus Oliva Wild’s ‘degree of separation’ with Kevin Bacon would be a 2.

All Oliva needs to do now is add her Bacon number to her profile page like so:

 
Since you’d need to be pretty famous to have a Bacon Number I expect that it will be *the* thing to have, if you’re a movie star.

Fat Hacker – Cosmo the God & UGNazi

This is not my best segway(seguay?) between stories, but I was simply blown away by the tale of a chubby 15 year old hacker in California who is in jail for widespread hacking and mischief.

This inventive teen, with poor supervision, has managed to hack a wide cross-section of some of the worlds biggest companies including:

Amazon, Apple, AT&T, PayPal, AOL, Netflix, Network Solutions, and Microsoft

`Cosmo`, as he is called online, likes to point out that none of these hacks were particularly tricky, and is calling on companies to fix their easily exploitable systems, while he sits in a juvenile detention center after admitting to many of his `hacks`.

The story I read on Wired.com was so well written I’m not even going to try and do any excerpts, I’m just going to drop the link and insist you give it a read.

 
Nicely done Mat Honan, from a victim to a sympathizer, all in one interview. This is great investigative journalism, and we need more like it.

SEO news blog post by @ 1:01 pm


 

 

August 30, 2012

Bing Maps : 500 Terabytes Better

Donald Sutherland from the 1978 version of the Invasion of the Body Snatchers

There’s fat ladies crooning in the shower, swine are airborne, and I found something in Bing that’s better than the same option in Google!?

Don’t send NASA to check for alien life/body-snatchers, it’s just a few really small perks that I’ve come across and they are pretty darn specific.

500 Terabytes of new image data

Microsoft started it’s ‘Global Ortho Project‘ in early 2010 with the very ambitious goal of mapping the Continental United States and Western Europe at a resolution of 30cm.

The concept is simple, just fly around with high resolution imaging devices, in this case the ‘UltraCamG‘ which Microsoft acquired in 2006 after purchasing Vexcel Imaging, GmbH in Austria.

The data is thus detailed, and current, a great thing when you are competing with Google’s constantly updated (~2 weeks) satellite images.

With a deadline of June 2012 the project is wrapping up almost on time and today the news sites are abuzz with the headlines that the project is completed and available to Bing Maps users.

For a comparison of the results here’s a look at the Beanstalk Office in Google Maps and then in Bing Maps:

Beanstalk's Office in Google MapsBeanstalk’s Office in Google Maps

 

Beanstalk's Office in Bing MapsBeanstalk’s Office in Bing Maps

 
Can you see the difference? Even if Bing didn’t have the resolution bonus, they own their image data so they aren’t required to spam their name all over the map like Google has to with the Landsat image data.

I’d love to show off the difference between Google’s Streetview and Bing’s Streetside view, but Microsoft apparently couldn’t afford to send someone by to take some images of our office <rasberry>so I’m not going to be bothered to show that off</rasberry>.

Traffic Data?

While writing this article I stumbled upon another difference between Bing and Google, there’s traffic data for the highways in my city on Bing, but Google has no data for my city (the capital city of this entire province), instead they spent the time to build traffic data for our sister city, Vancouver.
Google Traffic view of Vancouver
Talk about a let-down from Google, and a surprising plus from Bing. Tsk tsk..

On that side of things though, Google’s traffic info is much better than Bing’s. Google Maps even lets you pick a day of the week and hour of the day for planning ahead vs. making the assumption that you’ll only looking moments before you travel, or as you travel.

Overall the user experience with Bing Maps still lags behind Google Maps, with each attempt to zoom/pan/adjust on Bing Maps feeling like a blurry and slow mess due to the bitmap labels that stretch vs. re-size.

I even loaded Bing Maps in Internet Explorer (64 bit version) and Google Chrome to make sure I gave them the best chance to compare to the very peppy results with Google Maps.

Building Maps

As I was wrapping up this piece I noticed that there was a funny ‘block’ covering one of the malls in town when using Bing Maps.

Being a curious fellow I clicked it and found that they have mapped out the mall’s floor plan and allow you to see where each store is located, floor by floor!

The Bay Center Mall in Bing Maps Building ViewOooh! A 4hr 40% off Sale!? I could get some cheap studded ballerina shoes!

 
To be really honest, both Bing and Google are developing some unique features that helps maintain the competition between them which is excellent for the consumers who can use either service or both.

Now if only I could get a service to tell me where my pens have gone..

SEO news blog post by @ 12:29 pm


 

 

August 28, 2012

Litigation vs. Innovation – The Apple Way

I’m really ashamed of my days of being an Apple loyalist, encouraging people to consider Apple solutions, and fighting for the ‘little guy’ computer company.

That ‘little guy‘ I once championed, has since grown up to be a thug making immoral decisions that I no longer agree with.

Apple is causing me deep personal embarrassment as they strut about the digital playground smashing things that compete with their creations.

A scene from the movie The Dictator where he wins by shooting his competition

You know something’s wrong with a company’s decisions when you’re watching a Sacha Baron Cohen movie (The Dictator) and the opening scenes of winning a race by shooting the competition reminds you of Apple’s choices to force litigation/product bans vs. accepting a financial settlement with Samsung.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcu5sYxcEuo

Samsung will fight the decision and have already announced that they will counter-sue Apple.

Since Samsung successfully defended themselves in many countries (Germany, Korea, Netherlands, and United Kingdom), winning court battles which ruled that they did not copy Apple’s designs, a counter suit and appeal are likely to change the situation drastically.

On top of everything else, jurors in this recent court case are already making headlines stating that they were unable to properly review all the evidence, and ignored the prior art evidence that proved Apple clearly copied others in it’s iPhone design.

The jury actually took a defensive role, putting themselves in the mindset of innovators defending their patents. Velvin Hogan, the 67 year old jury foreman, stated that the jury :

“wanted to send a message to the industry at large that patent infringing is not the right thing to do, not just Samsung.”

With any luck, the same feelings will hold true as Motorola (Google-rola?) continues it’s legal action against Apple’s unpaid patent uses.

Since the patents in the current lawsuit are non-essential, one would assume that Google-rola has the opportunity to give Apple a taste of how it feels to block a company’s products via legal nonsense.

However, the likely result will be that even after (2?) years of trying to get Apple to pay the licensing fees, Google-rola won’t turn-down an offer of fair payment, just to block all product sales, unlike Apple.

Speaking of a ban on products, Samsung is already talking about releasing updated products that are completely free of Apple’s patent bans.

Zero Day Java Vulnerability

According to a few reputable sources online, there’s a new browser-based exploit for Java that is ‘in the wild’ and a patch won’t be coming very soon.

When someone says ‘in the wild’ it means that there’s reports of the exploit being used publicly, which means that there’s a high risk of contact.

In this case the exploit has been used to remote-control Windows based PCs that visit websites with hidden code on certain pages. The hacker in this case picked a Chinese proxy/IP and the ‘control network’ is also believed to be located in Singapore.

Since ‘wise’ hackers usually pick a point of origin outside their own country, this info actually points to someone non-Chinese as the source of the hack.

While that exploit only works on Windows computers, the payload is totally independent of the hack, so the same strategy will work on any computer and any browser.

To avoid getting hit, you may want to disable JavaScript:

In Chrome:
- type “chrome://plugins/” into your address bar
- on the plugins page, scroll down to Javascript and disable it.

In Opera:
- go to “opera:plugins”
- on the plugins page, scroll down to Java(TM) Platform
- click on Disable
- also scroll down to Java Deployment Toolkit
- click on Disable

In Firefox:
- press the Firefox button
- go to Add-ons
- go to Plugins
- click the “Disable” button next to anything named “Java”

Finally if you are using Internet Explorer, you probably don’t care, but here’s some recent instructions stolen from the help desk over at Indiana University:

To enable or disable Java in Internet Explorer:

From the Tools menu (or the Tools drop-down), select Internet options.

  • Click the Programs tab, and then click Manage Add-ons.
  • Highlight Java Plug-in.
  • Click Disable or Enable (located under “Settings” in version 7), as applicable.
  • Click OK twice.

To enable or disable JavaScript:

From the Tools menu (or the Tools drop-down), choose Internet options.

  • Click the Security tab.
  • Click Custom Level…
  • Scroll to the “Scripting” section of the list.
  • For “Active Scripting”, click Disable or Enable.
  • Click OK, and confirm if prompted.
  • Close and restart your browser.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:57 am


 

 

August 21, 2012

The most valuable company ever? It’s Microsoft, not Apple.

Bill Gates holding an Apple Logo
Crushing your head..

The slew of now redacted articles claiming that Apple managed to take the title of ‘most valuable company in history’ is further proof that the internet is packed with people who will post anything without considering the facts.

Sure if you compare 1999 dollars to 2012 dollars with no adjustment in value for inflation (?!) Apple looks pretty impressive today, but if you want to say ‘Most valuable company of all time’, you have to factor ‘time’ into the equation.

After accounting for inflation the race between Apple and Microsoft isn’t even close, with Microsoft in the lead by over $230 billion even by conservative estimates.

At one point this morning I saw an article offering the corrected values and stating that, ‘Bill Gates would be upset that IBM was handicapped by inflation‘! This was quickly corrected after comments pointed out a few errors, ‘Bill Gates ran Microsoft, not IBM, and Bill Gates is still alive, stop talking about him like he’s Steve Jobs.‘.

I wanted to pounce on the author, calling them out for reporting on tech history they clearly never paid any attention to, but the sad truth is that it was a senior author who probably wrote the post before getting his morning coffee.

Most Valuable How?

“Money aside, what tech company is the most valuable?”

This was a good question that came up in the reaction threads to the news that Apple is doing so well financially.

If Apple went bankrupt the entire user base would have tons of options for Android tablets/phones/MP3 players/personal PCs. Linux would flourish a bit, and China would have a lot of people looking for employment. Not really a big deal.

If Microsoft went bankrupt there would be over a billion desktop PCs needing new OSes, millions of email/web servers that would need to be migrated to Linux, Hotmail/Bing/MSN/Maps users would have to upgrade to GMail/Google search/GTalk/Maps, and millions of cell phone users would either need to buy new phones or at the very least switch off Microsoft Exchange services and move over to GMail.

Sure as a web developer, we’d produce a lot more web-content without IE compatibility issues, and that’s just a quick ‘glance’ at the issue, so I could be overlooking massive problems on either side, but from a glance, the ‘value’ is clearly not in Apple’s favor, in both money and services.

Speaking of big money tech business..

Facebook is still making headlines for losses, this time one of the earliest investors, ex-PayPal billionaire Peter Thiel, has jumped ship selling over 20 million shares.

Slipery Slope Sign

 
When one of your primary investors pulls out and cashes in, it’s a pretty clear signal that you’ve peaked and the road ahead is looking very questionable.

Peter Thiel’s projected total for this cash out comes close to $400 million, which is a bit less than the stock options he sold when the company went public in May.

At this point investors are speculating that Peter has sold nearly all his Facebook stock, and he is apparently investing heavily in 3d Meat Printers.

Actually printing a full ‘steak’ is years away, but when they get there I want a steak where the fat is perfectly balanced with the meat ‘Kobe style’, and each little fat cluster is the shape of a tiny unicorn.

Nom nom..

SEO news blog post by @ 11:30 am


 

 

August 16, 2012

You don’t want the next Penguin update…

Scary Matt Cutts

Is Matt Cutts just goofing around or is he really trying to scare us?

The statement in the title of this article, from Matt Cutts, has the SEO world looking for further information as to just how bad the next Penguin update will be.

During the SES in San Francisco this week Matt Cutts got a chance to speak about updates and how they will effect SEOs. One of the things he was quoted as saying really caught my eye:

You don’t want the next Penguin update, the engineers have been working hard…

Mr.Cutts has recently eaten some words, retracting his statement that too much SEO is a bad thing, and explaining that good SEO is still good.

Even with attendees saying that he spoke the words with no signs of ominous intent, how do you expect the SEO world to take follow up statements like:

The updates are going the be jarring and julting for a while.

That’s just not positive sounding at all and it almost has the tone of admission that the next updates are perhaps going to be ‘too much’ even in Matt’s opinion, and he’s one of Google’s top engineers!

My take is that if you are doing anything even slightly shady, you’re about to see some massive ranking spanking.

Reciprocal links, excessive directories, participating in back-link cliques/neighborhoods, pointless press releases, redundant article syndication, duplicate content without authorship markup, poorly configured CMS parameters, etc.. These are all likely to be things, in my opinion, that will burn overly SEO’d sites in the next update.

The discussion also made it’s way to the issues with Twitter data feeds. Essentially since Google and Twitter no longer have an agreement, Google is effectively ‘blocked’ from crawling Twitter.

Dead twitter bird

On the topic of Twitter crawling Matt Cutts was quoted as saying:

..we can do it relatively well, but if we could crawl Twitter in the full way we can, their infastructure[sic] wouldn’t be able to handle it

 

Which to me seems odd, since I don’t see any other sites complaining about how much load Google is placing on their infrastructure?

Clearly the issue is still political/strategic and neither side is looking to point fingers.

With Twitter’s social media relevance diminished you’d think +1′s would be a focus point but Matt Cutts also commented on the situation stating that we shouldn’t place much value on +1 stats for now.

A final point was made about Knowledge Graph, the new information panel that’s appearing on certain search terms.

Since the Google Search Quality team is now the Google Knowledge Graph team Matt Cutts had some great answers on the topic of Knowledge Graph, including the data sources and harm to Wikipedia.

There had been a lot of cursing about Google simply abusing Wikipedia’s bandwidth/resources but it was made clear during the session that Wikipedia is not traffic dependent because they don’t use ads for revenue.

Essentially, if Wikipedia’s data is getting better utilized, and they haven’t had to do anything to make it happen, they are happy.

If you wanted to get more details there’s lots of #SESSF hashed posts on Twitter and plenty of articles coming from the attendees.

I’m personally going to go start working on a moat for this Penguin problem..

SEO news blog post by @ 11:56 am


 

 

August 14, 2012

Vote Jeff Brandes for .. I really don’t know ..

I really don’t follow Canadian politics that closely, much less US politics, much less US political activity on a state level, but today I wanted to vote for Jeff Brandes after watching a YouTube video from his competition:

My apologies if the video is removed by the time you click on it.
It really is that bad.

Watching that video is like watching a really well polished piece from The Onion vs. a serious attack on a political candidate.

If you’ve been reading this blog for long you’ll notice a few articles about Google’s self driving cars, and Google Drive (totally unrelated, nerds!), so you know we don’t look at them as “Black Magic”.

The beginning of the clip is a quote from Forbes:

“Driverless Cars for All: More DANGEROUS Than Driving”

This is so misplaced that today Forbes even commented on the video pointing out the original article title was:

“Driverless Cars For All: An Idea More Dangerous Than Driving.”

.. and actually focused on the freedom to still pilot a car once they are able to drive themselves.

The Onion Logo

The video continues to ramp up the stupid by showing how old ladies that wander into traffic are risky, and repeats a clip of a Prius steering wheel spinning from lock to lock, as if that’s how we should think robots drive.

My guess is that someone neglected to tell the elderly who helped with this ad that a robot driven car is not only less likely to run over pedestrians, but also a solution to the elderly needing transportation.

Wasn’t it just last month they announced that Google’s driver-less cars have logged more than 300,000 miles of driving without a single accident? Are the folks that made this advert over a month behind in technology news?

The end of the video wraps up with how ‘out of touch’ Jeff Brandes is but this is a man who wants driverless cars which can avoid pointless return trips/parking, and to hire people to collect tolls on clogged bridges to reduce traffic, in a state with ongoing job cuts and pollution issues.

Yep, it’s like something straight from The Onion, but the tears are more pain than laughter. At least the competition is getting a load of attention/traffic sources from the video, far more than anything else they have put out.

SEO news blog post by @ 10:52 am


 

 

August 9, 2012

New Conceited Search: Gmail in Google Web Search

Simon Cowell

I get plenty of me time doing my hair in the mirror each morning and seeing myself in store windows on the walk to work. I really cannot think of any good examples of a web search that would be better with my emails included in the results?

That isn’t stopping Google from offering this new search service to the first 1 million users that opt-in.

Here’s the link to the Gmail search field trial experiment.

Even the sample image from the Google signup page has a potential gaffe :
Gmail search example
What if I was going to Tahoe for some biking to forget that Jenny broke up with me to date Jeff Teele (my ex-bike buddy) and totally forgot she spent a summer biking in Tahoe?

And that guide from Media temple? That’s one of a few spams, year after year, again and again, that GMail can’t seem to figure out!! Way to remind me at the worst moment Google!

Actually I suppose if I was searching for a solution I’d talked about in email, forgot I’d emailed about the solution, and then did a web search looking for the solution I’d already talked about, then I might appreciate Google showing me some old email in a web search.

Not to over-use HIMYM sayings, but that would be a long walk for a short drink of water.

I tried to come up with some worse examples, like accidentally sending someone a LMGTFY link for something like “fighting” and it loads up a ton of emails you should have deleted?

Nope LMGTFY actually adds the “&pws=0″ search parameter to the Google URL and this would obviously deter Google from including Gmail in the SERPS. At least one would hope they were that wise.

I’m still waiting for my request to be approved so I can offer more than some personal perspective and conjecture.

In the mean time I might want to delete some mail I’ve been trying to forget and reconsider all the keywords I send in my emails? Hmm..

SEO news blog post by @ 10:45 am


 

 

July 26, 2012

SOPA Friends: Internet League of America

The recording industry, agents, and vendors of music aren’t the only ones spending way too much of their profits on lobbying the government. Major internet companies that see the harm of bills like SOPA/PIPA are spending the time and money to fight back against this lobbying.

Not to be confused with SuperFriends..

This organization is less about crime and more about reasonable expenses for making sure government is making informed decisions.

Google alone spent $3.9million in the second quarter of 2012, and $5.4million in 2012 total so far trying to help government see the internet as more than just a ‘series of tubes’.

Google isn’t alone in fighting for your rights, Amazon’s spending between Jan 2012 and June 2012 was pegged at $1.34million, EBay spent nearly as much at $827k, and Facebook also jumped into the fight for $650k of lobbying.

It stands to reason then that if they all had the same message a lot of time and money could be saved by joining forces, and this is how the Internet Association has come to be.

With Google, Amazon, EBay and Facebook already signed into the Internet Association it’s already huge and it’s still in the ‘coming soon’ phase of setting up.

This new group should not be confused with existing organizations like The Internet Defense League which are seeking other solutions to keeping people informed as to threats to online access/freedom.

A few sites (RIAA partners?) are panning this as ‘evil‘ and un-Google for companies to work together to support a shared message to the government, but I think anyone who knows the extent of SOPA/PIPA and other bills will see that spin for what it really is, fear and loathing of anything that stands in the way of an easy profit.

Google Fiber

Google Fiber Appliances
Remember us writing about Kansas City dark fiber, Google’s plans to light it up, and the various media/recording industry fears/objections?

While I was composing this article on the new Internet Association I managed to eavesdrop on the details coming from the live broadcast at the launch of Google Fiber in Kansas this morning.

Google Fiber Announcement Center

Here’s what I caught (again this was just details I overheard and not officially published):

  • Google Fiber is run right to your house
  • A fiber-conversion firewall appliance converts the optical signal
  • The Google fiber-wall has built in WiFi and 4 gigabit RJ45 ports
  • The WiFi radio is very fast (no specs given) and features a guest portal system
  • Google Fiber offers TV boxes that act as WiFi boosters
  • The TV boxes stream Netflix/Youtube in HD quality with more options to follow
  • Google’s TV boxes work with Bluetooth headphones and can be controlled by Bluetooth devices
  • Currently purchasing a TV box will including a free Nexus 7 Tablet that acts as a remote control for the TV box.
  • $300 is mentioned as the ‘construction fee’ to send a Google rep to your home to install the fiber cable.
  • $120/mth for the TV and Gigabit Internet package (on 2 year contracts the $300 fee is waived)
  • $70/mth for just Gigabit fibre internet (no install fee for 1yr contracts)
  • $Free/mth 5mbps down, 1mbps up, of capped fiber access to anyone who wants to pay the $300 install fee
  • The free service option is guaranteed for anyone in the service area for 7 years
  • You can pay the $300 fee off over time if you wish as an incentive to connect everyone regardless of income levels
  • 1TB of Google Drive storage (directly linked to the Fibre) comes with the $70/mth and up packages
  • No mention of monthly data use caps, but they would need to be fairly generous

Google Fiber Building in Kansas
Apparently they are deciding which homes get fiber first by running a lobbying contest where they reward the communities that lobby other communities the most. The speaker tried to sell this as ‘doing it for Kansas’ and ‘spreading the word about what fiber really means’, but of all the announcements, there was no applause for
this.

Clearly most of Kansas is tired of waiting for Google Fiber and would like to start actually using it vs. running around ‘competing’ with other communities for the first chance to get hooked up.

It’s an odd move for Google but you have to respect that they had to find a fair way to select the first communities to get connected.

UPDATE: They have published the official Google Fiber data plans and yes, there’s NO DATA CAPS. Wow.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:25 am


 

 

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