Live from Facebook: The New New Privacy Controls

After enduring weeks of criticism over new privacy controls announced at its recent developer conference, Facebook today is announcing new, simpler privacy controls for its leading social network service. The company, whose latest changes that opened up more information sharing took many users by surprise, has promised they will be much simpler. Expectations are high, not least in Washington D.C., where Facebook executives under fire by Congress members will try to persuade them they’re on the right track.

I’m at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto for a press briefing on the details. I’ll liveblog the details here. But first, here are the basics from Facebook’s fact sheet:

* Completely redesigned the privacy settings page to be much more simple.

* Created one control for content. A new simple control makes it easy to share on Facebook with friends, friends of friends or everyone—all with just one click. The corresponding settings are immediately applied and displayed in an easy-to-understand grid. At the same time, Facebook has maintained its more granular settings for those who want to customize their level of sharing. These settings now all appear on a single page for easier access.

* Significantly reduced the amount of information that is always visible to everyone. Friends and Pages (your connections) can now be restricted to anyone you want. To help people recognize you, your name, profile picture, networks, and gender are always open to everyone (though half of these you don’t need to add).

* Given you more control over how applications and websites access your information. Now you can completely turn off Facebook Platform applications and websites, which means that your information will not be shared with applications. We also made it very simple to turn off instant personalization. You can ensure that your information is not shared with current or future instant personalization applications by un-checking the box to “Enable instant personalization.”

* Get a better understanding of how you like to share on Facebook. The new presets help us understand the overall privacy level you’re comfortable with for the things you share. As we roll out new products, we want to apply the right setting for you at the outset—eliminating the need for you to check your setting each time a new feature is introduced. We’re committed to carrying over your presets for new products that facilitate sharing. So, if you choose the “Friends Only” preset for “Sharing on Facebook”, new products that have privacy settings will be automatically set to “Friends Only” as well.

These changes will roll out over the next couple of weeks.

OK, we’re getting underway with an intro by public policy chief Elliott Schrage, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg queued up at the side of the room. Here’s his blog post. You can also find the press release here and a fact sheet here, along with the new privacy guide and screenshots.

And now Zuckerberg is up:

“It’s been a pretty intense few weeks for us,” he says with evident understatement. “Our teams internally have been cranking on what we’re going to show you today for a couple of weeks.”

“People want to stay connected with their family and friends. We believe that people want to share information, and they’re best able to do that when they have control… a good safe environment.”

More background on Facebook’s philosophy and recent changes. Mostly he’s providing reasons for why Facebook has gradually opened up information sharing, and how doing that through features like regional networks and groups got to be unwieldy, exposing more information to more people than users expected. Thus the much more granular privacy controls, broadly creating three categories with changes made last December: friends, friends of friends, and everyone.

And finally after that long wind-up, he’s moving up to today. “We really need to simplify the controls. A lot of what we were trying to do got lost in the shuffle.”

The No. 1 thing we’ve heard: The settings have gotten complex (that’s for sure). Original idea was to give people more granular controls, which will remain. But because of that complexity, “you don’t actually feel you have control over your information.”

Now, sharing will be controlled with one simple control; it will apply to all content retroactively; and it will apply to new products going forward, so you don’t have to decide proactively every time.

So the new Choose Your Privacy Settings page has a simpler template for choosing what info can be seen by friends, friends of friends, or everyone. There’s also a link to go more granular if you choose.

On to the basic directory information by which people find you on Facebook: There will be less publicly available info. And on the platform broadly: There will be full opt-out for all applications (though it’s not opt-in, which will continue to bother privacy advocates). There’s also easy opt-out for instant personalization. And there will be granular (detailed) ways to control info sharing.

“We really want to make sure we communicate this stuff clearly.” So Facebook also has revamped the privacy guide. There also will be a message at the top of your home page in the next week to send people to this new guide.

Any kudos or complaints can be sent to Facebook at this link:

And now on to the press questions. First one, no surprise, is from Robert Scoble: “I’m having a problem with trust”–yes, that’s the key more than privacy itself, I think. “What’s your approach to regaining that trust” given all the criticized privacy changes:

Zuckerberg: “We always listen. … The privacy concerns are very important.” But he says there is no evidence large numbers of people are leaving Facebook, despite a number of high-profile bloggers doing so. Second, he says something called the “net promoter” score, which measures the extent to which users get others to join, often goes down after policy changes but then rises even higher than before after some time.

“We really do think about the trust issues. I take that really seriously.”

Question from the Washington Post: To what extent did concern of regulators play into the new changes? And how are advertisers and partners responding?

Zuckerberg:  They did have input. Had conversations with the senators who expressed concern. But the leading indicator is the number of people using the service, because that represents the actual users. He also says the worries that more open info disclosure will mean intrusions by advertisers is completely wrong. But I’m not really following his line of reasoning, to be honest.

Question from a French journalist: Why not offer complete privacy by default?

Zuckerberg: Because the service itself is intended for people to share information. The site has never worked in a way that when you sign up you only can connect with your existing friends. That’s not really why people are on the service. (Which is true–why join Facebook at all if you don’t want to share anything with anybody? But I think there’s a desire by at least some to have more private groups of friends.)

Question from Australian journalist, who says authorities there are complaining about the greater disclosure of info on Facebook.

Zuckerberg: That’s not what users have told us what they want. They want to share information. That’s one thing we think is changing in the world. (Perhaps true, but not for everybody, and those people want better controls.)

Question from Liz Gannes of Gigaom: Have you seen more negative feedback with this latest round of changes (before today)?

Zuckerberg: Changes in the news feed policy several years ago was actually the biggest protest.

Question from Ben Parr of Mashable: How are you going to avoid backlashes in the future?

Zuckerberg: We did this wave of change (in privacy settings). Maybe we should have gone a bit slower. Maybe we should have communicated a bit clearer. But… privacy by far is the most sensitive thing. … Response might have been a lot worse if we dragged them out over six months. “One of the big takeaways is just don’t mess with the privacy stuff for a long time.”

Question from Do people realize that “everyone” in the privacy settings means “the entire Internet”?

Zuckerberg: Actually the wording on sharing for specific posts says just that. Also, a lot of people change their settings–more than half have changed at least one setting. So that’s a sign (he says) that people do understand the settings.

Question from Julia Boorstin at CNBC: To what extent were advertising and revenue considerations in these changes?

Zuckerberg: We really didn’t think of revenue. … He goes into a story how at age 22, he decided not to sell the company. Money wasn’t an object. “Any amount of money would not be worth the last few years of building the company.” … Same deal now. “We are working on building an ads business, and that’s an important part of what we do.” But when building services for users, that enters in “not at all.”

Question from Nick Bilton of the New York Times: How will you deal with any new backlash against these rules?

Zuckerberg: “We are really going to try not to have another backlash.” Basic thrust of today’s changes: You can set controls once and they will apply to all future products.

One more question from Greg Sterling: Did you see any diminution in usage?

Zuckerberg: “There’s no statistically significant changes.”

Q: So why did you make the changes?

Zuckerberg: “We thought they were the right thing to do.”

“There’s so much more left to do. And we’re open to feedback on what to do.”

And that’s it. The gist: Zuckerberg still seemed to be defending Facebook’s right to open up people’s information disclosure in a way that he believes society increasingly wants. But he’s also offering more concrete ways to opt out. Of course, it’s still largely opt-out, the explicit assumption being that people opt in at the outset: They don’t join Facebook unless they want to share things in at least a minimal way.

UPDATE: I’ve pinged privacy advocates for their take on the latest changes. Read on for the details, but barring further privacy blowups (admittedly a big assumption given Facebook’s checkered history here), it appears that Facebook’s latest moves may be just enough to quiet the privacy furor. (Update: Or, maybe not–though judging from Sen. Charles Schumer’s recent comments, it’s possible Facebook could dodge a regulatory bullet–this time.) To be sure, it’s a mixed bag (and on Zuckerberg’s blog post itself, I’m seeing a lot of critics commenting). The American Civil Liberties Union’s Northern California branch issued a mostly positive assessment. So did the Progress & Freedom Foundation, whose senior fellow and director of its Center for Internet Freedom, Berin Szoka, put out the following statement:

By giving users powerful new tools to further protect their privacy, Facebook has employed a potent weapon to deal with marketplace apprehensions: self-regulation. Government intervention stands little chance in acting as swiftly or as effectively to tackle such matters. Rather than short-circuiting the self-regulatory process, we should trust that users are capable of choosing for themselves if given the right tools, and that companies like Facebook will respond to reputational pressure to develop, and constantly improve, those tools. That approach is far more likely to move us towards the ideal of user empowerment than is heavy-handed government regulation, which would override marketplace experimentation and have many unintended consequences for free online sites and services like Facebook.

On the other hand, Jeff Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy just penned a blog post that’s more critical:

Facebook made some positive changes today, but only because of political pressure from policymakers and privacy advocates on both sides of the Atlantic.  Mr. Zuckerberg’s failure to acknowledge the political realities don’t bode well for Facebook’s future approach to privacy:  he appears to be living a Alice in Digital Wonderland fantasy, where he only makes changes on privacy because he has the goodwill of its users in mind.  Just last December 9, after all, Facebook made one of its typical self-reverential announcements that it was “rolling out easy-to-use tools to empower people to personalize control over their information.”  These changes triggered a user revolt, letters from Senators, an opinion ordering a reversal from the EU, and concern from the FTC.

There are more simplified and manageable privacy settings, and Facebook has made an important first (or back-tracking!) step.  Unfortunately, Facebook still refuses to give its users control over the data it collects for its targeted advertising products.  The defaults should also be initially set for non-sharing, with the minimization of data collection at the core of Facebook’s approach to privacy.   CDD and other privacy groups will examine these new settings and identify where further changes should be made, including on advertising data.  Meanwhile, we want Congress to hold hearings on social networking privacy, with Mr. Zuckerberg as a star witness.  Mr. Zuckerberg should be asked to explain how Facebook continues to develop new approaches to data collection and privacy–from Beacon to Instant Personalization–that continually lowers the bar–until the company has to do some form of hasty retreat.   Congress needs to examine how Facebook develops its approach to privacy, and what its business plans mean for the future.

CDD will also press the FTC to investigate Facebook, including acting on complaints filed with EPIC and other groups.  It’s time for the FTC to announce guidelines to protect social networking privacy on Facebook and other sites.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation seems to come down squarely in the middle with a commentary by senior staff attorney Kevin Bankston entitled, Facebook’s New Privacy Improvements Are a Positive Step, But There’s Still More Work To Be Done:

The changes are pretty good, though more is needed.

All of the new settings are positive steps toward giving Facebook users more control over the privacy of their data, directly responding to several of EFF’s criticisms and reversing some of the worst of Facebook’s privacy missteps. However, we still have some fundamental concerns about the amount of user information being shared with third-party Facebook applications and web sites. So we hope that this is only Facebook’s first step in a more privacy-conscious direction, rather than its last. Ultimately, Facebook must respect its own principles and users’ privacy rights by giving users full control over how all their information is shared. (See EFF’s Bill of Privacy Rights for social network users.) …

In Conclusion…

We appreciate that Facebook has taken the time to listen and respond to the public outcry over its latest privacy changes, and although today’s changes don’t address all of our concerns, they are a great first step in what will hopefully be a more privacy-driven direction for Facebook. We look forward to a continuing dialogue with Facebook on how to improve privacy on the site. In the meantime, stay tuned for more information from EFF on how to use these new options to maximize your privacy when you choose to share information with your friends and family on Facebook.

Questions About the Google-AdMob Deal–and How the FTC Answered Them

Today the Federal Trade Commission decided not to oppose Google’s proposed purchase of leading mobile ad firm AdMob, clearing the way for the $750 million deal to be closed. Given recent hints that the FTC’s staff might recommend the commission block the deal, the decision was something of a surprise. But as the FTC itself explained, “although the combination of the two leading mobile advertising networks raised serious antitrust issues,” there is in fact ample competition in what is after all still a nascent market.

The investigation raised several questions about not only the mobile ad market but the FTC’s stance on such deals in the Obama era. Here are some of those questions, and the apparent answers:

* Would the deal allow Google to dominate the mobile ad market?

Not at this time, the FTC said, but noted that that was a danger:

Google’s proposed $750 million acquisition of AdMob necessitated close scrutiny because the transaction appeared likely to lead to a substantial lessening of competition in violation of Section 7 of the Clayton Act. Those companies generate the most revenue among mobile advertising networks, and both companies are particularly strong in one segment of the market, namely performance ad networks. The Commission’s six-month investigation yielded evidence that each of the merging parties viewed the other as its primary competitor, and that each firm made business decisions in direct response to this perceived competitive threat.

* Are mobile ads a separate market from other online ads?

I’m not sure why mobile ads, which after all are simply ads that happen to appear on mobile device screens, are really a market separate from other online ads. Marketers, after all, usually view them as potential additions or substitutes to display ads or even search ads, and they can in fact be either of those. And if they view them as separate markets now, it’s likely they won’t stay that way as ad technology firms increasingly offer them as a package to marketers. But it’s clear from the FTC press release that FTC considers the mobile ad market distinct–and furthermore that it doesn’t matter how new it is:

The Commission stressed that mergers in fast-growing new markets like mobile advertising should get the same level of antitrust scrutiny as those in other markets. The statement goes on to note that, “Though we have determined not to take action today, the Commission will continue to monitor the mobile marketplace to ensure a competitive environment and to protect the interests of consumers.”

Mobile ad networks, such as those provided by Google and AdMob, sell advertising space for mobile publishers, who create applications and content for websites configured for mobile devices, primarily Apple’s iPhone and devices that run Google’s Android operating system. By “monetizing” mobile publishers’ content through the sale of advertising space, mobile ad networks play a vital role in fueling the rapid expansion of mobile applications and Internet content.

* Did Apple help Google clear the deal?

Um, clearly. According to the commission’s statement:

The agency’s concerns [about the Google-AdMob deal] ultimately were overshadowed by recent developments in the market, most notably a move by Apple Computer Inc. – the maker of the iPhone – to launch its own, competing mobile ad network. … As a result of Apple’s entry (into the market), AdMob’s success to date on the iPhone platform is unlikely to be an accurate predictor of AdMob’s competitive significance going forward, whether AdMob is owned by Google or not.

* Should Apple be afraid of the FTC?

Very afraid. Or at least it should expect intense scrutiny, if the rather detailed description of Apple’s role in this market is any indication:

These concerns, however, were outweighed by recent evidence that Apple is poised to become a strong competitor in the mobile advertising market, the FTC’s statement says. Apple recently acquired Quattro Wireless and used it to launch its own iAd service. In addition, Apple can leverage its close relationships with application developers and users, its access to a large amount of proprietary user data, and its ownership of iPhone software development tools and control over the iPhone developers’ license agreement.

* Is Google off the regulatory hook now?

Not by a long shot. As the commission said:

Though we have determined not to take action today, the Commission will continue to monitor the mobile marketplace to ensure a competitive environment and to protect the interests of consumers.

Indeed, few experts believe that this decision will have much if any impact on other regulatory concerns about Google’s strength in search ads, its moves into other areas such as display ads, or the privacy implications of its vast data collection.

Why Google TV? Advertising $$$

Eventually, when the cool glow of Google’s announcement of Google TV this morning dies down a bit, someone will ask the obvious question, one that dogs almost every new product or service the search giant releases: Why is Google doing TV software? Sure, Google makes a valid point that search can become a new way to find content on TV, especially since the lines between the vast Web and TV content are blurring in this new age of Internet-connected TVs. That makes today’s onscreen TV guides, where you have to scroll through lists of channels and shows, hopelessly cumbersome. So yes, there’s at least an overt reason for Google to try to bring its search expertise to bear.

Still, I think the real opportunity for Google is to add television as a platform for advertising. It’s no secret that the company has tried to move beyond the Web, but its efforts in radio and print advertising went nowhere. Google’s TV advertising push also hasn’t taken off, but the potential has remained the most promising because as Web-to-TV devices such as Tivo, Boxee, Roku, and many others start to catch on and settop boxes allow for collection of data about people’s viewing habits and even their Web activities, television is a natural extension for Google.

Amid all the cool features and geeky API stuff, it was telling that Google saw fit to mention not only television’s huge audience of 4 billion people worldwide,  but also the TV advertising market of $70 billion in the U.S. alone. That’s why Google TV is likely much more than one of Google’s many Why-Not-Try-It? products (and certainly more than a hobby). Indeed, it’s also telling that CEO Eric Schmidt dragged such consumer electronics and tech luminaries as Sony CEO Howard Stringer, Intel CEO Paul Otellini, and Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn onstage at the Google I/O developer conference where Google TV was announced. Not least, Schmidt later told Fox Business Network: “Our advertising is targeted,” so “we can do even more relevant television advertising, which should be worth a lot of money.”

It will be interesting to see if people accept ads of any kind as readily as they do current TV ads. I presume ads that appear next to Google TV search results, unlike conventional TV ads, won’t be skippable, so they could prove more intrusive. It seems pretty certain that new forms will have to emerge. But Google provided no examples beyond mentioning that Google TV would open up the possibility of interactive ads.

At the same time, the combination of Web and TV on the TV itself may open up new advertising possibilities for Google on the Web–in particular, on YouTube. By virtue of being viewed mostly on PCs and mobile phones, which are more interactive devices that people use to do something rather than simply watch stuff, YouTube hasn’t been able to leverage the vast base of TV ads; they feel too intrusive. But with a new personalized channel called YouTube Leanback–leanback a term often used to describe the TV viewing experience–watching YouTube may become more of a TV-like experience, one where traditional TV ads may seem more natural, or at least no more annoying than on regular television.

It’s tough to tell how advertising will evolve in this about-to-converge world. And given marketers’ conservatism in trying out new things, ads that fit this new hybrid Web-TV format will take awhile to develop. But it seems likely that Google TV opens up a new world of advertising opportunities for a company long described as a one-trick pony.

Fighting the Scourge of Malvertising

Some 1.3 million malicious online ads are viewed every day, even on high-profile sites such as the New York Times and TechCrunch. This so-called malvertising–pop-up fake antivirus ads and seemingly standard ads that have malicious software code embedded in them in an attempt to steal data such as passwords or credit-card numbers–is often very difficult for Web publishers and ad networks, let alone consumers, to detect. Indeed, because these ads must be found manually, usually thanks to a user complaint, the average life of a malvertisement before it’s detected and taken down is more than seven days, according to the Web anti-malware service Dasient. That’s more than long enough to infect thousands of computers.

Including my wife’s PC a few months ago. That infection took more than a week to eradicate, and even then, the PC was never the same and she was forced to reinstall just about everything on it. So I have a personal interest in Dasient’s newest service, introduced this morning: what it claims is the first automated anti-malvertising service. It’s an addition, using some of the same technologies, to the 18-month-old startup’s anti-drive-by malware service. Some background from Dasient’s release:

Malicious advertising, also referred to as “malvertising,” is a relatively new attack vector for cyber criminals that is quickly on the rise. With malvertising, fake malicious ads are delivered (often via advertising networks) to well-known websites as a way to reach millions of users at once on websites they normally trust. Unlike typical spam or virus attacks, which rely on victims to click on a link in an email or accidentally download an infected program, malvertising attacks are presented on popular websites and can download malicious code directly onto a user’s computer when the victim views the compromised ad. By infiltrating an entire ad network, the criminal gains access to a broad number of syndicated websites that can spread malicious code even further.

Dasient cofounders Ameet Ranadive and Neil Daswani told me that the reason malvertising is on the rise is twofold. For one, ad networks are becoming more efficient at syndicating ads to and from each other, instantaneously, so malvertisements can spread fast. For another, advertisers increasingly are hosting their own ads, and they often don’t have the technical expertise or staff to handle bad ads–which is why you’re twice as likely to get served a bad ad on a weekend, when the creators know IT staffing is light.

Although malvertising is hardly a secret, most efforts to prevent it have focused on education and prevention. Dasient works with ad networks and publishers to analyze each ad in real time, detect changes that may mean a bad ad has been substituted for a regular one, and provide forensic trails to trace the source of the ads.

Dasient, which was founded by former Googlers Daswani and Shariq Rizvi and former McKinsey consultant Ranadive in October 2008, has raised about $2 million from investors including former Verisign CEO Stratton Sclavos, Twitter investor Mike Maples Jr. of Maples Investments, and former 3Com CEO Eric Benhamou, now CEO of Benhamou Global Ventures.

Eric Schmidt: Google’s Next Big Business Is Display Ads

Annual shareholder meetings can be anticlimactic snoozers, but often enough, Google’s are not. There was the time in 2008 when cofounder Sergey Brin abstained from a motion for Google to end its activities in China, on which the rest of the board voted no–providing a clue to Google’s recent decision to stop censoring search results in that country. And with many issues, from antitrust to Android’s challenge to onetime Google partner Apple, continuing to percolate, it’s worth hearing the latest official line from the company’s executives.

Indeed, judging from questions already posted on Google Moderator for the meeting, the interchanges could be lively. One question: “Google top management seems to be too egotistical and aloof about the stock price Shareholders are mad,the stock is down 21%YTD,You play catch up with apple with nexus one and now verizon tablet What is actually going on?” Hostile tone aside, interesting questions.

There are also several shareholder proposals, on China, behavioral advertising and privacy, and sustainability, all of which Google is officially opposing.

So I’ll liveblog the highlights of  the meeting here starting at 2 p.m. Pacific–and in the unlikely event there are any big surprises, I’ll also tweet them here. I’m told there will be a Webcast here, though it wasn’t listed on that page earlier today.

And we’re nearly underway, as Joe Cocker’s Feelin’ Alright and smells from the adjoining cafeteria waft across the room.

CEO Eric Schmidt comes onstage with what will be the usual board introductions, including John Doerr and cofounder Larry Page. And then the shareholder proposal presentations. First the proposal on asking Google to do a sustainability report. Then the proposal asking Google to strengthen its privacy policy, especially with regard to behavioral advertising. Finally the one calling for more protections for human rights in China–by a guy who I think has asked pointed questions at at least one previous annual meeting (I recognize his T-shirt). And, big surprise, they’re voted down.

Now Schmidt comes back on to talk about Google’s business. “We had a very good year.” And did better coming out of  the crisis than many other companies. Core business grew well, internationally and in the U.S. “So all is well after a year of great tumult.”

So what’s next: Schmidt shows a slide entitled “The rich Internet,” and explains the explosion of data, now about 800 exabytes (which is a billion gigabytes), from 5 exabytes from the dawn of civilization to 2003. “No wonder we all have headaches.” Except Google, of course, because search becomes all the more important with that infoglut.

“Search is no longer just a static Web page.” YouTube and search “audiences” are already larger than most television companies. Taking off in mobile too–number of mobile searches up five times from two years ago. “Search is not just a query”–Google Goggles lets you use a photo as a query. Also 550 quality improvements in the last three months.

Schmidt talks about what he calls “the engaging Internet,” like YouTube. Now all of a sudden, the ads need to be engaging too. In five years or so, “the ad we  grew up with will go away.” Click to call, direct links to store locations or the particular product being searched, etc.

“A huge success for us now is display.” DoubleClick was “money extremely well-spent.” Also announced an ad exchange. Some 60% of display advertisers are new to display. “This is probably our next huge business.”

Enterprise business is growing fast too–a few thousand businesses a day, he says, starting to use Google Apps.

Android is going to be either the No. 1 or the No 2 player in the mobile market–not sure yet. We’re trying to build an entire system of openness–the opposite of the other guys. (Yes, he used a plural, even though we all know he’s talking about Apple.)

The Chrome browser, he says, is also a huge success, because of speed, simplicity, and security. Schmidt says Chrome OS should become a third platform for computers (I guess Linux doesn’t count?).

OK, time for questions. Onstage are Schmidt, Page, search experience chief Marissa Mayer, products head Susan Wojcicki, CFO Patrick Pichette, and Kent Walker.

A guy from Consumers Union (I think) asks a couple of questions that seem rather inside-baseball. One is on use of SSL more broadly–Mayer says stay tuned. Another, more interesting: Is there a $700 million kill fee on the AdMob deal. Schmidt doesn’t say, but says he expects the deal to get approved because mobile is a “highly competitive market.”

Another guy asks a convoluted question about the mobile market, ending with: Why isn’t Google doing mobile devices and products more directly? Page says Google is making “tremendous progress” in those areas but thinks the best strategy is to provide a mobile platform.

Q: Is it over in China or what? Schmidt says Google wants to continue business operations in China, but the situation isn’t settled yet.

Q: Will Google run out of computer space for all that data? Mayer: It’s a big challenge to keep up with data, but that’s what makes it exciting. Wojcicki: Algorithms and better technology will improve Google’s ability to deal with growing data.

Q: What is the next big thing? Page: One of the next big things is translation. Other two-thirds of world population not yet online need that. I think that’s really going to significantly change the world.

Three people now have complained about the lack of responsiveness of investor relations. Pichette tries not to look too uncomfortable.

Q: What’s happening with that competition for Google to build a citywide fiber-optic network? Schmidt: Winnowing the list down but no decision yet. Page: We had an Olympics for trench diggers. (Yes, they did.)

And that’s it.


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