Google Announces Android OS

From Andy Rubin:

We have developed Android in cooperation with the Open Handset
Alliance, which consists of more than 30 technology and mobile leaders
including Motorola, Qualcomm, HTC and T-Mobile.

Will the concept of Open Handsets coincide with the opening of mobile networks, etc? All essential in the building of trust in a neutral net. Can the GOOG be trusted remains to be seen.

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Amazon Launches New Widgets

Amazon has been chilling on the UI and widget innovation while other Internet companies go berserk with it. In that same time, Bezos and Co. focused on their new Web service products, the inexpensive storage offerings of S3 and the collab ingenuity of Mechanical Turk. And wouldn’t you know that AMZN’s stock price has doubled in less than 6 months.

But, alas, they’re here: Amazon Widgets. The Associate widgets don’t seem to be any different than they have been, only more easily managed, but the addition of widgets for Favorites, wishlists, and unbox video is overdue.

What’s cool: These widgets can be directly integrated with your Amazon Associates account, providing even more opportunities to earn a few pennies (or 5 % back when you’re the one buying) on Amazon purchases stemming from your site. Also, the design templates are nice and very easily tweaked (at least color-wise)

What’s not so cool: The JavaScript default for widget implementation is janky and slow. For some reason they list WordPress.com blogs as “WordPress.org” — hello?!? Also, for some reason the Wishlist widget still shows items that you already purchased.

Yahoo! MapMixer is Cool

Just as it was becoming clear this week that Yahoo! Co-Founder Jerry Yang’s first “100 days” as CEO isn’t setting up to be all that, a stream of new toys, deals, and partnerships have been announced. MapMixer is a product of Yahoo! Hack Day, according to TechCrunch and Reuters, and as you can see above, it enables you to overlay graphics on Yahoo! Maps (above is the USC campus, zoom out for full effect). Of course, not everything scales so nicely (see the Chicago ‘L’ map).

Yahoo is seeking more applied ingenuity and is pronouncing it’s “openness.” (NOTE: Jeremy Zawodny posted a much-better-written rebuttal/addendum to the BizWeek article on his blog.)

Is this real or a back-against-the-wall reaction to the apparent leak of a Google in-house video purporting a confluence of Google apps in a streamlined Facebook platform sort-of-way? Was Page and Brin’s $1.3 million landing at NASA’s Moffett Field near the Google HQ merely a decoy to overshadow speculation on the video? Is it true that there’s a bubble keeping the fog and cold bay air out of Silicon Valley?

The real big deal for Yahoo! this week was the announcement of a hefty deal to serve ads for Bebo, one of the most popular social networking sites in the UK (and a oft-rumored acquisition interest of Yahoo).

Also, tonight marks the launch of a partnership with Woot.com in which one item per night is featured on Yahoo! Shopping for purchase at sellout.woot.com.

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