It has been rumored for quite sometime that Facebook will make its own smartphone to allow customers easier access to the social network. While we have not heard anything concrete, we have more news on the rumored social smartphone today courtesy of Bloomberg. According to the publication’s report, Facebook is partnering with Taiwan-based HTC to release the phone in mid-2013. HTC is behind the well-received One series, along with Thunderbolt and Droid Incredible 4G, so it certainly would not be a bad partnership for either company. Facebook, the world’s largest social network, sees the majority of its hits through mobile devices—without any ads hitting users’ eyes. A Facebook smartphone would allow the company to get crafty with advertising and begin making money off its mobile userbase. Past the news of the partnership, there is no information on availability or pricing of the device. While HTC released the HTC Status in February 2011, which included a Facebook button, it was not a full Facebook phone.
Tim O'Reilly (@timoreilly) July 25, 2012
Following an article on The Wall Street Journal from columnist Gordon Crovitz, titled “Who Really Invented the Internet?“, Vint Cerf, ”father of the internet” and Google’s chief internet evangelist, is weighing in on Crovtz’ assertion that the government’s hand in creating the Internet is an “urban legend.” In an email interview with CNET, the man behind the evolution of TCP/IP networking protocols disagreed with Crovitz and talked about his involvement in the development of the Web:
In his Wall Street Journal column, Gordon Crovitz writes that the federal government’s involvement in the creation of the Internet was modest. Does that jibe with your recollection?
Vint Cerf: No. The United States government via ARPA started the project. (Bob Kahn initiated the Internetting project when he joined ARPA in late 1972. He had been principal architect of the ARPANET IMP (packet switch) while at BBN.
The world must be ending—because Google, Facebook, Amazon, and eBay just united for a cause.
The Web’s leading giants apparently formed an “Internet Association” to lobby on Capitol Hill. The Washington Post first detailed the alliance, which former Congressional guru Michael Beckerman leads, while it further noted a full list of parties is not yet known. An anonymous source told the publication, however, that the above four companies are the most notable members.
Beckerman most recently served as deputy staff director to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, and he boasts more than 12 years in Washington under his belt.
“The Internet must have a voice in Washington,” explained Beckerman in a press release (PDF). The Internet Association, which officially launches in September, aims to act as the Web’s executive voice.
Google is already copiously betted in various lobbying issues. 9to5Google even reported earlier this week that the folks in Mountain View spent over $5 million lobbying in Q2 2012.
Google just unveiled its “YouTube Creator Space” in London.
The high-tech studio will essentially allow YouTubers to create premium content for Google’s video-sharing platform. They will have access to technical equipment, and other YouTube content producers, which will undoubtedly encourage quality videos based on fresh, collaborative ideas.
“We’re delighted to announce that in the next few weeks we’ll be opening the doors to our new creator space, housed in the offices of Google London’s Soho office,” announced the company on its YouTube Creator Hub channel.
According to the above video’s description:
Our partners from all over Europe, Middle East and Africa will be able to book time in the space to create and collaborate with other creators, learn new techniques, as well as gaining access to state-of-the-art audio visual equipment, to help them generate great new content for their channels. The creator space is complete with the latest equipment such as DSLRs and cinema cameras, two studios including a green screen and fully staffed editing suites.
The YouTube Next Lab, which is a team “focused on accelerating the growth and development of channels and creators on YouTube,” will oversee the London studio.
A new report from The Wall Street Journal today, citing an SEC filing, noted Google has put an exact value on the patents acquired in its purchase of Motorola Mobility. In the filing, Google claimed “patents and developed technology” acquired in the deal were valued at $5.5 billion—less than half of the $12.4 billion Google paid for the company.
Google also broke down the rest of the purchase price in the SEC filing:
You may already be aware that Google search provides a calculator that offers answers to queries, such as 2+2 directly, from the main search results page. As pointed out by a reader, Google recently updated the calculator search functionality, and it now provides a full HTML5 scientific calculator for these types of search queries. The features work with voice—except for on mobile devices, as they do not have access to the full scientific calculator presented on desktops.
Earlier this month, Google started to roll out a similar widget on its search page for unit conversions, like inches to centimeters. Now, unit conversion queries are presented with the live unit conversion tool (pictured below) that allows you to switch between units of measurements for temperature, length, mass, speed, digital storage, and much more.