Talking Schmidt: Know your competition, but don’t copy it

talking schmidt how google works

“Know your competition, but don’t copy it.” Those words of wisdom come from the image above accompanying a message put on the entirely original – not a copy of Facebook – Google+ by Google executive chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt. Schmidt is promoting his new book with Jonathan Rosenberg called How Google Works due out next month where the billionaire lays out the principles that made Google what it is today.

Included with the lemonade stand image and ‘don’t copy’ caption is another Schmidt line on originality and competition. “Playing catch-up with the competition will never help you get ahead by creating something new,” Schmidt says. Google would be the “hard” boozy lemonade to the competitions’ fresh lemonade. In the case of Google Plus, the booze could be the hangouts or perhaps the photo editing features or integration with other Google products.

Now picture this tidbit from Walter Isaacson’s biography of the late Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs:

“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” Jobs said. “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

It’s hard to deny that Android started looking a lot more like iOS after the iPhone’s introduction, and iOS has clearly borrowed its fair share of features from Google’s mobile operating system, but there’s no denying that Schmidt’s message could be challenged. File this one with the rest under Talking Schmidt.

Google chairman Eric Schmidt, other tech CEOs meet with Obama, NSA

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Google chariman Eric Schmidt joined a group of tech CEOs who met with the president and members of the administration today to discuss the implementation of recently-announced changes in the National Security Administration’s spying practices. Other CEOs in the group represented Facebook, Dropbox, Netflix, and more. Along with the president were several advisors and councilors, including the Deputy Director of the NSA.

The executives were updated on the status of changes to the NSA’s spying policies that were first detailed last year and continued to be further expanded upon in recent months. These CEOs were among those who signed an open letter to the federal government comdemning the unwarranted sue of spying tactics to intercept and store communications sent via various online platforms.

Earlier this week Google’s Larry Page also discussed the NSA and issues of privacy during the TED conference.

Talking Schmidt: If you want to have fun, then go to college!

Inside The South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival

Photo via Bloomberg

Finally some wisdom from Schmidt that I can’t dispute: “If all you care about is having fun, you should go to college.”

You know, the Google chairman has a point. He did include a number of other reasons for attending college as well, but that was really just sugar coating:

If all you care about is money, you should go to college. If all you care about is culture and creativity, you should go to college. If all you care about is having fun, you should go to college. Go to college. I can’t be any clearer.

His comments were made during a session at last week’s SXSW (South by Southwest) Festival (via TechCrunch) in Austin, Texas, in yet another appearance to promote his book The New Digital Age. Read more

Talking Schmidt: Robots will become omnipresent in our lives

Our mentor and life coach (and Google chairman) Eric Schmidt is back to enlightening us as only he can. While both exciting the geek in us and deeply concerning the sci-fi movie watcher among us, Schmidt spoke yesterday about Google’s work on automation and experimenting with technology to replace common, repetitive behaviors. You know, like in The Jetsons. Per Bloomberg‘s report of his discussion at the Oasis: The Montgomery Summit, Schmidt shared his vision for the future: “Robots will become omnipresent in our lives in a good way.”

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Talking Schmidt: Mobile devices serve as a check and balance on terrible things

Eric Schmidt B&W

In a recent video interview with The World Post, Google’s Eric Schmidt sounded off on how he thinks smartphones and mobile devices are impacting global politics.

Schmidt describes the positives and negatives of smartphone prevalence across the world (naturally thinking of many more benefits, of course). He addresses government’s ability to use our mobile devices against us, likely referring to recent controversies around NSA practices.

But Schmidt focuses heavily on smartphones enabling young people to have access to more information and grow their voice in the political process, something he says he is working on.

Smartphones make it more difficult for politicians to lie to young people, Schmidt says, because it’s easier to fact check information. Schmidt also describes smartphones as a ‘check and balance’ against evil people and terrible things as cameras and GPS equip young people with tools to spread information. Check out the full video below:

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9to5Google readers, what do you want to see from Google in 2014?

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As Google’s Chairman Eric Schmidt makes his own predictions for 2014, I’m turning the subject over to you…the 9to5Google reader. There’s absolutely no shortage of topics to cover or “what ifs” for Google in 2014. Given the various branch directions that Android, Chrome OS and the company itself can go, it’s a loaded question. With recent reports indicating Chrome OS is on the rise, could we see Microsoft running scared in 2014 against the impending threat of low-cost hardware with an operating system that costs manufacturers absolutely nothing?

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Google sponsoring petition to make warrant necessary for snooping in email

Following a year of mixed messaging and confusion regarding government access to personal data and how companies are handling the issue, Google is putting it’s support behind a petition demanding the United States government require a warrant before accessing email of private citizens.

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt tweeted a link to the company’s post on Google+:

Doesn’t the stuff you keep online deserve the same protection as the stuff you keep offline? Under a law called ECPA, government agencies in the U.S. can see what you’ve written and stored online without a warrant. Sign this petition to the White House and tell the government to get a warrant!

The petition originated on November 12, 2013, and requires just over 42,000 signatures by December 12, 2013, to mean the threshold for a response from the White House. At the time of this writing, just over 57,000 signatures have been collected on the online petition.

The full petition reads as follows: Read more

Eric Schmidt takes to Google+ and tells you all about ditching your iPhone

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I think we all deserve to give Google Chairman Eric Schmidt a round of applause for his recently posted Google+ message telling the world how to ditch the iPhone. In a fairly lengthy write-up, Schmidt describes in detail how to set up an Android device, move contacts over to Gmail from iCloud and a quick reminder that ditching Safari for Chrome is the new hotness.

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Google does U-turn to clean up results in searches for child pornography

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Google has done a U-turn on its previous policy of stopping short of directly interfering with search results and is now actively trapping more than 100,000 searches for material which constitutes child abuse, reports UK newspaper the Daily Mail.

The world’s biggest media firm has agreed to introduce changes which will prevent depraved images and videos from appearing for more than 100,000 different searches.

The company’s chairman Eric Schmidt, writing in today’s Daily Mail ahead of a Downing Street summit on internet pornography, says: ‘We’ve listened. We’ve fine-tuned Google Search to prevent links to child sexual abuse material from appearing in our results’ …  Read more

Steve Jobs went all Steve Jobs on Andy Rubin, calling him a “big, arrogant f***”

Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs points to a member of the audience during a Q&A session at the end of the iPhone OS4 special event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino

Steve Jobs isn’t exactly a man known for keeping his thoughts to himself which is why excerpts found by Business Insider from a new book documenting the Google-Apple smartphone war are grabbing attention. According to the book written by Fred Vogelstein, Google was already working on its first Android-powered smartphone when Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007.

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Talking Schmidt: Google Chairman SHOCKED at NSA hacking of Google network, says he told buddy Obama that it is ‘not OK’

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt expressed his shock at reports that the NSA tapped into the internal communications links between Google servers, describing it as “outrageous” in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. The claim was made as part of the ongoing PRISM revelations.

It’s really outrageous that the National Security Agency was looking between the Google data centers, if that’s true. The steps that the organization was willing to do without good judgment to pursue its mission and potentially violate people’s privacy, it’s not OK …  Read more