As noted in the report, Boston was previously relying on Microsoft’s Exchange for much of its tasks and making the switch to Google will save the city around $280,000 a year:
It’s not just the gee whiz factor: It’s also a matter of money. It will cost Boston around $800,000 to move over to Gmail, Google Docs for word processing, and Google’s cloud service for storing documents. But by dropping some Microsoft products, the city government will save at least $280,000 a year.
Microsoft responded to the decision in a statement to the Boston Globe, claiming, “Google’s investments in these areas are inadequate, and they lack the proper protections most organizations require.” Read more
Father of the Internet and Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf took to the company’s Public Policy Blog today to urge people to join the freeandopenweb.com petition hours before a closed-door meeting with governments and the International Telecommunication Union in Dubai. Google launched the Free and Open Web campaign in response to what it called the ITU and governments attempts to “further regulate the internet.” As noted by Cerf in the post, the ITU is holding a conference in Dubai from Dec. 3 to Dec. 14 that would “revise a decades-old treaty, in which only governments have a vote.” Late last week, Cerf outlined some of the topics rumored to be discussed at the meetings:
Some of these governments are trying to use a closed-door meeting of The International Telecommunication Union that opens on December 3 in Dubai to further their repressive agendas. Accustomed to media control, these governments fear losing it to the open internet. They worry about the spread of unwanted ideas. They are angry that people might use the internet to criticize their governments. Read more
Late last night, Google’s Sergey Brin took to his Google+ account to post his thoughts on the eve of the U.S. elections and offer a plea to the winner. Brin explained he is “dreading today’s elections,” while describing government as “a giant bonfire of partisanship”:
I must confess, I am dreading today’s elections…Not because of who might win or lose…Not because as a Californian, my vote for President will count 1/3 as much as an Alaskan (actually it won’t matter at all — I’m not in a swing state)…Not because my vote for Senate will count 1/50 as much as an Alaskan…But because no matter what the outcome, our government will still be a giant bonfire of partisanship
His request for the winner? Withdraw from any political party and govern independently: Read more
The United States government traditionally prefers BlackBerries for their security features and it is known for barring its employees from sending classified messages using smartphones that do not meet security certifications. That is changing, though, as Uncle Sam is putting forth a test program that will see some U.S. officials, including troops, use smartphones running a modified version of Google’s Android software rather than a commercial one.
This modified Android version will be installed on commercially available phones sporting hardware that meets certain security criteria. According to“people involved in the project” who spoke to CNN, the forked Android version with added security features will let U.S. troops and government workers handle classified government documents over cellular networks. These secure devices will be first deployed to U.S. Army that has been testing touchscreen smartphones and tablets for nearly two years. Later, secure Android phones will arrive to certain federal agencies that will use them to send and receive government cables, the report noted.
According to a report from Politico earlier this month, Google was considering quitting the U.S. Chamber of Commerce due to their support of the Stop Online Piracy Act. Now, a new project known as GoogleQuitTheChamber.org is urging everyone to petition Google and vote for the best reason they should quit the Chamber. The project’s tagline– “The Chamber’s policies are evil, Google– Don’t be evil”.
Together, we will work to hold the world’s corporations accountable to the public interest and move our global economic system towards social equity, democratic principles, and long-term sustainability. By signing our petition to Google, you’ll join SumOfUs’s email list. We’ll send you opportunities to fight corporate power and build a better, safer, more democratic world about once a week.
When visiting the site’s homepage (which looks suspiciously like a Google site), you’ll be greeted with the petition, and you’ll also be able to +1 the most important reasons Google should quit the chamber. Currently the leading reasons to quit include “The Financial Crisis” with 16.83% of votes, and “Corporate Greed” with 14.85%. Other reasons range from intellectual property to climate change, invasion of privacy, and healthcare reform, but the site allows you to submit your own as well. While highlighting some of Google’s work to protect the environment and advance open internet policies, the “Where Google Stands” page notes Chamber of Commerce’s views are in “direct conflict with Google’s mission”.
The project was started by SumOfUs.org, a “global movement of consumers, investors, and workers” who say they stand for “Governments that answer to citizens – not corporations”. They correctly point out that in 2009 Apple quit the Chamber over environmental concerns, while Nike quit the board of the Chamber shortly after, and Yahoo recently quit over internet censorship legislation. So what’s so bad about the chamber? SumOfUs explains their stance: Read more
Over the past 60 hours, Chinese officials have begun blocking Gmail and the Android Market running on Android devices reportsPenn Olson. In the report, Penn Olson says that Gmail can’t send a single email and the Market is incredibly slow, making it utterly useless. The ban is currently taking place across many ISPs and mobile carriers around the country.
As the report mentions, this ban won’t affect that many Android users in China. Many use other email providers and other app markets that have been made available. But at any rate, why would China begin to make this move? Now there’s no confirming this.. but what if it was a possibility:
Come to think of it, it might be related to how Google+ this weekend enabled the Dalai Lama to chat with the Archbishop Desmond Tutu – a virtual equivalent of the planned face-to-face birthday meeting in South Africa that Chinese authorities were so utterly desperate to stop.