Google abandons plans for new data center in Hong Kong due to lack of land


Google’s proposed data center (red icon) location in the Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate in Kowloon, next to a golf course.

News that Google was building new data centers in Hong Kong have circulated since the beginning of the year. Google has, however, now decided to cancel the project in Hong Kong. The company blames real estate acquisition issues as the reason for the decision. It isn’t immediately apparent if Google’s contentious relationship with the Chinese Government is to blame or if Honk Kong’s operation costs were at issue. It was reported in September 2011 that Google had already acquired  2.7 hectares of land n the Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate in Kowloon which was expected to employ 25 full-time Googlers by this year…

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Google’s expanded transit Street Views include airports, train stations and planes

transit

Shortly after a Street View tour of London’s Gatwick Airport, Google has expanded its transit program to encompass 15 other airports, more than 50 train & metro stations – and even allows your virtual trips to take you right onto an airliner at Dubhai.

Google’s blog shows off a small selection of the new locations, including check-in at Madrid airport, arrivals at Tokyo airport, a walk though London’s Waterloo train station and locating your seat on board an Emirates A380 airliner.

The split view, showing both terminal map and Street View walk-thru, is particularly helpful for familiarising yourself with a transit airport in advance of a tight connection …  Read more

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

New Google data centers to bring 30 percent speed increase to areas worldwide

google sign

According to a report from the Economic Times, new data centers in Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong are set to bring more speed to Google’s services for many areas. Construction on these data center sites began in 2011 at the sum of $300 million, and, according to today’s report, they are pegged to bring a 30 percent speed increase to Google services for neighboring regions. The Singapore facility is expected to go up in the next few months, while the Taiwan is pegged for the second half. No timetable has been given on the Hong Kong facility.

As an Internet-relying company, one big focus area for Google is speed. The new data centers are going to hopefully bring more speed to areas that normally aren’t as fast. Lalitesh Katragadda, head of product at Google India, explained: “Internet connectivity speed in India is not very high. These data centres will be crucial to this market due to its proximity.” Outside of Asia, Google has seven other data centers across the world. Several are in the U.S., with one each in Finland, Belgium, and Ireland as well. [Economic Times via TNW]

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Handwriting recognition company Vision Objects announces deal with Samsung for Galaxy Note apps

Vision Objects, a company that provides handwriting recognition and digital ink technologies for various platforms, today announced a deal with Samsung to develop apps for the Galaxy Note line of devices. According to the company’s press release (below), Samsung has already integrated the technology into the input panel and S Note personal note-taker app in the Galaxy Note, Note II, and Note 10.1.

“Our partnership with Samsung is a great step forward in showing the industry that smartphones and tablets can be used for content creation and not solely for media consumption,” said Stefan Knerr, Founder and CEO of Vision Objects. “The tablet market is driven by mobility needs – but until now tablets have been used to access information, not create it. With our handwriting recognition and the S Pen, people can now expect a lot more from their device for uses such as note taking in meetings and lectures, writing messages, ideation and brainstorming, data capture in enterprises, document annotation, easily entering mathematical expressions, educational games and more.”

The company makes a number of apps for the desktop, Android, and iOS, but today it is updating its MyScript Notes Mobile iOS app with functionality similar to the smart note taking on Galaxy Note. The full press release from Vision Objects is below:

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Interview: Google Enterprise VP Amit Singh on expansion, social and numbers

We sat down with Google Enterprise Vice President Amit Singh in his Mountain View office this week to discuss the direction and plans of the Google Enterprise team.  While he did not share the all-important revenue numbers with us, he did shine a light on Google Apps’ impressive growth across all of its markets.

Singh was a two-decade alumnus of Oracle when he came with many, many others to the GooglePlex last March to help Dave Girouard and the Enterprise Team sell to big business.  Oracle announced this week very disappointing earnings that has thrown the stock price off almost 15 percent.  Meanwhile, Google Apps is growing like gangbusters; Perhaps Singh’s timing is good.

9to5Google: Hi, Amit. I assume we’re here to talk about your big GM announcement.

Singh: We have no big announcements today but look forward to a whole assortment of announcements in mid-January.  We tend to announce new customers after implementation rather than after sign up. Here’s a hint: we’re growing very big in South America…and Asia, where we’re building three monster data centers in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore that should all be online in the next 12-18 months.

9to5Google: Speaking on that, Apps has had a pretty solid year.  It seems like you have a big announcement almost every week and new features added to Google Docs every day.

Singh: It has been incredible across the board. We are seeing double the daily signups and about 5,000 organizations per day vs. 3,000 per day at the beginning of the year [those numbers also seems to point to bigger signups] and a lot of those are paying users.

9to5Google: You mentioned the new Hong Kong data center and it appears that Google’s plan for China is to deal with Hong Kong’s system.  But what about users in China? Certainly international organizations have to be wary of Google’s relationship with greater China.

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