[LINK] Google

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Mon Jun 1 21:27:48 EST 2009


Richard writes,

>> Another factor may be how much one can avoid Google?
>
> Oh, I don't think "avoid Google" was particularly on my mind. I was
> just thinking "what do I see in the Google Wave T&Cs?", and found that
> I didn't see enough.


No doubt & ditto Docs. And so, how much maybe personal data is sent home
to Google Co entered at trusted second-party sites with embedded googles?


> I do, however, somewhat dislike the Google-coloured-glasses that seem
> to be issued to much of the media anytime there's a new Google story
> happening. RC


Yes, the thing is, there's usually something happening. Google sure do
have a way of getting world-useful things done. Thanks google. But they
also appear almost arrogant with their trust-us-but-we-can-see-all T&Cs

There are better models, and it annoys me that one need have such doubt

Anyway, here will be yet another Google empire soon on the way. E-books

--
Preparing to Sell E-Books, Google Takes on Amazon 

MOTOKO RICH Published: May 31, 2009 

Google appears to be throwing down the gauntlet in the e-book market. 

In discussions with publishers at the annual BookExpo convention in New 
York over the weekend, Google signaled its intent to introduce a program 
by that would enable publishers to sell digital versions of their newest 
books direct to consumers through Google. 

The move would pit Google against Amazon.com, which is seeking to control 
the e-book market with the versions it sells for its Kindle reading 
device.

Google’s move is likely to be welcomed by publishers who have expressed 
concerns about Amazon’s aggressive pricing strategy for e-books. Amazon 
offers Kindle editions of most new best sellers for $9.99, far less than 
the typical $26 at which publishers sell new hardcovers. 

In early discussions, Google has said it will allow publishers to set 
consumer prices.

“Clearly, any major company coming into the e-book space, providing that 
we are happy with the pricing structure, the selling price and the 
security of the technology, will be a welcome addition,” said David 
Young, chief executive of Hachette Book Group, which publishes 
blockbuster authors like James Patterson, Stephenie Meyer and Nicholas 
Sparks.

Google’s e-book retail program would be separate from the company’s 
settlement with authors and publishers over its book-scanning project, 
under which Google has scanned more than seven million volumes from 
several university libraries. A majority of those books are out of print. 

The settlement, which is the focus of a Justice Department inquiry about 
the antitrust implications and is also subject to court review, provides 
for a way for Google to sell digital access to the scanned volumes.

And Google has already made its 1.5 million public-domain books available 
for reading on mobile phones as well as the Sony Reader, the Kindle’s 
largest competitor. 

Under the new program, publishers give Google digital files of new and 
other in-print books. Already on Google, users can search up to about 20 
percent of the content of those books and can follow links from Google to 
online retailers like Amazon.com and the Web site of Barnes & Noble to 
buy either paper or electronic versions of the books. But Google is now 
proposing to allow users to buy those digital editions direct from 
Google. 

Google has discussed such plans with publishers before, but it has now 
committed the company to going live with the project by the end of 2009. 
In a presentation at BookExpo, Tom Turvey, director of strategic 
partnerships at Google, added the phrase: “This time we mean it.”

Although Google generates a majority of its revenue from ad sales on its 
search pages, it has previously charged for content. Three years ago, it 
opened a Google video store, and sold digital recordings of N.B.A. games 
as well as episodes of television shows like “CSI” and “The Brady Bunch.” 
This year, Google said it might eventually charge for premium content on 
YouTube.

Mr. Turvey said that with books, Google planned to sell readers online 
access to digital versions of various titles. When offline, Mr. Turvey 
said, readers would still be able to access their electronic books in 
cached versions on their browsers.

Publishers briefed on the plans at BookExpo said they were not sure yet 
how the technology would work, but were optimistic about the new program.

Mr. Turvey said Google’s program would allow consumers to read books on 
any device with Internet access, including mobile phones, rather than 
being limited to dedicated reading devices like the Amazon Kindle. “We 
don’t believe that having a silo or a proprietary system is the way that 
e-books will go,” he said.

He said that Google would allow publishers to set retail prices. Amazon 
lets publishers set wholesale prices and then sets its own prices for 
consumers. In selling e-books at $9.99, Amazon takes a loss on each sale 
because publishers generally charge booksellers about half the list price 
of a hardcover — typically around $13 or $14.

Mr. Turvey said that Google would probably allow publishers to charge 
consumers the same price for digital editions as they do for new 
hardcover versions. He said Google would reserve the right to adjust 
prices that it deemed “exorbitant.”

www.nytimes.com

--

Cheers, Richard
Stephen Loosley


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