When Google Runs your life OR maybe not

A recent Forbes article on Google is a very interesting read. Here is an extract:

Your day begins with a wake-up call from your Google Android phone. As you run to the shower, you hit Google News and check headlines, then Gmail. Your first appointment of the day has been moved to a new location; Google Maps will direct you there. Quickly update your expense report–including the printout of that sales presentation using, say, Google Template–and shoot them to the back office in India (in Hindi, if you prefer, with Google Translate). Your boss wants to discuss your group’s contributions to some marketing documents? Lean on Google Groups. You’re not even out the door yet. You have the rest of the day to search for work-critical information on the Web while you’re at the office–to say nothing of snatching a few moments to download a game, check stock prices, organize your medical records, share photos and pick a restaurant and movie for the evening. How convenient. And a little creepy, perhaps.

Here is the full Dec 10, 2009 Forbes article.

If you don’t like this then you can decide to opted-out of Google and go and live in the Google Opt-out Village. Sounds like fun 🙂

Google Opt Out Feature Lets Users Protect Privacy By Moving To Remote Village

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Most influential South African VC – Roelof Botha

Roelof Frederik Botha is a partner at Sequoia Capital, one of the most influential VC firms in the world. Sequoia has the highest rating on TheFunded website of 3.9. Here is his bio from the Sequoia website:

Roelof Botha is a venture capitalist at Sequoia Capital focusing on services and software investments. Prior to joining Sequoia Capital in 2003, Roelof served as the Chief Financial Officer of PayPal (EBAY). Earlier, he worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company. Roelof is a certified actuary (Fellow of the Faculty of Actuaries), and has a BS in Actuarial Science, Economics, and Statistics from the University of Cape Town and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.                                     

Botha is the grandson of Pik Botha (not to be confused with PW Botha), South Africa’s former minister of foreign affairs. He was born in South Africa and completed his Actuarial Science degree at the University of Cape Town. Botha also graduated with an MBA from the Stanford Business School in 2000. He received 3 MBA awards including the Henry Ford II award for being the top scholar.

Elon Musk, then CEO of Paypal, hired Botha in 2001 and 7 months before Paypal’s IPO he became its CFO. After Paypal’s acquisition by eBay for a cool $1.5bn he joined Sequoia Capital. According to the Mercury News Botha is one of a few VCs to turn its first deal into a billion dollar deal. That’s exactly what Botha did with Sequoia’s small investment in YouTube in 2006. The following SiliconBeat Q&A with Botha provides insight regarding YouTube before the Google acquisition.Botha is #22 on the 2008 Forbes Midas List, moving up one position from 2007. The Midas List chronicles the top deal makers in the world. He is also listed as one of the PayPal Mafia in a 2007 Fortune article.

 Here is Kara Swisher’s July 2007 interview with Botha at the Sequioa’s offices on Sand Hill Road: 

Botha is involved in the following Sequoia investments:

Not a lot is known about Botha’s personal life. He is married and has two sons aged 2 and 5 years old. He likes to play chess. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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Are we losing the World Wide Web (www)?

Well, not really…I recently started to see that many blog URLS omit the www. prefix, e.g., using only instead of “”, or “” instead of

no-www logo

Read all about the deprecation (I had to look up the word) of “www.”. The site seems to be the definitive source. It’s a quick read and I decided to cite the main idea: philosophy strives to make the Internet and communications about it as fruitful as possible. To that end, we make the modest proposal that website makers configure their main sites to be accessible by as well as

Wikipedia has a no-www entry that’s a bit more technical. This Dailyblogtips post is well written and understandable. I quote some of the article here:

The problem arises because Google and other search engines view the two versions as two distinct sites, even if they have the exact same content (technically, in fact, the “www” denotes a subdomain that could point to different content).Search engine ranking is based, among other things, on the number of incoming links to your site. If you keep the two versions available some people will link to “” while other people will link to the “”, basically splitting your backlink count.

Dialyblogtips also posts on how to tell Google your preferred domain. If you have a WordPress blog then you can use this no-www plugin from Mr WP himself (read the comments).Finally, you can test your own site’s no-wwwness here…is it a class A, B or C. Be careful your site may end up on the “Wall of Shame”.Ok folks, this is a test. In the comments explain in 2 sentences what all this means. Go!

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Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud – EC2

Amazon and Google are launching some amazing services these days. Amazon’s services include: Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Simple Storage Service (S3) and now Flexible Payments Service. These services may be accessed via APIs (web services) and are used by developers to introduce new products and services. Amazon charges a small fee for using their infrastructure and this is a new income stream for them. The solutions catalog lists a number of solutions built on Amazon’s Web services. Interesting solutions include: (instance management), (file management) and (internet backups). The following blog gives a good overview of what EC2 means for entrepreneurs.I think that utility computing is finally here. This is what IBM’s been talking about for a while, on demand computing.Google offers another set of interesting web services. It includes APIs for interacting with Google Apps and Google Gears that enables web applications to work offline. Adobe offers something similar called, AIR (formerly Apollo). Offline web applications will bring the power of Web 2.0 applications to the offline desktop (Did I just say that? Web apps more powerful than desktop apps?)Intuitively I know that this is a huge disruptive change — if only I can figure out how to take advantage of it! Let me know if you’ve figured it out…Update Sept 6, 2007:  Check out SynthaSite’s use of Amazon’s Computing Cloud. Nirvanix recently launched as an alternative to Amazon’s S3. Nirvanix provides an SLA — Amazon doesn’t.

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BI killer app: Google&Cognos

Last year I wrote about SAP’s in-memory BI technology. Refer to SAP’s SDN portal for the latest info. Today I read about a partnership between Cognos and Google regarding enterprise search and BI. Sounds very interesting and may compete with SAP and Oracle’s BI offerings. The Cognos solution is built into Google’s OneBox appliance.

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