We're settled in here at D9, and while it's probably past your bedtime back east, a couple of bigwigs are about to say quite a few interesting things at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. According to our schedule here, we've got Robert Thomson (Managing Editor, The Wall Street Journal) and Eric Schmidt (Executive Chairman, Google
) on deck, and we'll be bringing you the blow by blow as the unscripted interviews unfold.
10:55PM That's a wrap! We'll be back for more in the morning. Get some rest, folks. Or don't -- your call.
10:53PM For what's worth, he added that most malware and viruses don't hone in on Macs today, but it's no secret that Eric's got Mac close to his heart. It's a love / hate thing, we're sure.
10:52PM Speaking about worrying over security... Eric just said "you could use a Mac over a PC." Yikes!
10:51PM Eric: "It's really defined by the input -- keyboard and touch, for example."
10:51PM Walt: "How does the consumer understand the distinction between web apps and Android apps?"
Eric: "The consumer doesn't understand anything you just said." Boom!
10:50PM Eric: "People could development apps in a wrapper, and eventually, it's reasonable to expect that HTML5 will be the leader. But this is many years from now -- maybe five years. It's a very consumer-friendly thought if everyone were to address this one development model."
10:49PM Eric: "There are more than 400,000 Android activations per day, and the Android success continues at a rapid pace. Today, it uses a variant of Java for development, and the emerging platform is HTML5. From our perspective, HTML5 is an open web standard, but Android apps are very different -- they're based around touch."
10:48PM Question: "Is Android temporary, is it all going to the cloud?"
10:47PM Eric: "Computers are good at things that humans are very bad at. They literally remember everything, and they can suggest things to do." We're fearing the worst right now...
10:46PM Kara: "You're talking about a self-aware device?" Eric: "You have to be careful with the wording here..."
10:46PM Eric: "There's going to be a social angle to most of this."
10:46PM Eric: "What are computers good at? Remembering everything. Estimating things. Predicting things. You can imagine a situation where, in an opt-in scenario, the phone could remember and notice what you're supposed to be doing. It'll tell you if your friends are nearby, etc. Tons of startups see these things are markets that can be exploited."
10:44PM Eric: "Not everything can be solved with technology, but we can fundamentally address most things."
10:44PM Eric: "Don't mess with the internet unless you really have to," speaking about his reply to a politician last week. Sort of like Texas, but using the WWW.
10:43PM Eric: "When politicians realize that the internet is messing with things they are used to, it's up to the consumers to make sure they don't screw it all up -- use it for censorship and the like. It's something I'm very concerned about." You and us both, Eric, you and us both...
10:42PM Question: "Are you worried about people seeing different results for each user?"
10:41PM Eric: "Regarding the retention policies on Google Wallet, that'll fall back onto widely regarding credit card policies already in place. We have a strong policy inside of Google to not data mine this stuff to create a surprise. There's a separate EULA for that."
10:40PM Question: "Will Google Wallet follow that rule of 12-18 months of keeping data?"
10:39PM Eric: "We're trying to move to a more individualized agreement. That's a mega deep issue, though."
10:39PM Question: "Consumers seem more willing to just click through a EULA, and it's a lot of trouble for businesses when it comes to saying Google is the safe thing to use. Will the EULA be applied more broadly across apps?"
10:38PM Eric speaking about ethics: "It's up to senior leadership. We've had some missteps, and now we have a very thorough process. We are so sensitive on the privacy issue now -- if there's *any chance* of privacy being an issue, we have people with product developers right from the start."
10:36PM Eric: "We had a lot of problems with illegal uploads, but now that we have tech to find that as it uploads, it's pretty much a moot point."
10:35PM Eric: "YouTube is one of our most successful acquisitions. The strategy has been twofold: figure out how to make money off of it (we're seeing that, finally), and the second thing is that we're starting to fund made-for-internet-only content."
10:34PM Question: "Regarding YouTube, what is it? It's not cats riding skateboards anymore, but what's it going to be when it grows up?"
10:34PM Eric: "The answer is yes, but of course we never know if the app's going to be approved on the other side. It's complicated due to rules on the other platforms."
10:33PM Question: "Regarding Google Web Services -- one of the areas where Google enjoys superiority over Apple is in voice recognition. Have you considered Google Voice opening up to platforms beyond Android? And what's up with Translate API being killed due to widespread abuse?"
10:32PM Floor's asking questions -- here come the hardballs! Maybe.
10:31PM Eric: "I'm really proud of helping turn Google into a real force. Larry's going to focus a lot more on products, and will move even more quickly than I was able to."
10:30PM Kara: "What is the Eric Schmidt Google era?"
10:30PM Eric: "There's no intent to favor just a single platform [with Google Offers]. The easier we make it for you, everyone's happier. The advertising firm is happier, the consumer is happier."
10:29PM Kara: "Who do you expect to be your biggest rival?" Eric seems to think that "there will be multiple choices." Hmmm, wonder who is seriously going to step to this?
10:28PM Eric: "You can't look at this in isolation. If you lose your phone, we can re-provision it. This lets you carry a ton of cards. It's a one-stop shop. Better tracking, better management -- it's just fundamentally easier in a cloud-based model."
10:28PM Walt: "What is the appeal of people using their phone instead of a card?"
10:27PM Eric: "Thousands of partners will be announced, and Portland's a great place to test out new technology, believe it or not." Yeah, Oregon!
10:27PM Walt summarizes things: "Yep, they're going to be rivaling Groupon, etc."
10:27PM We never change for the app and payments -- we make money on the offers, similar to other players in the space.
10:26PM Eric seems to think that getting merchants onboard won't be an issue; upgrades should be as easy as pie for those who already have VeriFone terminals. We shall see, we shall see...
10:25PM Walt: "Do consumers really feel tired of taking their cards out of their wallet? And it doesn't matter if the merchants aren't onboard." Both markedly valid points, we'd say.
10:24PM We've got Floyd's Coffee Shop, amongst others, rolling out tomorrow in Portland. NYC and San Francisco are going to be live "this summer."
10:23PM Google's about to showcase something "that'll be introduced tomorrow." Google Offers live in Portland, Oregon.
10:22PM Walt: "Is this cheaper than buying Groupon?" Laughs. Eric: "Depends on the price!"
10:21PM Walt: "If you decided to go to WP7 or iPhone... what are you do to?" Eric seems to think that'll possible in the future if the NFC chip is there. Very interesting!
10:21PM Walt: "So, you have to have an Android phone to do this?" Eric replied: "Initially."
10:20PM Nothing different here -- just a copycat demo of what we saw last week. The crowd still seems shocked. Perhaps they were busy spending millions on new threads using an outdated "swipe" method when El Goog first demonstrated this?
10:17PM The trio's taking a break in order to showcase a Google Wallet demo. We're guessing that they'll be extra sure to avoid showcasing legitimate credit card numbers on-screen this go 'round...
10:15PM Eric: "Ha, Larry's pretty busy focused on products. Me, I'm concerned about the reach and the investment of the internet. There's legislation -- a slippery slope -- that could make DNS registration tricky. It previously never occurred to me that these regulators would ever think to mess with the very fabric of the internet. I'm worried that we'll end up with an internet-per-country."
10:14PM Kara: "What is your job #1 at Google over the next year, and will Larry ever come out of the cave?"
10:13PM Eric: "We could compute a better answer about the results you'd need should you *give us permission* to research friends / rankings. It's important to make clear that "give us permission" part. Ha! Not walking into that one, eh Eric?
10:12PM Eric: "This is exactly what drove the acquisition of ITA (the flight search engine."
10:12PM "We're trying to move away from answers that are link-based, due to our backend technology that's literally computing the right answer."
10:12PM Eric: "There's always the possibility for a new invention to swoop in -- we've looked at this very carefully. An awful lot of people try to game the outcome, and in the most recent tweak, we've spotted and addressed a lot of that. We make hundreds of improvements per quarter that you never see."
10:11PM Walt: "Speaking as a consumer, my Google results still seem more polluted than usual. I'm getting some indirect links that aren't useful for me. Is your algorithm still the right way to go?"
10:09PM Eric speaking about Nokia: "They'd be a great partner." You're telling us! We heard that Elop's here in California -- let's get some paperwork going!
10:09PM "We would still love to have Nokia be an Android licensee." Big words!
10:08PM Eric: "You'd have to make this choice based on the market."
10:08PM Kara: "If you had to pick a third, which would you pick?"
10:08PM Eric: "The one overlap I've seen is HTML5. Both companies have announced major support for this protocol."
10:08PM Eric: "Most people don't have a third choice. Due to the closed nature of Apple, you can't take Android tools and just port that over to Apple. Apple could loosen these policies, but at the moment they aren't [loose]."
10:07PM Walt's talking mobile! "If you were a developer, a small one, and I'm going to make an app and attempt to attract an audience. I'm going to put it on iOS, put it on Android... what's your third choice?"
10:06PM He's tying back to a quite he made about Microsoft earlier, which noted that it's doing an exceptionally poor job gaining mind share in the consumer market, although it's doing well continuing to sell to enterprise. Definitely a burn aimed directly at Redmond.
10:05PM Eric seems to think that's more of a transition rather than some things dying and being replaced by others.
10:05PM Kara: "Who suffers from this death of IT?"
10:04PM Eric: "The entire industry is moving to this cloud model. With the new technology, you don't need all of that specialization."
10:04PM Eric: "When I was younger, I assumed businesses would be the growth industry. And now, you see computer science solving real problems. What you're seeing is the death of IT as we know it, replaced by cloud computing solutions. The next-gen companies will be built using web solutions."
10:03PM Walt: "You said the bias of technology is putting the hands in the power of consumers. There's a division in the minds of most companies -- this is a consumer product, and this is an enterprise product." Walt, where are we going here?
10:02PM Walt's killing Eric when it comes to third-party apps being able to do "evil" things. Eric: "There's plenty of apps I don't like, that are still legal." A fine point!
10:01PM Eric's suggesting that Google's intentionally avoiding the kind of thing that'll be crushed by governments when it comes to facial recognition.
10:00PM Eric: "I'm very concerned about the marriage of biometers and location data. An evil dictator could use that against you, and in Europe there's a lot of regulation behind that."
9:59PM Eric's talking about the revolution in data -- in just a few years, most of the world now has access to nearly everything thanks to the internet, and people will continue to be massively empowered, and "they'll be used for good and evil, by the way."
9:57PM Kara's asking about if Eric was offered the commerce job, and he seems dead-set on staying around at the company. Even after death, if possible. Walt points out just how interesting of a career path this is...
9:56PM Walt's asking if that warning about privacy is "enough." Eric made a decision to "not curate," and instead be focused on openness.
"The Apple model is the inverse of the Google model."
9:55PM Eric: "There is a certain amount of information that goes back, but it's made anonymous and it's never used for search."
9:55PM "We don't take the information your phone gathers about location and suck it into search. We don't suck it anywhere!"
9:55PM Kara's telling Eric a story about Steve Jobs calling Android a "probe in your pocket." Ouch!
9:54PM Eric seems to think that regulators themselves have "settled" on this 12 - 18 month policy. Now, Kara's asking if that changes when it comes to mobile...
9:53PM Walt's pushing Eric on what makes sense to the public when it comes to privacy. Walt's clearly a fan of Obama -- in fact, he has a "HOPE" shirt on under his button-up.
9:52PM "The ultimate answer is transparency. The rub here is how long do we keep this information -- the simple answer is that we need to keep some to keep our algorithms in order. We usually say 12 - 18 months."
9:51PM They're arguing. Millionaire fight?
9:51PM Walt's asking about giving Google too much power with privacy. Eric just blasted a great answer: "If you've spent any time with the US government, you may start to feel more comfortable with this data in the hands of a private company." Zing!
9:50PM Walt's changing the subject. Good move, Walt. Let's talk Ice Cream Sandwich.
9:50PM Eric: "In our case, we're clearly doing well in ads, and even in display ads where we aren't number one, we can now offer an amazing product to those who want it."
9:49PM Eric's answering in a very odd way -- talking flashbacks here. Days on the basketball court, eating Dippin' Dots with his boys. Good times.
9:49PM Kara's back on management -- "What does Google look like in five years?"
9:48PM Eric: "If we *could* land these deals, we could expand our functionality greatly." Heh, no kidding!
9:48PM Eric's talking up the differences that we're dealing with in the record industry: bypassing labels, piracy, etc. Mostly alluding to reasons why labels wouldn't deal.
9:47PM Eric doesn't seem to have any insider information. We aren't 100 percent certain we believe that.
9:47PM Walt: "There's a lot of rumors that Apple will succeed here where Amazon and Google failed."
9:46PM The cloud music question... Eric: "Music is fundamental now on all of these [mobile] devices." Our main competitor, Apple... iTunes is very familiar, and they have long-standing deals. We've been trying to convince the music industry to go on subscription basis, and they just haven't been willing to deal."
9:45PM Eric: "Google, in many ways, is a cloud computing company. I wouldn't describe us as just a search company." That was in response to a question from Walt, and yeah, we'd agree with Eric here.
9:45PM Talking up Google Music!
9:43PM That's true friendship right there. In other news, he's talking up different divisions that have been formed.
9:43PM Kara's asking about the differences between Eric's job and Larry's job. Eric: "Larry's a genius."
9:42PM Eric: "Amazon has done a great job in the cloud, and they've also done a great job of scaling rapidly."
9:41PM Walt's suggesting that things now find people via friend recommendations, not search. Eric clearly doesn't agree.
9:41PM "We aren't looking to directly compete against Facebook."
9:39PM Kara just said that "+1 will be announced tomorrow," and Eric didn't bat an eye. Hmm.
9:39PM "Facebook does things that are different than what Google does." Man, this conversation is going all over the map, and fast!
9:38PM "We just renewed our Map and Search agreements with Apple, and we hope those continue for a long time."
9:38PM On Apple: We have a partnership with them, and we compete with them.
9:37PM Eric Schmidt's out! Apologies for the blips there -- we're back on, though!
9:24PM Ha! "Temporary News Corp" CEO is out. Jane Lynch! She's canning The Daily, and just busted on Sarah Palin. Super on topic!
9:20PM Robert Thomson's out here making jokes. Talking up Walt & Kara, not surprisingly. Though, talking up what we're about to hear about ain't a bad thing to do.
9:17PM We're patiently waiting for things to start. "Fashionably late" is the term?
9:16PM There's more money in this room than in most developed nations. Also, music is a touch on the loud side.