Drew Cogbill | Thesis Blog

works in progress.

Archive for the ‘google’ tag

Google Voice (aka Google bought Grand Central)

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Google bought Grand Central, and now it’s Google Voice.  I think this is significant because it shows Google’s continuing interest in mobile voice communication.

Written by drewcogbill

March 12th, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Posted in Context and Domains

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O3b: broadband access for developing regions

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Google, HSBC, and Libety Global have invested in O3b networks.  The group plans to implement satellite wireless broadband access to the ‘other three billion’.  The scalable plan calls for partial coverage in Africa by 2010.

(Thanks Ambreen!)

Written by drewcogbill

September 14th, 2008 at 5:07 pm

Google invests in Keyna-based SMS company

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Google invests in Mobile Planet

Mobile telephony is already popular in Africa, and has seen significant growth over the past few years, particularly in countries like Kenya. SMS is clearly a very important technology that provides access to the majority of mobile subscribers. Mobile Planet’s expertise with SMS related technology and mission to “empower the African people with information” make this a very exciting partnership for us. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on how things go!

Written by drewcogbill

August 10th, 2008 at 8:54 pm

Posted in Precedents

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“Inside Nairobi, the Next Palo Alto?”

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The New York Times had an article about the emerging environment of mobile phone innovation in Nairobi a few days ago: “Inside Nairobi, the Next Palo Alto?“.  I’ve read elsewhere that the article came out of the journalist attending BarCamp Nairobi, which I mentioned in a previous post.

It also mentions Google’s Nairobi office.  Google must certainly be interested in Kenya, and Africa, as an enormous future market for services, or they wouldn’t be investing in infrastructure and research there.

Google and the other software developers in Nairobi are primarily focused on expanding what it is to interact with the internet.  In emerging markets where mobile phones will vastly outnumber traditional computers for the foreseeable future, the mobile phone has the real possibility of being the most often used way to interface with the web on Earth.

Written by drewcogbill

July 23rd, 2008 at 4:18 pm

Adam Baker, Google, on Google

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Google Design in Practice: the Challenge of Simplicity on iTunesU.

Adam Baker works for Gmail and specifically worked on Gchat.  He talks about things design (rapid prototyping, scoping, etc.) and how that work in a corporate, engineering environment (Google).

Written by drewcogbill

July 8th, 2008 at 10:27 pm

Posted in Context and Domains, Research

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Scott Jenson’s “Why Phones Are Not Computers”

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Why Phone Are Not Computers” - Human-Computer Interaction Seminar (CS 547) Scott Jenson, Google

Response: Jenson is mostly talking about how the normal web can’t be translated to traditional mobile phones.  Even with more advanced phones, the screen is still much smaller than a computer screen.  This talk was pre-iphone but is certainly still applicable for people living in developing nations where phones are generally older, even black and white models.  Nonetheless, data plans are starting to come into these places.  Here in St. Lucia, you can now get a data plan and even Blackberrys.  Nonetheless, Jenson advocate for using phone applications local-based and people-based.

Death by 1000 cuts: there’s lots of annoying steps to get content, value must be greater than pain
Default thinking: falling back on the thing we were just looking at
It is hard to use mobile phones
SMS- not originally meant to be for consumers
The Inside Text - ed. Richard Harper
Ergo myths: when you talk about phones, you have to talk about millimeters not pixels
- the mouse is gone
- focus on people in development
- Swedish bank- sms alerts for low balance, deposit cleared
- mobile google maps- center button zooming

Arguing that people don’t want to get on the web as it is for the computer on their phone.  The phone experience is different.  Make it local based and people based.

Written by drewcogbill

May 20th, 2008 at 6:30 pm