Why did Google choose Greece for its anniversary party?

Jackson West · 09/08/08 09:00PM

The celebration for Google's tenth anniversary party was held in Rhodes, Greece, of all places. It doesn't get much more lavish than flying employees from offices around the world to a popular tourist destination, near the peak of the travel season. One self-proclaimed shareholder employee complained that "spending I'm guessing $1000/a head = $4,000,000 on a party in Greece for European Googlers and (no doubt) 'special' USA based employees is shameful and un-Googley." Actually, for a company whose CEO own a part of not one, not two, but three party planes, it seems pretty darn typical. Lavish expense aside, the question that's been bedeviling me — why Greece? Is there any special significance, besides the hubristic allusion to the Hellenic Golden Age of knowledge? (Photo by Ade Oshineye)

Please share your semiconducted romances and microprocessed fears

Jackson West · 09/04/08 09:20AM

Let's face it, the world of Web development and production is a glamorous sham. The real science is in semiconductors. That cute Ajax script kiddie with the asymmetrical haircut? Ask him to design a microprocessor cache bus. Learn a little ActionScript? Go ahead and try to get a job pinning Intel chips to nuclear reactor control systems or laser-guided bombs. Even if you're a C++ jock or MapReduce expert, your gonads shrink when an actual electronic engineer is in the room. It's okay, you can admit it. We will.We've been focused too much on software and content, even though we know there's someone from SanDisk who just flipped their lid on the playa. Likewise, there must be some poor pacifist at PA Semi who, all too happy to get sold to Apple, learned they had to continue engineering chip fab designs for jets, subs and choppers. I mean, c'mon, AMD minions, can you come up with no good dirt on Intel executives? I yearn to hear the stories from the actual front lines of technology, and not from the front of the line at the British Bankers Club or 111 Minna. Do tell. (Photo by Marcin Wichary)

NetVibes CEO Tariq Krim down, but not out

Jackson West · 05/29/08 01:20PM

COO Freddy Mini will be taking over Krim's job, with Krim staying on the board, as the Paris-based personalized homepage company changes focus to widgets. "No concrete reason for his departure was provided," writes Caroline McCarthy. Surely our tipsters can alleviate the circumspection and tell us why. [CNET] (Photo by Doc Searls)

What's Sergey Brin doing with Arianna Huffington in Tahiti?

Owen Thomas · 04/15/08 11:50PM

Google cofounder Sergey Brin is, two days away from his company's first-quarter earnings call, sunning himself in Tahiti. As is Greco-American blog tycoon Arianna Huffington and Wendi Deng, wife of News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch. Huffington is reportedly there on vacation, but it's a stretch to think Brin and Deng are also there by sheer coincidence. Anyone have a bead on what prompted the South Pacific power summit? Do let us know your theories.

Failed spectrum bid taxes Googlers' health

Nicholas Carlson · 03/24/08 04:40PM

Google PR's party line: Even though Verizon Wireless and AT&T mostly won the FCC"s 700-Mhz spectrum auction, Google got what it wanted out of the bid by forcing the carriers to agree to "open" their new airwaves to any wireless device, including the still-mythical Googlephone. Google's latest actions speak otherwise: Google telecom lawyer Richard Whitt has moved from talking about 700 Mhz to new spectrum, formerly used by TV channels, that will become available next year. Some suspect Google's top management was always bluffing with its spectrum bid. If so, we're guessing they never let the team working on the project in on the secret.

Google kills babies?

Nicholas Carlson · 03/12/08 05:21PM

A tipster emails us to ask about strange goings-on at the Googleplex.

Jordan Golson · 03/11/08 12:22PM

We hear that all MySpace talks at next last week's Mix Conference were unexpectedly cancelled. Anyone know anything about it? email us.

Send in your worst holiday-party photos

Owen Thomas · 12/21/07 03:48PM

The hot Santa at Marissa Mayer's Christmas party inspired us. Readers, we've heard all about your tragic holiday parties — like Facebook's prissy shot luge, where health inspectors forced partygoers to use a glass rather than press their lips against the ice to get a drink. Pictures are worth a 1,000 words. Send in your photos of the most embarrassing holiday-party moments this season, and we'll run the best — the worst, rather — as a present to you next week.

Were you at the Thrillist SF launch party?

Owen Thomas · 12/06/07 05:55PM

Persistent rumors are burning my ears about last week's Thrillist SF launch party. The events newsletter reportedly attracted a very special guest — one who probably should have been burning the midnight oil in Palo Alto dealing with a company crisis. We hear he stayed up late drinking, ending up passed out on a couch, while his girlfriend lit up with friends. Were you there? Drop me a line.

Which "bitch" inspired Zuckerberg to write Facebook?

Nicholas Carlson · 12/06/07 05:40PM

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg kept an online journal during college. Part of it has become publicly available thanks to 02138's recent reporting on the ConnectU case. In this portion of the diary we witness the moment of Zuckerberg's inspiration for Facebook, the social network with 57 million active users and a bubbly valuation of $15 billion. This is, most likely, the kind of thing Facebook wanted to quash with its ill-thought-out lawsuit:

Who is Fake Bono?

Jordan Golson · 11/26/07 03:20PM

Over the long Thanksgiving weekend, Forbes editor Dan Lyons's Fake Steve Jobs blog was taken over by Fake Bono. As the story goes, Bono was spending Thanksgiving at Jobs's house and found El Jobso had left himself logged into Blogger. He got drunk with Googlers, flew on Marissa Mayer's jet to meet the Pope in Uganda, introduced the U2 Edition iPhone, and wouldn't shut up about his RED campaign. Really, who is this guy? Send guesses my way. After the jump, an apology of sorts from Fake Bono to Fake Steve.

Why did Microsoft sack its CIO?

Tim Faulkner · 11/06/07 05:12PM

Heard of Stuart Scott? No, not the lazy-eyed Stuart Scott of ESPN fame, but the wandering-eyed CIO of Microsoft fame. He's been sacked from his chief information officer job at Microsoft after joining the company in 2005. Microsoft will only say:

The New York Times' missing Google quote

Megan McCarthy · 10/31/07 06:00PM

Last night, when Brad Stone and Miguel Helft got the scoop about Google's OpenSocial program, they included a quote from Forrester Research analyst Charlene Li. You can still find the quote using Google's search engine, but it's gone from the text of the story, and we can't find any cached version. Why? Perhaps it was cut for space in the final print version. That strikes me as curious, since space considerations don't apply to the Web, where the full version could have easily remained. More intriguing is the whispers that an unduly loquacious Li might have played a role in the New York Times getting the scoop. We're stumped. Anyone have an answer?

How scary is Brad Fitzpatrick?

Owen Thomas · 10/31/07 12:46PM

We hear that Brad Fitzpatrick, the LiveJournal creator recently hired by Google, has an "epic" costume. Well, we heard that from Fitzpatrick, actually. "Yo, rumor is you need to go down to Google and get a pic of Brad Fitz's costume," a mutual friend IMs. A drive down to Mountain View isn't really in the cards. But is there a helpful coworker who might break the Googleplex's dark veil of security and send Valleywag a photo? We'd be most obliged. And we promise not to rat you out to the Goostapo. (Photo by Randal Alan Smith)

What's Yahoo doing at the Hyatt Santa Clara?

Megan McCarthy · 10/30/07 01:29PM

A friend writes us, "Hey so word on the street is Yahoo is holding some mandatory 'leadership session' this morning in a hotel somewhere — hear about this?" True! Until noon, there are Yahoos meeting at the Hyatt Santa Clara's Grand Ballroom, which seats up to 2,500 people. What's the purpose of the meeting? We're trying to suss that out, but a friend gives an opinion: "Lame corporate pep rally perhaps." Or perhaps an announcement of much-needed management changes. Heard anything more? Please let us know.

Is Cammie Dunaway headed to Nintendo?

Mary Jane Irwin · 10/19/07 04:09PM

Could soon-to-be departed Yahoo chief marketer Cammie Dunaway be on her way to Nintendo of America? That's what one tipster suggests. And it makes sense. Cammie describes her new home as "a natural fit for someone who loves driving profitable revenue for big, well-loved consumer brands and can't pass up the opportunity to be the coolest Mom in the universe." Well it just so happens that Nintendo has a big gaping void left by the departure of senior VP of marketing George Harrison, VP of marketing Perrin Kaplan and public relations director Beth Llewelyn due to the company moving its marketing and PR operations to San Francisco. Whose kids wouldn't be happy to have their mom hawking the Wii? No doubt she'd be happy to stretch her creative wings selling a product people actually like. Kotaku, the videogames blog, can't squeeze a confirmation out of Nintendo. Does anyone have an inside line?

John Battelle's million-dollar ad deal

Paul Boutin · 10/19/07 07:03AM

WEB 2.0 SUMMIT — At a panel discussion about making money in online video, Federated Media VP of sales Chas Edwards said he'd pulled checks "from a million dollars down to $10,000" for video ads on Federated's network, which includes the popular shows Diggnation and Ask a Ninja. The burning question: Who paid a million bucks to Federated, run by Web 2.0 conference co-chief John Battelle, and for what? We were unable to tackle any of Federated's execs at the jam-packed conference Wednesday. Somebody get Edwards or jbat to spill the details, and send it to us. Otherwise we'll wonder if Edwards wasn't actually referring to Microsoft's non-video advertorial deal for which Federated bloggers wrote ad copy. Why? Because Edwards also said the biggest dollars come from selling "host endorsements" rather than separate advertiser-produced spots.

Send me Demo's secret startup list

Owen Thomas · 09/21/07 02:32PM

Embargoes, in the age of instant journalism, are the silliest of PR conventions. In fact, they're counterproductive — especially for publicity-seeking startup conferences like this week's TechCrunch40 and next week's Demo, organized by Chris Shipley (left). And yet not everyone gets this. Blogger Paul Boutin sent TechCrunch40 organizer Jason Calacanis into a rage by committing an act of journalism: Going to the open site of the startup conference last Sunday and copying down, by hand, the names of the 40 startups due to present. What prompted Boutin to do this? Why, the organizers' ham-handed, ridiculous embargo demands.