#34 - Australia vs Google ... Project Loon shut down ... Zoho
“"We don't respond to threats."
— Australian Prime Minister on Google’s threat to switch off search services in Australia.
We will speak more on Google’s threat in Australia in this edition
Many states in USA are using VAMS (Vaccine Administration Management Software), built by Deloitte, to rollout the vaccines to their citizens. But the rollout of vaccine doses has been severely hampered due to various glitches in the $48 million software.
The Indian Government has permanently banned TikTok, WeChat, Baidu, UC Browser and 50+ other Chinese based apps in India.
Zoho founder Sridhar Vembu has been conferred the Padma Shri award this year. He is a rare breed in Indian technology sector. Zoho is the probably the only Indian IT Product company that is an unicorn built without external funding.
The Indian government is about to ban trading of private owned cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ripple, etc and introduce a new RBI backed digital currency.
By the way, Zoho has released a desi version of chat app, called Arattai. The name literally means ‘chat’ in Tamil. The app promises to be more secure and data will not be shared without user’s consent. It can accommodate 1000 members in a group.
Project Loon shut down. Why?
While the project was ready to handle technological challenges, the commercialization challenge was tough given that mobile penetration all over the world grew from 75% to 93%. That means getting the remaining 7% to cover the costs is unviable.
During the course of the project, the team stumbled upon an important technological breakthrough - beaming internet via light, without any optic cable. This spun off a new moon-shot project called Taara. Imagine sending data across a long distance without the need to dig trenches, laying cables and costly manpower! What a cost saving would that be? More about Project Taara
Australia vs Google. Why are they at loggerheads?
Search engines such as Google and Bing earn money from indexing media content and relevant ads, but the news publishers get very little money. Though Google argues that news publishers benefit when the user is re-routed from Google to the publishers’ websites. But the publishers want a big share of pie.
So the Australian government is mandating Google, Facebook and other search engines to pay license fees to the news publishers for sharing the journalistic content. Google argues that this policy is a huge financial risk for the company and has threatened to block Australian users from accessing Google.
But Australian government is not cowing down. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said "We don't respond to threats." He added that "Australia makes our rules for things you can do in Australia. That's done in our Parliament."
Hope this edition was information. Till the next edition, Stay Healthy, Stay Safe