A Week in Google: Facebook to Gmail, Google TV Gets Blocked

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Chelsi Nakano avatar

No good news came from the G-side this week. Rumor has it that project Titan (Facebook's alleged e-mail service) will be officially announced on Monday. Meanwhile, FOX joined ABC, CBS and NBC in blocking Google TV, and the battle with Oracle continued with no sign of stopping. 

Welcome Back, Project Titan

I first caught wind of Facebook's rumored webmail service in February, but talk of it died soon after that. Then, earlier this month, Facebook acquired a file sharing service called Drop.io, rekindling some of the Titan flames:

While there's no word on what will happen to Drop.io's eight employees, we do know that company founder Sam Lessin will be joining the Facebook team full time. Interestingly, Lessin and Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg attended Harvard University together, and Lessin reportedly played a significant part in Facebook's early days as Zuck's New York venture capitalist tour guide.

So, perhaps this is simply a case of swooping up an old friend (Drop.io raised roughly US$ 1 million less than the regulatory filing indicates they were aiming for). OR, perhaps it's a building block of the seemingly dead Facebook webmail application rumor (a.k.a. Project Titan and no, I still haven't let that go). Guess we'll have to wait and see.

Jason Kincaid of Techcrunch semi-answered my suspicions with a post early this morning: 

Back in February we wrote about Facebook’s secret Project Titan — a web-based email client that we hear is unofficially referred to internally as its “Gmail killer”. Now we’ve heard from sources that this is indeed what’s coming on Monday during Facebook’s special event, alongside personal @facebook.com email addresses for users.

They're all just rumors, sure, but you can't deny that IF Project Titan is coming into fruition, it sure would explain Facebook and Google's recent battle for user data. Keep an eye and an ear out  next week for more on the war. 

Nobody Likes Google TV

Google TV has gotten a lot of hype from almost everyone except Steve Jobs, who doesn't  anyone will be interested in purchasing another set-top box."Ask TiVo. Ask Replay TV. Ask Roku. Ask Vudu. Ask us," he said at at the All Things Digital D8 Conference this year. "Ask Google in a few months…Sony's tried as well. Panasonic's tried. They've all failed."

Funnily enough, it turns out the problem with Google TV isn't the set-top, it's the fact that television companies are unsure how they're going to make money as more video content moves to the Web.  So far, Fox , ABC, CBS and NBC have all blocked their content from Google TV, and though the Internet giant hasn't commented recently, a spokesperson said some time back:  “Google TV enables access to all the Web content you already get today on your phone and PC, but it is ultimately the content owners’ choice to restrict their fans from accessing their content on the platform.”

Learning Opportunities

Tsk, Tsk, Oracle 'Redacted or Deleted' Code

The latest in the Oracle vs. Google Java-infringement lawsuit is pret-ty ugly. Google's latest answer to Oracle’s amended complaint claims that Oracle doctored code to make its case against Google look better:

Google response to Oracle amended complaint

"Google further denies that the document attached to Oracle’s Amended Complaint as Exhibit J contains a true and correct copy of a class file from either Android or “Oracle America’s Java.” Google states further that Oracle has redacted or deleted from the materials shown in Exhibit J both expressive material and copyright headers that appear in the actual materials, which are significant elements and features of the files in question,” wrote Google.

"In its latest filing, Google also charges Oracle of misusing its patents by improperly forcing companies to license Java technology that wasn’t covered by Oracle’s intellectual property," added Ryan Kim of GigaOM. "And it said that its implementation of Java is legal both because Oracle’s patents are invalid and because Android was developed independently without reference to Oracle’s copyrights. For good measure, Google said that any copyright infringement is covered under fair use."