Ed Whitacre finally got his answer from someone of equal stature. You may recall, and you should as we endlessly beat on this, the AT&T Chairman saying that companies like Google should have to pay something to companies like AT&T (formerly SBC, formerly formerly Southwestern Bell) to access their network.
This evening, Google founder Larry Page replied. In Q&A following his product presentations, Page was asked to respond to Whitacre. Page said that the Internet has always been about open-ness. He recalled that Google started out as a Stanford research project, which began eating up more and more bandwidth and partner Sergei Brin began developing Google. If they had to pay for all of that access, Page said, Google probably wouldn't have existed. Putting restrictions on the Internet would be “a horrible thing,” Page said.
On the product side, the long-rumored didn't occur. Neither the Google PC nor the Google DRM was introduced. Instead, they produced some nifty new applications, like a Google map version for your car that can either help you get where you're going or get you killed if you watch it instead of the road.
He also announced an enhanced Google video, with real commercial content from partners like the NBA and CBS. CBS Chmn. Les Moonves was on hand for the announcement. Old Paramount shows, like Star Trek, also will be available for purchase.
The evening's entertainment came from Robin Williams, who told more jokes I couldn't remember, and even if I could, wouldn't repeat them here.
However, it was sort of mystifying that given its status as the NUMBER ONE show in America, that no one from CSI: LAS VEGAS was on hand. Maybe next year.
That's all. Goodnight and have a pleasant tomorrow.