What is happenin’

This and that, that happened this past week in the wireless/mobile/PR industry.

This post was originally seen on the Mobility Public Relations Blog.

Google is attempting to legalize…
… Self-driving cars (in Nevada), and subsequently texting while driving, since – you know – you wouldn’t be driving any more. Vegas is a place that many go to retire; the cheap housing combined with warm weather makes Vegas a popular contender for retirees, and soon the elderly could have another reason: self-driving cars. You can read more on this endeavor here, and make sure you watch the video – the Prius takes turns a lot like my grandmother, only “safer.” Well, I know that neither the Prius nor my grandmother can see, but Google’s Prius appears to have fewer scuffs.

To Chrome or not to Chrome; that is the question.
Google is making a splash into the netbook market with the Chromebook. Google’s definitely made a splash into the headlines, and after June 15th we’ll start to see how the trend turns. The idea of the Chromebook is the essence of simplicity. The Chromebook has one function: to run the Google Chrome Web browser. The idea is to have a virus-free, lightning fast computer. It starts up in roughly eight seconds and voila, you are already browsing the Web with Chrome. There is speculation regarding Google taking a part of the “office” pie that Microsoft holds. Personally, I am not a fan of the name, this may already be obvious to you, but the name is essentially an Apple rip-off. Call me old-fashioned but, I would not purchase a computer where I had to view my emails in my browser, I couldn’t use MS Word (or Pages). There is just something about not saving your “Word document” somewhere on your computer that throws me off. I want to be able to convert my document to any format and email said document as an attachment, not a link. The Chromebook is not all bad and might make a decent second or third computer, take a peak and decide for yourself. What do you think?

Google and Google and Google anndddd Ford.
As if the cell phone “tracking” incident wasn’t creepy enough, Google and Ford are teaming up to make cars memorize where you go. Okay, I made that sound a lot less cool than the whole plan actually is. Basically prediction API software will let your car know where you go frequently and this data will be used to get you to your frequent destinations faster, by factoring in current traffic. Google maps already provides excellent real-time and historic traffic data, combine that with all of the anti-mobile phone laws and the middle man is cut out, at drivers’ convenience. The computer car integration market should prove to be quite an interesting trend to watch.

Going, going, GONEE.
That’s right Skype is SOLD to the highest bidder (Okay, I don’t know if it happened like that per say….) at $8.5 Billion. Last week rumors were circulating that Facebook or Google would purchase Skype, and the predictions were incorrect. Neither Facebook nor the popular contender Google purchased Skype. For once this week (and to be frank, for once in a long time) Microsoft came out on top. What are Microsoft’s plans for Skype? No one knows for sure. Some are hopeful Skype will become integrated with Outlook; I hope Microsoft up’s its mobile phone game. Perhaps we’ll see Skype take a more business rather than personal turn. With Microsoft’s acquisition performance record, I hope we see something productive come out of this purchase. Read more about Microsoft’s past purchases and potential uses for Skype here.

Facebook, trips and falls flat on its face and takes PR firm Burson-Marsteller with them.
Google remains victorious and unscathed after a poor attempt of sabotage surfaced. Facebook, of all companies, started the word attack. Facebook hired Burson-Marteller (a high profile PR firm) to spread some rumors about Google. If you visit Burson-Marsteller’s website the first sentence you see reads “Evidence-Based Communications.” Well that is obviously not true. Reporters didn’t bite, but someone bit back. Burson-Marsteller pitched the story to a blogger who declined to post the material, and proceeded to post the email conversation online. Busted, caught red-handed, hand in the cookie jar – you get the point. This is a big no no and combines two of my favorite things: technology and PR. Follow this blunder step by step.

Until next time,

Jessi