Tech & The District » Google Tech the way we see it: insights and musings on technology PR, policy and the District, from H&K’s D.C. Tech Team. Thu, 04 Aug 2011 15:06:44 +0000 en hourly 1 LIVE from the Consumer Electronics Show- Las Vegas Fri, 07 Jan 2011 16:45:40 +0000 Lauren Wilson Day 1 on the show floor was quite the scene!  I’ve never seen so many crazy and creative ways to attract show goers to electronics.  All your major companies were showcasing cool gadgets and eye grabbing products: Samsung, Sony, Qualcomm (H&K client), Blackberry, Verizon, Cricket, Motorola, Dell, Sprint, countless others, and even the graphic clothing shop, Ed Hardy- what a surprise!

It seemed that each booth was competing for your attention and the technology wasn’t the only main attraction.  One booth had dancers, another offered free lattes,  rock music was background for several executive keynotes at various booths, and one particular booth had famous actors! With all this action, it made it impossible to see the entire show floor in just one day.

Star Wars characters were at the Blue Ray booth, Samsung had elaborate stage performers, and Adrian Grenier from Entourage promoted gadgets at the Blackberry booth.

The two biggest trends on the show floor were tablets and 4G capable devices. Verizon executives unveiled 10 4G LTE devices: four smartphones, two tablets, two mobile hot spots, and two notebooks, in which some will be available as early as March.  Show goers were listening closely to see if Verizon would confirm the rumors on carrying the iPhone; which they did not.

The big tablet announcer this year was Motorola. Motorola divided into two companies this week: Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions. Motorola Mobility released the world’s first Android tablet rivaling the iPad, called the Motorola XOOM Tablet. The company said that the product is redeifing what a tablet experience can be. It is also the first tablet  to feature the latest Google Mobile innovations, including Google Maps 5.0 with 3D interaction, access to over 3 million Google eBooks and Google Talk with video and voice chat.

According to Hayley Tsukayama from the Washington Post, Day 2 at CES is shaping up to be “industry insider day” as the gadget buzz dies down.

The rumor is that Ford’s CEO Alan Mulally might is expected to unveil an electric Ford Focus.  I’ll have to get to the show floor and see!

Leave your comments on what you hope to see unveiled at the show!

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D.C. Gets Touchy Feely with New Technologies at CES on the Hill Wed, 21 Apr 2010 15:04:40 +0000 Vanessa Truskey This could be how we watch TV in the future - cool glasses and all.

This could be how we watch TV in the future - cool glasses and all.

Last night, a piece of the largest consumer tech show – the International Consumer Electronics Show, or CES – came to Washington.  CES on the Hill, as last night’s event was dubbed, brought together companies including AT&T, Google, LG, Microsoft, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Samsung and others to showcase some of the technology debuted this year in Las Vegas.  With the emergence of these new products also come new policy issues (top of mind is national broadband, about which the FCC released a new plan last month).

The event was held at Eastern Market – a venue which I wasn’t originally sure was up for the job, but after seeing the layout, I think it worked nicely.  Got a chance to demo Sony’s new 3D TV, which was pretty cool, but I’m no early adopter.  I love gadgets as much as anyone, but after the bugs are worked out and the price comes down a bit, I may consider investing in one.  Also cool was a demo by Kodak of its new camera on which you can tag photos to be emailed to Facebook, TwitPic or Aunt Rita once the camera is connected to your computer.  Finally, I stopped by the Qualcomm table to see the mirasol display technology demo.  Even though Qualcomm is a client, and I’ve seen mirasol before, I can’t help but marvel at how cool it is.  Maybe I’m drinking the Kool-Aid, but thinking as an average consumer, I’d love a device with that type of full-color display.

The event wraps up tonight at the Digital Patriots Dinner where Internet icon Vint Cerf is being honored along with Rep. Mike Doyle and Rep. Fred Upton, for their collective impact on technology as we know it today.  I’m hoping the Consumer Electronics Association makes CES on the Hill an annual event, as it’s a rare opportunity to get up-close and personal with some awesome new technology, right in our own backyard.

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On the Agenda Thu, 03 Sep 2009 15:24:54 +0000 Lindsay Campbell September 8, 2009 – Gov’t. 2.0 Expo

September 10, 2009 – Washington D.C. Twestival

September 14, 2009 – A Discussion on the Internet of 2020

September 14, 2009 – Online News Association Meetup hosted by NPR

September 16, 2009 – Web Analytics Usage Among Government and NonProfits

September 16, 2009 – Social Media Club Meetup – Mainstream Media Using Social Media

September 17, 2009 – Google Analytics 101

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Antitrust in a Web 2.0 World Thu, 30 Jul 2009 20:17:01 +0000 Vanessa Truskey Here is a follow up post on antitrust from our guest blogger Mitchell Derman, vice president in H&K’s Corporate Practice.  If you need a refresher, you can read Mitch’s original blog post by clicking here.


Antitrust in a Web 2.0 World

This past June, I posted a blog entry about antitrust and its relationship with the technology sector.  I had raised the question about whether or not the current antitrust laws could meet the dynamic challenges of a Web 2.0 world.  Well, the legal and policy pundits now have their first real opportunity with Microsoft’s and Yahoo’s announcement yesterday about a shared search deal.

Needless to say, but a truly interesting development with Yahoo fending off Microsoft’s acquisition attempts last year.  Now, Yahoo – an Internet pioneer – essentially is getting out of the search business and focusing more on content – a risky, yet bold move.  And, Microsoft, after years of attempts to counter Google’s market leadership in search appears to have a winner with Bing.

From an antitrust perspective, the central issue is: Can two companies partner to create more competition in search advertising.  Google really needs to be careful in how it positions itself; how it shapes a pro-competitive message when it is the dominant player in search advertising is indeed a challenge.  Only time will tell.

For more insights on the Yahoo/Microsoft deal, read Rob Pegoraro’s piece in today’s Washington Post.

Note: H&K does work for Yahoo! and Microsoft in various locations around the world.

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Addressing the Internet Boom Wed, 24 Jun 2009 20:00:06 +0000 Sharla Lane At a recent Tech America event, Vint Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google, made a technical, yet engaging speech addressing the future of the Internet and its current downfalls. While there were some of the typical DC networkers that were more interested in the drinks than the wisdom of the “father of the Internet,” Vint worked the crowd with stride and touched on everything from authentication and security issues, to IPv6 (the next generation of the Internet), and broadband connectivity. You can listen to the 12 minute speech here.


In addition to Google, ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, has been working collaboratively with Internet gurus around the world to optimize the domain naming system. Currently discussing this very issue in Sydney, ICANN would like to open the Internet to include non-Roman language domain names as well as more country codes and an unlimited number of other possibilities.

My interpretation of the “Internet boom.” From hardline to wireless to cloud computing.

There are many business visionaries that have jumped on board with this idea and see the potential in a new naming system. Wolfgang Puck wants dotFood, Al Gore- dotEco, Rome- dotRoma and the list goes on. Some large brand owners argue that problems with cybersquatters and brand protection would be too costly. The National Journal has a good story about that here.


Henry Ford is often quoted as saying, “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”


I’m not saying we have all the answers to which direction the Internet should go, but I do know I would like to be able to wirelessly connect anywhere in the world to the certified, virus-free Web site I was looking for every time. I also know that I much prefer a Porsche to a horse… Come on Vint… Where’s my Internet Porsche?

DISCLAIMER: ICANN is a client of Hill & Knowlton




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Antitrust & Tech 2: The Sequel? Wed, 10 Jun 2009 14:26:51 +0000 Vanessa Truskey The editors at “Tech & The District” are always striving to bring you the best thinking from a variety of perspectives at Hill & Knowlton.  Thus, we are proud to present the second of what we hope to be many guest blog posts from our colleagues in the DC office.  This perspective comes from H&K’s Mitchell Derman, a vice president in the Corporate Practice.  As always, we welcome your comments.  Enjoy! -Vanessa

Antitrust & Tech 2:  The Sequel?

By Mitchell Derman

 The year was 1995.  We were probably in a Web .50 world when the Internet was just starting to become a platform for day-to-day communications and information.  Microsoft was about to launch its most anticipated operating system with Windows 95.  At the same time, Microsoft was drawn into a legal and perception battle related to antitrust issues.  Microsoft was consistently chastised by competitors, media and the government for alleged monopolistic, anti-competitive behavior. 

The large issue centered primarily on the integration of the Internet Explorer browser with the operating system. Remember Netscape.  At the time, that company probably had about 95 percent of the browser market.  My oh my, have times changed.  When it came to antitrust, the pundits questioned the validity of laws and regulations created during the industrial age. 

Flash forward to 2009.  Google is now perceived by many as the monopolist and Microsoft is on the other side of the argument.  How ironic is that?  Interestingly, Google often makes the claim that they are one click away from obsolescence.  That may be a stretch; however, with Facebook having 200 million members, this certainly is not far from reality.  But it also begs the same question as 14 years ago. Are the current antitrust laws modern enough to deal with the challenges of a Web 2.0 world?  Companies like Google, Microsoft, Apple and others are certainly being tested as the Department of Justice has started an inquiry about collusion related to recruiting talent.  See Washington Post article.

The pundits certainly can debate the legalities of this policy debate. In the meantime some lessons learned from Microsoft’s experience in the 1990s:

  • Engage key stakeholders across the policy spectrum – locally and in Washington
  • Be more modest about how you message your business objectives – being too aggressive could be perceived negatively
  • Educate your employees about what is said in e-mail; I believe the Microsoft case was one of the first instances where e-mails proved to be a smoking gun
  • Educate consumers about the benefits you are delivering with lower prices and more innovation.
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Baidu is Chinese for Google Mon, 20 Oct 2008 10:14:00 +0000 Chad Torbin I sat down with Lynn Fong and some members of H&K’s China Digital team last week for an interesting discussion on social-media in China. When thinking about social media, I myself often over look how user-behaviors influence the landscapes differently from country-to-country. Maybe it’s just that I love writing obnoxious comments on my friend’s Facebook walls that I simply assume everyone else does too?

Popular U.S. companies that come to China such as Facebook, Amazon and Google don’t always do quite as well here since it’s extremely hard for them to localize their platforms which were originally designed with U.S. social behaviors in mind. Take the example of search. Chinese don’t differentiate between paid and non-paid search the same way we do in the U.S. For some in the US, you’d rather throw your computer out the window than click on one of the paid-for, “sponsored links” on the right side of our Google search query. The typical Chinese user however see’s both sets of results, paid and non-paid, as helpful. The Chinese equivalent to Google is Baidu, which we do represent as an agency on some levels. Baidu is designed to search and highlight both sets of results equally whereas Google in China still separates the two as if one had the plague and one was helpful. So if you’re wondering why everyone in China doesn’t just use Google, the answer is that local versions understand the local behaviors better and have designed their platforms with themselves in mind.

If you’re interested in exploring social-media in China in a bit more detail, Lynn’s team has created a great digital library of stats and information accessible internally by H&K staff only by clicking on this link: URL:

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