Home What's Brewing? East Meets East, Berk & Real

East Meets East, Berk & Real

Bill Gates introduced Chinese president Hu Jintao to Seattle industry and hospitality during remarks in Everett last week. After describing a bit of Hu’s background to the audience at Boeing’s Future of Flight museum, Gates addressed his technology-themed comments specifically to Hu. Some excerpts:

“As you have stated, Mr. President, science and technology are the most important drivers of productivity, and economic and social development. You have said that developments in technology are giving rise to a new round of industrial revolution. We agree with you. We are encouraged by the efforts of the Chinese government to strengthen intellectual-property protection.

“The world is now in a new era where people and governments everywhere are harnessing the power of the Internet, which will have a profound and constructive impact on economic development, education and communications. This new era of the Internet-based economy also presents new challenges to all of us. It is my belief that industry and governments around the world should work even more closely to protect the privacy and security of Internet users, and promote the exchange of ideas, while respecting legitimate government considerations. [24×7]

Microsoft Live Drive On Tap
Microsoft is building an online storage service, code named Live Drive, says Ray Ozzie in an interview with Fortune:

Microsoft is planning to use its server farms to offer anyone huge amounts of online storage of digital data. With Live Drive, all your information – movies, music, tax information, a high-definition videoconference you had with your grandmother, whatever – could be accessible from anywhere, on any device.

Google Drive, a similarly conceived service, has been slated a 2007 product at best, largely because of product priorities and business model issues. According to sources, Google is trying to work out a way to provide the service for free. Microsoft;s move could well be first. [24×7]

Ask’s CEO to Head Up Redmond’s Internet Biz
Reuters reports Microsoft has snagged Steve Berkowitz, Ask.com’s CEO, to head up its internet business.

Effective May 8, Berkowitz succeeds David Cole, a 20-year Microsoft veteran, who is set to begin a one-year leave of absence, Microsoft said in a statement. He had outlined his plans in a memo to employees in February.

Berkowitz is credited in the industry with orchestrating the turnaround of Ask.com, the Web search and media business acquired by Barry Diller’s conglomerate, IAC/InterActiveCorp, for $1.85 billion 13 months ago.

Under his leadership, Ask, originally known as Ask Jeeves, enjoyed a revival in its audience and market share gains in the highly competitive Web search business over the past year. [24×7]

RealNetworks Receives Fundamental Patent For Streaming Media
RealNetworks has announced the receipt of a fundamental patent for streaming media technology and applications. The recently-issued patent 6,985,932, “Click-to-Stream” covers the core methods used to stream audio-visual media through web browsers and other media players.

Thousands of companies are now offering multimedia services over the Internet, from AOL, Yahoo and ABC to newer video storage and distribution services like Google Video and YouTube. The new patent is known as a continuation patent, with additional claims based on an original filing in November 1994. One of the challenges that will confront RealNetworks in enforcing the patent is an earlier one owned by Apple Computer. Apple applied for a patent related to its QuickTime technology for streaming media in May 1994, before RealNetworks’ first filing. The Apple patent, No. 5,561,670, for “method and apparatus for operating a multicast system on an unreliable network,” was issued in October 1996. It appears the patent office examiners did not consider it in their evaluation of the RealNetworks patent. [24×7]