iFive: Google Buys, China Overtakes Japan, Apple Causing iAd Delays, Andreessen to HP, and Obamas’ Gulf Swim

Fresh today: Google’s mind share, China’s rise in global rankings, Obama’s Gulf swim, Apple’s iAds issues, and sexual harassment update.

While you were sleeping, innovation was running a rival OS on a slightly smaller model, and flogging it cheaply in a Beijing street market.


1. “Mind share,” not market share, is behind many of Google’s recent acquisitions, according to a piece in the Financial Times this morning, which highlights the upcoming battle between the search engine (and more) firm and Facebook in the social media arena. Yesterday, TechCrunch revealed that Google is in the final stages of a $100 million deal to buy, a visual search engine, and Fortune outlined plans for Google Ideas, a think tank headed by Washington insider Jared Cohen.

2. China has overtaken Japan to become the second-largest economy in the world, says the New York Times. Analysts reckon that in just 20 years it will have overtaken the U.S., although it is too heavy on foreign exports, and needs to encourage domestic consumption. The Wall Street Journal quotes an economist from Cornell University as saying, “along with size and might come responsibilities, and these responsibilities they have not been eager to shoulder.”

3. Apple’s “creative involvement” in iAds is causing delays, says a report in the Wall Street Journal. First out of the gate with commercials were Unilever and Nissan, followed by only Citigroup, Disney, and J.C. Penney. Meaning that, out of the original 17 partners, 12 have yet to be satisfied. And anyone in China who wants a cheaper version of the iPad can buy an “iPad”–at less than $100–says The China Post. This one runs on Android, however. And speaking of Android, the Motorola Droid 2 has been beset by poor signal reports, says AppleInsider.

4. The Wall Street Journal has some more insights into the ousting of Mark Hurd, claiming that the HP board felt they had no option after his settlement of Jodie Fisher’s claim for sexual harassment “impeded their probe of the claim.” It looks like Marc Andreessen of VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, will be HP’s interim CEO in order to put the tech back into the tech firm, says Scott Olsen.

5. And finally, if you would like to see President Obama taking a dip in the waters of the Gulf, along with daughter Sasha, then click here. The First Family took a 27-hour vacation–that’s a mini mini mini break–on the Florida panhandle, before returning to D.C. The real vaycay–in Martha’s Vineyard–starts on Wednesday.

About the author

My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.