Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Monday Morning Quarterback: The Jet Set Edition

I have arrived in Dublin and am so tired, I am still trying to figure out the time difference and money–yes, I am a completely ignorant American!

Nonetheless, we press on and serve up some interesting items from around the Web–this time with a Euro-focus.

First observation: If you want to make a friend abroad, carry an iPhone. They are not for sale here yet, as deals between Apple and major European telecoms are still pending.

But Apple is likely to sell the iPhone here later in the year, with one of the major carriers, which include Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile, France Telecom’s Orange or ultra-hip Telefónica’s 02.

Until then, with it visible in my hand, I made about 53 new friends at Heathrow Airport where I was changing planes. I also scored free first-class champagne from the stewards on board British Airways for giving them a test run of the device.

Most people treated the phone as if it were Paris Hilton suddenly appearing in their midst, with a lot of pointing and gaping at it, as I watched the first season of NBC’s “Heroes” I had downloaded. (Save the cheerleader, indeed! From her creepy adopted Dad is more like it!)

And I could elicit visible oohs when I kept shifting the screen vertically and horizontally, as if I were performing some sort of “Harry Potter” magic.

Since I am in Ireland, here is a link to an Irish blogging site talking about the iPhone.

And check out the video Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert did especially for Philippe Dauman’s appearance at D5 this year–his impression of using an iPhone midway through skewers the ridiculous fascination with the iPhone perfectly.

And there’s a race here to figure out which European companies will be the best imitations of hugely popular sites in the U.S., such as Facebook and YouTube. Of course, both those companies are here on their own aggressively and hope to keep their share in Europe as strong.

Next week, I will be visiting the London offices of social-networking site Bebo, which has a strong presence in Britain and was rumored to be entertaining offers from Yahoo.

There are scads of other social networks here that are likely to get bought up by the big ones. And while MySpace is increasing its dominance here too, it is much more of a race than in the U.S.

There are a lot of YouTube wannabes here too, of course, like France’s Dailymotion, which has a lot more esoteric stuff, as well as boatloads more explicit nudity (one of the more popular videos on the site today, for example, is all you want to know about a particular woman’s body part).

Here’s an interesting animated video on Dailymotion from Britain called “Solar,” as an example of the fare:

Uploaded by solarthefilm

And, of course, there is a recently launched European Commission channel on YouTube itself, called–of course–EUtube.

It got into a little controversy (and got lots of traffic), when it posted this short video on sex scenes from European films (here’s the link, as it is a bit racy with a very funny tag line at the end).

Of course, because it is Europe, the European Commission spokesman Martin Selmayr brushed off the prudishness: “The European Union is not a Bible belt, we believe in freedom of expression and artistic creativity.”

Most of the channel is more tame, like this depressing video about AIDS, which has been viewed 150,000 times.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik