Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Viral Video: Google's Laughable–But Not So Funny–Apple Tantrum

Okay, one good dig at Apple by Google at its I/O event over the last two days seemed like the right thing to do given their recent bickering over a range of issues.

Two digs at its rival was probably appropriate. Three, welllll, okay, if you insist.

Unfortunately, the continued verbal jousts at Apple (AAPL) by many Google (GOOG) execs–including CEO Eric Schmidt–onstage at the San Francisco developers conference got tired pretty quickly and soon felt petty and juvenile, and ultimately made Google look needlessly defensive.

It’s part of a recent escalation of tensions between various powerful digital companies in Silicon Valley.

Even dopier: The search giant’s display of a “1984” poster with the motto, “Not the Future We Want,” which was a cloddish reference to Apple’s innovative commercial aimed at IBM (IBM) decades ago.

Note to Google: A scary search behemoth with a stranglehold on Internet advertising isn’t really believable as a victim of “The Man”–in this case, Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

Still, there was Google Engineering VP Vic Gundotra–doing his best imitation of a geek Gary Cooper–noting in this video below that “if Google did not act, we faced a Draconian future in which one man, one company, one device, one carrier would be our only choice. That’s a future we don’t want.”

As they say so eloquently on the “Really!?! With Seth and Amy” segment on “Saturday Night Live”: Reaaaaaallly!?! Reaaaaaallly!?!

Memo to Vic: This is not “High Noon.” And Draconian is Chinese censorship. Draconian is Al-Qaeda. Draconian is a reptilian extraterrestrial race from the British science fiction television series “Doctor Who”!!!

While it’s fine and dandy–and de rigeur–to rev up developers, which is the ultimate purpose of this Android-focused event, I would much prefer Microsoft (MSFT) Steve Ballmer’s “Developers, developers, developers” sweatfest any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

As a former Microsoft exec, Gundotra should know that’s always a showstopper.

In any case, here is Gundotra’s speech yesterday to contrast to that sweaty Ballmer video, along with Jobs’s IBM-bashing introduction of Apple’s “1984” commercial, which is a primer on how you reaaaaalllly strafe a competitor.

Also the Draconians on “Dr. Who” and “Really!?! With Seth and Amy”:

Please see this disclosure related to me and Google.


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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