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Fri, Sep 23, 2005 6:22 pm

FBI Cybercrime Chief Goes to China

A September 21, 2005 article titled FBI cybercrime chief heading to China states that the FBI's assistant director of its Cyber Divsion will be headed to China in November to meet with Chinese counterparts to discuss intellectual property issues.

Software piracy in China is a big issue for Microsoft. Reportedly one can buy copies of Microsoft Windows operating systems or Microsoft Office in China for a few dollars. An InformationWeek article titled Microsoft Fights Priacy In China, Linux Wins states that the Business Software Alliance, of which Microsoft is a member, alleges that 90 percent of all software in China is pirated resulting in a $3.5 billion revenue loss for software vendors (this of course presumes that all those using the software would buy the software, if they couldn't get pirated versions, which is unlikely). Microsoft has resorted to offering lower-priced versions of its software in some markets to encourage users who wouldn't be able to otherwise afford Microsoft's software to buy legitimate copies rather than use pirated copies.

Who knows whether Microsoft's Bill Gates was most irked by this rampant software piracy in China or China's embrace of Linux when he reportedly accused the Chinese government and the Chinese people of treating Microsoft badly (I'm trying to keep this blog P.G. rated, so see "'China has f*cked us' - Bill Gates", if you want the details.. China has embraced Linux, which, since its source code is freely available, frees them from the worry that Microsoft or some other company may have installed hidden back doors that would allow other nations' spy agencies access to Chinese systems and, of course, frees China from reliance on software companies in other nations. I can certainly understand Microsoft executives being upset about the rampant piracy, but, of course Microsoft's own behavior when dealing with competitors shows that it doesn't hold ethical behavior in high regard, if such behavior might impede the company's success.

References:

  1. Federal Computer Week
    September 21, 2005
  2. Microsoft Fights Piracy In China, Linux Wins
    By Maria Trombly
    Byte.com
    September 6, 2005
  3. 'China has f*cked us' - Bill Gates
    By Andrew Orlowski
    The Register
    September 7, 2005

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Fri, Sep 23, 2005 5:57 pm

Google AdWords Placement

Robert Cringely posted an article today to his I, Cringely website regarding how the amount of money an advertiser spends for Google AdWords affects the advertiser's placement with Google Adwords when someone searches for a word which the advertiser has paid Google to associate with his website in the ads Google displays. Paying more money for a particular word will supposedly increase the likelihood that the advertiser's website will appear on the first or first few pages Google displays when a search is performed that includes the word.

In the article Google Goes Las Vegas, Cringely reports that one of his readers who makes his living through a website advertised throug Google AdWords conducted an experiment using a duplicate website he created. He continued paying the same amount for AdWords associated with the primary site, but varied the amount he paid for the identical test site. Increasing the amount he paid for words associated with the duplicate site to 10 times the amount he paid for the same words to be associated with the primary site increased his revenue, though not enough to warrant the 10-fold increase in advertising costs, but when he reduced the amount he paid for the identical site, but still kept it above what he paid for the original site, his revenue for the duplicate site plummeted below what he was getting for the original site, even though he was paying more for AdWords for that site. Apparently Google's ad placement algorithm drastically penalizes advertisers when they reduce the amount they pay Google for advertising to discourage them from reducing spending.

[/network/web/shopping] permanent link

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