Much is being made of Google "buying Zingku," a mobile social networking site.
There is much less to this than meets the eye.
First, note carefully how a Google spokesman worded this. "we acquired certain assets and technology" of Zingku. That's a term of art meaning you didn't buy the company, the company wasn't worth buying, and you got the pieces for cheap.
Next, why were the "assets and technology' available? The only logical reason is that Zingku is going nowhere. This might mean that Zingku management is especially inept, except for the fact no other mobile social networking sites are hitting the news, either.
The control demanded by cellular carriers, of phones, services, and money, combined with the jaw-dropping prices being charged for digital bandwidth, continues to strangle this market in its crib, at least in the U.S. This market, and other data markets, will develop, but they will develop in Asia and Europe. The leaders in these businesses will be owned by Asians and Europeans. The profits from these businesses will flow entirely to Asians and Europeans.
Now remember that these same firms want to do to the Internet precisely what they've done to cellular. There is no technical reason for Americans to have to pay $50/month for 1.5 Mbps downloads. The wired bandwidth is being hoarded in the form of "services" -- television and voice "services" -- rather than released for use by the general public.
Does this mean the Internet market is headed the way of the cellular market?
Yes. As Art Brodsky notes at Public Knowledge, the Bells are now on a campaign to strangle Google through regulation, from Washington, so they can seize its market.
The entire tech sector needs to be wary of this. Rather than watching the Bells strangle Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Sun and the rest should be creating a united front against the Bells, demanding their break-up, demanding the bits be freed.
Benjamin Franklin, as usual, said it best. "If we don't hang together, we will surely hang separately." When Microsoft was the technology big dog, they were in the Bells' crosshairs. If Yahoo were the big dog, they would be in the crosshairs.
Know your enemy. It's the telecom industry.