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Search Wars Heat Up, and it Seems Mozilla Brought a Hot Match



Bing (the little search engine that could)

mozilla_firefox…launches and begins to gain a little market share and Google overreacts with an “everything, including the kitchen sink” of product launches.  Virtually overwhelming the searching consumer, Google responds with such products as Google Goggles, Real Time Search (a complete waste of resources in this observer’s opinion) and now a new phone, as well as over 499 Google Chrome plugins, including Safari compatibility with its Google Chrome web browser to remind you of who’s swinging the biggest stick, and it appears to be working.

Headline after headline has reinvigorated the idea that search can expand and adapt just as any industry, and Google seems poised to remain the dominant leader, unless privacy is important to you asserts Mozilla’s Asa Dotzler who latched onto this little ditty by Google CEO, Eric Schmidt in a CNBC  interview:

“If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place. If you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines–including Google–do retain this information for some time and it’s important, for example, that we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act and it is possible that all that information could be made available to the authorities.”

Switch to Bing, and here’s how

Dotzler, the Director of Community Relations for Mozilla points out,

That was Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, telling you exactly what he thinks about your privacy. There is no ambiguity, no “out of context.”

Dotzler then offers instructions on how to switch your brower’s settings inserting,

“yes, Bing does have a better privacy policy than Google.”

Mozilla Developer Relations Director Christopher Blizzard said on Twitter,

“Everyone knows that every site you visit and all address bar searches in Chrome go to Google, right?”

The spark heard round the world is Privacy

After a weekend of Facebook news on privacy updates, as well as TOS updates designed to force its users into the public square, it looks as if Mozilla may be offering up some neutral ground argument as it has no stake in the search game except as the user conduit to access any one of the social media spaces and search engines that seek to capitalize on your human data.

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin. Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration. He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events. Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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  1. Real Estate Feeds

    December 14, 2009 at 7:27 am

    Search Wars Heat Up, and it Seems Mozilla Brought a Hot Match: Bing (the little search engine that could)

  2. RealEstate Babble

    December 14, 2009 at 7:47 am

    AgentGenius: Search Wars Heat Up, and it Seems Mozilla Brought a Hot Match Full

  3. kristin terry

    December 14, 2009 at 7:49 am

    Search Wars Heat Up, and it Seems Mozilla Brought a Hot Match: Bing (the little search engine that could)

  4. Jon Karlen

    December 14, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    Excellent points. As Google continues to roll out more and more products/tools for consumers to use, privacy is going to become a growing concern. Google already has access to an astounding amount of information with things like gmail, Google docs, etc. They know people’s schedules: when people are checking email, when they are working, and from where they are connecting to their services. And if the information exists, it has the potential to be stolen by others (hackers, etc).

    As far as switching from Google to Bing, Bing has improved quite a bit since the release, but they need to continue to improve their search results to sway consumers over to their engine. Hopefully they can stay the course and give Google some competition.

    • Thomas A. B. Johnson

      December 14, 2009 at 2:30 pm

      Jon: Google voice users can expect that all their phone conversations are sitting on a Google server, as well.

  5. Argentina travel

    December 14, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    I´ve been having some truble letely with the last version of the firefox. I have the impression that sometimes they go too fast and some themes or extentions don´t work.

  6. Doug Francis

    December 14, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    I now see my “Google Alerts” showing my “Twitter tweets”… and I hardly tweet compared to the big guns who seem to tweet every 49 seconds!

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Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?



Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.



aging housing inventory

aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.



zillow move

zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub,, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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