Gold Rush in Mobile-Ad Market: Google Buys New Toy for Its Android

Google's move to snap up mobile-advertising startup AdMob is a leading indicator that your smartphone is about to overtake your laptop as the instrument of choice.

Fortune's Jon Fortt has a smart piece, "The Race to Own the Mobile Internet (at least the annoying ads)," which notes the Street's strong approval of Google's pending $750 million purchase of the company that specializes in teeny-tiny display ads. (Click above for AdMob's ad campaign touting its ad campaigns.)

Fortt's skeptical that display ads will work all that well on the small screen — and right now, he notes, the annual money spent on mobile advertising is only $416 million, compared with nearly $24 billion spent on online advertising. But Google is Google, so bet against the giant Android at your peril. And get ready for a blizzard of display ads on your fancy little smartphone.

This Afternoon: Larry Summers Reflux; Tax Credits Bandied About; Debt Market Infantile and Still Supposedly Paralyzed

Support Is Building for a Tax Credit to Help Hiring (NYT)

Now they're talking about it. Barack Obama had dropped it from his stimulus plan last winter.

AP Poll: Health Care Overhaul Has a Pulse (NYT)

Polls are usually bullshit, but people pay attention to them. The public is the last group of people to know what kind of health-care bill will emerge from Congress and the White House. Fact is that some kind of change will be made, has to be made. Whether it turns out to be "reform" is another matter. Intensive lobbying for the insurance industry and Big Pharma make that an almost impossible task, as this story doesn't note.

VAT's The Matter? (

The pondered value-added tax is "a potential money gusher for strapped governments but a massive new levy on all Americans."

U.S. Recession May Erase Prior Expansion's Jobs, Goldman Says (Bloomberg)

Considering that Goldman Sachs runs the nation's economy, this is worth heeding.

California's Zigzag on Welfare Rules Worries Experts (NYT)

Analyzing Larry Summers (Seeking Alpha, Rortybomb)

Riffing on Ryan Lizza's profile in the New Yorker.


Google Wave: A Tsunami That Will Sink Facebook and Twitter?

Google's launching its Google Wave today, as you know, by sending out 100,000 invites to people to give it a test run.

Will the all-in-one tool for e-mail, blogs, social-networking, doc-sharing, et al. be a seminal event in the history of computing? Will it be a tsunami that will swamp Twitter and Facebook?

It'll definitely make a ripple, because Google's such a big ship.

Will I be one of the 100,000 users and developers to get a copy? No.

But MG Siegler at TechCrunch has been testing it out for a while; see his "Google Wave: There Will Be Backlash" for details.

App-oplexy: Google Calls Apple a Rotten Liar

It was a big deal earlier in the summer when powerful Google Voice was rejected as an app for the powerful iPhone, and the big question was exactly why this monumental decision was made. Now we know more: In previously redacted material in FCC filings, Google says Apple — not AT&T — pulled the plug on Google Voice. Until this latest revelation, Apple had gotten away with claiming that it wasn't the bad guy. Google now gets to call its former lover Apple a big liar.

The FCC is still wrestling with how to sort out which apps you should be able use on which phones from which carrier, and who the hell gets to make those decisions. Pretty basic. Which makes this a major battle "with far-reaching implications for the U.S. telecommunications industry."

Many people (me included) thought that AT&T, exclusive purveyor of the iPhone, had nixed Google Voice out of fright that it would make even more inroads into the old-school phone business. Turns out that Apple did made the call out of a similar mean-spiritedness.