Google chairman Eric Schmidt: Israel is a ´tech miracle´ (HAīARETZ NEWS) By Lior Kodner 06/19/12)
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Google chairman Eric Schmidt said on Monday that the company´s
development centers in Israel are among the company´s most efficient
and that Google is constantly expanding them.
Speaking at a Tel Aviv conference called "Big Tent," Schmidt said
that the quality of Israel´s engineers is very high, not least due to
the country´s universities and the training acquired in the army. He
also praised local salespeople as among the best in the world, saying
they continue to contribute to the company´s profits.
"We love Israel," Schmidt said, drawing applause from the crowd.
One of Google´s main rivals, Facebook, announced on Monday that it
was buying Face.com, the Israeli company that provides facial-
recognition technology, for an estimated sum of between $80 million
and $100 million.
Schmidt said that Israel has a good education system and great
universities, but added it needs to strengthen them further.
Schmidt also touched on the company´s recent departure from
China. "We thought there would be popular demand to stop censorship,"
he said, adding that instead, the censorship only became more
severe. "China started to censor more because she could do it," he
said. "That´s why we lefty China and started to focus on Hong Kong."
"Google is anti-censorship," Schmidt said. "As a user, you have the
right to get all the information there is; in the long run, countries
that block information are less competitive."
Speaking about the Arab Spring, Schmidt said that "the dictators of
the Arab world were censoring everything except for the Internet;
they were too old and didnít know about [it]." He added that it was
not the tech companies that carried out the Arab Spring, but rather
people who used technology "to revolt against the dictators."
"If the government shuts down the Internet, itís a sign that the
government is scared," he said.
Schmidt also spoke about innovation, saying, "If you donít try, you
donít know Ė we tried, I and you donít even remember the names of the
products that failed Ė thatís the secret of innovation."
Asked by Haaretz if Google intends to buy a newspaper or expand its
content production, Schmidt answered: "We considered many times
buying a newspaper, but we decided not to, producing content is
difficult; we prefer linking to the content that you are doing."
"People should not be afraid of technology," Schmidt concluded. "The
future is just starting." (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 06/19/12)
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