In other items: Hewlett-Packard CEO may lose some daily responsibilities; Microsoft search engine goes through testing; and Monsanto to buy California seed company for $1 billion.
Google is using its Internet search technology to find information and images broadcast on television, continuing a recent effort to expand its influence beyond the Web.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based company planned to introduce the new video search service today in an index that will be operated separately from the market-leading search engine offered on its home page. The feature pinpoints content previously aired on a variety of television networks by scanning through the closed-caption text that many programmers offer.
Google’s index, which began storing information last month, includes programming from ABC, PBS, Fox News and C-SPAN.
“We think TV is a big part of people’s lives,” said Jonathan Rosenberg, Google’s vice president of product management. “Ultimately, we would like to have all TV programming indexed.”
Hewlett-Packard’s board of directors discussed shifting some day-to-day responsibilities from CEO Carly Fiorina to other executives in an effort to improve the technology giant’s performance, according to The Wall Street Journal.
CEO may lose some daily responsibilities
Citing unnamed sources, The Journal said the board discussed granting more control to three senior executives at its annual planning meeting that took place between Jan. 12 and Jan. 15 in San Francisco.
Fiorina’s job is not in question, one source told the newspaper. “But she shouldn’t be running everything every day,” the person told The Journal. “She is very hands-on, and that slows things down.”
Microsoft has begun to integrate its search engine — which is still officially in test mode — into its main Web search site at search.msn.com. A spokesman said the company is scaling its search engine up and down as part of the testing process before the search engine moves into final release. Up to now, Microsoft has been using technology from rival Yahoo! to power its Web searches, but has been developing its own search engine.
Search engine goes through testing
Monsanto said yesterday it will buy vegetable and fruit seed company Seminis for about $1 billion in cash, looking to capitalize on the trend of healthier diets while further migrating from its chemical herbicide business.
California seed company bought for $1 billion
Monsanto said it will assume an additional $400 million in debt by Seminis, the Oxnard, Calif.-based supplier of more than 3,500 seed varieties to commercial fruit and vegetable growers, dealers, distributors and wholesalers in more than 150 countries.
With competition continuing to erode St. Louis-based Monsanto’s dominance in herbicides, the maker of Roundup has increasingly focused on seeds, including genetically modified offerings able to withstand weeds, insects and disease seeds, for future profits.
Compiled from The Associated Press and Seattle Times business staff