Sorry, no Google fast just yet. Here’s another catch-up summary of the latest gush from the Google hydrant.

Google’s “pod” — Any surprise that Google would launch a product with the word “pod” in it? With trained Google staff on hand at the booth, the Google pod at airports and other locations will be a chance to road-test some of its new product launches, according to this item by BBC. Google staffers on hand can get valuable feedback in person, a whole new way for Google to judge reactions to its new products.

What you have to do to beat Google in hiring: Bill Nguyen, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who was trying to hire sought-after engineer Anselm Baird-Smith, had to fend off Google by offering the engineer $1 million over three years to work on a start-up, plus a substantial equity stake in any resulting project. In the end, despite personal supplications from Google CEO Schmidt, Baird-Smith accepted Nguyen’s offer. “This is what you have to do if…

you want to beat Google,” says Nguyen. Story in the WSJ.

Google vs. VCs continued — Everyone seems to be writing the Google vs. VC story. Here’s Om Malik. And here’s our last week’s story in the Merc about this (which we haven’t pointed to before).

Google doing an end-run around Craigslist: It is doing so with someting called “e-commerce 3.0”, according to analyst Safa Rashtchy. “Craigslist is recognized as having kicked off e-commerce 3.0 with a local listing service, which connects buyers and sellers online within local communities but doesn’t process sales transactions. But as Google applies its technology to 3.0, it could also provide some form of online payment system, and it could integrate its local e-commerce service with other Google services like GMail e-mail, GoogleMaps and its shopping site, Froogle, Rashtchy says. “Craigslist has the limitations that it cannot scale massively as it lacks robust search functionality,” Rashtchy says. “Google, on the other hand, can create a massive and still highly efficient listing service as it has already done with web search.”

Google’s Click-to-Call: “Google has debuted a new service called Click-to-Call, in which they will connect you by phone to any of their advertisers. You click a phone icon next to the ad, enter your phone number, and Google calls you and connects you for free to the advertiser.”

Google’s Secret Plans For All That Dark Fiber?: “Robert X. Cringely details the plan for all the dark fiber Google has been buying up: “The probable answer lies in one of Google’s underground parking garages in Mountain View. There, in a secret area off-limits even to regular GoogleFolk, is a shipping container. But it isn’t just any shipping container. This shipping container is a prototype data center….The idea is to plant one of these puppies anywhere Google owns access to fiber….” (Via Slashdot)

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