Backplane is founded by Carter, Michelson, Lonsdale and Lady Gaga. The seven-person project aims to provide a way to organize and power online communities based on certain interests, such as sports teams, musicians, and also bring in feeds from Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites. Gaga has a reported 20% stake in the business. $1 million has been raised in angel funding from investors including Schmidt’s Tomorrow Ventures.
Schmidt discusses the impact of mobile technology in the world, and the competition between Apple and Google, in a “Bloomberg TV” interview.
Ten years ago, nobody in our audience was sitting with a mobile phone next to their bed. The internet access was largely in people’s offices and occasionally in homes. The internet has helped improving connectivity. This connectivity and mobile revolution has changed everything.
Assange writes in When Google Met Wikileaks that he met Schmidt while under house arrest in in mid-May 2011 in Norfolk. Schmidt had requested the meeting. He says Schmidt and Cohen, the head of Google Ideas and a former State Department official (government bio here), were writing a book and wanted an interview. Schmidt, his (then) partner Shields, Cohen, and book editor Malcomson, who would later join the State Department as a speechwriter, turned up at their mid-June appointment:
At this point, the delegation was one part Google, three parts U.S. foreign-policy establishment, but I was still none the wiser.
They talk about geopolitics and Schmidt refuses a request to leak to WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks later attempts to contact the State Department to give a heads-up on the early publication of the group’s book. They are eventually contacted by Shields. Assange:
It was at this point that I realized Eric Schmidt might not have been an emissary of Google alone. Whether officially or not, he had been keeping some company that placed him very close to Washington, D.C., including a well-documented relationship with President Obama. Not only had Hillary Clinton’s people known that Eric Schmidt’s partner had visited me, but they had also elected to use her as a back channel.