Posts tagged: google
- Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, during a keynote at the IFA in Berlin
“Uh huh. Google takes a similarly generous view of its own motives on the politically vexed issue of privacy. Mr. Schmidt says regulation is unnecessary because Google faces such strong incentives to treat its users right, since they will walk away the minute Google does anything with their personal information they find “creepy.”
Really? Some might be skeptical that a user with, say, a thousand photos on Picasa would find it so easy to walk away. Or a guy with 10 years of emails on Gmail. Or a small business owner who has come to rely on Google Docs as an alternative to Microsoft Office. Isn’t stickiness—even slightly extortionate stickiness—what these Google services aim for?
Mr. Schmidt is surely right, though, that the questions go far beyond Google. “I don’t believe society understands what happens when everything is available, knowable and recorded by everyone all the time,” he says. He predicts, apparently seriously, that every young person one day will be entitled automatically to change his or her name on reaching adulthood in order to disown youthful hijinks stored on their friends’ social media sites.”
“Much of the discussion of Mr. Schmidt’s interview centered on another comment: his suggestion that young people who catastrophically expose their private lives via social networking sites might need to be granted a name change and a fresh identity as adults. This, interestingly, is a matter of Google letting societal chips fall where they may, to be tidied by lawmakers and legislation as best they can, while the erection of new world architecture continues apace.
If Google were sufficiently concerned about this, perhaps the company should issue children with free “training wheels” identities at birth, terminating at the age of majority. One could then either opt to connect one’s adult identity to one’s childhood identity, or not. Childhoodlessness, being obviously suspect on a résumé, would give birth to an industry providing faux adolescences, expensively retro-inserted, the creation of which would gainfully employ a great many writers of fiction. So there would be a silver lining of sorts.”
-from William Gibson’s NYT’s op-ed “Google’s Earth”
Stick Figure News: Is Google Being Evil?
With Gmail’s new toolbar redesign, ignoring Google Buzz is easier than ever! The colorful icon is a helpful reminder not to click, and its placement between “Inbox” and “Sent Mail” makes your mouse’s apathetic trip over the top of the word “Buzz” so convenient, it’ll almost be like you considered using it. But you didn’t! All thanks to this streamlined new interface.
“Compare Monday’s statement to this one, from a post on Google’s official blog in 2007: ‘The nation’s spectrum airwaves are not the birthright of any one company. They are a unique and valuable public resource that belong to all Americans. The FCC’s auction rules are designed to allow U.S. consumers — for the first time — to use their handsets with any network they desire, and and [sic] use the lawful software applications of their choice.’
It no longer made financial sense for Google to fight the carriers with its own open phone hardware, even though that meant abandoning its open wireless principles. In retrospect, they may have never actually been principles — just an aborted marketing strategy that proved unnecessary.
Mobile openness is the tool of the outsider, not the incumbent. Google is now registering some 200,000 Android handsets every day. Phone-to-phone, Android is now outselling the iPhone. Google doesn’t need openness anymore.”
What Google and Verizon are proposing is fake Net Neutrality. […] But here are the basics of what the two companies are proposing:
1. Under their proposal, there would be no Net Neutrality on wireless networks — meaning anything goes, from blocking websites and applications to pay-for-priority treatment.
2. Their proposed standard for “non-discrimination” on wired networks is so weak that actions like Comcast’s widely denounced blocking of BitTorrent would be allowed.
3. The deal would let ISPs like Verizon — instead of Internet users like you — decide which applications deserve the best quality of service. That’s not the way the Internet has ever worked, and it threatens to close the door on tomorrow’s innovative applications. (If RealPlayer had been favored a few years ago, would we ever have gotten YouTube?)
4. The deal would allow ISPs to effectively split the Internet into “two pipes” — one of which would be reserved for “managed services,” a pay-for-play platform for content and applications. This is the proverbial toll road on the information superhighway, a fast lane reserved for the select few, while the rest of us are stuck on the cyber-equivalent of a winding dirt road.
5. The pact proposes to turn the Federal Communications Commission into a toothless watchdog, left fruitlessly chasing consumer complaints but unable to make rules of its own. Instead, it would leave it up to unaccountable (and almost surely industry-controlled) third parties to decide what the rules should be.
The defining characteristic of the semantic web is that information should be stored in a machine-readable format. Crucially, that would allow computers to handle information in ways we would find more useful, because they would be processing the concepts within documents rather than just the documents themselves
Today the search giant has said it remains as committed as ever to an internet where content exists on a level playing field.
A Google spokeswoman told the Guardian: “The New York Times is quite simply wrong. We have not had any conversations with Verizon about paying for carriage of Google traffic. We remain as committed as we always have been to an open internet.”
via The Guardian, August 5th 2010
Google and Verizon, two leading players in Internet service and content, are nearing an agreement that could allow Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content’s creators are willing to pay for the privilege.
Such an agreement could overthrow a once-sacred tenet of Internet policy known as net neutrality, in which no form of content is favored over another.
- The New York Times, August 4th 2010