Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 18th May 2013 21:33 UTC
Google Why does Google get so much credit in the technology industry? Why, despite the company's many obvious failings, do many geeks and enthusiasts still hold a somewhat positive view on the all-knowing technology giant? A specific talk at Google I/O this week provides the answer.
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Comment by kragil
by kragil on Sat 18th May 2013 22:10 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

So Google wants to know which ads you might click. Apple and Microsoft want to know that too, for iAds and whateverMSads.

BUT Google is better than those two in regards to:

1. Software patents
2. FOSS
3. Copyright
4. Lock in
5. Standards
6. Takeout
7. Transparency
8. Price
9. Philantropie
10. Working conditions
11. Stance on China
12. ...

Sure they are not flawless(because they are a big corp) and Larry Page does not check each line of code a Streetview car runs and stuff, but they are far better in those respects than other tech giants IMO.

Reply Score: 24

RE: Comment by kragil
by bowkota on Sun 19th May 2013 11:19 UTC in reply to "Comment by kragil"
bowkota Member since:
2011-10-12
RE[2]: Comment by kragil
by Vanders on Sun 19th May 2013 11:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kragil"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Posting a link to someone's blog with no commentary of your own isn't a comment. Which bit of that blog do you think is actually relevant to the grandparent post?

Reply Score: 8

RE[3]: Comment by kragil
by Morgan on Tue 21st May 2013 14:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kragil"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

You're right, there should have been commentary. But the linked article is very eye-opening; I knew about a lot of those issues (hence my slow but steady attempt to wean myself off of Google dependency over the past year) but there were some items that were staggering. Auto photo enhancement and auto post tagging are things I had no idea about and are a bit too intrusive. And moving away from XMPP is annoying but only because I prefer Pidgin to Gtalk.

All that said, Google is still very FOSS friendly, when it suits them to be.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by kragil
by MysterMask on Sun 19th May 2013 12:35 UTC in reply to "Comment by kragil"
MysterMask Member since:
2005-07-12

1. Try copying their pagerank algho ans see what happens.
2. As long as they can benefit. Pagerank isn't OSS
3. You mean because Google is invaluable for finding illegal downloads? Go ask some Copyright holders.

5. They voted for HTML5 with DRM

7. Ask them about Pagerank internas or why Google services take the top spot in search results.
8. You pay with your privacy
9. Not on par with Gates.
10. Oh sure. Android devices are not built in Chinas sweat shops. *sight*
11. What stance on China?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by kragil
by JAlexoid on Mon 20th May 2013 00:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kragil"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

1. Yandex and Baidu have done that. Both are massively popular in their respective countries, where that patent is not enforceable. You don't see Google whining about it.
2. Pagerank is not software. Learn what OSS stands for.
3. Google is no saint on copyrights in general, but they are one of the few that want a positive change. And Google is not against copyright holders and frequently act in their favour(DMCA takedowns)
5. Yes... and having a standardised DRM is worse than Silverlight here and Flash there?
7. They happily answer. Go read their replies to EU competition authorities...
8. And when did I lose my privacy?
9. Are you saying that anyone not donating as much as M&B Gates foundation is not worth mentioning?
10. Google doesn't make Android phones. NexusQ is made in US, by the by...
11. They didn't bow to pressure to sensor the search results and left the market.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by kragil
by Morgan on Tue 21st May 2013 14:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kragil"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm sorry but:

2. Pagerank is not software.



So Google just waves a magic wand and pages are ranked? You do realize it takes software to make things happen on computers, right?

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by kragil
by JAlexoid on Tue 21st May 2013 17:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by kragil"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Since when does an algorithm equate to software? You are aware of the differences between software and algorithms, right?

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by kragil
by Morgan on Tue 21st May 2013 18:38 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by kragil"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

So they implement their algorithms by whispering in the server's ear? At some point, someone types some code and things happen. That's called "software", as opposed to "firmware" or "hardware".

You really are dragging this out to make your point. What's next, you're going to break it down into bits and nybbles just to claim that computer programs aren't "software"?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by kragil
by kragil on Mon 20th May 2013 09:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kragil"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

As someone else pointed out you are very ill-informed.

Also:
The gates foundation does besides the good work on deseases a lot of fairly evil stuff:
http://dianeravitch.net/2013/05/09/is-there-any-organization-that-i...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by kragil
by testman on Tue 21st May 2013 00:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kragil"
testman Member since:
2007-10-15

Also:
The gates foundation does besides the good work on deseases a lot of fairly evil stuff:
http://dianeravitch.net/2013/05/09/is-there-any-organization-that-i.....

Posting a link to someone's blog with no commentary of your own isn't a comment. Which bit of that blog do you think is actually relevant to the grandparent post?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by kragil
by kefkathecruel on Mon 20th May 2013 05:30 UTC in reply to "Comment by kragil"
kefkathecruel Member since:
2006-01-17

So Google wants to know which ads you might click. Apple and Microsoft want to know that too, for iAds and whateverMSads.

BUT Google is better than those two in regards to:

1. Software patents
2. FOSS



On 1: It has its own model for revenue if you don't mind ads shoved down your throat 24/7.

On 2: Cause Google launched the initiative to turn KHTML into a working browser embraced by the entire world, all on their own, right?

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Comment by kragil
by nej_simon on Mon 20th May 2013 11:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kragil"
nej_simon Member since:
2011-02-11

1. What do you mean "ads shoved down your throat 24/7"? Google ads tend to be not intrusive or annoying unlike other ad companies.

2. No, but they have contributed a lot to the OSS community including being the largest contributor to webkit. Open source technologies developed for Android is now used by Jolla and Ubuntu. They sponsor open source development each year with their "summer of code" program etc.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by kragil
by JAlexoid on Mon 20th May 2013 13:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kragil"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

A) And here I am... holding my phone that shows ads in mostly in non-Google apps.

B) You are aware that before Chrome WebKit was an engine that was barely used on desktop, right?

Hater I smell... to be more precise - Apple fanboi.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by kragil
by koffie on Wed 22nd May 2013 01:18 UTC in reply to "Comment by kragil"
koffie Member since:
2010-05-06

Google better at FOSS than Apple? Hmm yes they are more prominently present, but you cannot claim Apple avoids FOSS. LLVM/Clang, Webkit, their entire kernel, Cups (used by every single Linux distribution as THE printing framework), ... Both companies use opensource as they fit. Google just makes more of a "we are FOSS" stance, but in reality? What part of their core products is opensource? Google search? Gmail? Google+? Don't say Android, which contains major closed source parts, and sometimes they just seem to decide not to release any sources at all for a new version.

Lock-in? Could you clarify? Inter-operability is higher on my list of important things for a platform, and Google seems to be closing everything down.

Better in regards to standards? So that's why Google is dropping RSS, CalDAV, CardDAV XMPP, ... What's next? Oh and let's not talk about Android not supporting ANY open standard regarding contacts or calendar syncing without buggy crappy 3rd party solutions. So is that "we love standards"? Some of their efforts for standardisation - how futile they may seem (think WebP or VP8/VP9) are good things - but these are also strictly out of self-interest. But Google+? How do I interact with that? Facebook is more open about that than Google, just think about that. Last google i/o was "everything integrated in G+". That smells like a lock-in to me?

Then, transparency? Seriously? Do you know what Google does with your data? What they know of you? Google has a very transparent side to them, yes, as long as it does not involve their core business. Yes they can be very open about certain things, but some people like to forget all the closed and secret things going on at Google.

Price? You pay for it with your privacy. Google actively working around privacy measures on iOS anyone? I'd rather pay someone with money when they're honest about what they're selling. Google is a company. They HAVE to make money somehow, and their main source of income is selling you to advertisers.

Working conditions? Google is a software company. Their core assets are smart people working for them, it's in their best interest to treat them extremely well. The hardware they sell is made by other companies who are just as well using giants like Foxconn, just as any PC or electronics maker does. So what is their stance on working conditions exactly? Are you sure no kid ever assembled a Nexus phone, tablet or Chromebook? Other Android phones are not Google's problem, so that makes it quite easy for them.

Then - stance on China. Apple is not in the "search" business, they do not have to bend to censorship, which Google did for a long time. I'd check up on this before saying stupid things. They want to do business in China just as much as any global company. They just have a very hard product to sell in a censored society.

As much as I like the "hacker" mentality of Google, they have a side they are hiding, and it shows more and more lately. A lot of the things they do don't seem to add up for me, and a lot of the decisions they make disturb me nowadays.

If put down money for an Apple product, I know what I'm paying for. Someone else is paying Google to keep me close to Google so they can harvest data. They used to do this with customer satisfaction, but nowadays I more and more feel like they are trying to push things down my throat (which all seems to come down to: Google+). Some of their services still are superior, and I will keep using them as long as they're happy.

But for RSS - I had to find something else. I was perfectly happy with google reader, but they somehow decided I, and a lot of other people weren't worth the trouble, and are killing it. Now I switched to newsblur, for which I payed with a smile, since now I know how this service is kept online and will not be killed off simply because someone decided it didn't bring in enough data for, or money from advertisements.

Reply Score: 1

v You forgot...
by bowkota on Sat 18th May 2013 22:44 UTC
RE: You forgot...
by kwan_e on Sun 19th May 2013 01:04 UTC in reply to "You forgot..."
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

this is not because they have a good heart, if it didn't suit them they wouldn't be doing it.


Strawman. No one's saying that.

Reply Score: 8

RE: You forgot...
by Anonymous Penguin on Sun 19th May 2013 22:52 UTC in reply to "You forgot..."
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

People use google simply because their search engine is the best. I have tried others, no comparison.
Google also gives you quite a few nice apps and free services.

Reply Score: 5

RE: You forgot...
by nej_simon on Mon 20th May 2013 11:29 UTC in reply to "You forgot..."
nej_simon Member since:
2011-02-11

Your logic is flawed.

If you root your device you can remove any google apps from it. And yet google doesn't try to stop this and even allow apps that require root and mess with the OS in their play store.

Also Android have always supported installing apps from outside the play store so you can install a third party app store and not use a google account at all. Again, google allows this.

If you install Ubuntu on your google glass they wont make any ad money from you.

Etc. etc.

Reply Score: 5

marcell
Member since:
2005-07-11

google is good in recognizing what is *not* competing with their core business. they don't do preventive actions. hacking devices is (still) not harming any of their business + it's good for reputation.

but they deliberately killed rss (remember google reader) and with new google hangouts replacing google talk they show how much they care about xmpp.

supporting these technologies is about supporting the very specific ecosystem of interoperability which is affecting a waaay more people and business than few guys running ubuntu on google glass (which would happen anyway with or without google support)

they can do this kind of control because it's not that lawyers or mba people are in charge of making the decisions but engineers (who are much more into long term goals). that's certainly better (at the moment) than most of the other actors but that uniqueness shouldn't be misrecognized as generosity.

good test is the timeline of their decisions or what exactly they do when they are able to fuck something up for their own interest. google like every other company uses its monopolistic power whenever they can.

Reply Score: 9

marcell Member since:
2005-07-11

or tony hirst said the same in much better way:
"It's not just [..] Google+ [..] doesn't do RSS. It’s not just because Google is shutting down the Google Reader backbone that powers a lot of RSS and Atom syndication feed services (and leaves me wondering: how long is Feedburner for this world? It’s not just that geocoding done within Fusion Tables is not exported – if you look at a KML feed from Google Fusion Tables, you’ll find there’s no lat-long data there. It’s not just that Google is deprecating gadgets from spreadsheets, which as Martin points out means that if I want to visualise data in a spreadsheet all I’m going to be left with is Google’s crappy charts… It’s not just that Google moved away from using CalDav to support calendar interoperability… It’s not just that Google is moving away from using the XMPP instant messaging protocol...It’s not just that Google uses tax efficient corporate structures to minimise its tax bill, because lots of companies do that…

It’s not just any one of these things, taken on its own merits… it’s all of them taken together

Embrace, extend, extinguish”… where have we heard that before?"

http://blog.ouseful.info/2013/05/16/google-lock-in/

Reply Score: 4

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

So, you're trying to say that Google should have no right to shutter services they don't feel suit their purposes as long as those services are used by even just one person or those services are based open standards? That's just silly.

The standards and specs, like e.g. RSS or XMPP, do not disappear anywhere even if Google stops using them so there's no "embrace and extinguish" here at all, and if Google feels they can better achieve their goals by moving to something different then by all means. I am an avid user of Google Reader and I don't know what to move to once it's shuttered, but even I can see that it's a wholly separate, secluded tool away from Google's core services and the appeal for Google to implement the functionality in a different way so that they can bring it as a part of Google+/Search.

Reply Score: 8

kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Google's a public service provided by the government, don't you know?

Reply Score: 3

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Google's a public service provided by the government, don't you know?


If it was they wouldn't try so hard to avoid paying taxes.

Reply Score: 2

jigzat Member since:
2008-10-30

Yes actually DARPA gave them founds at the beginning.

Reply Score: 2

some1 Member since:
2010-10-05

You have to look at the history to see that.
Google Reader was not the first RSS aggregator. There was a variety of both online and offline applications before it. When it came out, it very quickly became the most popular, making everything else niche products. A lot of these other aggregators shut down, and their authors moved on, making Reader's share even bigger. So by closing Reader Google makes a significant blow to RSS aggregators. If there's a significant demand, might be a revival of the genre and old and new products will appear. But it's also possible that most people don't care any more, and those few who want RSS will have harder time at finding a good aggregator.
Now, I'm not saying Google has an obligation to keep its free service open forever, or that it necessarily closed Reader in bad faith, but this is a classic case of "embrace, extinguish".

Reply Score: 4

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

but this is a classic case of "embrace, extinguish".


I disagree. The "embrace and extinguish" - tactics is all about deliberately harming the market, with real, malicious intent. I do not see that here, all I see is a secondary effect simply caused by Google having made the superior product and no longer having use for it.

Reply Score: 3

some1 Member since:
2010-10-05

I can't subscribe to RSS in G+, can I? So it's not a superior product, it's a competing incompatible product, and the one which gives Google more control while at it. You can deny it all you want, but people at Google making this decision are well aware they are harming RSS.

Reply Score: 4

spinnekopje Member since:
2008-11-29

There is nothing that prevents other companies to provide the same service at the same or higher quality.
When Google shuts down their implimentation, there are lots of users that will be looking for an alternative..

Reply Score: 2

Slambert666 Member since:
2008-10-30

Google is using its search monopoly to harm competing businesses and technologies by:
- first embracing the technology
- then extending (making better? making incompatible?)
- then extinguish (close the service).
That is how microsoft rolls and that is how google rolls. If you buy into their pr s*it then you are quite naive.

Reply Score: 3

geertjan Member since:
2010-10-29

The thing is, since Google announced the end of Reader, new RSS readers have started popping up quickly, and they are trying to match Reader's quality. RSS readers were crap before Google Reader, and now they will be better. Google raised the bar, and we as users will be better off thanks to its existence.

Reply Score: 5

some1 Member since:
2010-10-05

No, they weren't all crap before Reader, and they don't have to match Reader's quality now, because Reader is no more. It's not like you have an option to keep using it.
The problem now is not just to find a new functional aggregator, but to find the one which will stay around, and that's hard to predict.

Reply Score: 3

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

So, you're trying to say that Google should have no right to shutter services they don't feel suit their purposes as long as those services are used by even just one person or those services are based open standards? That's just silly.


This is another perspective on the matter:
http://eschnou.com/entry/whats-next-google--dropping-smtp-support--...

I think it wouldn't be so bad if they were a little more transparent about certain things. For example, many of us Google Voice users can't help but wonder what its fate is. It hasn't had any substantial updates in awhile, and still doesn't have any sort of API, so things like the GV dashclock widget has to do some janky workaround just to read text notifications. And this goes double for Google+, which doesn't have a full read/write API either.

Like one of the comments on the above article said, it's like Google is talking out of both sides of their mouth. On one hand, they act like they're the champions of openness, but sometimes their actions don't show it.

Personally, I think the real reason why they're axing Google Reader is because it gives users direct control over what content they want to see, and Google as of late tends to be all about removing that kind of control.

Better to let them decide for you, based on what data they have collected about you, and whatever your friends are interested in. Rather than RSS, they'd rather push you into G+, which gives you absolutely NO control over what content is delivered to your stream.

Edited 2013-05-19 06:18 UTC

Reply Score: 4

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Rather than RSS, they'd rather push you into G+, which gives you absolutely NO control over what content is delivered to your stream.


It doesn't? Why don't I ever see celebrity news there? Blog posts and the likes trying to push me to buy this or that? Why do I only see things I've deliberately chosen?

Reply Score: 4

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

It doesn't? Why don't I ever see celebrity news there? Blog posts and the likes trying to push me to buy this or that? Why do I only see things I've deliberately chosen?


The only thing you can control is who can post in your stream. But you can't control the content. For example, I have a few people I follow for various reasons, but they're also rabid Nintendo fanboys, so it's not unusual for me to wake up to a dozen or more Nintendo posts in my stream every day. So why can't I set it up to hide any posts with the word 'Nintendo' in them? I don't give two shits about Nintendo, or gaming in general ;)

Worse yet, if I didn't block ads, they'd probably be showing me Nintendo/gaming-related ads all over the Googleverse, because that's what my friends like. Well, they're not even really my friends. They just happen to talk about a few niche-related topics I am interested in. We tried the Communities feature, but that was an epic fail.

Edited 2013-05-19 22:54 UTC

Reply Score: 2

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

And when you followed a blog of a rabid Nintendo fanboy you expected Reader to filter the Nintendo related posts out?

Reply Score: 4

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

No, I wrote my own RSS app because Reader never gave us that capability. I can't do that with G+ ;)

Reply Score: 2

cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

The thing about Google Reader is that they got f*cked by local gov-lobbying. France and germany introduced laws to cash them, cash those Reader services. 2 weeks late, once the lobby-law passed in germany, Google announced aborting the Reader. Thing is they never made much money with that services but to continue that services put them under permanent risk.

The bottom-line you will not read in any news since its the news-media who pushed for that law. If or how smaller RSS services may become target if there are not much $ to win from them stays to be seen.

Edited 2013-05-19 12:17 UTC

Reply Score: 5

some1 Member since:
2010-10-05

France and germany introduced laws to cash them, cash those Reader services.

I've never heard this before. Link to the news, please?
Also, if this is the case, why didn't Google close Reader just in those countries? It's trivial to implement and would show citizens effects of those laws.

Reply Score: 3

some1 Member since:
2010-10-05

Oh, this law. I'm pretty sure it affects Google News and snippets in Google search results, rather than RSS, where publishers determine what to give away themselves.

Reply Score: 4

pklausner Member since:
2009-07-23

cdude: you are mixing up things.

The "Leisungsschutzrecht" legislation in Germany affects Google News. They were supposed to pay if the snippets are too long. Interestingly they got off the hook with last-minute lobbying. With the recently passed law only small-time bloggers remain under threat because they cannot afford the court costs to settle the question "snippet short enough/too long?" on a case by case basis.

In France the issue for Google News was settled with a one-off payment to some "new media" fund.

Shutting off RSS aggregation is a clear move to kill interoperability. As with CalDAV. As with XMPP. Surely they think it makes business sense. Surely it should make you think about how far you want to trust their siren songs to lure you into their walled garden...

Reply Score: 2

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Yeah....
A) Killing off Reader is the opposite of locking in. It's more like relinquishing the market to actually be open. Let alone with just two clicks I moved from Reader to Feedly... if that's lock-in, then what is not?
B) The geocoding information is not Google's to give away... It's like asking Google to give away the data behind Google Maps or allow blanket downloads of YouTube content.
C) Deprecating stuff and removing stuff is not lock-in.
D) Yes they removed CalDAV and provided an alternative API.
E) How is tax related to lock-in?

Reply Score: 4

since did rss die?
by TechGeek on Sun 19th May 2013 01:28 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

I take issue with the stance that Google killed RSS. RSS existed before Google reader and it will exist for a long time to come. Its an open standard, and even Google can't kill that.

Reply Score: 7

Also
by aliquis on Sun 19th May 2013 01:53 UTC
aliquis
Member since:
2005-07-23

(Mind you I was expecting to read something negative)

even if they did about their normal business and it failed it wouldn't be the end of the day. Google do lots of projects which fail. And then they cancel them. Or try again with something which is hopefully better.

Some stick.

I guess Apple has been better at picking what will stick and not (though I can't say I like the idea of having different devices for Apple Airport/extreme/what was it called? and Apple Express or say later the Apple TV but some are obviously ok with paying multiple times for about the same device when it all could had been one. Maybe it's because people like to remember the successful projects and forget about the crap.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by jigzat
by jigzat on Sun 19th May 2013 06:05 UTC
jigzat
Member since:
2008-10-30

I wonder what would happen if I attend to one of those Google conferences with a hack to block all Google Ads ?

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by jigzat
by cdude on Sun 19th May 2013 12:27 UTC in reply to "Comment by jigzat"
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

You get PI*10 k $ from Google and 30 minutes later the holes your hack is base upon are closed and your hack will not work any longer :-)

Reply Score: 1

Clever marketing?
by davidiwharper on Sun 19th May 2013 07:54 UTC
davidiwharper
Member since:
2006-01-01

I think that part of this specific strategy - being hacker friendly on the Glass device - is about driving early adopters, who can then help them to fine tune the technology and evangelise to consumers.

This is basically encouraging openness in a way that isn't going to harm the technology much if it takes off (your average consumer won't understand what Ubuntu is much less know how to follow the installation instructions) but is arguably critically important early on (most technology writers and trend setters in this industry are tinkerers at heart).

Edited 2013-05-19 07:56 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE: Clever marketing?
by No it isnt on Sun 19th May 2013 10:11 UTC in reply to "Clever marketing?"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Hacker-hostility (like Apple) isn't about protecting technology, it's about protecting a market. For Google, anything that connects to the internet and uses Google Search and Youtube and Maps and whatnot (and doesn't block ads) is part of their market, so opening up is really just making their market more diverse. Closing their tech is usually not in their own best interest.

Apple see a loss of profit on anything that makes it possible for people to enjoy their tech without paying a direct 30% tax for every little transaction, so they're more paranoid. Microsoft used to be some kind of hybrid when Windows was a monopoly, with the relative openness of Windows being a selling point for developers and hw manufacturers, and the proprietary .doc being used to keep a stranglehold on the productivity market.

Reply Score: 7

Comment by marcp
by marcp on Sun 19th May 2013 10:32 UTC
marcp
Member since:
2007-11-23

Say about Google what you want - and there's surely a lot of stuff to say - but it's this hacker-friendly attitude that earns this company its credits.


Hacker culture was [also] always about privacy, security and anonimity. Google isn't.
They pretend to be hacker-friendly just to make few more pennies out of the unsuspecting, clueless and naive newcomers.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Comment by marcp
by RshPL on Sun 19th May 2013 11:42 UTC in reply to "Comment by marcp"
RshPL Member since:
2009-03-13

There is just one thing ... hackers do find Google friendly. I consider myself a hacker and if Google has always been friendly I find it a hacker friendly culture. Don't forget who makes Google tick .. Hint: it's not typical corporate Microsoft-like developers.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by marcp
by cdude on Sun 19th May 2013 12:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by marcp"
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

Agreed. Also extra points for destroying Microsoft lockin. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by marcp
by Vanders on Sun 19th May 2013 11:43 UTC in reply to "Comment by marcp"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Hacker culture was [also] always about privacy, security and anonimity.

It was? Got any sources on that? Because the MIT AI lab was an incredibly open place with no sense of privacy and certainly no concept of anonymity. A direct example is ITS, the first "hacker" Operating System, which had no passwords and no directory permissions. This was a deliberate design decision as a reaction to the security systems that were designed into CTSS and Multics.

"Hacker culture" has always been about transparency and openness, both things that Google does or does not do to varying degrees.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Comment by marcp
by marcp on Sun 19th May 2013 22:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by marcp"
marcp Member since:
2007-11-23

True. That's the history.

However, that was not my point. There is an enormously huge difference between transparency, privacy, security and "hiding something". You can be transparent and stay secure, private, not hiding anything "bad".

I understand current american way of thinking about these problems: some people really push the vision of "terrorism" and that "if you hide something then you're a terrorist, you're not TRANSPARENT". That's not othe point I make.

First hackers faced different problems. There was no internet, no "evil guys" lurking inside your multi-user lab machine. There was just he, me and couple of other collegues. They could just happily hack on the code.
They trusted each other, because they knew each other personally. That is not the case today.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by marcp
by some1 on Sun 19th May 2013 15:20 UTC in reply to "Comment by marcp"
some1 Member since:
2010-10-05

From http://www.catb.org/esr/faqs/hacker-howto.html

The problem with screen names or handles deserves some amplification. Concealing your identity behind a handle is a juvenile and silly behavior characteristic of crackers, warez d00dz, and other lower life forms. Hackers don't do this; they're proud of what they do and want it associated with their real names. So if you have a handle, drop it. In the hacker culture it will only mark you as a loser.

Doesn't sound like a lot of anonymity.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by marcp
by zlynx on Mon 20th May 2013 04:47 UTC in reply to "Comment by marcp"
zlynx Member since:
2005-07-20

Hacker culture was [also] always about privacy, security and anonimity. Google isn't.
They pretend to be hacker-friendly just to make few more pennies out of the unsuspecting, clueless and naive newcomers.

Depends on which hacker culture you're talking about. The original timeshare systems written by hackers didn't have any permission controls, on purpose, so that everyone could read and edit everyone else's files.

And none of the original internet protocols included encryption. That was all added afterward.

Reply Score: 5

Google needs some suspicion too
by Janvl on Sun 19th May 2013 11:50 UTC
Janvl
Member since:
2007-02-20

Sign the petion at
http://www.defectivebydesign.org/no-drm-in-html5

and remember that even google is pushing this.

I agree however in the sharktank google looks like the more friendly shark . . . .

Reply Score: 5

It's all about business models
by Tony Swash on Sun 19th May 2013 12:00 UTC
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

In order to understand how a large tech company (or indeed any company) operates one needs to be very clear about the business model of the company and thus understand it's core dynamic, what drives it. How does it make it's money, what is it selling, to whom. What threatens it's business model, what supports and enhances it's business model. What is import to it's core business and what is not.

Clearly companies can have internal cultures which impact on how they behave in total or in part, but internal culture is a weak driver of corporate strategy and long term behaviour, what really drives things is money and business.

Of course companies can misunderstand or lose track of their core business especially when confronted by rapid innovation and mutation in the tech world which transforms key aspects of how their business operates. Companies can be slow and fragmented and unresponsive. Such business will start to fail. Successful businesses remain highly focussed on a clear understanding of what their business is about.

Some examples.

Apple. Core business model: to sell a lot of a few distinctive, highly designed and easy to use products, which combine hardware, software and services, for a healthy profit. Hence Apple's lack of interest in pursuing market share as an aim in itself, it's desire to totally control the whole product and service stack, and it's extreme prickliness about what it considers to be evidence of anyone copying it's products and thus reducing their distinctiveness.

Microsoft: Core business model: to sell software licenses. Interestingly Microsoft are in my opinion a good example of a company that has lost track of their own core business, they became convinced that their core business was ensuring the ubiquitousness of Windows and thus, astonishingly, they have almost no presence in the largest and most dynamic software market on the planet which the mobile device app market.

Samsung: Core business model: trickier because it is such a vast and sprawling conglomerate operating in so many very diverse markets. If one focusses on just the electronics side of Samsung's business I would say their core business is to be a huge and profitable presence in the electronic tech supply chain, to use that presence to build a powerful productive base and to have the best possible understanding and advanced intelligence about market and product trends and then to decisively enter the market with their own products in competition with their previous corporate customers and take their profits. Samsung seem to be very good at working this strategy.

So let's now turn to Google.

Google: Core business model: to sell advertising which has special value for it's customers (the buyers of the adverting) because Google can target and tailor the ads at the level of the individual viewer based on it's unique ability to gather data about what almost everyone does on the internet and beyond. This means that Google is not interested in making profits on hardware sales, it does not it care about how people tinker with hardware and it does not care about generating revenue from software so it can give it away for free. This characteristic, of not caring about protecting either hardware or software, makes it very popular with techies and geeks, and it's policy of giving stuff away for free or selling at costs makes it's offerings very popular in the wider world. Google's complete focus is on making sure it can observe what people are doing on the internet (and with mobile devices and especially devices like Google Glass what they are doing in general and where they are doing it) and then using that data to serve high value targeted advertising increasingly presented in the often not inaccurate guise of useful information.

The other consequence of Google's core business model is that it views all activity which it cannot watch, and thus where it cannot collect data about user activity, as a threat. It is a threat not just because someone else might sell advertising in the space Google is excluded from but also because the less comprehensive Google's data collection is the less value it has. Google is driven to see everything (expressed by the company as the desire to 'organise the world's data'). Thus Google often see's dynamic new areas of innovative user activity (social networking and mobile device use are prime examples) as threats and is compelled to create it's own offerings in direct competition.

It's core business model also explains why Google loses interest in things when their job (from Google's point of view) is done. Once there is no danger that it will be excluded from offering it's services, and thus collecting the all important user data, Google is no longer very interested. I think we may be witnessing this dynamic in relation to Android at the moment. The sheer energy unleashed by the early exponential success of Android combined with the Schmidt era looseness of Google's corporate strategic management meant it stumbled into expensive missteps like the Motorola purchase. Now Google under the steermanship of Larry Page is far more focussed and it looks like developing Android's core OS is now considered not so important as building a wide range of attractive services, services that can often run on both Android and iOS, and which deliver the all important data harvesting. It may be that as far as Google is concerned Android has done it's job, which was preventing an alternative and dominant mobile OS from shutting out it's services, and the core development of Android can now shift into maintenance mode.

Both these article are interesting on Google and Android.

http://stratechery.com/2013/the-android-detour/

http://stratechery.com/2013/the-real-reason-andy-rubin-left-android...

Reply Score: 4

RE: It's all about business models
by cdude on Sun 19th May 2013 12:42 UTC in reply to "It's all about business models"
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

the core development of Android can now shift into maintenance mode

Stop innovation and you get done. So, no, its not done and never will be. Starting with JB Google focused on specific actions. Performance with 4.1, security with 4.2 and now services. 4.3 will come, I think its focused on stabilization. 5.0 is work is progress. My guess is Project Butter 2.0 with focus on low-end. Maybe already with 4.3.

Point is 4.3 may just not be ready yet. There are enough indicators for 4.3 coming as incremental update. So, maybe just later this year.

Edited 2013-05-19 12:49 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

Stop innovation and you get done.


Only if that relates to your core business. Android is not a core business of Google's, it's a cost centre. Android was a means to an end for Google, it was designed to protect Google's core business from the threat posed by the rise of a dominant mobile OS (seen originally as Windows Mobile and Rim and later as iOS) which might have excluded Google services. Android so far has sort of done that, it certainly prevented any alternative OS from dominating the mobile market, but it has been far less efficient at ensuring the inclusion of Google services and so the next phase of Google's mobile strategy will probably focus far more on making Google services ubiquitous across all mobile OS.

I think it was this sort of change of strategic emphasis that led to Rubin's departure.

Reply Score: 4

Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

Came across this article reflecting on Google' seeming change of emphasis around Android at the iO

http://techpinions.com/googles-android-and-the-path-not-taken/16118

It concludes with his


The battle for mobile is over. Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android reign as a duopoly and Microsoft and Blackberry hang on by the skin of their teeth. Google is free to put its web services on Android and iOS and to ignore the Blackberry and Windows 8 operating systems. Android has ensured that Google’s services are freely accessible on the only two operating systems that matter. The Android strategy was a success although, perhaps, at great cost. Google’s I/O keynote is living proof that Google is now re-focusing on their original mission of dominating web services.

Reply Score: 3

RE: It's all about business models
by acobar on Mon 20th May 2013 11:23 UTC in reply to "It's all about business models"
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

Funny how you praise Apple and throws stones on everyone else.

Apple has trying to use stupid "should not be granted" patents to stop competition for years, it is fine to you. Note, I am not against patents, not even against software patents and I do find it hard to put software in the same level of math, it is not but, sincerely, there should be a way harder path to get them approved, the current system is a joke. To use the system to keep the trolls away is one thing, but to go and use "hard to believe" patents against competitors is something completely different.

When they were the underdog, they picked FOSS projects to leverage their products, I am fine with it, sponsors are welcome, but there were some misbehaviors on the path, like with khtml.

Microsoft is far from be a saint and even though I see them as a very competent tech company they sure have lots of misses and, from my point of view, deserves all the troubles they got and much more. Anyway, I would not count them out yet.

Of course Google has its problems, but I fail to recall any other company that brought so much benefits to the market through free services and stimulus to competition on all human history.

Lets recall that companies are just that, companies, they are out for money and there is nothing wrong with it and they may provide good things to society even thought they are out for their own interests.

Reply Score: 4

kefkathecruel
Member since:
2006-01-17

Interesting insight. I was just wondering why 30% of Google products can fail out of the gate, and Google's stock price remain solid from day to day when one Apple launch that doesn't perform as well as astronomically unrealistic estimates projected causes Apple stock to shave a hundred or two off the stock price.

Reply Score: 2

google is profitable
by unclefester on Mon 20th May 2013 08:29 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

Google is one of the very few startups of the last decade to actually make a profit. That is one reason why people resepct it.

In contrast Facebook, Amazon, Twitter etc are basically sophisticated Ponzi schemes with no real prospect of being successful businesses.

Edited 2013-05-20 08:35 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: google is profitable
by Morgan on Tue 21st May 2013 14:37 UTC in reply to "google is profitable"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Not that I'm a fan of Facebook, but if they aren't profitable where did they get the money to buy out so many startups?

As for Amazon, they seem to be focused more on growth than huge margins right now:

http://www.theverge.com/2013/4/25/4266416/amazon-q1-2013-earnings

Reply Score: 2

Google It
by parrotjoe on Tue 21st May 2013 05:23 UTC
parrotjoe
Member since:
2005-07-06

With the exception of their original product, Google Search, I don't care about any of Google's "products". Chrome is okay, but the world wouldn't come to an end if it vanished tomorrow. There are so many good smartphone OS's that if Android vanished it's place would be filled almost instantly. I do think Google Earth does have purpose besides looking at your own house. People who use things like Street View have too much time on their hands. Google has too much time on it's hands. Everything else they do I can think is marginal at best as far as having any value.

Reply Score: 3