Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 4th Apr 2012 22:22 UTC
Google Interesting, if not inherently flawed, article by Farhad Manjoo. "Honan might be right that Google has violated its own definition of evil, but doesn't it matter that every one of its rivals also routinely violates Google's definition of evil?" I say flawed, because I value promises more than anything. Google has done things recently that break their initial promise. That sucks - there's no way around it. I do love Gruber's take, though: "It's not that Google is evil. It's that they're hypocrites. That's the difference between Google and its competitors." In other words, it's perfectly fine to be an evil scumbag company, as long as you're not claiming you're not. That's a rather... Warped view on morality.
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Thom, are you evil?
by ozonehole on Thu 5th Apr 2012 01:09 UTC
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Thom, I'm normally a big supporter of what you write, but I think you're barking up the wrong tree here. Google has yet to do anything that particularly offends me. No, they aren't perfect, but it would be rather hard to not (for example) be a search engine company dependent on advertising and not somehow violate people's privacy. Do you have any advice to Google on what they should be doing differently (advice that wouldn't bankrupt them)?

Google has done some great things for open source. Financing Mozilla and Chrome, licensing free codecs via Youtube, Android, the Summer of Code, their support for open standards, etc.

And if you want to talk about hypocrisy, I'm afraid you aren't totally innocent there. You've railed against the very obnoxious practices of Microsoft and Apple (ie software patents, endless lawsuits, closed standards, DRM, high prices) and I've been in full agreement with you there, yet you continue to buy products from both Microsoft and Apple. Remember that old adage about the pot calling the kettle "black."

I've personally made sure that I don't buy from either MS or Apple...with the exception that I couldn't buy a laptop recently that didn't have Windows on it (though I deleted it as soon as I got the machine home). I don't even own an Android phone because I don't want to give any money to Microsoft (though their extortion "license" fees that Android users have to pay). I've forgone the whole smart phone revolution so far, in part for this reason.

But yes, I've been taxed by Microsoft, more than once - it pains me. Does it make me a hypocrite? Am I evil too?

Edited 2012-04-05 01:21 UTC

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