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Google and Microsoft went toe-to-toe yesterday on Capitol Hill, jawing over Google's proposed $3.1bn merger with online ad firm DoubleClick. Speaking before a Senate subcommittee that handles antitrust issues, Microsoft said that the merger would hinder competition in the online ad market and endanger the privacy of people …

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Doubleclick adverts

I like Doubleclick. Why? Because they put all their ad images under one domain, which makes them easy to block...

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If you really care about DobuelClick...

Then you ought to install the MVPS hosts file on your computer (the hosts file works on ever OS which uses TCP/IP, inlcuing Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux).

Go visit http://www.mvps.org and use their search box to find "hosts." everything else is explained on their site.

The use of the file blocks your computer from even locating many malicious Web sites, so no matter how you feel about DoubleClick, it's still a good idea - you can't be infected if you computer refuses to connect to the bad guys.

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Double take

I had to read the story twice. Microsoft accusing another business of predatory or monopolistic practices is like Hitler complaining about anti-semitism. Talk about pots and kettles...

As to the Google droid's assertion: "Online advertising benefits consumers, promotes free speech, and helps small businesses succeed" I was left gaping in disbelief! Free speech??? What fucking hallucinogens do these these sharks think we're on?

Personally, I regard Google, DoubleClick and Microsoft with equal suspicion and contempt. Which of the bastards owns which is of little interest - they're as bad as each other.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Doubleclick adverts

And "*doubleclick*" will always be at the top of my squid blockads.acl file...

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I can't believe I'm saying this

I can't believe I'm even thinking this, let alone saying it, but Microsoft *MIGHT* have a point. If DoubleClick really is just a delivery platform, as the Google guy said, then that means multiple advertising companies use DoubleClick's platform to deliver their ads. If Google merged with DoubleClick, it's not a far stretch to think that they would then say to competitors "No, you can't use *our* technology to deliver *your* ads".

I, too, laughed when I read that advertising promotes free speech. I can understand the logic he tried to use, but it still fails. His logic is like that woman who said smoking saved her life because she went outside for a smoke just before a tree fell on her house.

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How the hell is doubleclick relevant anyway?

Last I checked, doubleclick served solely as a repository for every useless 'you're a winner' and 'punch the monkey' ad out there. Along with the occasional ad that tries to take advantage of per click payment with ads that don't need to be clicked on to be useful.

Frankly, I hope Google guts it for its database and employees then tosses the rest of it in the bin were it belongs.

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In the interest of fairness...

I think MS is absolutely right about bitching about something, that they themselves got slapped by. Also, as a second thought - it took Ms how many years to cross over into the antitrust zone? Google is on their 9th, and they are already making shady deals. Personally I don't think companies should ever buy each other, but I also enjoy vegitarian lasange so I can't be trusted to have any valid opinions.

@Sceptical Bastard, I love, say, google search. But I hate, say, google ads. I guess there's no one without the other. The "promoting free speach" is, I guess, in reference to bloggers being able to put food on their family (sic), but it does and in many ways is a stinking pile of bull crap, seeing as how monopolies and free speach tend to be each others counterparts.

If only we'd live in a word without advertising - Brainwash article's §1....

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DoubleClick and Google will know you better than Big Brother

People don't realize how much information both of these companies collect.

These two data sources alone have large privacy implications.

The merged data is larger than the sum of the parts because it will be cross-correlated to extract more detailed personal information than available from either data source individually.

People say "if you don't like google, just don't use them". This is very short sited argument as google collects information on us whether we explicitly use google.com or not.

Monitor or block google's several domains and you'll find out how much data goes to them every web session through google analytics, adscense, inlined google maps, google searchs, etc.

On a related note, those of you blocking google ads via adblock or some other tool be aware that google uses other domains for analytics. If you care to block google's collection of this information you should also look into blocking those domains.

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Look who's talking?

I've recently gone through the book Bill Gates and the making of Microsoft empire. I've seen interviews with Microsoft people who admit "Sometimes we had to step on other companies". Seeing Microsoft claiming an anti-trust, saying what it had to say "Google is already FedEx. It is already Amazon," said Brad Smith. "And now they're proposing to buy the post office." Well Steve Ballmer is gonna like you for saying that! Remind you Microsoft wanted to acquire Google and after the latter refused it became Ballmer's target to destroy them. Clearly he has failed miserably. Another thing is, isn't Microsoft the OS and Apps on top of it? Isn't this how they dominated the Office market?

Now as for Google's standing point, Google have control of huge amount of user data that is becoming more and more scary. But we all remember how they stood up against giving up user queries 2 years back right?

Are they angels? No I have my takes on them, but they are way much better than Microsoft. Reaching an agreement with another company for acquisition by it self is not a wrong thing at all. I guess we would all be doing the same thing. I am running ad company and I see a complementary to my service. Why not add it to the portfolio?

Personally, I have tried several ad services ad only Google gave me the lowest cost per click, in addition to the most massive exposure. Most others don't support different languages for contextual ads, or don't cover different regions. Some have high minimum account budget. So far Google gave me best service and outcome.

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Free speech is correct

Google do encourage free speech because they pay bloggers and website owners advertising revenue.

I own a group of websites including a blog and they are all monetized using Google Adsense. If Google didn't have this service, then I wouldn't be speaking my mind on my blog and I would be less likely to develop content for my other websites because I would have much less renumeration.

I could never see Microsoft putting money into my bank account every month, but that is exactly what Google does.

Google made the Web work for lots of people. They made a way for Joe Blogs to get paid for web publishing. Before Google you had to get your own advertisers and that was hard.

Also, it is a fact that DoubleClick have this big database, but whether Google own it or not, doesn't change anything. It is still there.

I would rather Google have it than anyone else. If Microsoft got a hold of it, then it would the end of the world.

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Largest user database ?

Google might have a "large" database, but bear in mind Microsoft has had EVERY copy of Windows phoning home telling them what people had installed for a number of years now - what was it for Vista, something like 27 different processes that phone home for no apparent reason ?

That's omitting to mention any of the more nefarious activities Microsoft have been caught up in, such as the US secret service "hooks" that enable them to get into any machine running Windows - including those of foreign governments.

Let us also not forget they're part of the "Trusted Computing Group" (see below) that proclaims that the system belongs to the owner, not the software company - and how Microsoft ignored those tenets to force a "Windows update" on everyones' machines, whether they had updates switched off or not.

( from https://www.trustedcomputinggroup.org/faq/ )

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The TCG specifications support privacy principles in a number of ways:

1. The owner controls personalization.

2. The owner controls the trust relationship.

3. The system provides private object storage and digital signature capability.

4. Private personalization information is never exposed.

5. Owner keys are encrypted prior to transmission.

It is also important to know what the solutions are not:

1. They are not global identifiers.

2. They are not personalized before user interaction.

3. They are not fixed functions—they can be disabled permanently.

4. They are not controlled by others (only the owner controls them).

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At least Google tell you they're using your data !

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Those comparing Google to microsoft miss the point.

Google's actions should be judged for what they are.

Microsoft's actions and lawsuits are truly not relevant in this discussion. Yes there are plenty of reasons not to trust MS, but that is no reason to turn a blind eye to what microsoft's competitors are doing.

It may be hypocritical for a Microsoft lawyer to warn us about Google's tactics, however it may still be a valid point that should not be ignored.

Remember that the takeover of Doubleclick is being scrutinized because it is highly controversial and potentially damaging to competition and privacy, not just because Microsoft is complaining.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Re: Free speech is correct

@David:

No, the fact that Google enables bloggers to put food on the table does not in itself promote free speech. I agree that, as a side effect, it seems to enable it, but it does not promote it. As a matter of fact, it does the exact opposite. To illustrate this point, consider an extreme example: A tyrannical government that prescribes free speech by fiat (as opposed to accept it by human right). Such government will seem to promote free speech, but by retaining control to the enabling statutes, it virtually guarantees that the so-called free speech will adhere to its standards.

Likewise, if Google enables free speech by recompensing those using its technology, and retains control of how the deals are brokered, then it can at any time withdraw support to any customer who does not conform to its purposes. And therefore, it is in the best interest of the bloggers and users of Google's technology then to follow Google's recommendations, suggestions, policies, or points of view, and to keep in line with its principles -- perhaps even at the cost of their own freedom of speech.

To trust a major corporation to actively ignore or forsake such potentially lucrative power at any time in the future, is foolish at best.

-dZ.

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