back to article Wanna make 15 bucks? Assimilate someone into the Google Apps BORG

Google is offering an incentive for Google Apps users in the US and Canada to spread the word about the online productivity suite, in the form of a cash reward for each new customer they refer. The online ad-slinger will pay a $15 referral bonus each time a new user signs up for Google Apps using an existing customer's unique …

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Alien

Cue the

comments that Google just wants you to "provide a taxpayer identification number and bank account information, ..." to complete their total knowledge campaign... or seed a random number generator or something evil, y'no?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Cue the

Exactly what I wanted to quote. Google could have easily cut cheques, but it won't be Google if they don't grab some more information from someone.

At this stage, I would rather refer people to that Microsoft online service, which no one is using, than send more people to Google.

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Silver badge

Re: Cue the

So you cough up your bank details, blag people into joining and then wait 120 days for a chance of $18. Doesn't seem very appealing to me.

What are the odds of a massive rash of spam promoting the service happening soon?

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Gold badge

Re: Cue the

"At this stage, I would rather refer people to that Microsoft online service, which no one is using, than send more people to Google."

Except Microsoft are just as evil, go out of their way to collect just as much infomration and use it in as creepy a fashion as Google do. They simply don't have the scale that Google do due to lack of "products = overpriced ass with complicated and punitive licensing."

Microsoft's are no less evil than Google. They're just douchey enough not be players on the same scale.

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Silver badge

Shrewd analysts

From the aricle: "When Facebook shelled out a staggering $19bn to acquire WhatsApp in February, for example, shrewder analysts observed that the sum was equivalent to $42 per user, which is high but isn't out of line with the per-user valuation of other past social media acquisitions. With its $15 referral bounty, Google will be paying practically a third as much per user."

That doesn't sound like a "shrewder" analyst to me. Since "Google won't actually pay the bounty until a referred customer has been a paying subscriber for 120 days", they will be paying out $15 once they have gotten $20. Perhaps I'm not so "shrewd", but getting $5 does not sound like the same as paying a third of $42.

IOW: Give me $20 and I'll give you $15.

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Bronze badge
Holmes

My latest google Android experience

Over the weekend I tried to report a Android bug to the google. The bug must involve privilege escalation. The google was not interested. (Actually, it's an old bug and I'd probably tried to report it before.)

Can you think of any reason why any legitimate app should ever destroy or reconfigure other apps resources? Me neither.

For the sake of research, I encourage you to post your similar experiences here. I don't want to give it away, so to speak, but let me hint that the bug I spotted involved widgets.

The google's response was useless and apparently witless, but I want to include the part that most offended me from a programmer's perspective. The only reason I have any specific suspicions about the candidate apps is because I do not allow automatic upgrades. Therefore I think I know that this OS-level bug must be related to one of a small number of apps. The google rep suggested that I enable automatic updates.

Now let's assume the google doesn't care about security. If not, they are certainly fooling me right proper. Now let's assume some criminal hacker finds a bug in the Android OS, heaven forbid. The criminal creates a plausible and harmless app and uploads it to the Google Play website. Many people download and install this app.

Now let's add in the automatic update feature. The criminal creates a dangerous version of the app that exploits the bug. This is posted on the Play website and is automatically distributed to all of the victims who are foolish enough to permit automatic update. The app attacks all of the victims. Now the criminal prepares another version without the attack and uploads that one. Poof, all of the evidence disappears as quickly as the automatic update can propagate.

I'm not sure exactly what damage can be done, but it is certainly possible that a privileged bug could attack all of the other apps on the phone, eh?

This actually reminds me of some related but ancient news. Probably at least a year ago by now. The local police arrested a gang of criminals. Part of their scam involved poisoned Android apps that harvested personal data from the smartphones. I wasn't particularly surprised that the local police wouldn't know anything about the details, but I was surprised that the google denied any knowledge. I really would have liked to know whether or not I had downloaded any of the affected apps. Even if that entire gang of criminals is still in jail, it's possible or even likely that they had sold copies of some of their ill-gotten data.

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Silver badge

I'd be a hypocrite....

... if I said anything about supplying Google with credit card information, since I have done just that to get my Android games onto Play.

However - bribing people to use their stuff? Sounds on a par with Microsoft paying people to port apps to WinPhone.

As has been mentioned before, it's a case of scale - and unfortunately, Google has a far wider reach to spread their brand of evil that anyone else right now.

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Anonymous Coward

bit cheap

going rate tends to be a years revenue - especially when it's all margin like google.

besides these are paying users - worth much more than free users.

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Anonymous Coward

The Google Apps BORG?

I thought Microsoft had patented BORG in relation to a relentless purveyor of mediocre Operating Systems?

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Anonymous Coward

They couldn't pay me enough..

.. to rat on my friends. They are again doing an end run around privacy laws which dictate they have to tell a user what they want their data for, but no such requirement exists when they get your data from your friends (it's basically the same scam FB has been using for as long as it exist).

Not in a gazillion years, thanks.

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