Google, the new M$
Nothing surprising here. Google has worked hard at establishing itself as a superpower and has for a long time placed profit above anything else. I think they are winning the battle against M$ for the biggest mongrel award.
It is characteristic of Google’s approach to relationships, one senior phone exec told me this week: "They don’t know what hurt they’re doing, and they don’t care." It’s nothing personal, guys. Today, some of the biggest tech companies in the world, who thought they were Google’s closest partners, will begin to understand how …
After your succint summing up in this article of Google's attitude to the net (and the world).
I have access to a pitchfork and can probably make a fair flaming torch if needed. Now we just need to get together and figuratively drive the beast to the windmill and burn its black heart out.
Of course, if anyone knows any 21st century IT based alternatives to agricultural implements and carbon-based light sources I'll use them.
1a) It's not cool to use "autistic" as an insult.
1b) And in any case, it doesn't even make sense in the context - your argument is that Google is duplicitous and manipulative in its commercial relationships, and misleads its partners while advancing its own interests. On the other hand you (and your thankfully-for-them anonymous souce) are evoking a stereotype of autistic people as being incapable of understanding counterparties' behaviour and likely reaction (which is really but one characteristic of ASDs) but in order to successfully manipulate people, you have to be highly sensitive to their behaviour, emotions etc...meaning the word you - err, I mean, your cough>industry source<cough were probably trying to grasp for was "sociopathic".
"Nokia talks about ‘democratising’ the smartphone, simply because it’s own models are cheaper".
A highly questionable comma and a totally redundant apostrophe. Tchoh.
a) it's a quote that isn't intended as an insult, if you take offence that's up to you.
b) to manipulate people successfully, you don't need to be highly sensitive to their emotions. Or even slightly sensitive. Being backed by a large army or lots of money is sufficient.
But thanks for sharing anyway.
.... and I approve Orlowski's article.
For the terminally illiterate, here's why: He explicitly states that he's *QUOTING SOMEONE ELSE*. If you change the text of a quote, you're no longer quoting!
Unlike some people on the internet (and in real life), I don't expect absolutely everyone on Earth to be an expert on every subject known to science. Expect ignorance and you'll have an easier, less stressful day.
Wilful ignorance, on the other hand, I can't stand, so I have no quarrel with people pointing out mistakes; there's a big difference between expecting ignorance and demanding it.
I usually have the the utmost respect for Reg hacks even if I don't always agree with their opinions. But you, Andrew, should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself.
And Sarah Bee should join you for allowing such bigoted and offensive responses to be posted. If, on the other hand, she is forced to accept all effluent that spews forth from co-workers, then I hope she accepts my humble apologies.
"Autism is a disorder of neural development that is characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior."
If that doesn't sound like Google then I guess I'm one of the deluded.
Look it up dude. Besides that, the author clearly states this is a quote from another individual. Wow, talk about shooting the messenger.
There was a recent post in another forum asking "are there any decent cellphone companies?" and the answer was "Nope. Sorry."
Google *CAN'T* make it any worse (it's to the point I no longer have a mobile) and I'm hoping they'll bring some sort of shakeup to the industry. I've already been screwed by T-Mobile, so I'm kind of forced to pass on the Gee-phone.
If they are, then they'll go the same way M$ did. Backlash over rip off opening door for competition. However, I do not think they're that stupid. And as far as I can see, I still get all my google func for free. And on top of that, I don't see Apple playing v nicely!.........
As far as I'm concerned, APPLE are the new M$ and Google are doing us all a big favour - AGAIN. Could there be consequences? Yes. Could there be consequences if Apple become too dominant. YES! So, let's play. I'll take a Google phone as soon as the early adopter tards have beta-tested it for me, whined and got the price of the superior 2nd gen much lower. Great.
All those idiot Apple fanboys that got the gen1 Iphone were sooooooo stupid! They got bent over and best of all it was the wrong horse that did it. Now they're just upset that their glee in being part of the club is under threat. And obviously a lot of people are literally being paid (by the status quo) to dislike the google phone. Sadly for them, most of us don't work for the existing rip-off merchants and plenty of people would be v happy to see Apple put in its place.
If google oversteps, one day it'll happen to them too. Until then, free is fine with me. The rest of us don't need to suffer because the fanbois bet on the wrong horse. I welcome all competition that actually drives progress in performance/value. Seems like a big jump in value to me.
Seems to me that if you get to use Android free of charge to make shiny, attractive phones with vastly better software than the Nokias of this world, you shouldn't be terribly surprised if other people use the same stuff too.
If you wanted exclusivity, you might have considered paying for the development of your own platform. The world doesn't owe you a living; it was here first.
Since S60 phones are starting to suck, and WinMo is a waste of space, Android is a good alternative to Apple's offering. The more manufacturers trying to outdo each other building a better mousetrap based around Google's rodent retention platform, the better.
A very fair point. Anyone can use Android, so people who do shouldn't complain when others do it better.
Given it takes two-three years or more to develop a phone platform from scratch, plus time developing the Apps store equivalent, Android is a good option for many handset makers. Its a fast(er) entry in to a probable large market. I'm sure that many are still working on their own platforms, as well as Android, but best to keep all doors open...
"...like the vast cooling towers at each end of the Holland or Rotherhithe Tunnels"
Hmm. And then more hmm.
(a) These aren't cooling towers - cooling towers exist at power stations - what you're trying to refer to is ventilation 'towers' (if, indeed, you must call them towers at all).
(b) Have you ever been around the Rotherhithe tunnel? The ventilation installations, such as they are, can hardly be described as 'towers'. You're probably trying to refer to the Blackwall tunnel, which does have (sort-of) ventilation towers... but it's too late.
The current business model of the mobile industry - using free or heavily subsidized handsets as the crack to get people hooked on hideously overpriced contracts - is a horrible, market-distorting abomination. It means you can't actually get a contract at a sensible price, because what you're largely paying for is hire-purchase on a handset. It also means virtually everyone has drawers full of prefectly decent phones due to upgrades they really didn't need, because once that contract's up, it's time for another hit of the crack to keep you hooked.
So, sorry if you feel the likes of Vodafone have a god-given right to maintain their current business model, but I'm not feeling a lot of sympathy here. If someonce can shake up the market a bit, it's highly unlikely that what results will be worse than what we have now. Although sadly I personally doubt Google's current foray into the mobile business will actually have as much impact as the article implies, but we live in hope.
I dont think the article was trying to imply any sympathy for the ops at all, It was a summing up of the state of play and what each players wants: Thats how I read it.
What you believe the outcome of this action by google to be is mis-led: They have essentially sucked in a large number of equipment manufacturers + Operators with a solid gold promise of 'hey, look what I got over here, Its the solution to all your development woes, and guess what: Its Free!'
Alarms bells should have rang then but they didn't, and many companies have bet the farm on Android and sucked in, Playing Google's game, where Google Made the ball, Wrote the Rules, reffed the and decided when and where you would play.
Then Google begins to decide which players get the power ups first, and which players get to know what is going to happen next, while the rest fight it out catch up style when the ball is finally 'open sourced'
After which, Google decide that they are not just happy reffing the game, owning the ball and writing the rules, but they want to play as well.
The effect this has is potentially enormous. Because google now has the ability to control the a large portion of the Mobile industry by deciding who it tells first about future platform alterations, and will more than likely release its own products based on better platforms than it releases to Licensees first.
I do concur with your analysis - the network must become a simple utility just like I don't care where my electricity comes from as long as it does & does so reliably. All these networks trying to "create" value adds are just failing. They just don't get it. I don't need O2/Vodafone/Verizon/whoever to give me their version of the internet just give me all the bits & bytes, fast.
Sure Apple & RIM are the ones making hay - they're the only two with the end to end solution that makes it easy for Joe Punter, one is a phone + personal media device for the individual and the other is phone + email device for the corporate. I'm sure Google will catch up but the solution has to be the device PLUS a globally valuable service like iTunes and/or the AppStore.
Google's first, obvious, step to cut loose from the networks is to sell the phone direct - globally. Apple's blazed that trail by initially partnering monogamously then going polygamous. Nokia has foundered with Ovi as a home for the "device".
I did think Google's backbone was simply a CDN type thing to get their bits and bytes into & ou of localities quicker, take that traffic from the carriers & so attack the net neutrality issue on that basis but maybe I'm drinking too much "Do No Evil" koolaid :-)
Who's up for the FacebookPhone, there's 200+ million potential customers who don't realise their locked in....
However, I'm still not forking out £500 for a phone nor will I pay by H.P. from any network.
The main issue is that the carriers, who started off as technology companies whose focus were on running networks and making money off the traffic on those networks have been steadily moving up the chain, and now concentrate on selling phones and" user experience". To quote one carrier exec "Our core business is selling pay as you go top up cards. Running a network is an overhead".
The carriers have been steadily outsourcing building and running networks; the network vendors (Ericsson, Nokia-Siemens, Huawei, ALU, Motorola, ZTE) manage a good percentage of networks for the operators. Site and network sharing deals between operators are becoming more common - the hardware is a commodity, and the operators don't really want part of this business; they want to concentrate on selling phones and airtime packages.
So Google has effectively directly entered the operators market. This is a classic late entry into market with no legacy overheads to support, and a clear idea of the direction the market is moving in.
Google are doing to the operators what Huawei have done to the vendors.
When you say that Google is shafting or hurting X, you're assuming that this X is pure, divine and full of virtues. Not true. Without this sudden shake up of the mobile industry, it would stagnate and it's us, the USERS who get shafted; not that we're full of virtues, but to us, we're more important than the money that large corporations make.
The only reason I went for an N97 rather than a "google phone" was because the real google phone didn't actually exist. For some reason I really like the idea of a totally google made phone an HTC with a different operating system is a hash up and sucks monkey balls and T-Mobile calling it the Google phone was just misleading.
You may want to take off the rose tinted glasses. They're very fetching, but obviously get in the way of your critical thinking.
It took over 10 years to convince people that Microsoft did NOT have their interest at heart, and it took several more years before regulators to develop enough balls to ask questions. And it took a person without balls (sorry to drag this out) to finally put an axe into that behaviour, Neelie Kroes..
There is almost nothing different with Google, it smoothly moved from sympathetic startup through "let's kill everyone else's revenue" to " we want it all", which includes privacy invasions and IP "borrowing" that make any other US company look like rank amateurs, all the will covering their tracks with clever image management. Hell, it makes MS under Bill Gates look benevolent, which takes some doing.
Which other company would you allow to come in and look at everything you do, and use your property for free? They scan your email, look which sites you visit via ads and Google DNS (which, incidentally, is an *excellent* way to later surreptitiously censor and divert queries), collect pictures of everyone with a model that does not require permission of the subject in question (abusing the 3rd party weakness in the Data Protection laws) - if New Labour wasn't on its way out I would expect these guys to be invited as consultants. In case you didn't realise, every time you use a Google service you allow them to use your Intellectual Property. Sure, you still own it, but Google can use it, for free, into perpetuity - you agreed to their Terms of Service.
El Reg is one of the few that have the nerve to ask the questions. But I think it will take another 5 years before people start listening if MS is any standard to judge by. Meanwhile, El Reg will be belittled for reporting the bare facts. From the work I do I can see the problems mount already, and especially Google's answers to regulatory questions tell you it is a US company: "we'll do this as long as we can get away with it".
Andrew, sterling article.
It will, however, take a while before you can tell people "I told you so"..
The non-stop bashing of Satan is getting very, very old.
Not an attempt to compare Google to Satan, but I cannot buy into this mindset. People have a tendency to tune out criticism, even constructive, if they hear too much of it. And the more people who tune out, the more the critics criticize in an attempt to gain focus on the topic. It is a viscous circle. Instead of flat tuning out, people should take a few moments to investigate for themselves.
Frankly, irrespective of some of Google's nefarious activities previously unknown to me, the fact that Schmidthead in so many words told me that I only care about privacy because I am trying to hide something is enough for me to tell Google to go f&#k itself. And I think other companies are missing a spectacular opportunity as a result of his comments.
The Register bashes *everyone*. It's kind of the point.
Why do you think they have a vulture's head in their logo and the phrase: "Biting the hand that feeds IT" as their slogan?
Only in the US do people bow down and worship at the altar of capitalism as if it can do no wrong. The British have been there, done that, bought the T-shirt, taken it back for a refund and torn down the slums. We don't even trust our politicians any further than we can kick them, let alone corporations.
No, we're not paranoid: big business really *is* out to get us. By definition, all businesses want to beat their competition and become the #1 player in their chosen market. All businesses want to become a monopoly. That's why every Western nation has anti-monopoly laws. Even in the USA.
I've personally seen IBM go from "nice" to "bad" and back to "nice" again. Atari once lorded it over the video games industry, but they fell apart rapidly in the '90s and only the brand, used by a French videogames publisher, remains. Microsoft was once the darling of the business world. As they grew and Gates' spectacular wealth became widely known, they were increasingly regarded as "Most Evil"—nobody had a nice thing to say about the company. Today, they've lost that badge and are merely "evil" again; Google has the "Most Evil" badge now.
You can kill with a hammer, but you can build a house with it.
Like a hammer, Capitalism is only as evil, or as good, as those who wield it. The common thread to the "nice" companies going "bad," or dead for that matter, is that they chose the Dark Side of Capitalism -- they chose to rape the customer for quick profit. I learned a long time ago that I can be successful and even wealthy by not screwing my customers, not squeezing them for every penny I can. I will not be stinking rich, but I will be comfortable, and my life and the lives of my family members will be taken care of.
I reject the notion that Capitalism should be done away with because of the evil done with it. Instead, I accept that we should punish those who wield it poorly and unwisely. This requires active economic participation which, unfortunately, is rare. There are those who hate WalMart for its employee treatment practices or how it treats its vendors, and yet they buy from WalMart because of the convenience. Many people despise Disney for supporting the broadcast flag, and yet buy every Disney DVD as it comes out. So and and so forth.
So, really, people need to put up or shut up. That is the way to fix Capitalism, an economic system which builds wealth for the entire world.
Paris, put out or shut out.
I don't get the title, but nevermind...
Anyway, to put it bluntly, we're on a mission. We're on a mission to screw Google before Google screws us.
You see, there will be many comparisons between Google and Microsoft, and while it may seem fair comparison, Microsoft's business practice was only really an issue for those using Microsoft products and/or PCs. For most of the '90s I can thank Microsoft for making big harddiscs real cheap - to use on my old RISC OS machine.
Given the various legal actions, Microsoft didn't play the game nicely and they were brought to task for that. Some jurisdictions didn't have the balls to do much more than a token fine, but this is not really relevant as the practise is in the open and people know about it. At a deep subconscious level, this may drive business decisions to use alternative platforms, even if they aren't as pointy-clicky to administer.
Google, on the other hand, is not interested in crappy restricted licences and stomping on box shifters that don't like to play their game. No, they want their fingers in every pie. From a good idea of a search engine, to custom advertising to DNS services, it all looks fairly useful on the outside. But inside, it is a massive data collection service. They want to know everything about everybody, piss all over privacy and copyright laws (them giving themselves full permissions over your IP because their Ts&Cs says so, is that even legal?), and - here's the crunch - it isn't done to monitor the world, it isn't done because they're data freaks like the Mormons. It isn't even done because they are paranoid-as-hell like NuLabour. It is done, purely and simply, to sell to the highest bidder. Do WE have a say in this? Like hell. Do we even get to see what data they have amassed? I don't believe they give a toss about the DPA. Is there an arbitration/correction service for data that is just invalid? What if somebody, as a prank, goes to your computer and looks for... oh, I dunno... "catholic schoolgirl upskirt" and switches Google into piccies mode with sanity-filtering turned off. No doubt you'll get what was asked for, and Google will be able to tick a bunch of flags in their records of you, either by email address or IP address or both (can a remote site read a machine's MAC address?), you know, like "this dude's a pervert", YOU try explaining that away if it comes up in a reference on you flogged by GoogleCorp twenty years in the future.
Microsoft was a danger, but it was a limited danger. It wasn't really until XP and a third-hand computer that I really even gave a crap about Microsoft.
Google is a danger, but it is setting itself up as a pervasive danger while spouting the mantra "Do No Evil" as a reassurance to the weak-minded. Any number of articles and comments on El Reg carry a negative tone because, frankly, you want to stab yourself with a plastic spork just to be sure you aren't dreaming. They did WHAT and NOBODY is making a fuss? If it was a normal company there'd be lawyers and anti-trust suits and all sorts. But it's the Internet. Time and again governments and companies and Joe Public really doesn't have a clue what to do about the Internet - from MPs on TV saying "It's shocking, the Internet should be policed" to Bono saying something that I won't even give him the grace of quoting, to Italy considering that according to some obscure law the very concept may be illegal. Nobody knows how the hell to deal with it...
Some sites, Twitter for example, are doing quite well. But it's because it is the "in" thing (or we like antagonising Stephen Fry, you decide). When something better comes along, Twitter will flounder. TimeWarner-AOL was a marriage made in heaven that went tits up. Media moguls are trying desperately to pervert justice with shite like Hadopi because it's the only concept their pathetic little minds can handle. Embracing the Internet and what it has to offer doesn't make sense to them. Maybe they should talk to Red Hat who have run as a viable business selling a *free* product. But no, its too much of a paradigm shift.
But one company has it sussed. And off the back of the misunderstandings and general cluelessness, they are going to bend and buckle the thing until they see themselves and Lord And Master. And if we don't watch it, they will have manipulated themselves into exactly that position and we will be screwed... for all the open source and cool toys and gadgets probably aren't sufficient trade-off for the invasion of any pretence at privacy we have.
Enter the supposed Google laptop. It sounds nifty. It sounds awesome. As a geek, ARM. Whoo! But there's a darker side. With analytics and such your browsing history is only partly monitored, and with NoScript and such you can block a lot of this tracing. Google, for example, does not know my address, for I have not ever made it available. Through corrections I have made to their mapping service (evidently ignored, I might add...), they could take a guess as to my location and perhaps be correct to within 20-odd miles. But that's a lot of space. For everybody else, you'll get as far as I'm in Brittany. You might narrow it down to the lower-right part. But that' a lot of space. Enter the GoogleBook (or whatever they plan to call the thing). No more need for analytics, they'll be able to tell every page, how long you're there, whether you bother to scroll... an absolute goldmine of floggable data. Those SEO types would give their lives for that sort of information. Oh, and this same machine by this information obsessed company can no doubt be used for online banking, buying stuff off eBay or Amazon... Hell, there will probably be BitTorrent clients released "as a public service" all dutifuly recording every activity. Are alarm bells ringing in your head yet?
Sure. I know. There's a lot of conjecture here, and some stuff plain made up. But take off the rose-tinted glasses and ask yourself "how believable is it?". I believe *all* of the above will not only be possible, but stands to be in implementation within a year or two. THAT is why people who ask questions are starting to ask questions about Google. For on the face of it Google hasn't really done anything terribly bad, other than show gross disregard for other people's privacy and property - but on the Internet anything goes, right? The problem, and some of the little warnings El Reg puts out, are because Google is manouvring itself in the background. To put them in a good position to one day say "Check..... and Mate".
Tell me you can't see this coming?
No? Think I'm a conspiracy theorist nutjob? Go read some of the archives. Then, repeat, tell me you can't see this coming?
Google have found a way to make cheaper mobile phones, putting existing suppliers out of business. Supermarkets found a cheaper way of delivering milk, putting milkmen out of business. DFS found a cheaper way of making sofas, putting furniture craftsmen out of business. Makers of spinning machines put hand weavers and spinners out of business. Neolithic cattle farmers put mammoth hunters out of business.
And yet society has gotten wealthier...
PS : I used to live half a mile from the Hoboken entrance to the Holland Tunnel and I can tell you categorically that the 'Ventilation Building' is not called a cooling tower. Not by anybody. Ever.
"Google are bad, mmm-kay'.
The sooner we all deal with this non-revelation and move on, the better.
The likes of Google, M$, Apple et al are the same as children. They'll do what they want until they can't get away with it any more.
Always have, always will I'm sorry to say.
"If they would have chosen to develop some Android devices, and side track Maemo for it."
Um, may be something along the lines of "wasn't it a great idea to make some of those, we made quite a bit of profit without needing to develop the whole OS on it ourselves"?
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