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Larry Page Issues Public Update On Google Changes 159

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the trust-us-we're-not-evil dept.
itwbennett writes "Larry Page just wants to be loved. Well, he wants 'Google to be a company that is deserving of great love,' Page wrote in a public letter. But he also wants to offer the kind of personalized service that the requires trampling on your privacy. 'The recent changes we made to our privacy policies generated a lot of interest. But they will enable us to create a much better, more intuitive experience across Google — our key focus for the year,' Page wrote." From the letter: "Think about basic actions like sharing or recommendations. When you find a great article, you want to share that knowledge with people who will find it interesting, too. If you see a great movie, you want to recommend it to friends. Google+ makes sharing super easy by creating a social layer across all our products so users connect with the people who matter to them." With all the claims of altruistic intent in the open letter, one might wonder why Google has to push their own social network instead of working on open protocols for sharing.
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Larry Page Issues Public Update On Google Changes

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 06, 2012 @10:06AM (#39596983)

    I'm not really a Google fan. I deleted quite a lot of my information when they announced the privacy policy change. I don't use Google+.

    But, really, "why didn't Google work on Diaspora"? Give me a break.

    • by Joce640k (829181) on Friday April 06, 2012 @10:30AM (#39597179) Homepage

      FTS: "one might wonder why Google has to push their own social network instead of working on open protocols for sharing."

      Right, like Facebook is gonna share with Google.

      (And nobody else really matters...)

      • Well, they aren't going to beat Facebook with + either. They need to band together with others in some sort of interoperable open social network if they are to have any hope at all. It worked for web standards vs. Microsoft. It can work for open social networking vs. Facebook.

        • by eln (21727) on Friday April 06, 2012 @11:00AM (#39597421) Homepage
          Why would they need to band together with others, though? In the social networking space you have Facebook on top, Google a distance second, and nobody else even worth mentioning. If there were a lot of mid-sized players out there who combined could equal a significant fraction of Facebook's user base it would make sense, but there aren't.
          • Because, historically, closed communication systems, once they reach a certain critical mass, have only been displaced by more open systems. A new player can't compete easily an entrenched player because of network effects, but lots of new players can gain control of niches that the major player doesn't satisfy and if they all interoperate then between them they can become as large as the major player - then network effects work the other way.

            Google realised this with Google Talk, which is a federated XMP

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by SupportLine (2612189)

              Google realised this with Google Talk, which is a federated XMPP deployment. On its launch day, Google Talk users could talk with millions of existing XMPP users. The XMPP installed base was probably smaller than AIM or MSNM, but it was already fairly large.

              Google didn't really "realize" anything. They used XMPP so they could quickly throw together something they needed. Facebook also uses XMPP, do you think they also realized the potential of having open IM networks, or do you think they used that to minimize costs, effort and work needed to create their own protocol and all associated things?

              Google has a long history of leveraging (i.e, abusing) open source code for their own benefit. With things like Android they are required to publish their code because

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by Anonymous Coward

                Oh hai thar, the next iteration of DCTech/SharkLaser/ WhatWasYourNameYesterday [slashdot.org]. You're way too obvious, as I noticed you when you posted a karma-whoring semi-offtopic comment about virtues of MS and Bill Gates up this thread in response to a comment about browsers.

                Could you please stop with your anti-Google FUD, plzkthx?

                Android is not GPL'd software - only kernel is GPL, and they are not required to publish anything else. All the other parts of Android are written by Google and published at their own will un

              • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

                by Anonymous Coward

                http://code.google.com/opensource/projects.html
                "Google has released over 20 million lines of code and over 900 projects. Many engineers work on open source projects full time, and even more use their 20% time to create new projects or contribute to their favorite existing projects. See our full list of released projects on Google Project Hosting (http://code.google.com/hosting/search?q=label:google)."

                For perspective, the linux kernel is about 15 million lines of code. Some personal highlights of released co

              • Only Android's kernel is GPL; the rest of Android was written or paid for by Google. They didn't have to open the vast majority of Android with an Apache license, but they did anyway (to encourage adoption).
      • by DragonWriter (970822) on Friday April 06, 2012 @12:07PM (#39598163)

        FTS: "one might wonder why Google has to push their own social network instead of working on open protocols for sharing."

        Right, like Facebook is gonna share with Google.

        Well, that, and the fact that google didn't push their own social network instead of working on open protocols for sharing.

        Google has pushed a number of open standards for information exchange, both in general and in the social space specifically.

        They also are pushing their own social network.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by hackula (2596247)
      Could not agree more. Agree with the direction or not, Google is trying to make the experience better (a social layer could have benefits), so that they can profit more. They are not interested in making the experience better if it will not lead to increased profits...why would they?! Most of us do not think G+ is implemented that well yet or that it is not worth the privacy tradeoffs, but they absolutely zero reason to try to use an open platform.
    • by Dishevel (1105119) on Friday April 06, 2012 @12:15PM (#39598297)

      The fact that Google made it exceedingly easy for you to delete the information it has on you did not make you a fan?
      And it was not an all or nothing thing either. I could choose what to delete and what to keep.

      • by c.r.o.c.o (123083)

        The fact that Google made it exceedingly easy for you to delete the information it has on you did not make you a fan?
        And it was not an all or nothing thing either. I could choose what to delete and what to keep.

        At least as of a couple of months ago you could not delete the phones associated with a Market account. That bugged the hell out of me, because a phone is so easily traceable due to the unique IMEI.

        But that's ok, because I started creating a new market account for every new phone I'd get, never to be

  • here's an idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 3seas (184403) on Friday April 06, 2012 @10:11AM (#39597015) Journal

    how about when searching via google you actually get links related to your search, instead of everything others have tagged their pages with?
    Oh, but that is not something google can do.

    Now everyone knows how to take down the usefulness of google, have at it...

    • Re:here's an idea (Score:5, Interesting)

      by gbjbaanb (229885) on Friday April 06, 2012 @10:16AM (#39597067)

      hell even G+ is forcing crap at us all the time. Larry, remember why Google became great in the first place - it had an unobtrusive search page that was not filled to bursting with flashing banners and adverts.

      So why does Google+ homepage insist on sticking a "what's hot" crap across the stream of stuff I've decided I want to see? Why is there a 'best of' G+ banner that you can't turn off?

      Tell you what Larry, turn on location services on your phone so we can all see exactly where you are all the time, and open your email so we can see everything you're doing. Even just show us the feed of 'personalisations' that Google is accumulating based on your browsing, email and G+ activities.

      Then we can talk privacy.

      • Goggle apps are pretty good and provide a lot of free services. However, their revenue stream is not generated by their cutting edge technologies it is generated by using that technologies to collect data and metrics to use in their advertising and marketing efforts.

        "G+ is forcing crap at us all the time" They are not forcing you to use their products. If you don't like it you are free to use something else.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        hell even G+ is forcing crap at us all the time. Larry, remember why Google became great in the first place - it had an unobtrusive search page that was not filled to bursting with flashing banners and adverts.

        And GOogle's ads used to be nice text ads that tended to be quite relevant and unobtrusive.

        Now Google's the purveyor of some of the most obnoxious flashing and noisy ads. Sure they have Google Ads, but I haven't seen those around as much as I have Google's OTHER ad services - doubleclick et al.

        Hell, i

  • by Anonymous Coward

    1) We need to know your friends, so we can help you share things.
    2) We need to know what like, so we can offer you things.
    3) We need to know what your thinking so we can sell it.
    4) Profit!

    • by El Lobo (994537)

      And more... I'll tell you a thing Larry. Stop trying to stick G+ up our ...

      Yesterday I was checking my AdSense account. On the first page I got a "reminder" this BIG: Have you already gotten a G+ account? That will help you maximize your ads profits, blah blah... Yes Larry I already HAVE one G+ account (that I have used once or twice to just check it out and see what its greatness is). Didn't see the greatness anywhere.

      Oh and stop bothering me with it on my Analytics account as well.

  • by HBI (604924) <kparadine AT gmail DOT com> on Friday April 06, 2012 @10:11AM (#39597023) Homepage Journal

    The statements of the CEO are irrelevant. The actions of the company are relevant. Google's actions have crept closer and closer to "evil" since they went public. When this changes, i'll reevaluate.

    • by Anne_Nonymous (313852) on Friday April 06, 2012 @10:41AM (#39597273) Homepage Journal

      Don't Look Evil

      Eh, that's close enough.

    • And when it doesn't change? You'll... use Bing? Use Facebook? Use Facebook enabled Bing? Use Siri?

      Google really isn't in a position of worrying about "Are they now evil?" pundits. Because, quite bluntly, they're still least evil. And so long as that is true, there is no re-evaluation necessary.

      • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday April 06, 2012 @12:08PM (#39598177) Journal
        I've been using DuckDuckGo as my search engine for over a year now. It uses (among other things) Bing via Yahoo's BYOSS API, but it doesn't pass any information about me to them and it doesn't use tracking cookies and works via SSL by default. The search results are usually good enough, and the few times they haven't been I've tried Google and got equally bad results there. The only Google service that I do regularly use is YouTube (which ClickToPlugin makes vaguely useable), and that's hardly something I couldn't live without.
    • This is the demographic he's interested in:

      When you find a great article, you want to share that knowledge with people who will find it interesting, too. If you see a great movie, you want to recommend it to friends.

      I don't want to necessarily share anything. I want to search, that's all. Now I've moved my 'business' to a company that focuses on Search and avoids the profiling and making assumptions about what I want to do with what I've found.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tburkhol (121842)

      See, I think Larry Page has a fundamentally flawed belief:

      When you find a great article, you want to share that knowledge with people who will find it interesting, too. If you see a great movie, you want to recommend it to friends.

      I don't want that at all. Maybe I want to share my great find with a small circle of friends. People whom I'd like to reinforce my connection with by limited sharing of relevant, high quality stuff. I expect it to be quid-pro-quo, and if you can't give me good stuff, the I expect to be able to withhold my favor from you.

      What I don't want is for any random person who wanders through to leech off of my effort. Or for people to think that because we

      • by kqs (1038910) on Friday April 06, 2012 @03:07PM (#39600611)

        So what you are saying is that google does exactly what you want when you search when not signed in, and when you browse signed in after disabling all of the personalization results?

      • by AmiMoJo (196126)

        I expect it to be quid-pro-quo, and if you can't give me good stuff, the I expect to be able to withhold my favor from you.

        Your friends sound more like business contacts. Mine just share stuff with no expectation of anything in return, other than the simple pleasure of sharing something we like with each other.

        What I don't want is for any random person who wanders through to leech off of my effort.

        Yet you are quite happy to leech off other people's efforts. How do you think Google's search ranking works? It looks at what other people link to, the additional search terms others used, the implied meaning of statements gleaned from reading what other people have written.

        Personally when I just want to download a driver

  • There's no profit in supporting the open platform versus G+.
    • Re:Simple... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nyctopterus (717502) on Friday April 06, 2012 @10:30AM (#39597177) Homepage

      Actually, I think there would be for Google. I'd argue that they should be concentrating on keeping the web from being swallowed up by huge sites like Facebook, which will develop their own advertising and revenue streams. If they supported an open platform for social networking, it's more likely that the landscape would comprise a bunch of smaller players--who would get their revenue through Google ads.

      I think this is essentially their strategy with Android. It's a better strategy than going into direct competition with Facebook, which has got them--and will continue to get them--nowhere.

      • Actually, I think there would be for Google. I'd argue that they should be concentrating on keeping the web from being swallowed up by huge sites like Facebook, which will develop their own advertising and revenue streams.

        They are. That's rather the point of Google own social networking efforts.

        Pushing open standards without their own strong social networking system (as they have in the past) was a failure. Just as their fight to drive more general web standards the way they wanted led to building their ow

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "Buy 'open protocols for sharing' at Walmart!"

  • by bogidu (300637) on Friday April 06, 2012 @10:25AM (#39597137)

    Spin it any way you want, if your goal is to have a system that just 'feels like it knows me' then it HAS to collect data on you to personalize the experience.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by chronoglass (1353185)

      plus.. won
      seriously, there is a give and take. I hadn't really connected the dots on what all of this info meant until I met with microsoft research.. some of the really cool stuff they are doing, they can only do because they have systems in place that will collect a STUPID amount of data. regardless of if it's immediately apparent that it'll be needed.

      you just can't allow a computer to make correlation and causation decisions without having the massive amount of info available to it.. that we as humans (w

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Why would I need a system to 'feel like it knows me'? I already know me. I don't need my computer to remind me what I like.

  • Well, he wants 'Google to be a company that is deserving of great love

    If you want to be loved? Do some loving.
    I'm sorry, but lately Google has given reason after reason to hate, not love.
    A.K.A.
    YER DOIN' IT WRONG.

    • by Dahamma (304068)

      No, you just don't get it. Most people don't. You see, Google's love is very different from that of a square. [youtube.com]

  • by blue_adept (40915) on Friday April 06, 2012 @10:31AM (#39597193)

    Open protocols don't help when everyone stops making webpages and moves to Facebook, which isn't publicly crawlable. Remember when everyone wanted their OWN website, and websites linked meaningfully to other websites, and there was a whole ecosystem of small, independent webpages with information on a crazy number of niche topics, and everyone's webpage had links to other webpages that they thought were cool? That doesn't really exist anymore. THAT web is dead. If Wikipedia and Craigslist, and a dozen other silo-type sites are all that's left to crawl (if they decide to let Google do it), how important is Google, really? The web has changed, and Google had to change or die with it. Google+ is just Google's attempt at taking what's left of the public, open web and internalize it (and make it all 'social' content mostly not publicly crawlable, ironically). So yeah, the (open) web really is dead, or will be soon.

    • Except that I'd add that Google+ pushes "Hey, why not make this public?" while still defaulting to private, for instant uploads for instance.

      I'll be honest, this discussion is far better than listening people bitch about the privacy implications of instant upload, which is private and will always be private, unless you specifically set an upload to public.

      Why do they bitch? ZOMG, It "Asked permission to upload!" FREAK OUT, RUN AWAY! HOW DARE THEY ASK! UNINSTALL!

      Yeah. I can only take so much stupid before I

    • by Zadaz (950521)

      The fallacy there is assuming that Facebook is a universal constant. If there's anything that anyone who knows about the "old school" net is that you're never too big to fail and fail quickly. Facebook's IPO won't be good for it's users. When Facebook fails people will have the choice of jumping to another abusive service or using the next generation of tools to take personal ownership of their content. How many do the latter will depend on in what matter Facebook fails.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126)

      The popularity of Facebook, forums and blogs is because the provide an easy CMS. Writing a page from scratch, or paying for and setting up a hosting and a CMS, is much more work and way beyond most people's abilities. I'm sure they could learn but the attraction of MySpace and now Facebook is that it handles all your content automatically, all you need do is feed it.

      The problem is that all of these handy CMS sites need to be paid for somehow, and since accounts are free that means abusing your personal data

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Friday April 06, 2012 @10:32AM (#39597205) Homepage

    I love people, I love freedom and some other abstract concepts, but there's absolutely no way no how that I will give love to a corporation.

    A corporation is a social and legal arrangement that exists to make money for its shareholders. It does this by producing 1 or more products, selling them to customers, and paying a portion of their sales to their employees as wages, another portion to the suppliers, and giving the remainder to their shareholders. That's it. It's a purely economic affair, and thus any dealings I have with a corporation are a purely economic relationship.

    • by nyctopterus (717502) on Friday April 06, 2012 @10:57AM (#39597395) Homepage

      Huh? While I agree that the "great love" stuff is nauseating hyperbole, characterising companies as "purely economic affair[s]" is just silly. Companies are made up of people, selected by the people already in the company (while hiring), and people who want to work there (by applying). So you end up with a bunch of people who are selected for a particular mindset. The result of this is that companies have all sorts of differing priorities, motives, directions and products. This is particularly noticeable in tech, where there are ideological divisions between competing companies.

      Money, is of course one of the big concerns, but I would argue that it's not necessarily the biggest. Apple seems to be largely motivated to make products that are insanely focussed on a certain type of user experience. Google by large-scale information sorting and similar technological problems. This is what make people want to work at these places.

      Respect for a company is no stranger that respect for any other group of people.

      • While I agree that the "great love" stuff is nauseating hyperbole

        Am I the only one who finds it flat out creepy? It has an evangelical taint to it.

      • by dkleinsc (563838) on Friday April 06, 2012 @11:11AM (#39597535) Homepage

        It's a mistake to think of your relationship with a company as anything other than economic. For instance:
        Employee: You do work, they give you money. Either you or the employer can end the relationship at any time (well, in the US at least, the employer can at any time, whereas you are generally expected to work another 2 weeks), and the employer will probably not hesitate to do so if it's in their economic interest to do so.

        Shareholder: You invest in the company and possibly vote on who you want on the board of directors, the company gives you money periodically as dividends or reinvests the profits so you can sell your stake for a higher price. Again, there's no emotional relationship in the least, and it's not totally uncommon for a CEO to rip off the company screwing the shareholders.

        Customer: You give them money, they give you a product or service. Again, that's a 1-time economic deal, and they don't give a damn about you after you've given them money unless you're going to try to get the money back (demanding a refund, threatening a lawsuit, etc).

        Supplier: They give you money, you give them a product or service. The only reason they might want to maintain a good relationship is if they want to have another round of trading.

        Basically, once your particular economic transaction is over, the corporation doesn't give a rats behind about you. Which makes it absolutely stupid to love a corporation. That doesn't mean the people at that corporation are evil, just that they will do what's in their economic self-interest.

        • Um, I didn't make any sort of argument that companies care about me personally, although I would argue that people within companies can and do care about their employees personally (within limits). My argument is that companies can carry philosophies, ideas, and organisational creativity which are not purely economic, and might be worthy of respect. Do you actually disagree with this?

        • by AmiMoJo (196126)

          Employee: You do work, they give you money. Either you or the employer can end the relationship at any time (well, in the US at least, the employer can at any time, whereas you are generally expected to work another 2 weeks), and the employer will probably not hesitate to do so if it's in their economic interest to do so.

          That may be the norm in the US but not everywhere. There are plenty of companies in Europe that show some genuine care for their workers. The law here doesn't (yet) allow you to just fire people for no reason with no notice either.

          Just because the US is so bad doesn't mean that is the only way things can be. Capitalism in Europe is very different.

          Customer: You give them money, they give you a product or service. Again, that's a 1-time economic deal, and they don't give a damn about you after you've given them money unless you're going to try to get the money back (demanding a refund, threatening a lawsuit, etc).

          Sounds like a way to go out of business fast. Are American businesses really so short-sighted that they don't care about repeat business?

      • Both Apple and Google are experts in marketing. Apple's iXXX branding starting with the iPOD to the iPAD has left it's competitors temporarily behind but their market share will eventually be whittled down as the Android based devices stabilize. Just like the MS versus Apple PC battle the proprietary hardware and software approach was crushed by the MS commodity hardware support and emphasis on software development support approach. Since the mobile market has exploded it was easier for Apple to change dire

        • While I disagree with just about everything you've just asserted (without backing arguments), I don't see what it has to do with my post. Why have you felt the need to share this blather with me?

          • Cause I was not replying to you it was a reply to the post right above yours. And I am sorry if I used any big words that might have confused you but this whole fucking thread about Google, Facebook, Privacy, Corporate greed, blah, blah is just just another example of the decline of this site. Nobody pays or is forced to use any Google or Facebook services and it is entirely up to the individual on how much private information they post on the net so getting upset about someone invading your privacy after w

            • Wow, you're all over the place, aren't you? While you have the germs of some coherent ideas in in your last couple of posts, they are largely a mish-mash of barely-related talking points. Concentrate.

              • I am not all over the place in this thread. I just let my frustration get the better of me because of all the BS and outright lies propagated on any online forum.

  • Bring back Google Code search.. http://www.google.com/codesearch [google.com]

    That would be one huge way to make this developer happy.

    Seems like a good way to target ads to specific programmers too..

  • When you find a great article, you want to share that knowledge with people who will find it interesting

    And if you do, just cut/paste the url and send it. There are a heap of ways doing this and most don't require me to convince my friends to join FB or G+ or other crap, bullshit sites.
    What I really don't like about the way social media/networking sites are going is that they force you to do things the way they want you to. Often that is just inconvenient and loses the personal link you have with your friends. It's much more friendly sending an email or link than 'sharing it' with a myriad of batshit crazies

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by noh8rz3 (2593935)

      Sure there's a place for it, but the shear drain on logging in and posting inane crap is just too much and too boring, wasted time and energy for nought.

      posted on slashdot...

    • by geekoid (135745)

      "And if you do, just cut/paste the url and send it"
      That reminds me of a conversation I had with my mother about mail 17 years ago. Where my mother said:

      "If you want to tell someone something, you just pick up the phone and call them."

      Just thought I would share with you, grand pa.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 06, 2012 @10:48AM (#39597327)

    Long before there was Google+, Google tried to standardize the web with an open social platform that anyone could use. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenSocial

      In the end, though, people didn't want to adopt it. The problem is that, like proprietary format wars, there's a lot to be gained by being the dominant player with a closed ecosystem. Facebook does not want to share its data or platform with other people.

  • by ErichTheRed (39327) on Friday April 06, 2012 @10:52AM (#39597363)

    The problem is that for all the cool stuff they build and make available, Google is an advertising agency. Their core job is to get advertisers to spend money on ads targeted at you. I'm a little bit older than the current "millenial" crowd who is supposed to be influencing the future of computing, and I find some of the stuff Facebook, Google and other advertisers do very creepy. Not in a tinfoil hat kind of way, but in a "I'm not totally comfortable with an advertising agency knowing everything I search for, every YouTube video I watch, every email I send if I use Gmail, who my acquaintances are and what I like if I use Google+ -- and then using that to build a package to sell to an advertiser."

    Facebook and Google have done a very good job eradicating this creepy feeling from the younger set. They're very smart about it too -- Facebook is incredibly easy to use and fun for people to post pictures and share all their personal information. Google is incredibly useful -- I'd be lost without their search engine or mapping features embedded in the iPhone. When you grow up using a certain set of technology, and have been posting everything about yourself on Facebook since you were 7, I can see why a person might pull out the tinfoil hat designation on someone like me. Privacy policy change or not, people aren't going to stop using the service they love until something happens. I think what's going to happen eventually is that some people might realize they're sharing too much, not get a job because of their social media profile, or maybe just get the creepy feeling I was talking about. (Example: I went online to check airfare to a city I need to be in next month, and this morning, up pops a Delta ad offering low low fares to that city. It's not a big deal because I've never clicked on an advertisement or sponsored link in my life, so they don't directly make any money off me. It's just the feeling that another record got added to Google's database about my set of cookies.)

    So yeah, it's not so much that they collect your data -- everyone knows that. It's the fact that your profile is readily accessible and way more plugged into your life than was previously possible. Before the current age of zero privacy, constructing a profile on someone meant digging through a lot of different sources of information, most of which were not accessible directly. It's the same argument that prevents national electronic health records from being implemented -- there's always the possibility that someone knowing what's in these can negatively affect you (medical/life insurance companies would love that kind of access, for example.) If Google and the like want to keep this kind of model going, I think they're going to have to be a little less overt about it.

    • You make great points, but you have one thing backwards.

      Would it creep a female out to see an ad that apparently knows they are female?

      Who knows you're femail? Google or the ad? The answer you seem to have is the ad. The real answer is Google.

      It's like ads for the GAP. GAP doesn't know who a douche is. They just market to the douche segment. If they place such ads at douchy concerts, it's not because they had to survey the crowd. They just know where the big douche congregations are.

      Same difference if

      • by AmiMoJo (196126)

        The EU would like to change that. Force companies to scrub the web. And frankly, that's just horseshit.

        It is horseshit because it isn't true. What the EU is proposing is that if YOU post something to a web site then you should have the right to ask for it to be removed at a later date. Similarly if you sign up for a service and hand over some personal details then when you cancel said service you should expect the company to stop selling that information for profit and delete anything they don't absolutely need.

        To be absolutely clear this would not allow people to remove news articles about themselves or for

    • by tool462 (677306)

      I'm in full blown creepy-land too.

      I recently took a trip to SF and booked a hotel from a particular chain. I found it via a google map search by searching for "hotel" in the vicinity of the event I was attending. The bubble that popped up had a reasonable price and a link to their site so I clicked it and booked a room. Ever since then, I see nothing but ads for this particular hotel chain on every website I visit. If there are spots for, say, 3 different ads on a website, all three of them will be adve

    • I have no problem with context sensitive ads. Google displays ads for Chrome on OS X when I browse from a Mac and Chrome for Linux when I browse from a Linux box; that's fine with me. It's also more efficient than Microsoft displaying ads for IE9 when I'm browsing from a Linux box.

      When I read an article about electric cars, an ad for a car would not be out of place. Of course that ad would be wasted if I don't want to drive a car, cannot afford a car or just bought a new car. So the car company would be wil

  • Uh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Friday April 06, 2012 @11:08AM (#39597509)

    I was well connected to the people who matter to me before Google. I must be a wizard or something.

  • He's right (Score:2, Redundant)

    by tkrotchko (124118)

    When he says:

    "When you find a great article, you want to share that knowledge with people who will find it interesting, too. If you see a great movie, you want to recommend it to friends. "

    I want to share it. But I don't want you to know about it. If I like an article, I'll send the link or create a .PDF and send. If I see a great movie, I'll call them or send them an email.

    Why won't you let me do it my way instead of yours? The internet has tools to do it without you knowing about it or trying to

  • " one might wonder why Google has to push their own social network instead of working on open protocols for sharing."

    Because getting involved in another persons project is a fucking nightmare.

    Could you imagine if Google showed up and starting putting in changes? The open project would freak out about how Google is taking them over, and how they lost control.

  • "Think about basic actions like sharing or recommendations. When you find a great article, you want to share that knowledge with people who will find it interesting, too. If you see a great movie, you want to recommend it to friends..."

    No, no I don't. I don't want to electronically recommend things to friends, because I hate it when my friends electronically recommend stuff to me. If it comes up in conversation, fine, but otherwise, I don't want to know about it.

    Back when I was on facebook, I had a friend

  • Here's the thing - Google is a truly great company that thinks long-term outside their realm of expertise. There's not many of those left because everyone has caved in to the almighty greed of the $. Autonomous driving? That's a REALLY HARD problem with the potential to change the world. Renewable Energy? [google.com] That's a REALLY HARD problem with the potential to change the world. Sponsoring the Summer of Code program? Hey, that's really helped a lot of open source projects and brought some long-term d

  • by javascriptjunkie (2591449) on Friday April 06, 2012 @11:53AM (#39597985)

    You know, I totally get why they want to do personal search like this, but I think that they're missing the bigger picture. On all but a very small subset of topics, I don't need or want something that's customized to me individually. The fact that it's there at all means that something I'm directing a client to look for is going to be harder for them to find, if we both have highly customized search enabled (?) when we visit the web search page.

    I've also found that Google news has noticed that I don't like to read right wing political content. So they've been giving me less of it. That's another problem, as I never asked them to do it. Maybe the solution here is letting users sculpt their own experiences, based on what they actually tell Google they want? Automating this has the potential for being absolutely disastrous if they don't get it right.

  • But he also wants to offer the kind of personalized service that the requires trampling on your privacy.

    Using information voluntarily provided to provide services to the person providing information isn't "trampling on" the privacy of the person providing the information.

    Sharing that information with third parties in a means beyond what that for which there is meaningful informed consent is.

    Getting bent out of shape over things that don't impinge on privacy as if they did impedes efforts to focus attention

  • by superwiz (655733) on Friday April 06, 2012 @12:10PM (#39598215) Journal

    "It is far better to be feared than loved" -- Niccolo Machiavelli.

    That is NOT to say that one should strive to be feared. Only that one's conduct should inspire awe.

    And for all this emphasis on protocols, they forget the key ingredient to success in the business in which they now find themselves: tools win over developers. Developers will not flock to the best hypothetical outcome. They will flock to the best outcome in their circumstance. And the circumstances of developers are improved tremendously with improvement in tools.

    Android has 50% of the phone market and less than 20% of the app market. Why? Because there is still no cloud server presence from Google (only cloud storage). And there is still no developer studio. As a result there is still no way to develop for Android as your first choice.

    Google apps? Yeah, that's nice. That's effectively a bunch of libraries with some clever hacks. That's not gonna make me wanna develop for Android. They've hired thousands of highly competitive developers and they still haven't created an environment which enables developers outside the company in the way that MS did and in the way in which Apple did.

    When you have clever workers and you don't produce a clever product, the problem is the management. Until I see the kinds of tools coming out of Google that would elicit spontaneous rants about "sexy", I don't give a hoot about a founder's fetish to press new shiny buttons.

  • Stop fscking us in the rectum with your evil sales of our privacy.
  • The problem people have with Facebook isn't that it wasn't creepy enough. What Google+ has mostly done is make Facebook not look that bad after all.
  • Google is a good search engine which is working hard to become a "portal". Look at the top line of a Google search result page now: "You+ Search Images Maps Play YouTube (not "video" now) News Gmail Documents Calendar More". 9 of the 11 lead to Google in-house services.

    Yahoo and AOL were "portals". That didn't work out too well. Google seems to be trying hard to emulate them.

  • by c.r.o.c.o (123083) on Friday April 06, 2012 @01:37PM (#39599411)

    All Google accomplished through their privacy policy changes is force me to use their services differently. Up until a year ago I used to let gmail keep me logged in all the time. I used to have a YT account with playlists, subscribed channels, etc that was also logged in continuously. I never got into G+, since, well... FB (going to get into that in a bit).

    I cannot get rid of my Gmail accounts. I HAVE to use one for Market access on my phone. I do however create a new Gmail account for every new phone I get, since Google in its infinite wisdom will not allow me to delete old phones from their database. It's nice to know that Google remembers all my phone models, ROM versions, IMEI numbers, apps installed better than I do. Migrating from one phone to another without syncing to Google is not even that difficult by the way. All you need is to export your contacts as vcf, back up your apps with Titanium backup, and back up your SMSes with SMS Backup and Restore. The slowest process is moving your pictures, music and videos, but that's a manual process anyway.

    Another reason I cannot give up Gmail is that one of those accounts is tied into many website registrations. It would take days to change all my random sites registration info, notify all my contacts and I still haven't found a service as fast and reliable. By far the most difficult part would be migrating my contacts, as I still have idiot friends emailing me to a 10 years old ISP account that is only spam now. However I changed how I use Gmail. Instead of staying logged in all the time, I now log in, check my mail, read/reply/delete messages and then I log out. I also delete every single message that is not relevant, and I delete all messages after a while. Google obviously retains everything, however at some point the deleted messages are bound to become white noise. Did I delete them because they are not relevant, spam, outdated information or because I want to mess with Google's algorithms?

    As far as YT is concerned, I had an account there before Google bought them. I saw nothing wrong with tying it into my Gmail account a few years back, since they still stayed separate. But since the privacy policy changes, I've deleted all my uploaded videos (all 3 of them), playlists and subscribed channels. I still listen to music on from YT, but I either bookmarked some clips or I just ripped them with flashgot. This started before the privacy changes, when YT reimplemented their playlist feature. If I'd play a song from my playlist, it would load the entire playlist and then continue playing every song there. I was unable to find a way to disable this behavior except through Adblock Plus Element Hiding Helper.

    G+ got the axe due to their mandatory name policy. Normally I'd consider having my potential G+ account disabled for using a nom de plume a feature. However that would take my Gmail accounts down as well. And I do have several, legitimate email accounts. So G+ out of principle. Besides, I already have a FB account which has proven to be enough of a PITA to keep at least somewhat private. I really don't need my life readily accessible on two separate security and privacy voids.

    So ultimately all Google accomplished is information obfuscation on my part. I, as most people, still need their services. But when I search on Google, I don't want to see what my friends liked. Too many of my friends are idiots, and of the 3-4 whose opinions I actually value, I can easily call them up and talk to them in person. I also use search to look up stuff I did not know before. If I'm looking for a new gaming laptop, the fact I own an Asus should NOT affect the results in any way. And if I'm looking for a new set of racing shocks for my Suzuki, I will type in "Ohlins Sukuki shocks" to get reviews, and if I want a local dealer, I'll type "Ohlins Toronto dealers." I don't need or want Google to second guess me.

  • I get why "social" is so hot right now. We're social beings. It's cool that sharing is easy now. You know what's not cool? Companies trying to turn me into some kind of sharing machine.
  • The maximum of 10 seconds that would be required of me to use a service owned by Google without their massive merge is well worth not having an accurate super-identity of me created somewhere over which I have no control.

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