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Google Businesses The Internet Technology

Actually, It's Google That's Eating the World 205

waderoush writes "An Xconomy column [Friday] suggests that Google is getting too big. When the company was younger, most of its acquisitions related to its core businesses of search, advertising, network infrastructure, and communications. More recently, it's been colonizing areas with a less obvious connection to search, such as travel, social networking, productivity, logistics, energy, robotics, and — with the acquisition this week of Nest Labs — home sensor networks and automation. A Google acquisition can obviously mean a big payoff for startup founders and their investors, but as the company grows by accretion it may actually be slowing innovation in Silicon Valley (since teams inside the Googleplex, with its endless fountain of AdWords revenue, can stop worrying about making money or meeting market needs). And by infiltrating so many corners of consumers' lives — and collecting personal and behavioral data as it goes — it's becoming an all-encompassing presence, and making itself ever more attractive as a target for marketers, data thieves, and government snoops. 'Any sufficiently advanced search, communications, and sensing infrastructure is indistinguishable from Big Brother,' the column argues."
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Actually, It's Google That's Eating the World

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  • by GrumpySteen ( 1250194 ) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @10:34AM (#46004785)

    Why does every idiotic rambling monologue filled with vague predictions of doom based on the idea that Google is too successful have to be given a place on the front page?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 19, 2014 @10:36AM (#46004795)

    Silicon Valley used to be a truly remarkable place. It was where industry and the future truly did collide head-on. And because of this, great things happened there.

    Hewlett-Packard. Fairchild Semiconductor. Xerox PARC. Intel. Sun Microsystems. Cisco Systems.

    Those were the kind of names we came to associate with very advanced technological achievement. They earned our respect with the tremendous advances they made.

    But then something happened. Silicon Valley ceased to be about a productive, beneficial future. It became about a shitty, rotten future. It became about "social media". It became about advertising. It became about a disturbing level of data collection and mining.

    The Silicon Valley of today is a mere shell of what it once was. Clad in fedora hats and rampant hipsterism, Silicon Valley of today is a sissified, degenerate place. Gone are the real scientists and engineers who advanced technology for all of mankind. Gone are their advances. Gone are the hope they brought.

    I weep for Silicon Valley. It truly does make me quite distraught to think about what has happened to it. One of the greatest intellectual creations ever to existed has been crushed by men who wear tight jeans and glasses without lenses. It has been dragged through the mud by overweight, unshaven manchildren wearing stained shirts with shitty Japanese drawings on them. It has been shit upon repeatedly by self-styled "entrepreneurs" and "engineers" whose only talent is unjustifiable self promotion.

    It is too late to save Silicon Valley. But other technologically-inclined regions should take note of what happened there. Keep away the hipsters. Keep away the bearded manchildren. Keep away the "entrepreneurs" and "engineers" who spew forth about Ruby on Rails. These people are an infection, and this infection will destroy even the most robust of technological and industrial communities. Do not let them ruin your community like they ruined Silicon Valley's.

  • Reminder (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 19, 2014 @10:39AM (#46004805)

    It is rude to randomly redirect visitors to beta.slashdot.
    Even more so because beta sucks.

    Providing a hard to find opt-out, [], just upgrades the aggravation level from "rude" to "insulting and infuriating".
    The only acceptable option is, as always, opt-in.

    I guess you need reminding. a lot.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 19, 2014 @10:42AM (#46004815)

    You say this like it's a bad thing.

    Sounds to me like freedom to try really crazy/cool ideas that may not be immediately financially viable.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 19, 2014 @10:50AM (#46004845)

    You're not alone.

    As somebody who has worked in the software industry for decades now, I find it stunning that the Slashdot beta project has not been terminated yet. It's a failure in every single sense. The users here almost all absolutely hate it. It looks worse than the existing site. It functions worse than the existing site. I think it's slower than the existing site. There is so much wasted empty space. The fonts are harder to read. The discussion is much, much more difficult to follow. It's harder to post a comment. Being forced to use it unexpectedly affects users trying to use the existing site!

    And those comparisons are to an existing Slashdot site that was Web 2.0-ified a while back, making it even shittier than the site that preceded it!

    While we should be accustomed to social media web sites shitting all over their users with bad redesigns, Slashdot is really taking it a step beyond with this beta site. I can sincerely see a Digg v4-style disaster happening again if the beta site goes live, it's just that bad. The beta will drive away the few remaining users of value.

    I sure hope that Slashdot does the right thing, and puts an end to this beta site project. Nothing good will come out of it, aside from lessons about what not to do. Everything about the beta site is just plain bad. Terminate the project, throw away the code, and move on. And do this well before the beta site ever replaces the current one!

  • by GrumpySteen ( 1250194 ) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @11:02AM (#46004921)

    There's a difference between defending Google (which I didn't do) and complaining about the shitty quality of what passes as "stuff that matters" on /.

  • Re:Duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BeerCat ( 685972 ) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @11:18AM (#46004999) Homepage

    I'd say they are becoming more like "Buy N Large" from Wall-E - all pervasive, all providing.

  • by quacking duck ( 607555 ) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @12:52PM (#46005627)

    On the whole I don't mind the current "Web 2.0" desktop version, but if beta is half as bad as the mobile version they forced us into a year or so ago, /. is toast.

    The day /. pushed out the "updated" mobile version, where all the "Filtered due to preferences" take up more of the page than actual comments, was the day my /. visits dropped by at least half. Seriously, just hide/collapse the damn thing entirely, there isn't even a way to actually view it anyway if I wanted to see what an unfiltered comment was replying to, it's a total waste of space.

    On the upside, I'm far more productive and/or social when I'm out of the house.

  • by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @02:26PM (#46006435)

    Er, no. Go read a history of Google. The search engine came first and for several years they had no idea how to fund it at all. They sold search services to Yahoo and Netscape. They put their code in a box and tried to sell the Google Search Appliance. They did a bunch of other random things before they eventually tried out keyword based advertising. To say the search engine was a byproduct of a desire to serve ads just makes you look like an idiot who is making stuff up as you go along.

  • Re: Wrong. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tpstigers ( 1075021 ) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @03:49PM (#46007031)
    If you don't like it, don't use any Google services. Problem solved.
  • Re: Why fight it? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @06:29PM (#46008063)

    Market cap is a measure of how big/profitable the market thinks the company will be someday, not how large the company is now. The market may very well be right, and Google may someday swallow the earth - but today, the idea that they are this unprecedented or exceptionally large entity is a little exaggerated.

  • Re: Why fight it? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @08:55PM (#46009081)

    I agree with that statement. I think we are basically saying the same thing. A company with poor future prospects will have a low stock price, even if it is currently doing well. A company with bright prospects (like Google) will trade well above what it's current finances warrant. The true value of a company is quite obviously the current stock price.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 19, 2014 @09:28PM (#46009275)

    living is opt in.
    want to join realty?

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