You are here


Weekly Standard: "Google and its Enemies" -- a great article on Google's Kleptomania in Digital Books

The Weekly Standard's cover story this week is "Google and its enemies -- the much hyped project to digitize 32 million books sounds good. why are so many people taking shots at it?"

  • It's a very good in-depth look at one ambitious aspect of Google's legendary kleptomania of intellectual property.
  • It also has some very insightful commentary about what this all means for Google's business model.

The article explains that Google is currently undertaking the most ambitious book copying project in human history, looking to scan 32 million books over ten years at an estimated cost of $800m.

Busted again! Google ranked worst in "One World Trust" survey on openness and transparency

The Financial Times reported that One World Trust is publishing the results of a new world survey that ranks Google worst in the world on openness and transparency.

  • This worst in the world ranking comes on the heels of a recent Privacy International survey that also found that Google was worst in the world on privacy.
  • Now two independent and respected non-governmental groups have independently found that Google is worst in the world on the values that the Google claims are very important to Google: openness and privacy.

One World Trust "conducts research on practical ways to make global organisations more responsive to the people they affect, and on how the rule of law can be applied equally to all.  It educates political leaders and opinion-formers about the findings of its research." 

  •  Out of a possible score of 100 Google got a 17. Ouch. Even the math whizes at Google can see that is not a good score.
    • And sense the top performer, UNDP, got an 88, their is no grading curve that will save Google's bacon on this one.

It is good to get additional third party confirmation of many of the themes I have been blogging about for over a year and a half on Google.

How Principled is Google about free speech when it opposes the "Global Online Freedom Act"?

An editorial by the New York Times on free speech points out that Google and other big Internet companies in fact oppose legislation that promotes free speech for those who most need it around the world.

  • "Last January, Representative Christopher Smith of New Jersey reintroduced the Global Online Freedom Act in the House. It would fine American companies that hand over information about their customers to foreign governments that suppress online dissent. The bill would at least give American companies a solid reason to decline requests for data, but the big Internet companies do not support it. That shows how much they care about the power of information to liberate the world." [emphasis added]

It seems all this Google-funded effort to cloak net neutrality as a "freedom of speech" issue by, FreePress, Public Knowledge and other Google-supported pressure groups, is just a cynical tactic and political ploy because Google actually opposes free speech when the rubber meets the road -- like with the "Global Online Freedom Act."

  • In other words, Google supports freedom on speech when it benefits Google's business, but opposes it when it does not help Google's business.
  • I just wish Google would be honest and forthright about their supposed "don't be evil" principles...  


Google's poodle -- is leading the privacy protest against Facebook -- which spurned Google...

The New York Times reports today in "Facebook Users Protest Online Tracking" that set up the online petition protesting Facebook's new program that automatically tells your 'friends" what you just bought online.

  • I personally sympathize with users who want to guard their privacy -- which is not easy with the new Facebook program.

However, the reason I am blogging on this development is to spotlight the interesting connection here and also's "situational ethics."

Let's connect some key dots:

Techcrunch: "further proof that Google flat out owns the online advertising space..."

I had to point you to a short, but great post by Michael Arrington of Techcrunch that shows how Yahoo and Facebook feel they must advertise on Google to reach Internet customers.

  • He also included an interesting link to a previous post of his that spotlights how Google now has almost 40% share of online advertising revenues and how its share is rising surprisingly fast.

A core point I made in my "Googleopoly" white paper on the pending Google-DoubleClick merger, was why no competitor will be able to catch Google in search advertising, including #2 Yahoo and #3 Microsoft. (see pages 17-18 in particular)

Read a funny spoof on Google's galatic ambitions in an old The Onion satire....

Knowing I appreciate good satire, and especially good satire on Google, someone sent me the link to a 2005 spoof on Google that rings surprisingly true today...

Don't miss The Onion's: "Google plans to destroy all information it can't index."  

That DARK "cloud" on the Net's horizon is Google's dominant cloud computing/storage ambitions

The Wall Street Journal article yesterday: "Google plans service to store users' data" is another stark reminder of the very dark cloud on the Internet's horizon -- Google's dominant "cloud computing" capability (i.e. Google's world-leading parallel processing computing grid and storage centers, which Google uses to cache a more-than-daily copy of every page of every website on the Internet and also every Google users' clickstream history.)

  • According to the WSJ, Google is planning to offer a free way to store all the information on people's computer hard drives in Google's "cloud" -- ostensibly to give consumers the 'freedom" to access their computer's files from any where, whether or not they are at their computer.

Now why would Google want to give you that type of service for "free"? Because they want even more personal and total information about you than they have in your search history, in order to sell to advertisers even more info about your most private "hot buttons."

  • If you are a free Google gmail user, Google already reads your email to send you targeted advertising. 
  • If you use Google's free documents or spreadsheets, you may remember from a previous post of mine that:

Verizon's any device/any apps initiative proves competition/market forces work! -- 3 takeaways

Verizon's announcement that it will allow customers to choose any app and/or any device on its entire network in 2008 is proof positive that competitive market forces best serve consumers, not rigid net neutrality regulation or legislation.

I see three big takeaways from the Verizon announcement: consumer protection/reliability; market discipline, and more diversity of consumer choice.

Did you know Google's corporate mascot is a T-rex named "Stan" -- the "moralosaurus"

In "Google's tar pit," an article in the Atlantic about how Google's market dominance is attracting antitrust scrutiny in Washington -- much like Microsoft did before it -- provides us a new "image" or "word picture" of Google.

The article starts with this wonderfully telling scene-setter: "

  • "The lawn outside Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, is dominated by the imposing visage of “Stan”—tail thrashing, jaws agape, a full replica of the largest Tyrannosaurus rex fossil ever discovered. Stan mysteriously appeared on the lawn one morning several years ago, and is presumed by Google employees to have been a gift from the company’s quirky founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin."

So what does Google's choice of a T-rex as its corporate mascot tell us about Google?

First, non-Google paleontologists have gotten it all wrong about the T-rex.

Do Google/SaveTheInternet support discrimination against Google's competitors?

It will be very interesting to learn if Google and the SaveTheInternet crowd truly believe in opposing discrimination on the Internet or whether they employ "situational ethics" and only oppose alleged Internet discrimination by their political opponents.

  • In other words, should net neutrality only apply to network providers, and not application, service and content providers like the FCC's net neutrality principles says?

    • "consumers are entitled to competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers."

A recent Penn State study:  Determining Bias to Search Engines from Robot.txt, highlights that Google benefits from discrimination against smaller competitive search engines because websites block access to those search engines robots that crawl the web to find what users are searching for. 


Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths