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More evidence Google's bidding against itself was improper in 700 MHz auction to trigger conditions

The more we learn about Google's behavior in the FCC's 700 Mhz auction the more clear it is Google acted improperly and "gamed" the auction and Fleeced the American taxpayer as I explained in my original post on this subject.

Another glaring example of Google not being "open" with its harmed users -- GrandCentral's outage

Michael Arrington of TechCrunch has a great post about when Google's GrandCentral's phone company went down the morning of April 13th, Google users were left completely in the dark and not told anything on Google's website of when they could expect their phone service to return.

New cyber-security report highlights three threats Google is not warning users about

Kudos to Jon Swartz of USA Today for an article last week: "Hackers infiltrate search engines, social networks,"  and Byron Acohido in this week's  article "Anti-virus software isn't only computer security tool" for warning consumers that a Symantec cyber-security report shows a ~500% explosion in detected threats to Internet users from 2006-7.

Swartz' article highlights three new ways Google users are vulnerable to  identity theft, fraud, spyware, and malware threats

  • "Cybercriminals are using a chink in Google's website to redirect unsuspecting PC users to sites containing malicious software. When someone does a Google search, they are redirected to what appears to be a legitimate website. The site, in fact, is tainted with malware. Google says it is fixing the problem." 
  • "...the latest of three computer worms wriggled into Google's social-networking service, Orkut, in February."
  • "Scammers are sending personalized e-mail as meeting invitations in Google Calendar."

As the single biggest potential source of user vulnerability to cyber-threats on the Internet, why is Google not publicly disclosing the exploding risk and/or informing users how they can better protect themselves from these growing and serious cyber-threats?

Britain’s Virgin Media CEO colorfully opposes the corporate welfare of Net Neutrality

Neil Berkett, CEO of Virgin Media, Britain’s second-largest broadband provider, “called the principle of network neutrality—all content being delivered equally to all users—"a load of bollocks" per eWeek’s article: “Virgin Media may ignore network neutrality.”

  • Berkett said Virgin is considering a fee-based system for content providers wishing to have their traffic moved faster than others.”

After looking up the definition of “bollocks,” it is clear that his comments colorfully echo some of the same sentiments in America that prompted Google to work with Moveon.org to organize SaveTheInternet and ItsOurNet (the predecessor to the Open Internet Coalition) and manufacture the net neutrality issue out of whole cloth.

The comments and the article are a powerful reminder of the fantasy corporate welfare economics of net neutrality, where users are expected to bear all the costs of video distribution for companies like Google and Amazon.

Why "White Spaces" is just corporate welfare innovation

The Hill has a good article highlighting the growing "battle" over "White Spaces", or the potential for use of the buffer spectrum bands in-between TV channels to ensure that there is no interference with TV signals.

Google-Yahoo ad deal would also be a trial balloon testing FTC's antitrust mettle

The Wall Street Journal's scoop that Yahoo is considering a two week trial of outsourcing search to Google -- is also a trial balloon testing the FTC's antitrust mettle.

If you don't remember, the last sentence of the FTC's Majority opinion approving the Google-DoubleClick merger was a clear warning to Google:

  • "We want to be clear, however, that we will closely watch these markets and, should Google engage in unlawful tying or other anticompetitive conduct, the Commission intends to act quickly."

Let's also put this into context.

more back and forth with Techdirt on Google fleecing American Taxpayer of $7 billion

I want to thank Mike Masnick for his good comment to my blog post. This post is part of a string responding to Mr. Masnick's criticism of my original blog post entitled: "Google unabashed about gaming FCC auction process to fleece the American taxpayer of $7 billion."

I accept his gracious apology for starting his original critique with an ad hominem attack and I in turn want to apologize to Mr. Masnick for incorrectly assuming that he was on Google's side when he says he has no side -- I take him at his word.

My response to Techdirt's defense that "Google did not fleece taxpayers out of $7 Billion"

This post responds to Techdirt's, Mike Masnick, who came after me for my post of Friday in which I estimated that Google fleeced the American Taxpayer out of $7 billion in the latest FCC auction. 

  • I commented on Mr. Masnick's post last night (#18) and Mr. Masnick quickly posted a response (#19) claiming my adding my "two cents" to the comment string about me -- was not enough in his judgment. 

So lets start with Mr. Masnick's retort to my assertion that most of the comments were just ad hominem attacks and not based on the merits of my charge that Google fleeced the American Taxpayer. Mr. Masnick replied that he and Derek used their names and why did I not respond to them.

Responding to criticisms of my $7 billion estimate that Google fleeced taxpayers.

Martin Geddes of Circle ID challenged my estimation methodology in reaching that Google fleeced the American taxpayer for $7 billion.  

With all due respect to Mr. Geddes, first his analogy of taking "a tasty apple, a yummy banana and a mouldy pear, is simply not analogous here. One doesn't pay $4.7b for a "mouldy pear." The regulations did not make the spectrum itself bad to eat, but simply restricted the use of the spectrum or in Mr. Geddes example how someone would be allowed to eat a good pear. People will pay less for a fruit if they are restricted on when and how they can eat it. 

Second, Mr. Geddes suggests I am confusing the American taxpayer with the American public. I most certainly am not. I am recognizing that there is a very specific law, the 1993 Budget Act, which effectively defines that the American public is the American taxpayer because the purpose of these spectrum auctions are to reduce budget deficits. One may not agree with how the law defines the American public in this instance, but that opinion doesn't change that it is the operative law here.  

My estimate in my blog was trasparent and simple so everyone could see how I got my figure.

  • The important point here is that Google fleeced the American taxpayer of several billion dollars, was it $7b? $5?b $9b? $3b? -- it depends on the estimating method.
  • My estimating method was straightforward, transparent, logical, simple and easy to understand. 
  • I stand by it until someone else comes up with a more defensible estimate.    

New spending surprise for Google's 1Q08 earnings?

My eyebrows raised when I read the FT's article: "Google loses talent that turned chos into capital."

What attracted my attention is that Google is reacting to the ~37% drop in Google's stock price by spending shareholders money on giving restricted stock to employees who are no longer satisfied with stock options.

I wonder what the price tag will be for this, it could be significant....

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths