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spicynujac

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Re: Is Google turning into big brother?
« Reply #45 on: January 22, 2008, 11:49:12 PM »



My personal opinion is that corporations are not supposed to have an explicitly altruistic social conscience, they're supposed to do what their shareholders want them to do - most likely to maximize profits.  A corporation is an organizational directive, a force of nature, like fire or nuclear energy, useful but deadly if misused.  And yet, most of the time that works out very well, "the consumer is always right"...  until the government gets involved.


A corporation is a legal fiction.  In its basic form it's just a government personifying a business owner.
I don't want my local business owner to do whatever he can to make an extra penny, morality, civility, or atmosphere be damned.
I like the kind of business that doesn't make you feel like they are an entity set up to efficiently take my money.  I like the kind of business where the owner talks to you, knows you by name, and maybe carries some products that don't have the highest profit margin, but he knows will be popular and draw people to his business--they kind of stuff some MBA grad in corporate would never allow to be stocked in Wal Mart because it doesn't fit the minimum profit-per-square-foot quotas.
In short, I *WANT* my business owners to have a conscience. 
I also want cheap prices :P
But I absolutely won't support people who are racist, sexist, or jerks.


By becoming a part of the government apparatus, in part or in full, corporations can inherit its limitless power over their consumers and employees, and become intrusive and dictatorial over them.  Without all-encompassing government, people's political energies would go into economic activism, a mechanism that is less corruptible and even more empowering to the poor, since the poor people's dollars can collectively buy more products than they can political influence.  A large all-encompassing government can safely expect all large for-profit companies to play ball when it asks them to, but it can't be everywhere at once,  and it can't stop people from preferring transparent and decentralized solutions that localize the power.

Avoidance of Google's dominance may seem like irrational paranoia to the uninitiated, but the more you think about it, the more you realize how much information Google can collect on you over repeated use, and that in the information age this constitutes a tremendous power.  In the wrong hands, this power can give the government a level of surveillance that Hitler and Stalin could only dream of!  Needless to say, the people who've trusted Google with their e-mail are fooked, but you don't have to be logged in to their user management system to be recognized when you perform a search, and many non-Google sites report your usage to Google through their advertisements.  You can be wary of cookies and use dynamic IP's, but the government is pushing for regulation of ISP's to track who held a given IP at a given time.  You can use an anonymizer to hide your IP, but the information it collects on you, combined with some very fancy fuzzy logic algorithms, can narrow your identity down with amazing effectiveness.  (See this thread for info on an interesting lecture by a cyber-PI Steven Rambam, who semi-jokingly called Google the closest thing to Skynet that exists today.)

Can consumer activism keep Google's market dominance in check?  It's not as simple as switching to a different brand of papertowels, because Google after all is unique - it is faster and more effective than the other search engines, the leading of which are also billion-dollar corporations.  When someone tells you to Google something and you use Lycos.com instead, your Top 10 sites can be quite different.  When something is hosted on Google Video, the interest in decentralizing by mirroring it on other sites or using P2P technologies tends to be rather low.

There does, however, exist a freedom-loving minority of users, say 10%, who value being in control of their information technology, and they give the passive 90% a choice of possible escape pods if they'll even choose to use them.  It is those people that are behind the decentralized Free / Open Source Software movement, and you will already find some of them nagging, "whenever someone links to content hosted by Google, they should make a decentralized BitTorrent link as well".  (I volunteer to be the first nagger on this forum, at least if the content is important enough to decentralize.)  Instead of Google Talk and Google Groups, they'll advise you to use IRC / Jabber and Usenet.  Instead of Yahoo TV listings, they'll advise you to use an application that downloads complete public domain data in XML to your local computer and searches it from there.  Browser settings / plugin can automatically reject ads and other content (especially JavaScript) from an ever-growing immense list of hosts that report back to Google and other tracking databases.

How does this attitude apply to generic Web search?  Obviously it is very difficult to offer decentralized community-hosted version of Google's billion-dollar server infrastructure that spiders, indexes, searches, and caches massive quantities of information at amazing speed...  but you can take advantage of the principle of factor sparsity, aka the 80-20 rule, though in this case the curve is more steep.  It's probably the case that 99% of the time people search Google with the desire to find 1% of the Web-sites, or even less if intermediate junction points are used.  If that small fraction can be contained within a few dozen gigabytes, then it's possible to have a Web-based (or otherwise) search server that most people will be able to host on their computer / network.  Content can include MediaWiki sites, the Open Directory Project, a digest of Archive.org, a specially designed keywords database, and some other peer-maintained data sources.  Updates to this database could be distributed through P2P technology, which would be useful if your connectivity to the Internet is lost or some Internet fragmentation ever takes place.  In other words, about 99% of the time, you will be able to find what you need without a search engine, and the remaining 1% can be outsourced to some kind of a crawler bot that would try to anonymously fetch your search results from another place.

Coming up with alternative technologies is the easy part, but changing human behavior to let go of old habits is pretty hard.  I'll be the first to admit to being a total hypocrite, using Google's fast and powerful auto-correct features for things as mundane as confirming a word definition...   :oops:
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Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith)

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Re: Is Google turning into big brother?
« Reply #46 on: January 23, 2008, 12:35:36 AM »

They don't need cookies to track you, they can track you by your ip address and your mac address...
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John Shaw

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Re: Is Google turning into big brother?
« Reply #47 on: January 23, 2008, 12:51:39 AM »

They don't need cookies to track you, they can track you by your ip address and your mac address...

And a person's seemingly genetic need to necro old threads.  :P
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rabidfurby

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Re: Is Google turning into big brother?
« Reply #48 on: January 23, 2008, 12:54:39 AM »

They don't need cookies to track you, they can track you by your ip address and your mac address...

IP, yes. MAC address, no. Ethernet frames don't travel past your router or cable/DSL modem.
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Blackie

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Re: Is Google turning into big brother?
« Reply #49 on: January 23, 2008, 10:32:20 AM »

a mac address is not an address at all, it is an idenifier.....it should be called a MAC ID
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John Shaw

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Re: Is Google turning into big brother?
« Reply #50 on: January 23, 2008, 10:37:28 AM »

a mac address is not an address at all, it is an idenifier.....it should be called a MAC ID

And it takes about 30 seconds to change if'n youze don't like it.
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spicynujac

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Re: Is Google turning into big brother?
« Reply #51 on: January 26, 2008, 01:05:34 AM »

I have been reading for years about how your IP address is some prized top secret privacy grail we must all clutch to.  Your IP address does not matter.  Yes, there is a certain amount of "tracking" that can be done with it, just as if anybody who knows your email address, name, age, or anything else can be used to violate your privacy.

Knowing someone's IP address is the equivalent of seeing the caller ID of someone calling from a pay phone.  yeah, you could try to go find him right now, but chances are by the time you get there, someone else will be using that number.
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Alex Libman

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Re: Is Google turning into big brother?
« Reply #52 on: July 14, 2010, 04:32:46 PM »

From Financial Times -- Net neutrality comes back to haunt Google --

Quote
Google has become the main advocate in Washington for a set of regulations to prevent internet service providers favouring particular companies' traffic.

However, that campaign, over what is known as "net neutrality", has handed a gift to its own detractors.

This year, "search neutrality" has become the rallying cry of activists who believe that Google has too much power to decide which internet sites are granted the attention that comes with a high search ranking, and which are consigned to outer darkness.

After regulating the "pipes" of the internet with net neutrality, says Frank Pasquale, a professor at Seton Hall law school, "we need to look at the next part of the bottleneck, and that means search".

For now, there is no indication that Washington is interested in creating a regime to govern the search business, and the campaign has served mainly as a way for Google's detractors to try to push it on to the defensive over other issues.

But antitrust regulators have already begun to look this year into how the company’s core search ranking system works. The announcement this month of the $700m acquisition of ITA Software, a travel technology company, is now set to extend that further.

Joaquín Almunia, Europe's top competition official, last week gave the first direct indication that Brussels was taking Google's search power seriously.

The European Commission began an informal review into allegations of bias in the search rankings early this year but Mr Almunia's declaration that he was looking at the issues "very carefully" was seen in antitrust circles as a sign the issue was now squarely on Brussels' agenda.

The German cartel office, meanwhile, is considering complaints brought by newspaper and magazine publishers, and regulators in Washington are being urged to scrutinise closely.

Speaking in an interview with the Financial Times this week, Barry Diller, who oversees a large collection of internet sites including travel service Expedia and search engine Ask, called on US regulators to either impose conditions on Google's purchase of ITA or block the deal outright. Extending its reach into new areas such as travel would lead to Google promoting its own services above those of sites such as Expedia, Mr Diller said.

US regulators have also been taking informal soundings among companies for some months about the extent of Google's influence on the internet, although that has not led to any official review, according to two people familiar with discussions.

The Commission case could become the thin end of the wedge in constraining Google's power, according to some antitrust experts in Brussels.

If Brussels rules Google is dominant in its market, it would put the company on notice to act with "special responsibility" - a vague requirement in European law that could force it to re-examine many of its business practices, says Thomas Vinje, a partner at Clifford Chance. Among the issues it might have to reconsider, he adds, is whether it can give preferential treatment in search results to its own services, such as those complained of by Mr Diller.

Some critics are also calling for regulators to have closer oversight of Google's core technology, to make sure no bias is at work. "We are asking it to open its algorithm to the Federal cartel office", says Echkard Bremer, the lawyer representing German publishers.

Ultimately, whether regulators decide to intervene is likely to depend on their assessment of the company's own assertion that internet users can easily go elsewhere if they do not like the search results they are being shown.

Google's dominance may be less assured than it seems. A recent test showed that Google's results are no better on average than those served up by Microsoft's Bing, says Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, who is about to take up the position of professor of internet governance and regulation at Oxford University.

"The good news is that it means Google won't get regulated," Mr Mayer-Schönberger says. "The bad news is that when consumers figure that out, they could easily move."

The habits of web users are also likely to influence the outcome. Services such as Facebook and Twitter help determine how people navigate the web. "The monopoly Google holds is less of a natural monopoly than people think", says Dave Sifry, founder of Technorati. "In a way, search is the last war."

For now, Google's algorithm reigns supreme. But it is still too early to tell if it will be a permanent fixture.

Poetic justice?  Nah, just more endless shit-slinging.

Shame on Google assholes for trying to use government force to their advantage.

Shame on government assholes for using force against Google or anyone else.

Does that mean I'm going to stop using all the sweet BSD-licensed software that originated from Google (ex. Chromium, V8, etc) or the government (ex. BSD, and pretty much every other piece of copyfree software out there)?  Hell no!  Eating your enemy's lunch is a strategic advantage - as long as it isn't poisoned that is.
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Bill Brasky

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Re: Is Google turning into big brother?
« Reply #53 on: July 14, 2010, 06:32:17 PM »

Who gives a shit.

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Stoker

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Re: Is Google turning into big brother?
« Reply #54 on: July 14, 2010, 06:46:32 PM »

Who gives a shit.

I do.

Why do you feel the need to post here if you don't? Just need to have a little ego boost by posturing ? So very fucking COOL!

"Ignorance combined with Complacency is a Fucking Bore"- Stoker
 
"The exultation of Ignorance REALLY pisses me off"- Frank Zappa

Go eat your 4 whole fried chickens and shut the fuck up if you don't have anything useful to say in a real thread about something that actually matters to some people.


« Last Edit: July 14, 2010, 06:59:21 PM by Stoker »
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Bill Brasky

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Re: Is Google turning into big brother?
« Reply #55 on: July 14, 2010, 07:19:12 PM »

Who gives a shit.

I do.

Why do you feel the need to post here if you don't? Just need to have a little ego boost by posturing ? So very fucking COOL!

"Ignorance combined with Complacency is a Fucking Bore"- Stoker
 
"The exultation of Ignorance REALLY pisses me off"- Frank Zappa

Go eat your 4 whole fried chickens and shut the fuck up if you don't have anything useful to say in a real thread about something that actually matters to some people.




Suck my dick. 

Anyone who believes google has somehow screwed people in the public domain is a fucking moron. 

You go there, you use their engine.  Its not a conspiracy. 

You're an idiot. 

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Stoker

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Re: Is Google turning into big brother?
« Reply #56 on: July 14, 2010, 07:27:55 PM »

Who gives a shit.

I do.

Why do you feel the need to post here if you don't? Just need to have a little ego boost by posturing ? So very fucking COOL!

"Ignorance combined with Complacency is a Fucking Bore"- Stoker
 
"The exultation of Ignorance REALLY pisses me off"- Frank Zappa

Go eat your 4 whole fried chickens and shut the fuck up if you don't have anything useful to say in a real thread about something that actually matters to some people.




Suck my dick.  

Anyone who believes google has somehow screwed people in the public domain is a fucking moron.  

You go there, you use their engine.  Its not a conspiracy.  

You're an idiot.  



Well that is truly fascinating Drifter, thank you for enlightening everyone to the fact that you just don't give a shit, do you feel all warm and fuzzy now?

In my opinion an idiot would be someone that repeatedly makes posts in a thread whose subject he has declared that he don't fucking care about.

Go eat your 4 fried chickens and see if Pubeboy has set up his bowling pins for you to knock down for the 5,000th time. Maybe he will even give you a little kiss!
« Last Edit: July 14, 2010, 07:30:34 PM by Stoker »
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Alex Libman

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Re: Is Google turning into big brother?
« Reply #57 on: July 14, 2010, 07:28:13 PM »

What's with the "global warming" bullshit inside the "positive right to privacy" bullshit?  The real problem is government force, that's all there is to it - I'm on Google's side on every other issue.
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Stoker

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Google : Big Broother ?
« Reply #58 on: July 14, 2010, 07:32:05 PM »

Google is the biggest search engine on the internet and has recently announced that they now have the largest accumulated mass of information on individuals ever collected in the history of mankind. Here are a few articles from a variety of sources ranging from Blogs to Prestigious Science Magazines to talk shows. What are your thoughts on this matter and what is your personal experience with Google?


Former CIA Agent Says Google and CIA in Partnership, Google started with CIA seed money
http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=4774

A good breakdown of just how "Not Bad" Google is :

http://www.google-watch.org/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1293324/Australian-inquiry-finds-Google-Street-View-cameras-broken-privacy-laws.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1288378/Google-faces-prosecution-France-accidentally-smashing-privacy-laws-Street-View.html

Katherine Albrecht: Katherine talks about the two speeches she gave at Boston Commons on July 4th. She is at a loss as to why people let Google spy on them and retain their data for Google's commercial use.  Google's founder says that they would not do this if people objected.
http://www.katherinealbrecht.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3515:tue-july-06-2010&catid=20:show-archives&Itemid=44
http://insidegoogle.com/category/privacy/

A guy in Germany chasing a Google spymobile down the street because it is "not bad" to spy on you in your home:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/04/09/street_view_pickaxe/

http://techcrunch.com/2008/02/29/google-invests-in-dna-sequencing-project/

National Coalition of Authors Urge Rejection of Google Book Search Deal
Ability to Track Readers Puts Privacy at Risk
http://www.eff.org/press/archives/2009/09/08

Google, Inc. (GOOG) this week announced a pilot project with at the Cleveland Clinic to store the information of up to 10,000 patients in a new online electronic health records storage service. Google is not the sole player in the online medical records storage field.
http://www.glgroup.com/News/The-Doctor-Will-Google-You-Now-22230.html


http://notes2self.net/archive/2007/05/24/independent-google-is-watching-you-big-brother-row-over-plans-for-personal-database.aspx

Google keeps ALL of the searches you have ever made. Every porn site, every hydroponic site, every Gun site,every anti-government site EVERYTHING. Every fucking Click.Think about it. They know more about your average online Joe than he knows about himself. They now publicly brag about having amassed the largest database of personal information on individuals EVER gathered. I am sure they would NEVER abuse THAT! Who has ever heard of personal information being used to persecute people???  
I switched to startpage a while back. They at least claim to not track you, this may or may not be true but Google makes no bones about keeping every bit of information they can gather about you.

http://us2.startpage.com/eng/

« Last Edit: July 14, 2010, 11:24:28 PM by Stoker »
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Bill Brasky

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Re: Is Google turning into big brother?
« Reply #59 on: July 14, 2010, 07:33:28 PM »

The big font makes you look extra retarded - which is almost impossible, but you somehow pull it off.


Tell me something, Stroker...  do you think you're somehow entitled to anonymity from Google?  Simple answer, yes or no. 

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