Sunday, 31 October 2010

Nick Cohen On Google

Oh Dear...
Google spokesmen say that they are not selling the information on to junk mail companies and they will destroy the data they've collected when they find time to get round to it. Google was inadvertently breaking into networks without their owners' consent, they said, because collecting the positions of Wi-Fis allowed them to triangulate locations and produce better directions for mobile phone owners using Google Maps, which, in turn, will allow Google to generate more advertising revenue.
What was that saying about ignorance? Better to shut the fuck up and be thought an ignorant twat about computers than to write about it in the Guardian and remove all doubt?

Google weren't "breaking into networks". What they did was to record information that was floating around unencrypted in the ether, the equivalent of someone walking past a table in a pub where someone had carelessly left a document lying around showing details of a merger between 2 companies and mentally recording that fact (before going off to buy some shares).
A fall will inevitably follow such hubris. Apple supplanted Microsoft because consumers thought it the more friendly and anti-establishment company. Users do not have to believe that Google is evil for it to suffer an identical fate. They just need to think that it, too, is a part of an establishment that wishes to exploit them. As soon as they do, the search engine that will break Google's monopoly will be waiting for their custom. Just one click of the mouse away.
Supplanted? Apple has 5% of the PC market share, and its phone market share is slipping to Android. Which is created and run by.... Google.

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