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Author Topic: Some thoughtfull worries about google misbehavior from FireFox developer  (Read 11311 times)

mouser

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I know there are quite a few of us who feel a bit uneasy about google's arguably increasingly questionable behaviors and desire to dominate the web..  Some nice writing today by FireFox developer..

Quote
Google is now displaying “tips” that point searchers to Google Calendar, Blogger and Picasa for any search phrase that includes “calendar” (e.g. Yahoo calendar), “blog” and “photo sharing,” respectively. This is clearly bad for competitors, and it’s also a bad sign for Google.
...
The tips are different—and bad for users—because the services they recommend are not the best in their class.
...
While advertisers compete to be first in a string of lookalike ads that are often shunted to the side, Google now determines the precise position and appearance of ads tips that are not subject to any of the same rules. Its ads get icons while others don’t, and if you think that’s small potatoes, you are not an advertiser
...

And I think this hits on why i don't have a great feeling about google having such a monopoly on everything:

Quote
But we’re not there yet, and in many ways, Google’s new age “bundling” is far worse than anything Microsoft did or even could do. Microsoft threw spaghetti at the wall and hoped it stuck, and likewise there’s nothing wrong with Google’s arbitrary front page ads. The difference here is that Google knows what users want and can discreetly recommend its products at the right time. Microsoft can’t easily hide a program packaged with Windows (and doing so would defeat the purpose), but competitors can only discover Google’s bundling, which might be transient or limited to certain regions, through trial and error searching.
...
Perhaps the most nefarious aspect of this feature is how it operates within our collective blind spots. Advertisers are happy that Google no longer invades the canonical Ad Results. Technology purists continue to see untainted Search Results. But does my mother make that distinction? How much does a result have to look like a Result to cross the line?
...
Google promised not to be the type of company that needs to ask.


All of us are now using a search engine to search the web, which has a vested interest in sending us to certain sites and certain products.  Google may be better than many companies, but they are now a huge beast which needs to be fed a constant influx of profits.  They profit when they send you places with ads that you click on.

I for one am very much looking forward to the rise of the non-profit search engines..




from slashdot.org
« Last Edit: December 29, 2006, 09:32:00 PM by mouser »

dk70

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Re: Some thoughtfull worries about google misbehavior from FireFox developr
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2006, 08:23:08 PM »
Yep, non-profit is only answer and important to remember what current alternatives to Google are doing. I know what I prefer. Microsofts "Live" world is not really attractive, neither is Yahoo mess.

How can search results be used as part of any argument? Personalized search makes them depend on history of each login. What determines my results is probably the real interesting about Googles way of making money ;) So is his mother aware of those secret formulas deciding results? Does that not mean she is being "guided" all the time? A little Google icon is violation of trust since important promotion trick but he still have full faith in getting untainted search results it seems. I use some Firefox magic to ignore commercial results from any Google search - search not ads or tips, they have the habit of reaching for the top. Unless my search is for specific or rare keywords I dont really trust results, dont care what they say.

When Google say they are not evil and can be trusted I would hope only few see Google as a new friend in life! Business is business, some must live in a dream world. Google does same thing as Yahoo, MS but better - and about the ads less intrusive to users. Why Google stats look good, have nothing to do with promises or trust. More like business model and knowing users/customers. Promises to Mozilla broken because of these tips? Firefox is used to show Google ads and part of money machine since day 1 of their agreement. How it is.

What determines products in Google Pack by the way? http://pack.google.c...html?hl=en&gl=us I guess some non-Google stuf slipped in! His mother can of course see through all this... Pimping can be found all over the place. Different methodes. Since this makes internet go around I dont mind the Google way - use Ad Muncher now so... Think he could write a long essay about Digg too, waaaah but you said!!! or the general state of many more things, inside or outside internet.

Anyway, Google sometimes test "featues" - possible evil tips vanishes. I guess will make them trustworthy again - does not take much then. He could say tips is last straw and he is tired of those monster engines nobody can see through - want AD-FREE alternative. May be also question Mozilla/Firefox position in all this. Seems he has been a happy follower with Googles virgin empire up until those tips. Naive since whole circus is based on advertising - what has advertising money to do with trust? The big trick of Google is to make users see their money and intentions as good/approved and the others as evil/greedy - keyword is always money but some forget. Great marketing/manipulation AND great products = success.


CodeTRUCKER

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Re: Some thoughtfull worries about google misbehavior from FireFox developr
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2006, 08:53:01 PM »
There is a reason why Big G does what it does, but I am sure it is "proprietary" data.  ;)

The point here is there are many out there who don't like what they see Big G doing, especially when it is without any regard to other's "proprietary" data.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 03:19:07 PM by CodeTRUCKER »

dk70

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Re: Some thoughtfull worries about google misbehavior from FireFox developr
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2006, 09:28:09 PM »
Nice 46 min. documentary about the history, policy, future of Google. http://www.guba.com/watch/2000796349

Join or leave is my view. Using Google ads on website? ok, then dont complain about anything, you have joined. Blake Ross dont I think but anyway - he only focus on morality, trust etc. because he notice a visual change on a webpage. Icing on the cake. Debate about Google pros and cons is much deeper, his own company being part of it even! Again, will his mother have full awareness about how search engine integrate into browsers search box and address bar? From a his holy (Mozilla) perspective damage is already done there - but they made a deal with Googles generally "approved" money. What he say is more or less random chitchat in the bigger picture - though nice to see some Mozilla guy going against Google.

Im not afraid of Google and use it almost exclusively, including many of their services. I go with least evil/intrusive business in these categories. Check out all their services - compare with MS "Live" trying to catch up in their usual generic/boring way. Difference is not just quality/features/ease of use but how they communicate and present them self. You get instant information on clean pages, links to official blogs/groups. Sign-up is matter of seconds. Google does this very well/better and how they get away with being "MS" and their piles of "good" money. Perhaps it helps so many individuals also have made deals with Google through advertising. Optimizing search engines with Google Analytics perhaps. Questions about world domination are still relevant but takes more than "tips" to get people upset.

Google Blogoscoped is usually updated on latest Google events http://blog.outer-court.com/
« Last Edit: December 29, 2006, 10:19:35 PM by dk70 »

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: Some thoughtfull worries about google misbehavior from FireFox developer
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2006, 12:53:57 AM »
You are mistaken.  I am not "afraid" of Google.  I am greatly concerned what it could be used for *if* it was available to a dangerous statist entity.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2010, 03:17:56 AM by CodeTRUCKER »

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: Some thoughtfull worries about google misbehavior from FireFox developer
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2006, 01:07:37 AM »
I'm not sure that fellow is on target?  Unfortunately, we really do not know what Big "G" is intending to do?
« Last Edit: September 26, 2010, 03:26:43 AM by CodeTRUCKER »

dk70

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Re: Some thoughtfull worries about google misbehavior from FireFox developer
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2006, 03:46:55 AM »
Actually the guy from Internet Archives raises some important questions - same which obviously also motivated movie. Googles size, importance worldwide and what will happen as they get bigger and bigger - and is Google even aware of their own importance? Why they show pictures of dogs on the job, playing workers - "a nice place to work" or not a worried thought to be found "I dont have that perspective" as the VP says about Big brother after looking odd at journalist, heh. Some of the avoiding answers to questions suits setup well. So these playful people are ruling the worlds information! Black and white give some contrast and nothing wrong with infotainment  8) I believe this is made by Dutch Television, good for them they take an interest.   

I think you need to watch again, cant see it as job advertising. Try this http://video.google....2839788&q=google
 
As you say facts of Google are not yet known - for now one can only assume they are a successful ever expanding company. That is what popular companies do! What did you expect to be revealed?

If I was to become alarmist about Google I would need facts, not just "incidents" like an ad for spyware or whatever. I would want to see actions clearly violating my personal privacy. Such facts do not exist I think and if you know a little bit about Google you notice their whole setup will be gone over night should they be hit by a "scandal". Suicidal for Google to fail users trust. Searching, well may impossible to see through but anyway dont think Google is tracking your searches as if they are interested in you as a person. Google is not just search but lots of services getting more and more integrated - those will be hurt severely by whatever violation disaster you can think of. Game over. Documents, spreadsheets, fotos linked to individuals beats searching keywords by far! They are now offering to run domains for companies even, targeting business world I see no reason to believe they are not upfront about protecting user information. Naturally exploited to the max internally, among the services, but something else. They call it optimizing personal experience or similar.

If US were taken over by Yemen Im sure they would like to have a look at whats inside. May be that also goes for many other institutions keeping private information? Not like Google have key information about all your life - unless you chose to give it. There are dangers in all parts of life, may be your house will be robbed next time you are out.

Remember the size of Google. You can take any company of that size and tear it a part by selecting what you need. MS is good example. Of course they make mistakes, questionable decisions and in our system use their size to compete (Darwin rules). Can be bloody like in any other business. If you are thinking of policy in other countries they will have to adjust - like other companies do.

Im lost with the Hitler, Stalin analogy. Cant relate. Movie is hinting at a future 1 company versus the world situation, like own the company own the world but speculations and really Google is not the only player or that important yet. Other providers of same service appear incompetent/annoying to me - why I and many others chose Google. Simple as that. As I said compare with competition. Are they better or worse regarding your problems with Google? You think people are brainwashed or have any loyality? Dont. I saw a video about MS search developers who were sure Google would be beat in 1-2 years so there is hope  8) Chose your monster.

And dont think tracking is done exclusively by Google. The more advanced webites with such interests will know about your movements - unless you block. Actually all you need is a Google Analytics account. Mouser could probably track movements on his forum should he wish. Dont be afraid but remember difference between real life and the virtual. Handing out vital personal information online is your choice and responsibility. If you dont trust Google then dont give it to them. If you dont trust anything on internet go offline. World does not dissapear.

To your last worry. Well same answer, Google has no patent on tracking and what you chose to have online is your choice. They state when ever they use personal information - which is hardly personal but in this context is considered as. MS IE7 check your every url to prevent phishing btw. Same thing. We can go on. You know Google Notebook? You chose to have it public or private. Which means if you go public and still keep your bank details in there everyone can search and find that information. Get to know the rules and act accordingly then nothing happens. Dont know what you mean by interaction with this? Of course Google knows how I use their services and of course they have access to all data so what? My ISP know every move I make as well. If I do something illegal online Police can fetch information from ISP. Tracking is all over, get used to it.

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: Some thoughtfull worries about google misbehavior from FireFox developer
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2006, 06:47:23 AM »
What about a non-ad based search service?

Am  I the only one that recognizes that these are the embryonic steps which sets up future oppression?  The information on www.scroogle.org has some interesting things to take a look at.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2010, 03:02:22 AM by CodeTRUCKER »

f0dder

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Re: Some thoughtfull worries about google misbehavior from FireFox developer
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2006, 08:11:02 AM »
Non-profit ad-free search engine? Never going to happen. You need massive amounts of storage and processing power to build a decent search engine. If something came up that claimed to be 100% free with no financial interests, I wouldn't be scared. I'd be very scared.

I don't think google is the great messiah, and I feel a bit insecure about the amount of data they're harvesting (especially with gmail and other services). But I'd rather have google have that than MS, Yahoo, ...

Oh, and I wouldn't midn working at google - speaking with some (ex) employees, it sounds like a pretty decent work atmosphere with good pay and job opportunities.

Being sceptical (not paranoid!) is a good thing, google-watch seems a bit fuddy though - things like "Matt Cutts, a key Google engineer, used to work for the National Security Agency. Google wants to hire more people with security clearances, so that they can peddle their corporate assets to the spooks in Washington." comes off to me as rambling nonsense; perhaps they just want some know-how on how to, say, secure data? But no, simple & rational explanations won't do.
- carpe noctem

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: Some thoughtfull worries about google misbehavior from FireFox developer
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2006, 08:44:29 AM »
Another great point, if this was all that Google did I would not have concerns, but taken in the context of their other activities, does it not leave room to question their motives and future plans?
« Last Edit: September 26, 2010, 02:57:28 AM by CodeTRUCKER »

f0dder

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Re: Some thoughtfull worries about google misbehavior from FireFox developer
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2006, 09:12:48 AM »
Quote from: Farmsteader
Another great point, if this was all that Google did I would not have concerns, but taken in the context of their other activities, does it not leave room to question their motives and future plans?
Of course, be sceptic - it's just that the "big brohter" page at google-watch seemed to jump to some not-that-logic conclusions instead of seeking the logical explanation...

I think there's things that are more scary & deserve more attention than google, though. Like the brainwashed extreme-right and the (often overlooked) extreme-left movements. Especially the latter, since it's more socially acceptable, and could end up actually posing a threat. Oh well, that's starting to sound like politics, and that's a thing to avoid on donationcoder.
- carpe noctem

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: Some thoughtfull worries about google misbehavior from FireFox developer
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2006, 09:48:15 AM »
I have some questions I'd like you to address...
  • What would Hitler's deceased Jews say about Google?
  • Ditto for Stalin's 50,000,000?
  • Ditto for Mao Tse Tung's millions?
  • Ditto for Saddam Hussein's political rivals?
  • Ditto for [fill in the blank, there's plenty of others]?
« Last Edit: September 26, 2010, 02:58:27 AM by CodeTRUCKER »

dk70

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Re: Some thoughtfull worries about google misbehavior from FireFox developer
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2006, 10:29:15 PM »
May be you could enlighten me with horror stories not including Hitler, Staling and the likes? Im prepared to cancle my Google account today if you come up with more than assumptions, conspiracy in the sky. Almost going to say I will cancle if what you say will make sense. Your personal experiences and having seen the truth where others have not Ive heard before ;) Poor you. You show no sign of having any knowledge or understanding of how Google or the internets works but sure have a great need for something. Convenient for you, ignoring real life/internet and just waiting for the next "proof". When tired of Google you can move on to next subject. Conspiracy can be applied to most.

Would be better if you directed your victimized hovering self to a cause with more meat on it. Or get down to earth and speak so people can relate. I have yet no idea what you have against Google, why they matter so much or why they are any different than Yahoo, MS and tons of other services involving personal information - you are preaching. How can you think Google selling information to 3rd party will make their business even more popular?

As an affiliate with Google Im manipulating readers with fog and cant refute your position? First of all dont underestimate people ability to think for them self. But Im simply asking you to answer questions and explain your fear (on behalf of the world I guess) without having to draw weird lines to Stalin/Hitler or chitchatting about being haunted. You claim to have statistics and data from many years of study so where are they? You have been where no one else has so help us out. Can see why you made remark on getting in trouble on forums. Will happen as long as common sense rules, get used to that too.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2006, 10:31:34 PM by dk70 »

Redhat

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Re: Some thoughtfull worries about google misbehavior from FireFox developer
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2006, 11:35:30 PM »

I have some questions I'd like you to address...
  • What would Hitler's deceased Jews say about Google?
  • Ditto for Stalin's 50,000,000?
  • Ditto for Mao Tse Tung's millions?
  • Ditto for Saddam Hussein's political rivals?
  • Ditto for [fill in the blank, there's plenty of others]?


I don't know if I've missed the point here, but I am sitting in awe that you are comparing a search engine to vicious, sadistic, egoistic, masochistic, bullying murderers?

If I have misunderstood, please feel free to correct me. If I am correct, I think I may wretch. Literally.

tinyvillager

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Re: Some thoughtfull worries about google misbehavior from FireFox developer
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2006, 11:41:34 PM »
Ok,i joined this thread and i'm missing the point too,google killed how many jews?

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: Some thoughtfull worries about google misbehavior from FireFox developer
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2006, 12:39:51 AM »
You can mock me if you want, but history is irrefutable.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2010, 02:56:31 AM by CodeTRUCKER »

tinyvillager

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Re: Some thoughtfull worries about google misbehavior from FireFox developer
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2006, 01:16:41 AM »
Ok i rolled up my sleaves and did my homework or maybe i did someone else's homework
i don't know.



What would Hitler's deceased Jews say about Google?
The deceased don't use search engines.

Ditto for Stalin's 50,000,000?
Stalin should use Google's Calculator,he killed many but not that many.

Ditto for Mao Tse Tung's millions?
Yes ditto for them too,communists don't use capitalists tools,who gonna blame?

Ditto for Saddam Hussein's political rivals?
They would've use google maps and found the WMD'S


"I am serious about wanting you to answer these questions.  Here are a couple more..."

We are all so glad your serious,cause it's makes oh so funny for the rest of us.

Would you feel the same if each of the above had access to Google and you were their citizen?
I'd use google earth and escape.

Have you considered that even if  Mr.G#1 and Mr.G#2 are benevolent that one day all that data will be in someone else's hands?

It already is.

They're called the phone company and the credit card company,they know what kind of tinfoil
you buy. 

tinyvillager

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Re: Some thoughtfull worries about google misbehavior from FireFox developer
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2006, 01:23:40 AM »
Oh i did some extra credit...

When you envoke "What would Hitler's deceased Jews say about Google?"

You did draw comparisons.

When you partake in Google products it's an option,you take it
or leave it.The Nazi's took you,if you where Jewish,gay,mentally
handicap or physically handicap,etc, then they killed you.
They killed you if you where lucky.They experimented on many,
slave labored others and even made furniture out of the dead.
They would stuff pillow cases with human hair.When they shuffled
the Jews to gas chambers,they would have them take off their shoes
and tie the laces together so they could organize the shoes easier
after they where killed.They're countless other stories,that one
is one of the more tamer ones.

You take the approach like you've graduated from the I see through
all the B.S. College,i'm sure you've seen all the documentaries
on google,i'm sure you've read all the insiders blogs from disgruntelled ex-employees,etc.

I suggest you study the holocaust.The Jews with catalogue tattoos on there arm didn't have an option
to clear their internet browser cookies and delete their cache,change
their ISP,and get a new start.(I feel like such a fool even making
holocaust and tech comparisons to state my case,this is a first and
hopefully last.) 

In short,worst possible scenerio,google knows everything about me,
what i read,what i watch (pron),where i shop,who i call...


If i know one thing,regardless of tech privacy issues,political climate,political
affiliation,nothing,and i know things are f*cked in the world today,but nothing compares
to the holocaust.

dk70

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Re: Some thoughtfull worries about google misbehavior from FireFox developer
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2006, 03:18:09 AM »
So Chinese goverment is still jumping up and down cause now they can finally suppress people thanks to Google? Opposite other companies and countries who are ever so ethical Google will gladly help out. Get real. You are taking real problems hostage for own entertainment. Think market, politics just a little bit. Try fit Google into real world working conditions instead of pretending they define it. Takes the air out of the balloon so not interesting.   

Promised revealing data has been changed to a suggestion of year long study of ghosts? How dissapointing.

mouser

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Re: Some thoughtfull worries about google misbehavior from FireFox developer
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2006, 04:43:11 AM »
ok it might be time for everyone to calm down a bit, i think this thread has gotten wayyyyy off track.

mouser

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Re: Some thoughtfull worries about google misbehavior from FireFox developer
« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2006, 02:58:10 PM »
More balanced discussion:
http://blog.outer-co.../2006-12-31-n17.html

Nice comparison between google statements in 2004 vs. what they are actually doing today:
Quote
In 2004, before Google’s IPO and shortly after Gmail arrived with a big splash, the Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin were interviewed by Playboy, expressing some of their core philosophies (which I think aren’t altruistic philosophies, or mere publicity spin, but sound business decisions further shaped in the wake of the dotcom bust). Their remarks – albeit only two years old – create an interesting juxtaposition with the Google-related discussions of today. Back then, it was “those portals” vs “us”:

Quote
On Showing Your Own Content Above Other Content
PLAYBOY: Portals attempt to create what they call sticky content to keep a user as long as possible.

PAGE: That’s the problem. Most portals show their own content above content elsewhere on the web. We feel that’s a conflict of interest, analogous to taking money for search results. Their search engine doesn’t necessarily provide the best results; it provides the portal’s results. Google conscientiously tries to stay away from that. We want to get you out of Google and to the right place as fast as possible. It’s a very different model.
Today, Google for many searches shows their own content above that of competition, providing “Google’s best products” but not the best products per se.

dk70

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Re: Some thoughtfull worries about google misbehavior from FireFox developer
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2007, 03:37:58 AM »
You have been saved http://www.techcrunc.../google-tips-pulled/  :D

Now explain why Google "Tip"/ads melted into regular adsense/sponsored links is so much more comforting/fair and sign Google is not evil? Hard to cry about what makes for money for more than just Google perhaps?

Is it really accepted logic that search result/ranking is to be taken as proof of importance? Blake Ross does. How can ranking at Google be anything but popularity/hits + algorithms based on "trade secrets"? A little scary some put so much faith in Google output.

Some good comments if you scroll down at Techcrunch - big deal...

Spread wings while searching with Bumblesearch http://www.bumblesea...ch.com/bsearch/home/
« Last Edit: January 07, 2007, 03:41:45 AM by dk70 »

mouser

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Re: Some thoughtfull worries about google misbehavior from FireFox developer
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2007, 02:17:10 PM »
the more i think about this the more clear it becomes to me that i do not want to be using a search engine which has a very strong vested interest in sending me to certain sites rather than others, for their own benefit, as google does.
(ie. sending me to sites with ads on them, etc.)

id love to see a publicly funded search project that doesnt have a financial interest in bringing me to certain pages and i will keep my eye open for opportunities to stop using google.

google does a great job at what it does, but this has become like expecting the car salesman to give you an honest objective answer about where to buy your car.