Germany stands up to Google’s wholesale pilfering of our private information and anti-competitive, monopolistic business practices, why can’t the USA? CNN reports today in this article, that regulators have uncovered that Google stole large volumes of private data from unencrypted WIFI networks as they collected information for their location products. What’s fascinating about this article is the picture of the car. Why? Because the majority of Internet users are unaware of theft of private information that is used to manipulate our Internet experience and of course, sell us stuff. We can’t see it so we can’t understand it. But in this case, CNN does a great service and they show us the culprit. It’s not a ‘cookie’ that we can’t see or if we are techy enough to find we could actually decipher. But here, with this big car with a massive antenna, we can see the intruder. Google’s pilfering of privacy is now exposed and it has four wheels and a big antenna. Anyone can get this, regardless of their level of sophistication.
The Obama industry doesn’t get the Google monopoly any more than the Bush administration did. The moment that the Obama administration stood by Google against China was the day I left the Obama camp. Somehow we were to believe that Google was only trying to educate those poor Chinese who could never learn anything if it wasn’t for Google and Obama bought that line of garbage. Ironically, as much as Gore was vilified for his ‘I created the Internet’ quote, the High-Performance computing Act of 1991 shows that Gore realized that the Internet was going to be vital to the economy, education and security. The work that this bill funded had a profound impact on the shaping of the early public Internet but since this bill, the US government has simply rolled over and let the Internet industry scratch it’s belly and feed it. The scratching is biased, mass coverage while the feeding is money, and lots of it. But Obama needs to end this cozy relationship with Google and other large players in the Internet industry who are destroying our privacy, hurting the US economy with anti-competitive business practices and destroying the integrity of information on the Internet.
Google’s pilfering of online privacy, combined with their monopolistic anti-competitive business practices are a tremendous drag on the USA economy. If I had the funding and time, and the knowledge, I would quantify this but some day a smart phd will do it, hopefully. Google’s growth depends on one thing, and one thing only – sell more ads. As the Business Insider reports, Google hasn’t been monetarily successful at anything but selling ads. In order to sell more ads they need more page views and they need more eyeballs on Google sites. Google makes no money when you search for a topic, find the right site in the first page and click away from Google. That site may not even display a Google ad. That’s a bad business model, but Google was smart enough to realize that in order to gain our trust, they needed to provide great natural search results for a few years, and they did it well enough that they became the de facto standard of search. But in order to keep eyeballs and produce more clicks you need something that Google severely lacks, which is an original creative idea.
You see, for those creative ideas you need something that really sucks for earnings, and that’s creative people who maybe didn’t go to Ivy league schools and won’t tolerate 100 layers of torturous interviews as is widely reported about Google. When Google buys creative companies the ‘creatives’ leave. Anyone who has spent time in the Google offices can see that this is not a creative environment. This is an environment of extreme display of wealth. Walking into a Google office is like going to the richest kid’s bedroom you ever (or never) knew, the one whose parents bought him anything he wanted and filled the room with piles and piles of stuff your parents couldn’t afford. These bedrooms didn’t produce too many creative people and neither does Google, but they made a lot of spoiled people, and this is the customer psychology that serves Google.
So actually creating large scale interesting Internet content is a really costly proposition. Ask the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal for example. They have to send all those yukky, expensive reporters to the far reaches of the world to actually report and learn and that gets expensive! Same goes for music industry, you have to pay all those unsightly musicians, many of whom went to really bad schools, if they went to any at all! That doesn’t fit with the Google culture one bit. So in their quest for more page views/ad clicks, and in their total lack of creativity and the drag on earnings that all those creative people bring, they resort to stealing. Stealing content, private information, whatever they can to generate more ad clicks and keep more eyeballs on Google properties.
But if you want to steal enough content to keep eyeballs long enough to click on ads as many times as it takes to get to 2.5 Billion US Dollars of profit in a quarter you have to do something pretty big. You have to give away something so big that it will keep billions of eyeballs on Google pages and clicking. Natural search results are bad for Google’s business so this is why they have let natural search results turn to mostly garbage. They give us Wikipedia on the first page of every search, that’s enough for us. Then they fill the rest of the natural results with garbage pages designed to sell us more clicks designed as content. We are good lemmings and most of can’t decipher real content from content that exists solely to sell us ad clicks so Google continues to get paid on our information seeking.
That’s not good enough though, they need more eyeballs than that to grow. So then why not pilfer all the books they can find? Hey, it’s good for us, they’re giving us more free stuff. It’s like working at Google, you get all the free stuff you want. You’re in the coolest bedroom you never visited in your life. As consumers we have fallen under the same psychology. So Google pilfers all the books they can, to hell with those pesky writers and their royalties. These guys should’ve went to Ivy league schools, then they could’ve worked at Google. Their loss. Google will give a few hundred million dollars to a general royalty fund and any of the living or caring authors can fight for the scraps from the pile. In the meantime Google has a ton more content and pages for ads. But what to do about all those annoying publishing companies that paid for those books to be written and those damn bookstores that sold the books? Well, those guys are all stupid anyway, they’re evil in fact.
Self-publishing is much better, fewer evil people in between and besides, all those creative writers can make more money putting Google ads on their self-published sites on Google’s massive self-publishing platforms than they ever could’ve made with those old-school publishing companies. If Google needed lawyers to make all those contracts and editors to edit all that junk, and writers to come up with the ideas and illustrators to help elucidate the concepts, well that would really suck also. How can Google give free snacks to all those people? They didn’t even bother to go to good schools.
Need more eyeballs though so what else do people look at? Google can give that away too. Hmmmm, got it, email. Google will give away email. But there are already free email services and a whole lot of paid email services and products so how to compete? Well Google digs deep into it’s bag of tricks and guess what they do? Remember the employees who get all the free stuff they want in the richest kids bedroom they never visited in their childhood? Well here we are again, they give away more free stuff, more than anyone could’ve imagined in the past. Those old free email services like Hotmail and Yahoo, they were pretty simplistic. They provided a basic email service and stuck an ad each email you sent. Well for the good of all, Google would end that unsightly practice because the ad you can’t see is worth far more than the ad you can see. Google needs your eyeballs, they could care less about an email footer. So Google gives us more storage, more plug-in, more apps, more filters, more searching, more calendars and while we’re looking more ads. But since they know what our email says, who we’re sending it to, what’s on our calendars, what videos we just watched, what porn we signed up for and of course they have every content publisher and product peddler buying their ads, they can serve us the most expensive ad that is most tailored to everything about us. And this makes GMAIL important. But wait, that’s not good enough and people can see the ads, remember, that’s bad. So Google has to figure out a way to make GMAIL good for us. Hmmmm, “I’ve got it Sergey, why don’t we give away more stuff!” “Great idea, Katz!” “You’ll never be as smart as me with your stupid BM degree, or as rich as me, but great idea, more free stuff!”
Who can we give away things to that will show just how good we are as Googlers? How about schools, let’s give away email to schools. I know that there are all those pesky companies who used to make a lot of money selling email infrastructures to school, but they’re not as smart as Google anyway. And schools, they can’t afford email, it’s way too expensive since they needs servers and admins to fix them, those really make learning expensive. Plus, everyone needs as much free storage as Google gives, isn’t that what we need? More free stuff? Google told us so, it must be true. So Google rushes to give away free email to all the schools but with their ‘all you can eat, free stuff’ business model it’s hard for the other free email services to compete, but they try. In the meantime, in Google’s quest to grow eyeballs to grow ad clicks, they decimate the email and email infrastructure industry.
Confession, my small business, Mailspect was severely impacted when Google decided to give away free email bundled with Postini spam filtering. Postini used to be a competitor, but free, they were a destroyer. Yes, I have an ax to grind with Google but watching all my competitors and customers, many who were regular tech guys in small towns all across the county, suffer as I did when Google decided to go all anti-competitive on our industry shaped my views a lot. All at once, many of our education customers left us because they no longer needed spam filtering, email archive or email servers since Google make a proposition that none of them could refuse. I remembered the days that the US government fought Microsoft on antivirus inclusion when I was in that business and I was wondering where were the antitrust guys from the US government to stop these anti-competitive practices? Well they were all in bed with Google so I knew it was hopeless to wonder any longer. Watching the email industry collapse from the weight of Google has been quite an education so then I started looking at publishing, music, etc. and it’s clear that Google is becoming one of the most evil business practices of practically every monopoly. Why more evil? Because they lie and tell us that it’s all for our own good when they kill businesses. They are destroying teh quality of information on the Internet, making us settle for Wikipedia while filling our results with garbage. It’s arrogance to an extreme and manipulation of inormation on the scale that Google is capable of far surpasses the censorship powers of any government. That’s a tremendous power for a company that exists for the sole purpose of selling us ads, at least from the shareholders persepective.
You can see where this is going by know, I hope. The only solution to it is governments like Germany and China to stand up to Google, demand to know what private data they are using to sell us ads and make them charge competitive prices for services. We all love free, but does free at any cost really make sense?