Tag Archives: google

Google celebrates Berlin Wall collapse but not in China

I was curious as to what the homepages of Google China and Google Hong Kong would be displaying in light of the fact that in the West it appears we’re supposed to be celebrating the collapse of the U.S.S.R.

Here's the homepage for the US.
Here’s the homepage for the US.

Elsewhere. . .

The homepage in China.
The homepage in China.
Google Hong Kong's homepage.
Google Hong Kong’s homepage.

Even the homepage for Google India mentions the Berlin Wall collapse. So is Google trying not to anger China and self-censor or are they continuing to allow themselves to be censored by China as has been the case for many years now. Keep in mind that the Chinese government relentlessly tries to hack Google.

Photo by Yahoo Inc

Shame: Google promotes the sale of ivory

Google is going to have to seriously think about reworking their motto “do no evil” if things like this are going to become the norm.

The ivory trade is slaughtering elephants by the hundreds in horrific massacres that rip apart herds and leave orphaned calves to starve. But despite an official policy against selling products from endangered animals, Google still traffics ivory — taking money from ivory sellers to promote their products. Google offers thousands of ivory items on its shopping sites around the world. Its lax enforcement of its own policies allows unscrupulous sellers to find easy markets for illegal ivory. Google needs to stop this horrific practice today.

It is such a horrible thing to do that you really want to believe that this story isn’t true; but do a search on Google with the term “ivory for sale” and this is what you’ll find.

The Chromebook is everything the NSA could want

Oh, Google.

But Haswell won’t mitigate paranoia over cloud security and compliance, of course. Google has taken many steps forward in easing businesses’ concerns over the security of Google Apps over the past few years. But the revelations about the NSA and FBI’s PRISM program have added new doubts, particularly outside the US, about the wisdom of putting everything in Google’s (or any other cloud provider’s) basket.

Furthermore, the Chromebook is everything a government watchman could want—even without Google Apps data and Gmail, it could give those with network monitoring capabilities a way to pinpoint the location of a credential-holder via 4G wireless (thanks, Verizon).

Be careful what you’re putting into the cloud kiddies.

Google Cuts Carbon Footprint But Funds Climate Change Deniers

Google Cuts Carbon Footprint But Funds Climate Change Deniers (via Environment News Service)

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California, August 15, 2013 (ENS) – Google’s self-confessed obsession with building energy efficient data centers and buying renewable energy has paid off. The search engine giant announced Tuesday that it reduced its carbon footprint…

Continue reading Google Cuts Carbon Footprint But Funds Climate Change Deniers

Google Fiber Continues Awful ISP Tradition of Banning “Servers”

Google Fiber Continues Awful ISP Tradition of Banning “Servers” (via EFF)

In a Wired piece published recently, Ryan Singel assails Google’s newfound hypocrisy when it comes to net neutrality. And he’s right. Having spent many years fighting to stop Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from discriminating between different types…

Continue reading Google Fiber Continues Awful ISP Tradition of Banning “Servers”

To be let go from the worst job at Google…

I found this interesting story via Slashdot about what has to be the most depressing job one could have at Google—or quite possibly anywhere. This is a side of Google and the Internet that no one really talks about.  Imagine having to filter out the most horrid and vile content on the web known to mankind on a daily basis. You are viewing every hate speech site, bestiality video, child porn site and other gruesome content. Eventually this kind of work is going to have an affect on your mental well-being. Sadly, the person who was doing this work for Google eventually had to end up going to therapy. Even more sad was the fact that he wasn’t hired full-time and was let go by Google in the end.

Just think about it. We take for granted the web services we rely on every day. Behind Twitter, Facebook, Google, Tumblr and other web apps, search engines and social networks are numerous people toiling away in obscurity filtering out the worst the Internet has to offer. We owe these people our gratitude for a job well done.

Don’t let Google, Apple or Cisco get a tax holiday

This is absolutely ridiculous. These corporations want to repatriate all of these profits and get a free ride in the process.

Independent studies have found that the last time this tax break was tried, in 2004, the bargain rate for bringing home offshore profits did little to spur hiring or domestic investment. Most of the money was used to buy back stock.

If this were done it would cost the US 78.7 billion dollars. The corporate lobbyists who are advocating for this are saying that it would help the economy. Just like how corporate welfare has helped the economy so far?

Update – I happened to see this story on the Common Dreams website today referring to the last time a tax holiday of this sort was tried and the massive layoffs that ensued.

Fifty-eight corporations that accounted for 70 percent of overseas profits repatriated under the 2004-2005 tax break collectively saved $64 billion in taxes, then cut 600,000 jobs through layoffs, the report said.

So why would you trust these corporations to do the right thing now?

Google a monopoly?

“Having prosecuted the Microsoft case, its seems to me that Google, as a monopoly, is engaging in the same tactics to keep its dominant position as Microsoft was engaging in,” Miller says. “Those are the same tactics that got Microsoft in trouble.”

via DOJs Microsoft prosecutor: Google is a monopoly – Mar. 31, 2011.

The thing is how would you brake Google up? Would Google Docs have to be its own company?

JC Penny rigs Google search

Despite the cowboy outlaw connotations, black-hat services are not illegal, but trafficking in them risks the wrath of Google. The company draws a pretty thick line between techniques it considers deceptive and “white hat” approaches, which are offered by hundreds of consulting firms and are legitimate ways to increase a site’s visibility. Penney’s results were derived from methods on the wrong side of that line, says Mr. Pierce. He described the optimization as the most ambitious attempt to game Google’s search results that he has ever seen.“

Actually, it’s the most ambitious attempt I’ve ever heard of,” he said. “This whole thing just blew me away. Especially for such a major brand. You’d think they would have people around them that would know better.”

via Search Optimization and Its Dirty Little Secrets – NYTimes.com.

A new form of ethics has emerged for the Internet age. Clearly, someone responsible for the JC Penny search rankings has not yet accepted the ethical quandary of gaming a search engine. JC Penny says they are not responsible however….ahem. There are no fingerprints is what I should say.

Is Google like De Beers or Shell?

So I just finished reading a book called Making a Killing: How and Why Corporations Used Armed Force to Do Business. In the book we learn about corporations who are willing to go into hostile areas just so they can gain access to a state’s natural resources. Whether it is diamonds, oil or Coltan corporations will overlook the evil that governments do so they can develop and sell these resources. The know full well that the money that these governments receive from the work of the corporations goes to fund weapons, militias and armies.

I think that what Google and others are doing in China can be comparable. Sure China is not probably as ruthless as the dictatorships in Africa where the book is based. But empowering a state which is not democratic by providing it with the technological infrastructure that Google and other firms possess can’t be look upon favorably, can it?