Tag Archives: Google

White And Black Make Grey

Harry McCracken:

How can we talk about who’s “winning” if we can’t agree on what “winning” is? In case you hadn’t noticed, the gadget business isn’t all that much like Formula One racing, Yahtzee or curling. There are no rules; there aren’t any well-defined opposing forces; the battle has no beginning or end. And zero-sum thinking — the assumption that one company doing well hurts another, or that all companies are even playing the same game — is often out of whack with reality.

I didn’t realize until just now that sanity is, in fact compatible with discussion of gadgets. This changes everything.

Kidding aside: the childish black vs. white, oppressively binary way of thinking that so pervades tech journalism is more than a nerdy fanboy phenomenon. Our entire culture operates this way. We hate ambiguity. We loathe nuance. We think people are either Americans or Terrorists. If a movie makes money, it’s good; if a movie makes money, it’s bad. And so on. Nearly every human judgment is artificially constrained within an infantile boolean-only logical system.

Anyway, let’s get back to what we do best. Reality TV: cultural feces, or The Literature Of Our Age? (Hint: feces.)

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Google Glass And The Pinnacle of Ass

Here’s Jesus Christ, Silicon Valley on Google Glass:

I have to admit that my initial reaction upon seeing a pair was indeed one of childlike wonder. As in, “I wonder what will happen if I kick this guy in the nuts?”

The answer to that childlike question: there would be a POV video of your foot striking his oysters. That video would be on Google+. No human being would ever see that video. But lots of Google’s servers would see that video, and would run ads for athletic cups directly on the retinas of douchebags wearing Google Glass.

And the cycle repeats.

And repeats.

And repeats.

Until a Douchebag Singularity results in a giant, swirling black hole in which douche is infinitely dense.

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Noted Moron Eric Schmidt Flips Off Great Britain

Google’s ex-CEO and current Official Sayer of Stupidities Eric Schmidt thinks paying taxes in Great Britain is for plebeian shitmunchers.

The Independent:

Mr Schmidt defended his company’s practice, suggesting that its contribution to the UK economy was more important than the tax it paid to the Exchequer. “We are investing heavily in Britain,” he said. “We power literally billions of pounds of start-ups through advertising networks and so forth, and we’re a key part of the electronic commerce expansion of Britain, which is driving a lot of economic growth for the country. So from our perspective, I think, you have to look at it in a totality.

And then the asshat decides to add this little bon mot:

The people we employ in Britain are certainly paying British taxes, and more importantly, they’re British citizens and they’re driving a lot of GDP.

This sort of thing is easy enough to get away with in the United States, since our Congress is a wholly owned subsidiary of Whoever Has $1, but that bird may not soar so gracefully on the other side of the pond.

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Fuck Yeah, More Web Rendering Engines!

Google, on Blink:

WebKit is a lightweight yet powerful rendering engine that emerged out of KHTML in 2001. Its flexibility, performance and thoughtful design made it the obvious choice for Chromium’s rendering engine back when we started. Thanks to the hard work by all in the community, WebKit has thrived and kept pace with the web platform’s growing capabilities since then. […] However, Chromium uses a different multi-process architecture than other WebKit-based browsers, and supporting multiple architectures over the years has led to increasing complexity for both the WebKit and Chromium projects. This has slowed down the collective pace of innovation – so today, we are introducing Blink, a new open source rendering engine based on WebKit.

Mozilla, on Servo:

Mozilla’s mission is about advancing the Web as a platform for all. At Mozilla Research, we’re supporting this mission by experimenting with what’s next when it comes to the core technology powering the Web browser. We need to be prepared to take advantage of tomorrow’s faster, multi-core, heterogeneous computing architectures. That’s why we’ve recently begun collaborating with Samsung on an advanced technology Web browser engine called Servo.

Oh, thank every god! More rendering engines is exactly what the world needs. I do so enjoy testing every Web page I build in 78 different browsers. Now I can test every page in 674 different browsers! Huzzah!

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Larry Page To The Rescue

Larry Page says Facebook is doing “a really bad job on their products”. Thanks for the keen observation, Captain Obvious.

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Samsung Announces New Chromebook, Chromebox

Ars Technica:

A year after unveiling Chromebooks to the world, Google and Samsung today are announcing two new devices, including the first “Chromebox” desktop PC. Google is also rolling out several major software improvements, including a new window manager for Chrome OS, better trackpad support, upgrades to a remote desktop access tool, and offline editing for Google Docs.

Hmm. Something about the Chromebox looks familiar.

I participated in the Chrome OS pilot program, and received a Cr-48. I vastly prefer that hardware to Samsung’s regurgitations.

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It’s Time to Close the Curtains to Google’s Beady Eyes

I’ve been using DuckDuckGo exclusively for my Web searches for a few days. It’s fast, it returns highly relevant results, and the company cares about privacy. Something about Google seems to have hit a tipping point lately. Their newly unified privacy policy and the “search plus your world” business just provide further evidence that Google is a creep. We’ll leave the fact that their search results are often full of useless cruft out of this, for now.

Let me make something clear: I never used to worry much about online privacy. Google just wanted to show me ads that more closely aligned to my interests, right? There’s a nice (if snarky) distillation of that point of view over at Adweek:

Can somebody please tell America that advertisers don’t wake up in the morning and perv-search terms in order to start some office betting pool on who you’ll be dating next?

While I agree with Ms. Cullers’ assertion that advertisers aren’t as a general rule concerned about our private peccadillos (barring the odd exception, naturally), I still find it more than a little creepy to think that there’s a massive database of info about every tiny little thing I’ve been interested in since the turn of the millennium. Maybe Google (or the government) won’t use it against me, but it’s still there. We don’t use nuclear weapons very often, but they’re out there, and they suck.

If you’re still on the fence, DuckDuckGo’s privacy policy is a pretty convincing document.

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Project Ass

Let me just come out and say it: some gadgets are stupid. I’ve been wrong about gadgets before–very, very wrong in some cases–but I just can’t see myself wearing these stupid Google HUD glasses. Do I really want Google to be able to show me Charmin ads while I’m in the bathroom?

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