By investing in tech they already know would work, they would vacuum up all the resources and talent around that technology so that nobody else would bother (because who could come in cold and compete against a titan like google?) and then some time later kill all of the projects very publicly in order to make us all think that these technologies were nonviable.
Except instead with every piece of world changing technology they killed, they were buying their future Earths freedom from the apocalypse they were fleeing from, even if that future they were creating destroyed their own and left humanity in a just post-agrarian stage of development.
This group has been infiltrating our timeline for decades, first with blimps, then Atari, then Xerox, now Google.
Their motto is "save us before we destroy us"
>I've speculated for a long time that basically anything interesting Google says they're doing is essentially meant to be a jobs program to keep employees from leaving, PR for external stakeholders like investors, media, being attractive to potential employees, etc. They seem to have lots of formal ways to keep employees from leaving/close as well including investments off of Google's balance sheet (not GV or Google Capital) into ex-employee startups and just flat out paying people not to leave (which is the arrangement I'm guessing that Matt Cutts is under). It all seems very Microsoft of old.
As Peter Thiel put it, Google has more power in the Obama administration than Exxon had under Bush.
Campaign for Accountability's page, above, has an interactive chart where you can see which employees, by name, moved between Google and the government during Obama's term, and what positions they held on each side. Beyond the "Read more" link is also a significant amount of specific detail about some of the more notable transitions.
I ask because a lot of things Google has killed is hard for us to replace. Eg, i don't want to try and build Wave, or continue with Apache Wave, etc. It's a big, complex problem. But a personal content aggregator like what i thought Google Reader was seems quite easy to implement.
In other words, why haven't we (public or startups) built the core functionality of Google Reader that so many appear to love? It seems like an eager and easy to reach market. What am i missing?
You go and add a feed, and then you don't just get the latest 20 posts. Instead you get all the posts since the beginning of the feed, since google saw it then during a crawl and decided to watch it ever since.
That is something that is a fair bit harder to provide by any competitors
> 10 April 2007
> As feeds move beyond merely announcing new content on somebody's blog and into organizing data, you can easily find situations where you don't want your feed to include all of the available data. This tip shows you how to create an Atom feed that lets users page through it using "next" and "previous" links or button.
> Creating this functionality in PHP doesn't require any special skills or modules, just a methodical approach.
edit: why downvote? It'd be trivial for most site to make ALL past items available, without having to offer one huge feed with all those items in it, and any reader would be free to read all those items when subscribing to a feed. There, done.
Most people are fine though with just using social. If it's noteworthy enough they figure they'll learn about it soon enough. Personally, I do have Feedly configured but I confess I don't use it systematically any longer.
I'm still a bit puzzled about Google shooting Reader. Keeping it would have been a tiny effort and it doesn't seem much removed from a mission of selling ads (excuse me, organizing information). But, then, Google has largely walked back/de-emphasized pretty much all their information curation projects other than straight search.
They nearly collapsed under the load a few years back when Google cut GR, nearly shutting down. But now it's solid, and they seems to have got financial backing.
There are few limitations (100 feeds max) with a free account, but for me, it's enough.
If you're missing a big-time "disruptive" announcement on HN, let's run a story about RSS so that it becomes a thing again in people's minds. We can pepper it up with JSON support and call it RSS 3.0 (but please let's not go down the Atom rabbit hole).
Most other solutions that I've found make some assumptions about what I'll be reading or how I'll read it and try to force me into that, claiming it's for my own benefit.
In the end, I ended up self-hosting "Selfoss". I have to keep it up to date and occasionally fix a bug when it won't read a stream properly, but it basically does what I want otherwise.
I used to follow the feeds of over 100 blogs. I know follow about a dozen or so and I have to click bookmarks or manual enter URLs to read them.
Its probably trivial to replicate, but RSS/Atom wasn't very popular to begin with and this move just motivated others to give up on it. Webmasters didn't want to have that weird RSS icon that no one understood and designers probably didn't like that their hard would went away with RSS.
On the flip-side ad blockers and things like Firefox's and Safari's reader mode help a lot. I think its not a big coincidence Chrome is late to the reader mode game either. Google wants you to load that ad tracking .js file because that's their bread and butter.
The lack of business model had it floating on air. And the because it never went mainstream it removed all excitement from the product.
Otherwise, it could have had great vision ... Google Media, Inc., similar to the company that owns Digg.
Continuum was a good show. I particularly liked the whole "Corporate Congress" motif - seems eerily realistic these days.
There must be another explanation.
Likewise, if you travel back in time and change the future, you're not helping the people in the future you left, you're helping the people in the past avoid that future. But to you, it looks the same. It looks just like the past you're familiar with, and it develops into some semblance of the future you were expecting. So for all intents and purposes, from a subjective viewpoint you're avoiding the paradox and helping your ancestors. It doesn't matter if the people you left are still suffering, subjectively they don't exist anymore.
Sounds like what you are saying.
He leaves his friends behind in a world where WW3 breaks out over world powers fighting over research for a working time machine. In a way, he is leaving his friends to die in a post-apocalyptic WW3...but that doesn't matter because he's saving them in his 'current' timeline. The other worlds, from his perspective, "don't exist" anymore.
>In all actuality, "you" died and another "you" took your place. But to you and everyone around you, it seems like nothing has changed, so you carry on with your life.
In the show they call this power "Reading Steiner" when he "replaces himself" in a new timeline. Since he is capable of remembering what happened in the other timelines (nobody else does - as from their perspective these other timelines never existed).
Time travel is fun to think about. :P
My point really, is that there are varying fictional universes but in ours, we don't currently have a way to do teleportation. So, as you say, experience is subjective.
If you jump back into the old universe, nothing will have changed – so that is pretty much the only place you should stay away from.
There won't be a future where people knowingly will have experienced the results of your heroic deeds, which might be sad to some, but you can just tell/try to convince them of what good you did. Maybe take some videos or other proof.
That said, you do lose the drama surrounding the possibility of "destroying the future" via making gross (killing Hitler) or subtle ("butterfly effect") changes, as none of the consequences ever affect the universe you travelled from (other than the fact that you've left, never to return).
Google did not win the bidding over Facebook. Facebook actually won the bidding with a bid of about 60 million dollars. Facebook pulled out during the due diligence phase. Google swooped in and picked it up for about 20 million after Facebook pulled out. (Rumors remember, I can't find sources for these numbers right now)
Internally, Google was very quickly disappointed in their purchase. They found out that they had pretty much bought a nice PowerPoint slide deck and not much else. Titan still had a long way to go before they had a viable drone.
Anyway, that is the rumor that I heard.
I'm only somewhat envious of the drone companies that are selling out for tens of millions of dollars, while I sit here and work my butt off to keep making a product.
"we were doing steady progress but 3 months before release the management decided to alphabet the project and send everyone home."
New headline => Alphabet alphabetizes Titan Drone Internet Project
I think it has legal implication for a trademark, but in the case of Alphabet it was already a common word so it probably has no meaning.
Edit: It concerns me because I wonder how many other projects they've announced and shut down without telling us, and what that must be like for the employees who are no doubt under NDA who are shuffled around and unable to talk about it. Imagine if your company were acquired by X, and then you get fired, and you can't even tell your friends or potential employers it's because X axed the project.
Maybe X had good reasons for staying quiet for so long, but unless they say why it's hard to give them the benefit of the doubt on this one.
What makes you think this didn't happen internally?
Obviously I have limited information and I am not trying to define X based on this one event. But I do think it says something about the culture there.
jayjay's initial comment was that the lack of PR was concerning, but then brings up a super secret facility that had no PR whatsoever as a counter example. The comparison just doesn't make sense.
But let's say that your claim is true, that skunk works communicated with their customer on a failed project. That still has no relation to a public announcement about a failed project. This was a self-funded project by Google, they are their own customer. The lack of PR about internal projects says nothing about their internal culture.
Fair point about the creation of Skunk Works. I guess I was thinking more about the SR-71 and B2 which were wildly ambitious.
I guess history will tell the story of X as it's just too soon to call at this point. I'd love for them to be successful.
Agree to disagree, I guess.
> They're both moonshot branches of much larger companies
Not at all! Skunk Works started with one single focused mission. To design a jet to compete with the German Messerschmitt! Yes, they did a lot of things differently to clear bureaucracy out of the way and get stuff done. But to call Skunk Works a "Moonshoot" branch is not correct at all. The definition of moonshoot includes not having an expectation of profitability. Lockheed saw a threat, saw a need, and saw huge potential for profits!
Lesson: if you want your project to be cancelled, call it Titan.
(Also with a fleet of drones, failures are cheaper and less dangerous.)
There are lots of factors affecting economics of both solutions. I guess one of these days I'll have to make a spreadsheet with back-of-the-envelope calculations to sort this all out, but my gut feeling for now is that solar drones are a viable replacement for a lot of current satellite uses.
To me the largest issue is simply power, these drones need to store a lot of energy just to fly overnight. Add in the power requirements for all the radio gear, it'll need to operate overnight too to make the service particularly useful, and battery weight can quickly spiral outside of what can reasonably be done by a small company trying to build a small plane. There's also 2 hard competing design goals solar panel area and aerodynamics. The first wants broad flat surfaces to place as many panels as possible on while the second is pushing you towards long thing wings and bodies to reduce drag.
I'm not saying these are impossible things to build but I do think it's more in the realm of large aeronautic companies rather than a small division of google.
Satellites in LEO have night and day cycles too, albeit shorter. But you have more problems with keeping batteries cool during the day and warm during the night, and also each additional gram you want to add to a satellite costs a lot of money thanks to the magic^Wtyranny of rocket equation - so you can't just spam solar cells and batteries like you could on an aircraft.
> no FAA/other countries' counterparts issues, etc.
Space is pretty regulated too; you can't just lob a piece of junk into whatever orbit you want and call it a day.
Satellites don't really have to expend any energy to stay "up", and thermal regulation is much easier in a vacuum than it is in the stratosphere.
Things like the Titan drone are mostly solar cells and batteries. It's not like you can increase the % of mass allocated to that because it's pretty much maxed out.
The only difference would be in perception, not in reality.
Most of the most significant innovations of modern history came about because of free-market capitalism, not because of governments -- with very few exceptions.
The role of government isn't to innovate -- it's to maintain an environment that makes innovation possible.
The less military world has the lesser military US needs.
To get fiber into rural places you just have to parallel the electric lines. Except there is something ritually unclean about wires and we can't do it.
Plenty of rural places in third-world countries without an electric grid too.
you can run the Internet signal on the same electric wires.