With Google, I can see their ability to become a shady company pretty easily, but it is just too damn easy to switch search engines. Bing isn't so bad you know.
But Facebook knows so much about me, and the network effects are so strong -- this is the company I feel most unpleasantly stuck to. Not "Comcast stuck" mind you, but still, more "stuck" than I'd like. It's like my friends keep having parties at a bar I'm not super fond of... and I keep going.
and personal email, and collaboration tools, and project mailing lists, and photo service, and maps service, and video hosting..
If you consider google as the search engine maybe not, but if you consider google the company the it's downright scary how hard it would be to get out of their grasp, IMO.
People use Google's services because they're excellent, not because they are locked in. Google makes it very easy to leave and take your data with you. Google contributes as much of their internal software to the Free Software community as they can. They do need to make money, but they're trying to do it the old fashioned way: make products people they like. And that's refreshing in a world where Microsoft makes their own email protocol and Apple sells computers that you can't hack.
This is not "downright scary". It's downright refreshing.
(Yes, advertising is an annoying business model, but I don't think it will last much longer for Google. People hate advertising and the feeling of being "told what to think". The good news is that Google's products will still work even if you have to pay a few bucks a month for them. Right now, that's not in Google's interests, because advertising money is the easiest money to make. But in a few years, I think we'll see less advertising and more customer focus, as advertisers realize that nobody wants their overpriced shit anymore.)
My point was that while changing search engine is easy:
* migrating all your data is way harder
* opting out of some google online services (e.g. maps) does not free me from third parties relying on them (e.g. android, iphone)
* I can't change the habits of the rest of the world, so I'm stuck with them if I want to join ai-class.org, read something on blogger or peruse a project mailing list on groups.
* the fact that the services are good _is_ a lockin, as it makes it harder to get off of them
Just this. Changing search engine is easy, opting out of google's products is, at least for me, much much harder.
I love google the company and their products, it just seems nearly impossible to get out of their reach without resorting to RMS-style "I email myself web pages I want to read" estremisms.
I don't think you need to email yourself web pages, but I do think you need to use Tor or some other anonymous HTTP proxy. If you are paranoid about the "paper trail" that browsing the web leavers, then you need to take measures to make that paper trail less useful. Complaining about "lock in" to services that other people uses, though, is just confusing the issue; the Internet has never let you choose what service providers other people use, and you will have to live with that.
Interesting, since I would say pretty much the same thing about Apple (certainly with the Mac platform).
These are the products you can easily export: AdWords,
Apps for Business,
Google Storage for Developers,
And via "Google Takeout" you can export all of these products in one go: Buzz,
Picasa Web Albums,
I think there's plenty of competitors for all of those products if you wanted to move.
Google is exactly that. I think you're reading too much into whats being said. Are you suggesting we shouldn't keep a watchful eye on Google? They have a tremendous amount of power.
It's like handing over money to a drug dealer in the back alley and going "I just don't know about you, you seem dangerous" and then coming back week after week. Stop using Google and they lose all power over you and the "danger" evaporates.
I like your analogy. It perfectly exemplifies what I'm trying to say. Can I not use their services and be careful while doing it? Driving my car is dangerous but I do it every day. I'm not trying to say that they're bad. If you're distilling the word "dangerous" down to it's connotation then I can understand your disagreement. Please understand that I'm not doing that.
After reading this last reply, I think I am. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that everyone is thinking about it in the same way you and I are. There are a lot of people (often even on HN) that decry new Google products or features as some sort of "attack". Have no doubt, they want and live on data and ad-intel, but that's just part of the game, at least to me (an informed consumer).
They are hiring type designers left and right and pouring money into creating a wide variety fonts - both original and knock-offs. Fonts that then they are offering for free. The only connection between the webfont and Google's core business is the fact that a Google-hosted version of former needs to be embedded in one's website in order to be used. So, they are doing this - at least in part - in order to expand their tracking capabilities.
It's one thing when one joins G+ and decides to share most of his/her online life with Google. And it's another thing to embed a piece of JS/CSS and to start tracking other people on Google's behalf. Google is effectively exploiting the greed and ignorance of the web designers to go after people who do not want to have anything with them. This is plain unethical, but nonetheless Google is very aggressively pursuing this direction.
The same incidentally goes for Gmail. I was buying a piece of real estate not long ago, and the realtor was using Gmail. We are both in Canada. I told him that exchanging documents over an email was like sending faxes back and forth, but not forgetting to send a copy of each to some random US company (because it would make sending faxes free). Only then he realized that he was in violation of whatever privacy requirements his RE association had. The level of ignorance when it comes to online freebies is absolutely STAGGERING. Google knows that what they do online would've never flown in the real life, but they still merrily peddle their free services and constantly seek ways to go after those who don't want them. That's certainly not evil or bad. It is all "well integrated", so it must be benign.
(Part of Android's look-and-feel is based on fonts, too, so it makes sense that if you're going to hire designers to make their phone OS look nice, some fonts are going to get designed along with that. Fonts, icons, backgrounds, and UI layout are all the same thing.)
Before this, Microsoft provided the standard web fonts. They made them very hard to install, and so Google stepped up to provide a standard set of fonts, free to use and modify. This isn't evil, it's just Google ensuring that people can use their products. Bad fonts means their sites look ugly, and ugly sites means users won't use them. That's the only motivation.
With regards to the "just doesn't behave like this" - Google is not a charity. It might be a wealthy company, but even it needs a justification for spending hundreds of thousands if (not millions) on creating a font library. Do you seriously think "let's have fonts" is the justification enough for that? There has to be a bigger reason and a larger picture. The "culture" is a funny thing. It can be benign and ethical all the way through the organization with an exception of a single room where the lawful interception provisions are enforced.
> That's the only motivation.
It's good for the openness of the Web when fonts are available freely, and Google only makes money when the Web can be open. So they give away fonts.
(They also bought VP7 and open-source many of their internal projects for this reason. They want to send a message: compete on an open playing field or become irrelevant.)
>The only connection between the webfont and Google's core business is the fact that a Google-hosted version of former needs to be embedded in one's website in order to be used.
All of those fonts are freely downloadable. Nothing about them requires you to go through Google (and is in fact impossible due to how webfonts work).
Further, do you have ANY evidence that G+ is tracking non-loged in users?
Now they're dangerous because you didn't read the TOS?
Next week: proof why Google enriches uranium and sells it to terrorists trying to build a dirty bomb. One reason: they would get money from doing so! Man that's evil!
In exactly one format. And in order for them to be properly served to different browsers, they need to come in at least 3 other formats. Doing offline conversion yields fonts that look noticeably different from those served by Google, so for all practical intents and purposes having these fonts available for download is useless.
> Now they're dangerous because you didn't read the TOS?
They are dangerous because the other guy didn't read the TOS. I read them and declined.
It's a serious problem, though in this instance it's hardly Google's fault. I doubt Ghostery turns me into an internet specter, but at least I know I'm not pinging Facebook's, Google's, and God-knows-who-else's beacons whenever I open a web-page.
It is nearly their only service that I haven't blocked (with the libraries available on their CDN).
Website owners that use Google Analytics have control over what data they allow Google to use. They can decide if they want Google to use this data or not by using the Google Analytics Data Sharing Options. When these options allow, the data is used to improve Google products and services. Website owners can change these options at anytime.
Since I have no control over it, I block Google analytics.
Once the potential is there and you have people motivated by performance targets, stock price, etc it's very difficult to permanently resist the temptation.
Switching search engines seems pointless as they all have the same business model (maybe duckduckgo is different), but blocking all the tracking and analytics stuff solves this problem.
Facebook isn't a huge problem for me either. I basically use it in read only mode, blocking them on all third party sites.
IMHO I think that's a wrong affirmation. They restrict what developer can sell through their platform. Big different. You could then complain about not allowing not approved apps on the device, but it would be like saying that Playstation or Xbox limit your freedom by not allowing Super Mario Kart run on their consoles.
I'm not sure I understand your Super Mario example. You seem to suggest that it's perfectly normal to face such restrictions. I can assure you it's not normal for me and I'm not going to put up with it.
I'd rather be cut-off than have to pay their price; they've proven time and time again how little regard they have for your privacy. Every slight change facebook makes means re-evaluating all of the privacy settings and other configurations to re-assess what extra information is being leaked without warning or approval.
That said, I've also been toying with the idea of removing my FB account - just because I'm bored with it.
I believe the party line is "I'm not the product being sold".
but it is just too damn easy to switch search engines.
Or, you know, run an ad-blocker - much easier than jailbreaking a phone and Google Search/Gmail will continue to work well with an ad-blocker running, even if they upgrade the site.
Actually, no, Google would stop business if people used ad-blockers en masse. So that's just something that works because few people do it.
And it's not like Google is gonna decide where they want to go their services, changes, etc, with you and not the marketer's benefit in mind.
So, even if you use ad-block, you're still the product being sold (to be exact: you're just a lost sale).
You can't escape that, unless you actually pay the company whose services you use.
My point: The downside of Google products is having to look at their ads. The downside of Apple products is getting locked-in to their restricted platform.
You can sidestep Google's downside with an ad-blocker. You can sidestep Apple's downside with a jail break.
It's easier to run that ad-blocker (heck, you can even get it from Google's own store) and keep it running than it is to perform a jail break and keep that updated.
As an aside - just like a lot of people aren't offended by the restrictions Apple places on its platform, a lot of people are not offended by Google's ads. In fact, I bet there's a very significant overlap in those two groups.
Are you sure about that? Apple "sells you" as a user that will buy apps on the app store, and they take 30% of the developer's profit for that privilege. Whenever Apple can, they advertise how their users buy more apps than Android users, and bill this as a reason for developing for iOS and not some other mobile platform.
You are a product.
Just because Apple touts their user numbers doesn't mean they're selling those users. In fact, as a developer, I can't pay Apple to guarantee installs, or even visibility. Apple won't sell me customers. I might like to give Apple money to get leads or users for my apps, but Apple will not do that.
Similar to the external hard drive market, anything labeled "apple compatible" costs extra, but is basically the same thing.
Find the RAM you machine needs, and search for that directly on Newegg or similar.
How to find what RAM you need: (on OSX Lion)
1. Click the Apple (top left corner of your screen)
2. Click "About this Mac"
3. Click "More Info..."
4. Click the "Memory" tab
Some of apples products have RAM directly soldered to the motherboard. This has legitimate engineering trade-offs. Of the ones that don't do this: Are there any that deliberately void compatibility with alternatives. It looks like most of their cables have alternatives too. Their stuff is expensive sure. But are they deliberately locking you into using their accessories?
Heard of damning with faint praise? I'd say this amounts to praising with faint damn.
Given that their devices cost less, I can forgive them the convenience cost of an in-store RAM upgrade when they're helping my Mom upgrade RAM or HDD in her beloved 15" Macbook from years ago that still works a treat. Most customers are not really the NewEgg type.
To grandparent's point about costs of low turnover stock, these parts cost more for much better reasons than Jiffy Lube oil costs more, yet most people prefer Jiffy Lube except mechanics or DIYers.
Perhaps this is true in America but I'm pretty sure it's not in many other places. I recently looked around for a laptop to put Windows7 on and while it was discouraging to see the quality of the laptops that were available (compared, not just to a MacBook but to other laptops that existed 3 years ago) they were significantly cheaper and higher spec'd than a MacBook.
*Android is NOT open
It is BS because all 3 of them do this only to promote what they subscribe to - i.e. they have no consequence from Android not being open (they use and promote iOS which is epitome of closed which in turn means they don't really care about open - they only care about pointing it out in an attempt to nullify the claimed Android advantage against iOS - hey it's not really open anyways, so get in on our team. Which to me is a obnoxious or even a little evil, cotradictory and self-promoting reason to complain about not being open.)
I get the feeling "open" is not something you can be. It's a continuum. Things can be more or less "open" but nothing can actually be "open".
It is open in other ways, too - Android phones can load applications from sources other than the Market (unless that feature has been disabled by your carrier - which goes back to the first point).
Most Android phones have a sdcard slot, too, which allows you to get your photos (and other files) off the phone easily. For many people that's what they mean when they say it is more open.
Others like the multiple form factors, or the different sizes. These aren't just theoretical things - I've heard people use them as examples of "openness".
Of course "open" is a continuum, but there are ways that Android is "open" that really matter.
 Android 3.x wasn't open source. As noted elsewhere, that is a legitimate complaint that applied between February and November 2011. It is worth noting that Android 3.x was a tablet only release, though - Android 2.3 (which is Open Source) remained the OS for phones until Android 4.0 was released, which unified the tablet & phone streams.
I'd rather have an open handset that allowed me to install whatever operating system I like and use with whatever carrier I would like. I want to be able to choose.
As it stands, buying an Android phone because of "Android is open" is only a show of support for the concept of "open", it doesn't actually help me in the here and now.
I realize this has less to do with Android than it does with handset manufacturers, but it's a ridiculous that it's possible to brick your phone when making non-standard software changes to it. Would you buy a laptop that had the same risks when installing linux/windows/mac osx?
Nobody is stopping you from porting OpenMoko. The problem is that nobody else wants to do this, and so the work hasn't been done. But it's quite possible to do, should you be interested.
I'm not trying to be contrarian, but I think the people criticizing Adroid for not being "open" are primarily picking on precisely the vagueness that you have highlighted. There are ways that Android is "open" that really matter...to you. For other people, there are ways that Android is not "open" that really matter. Just ask Stallman, for example.
So no, OS X is not open and there's nothing vague about it.
Had Psystar sold computers with OpenDarwin running X, Apple wouldn't have batted an eye (couldn't, even, since it's all BSD).
Your argument is like saying Windows is open because ReactOS exists  or that you could say a Linux distribution + Wine is Windows. It's not.
And comparing to Android, you can distribute / sell Android devices, even with your own modifications to Android and Android is also "copyrighted" btw.
That's what open-source has always been about - the right to fork. You cannot fork OS X. You cannot fork iOS. You can certainly fork Android.
in violation of a EULA by breaking encryption,
which is specifically prohibited by the DMCA
But Psystar was never interested in a "fork". They merely wanted to make a profit by selling Apple's software on commodity hardware. Doing so was both in violation of the EULA (which forbade redistribution), and in violation of the DMCA which prohibits breaking encryption for the purpose of making a copy of copyrighted material. The EULA clause has not been tested in court (to my knowledge), and may not be valid. However, the DMCA prohibition on breaking encryption is well established. There is even a list of what encryption you are specifically allowed to break: http://www.loc.gov/today/pr/2010/10-169.html
you can take the published android source code and create a useable copy of android from it. the entire operating system is there. android is open source. the people criticizing android for not being open are either lying, or have forgotten that we have moved on from the 3.0 branch which was not open.
But that's the point. Sure, you can compile and run "Android", but is it the same as the OS that runs on a phone I buy from Verizon? Android phones sell with proprietary software that is most definitely not open. Macintosh computers sell with proprietary software that is most definitely not open. But enough elements of both are open to the point that you can boot a device and accomplish real work.
Which isn't very useful at all. Android on the other hand allows you to run Market, Apps, Amazon Apps, your own in house apps on your device of choice by using the provided source code. You will have to write your drivers may be but that's not nearly the same as write your CF or Aqua or OpenGL implementation plus a ton of other things to make stock OS X apps works. That goes into practically impossible category.
So in other less terse wording - you can call Darwin open source but you cannot really call OS X open source.
HTC's locking the bootloader isn't exactly an issue with Android's openness. It's an issue with the openness of HTC.
Ubuntu comes with proprietary software that is most defnitely not open...
Just because OEMs and carriers ship versions of Android that contain closed components does not mean that Android itself is somehow "less open". You can download and compile the source and throw a vanilla, open version of Android on any device that will allow it. It's not Android's fault that OEMs lock you out of their devices, any less than Linux would be responsible for UEFI.
Yes, the image of AOSP that I built for my Nexus is identical to the shipping image, minus the Verizon apps (Voicemail and My Verizon). I'm running CM9 now. Motorola/HTC/Samsung all have their custom overlays for skins, but that's not really the point. The stock ICS is a pleasure to use and is ages about Blur/Sense/TouchWiz in usability.
So, you can make a useable copy of Android that run in.. an emulator. Woot.
That's the major "Android is not open" gripe I have.
Besides, we might have "moved on" from the closed source Android 3.0, but that doesn't mean much. Android 5 could be closed for all we know. In fact, it could be forever closed, at any given time.
And now, Google has history were they actually have closed it. Which changes, well, everything. They won't be afraid to do it if they have an interest into doing it.
OS X isn't.
For other people, there are ways that Android is not "open" that really matter. Just ask Stallman, for example.
No, Stallman argues that Android isn't Free Software (according to the FSF definition). He's correct in that. He also argues that the hardware for Android isn't open enough. He is correct in that too, but fails to note that most of what he says there also applies to the x86 PC platform (assuming it is using binary graphics drivers, which is how most Linux desktop boxes are deployed).
People didn't like it, and ended up forking because of it. No one argues it wasn't Open Source though.
Ignoring for a moment the fact that the factual assertions you make are completely untrue, to subjectively label something as not "open source" because you don't like the manner in which the source code is released publicly in accordance with free and open source software licensing is absolutely ridiculous.
In fact I'd even like Android to be a little more "standardized" or more "closed".
GPL v.3 software sits somewhere in the middle. BSD/MIT is far-right, while right most is public domain.
I think it's extremely unfair to place Android anywhere on the left side of this scale.
And I didn't place Android on the left - farther right in fact. That and I was limiting what can be on the scale to Mobile platforms - so licenses or Windows for instance do not belong there.
Marco is saying on one hand that Android is closed, but on the other hand he says that Amazon's App Store will take over Android's distribution. By definition, if Android wasn't open, then Amazon couldn't fork Android's source-code, they couldn't distribute it on their own devices and they couldn't build a third-party app store.
Another argument is that Android phones are locked by carriers and filled with crapware, but again by definition, if Google restricted the actions of carriers, then Android wouldn't be open.
Android has a history of being managed in ways which are anything but "open" -- ranging from the opaque "chuck a bunch of code over the wall" development process up to and including the "we'll provide this release to some of our special partners, but none of you plebes can be trusted with it".
So criticizing Android on the ground that it contradicts its own marketing should be fair game; doing so does not carry with it an implication that any competing platform is more "open", simply the implication that Android does not practice what its hype preaches.
As distasteful as the hacker crowd may find it, this is probably a true statement.
A significant number of people (in the developed world) really do construct a large part of their personal identity by buying branded products from companies in order to signal something about themselves.
There's a section on this on the Wikipedia page for "Brand":
What people don't want to do is to be constantly bombarded by bullshit communications from said brands. In many ways, openly declaring your brand preferences is signaling - the "liking" of brands is for their friends, not an enthusiastic wish to receive "special offers" from you. What they dislike even more are the highly intrusive ways brands are marketing themselves on Facebook.
It's great that you're running a promotion for a brand I like. No, I will not let you post to my wall as me. No, I will not spam 15 of my friends with your stupid offer before actually receiving said promo. No, I don't want to be forced to "Like" your stupid brand before I can even look at your page.
Brands, I want to receive pertinent information from you. If Starbucks is opening a new store in my area, I totally want to hear about it. What I don't want to hear are bullshit "news stories" concocted by your marketing department that is entirely content-free and screams like a cheap attempt to keep your name in my head.
The typical process works like this:
1. Brand creates facebook page
2. People who really, really love the brand connect with the page.
3. The brand observes that people who have connected with them on social media are excellent customers.
4. The brand tries to increase the number of connected users by offering promotions and similar.
5. The new connections do not have the same value as the originals because they are attracted only by the offers and promotions. Which the brand then needs to keep offering otherwise "engagement" and other similar metrics drop off.
6. The original connections, the brands best and most enthusiastic customers, are now trained to only purchase when a discount is offered. Margins suffer all round.
It can appear that social media offers an easy way to create revenue. The long term effects are much harder to measure (because there is a huge lag between action and measurement) but they are often negative.
Social's value is seeing how people react to your brand, absorbing their feedback, connecting directly... but the planners have reduced it to numbers, like they do everything, and sucked the life out it.
However, the main way I've seen people do this so far is with viral content. Producing something that can go viral is very difficult for some brands - their culture does not support the risky, balls out attitude that does well online.
(If you have examples of viral content that does not fit this pattern then please let me know)
Other short form work also tends to go viral, YouTube is often credited with rejuvenating SNL, despite NBCs insistence on taking down every clip
People are brands too. I almost only watch talk show interviews in clip form.
For example, Google tracks lots of personal data to make their products better. So the sentence "We solicit all of your personal information and track everything you do to make things better for you" is partially true. Of course, something is in it for Google too. When they add new features to a product driven by personal data mining, they seek to grow market share. They also use your personal data to target ads at you better. And they may be using it for further research projects that you don't know about.
But the statement has a lot of truth to it. That's not the normal definition of "bullshit".
Google cares about my online wellbeing as much as Colgate cares about my teeth.
Yes, Google makes money from their advertising.
But Google does things that directly limit their ability to make money from advertising, when those decisons are in the interest of consumers.
Take the whole design and UX of Chrome. There are many, many ways Google could have changed the design to make more money from it, and yet they haven't because they aren't in the interests of the users.
Additionally many (both at Google and elsewhere) believe (and can show evidence) that advertising can improve the user experience when it is done properly.
Companies (especially those with a share structure like Google's) can exist to care about more than just making money.
The IE home page cross promotes and/or has paid advertising (depending on your market).
Even Firefox has done cross promotion occasionally.
I don't use Opera often, but I don't think I've seen advertising on their dial-page thing.
Is there some critical distinction I'm missing?
An example (there are probably many better): I was looking for spas in London the other day, and a lot of the results seemed pretty dodgy - tantric therapy? no thanks! - but the ads for Groupon and competing services reminded me that I might be able to get a good daily deal and led me to explore quite a few options that weren't in the search results.
Disclaimer: I work for Google, but not on any advertising-related products (unless you want to take the stand that every Google product is advertising-related; thought I'd head off that reply in advance).
You're being entirely too cynical about this. Yes the profit motive exists for corporations. So what? It exists for individuals too. Do you only do volunteer work because anything else would be selling out?
Seeking a profit does not imply moral bankruptcy. This sort of thinking is a knee-jerk reaction to the de-humanization of commerce and interaction via the internet and call centers. But don't forget that companies are still made up of people, and it's still possible to have a great relationship with a company, even a very large one. Granted, Google is one of the worst in this regard, but let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
That may be true, but that isn't what I meant.
I meant that there are numerous example where exposing your audience to something for commercial purposes may benefit the audience.
For example, the paid results of a search like http://www.google.com.au/search?q=web+hosting are arguably better than the heavily SEO'ed organic results. That's because the profit motive for the web companies encourages them to pay enough to expose themselves, whereas less legitimiate affiliate sites can't afford to compete because they are further down the profit chain (meaning they don't have the margins to pay for the most common keywords)
The other good example (as I noted elsewhere) are recommendation systems like Amazon and Netflix use.
So it's always about finding the right balance between "keeping enough user interest" while "maximizing company's interest".
That's what Google does. They do that well.
Many companies maximize the company interest too much and fail due to that.
Few companies maximize the user's interest (I wont dare saying too much, because I'm a user), and fail due to that (unfortunately).
I think the post is discussing motivation.
If Google tracking you would make your life better, but somehow not help them target advertising, would they still do it?
Obviously, there are indirect benefits to users from advertising. It's what funds the service after all. But there is a balance, and tracking has made the product worse for me to the point where I have stopped using it.
Hacker News users:
I'm so mad that the government is doing <xyz>!
I'm so mad that big business is doing <xyz>!
I'm so mad that venture capitalists are doing <xyz>!
I'm so mad that angel investors are doing <xyz>!
I'm so mad that <xyz> got funding!
I'm so mad that language <abc> doesn't do <xyz>!
I'm so mad that I can't jailbreak <xyz>!
I'm so mad that I'm actually expected to pay for <xyz>!
I'm so mad that more people don't visit my blog!
I'm so mad that so many people visit blog <xyz>!
I'm so mad that person <xyz> is a jerk!
So what did you build today?
Nothing. I can't focus.
But I doubt it.
Yes, of course each one of edw519's bullet points refers to something important and true, just as each of Marco's bullet points refers to something important and true. They were true yesterday, and they'll be true tomorrow, and they'll be true the next hundred thousand times each one of them gets upvoted.
But the point is that the urge to spend time pressing the RIGHTEOUS TRUTH button over and over like a lab rat can become an addiction that ultimately does not serve you.
And with that I'm taking Ed's hint and trying to leave HN for the day. ;) Bugs must be fixed!
Isn't edw519 making an error in his implied equivalence of the power relationship between the B.S. and whining of the dependent ones?
And why do you assume we all have to build something?
Some of us have actual paid work we like, you know, we're not all "entrepreneurs" building the next whatever...
A superficial cheap shot would be to note that you have to go nine pages into Ed's results to find a comment scored as low as 'funkah's top-scored comment. Less superficial observations follow readily from actually reading the two sets of comments.
Veteran status readily accounts for the spectacularly high amount of karma Ed has here. That and name recognition surely biases the score on any given recent Ed comment upwards. But the difference in tone, effort, and craft between Ed's comments and 'funkah's is hard to miss; put more succinctly, the reason Ed has an average comment score of 27 (27!) and 'funkah has an average of 2 is that Ed doesn't write things like "This comment is shitty and cynical and you should feel bad about it." He's more likely to draw an ASCII art picture.
I point this out mostly because 15 minutes spent reading the best of Ed on HN is time well spent, and so there you have it: a convenient link off this stupid thread.
I totally agree with that.
And even if I was ready to pay for every website/service I use (which I'm not), ads are not going away. So when they do whatever they are doing to show me better ads I'd say that's on my benefit too.
I'm not a Google unconditional fan (I hate Android, love iOS) and certainly they can do better. But implying they don't benefit the end user is what I find bullshit-y.
And I think that's a very poorly written article, btw. Marco can do a lot better.
"Bullshit - what companies really mean?"
But there are some o at least one company that I'd actually trust more than others, and support, and that's Mozilla. Because there's no share holders. Because it's owned by non-profit. And because their track record is perfect so far. Everything's open. All the development is in the open, not just the code.
Everything's made for our best interest actually.
Not the users.
Who cares where their money comes from? There is no doubt in my mind, whatsoever, that the only influence Google has bought is the default value for "search provider" for the search box, and the branded homepage.
Their software is unfortunately proprietary, but I trust them. As far as I know, they never sold any data they got though their proxies with Opera Mini. And they got a lot.
That being said, it doesn't make them good on the open source front. They're proprietary. They don't develop in the open.
So while I like them and their product, I don't trust them the way I can trust Mozilla.
In other words:
I don't trust Google, MS, Opera, or any other such company. They make good products (yes, even MS), but again it's a different matter.
Facebook and Google are engaged in open warfare against social values and legal restrictions that are prevalent in most of the world (especially outside the US), and the lies they tell about it can not simply be categorized as "bullshit" you can decide to tolerate on a individual basis.
Facebook on the other hand, I can easily believe they're doing that.
There's nothing unknowing or borderline about it.
Canada's privacy commissioner rules Google violated Canadians fundamental right to privacy: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/oct/19/google-stre...
France fines Google over privacy violations: http://mashable.com/2011/03/21/france-fine-google-street-vie...
Korean police raid Google offices in Seoul over privacy violations: http://gawker.com/5798135/police-raid-google-for-privacy-vio...
FTC settles with Google over privacy violations: http://wjlta.wordpress.com/2011/11/18/ftc-settlement-over-go...
"A single word expletive as a headline isn't just a way of getting cheap pageviews"
an "IT security company" :
1 - We secure your network
2 - Our site is down for maintenance
Sometimes the "take it or leave it" position ends up being presented in a way that it is framed that those of us who choose not to partake in the rape of our liberties are backwards luddites (non-facebook member here, also got their domains blocked to kill their insidious tracking). I hope that criticism of those who say "no" is not where this article series (if that's what it is) is headed.
Despite the incessant barrage of snarky 'open' jokes from professional Apple frother John Gruber (typically redeemed somewhat by being funny) and M.G. "Mini-Gruber" Siegler (not so much), you can go download the fucking source code:
Sure, tons of manufacturers will sell you junky locked down Android-based phones (which they can do because... tada... it's open), you can also just go buy the unlocked phone that Google offers, and install whatever the hell you want on it.
And if you really want to root your phone and install your own build of the OS, it's basically as easy as ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA and boom-you're-done.
For any reasonable value of open, Android is. Claiming otherwise is just some weird kind of (apparently contagious) gobbledygook nonsense making the rounds among people emotionally invested in iOS. (Which I do use btw; although Android is open, it is still not good enough for me yet.)
Edit: why is that being downvoted? It's a fact. HN can be a strange beast at times.
Seriously--I know it's been a busy year--but the nine months (from February 2011 to November 2011) during which Android was being used in certain tablets without being open sourced hardly qualifies as "a really long time", especially in comparison to operating systems which have never been open.
Also, I subscribe to a pretty liberal interpretation of "open source", and "source will be downloadable at an undetermined date in the future, if we feel like it" really doesn't qualify.
There is, of course, the colloquial expectation of open - the implication that Google has never shied away from is that openness means choice. Of course, even with the source code, the vast majority of Android headsets are locked down - the openness does nobody any good except people who build custom distros (that normal users can't even install themselves!).
The "open" argument, while arguably, technically correct (the source is available... kind of), fails to meet the bar for what techies consider to be essential to the concept of openness, nor does it meet the bar for what laymen would consider to be openness.
I consider android similar to x.org when it was called xfree86, and oo.o before it became libreoffice. It's definitely open source, but it remains to be seen whether the project will develop an open culture. If not, a hostile fork will happen at some point.
Calling Android "open" is not just "technically" correct. It's really true: you can download the source to Android and build your own versions. Cyanogen does this. Amazon does this. Multiple handset manufacturers do this. Anyone can do this, and many do.
(Edit: No idea why your factual comment's getting downvoted, though. It'll hopefully get rectified as more people roll through this thread.)
Marco didn't say the claim was factually incorrect, he said it was BS, it is.
Android's openness is consequential to those who care about openness. And almost every Android user I know (yes, all fairly technical) likes that aspect and indeed takes advantage of it.
To such people, the open aspects -- both the fact that the OS is open source, and that they can install whatever apps they want without having to find a buffer overflow bug in the OS somewhere to exploit first -- are attractive.
The "vast majority of users" aren't the arbiter of whether or not something is consequential to me, or to the other people who generally prefer their systems to be more open.
OK, I am uncomfortable with my weird position in this thread as the Android Avenger (especially seeing as how I don't even use Android except to fuck around), so I apologize in advance for the breakdown in my civility function.
ARE YOU FUCKING HIGH ON FIRE?
YOU CAN COMPILE YOUR OWN MOTHERFUCKING (HACKED) ANDROID AND INSTALL IT ON YOUR OWN MOTHERFUCKING PHONE. FOR INSTANCE:
But I can assure you, my Galaxy Nexus is running a CM9 alpha that I built from source last night.
And if that's Marco's point, it's pretty damn poor. How does what Motorola does with the bootloader of their phone have to do with the code that Google puts out exactly?
Rooting is a security exploit, and I don't consider it relevant to whether the OS is practically open.
Now it's about the openness at the source code level? I think you should look up the CM statistics. There is a measurable percentage (or may tenth of a percent) of Android users that run custom software, so I benefit from that. I and others will only buy devices that will have CM support.
Further, the open nature of Android absolutely trickles down to the users. There are a dozen different (and with different physical form factor) Android models that are free on contract to buy. There is only one WP7 that I'm aware of that that is true for. Lower development costs are passed on to users, I've discussed this further somewhere else on this thread.
Second, Android is "open" in ways that have nothing to do with source availability. Even with a closed-source Honeycomb device, you can run apps from arbitrary sources, access the filesystem, replace OS components like the keyboard and launcher, and develop your own apps without asking (or paying) for permission.
(Yes, the article hints at Apple's closed-ness. However, only relatively minor, disconnected,
issues. Not the overall attitude.)
> Nobody wants a [popular new product category that Apple doesn’t make yet].
To be honest, when you hear that from an executive at Apple, I believe they are being sincere. You have to understand that Apple does not think of the iPhone as "a cell phone that plays music" or the iPad as "a tablet computer" or the MacBook Air as "a netbook". Yes, this is parsing things rather finely, but if you think that doing so is somehow irrelevant, then I would assert that you don't understand Apple and the way they do things.
"We’re not tracking you when you’re logged out" was a straight up lie.
"We expect all our businesses to have a positive impact on our top and bottom lines. Profitability is very important to us or we wouldn't be in this business. " — Jeff Bezos
"We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It's our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better." —
If anything thats being upfront that Amazon is a business in the business of making money.
AWS's advantages are many, but price isn't really a critical one.
Kindle Fire is great for watching movies.
Kindle Fire is great for browsing the web.
And aside from his personal distaste for the artist Dale Chihuly, I havent derived much about him from either his essays or speeches, so please don't tell me that he's met all 50k of his followers and somehow convinced them that he's a great guy. So do fifty thousand people want to interact with a brand or not?
People follow Paul Graham because they are interested in his ideas and influence on the industry, not because they "want to interact with a brand."
I don't think OP's premise holds true in all cases and it's equally valid to assume that people are interacting with a brand when they're following, liking, friending, retweeting or mentioning personified brands, human or bot.
Hacker News: "We don't read it"
I know I do all I possibly can not to bullshit anyone. This may limit me in some respects but so do all principles.