What started out as a quirky, innovative company that bucked all of the suit-and-tie trends (see Microsoft, HP, even Apple in some regards) of Silicon Valley, has now turned into a monstrous calamity with no regard for its users. Up until 2009, it was breezy and beautiful, but right now, at this moment, it's a different story altogether.
Don't be evil? Pfeh. The only thing left of Google that they haven't managed to screw up or cause outrage over is search. The only thing they can't afford to change, for fear people will stop using it.
This harkens back far before Google, far before any company dared invest in the Internet. This type of corporate mentality is one we see often, but tend to forget quickly. Apple did it in the 1990s. Microsoft is doing it now; look at Windows 8.
Any corporation that strays too far from its roots with fail. Not in a fiscal sense, but in an ethical sense, and that's the worst type of failure there is. Do I hope they get their shit together and start being Google again? Of course. They could start by fixing YouTube, exhuming Google Reader, and rethinking the decision to end iGoogle.
And please, PLEASE, reinvent that horrid thing called Google+. Even the name sucks.
As long as the monarch is benevolent this is great, but then there's no mechanism to prevent abuses of power, and then maybe the monarch changes, or circumstances change, and the inevitable happens.
Google is making more money than ever, but that's still not enough for them. And now we're starting to see a lot of the "well, we chose not to be evil" slip away. The problem with "don't be evil" is that it's weak, and it's a double negative. Contrast it with "be good". Neutral isn't evil, and once you're down in the moral gray area pit anyway it's easy to move the goal posts and define "evil" differently. One could make a very well-founded argument, for example, that Microsoft, Oracle, Apple, and even EA or Comcast are not, strictly speaking, "evil" companies.
[1: what makes a man turn neutral?]
The saddest part is that for the longest time I never minded them taking that role. The evil part is that they're subsuming their benevolence under sophistry to convince people to send them all of their internet activity. They're using up all their goodwill, and I'm not sure they haven't used all of it up as far as I'm concerned.
Once upon a time, Windows 95's installation screens had a bullet point that said, "Everything you do will be easier and more fun," when now we all know that a) that wasn't their goal; and b) they weren't going to make it that way anyway, but they'd sure be happy if "whatever you do" is on Windows and that you redefine your sense of "easier and more fun" to be whatever Microsoft decided it should be. These moves by Google remind me of those days.
It's times like this when I laugh and laugh about how smart all the people at Google are supposed to be. I guess one of the benefits of that to them is the ability to twist language to convince people to go against their own interests in giving Google all of their Internet usage behavior for cheap. Keep in mind companies pay BIG BUCKS for what Google wants you to give them in exchange for...access to Google+?
I'll venture to say this is the case. Most tech firms are small-fries when it comes to evil.
Cargill, Monsanto, and pretty much any oil company - now that's serious evil. And that's just in recent history. We're not even talking the East India Trading company.
Wake me when a tech firm profits billions through sweetheart contracts on an unjustifiable war or, through ineptitude or malevolence, kills tens of thousands in an industrial disaster.
Just like "it just works" for Apple - really super awesome, except when it doesn't - for large groups of their customers.
People may disagree on what's evil (especially when media companies can easily be "hired" to muddy the waters). Hypocrisy is much easier to detect and justifiably besmirches the brand value.
The latter is just evil. Suing farmers cause crops were contaminated through unwanted pollination by neighboring farms [using Monsanto's genetically altered seeds and chemicals]. Finally the farmers are banning together and counter-suing.
And this are just 2 examples. Do further searching and you'll find many more cases going back decades.
I already acknowledged that this view exists in the comment you replied to. However, I suspect this view stems from farmers talking to the press, and not from the careful reading of court records. See for example this quote from your second link:
> The judge also called the farmers' claims that they could be subject to patent-infringement lawsuits "unsubstantiated" because "not one single plaintiff claims to have been so threatened."
The Wikipedia article on Monsanto Canada Inc. v. Schmeiser does mention that he was convicted without having used the pesticide, but the court did not believe the contamination was accidental in any case.
If farmers want to pay for seed stock of known features and quality, that's great. What they do after that should be totally under their control and domain. A legal precedent for interfering with the ancient practice of saving seed and selection of seeds from desirable plants is so entirely "evil" I can't explain it to someone who doesn't "get" it already. The evilness or any corporate control of genetics in the wild (outside of their production labs) should be self-evident.
I laugh at the audacity of garden catalogs that warn that you cannot take cuttings of certain patented items, like thornless blackberries. Blackberries are stupid-easy to propagate with cuttings, and it is completely absurd to think that people will (or should) obey such a warning.
This seems deliberately vague, and covers a lot of scenarios not covered by any court ruling I have seen. If you're going to call them evil, you need to do it with some specificity.
If you're proposing that we abolish GMO patents, I'd say that's a reckless policy that risks cutting off the funding source for increasingly important GMO research. There's probably going to be a couple billion more people on this planet, so it seems that we need better farming yields. Your arguments against the law seem to be on the form "the law is easy to break, hence it should not exist", which I think would apply to way too many laws to be a viable argument. If the law was hard to avoid breaking, I would agree more.
On the other hand, I agree that Monsanto's production of chemical weapons for the US government during the Vietnam war was probably evil.
A "do no evil" pledge is something that can be judged. Did they do evil by sabotaging the local 'yellow pages' in Africa? Was using their position on the board of competitors for their own advantage evil? This phrase refers to events and actions and facts, things that accountability is based on. Something can even be an honest mistake that does evil.
But "don't be evil" is an accountability dodge. Instead of judging actions and events it says to look at the company as a whole. Is an evil act threatening OEMs with no more Google apps unless they tow the line ok because it's all to 'unify Android'? Is it okay to sabotage privacy because otherwise Facebook will eat their lunch? Can two wrongs make a right?
The question of whether Google is evil is much more complicated and ambiguous than whether Google does or has done evil. That they insisted on not being judged based on their actions speaks volumes.
"Do no evil" is an impossible and therefore pointless standard. How many people do you know that have done no evil in their life? Have you? I've certainly made my share of arguably evil mistakes.
Now consider a company with tens of thousands of employees. Even if 1% of their employees (intentionally or not, per your standard) committed evil at work 1% of the time, that's still (on average) multiple incidents a day. Exactly how many days do you think "do no evil" would last before it was drowned in noise?
Yes, "don't be evil" is a more complicated and ambiguous judgement. But at least it is one that can meaningfully be made rather than an unreachable standard that's trotted out when it's convenient and ignored when it isn't.
Doctors don't go around saying just "don't be harmful" or that as long as they have good intentions some harm is okay.
The simple fact is that formulation "don't be evil" is intended to avoid accountability. You can overlook some evil because you perceive them as having good intentions. Maybe you should consider that an advertising company may have put more thought into their motto and how it affects your perception of them than you realize.
This is really, thoroughly missing the point. There was never anybody to enforce "don't be evil" -- if they had made it "do no evil" then there would still be no one to enforce it. It's a goal, not a law. If Google violates "don't be evil" then nothing happens differently than if they had never adopted it.
The point of "don't be evil" is to remind Google employees which end is up. It's something they can point to when someone else wants them to Do The Wrong Thing, as an official justification for refusing. If you think that means they're going to adhere to it in 100% of cases then you're liable to be disappointed, but I expect we're all still better off that they try most of the time than if they were to just throw it away and become comic book super-villains.
I thought the consensus was that "don't be evil" meant "don't be Microsoft" (of the 90s) which makes it a pretty easy slogan to be judged by.
Now even Google Play comments need to be part of Google+.
You know what, Google? Fuck you. No. Fuck you twice. I won't join that fucking horrid place. I don't even have Facebook, why would I join a crappy social network?
Interesting that you bring up you Facebook anti-creds. Do you also not own a TV?
When I mentioned Facebook I just meant: "I'm not into the biggest and most useful social network, why would I join your crappy-and-useless one?"
P.S.: I don't own a TV.
I probably don't need to tell you this but just in case: If you have a concern about a Play Store, please contact the developers and give them a chance to fix things. Thank you!
Of course, about 30 seconds afterwards, I noticed that the option that actually was most accurate for my situation was Y, but I hadn't clicked on that, so whatever.
Why is `opt-out` a big deal?
Joining IS a huge deal. One I won't do.
E.g.: I have an Android phone and I would like to rate a scam app so people don't download it.
Oops, it's not possible without a Google+ account.
See my other comment: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5535556
As for having Play store comments attached to your G+ identity, what is your complaint there? I'm sure the quality of reviews is way higher when you can't hide behind an anonymous account.
No, it's not meant like that at all.
Google didn't create Google+ to have a single sign on. It created it specifically to compete with Facebook.
(As if the crap that Google+ is, as a social network, ever had a chance).
The SSO thing was forced upon Google to unwilling users of its disparate services. I, for one, never wanted my YouTube account linked to my Gmail account etc.
"[Larry Page] ... called [G+] the "social spine," reminding listeners that the service isn't just a destination, but a unifying social framework for all Google's products."
First off, Google allows you to have multiple identities with SSO. And I find it hard to argue that it's not a good thing for 99% of the user base. Managing multiple accounts sucks, and being able to share between them (and supporting a very rich set of privacy tools) is a win for most users.
A genuine question: Why don't you want your YouTube account linked to your Gmail?
Do I even need a reason?
I just refuse to have the social aspects of Google imposed on me through Google+. I don't want my mum to know I liked "Used Panties Exchange" in Google Play. Heck, I don't even want Google+! It's a service I don't need, don't want and feel it's just getting pushed on me.
But well, even then... it's just because I just don't want to! Why don't you use <insert here a service you don't use>? Because you don't want to. Period.
It's like jokes: they're not funny if you try too hard. I might've tried the service by myself, but they just blew away any interest I had. If they're so desperate for users it certainly can't be a good place to be.
For one: because.
Second: I don't want people from work etc to know I'm the same guy writing the cheerleading comments on Insane Clown Posse videos.
It's the only one place were you can say anything, there are people of all ages, religions, creeds, sexes etc, from the most progressive to hardcore KKK members, and they can freely discuss anything, with no censorship and no moderation from a higher source of power.
Only the whole community can vote and "hide" a message they deem bad.
YouTube comments, which some "intelligent" people don't like, are the closed thing we have to a truly free discussion.
People don't like them because they like to flock with their own and only exchange mild agreement and trivialities, and abhor any contact with the true Other, be him a black gay Latin American or a white, protestant Bible Belter. To put it simply: some supposedly progressive people hate talking to other people with different ideas even more than bigots.
Learning to co-exist and talk on YouTube, I believe, really makes you a better person.
Cool, so it's your baseless opinion vs Google's public stance on their motivations. How productive.
"I, for one, never wanted my YouTube account linked to my Gmail account etc."
I'm sorry that you feel entitled to have Google bend to your will with regards to their high-quality services for which you pay nothing.
Yes, "baseless". You only ignored the other part of my comment, where, you know, I argue about it. How productive (and what an honor in Turing's name).
The reason Google created Google+ are well known, stated officially and have nothing to do with having a single sign on. They could have a single sign on system without Google+.
Nothing necessitates a social forum as a part of a SSO system.
So, there, you have. Feel more productive now?
>for which you pay nothing
Em, I'd hate to break it to you, but Google makes lots of money selling ads targeted to me and other users.
Whatever Google says, they're just trying to bring users to Google+ (although unsuccessfully) as a social hub.
It's just reality that some features may benefit the larger population but might not be to your taste - obviously every feature can't be loved by every user - but I'm not sure that justifies rage.
Problem: I add value to their ecosystem at the expense of my anonymity. Loosing my anonymity does not return the value to me in any use case.
My experience with Amazon ratings is that they've been accurate and useful. If there's a spam problem Amazon is dealing with it well, without requiring "real names" or social connections.
Spamming it on every google service is a good way to inflate their numbers, but it's a horrible way to drive genuine user engagement.
And it wasn't like this when I bought my phone. I can't "opt out" of my phone. I already bought it before they required Google+ for Play's comments.
Have you tried using YouTube? They keep nagging you to open a profile.
I want to post a tweet but Twitter wants me to create a Profile!
"I want to post a tweet but Twitter wants me to open a bank account!"
Your argument is invalid.
Also: they wouldn't be nagging me if I had no account. Did they nag you when using YouTube while logged out? They don't nag me when I'm not logged in.
Whatever Google says, they're just trying to impose Google+ as a social hub.
"I just want to register for courses, but my university wants me to make a .edu email address!" would be a better analogy. They aren't part of the same functionality, but the organization is moving towards one identity provider across all its services.
Could you imagine the nightmare for IT if email, library, VPN, course registration, brusar, Blackboard, facilities ticketing, software discounts, help desk, file server, 802.11X, workstation login, etc. were all separate usernames/passwords? There is a reason most universities have one central authentication service. My school's network IDs are even even integrated with ID cards so (as of next year) you can reserve space with your network login and then tap/swipe your ID to access it.
It isn't like Twitter asking you to open a bank account because Twitter doesn't also provide banking.
Yeah because I really want all those racists and gun nuts knowing what my real name is.
Chrome's the best browser, Gmail the best Email client, Google Maps / Earth the best mapping client, there's only 1 YouTube, the Mobile landscape would be a walled garden with every user a hostage if it wasn't for Android, then there's a zillion other apps I use on a daily basis that is best-in-class like Hangouts, Analytics, Google G+ Communities, Groups, etc - and I use them all for free.
The world needs more Google's not less, the web is a much better place for having them.
The web of the 1990s was far more open to participation outside of the walled gardens. It may have been more difficult to get started with, but it was definitely more inclusive.
Egalitarian, for as long as you can fund, and outbid others in, Adwords. Google has switched to what amounts to a pay-per-play model in searches they have ads for, and on the rest they favor huge established brand$. Hardly egalitarian
Perhaps you have not been around in the nineties / early 00, but the web was far more exciting and cool that the corporate BS that it is today.
And YouTube was acquired, it wasn't Google's. Same with Google Earth / Maps. And Chrome started as Webkit by Apple (based on KHTML). Google just bought all these things or threw money at forking them (Webkit), and made the web it's own monopoly.
Now? "Buy WIDGETS with Amazon".
You mean it needs more companies who buy awesome technologies that other companies created (e.g. ... well, nearly everything on your list of "best in class")? Don't we have enough of those already?
Youtube - Other than the fact that Youtube hosts all the videos - the overall user experience really, really sucks in my opinion. It never remembers settings, you can't disable autoplay and now they're trying to force everybody to use a real-name Google account to view mature content. Totally lame. I truly hope something better comes along.
I agree with the general sentiment of this article though - that Google was awesome because they were so simple and useful and now they're less awesome because they're pushing this agenda of Google Everything and Everything Online which is annoying to many of us.
Then stop using their products. Switch to bing, switch to Internet Explorer, get an iPhone and shut up about it.
No, google has not "overstayed the web's welcome", google has overstayed the welcome of a few entitled silicon valley golddiggers who will continue feeling wronged for the next 10 minutes until they realize what wonderful things google has created in the world for them to use.
And who exactly are you to tell him to "shut up about it"? He made his case. You might disagree. State your case and let the discussion continue. Anything else --like telling him to "shup up"-- should be beneath HN standards.
For one, people do use alternative products. It's not as if Chrome is the ultimate browser. It's not like Android is the ultimate phone OS. The only real Google stronghold is search. Even there, Bing has come a long way, lots of geeks prefer DuckDuckGo, and 1.3 Billion Chinese could not care less about Google Search for example. More than that, people would be really happy to see a real contender in the search space in the West too.
And, more importantly, one market leading service does not justify taking abuse from the company that offers it -- or putting up with their other mediocre offerings.
Actually, come to think of it, nothing justifies taking abuse from any company or putting up with BS schemes they make. Even if they are the only ones selling water in Sahara.
The fact that such a contentless diatribe is at #1 is depressing. That too should be beneath HN's standards.
I quite clearly stated this in my post. Everything that isn't research-based, or what is user-oriented, like Google+, YouTube, etc. has been milked to death and ruined in the process.
Other things, like how they consistently buy off startups and kill them, also annoy the hell out of me.
> The fact that such a contentless diatribe is at #1 is depressing. That too should be beneath HN's standards.
Obviously opinions, while mixed, account for half of reasoning. Opinions seem to be in the favor that Google has lost its way.
Youtube, in fact, is much better in 2013 than what it was in 2007. eg. I have seamless integration with other products I use (eg. uploading a video from my android phone) or I can purchase/rent content which I couldn't earlier.
Can you explain how Youtube has been "ruined"?
> like how they consistently buy off startups and kill them, also annoy the hell out of me.
Then do you also hate the founders who sell their companies to Google (or any other big company)?
For one, being able to purchase/rent is irrelevant to the original YouTube idea. It wasn't a movie marketplace -- it was about sharing videos. People can purchase/rent content from 10000 sources, it's not what made YT useful originally.
Second, it has been ruined by:
1) Constant ads, from "skip in 4 seconds" to "you have to watch all 30s, sucka".
2) Taking off videos, or taking off their audio content, when some media company decides the music is theirs.
3) Forced G+ integration.
Correct, but now I can do all my online-video-related activities in one place. How is "going to 10000 different sources" better than that? Google already has my credit card info. Ability to purchase content on YT means I don't have to give my CC details to yet another website. How is that not a good thing for the user?
> 1) Constant ads, from "skip in 4 seconds" to "you have to watch all 30s, sucka".
I prefer that experience over alternatives which have even more intrusive ads.
>2) Taking off videos, or taking off their audio content, when some media company decides the music is theirs.
This can happen to any website. Google is just complying with the law. Are you proposing that Google should violate the law?
> 3) Forced G+ integration.
I agree, its bad. But saying YT is "ruined" because of that is hyperbole.
Shouldn't we be citing sources, so that readers can learn and decide for themselves?
The guy that replied to you is right, and hopefully I'll start following that advice too, because I'm not a big fan of Google practices these days either. For me it started with Schmidt's comments about privacy. There's some comments that clown has said, which should have gotten him fired immediately.
I've experimented with switching away from Google products and I found search easiest to replace (I went with DuckDuckGo personally). YouTube, Gmail and Google Talk are what I've had difficulties replacing.
1) There are tons of decent email services out there.
2) GoogleTalk, who uses that?
3) YouTube I agree. Though that's an acquired company, so it's not all to Google's credit. If it was up to Google, we'd only have the shitty Google Video.
Honestly, no, not really. It's especially not true if you want to avoid one of the main problems with Google products (ad targeting). Gmail itself is actually pretty poor IMHO as it is, though. The UI drives me crazy sometimes. So I may eventually go to a cheap paid service and also get rid of ads too.
> 2) GoogleTalk, who uses that?
Me and a number of my close friends.
Everyone I know. It's the only person-to-person (ie not irc) chat protocol I use. OTOH, at least it's jabber, which is federated. So yeah.
I use Yahoo (flame me all you want), I use Firefox, and I do own an iPhone.
But I am not going to shut up about it, because Google is forcing me away even though they're the best at what they do.
I hate them because I care.
I am sorry but I can't understand your rationale. Please elaborate? What do you care about and what do you hate? Do you care about Google as a publicly shared company and hate the lack of focus in the growing company? Do you care about the web and hate the growth of walled gardens?
>Google is forcing me away even though they're the best at what they do
What specifically bothers you? If there is one thing I have learned from the Internet, it is that I am never first and I am never unique. Perhaps, someone else has found workarounds for the problems you face?
I don't know why anyone would choose to use Y! Search but Firefox is a great web browser and the iPhone is a great app phone (not that you needed my validation). In any case, wish you all the best. :)
As long as they continue to diversify and innovate they will have supporters... even if they often break their "don't be evil" motto.
they are still smart enough not to screw their search. The very second you have to be logged in to search, they are dead.
but for everything else... want to leave a review in googleAppstore? enable g+.
Want to thumbs up a video on youtube? enable g+.
Want to do something in picasa? enable g+ (i don't even know which feature i was using, because i never was able to use the product enough to remember)
well, for all those, I've switched to something better.
vimeo now wins my content. I'm back at flickr pro. and amazon app store I'd use you if i didn't installed all my APKs after compiling them from source.
(for your point of using internet explorer? what are you? twelve?)
... typed on Opera. with Firefox being used for work underneath
I've enabled G+ long time ago without Google asking me to, so I'm genuinely asking. I'm too lazy to create an account just to check it out.
Not sure a new account helps, G+ could be enabled from the start.
I wonder how many bloggers have their real names and pics appear alongside their blog posts in google search because of this.
I also like firefox and opera. But again, I am at this moment using chrome. I dont know how it happens.
Like.... search? That's all they made that I used. Every other product of theirs I used wasn't theirs when I started using it. They bought it and often fucked it up.
In another post you go on about how we should be so excited by google cars and google glass. I am excited such things have been made but I'm very disappointed that they come from google. If I ride in a google car am I going to get to recover that wasted travel time by reading a book or working on my laptop? Or will I be unable to do anything because some shitty ad is blasted at me the whole way (or, worse, at regular annoying intervals)? Same thing with google glass, this could add so much but will it? Or is this going to end up as a way for google to blast more shitty ads at me?
They anonymize your search data and then send it off to Google search.
I tried DDG a few times, and as much as I want to like it, their search results weren't as good as Google's.
That doesn't mean that people don't have a right to criticize the google that exists today.
Is the web a bunch of people posting pictures of their cats, and commenting on "news" stories; or the people who are building it?
To be honest, I'm really glad Google finally pulled the plug on Reader instead of letting it rot to death. It's opened up the market for companies who will really focus on it. The same with iGoogle, which will be replaced by a much better "Google Now"-ish product.
In my personal case:
Android - bugs that stay open for years (my own post from a year ago is unresolved, and it affects all Spanish-speaking Android users
Chrome: other than it displaying advertising, I haven't heard much bad about Chrome
GMail: if you have a problem with GMail, you're SCREWED. My mother still hasn't got her account back, and mine was hacked some time ago (I now have 2-factor auth, which still has some bugs - for example someone reported a bug with Android auth even if you revoke the keys)
Adwords: don't get me started. The rules for an Adwords account are really opaque. I think there's a post on the frontpage right now. Ahh, here it is:
I've had my run-ins with Adwords too.
While I still depend way too much on my GMail account, I have my personal email somewhere else, and I won't consider it for business use (and they probably are going to lose millions of dollars because of that).
There's still not a strong challenger to AdWords, but I'll definitely look forward to it.
Even Google search is starting to degrade somewhat, it's still not Altavista-level.
To be fair, Google still produces some amazing products which they give away for free, but they generate a lot of ill will by not giving even paid support.
one could make a similar list about every popular product - online or offline. nothing pleases everybody all the time at scale.
Without those two products, I have far less reason to use google for anything.
I'm not saying Microsoft products suck, just reiterating my earlier point that nothing done at scale is going to be perfect to everybody.
Their products can even subjectively have more flaws than Google's - I switched from Hotmail to Gmail, Windows Phone 7.5 has a lot of frustrations built-in, and Chrome is faster imo than IE, but one thing Microsoft does a lot better than Google is tech support.
When I needed them to come through (for critical business needs), they have. Google hasn't. And that's why they have my money, and Google doesn't (even though I WANT TO pay them for said support, and believe their products are better).
I certainly don't disagree with your points, but it's moot. Normal users don't care about things like "privacy" or "neutrality" or "standards". If it works and is free, that's good enough. And the page views Google gets is testament to the fact that nobody outside of the HN-esque world has any issues with Google.
Heck, I (and most people here) use GMail+Search+Docs+etc for the same reasons "normal" people do.. the privacy I give up is worth the convenience of their products.
Until they do. And that's the rub. Even non-hackers often eventually get burned by these issues, but they aren't usually thinking about any of this stuff in advance. They lack awareness.
What that tells me is that we need to find a way to do a better of educating people on the importance of things like "privacy" or "neutrality" or "standards".
How best to do that is, of course, an open question...
This is not true. If you explained exactly what the extension was doing to a normal user I can almost guarantee they wouldn't like it. No one wants every website they visit to be looked at by an external source. The problem is it's not obvious this is happening. Hell, I'm a web developer and even I wouldn't have thought twice about how Google was displaying this information to me. The technology has gotten so far outside of a "normal users"'s grasp that it's not even fair anymore. They care about privacy, they just have no way of knowing each and every way their privacy can be eroded.
Luckily no one uses Google+ so the extension is pretty useless...
> Wouldn't my ISP also be recording this information?
This isn't very nice either -- but most places there are some very strict laws on storing, and using communication data.
People say the same thing about non-technical people using Facebook, but it isn't all that truthful. They have legitimate concerns, they're just waiting on the internet-at-large to determine the next best thing before expending any energy on making the switch.
And every car on the road is a testament to the fact that nobody outside of Greenpeace has any issues with the oil industry? :) There is no good alternative to Google Search.
In my social circles in Germany, only HN-esque people use Google's other products like GMail, many don't use FB either for privacy concerns. I'd even say that distrust in Google is one of the factors that Germans strongly favour Firefox over Google (according to http://gs.statcounter.com). And that's just one country... User groups are more complex than HN/non HN.
1) Default to 240: I want to be able to always watch videos in the worst resolution possible. I want the lightest bandwidth possible. I'd sometimes be happy with just the audio. It seems that I can't default to 240, no matter what I click.
2) Small elements in UI: There is a teeny little grey drop-down arrow at the top of the Subscriptions list. I didn't see that for weeks, and the randomly changing order of the subscriptions menu drove me bonkers. Making that arrow bigger would be good.
3) Default to Uploads only: When I click a name in the subscriptions list I want to see the videos they've uploaded. I probably don't care about other videos they've liked. And if I do I can clicky the menu. Making me clicky the menu for something I do every time is sub-optimal.
4) Please god something for comments: Google and YouTube are full of smart people. Some kind of "poor comment quality" filter should be easy to implement. Allow youtubers to have no comments; full comments; or 'no poor comments'. (Maybe with a 1, 2, or 3 level setting). This would stop people posting "FIRST!!" and then getting into flamebaiting over it. It could stop some of the vile juvenile language use. (Seriously, I can string all those words together, but I can't show a nipple?) It's not a cure for poor comments, but it could help.
I don't know what iGoogle is. Seriously, I think I'm signed into it. Or maybe I signed out when I found out it was going.
I'm not quite sure where you're going with the MS thing. For years they've had "sweet spot" OSs. MSDOS 3.3 was good; MSDOS 6 was good. Win 3.11 for workgroups was good while the other win 3.1s were bad. Windows 98SE with plus pack (is that right?) was good, while all the others were okay. Windows 2000 was god tier. Windows ME was a crime.
4. The anarchy of the comment sections are part of the fun of Youtube to me. I rarely read even a page of comments, but the top voted ones manage to make me chuckle surprisingly often. Filtering worthless comments like "FIRST" could improve things a bit, but then you're on the slippery slope towards Google's definition of worthless not matching your own. I don't mind a cesspool with a few hidden gems, because I never even see the cesspool in the first place.
The only thing that really bugs me about Youtube is Google trying to integrate Google+ and real names with it. The parts of Youtube I'm interested in are anonymous or pseudonymous and filled with (not necessarily "bad") stuff that people don't want tied to their real name. Stop bugging us to attach our real names to everything, Google, you're missing the appeal of your own service.
This touches on something I actually feel deserves a second look, if only from an academic or sociological perspective.
I have never quite understood why Youtube appears to be the single largest (or, at least most prominent) internet cesspool. Comments there are routinely among the most vile I've seen anywhere, and I've never been able to rationalize a suitable explanation.
Install this and your experience will improve: http://www.tannr.com/herp-derp-youtube-comments/
The difference is that because Youtube has no moderation in its comments, smart people look at the comments and immediately decide that it's not worth their time. So, the only people who comment are the idiots who just like to see their words on the Internet.
I'd argue the root problem of YouTube comments is that they're not associated with any real community at all, in most cases. There's almost no benefit to posting a good comment, and no penalty to posting a stupid one.
Imagine how stupid the comments would be if everyone watching a TV show with you could post to the same wall.
Most of my programmer friends listen to podcasts, but I honestly have no idea what smart people do with YouTube.
The thing is, I don't doubt there's lots of interesting content on YouTube. I just can't conceive of browsing through it for fun. There's too much good stuff to read.
Anything that requires actual reading already has a barrier to entry to the dumbest of the dumb.
Strange you mention this, because just minutes ago I changed a video to 240, and it prompted me to save my preference (the text was headlined with "Slow Connection?"). Maybe a new feature?
I have a lot of problems with their interface, starting from the latest useless homepage, but I've mostly given up. Nowadays, I stay logged out and get updates from my subscriptions by email (which is also uselessly tricky to activate).
I increasingly use youtube-dl for YouTube, Vimeo, and a few other sites. I prefer watching videos using something other than my browser, with uniform controls, the ability to speed up (especially talking head crap) and slow down (um, explosions and crashes) video. Preferences and commandline options can be used to specify preferred resolution, though HD can be really nice.
Damn I am tired of people unhappy with one product line using it to damn the entire company.
Which is kinda sad as Google could have really improved CalDAV with their move. Now it is back to "walled garden".
As for Google+, aside from the ever-increasing pervasive integrations with other Google properties, I actually do like the product itself. They've made sense of choosing who you share individual items with (Facebook still hasn't done this), it combines the "friend" and "follower" models nicely (it's quite nice reading posts from people like Linus there), the photo albums are very nicely presented and high in quality, and Hangouts are unmatched IMO. If I knew anyone else who used it, I would participate there more...
But Google+ is a poison spreading through the rest of the business. Their ridiculous, disingenuous defense of their real name policy was the first thing they did that made me second guess my reliance on their services. Their agenda of shoving it down everyone's throat on the back of their other services seems sinister.
Google is a publicly traded company (Stock Ticker: NASDAQ: GOOG)
The demands of the shareholders and board of directors outweighs the expectations of Google's users and business partners.
I'm tired of people denouncing Google+ as some sort of crazed attempt at creating a Facebook competitor, when Google repeatedly has to clarify that it is simply Google's social fabric. Stream is a competitor to newsfeed, but +1s are displayed in search results (Search Plus Your World), and other recommendation data is spread about Google too. It's primary goal creates a unified identity across all Google services.
If Google were truly being "evil," they'd automatically turn on Google+ for everybody and provide no opt out or no way to leave. They haven't. You can still "downgrade" and remove Google+.
Going public does not mean you abandon the ideals your company was founded on.
How about Doubleplusgoogle? Or maybe MeinGoogle?
Really? They're on the verge of it. The way they load search results as their auto-complete hones in, breaks browser history.
Apple on the otherhand enforces a single marketplace on their operating system today. Microsoft has mostly learned from their past mistakes and people watch their every move and jump on them if any technology they use can be used to subvert freedom of developers or users down the line.
I don't have any dog in this race, but I don't understand why Apple continues to get a free pass to implement market control mascaraing in the name of clean interfaces with comforting whitespace and unified design, especially when it is used regularly to usurp users' and developers' rights.
This article is nothing but platitudes and entitlement. Somehow people got in their minds that they have a right to Google Search and can demand features and support from them.. I have no idea how this idea came about, but it seems that the gist of it is that we've come to expect everything for free from Google and that's just how it should always be.
For my part, I share many of the frustrations voiced here. I can't stand Google's persistence in ensuring I'm constantly logged in, or Chrome's ever helpful reminder that I should sync it with my Google account.
The business case is obvious, but it doesn't mean I have to like it. In fact, I dislike it enough to no longer use Chrome as my default browser and have moved away from all of their services with the exception of Gmail.
I don't take my privacy as seriously as some here, but it's easily gotten to the point that I no longer feel comfortable trusting Google with the entirety of my online experience. For what it's worth, my bar [for not-trusting-companies] is set relatively high, and Google has absolutely begun clearing it, unfortunately.
I have yet to see any proof that Google has done anything shady with the information they collect from users that isn't mandated by law, while that is not true of Apple. That's probably the reason that people continue to trust them with their data while people trust Apple simply because it is trendy or easy.
And people complaining are well within their rights, if you want to go that route.
>> Apple on the otherhand enforces a single marketplace on their operating system today.
Apple doesn't hold a monopoly share, Microsoft does. You should see what we say /said about, and what governments did to Microsoft. Google also holds almost a monopoly share on search, maps, video etc (largely because Google's own stuff was promoted on Search, while drowning competitors).
Search is gone too, virtually all ads:
Try "geomorphology" or "big o notation"
Go and buy those keywords and see what happens. Google posts ad for bought keywords and that usually includes every commercial word. If the defense is that not sure if you're helping them.
It isn't google that has changed, it is the whole world which has changed.
Look at the things that some of you champion; the iPhone, the iPad...anything running iOS, anything made by apple computer, the company that is pushing the hardest against openness on the internet. Oh, you want some basic browser functionality like uploading files? Spend time learning objective C, writing an app, submitting it to us (can't let anything edgy get through! Don't use any APIs we don't like!) and then selling it in our closed off app store so that people stay in our warm walled in garden of shiny plastic.
You talk about "growth hackers" or "hustlers" as if these people are anything but parasites on our creative culture.
Yeah, google does some shitty things. Google+ is obnoxious. Some of the stuff happening with youtube is obnoxious, but google remains as one of the coolest companies in the world, still funding the coolest things in the world just because they can.
If a little bit of annoying google+ talk is the price that humanity has to pay for things like google driverless cars, google glass, and google fiber FINALLY holding bandwidth providers to task on bringing fiber to the curb, then GOOD.
I will continue to take that deal. The people whining about google+ will too.
Oh hey! You know we could just give it all back.
Back goes chrome! Remember when firefox leaked memory like a sieve but we all STILL ran it because there wasn't a viable alternative (unless you were double super extra hip and ran Opera)
Back goes android! Enjoy choosing between Apples complete joke of a mobile operating system and RIM, or palm.
Back goes google glass! Maybe Microsoft will sink the money required into developing a viable headmounted display.
Back goes google cars! Oh! Maybe Mercedes will license some garbage developed by a defense contractor in the 90s and sell it on their most expensive luxury cars.
Reading this thread reads like I'm reading the comments of a bunch of spoiled children.
If you seriously hate google+ this much, then good! Use all of these wonderful, world changing tools we have around us and "hustle" and "growth hack" your way into a brand new web browser and suite of free mail, spam filtering, document storage, and search.
I look forward to see it!
That's when google could have been called "one of the coolest companies in the world". Now they are heavily invested in building their own walled garden. Maybe it's not even anyone being "evil", and it's just an emergent behaviour. That doesn't change the fact that google is a giant surveillance machine. Argue that it's benign or that you trust them, but that's still what it is. A non-evil system of ubiquitous surveillance is an oxymoron.
I admit I'm excited by google cars and google glass, but I worry I won't end up being able to use them. Is there any chance they won't report on everything you see and do to google servers to be sold to/subpoenaed by whoever wants it?
Bing, something I laughed at just a few months ago.
Google's results are starting to waver and the Google+ requirement is a cancer eating their products from the inside.
But I agree that google is not what it used to be. They have a weird hunger for our data. But it's not just them, all web companies have become very aggressive in getting our data, it feels like we're being watched the whole time. It's exactly the opposite of what the internet was early on, it's almost like a change in the philosophy of the web. And not for the better.
It seems like issues that famous people have, that they lose privacy at the price of fame, that whatever they do is public, forever. We all lost privacy and we didn't even get fame!
Frankly, though, the reason that I believe Bing kept winning for me is that for these really popular core queries, the results were very similar: Bing simply selected more useful text snippets from news articles (letting me avoid clicking results) and weirdly even had better page titles, so it made what was overall the same results more pleasant to use. When I selected my own queries, though, the fact that Google continues to (and will forever) have a larger selection of the Internet available to its search engine became the deciding factor, as it would surface a few interesting things that Bing wouldn't catch.
What I thereby obtain from Bing it On! is not that I want to switch from Google, but that Google has too much power at this point: they are probably forever going to get my search queries simply because they figured out how to index the web extensively and efficiently before "how to build scalable systems" became more general knowledge (although some of that is actually due to Google, so there's this part of me that is saying "shut up and be grateful"), but now that they have this lead there's no real way to kick them down, even if someone else has managed to use the data they have more effectively.
I'll be honest I don't know for sure, but I highly doubt Google would intentionally hurt themselves by ruining their search results.
>Google+ requirement is a cancer eating their products from the inside.
I do agree it's B.S. but using 4 different computers on a regular basis and being a student I find it more useful to use their products than not. Especially, the syncing options so basically my drive/chrome holds everything between all my computers. This would be impossible without having some way to link them (via email say, well they use Google+ to try and make more money like every company NEEDS to do to survive).
Therefore I say I am alright with their changes because Bing and DuckDuckGo have significantly reduced capacities (to the point of usability is fair at best)
Arguably bubbling is ruining the search results. Sometimes such a thing can be advantageous but I do go to https://startpage.com/do/search sometimes to break out and it can be quite productive when trying to find a new result. The only difference is that one is tracking me and bubbling results and the other is not.
Since Google has recorded my IP, I have a hard time breaking the bubble when using Google from at home, whether I am logged in or not. I know this be cause I once decided to set my locale on Google to Spanish. Now I have cleared my cookies, etc. and I am not logged in but it assumes from -- I can only imagine -- my static IP that I want all my search results in Spanish.
I think it's more likely they have competing objectives and they can easily allow their search result quality to slip in order to have large gains in other areas because, honestly, they have a complete monopoly on search.
The days of competing on search result quality are long gone.
You either give up on having an anonymous email because they WILL FORCE YOUR real name to be attached to your email, or you give up on Google integration features because you simply CANNOT use Google features without a real name anymore.
Trying to switch between my "public Google account" for functionality and my "private Google account" for privacy is almost impossible when you consider how broadly Google integrates the features. It's simply unteneable, completely. Google wants my privacy gone, and is denying me access to their services until I agree to give it up entirely.
Very, very frustrating for users who have more than one account.
The Play Store REQUIRES a fully activated real-name Google+ Account to rate apps and leave feedback, so I've been wholly unable to communicate with the dozens and dozens of apps that request feedback.
Sorry friends. Blame Google!
It's a trade off, and real name policies don't only exclude negative posters.
(To expand: I tested someone's js project on reddit just yesterday, offering my platform, multiple browsers, a decent writeup, images/screenshots etc. But my reddit account is fully anonymous. If my real name was required, s/he never would have gotten that free help)
Do the developers give you no alternate avenues for communication? No email contact or anything?
Lets say you wrote a cool android app, but there is a little bug in it that is triggered by a phone you don't own or weren't able to test, I have that phone. I go to contact you, which of the following reports do you trust more -
From: mhurron [at] saminds.com
From: Google+ Roman Fox
Now be honest, even though this exact setup probably smells off. Given receiving a email from the above or from the above Google+ account, are you going to trust one or dismiss one simply on the name of the account?
I find this quite funny with you being the anonymous guy and me being out there in the open with my identity.
Maybe you should answer your own question?
It is a centuries old cycle: once young and free spirited goes corrupt and rotten on it's way to a bigger market share.
> Look at the things that some of you champion; the
> iPhone, the iPad...anything running iOS, anything
> made by apple computer, the company that is pushing
> hardest against openness on the internet.
> Oh, you want some basic browser functionality like
> uploading files? Spend time learning objective C,
> submitting it to us (can't let anything edgy get
> through! Don't use any APIs we don't like!)
> shiny plastic.
Except for the feature that most people mainly use plugins for: audio/video-playback. Only supporting proprietary codecs can hardly be considered open web support.
>How about 60 000 apps ditched by Google?
I don't think you can compare a curated marketplace with a walled garden. There is a difference between jailbreaking and tapping a checkbox to allow third party apps.
All that said I can't agree with the first comment either. I used to be a fanboy of Google but I'm having a harder and harder time justifying it with some of their recent moves.
Isn't the open video codec problem still unresolved?
I've only been able to upload images.
And how is Apple waging war against openness? WebKit is open-source. They're pushing HTML5 against Flash (open vs proprietary). Darwin (OS X without Quartz and DPS) is open source. A few of the apps included with OS X are open-source.
Google cars? Driverless car research has been going on for years, both before and alongside Google.
Look, I'm not badmouthing their accomplishments. All I'm saying is that they're just not the company they used to be.
Lawsuits against competitors kicking their ass using open platforms? That and making their every single a move a walled garden you have to use with no other options.
I see you mention WebKit as an open alibi, but that's a poor example. It was forked from an open project and thus they were forced to leave it open. These days though it's not even being maintained in a way which suits the definition of open in any useful way.
Holding the key to the source and at the same time having a committing policy which says its "OK" to break it on all platforms not yours with others needing your permission to fix things doesn't really paint a nice picture of you as a advocate of openness.
OSX runs whatever you want it to. If you are referring to code-signing, keep in mind that Android requires you to explicitly allow unsigned apps as well.
This does not need to be an either / or proposition.
_Both_ Apple and Google are doing "evil", in their own way. Along with a bunch of cool stuff, too.
> There is nothing Google Glass does that my smartphone already can't.
Did the iPad have features the iPhone didn't? It seems to be doing ok for being a different form factor for iOS. There may be arguments for the usefulness of Glass but I don't think this is it.
More screen real-estate, but then again, it's like glass. It doesn't do anything my smartphone can't, except give me more room for bigger apps.
Can you wear your smartphone on your face?
What, because some vendors take liberty with codec choices? HTML5, while not officially ratified as an RFC, has an agreed-upon standard version, and the implementations of it are far more standardized than HTML4 ever was. As for openness, it's a markup language, there's nothing that CANT be open about it. The only possible thing about html5 that isn't open is the popular choice of video codec, h264, in which case: whoop de doo.
Although not exactly the same, it looks to me more or less like this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=2...
OSS is about community not just a website to release files (aka "code dump"). If you had pointed to http://www.webkit.org/ or http://www.cups.org/ ; well, that would be different.
"CUPSTM is provided under the GNU General Public License ("GPL") and GNU Library General Public License ("LGPL"), Version 2, with exceptions for Apple operating systems and the OpenSSL toolkit."
I wonder why the OpenSSL toolkit needs an exemption.
There's an article covering the topic with much more nuance at https://lwn.net/Articles/428111/
I'm going to have to do some more reading on this. I was particularly interested in the quote "the problem here is actually a former OpenSSL hacker who has no interest (and, in fact, a positive interest against) in changing the OpenSSL licensing". Sounds intriguing!
I'm not sure if I understand your comment.
"Michael Sweet, who owned Easy Software Products, started developing CUPS in 1997. The first public betas appeared in 1999. The original design of CUPS used the LPD protocol, but due to limitations in LPD and vendor incompatibilities, the Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) was chosen instead. CUPS was quickly adopted as the default printing system for several Linux distributions, including Red Hat Linux. In March 2002, Apple Inc. adopted CUPS as the printing system for Mac OS X 10.2. In February 2007, Apple Inc. hired chief developer Michael Sweet and purchased the CUPS source code"
CUPS is currently chiefly developed by Apple but, unlike many other commercially "owned" open-source projects, it has a license clause that exempts them from the license that applies to you and I.
I'm sure there are many other examples of this, I was originally pointing out that the licensing terms for WebKit and CUPS are not really that similar from Apple's perspective. From our perspective, yes, both GPL (well LGPL for WebKit)
This is marketing bullshit directed at developers angry at all their surveillance, their walled gardens, their "you can't replace our OS" and so on.
This means that I can build the developer tools in, say, ubuntu, and/or that I can cross-compile to target iOS?
Good luck with that.
How could you possibly think iOS is a "complete joke".. without being a raging GooGoo fanboy, that is?
But that's when it's most important to avoid words like 'fanboy' because otherwise discussion dies. People probably thought you had a good point, but you lose that when you use words like 'googoo fanboy'. And that'll do nothing to sway the person you're replying to. If anything it'll just entrench them even more.
And considering it's possible that debating someone's strongly held points with logical counter points will only irrationally strengthen the person's original beliefs anyway, I think humor was appropriate:
So I think it's still "worth it" to respond in a meaningful way, even though you may not convince the original poster.
Any discussion with a raging fanboy is dead to begin with. He will reject anything that goes against his rose-tinted view of Google. Reason and logic won't reach him, and that's why it's alright to just call him a fanboy and move on, even though that's pointless too, of course.
In this case, I just wanted to point out the absurdity of calling iOS a "complete joke".
> And that'll do nothing to sway the person you're replying to. If anything it'll just entrench them even more.
That's alright. He's already plenty entrenched. He'll change his views when he has to.
iOS is only good for people that want something which works and which they don't need to spend any effort on maintaining. It is a complete joke for people that want a powerful mobile computing device.
I use an iPhone now but my next phone will be an Android. To be honest I'll probably continue to buy iPod Touches as long as they can be jailbroken, but that's the only way I can make iOS into a platform that I'm willing to use.
The last significant innovation in iOS was Notification Center. Android already had that, along with widgets, custom lock screens, custom keyboards...
I believe that already disqualifies it from being a "complete joke", and the definition of a "powerful mobile computing device" might involve something else besides "being able to install whatever software you want to".
Back when the iPhone 4 was new, my friend had some kind of HTC Android, and he would beam about how he could run a tool that would help him micromanage battery power so that he could shut off this app versus that app (which he had to do quite often). I simply never had to. As Anandtech can back up, the iPhone 4 had amazing battery life compared to its contemporaries. Though more anecdotal evidence seems to show that newer iOS devices consume more power.
Anyway, for reference, Settings > Privacy > Location Services. You can see what is actively using GPS. As part of its low-power design efforts, other than music, there really isn't much else that the OS will allow to run in the background. All other closed apps are frozen in a saved state. Also, Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services, at the bottom, Status Bar Icon.
Personally, I drive a Honda. I like it. I work on it, and I could modify it, but as I get older and busier, I'm looking forward to getting something nicer that just works.
I mean yes, if you don't enjoy the smell of coronal discharge and smoldering tank capacitors (They're both toxic smells by the way), and you just build one for show, you're not going to win anything. But if you're absolutely obsessed with modding/hacking/knitting/whatever, you don't care about winning anything, just the process of doing, as self-help-book-like that might sound.
To be clear, that's your claim, not mine. Ultimately, people do what they like to do.
>Noone outside of me will care about it
This I could agree with, but sure, there'll be like-minded folks that will be interested. However, that's different from being smug and superior about your hobby.
Yeah, but it was also sarcastic. I used to add //sarcasm tags, but they make you sound conceited.
>However, that's different from being smug and superior about your hobby.
I will be as smug and superior about my hobby as I want to //sarcasm.
But no, in all seriousness, having to act smug and superior about your hobby means you are trying to use it to garner social recognition/a feeling of superiority which you think will make you happy, which means your hobby doesn't allready intrinsically do that for you. An exception to that are hobbies intrinsically made for showing off, like golf or trophy wives.
///Last sentence is humorous and therfore not to be consumed straight out of the bottle. Dilute with 5cl literary figure appreciation for each cl, and consume within 3 days of opening.
Driverless cars and Internet fiber to the curb aren't Google inventions.
Google Fiber is certainly a big deal at 3-8x as fast as the fastest generally available consumer connection. Comcast only goes up to 150-300mbps in their fastest markets, for much more than the $70/month Google Fiber costs.
From Parma (Italy) to Shangai(China), 15000 kilometers
Without hype and before Google.
However, by design, the internet is not destined to be like that, and it will not be. The past few years may have been an aberration.
Current phones are way more powerfull than PCs were when Napster was launched. They could easily run something like it today. As they are also powerfull enough to decide what to do with meta tags (or the more modern semantic ones) and to keep several dictionaries of data in place. They just don't do that for marketing reasons.
I also think that things CAN change, but I doubt that change is that inevitable as you say.
Because I don't like part of a company, I have to avoid using any other part of that company? Or if I don't, I can't complain about the part of the company I don't like? I don't subscribe to such black and white thinking.
Google is a corporation that wants to win. Most corporations are the same. The fact that they are looking out for their own interests, doesn't mean we shouldn't look out for our own.
Btw, looking for a new smartphone and still the best option seems to be the same SGS2 without upgrade to ICS.
Keep search clean and don't indulge in anti-competitive behaviour.