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March 7, 2010

The Beast File: Google

Hungry Beast, a news program that airs on ABC1 Australia, had a segment about Google a few days ago. The TV show defines Google as an advertising giant whose main goal is to track users and deliver targeted ads.



Many of the numbers that are supposed to show Google's power are outdated. For example, the number of Google servers was estimated to 450,000 in 2006. comScore estimated that Google attracted more than 2 billion searches a day in July 2009.

Hungry Beast claims that Google "wants to own your phone, your email, your computer and your entire digital life". Using the verb "own" is inappropriate, since Google simply hosts your email and offers software for your phone and your computer. Projects like Data Liberation show that Google's doesn't want to trap your data.

Another claim is that "Google wants to own the cables that deliver the Internet and the electricity to power them", when Google's goal is to "help make Internet access better and faster for everyone" by showing that it's possible to "deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access". Like Gmail, which offered for the first time 1 GB of storage for free, or Google's bid in the FCC spectrum auction, which helped consumers because Google convinced FCC to add some new rules: the winner of the auction has to "give its customers the right to download any application they want on their mobile device, and the right to use any device they want on the network".

The video concludes that Google's ultimate goal is to gather data about everyone in the world and to show great targeted ads. Actually, Google's mission is to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful". Google's disrupting business model pushes the boundaries of technology by democratizing knowledge. Ads are only the fuel that helps Google accomplish its mission.

"We aspire to make Google an institution that makes the world a better place. (...) With our products, Google connects people and information all around the world for free. (...) By releasing services, such as Gmail, for free, we hope to help bridge the digital divide. AdWords connects users and advertisers efficiently, helping both. AdSense helps fund a huge variety of online web sites and enables authors who could not otherwise publish." (Google's IPO Letter, 2004)

{ via Harvey Sanchez }

25 comments:

  1. Гугл всех зохавает.

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  2. Dont take it seriously google. Hungry Beast bags out everyone it is not meant to be taken completely serious.

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  3. Oh come on.. we all know how google helps us in so many ways. And above all it provides all this for free. It doesn't matter to me even if Google may be targeting me for their ads. As Google ads are relevant. They are not trying to sell coffee to a tea-lover. They are just opening many options for us.

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  4. Looks like paid anti-Google ads to me + there are a lot more things that are inaccurate in that video. Even if i'm a Google fan though, i don't think Google is completely innocent. What started out as a quest to organize the world's information isn't so pure anymore. However, we can't accuse Google of privacy issues simply because (and i'm talking as an IT professional) they've done more in this area than others have done together. I'm a Google fan because of the technological innovations it brings, and even more importantly, because of the progress-generating competition it creates on the market.

    I also want to point out an interesting social behavior: if Google says something about a privacy issue and it generates debate, some will inherently accuse Google of that privacy issue even if it exists or not, completely (and sometimes intentionally) disregarding the fact that other huge companies never even talked about it before :)

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  5. Um - guys, this is Hungry Beast - It Is Not a 'News Program' it is light news based entertainment.

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  6. I think it's just a view of the producers of BBC. Almost the same view of Google was aired on a recent four-part series about the history of the Internet. BBC also talked several times about the network effect and linking it to Google and Facebook.

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  7. Ok. so what.
    If you don't like it don't use it.

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  8. More than 2 bill./per day searches on Google in July 2009. Wow. I still prefer Google over Bing.

    - David

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  9. Orwell was wrong, it wasn't 1984, but 2010.
    Not Big Brother, but Google...

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  10. Relax. Relevant ads are good for you - they're not evil.

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  11. Google search tips are very necessary for all the google users
    because they help in tuning the fine results of our requirement.

    Especially They are useful in finding the good required results.

    Google Search Tips have shown in this webpage. These tips helps in tracking the required results fastly in google search engine.

    http://www.quickheed.com/seo/google-search-tips.html

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  12. @Daeng Bo
    Just so you know Hungry Beast is ABC not BBC...

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  13. Don't give much credit to anything from the ABC network in Australia because although it is government funded the people behind individual shows are mostly allowed to get away with pushing their own views, which are not necessarily logical or well informed.

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  14. Wow. This is the fourth thing in the past week that I've found from ABC that was complete crap accomplishing nothing but mudslinging (and that was just in the past week). I'm really getting fed-up with them and as a result I'm boycotting. I really wanted to watch LOST too. There will be other TV shows.

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  15. @Hank No, don't give up Lost =D

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  16. This is easily the most ignorant thing I've ever seen.

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  17. Waw, that was quite tough on Google indeed as I'm superglad Google's services exist... But at the same time, I'm often asking myself if the most valuable thing I have is not my memories.. And if those memories/personal infos should be given out the way we do, for the sake of getting free stuff.

    I think I'd be willing to pay something extra just to have all my personal data cleared out after the ads have been shown and no record kept on Google's servers. Maybe have them saved on my own personal server, just like a safe.

    That was my 2 cents...

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  18. If Google had a kill switch that would remove someones account permanently and immediately it probably wouldn't have to defend itself as an organization against this sort of video.

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  19. I use Google products so that when Google starts to give credit ratings, I won't be a zero.

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  20. love to see this discussion! It’s great to see you all working through the issues and also, it’s great to see recommendations for testing. In the end, it’s what your actual users do and prefer that should be your biggest driver in making these decisions.

    get level

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  21. people are funny creatures. they will beleive whatever they want no matter how obvious some things are. keep your heads in the sand and keep thinking how smart your are... and that you "get it." :-) and moake sure that you don't research things for yourself or you might discover that your wrong.

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  22. Think of Google as an online state.

    States tax your hard-income and in return they promise to use it to make your society a better place to live.

    Google taxes your hard-earned personal data and in return the offer to make your online world a better place to be. Like most states it will use these tax revenues on things that you may agree or disagree with, but like most states Google's ultimate goal is to become the richest and the most powerful in the region.

    At the moment you have a choice of living in the state of Google or not. How long this will be the case is uncertain I guess this depends on Google's approach to its expansionist agenda. Federal or Soviet?

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  23. July 2009 statistics are out of date?

    That seems like a pretty petulant and baseless attempt to smear the piece.

    Also, corporate happy fun times mission statements like "google wants to democratise and organise" don't represent the core purpose for a business to exist and never have. Otherwise Haliburton and Raytheon would be in the business of sunshine and rainbows.

    You definately have a case here mate, unfortunately you've lost it in platitutdes and absurdities.

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