As you may or may not be aware, Google has recently announced it’s entrance into the free email market, most likely a direct response to the increasing competition from Internet portal giant Yahoo and Software behemoth Microsoft. While Yahoo offers 10 megs with it’s free account and Microsoft’s Hotmail offers a measely 2 megs, Google has promised one Gig (1024 megs) of space to retain emails online. Along with what will probably be an inovative and intuitive user interface, Google will serve up advertisements based on keywords in your messages. This move, of course, has privacy advocates in an uproar. Accusations of Big Brother and 1984 have been bandied about the internet faster than links to Janet Jackson’s nipplegate.
What a load of bullshit.

First of all, this is a FREE service. Nobody at Google is holding a gun to your head demanding that you sign up or you’ll be forced to endure your worst fears. You’re perfectly entitled to continue using your Yahoo or crappy Hotmail (2 megs! Goddamn!), and if you’re so incensed about the whole affair you can use their patently inferior search engines as well. Myself, I’ve always been a fan of Google, pretty much since it came out. In the software and system administration industry there is nothing like being able to enter an error message or a search string of keywords and being able to find a solution in a matter of minutes. Google allows people to learn faster and to attain a higher level of Quality in their work. Their corporate motto of ‘Do no evil’ is beautiful in it’s simplicity – they know the power at their disposal and how easy it would be to taint their wonderful database and reap huge profits. Yet they don’t. Things like this are what make me trust Google.
Secondly, we’re not talking about some egghead at Google’s headquarters sniffing through your personal emails finding ads to correlate with keywords, we’re talking about software here. This is rudimentary AI which has absolutely no interest in your interest in advanced dildonics or who you think is going to win the Stanley Cup. It’s going to put up ads that are context sensitive to keywords in your email, but it is just an ‘it’. It’s not a person. It’s not your mother. It’s not the government. It’s Google. Google hasn’t failed me yet, so why would I start doubting now?
At the end of the day, it’s YOUR choice to sign up or NOT to sign up. For me, the thought of having a gig of email space online at my disposal is titillating. Now I have a ‘deep storage’ for all my really important emails, a place where I can send something and not have to worry about my account expiring after a month (hopefully!). My only question is why aren’t the foraying into the IM market? When will that happen?
I do have one fear, and it is something I’ve been mulling for about a year now. With all of the rumours over the last while about Google going public, what will that do to their corporate motto? Will it be modified to ‘Do no evil unless it interferes with shareholder profits’? Going public is a dangerous thing. At once they become responsible not just for themselves, but also for sustained economic growth in order to satisfy the needs of the mutual funds, the day traders and all the others who want their little piece of Google. What happens when times are tight? If Google is private, hopefully they’ll be able to restructure and weather the storm, possibly with some layoffs. If they’re public, shareholder panic will force massive selloffs and a rapid deflation in stock value. In order to prevent this ‘financial catastrophe’, Google will probably bend the rules, tell little white lies, everything that we’ve come to know and love about corporate America. What then becomes of Google?
Taking care of Google is something that we should all really be concerned with. Why is that? Well let me ask you this – why does this company need over a hundred PhD’s? You may think I’m a conspiracy theorist, but with basically most of the knowledge of the world as it’s nursery what better place is there to grow the worlds first true AI? AI will be powerful. It will be scary. It will be wonderful. One thing I know is that I’d rather have AI working to find me better answers in life than to try and skin as much money out of me as possible.

22 thoughts on “Google”

  1. Right you are Chef-a-roo. Nothing in this life is “free”. Hotmail, Yahoo and Google are offering this service because they can gain something from it’s users in return for the “free” email service. I am more then fine with it. I am using hotmail for a service that I in return only have to ignore ads.
    And please, all this talk of big brother and what not, people are acting like their emails are not currently being “read” by a program all ready. Google is just being honest and forth coming. Don’t want Google’s rapidly maturing, soon-to-be-world-dominating AI to scan your emails? Don’t fucen sign up. But shit, that is too simple of an answer. It takes away the possibility of people being able to get on their high horses about some non-issue, leaving the question to a choice of personal responsibility. Google did not try and hide this fact, so then you have to make a choice, wham bam, thank you ma’am.

  2. Hit the nail on the head, Chef-alopolis. Sign me up indeed. And with the fresh shot at new email address. I can get the email adddress i have always wanted, “” and you can get “”.

  3. Google’s Gmail Privacy Policy
    Nothing in here that’s ominious. If anything it’s simplicity and lack of ‘legalese’ once again reinforces my belief that they stand firm in their goal of ‘Do no evil’.

  4. Hi Chef
    You mentioned something here that I have been wondering about for some time now. When did Ethical Capitalism become an oxymoron, or has it always been that this way and I just caught on?
    It seems to me at one time Capitalism just meant being in business to make a living. Now it seems it’s not Capitalism unless you are in it to make a fortune. I may be wrong, but I seem to remember a time when the ‘Bottom Line’ wasn’t more important than ethics and the people who worked for you.
    Maybe oldcatman remembers a time when Capitalism didn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth when you said it?

  5. BTW, I’m not sure everybody hasn’t seen this yet, but it’s one of the reasons I love Google.
    Go to the Google main search page and type in “Weapons of Mass Destruction” then click on “I’m feeling lucky”! ;O)

  6. The main problem with capitalism is that it’s a system based on growth. If there is no growth than it becomes stagnant and is viewed as non-profitable and subsequently dumped. The problem with having it based on growth is that you always end up with the boom/bust phenomenon, and in the end the environment always seems to be the big loser. Ravenous consumption is the only thing that feeds the great capitalist beast and that consumption is taking a larger and larger toll on the natural resources of this world. Quite simply we are buying ourselves to death. Very cannibalistic, very poor judgement.
    How then do you define an economy on sustainability? That’s a tough one, and one that can only really be answered with a shift in our value system. You can’t force a society to shift it’s values though, the more you push the more it resists. People have to want to change before change can be effected, yet everyone is afraid of change. Thus the dilemma, and thus why I fear that our fledgling society is doomed.

  7. By the way, If google is such a terrible and evil company why is that when I search for ‘gmail’ in their Google News all I get is pieces about privacy concerns and everything else negative? In their position they could have easily manipulated the results to point to positive or non-inflamatory pieces. Once again I am convinced of their intentions, they seem to want the Internet to work.

  8. Chef, and you don’t know what to write about–you always stir “a” pot! cck, somehwere in my life, I realized that Capitalism (including the American Dream?) was a bunch of bullshit–I have wanted to live in a small “c” communist environment since my late 20’s–share the wealth! If everybody attains the American dream, the wealth of the “new rich poor” will still be far behind the “new rich rich”…Capitalism is out of control–like the old snowball rolling down the hill and it is getting SO BIG it will soon shatter and it will be ‘unfixable’…………….BOWLING? oldest son
    carries a 195 plus average, has a 300 game, “earns” $$ bowling to pay for his bowling……but?
    Google Email, sounds good……….I use Blogspot because they too are part of the Google “web”–short of having my own web page, they are as good a blogging source as any…….
    ADS? “I don’t need no stinking ADS!” ..but then again, I delete email spam immediately….I ignor
    web ads & I could ignor email ads….if you can get free quality email service that has ads–well, don’t read the damn things! If TV didn’t have ads, we would have TV..and that’s why I have
    a mute button on my remote and its also a good time to go piss or fill up the snack bowl!

  9. Yeah the American Dream has turned into a Global Nightmare. I have often dreamt about starting a commune up here in Canada – my friends are all on board now if only we had the cash… Ah well.

  10. Yo oldcatman!
    A 195 is pretty good. I bowled for 14 years and carried a 196 one season until I got tendinitis and fell to 186 before I had to give up bowling right-handed altogether. I switched to lefty and worked my way up to 174 before getting tendinitis in my left arm also. A one point I was bowling two leagues a week; one righty and one lefty! I never had a 300. Came close a half dozen times with 279’s. That’s one spare and 11 strikes. It was always the ten pin.
    But that doesn’t answer my question. Is Bowling a Sport, or is it a ‘Past-time’?
    If it is a sport, why isn’t it in the Olympics? It sure beats the hell out of Synchronized Swimming!
    And unlike many of the other events in the Olympics, judging doesn’t get in the way. The person who knocks down the most pins wins!
    I have a problem with Olympic events that are scored by subjective judges. I’m sure anyone in Canada will agree after the Ice Dancing fiasco!!
    As far as I’m concerned, if it isn’t Counted, Measured, or Timed, they should get rid of it as an Olympic contest. It is ALWAYS the subjective judging events that spoil the Olympics every year and cause hard feeling in a celebration that is supposed to bring us all together.
    They can leave the Subjective Judging to World Events if they like, I don’t watch them anyway, but we don’t need them in the Olympics.
    If it isn’t a CMT event, get rid of it!

  11. Chef, not to belabor this on your comments but: cck: The issue whether ‘bowling’ should be
    an Olympic sport or not, is, in my mind, a mute point! I am anti olympics period! If all the damn $$ spent on fun, games & world wide ”competition” were spent on just feeding this world’s poor,
    fewer people would die every day of starvation…enough said.
    Chef, went to audio on my blog today..see what you think?

  12. Thank you oldcatman for putting everything in perspective, which is where I was heading with my “Bowling” question in the first place.
    Chef knew something was up with my question, there’s more than one question mark in his reply. ‘O)
    If all the damn $$ spent on fun, games & world wide ”competition” were spent on just feeding this world’s poor, fewer people would die every day of starvation…enough said.”
    I have to disagree, it is not “enough said.”
    That could very well be said about most ‘entertainment’ in our modern society. Look at all the time and money spent on TV, movies and video games. The Internet is no exception; most use it as just another form of Entertainment. Search the web and you will find a web site and/or discussion board for anything that tickles you fancy. There are boards devoted only to Brittany Spears, and others to just The American Idol. You can find numerous web sites that talk about nothing but Bowling or the next Olympics.
    It is all Entertainment, and when compared against what should be our real priorities, don’t stack up to a hill of beans.
    Does it really matter if Google enters the free e-mail game? It only matters to someone who might lose a few dollars in the Capitalist game.
    Does it really matter what anyone post on a Blog?
    Will any of these feed the hungry, house the poor, or put and end to war and suffering?
    Look on any tombstone and you will see the date that person was born and the date they died, but the most important mark on any tombstone is the dash between those dates. That dash represents the time they lived, and what they did with that time.
    No one can tell you what is the right way to live your life, it is your life, and only you can decide how you are going to fill in your dash.
    If you really want to make a difference, then use you time and talent to make that difference.
    It is not our victories, but our failures we take to our graves.

  13. Agh, that wasn’t very motivational! 🙂 I’d say the only thing we take to our graves is the memory of ourselves in other people. What memory we leave is determined by the life we lived. A pattern in the great String, eh Chuck?

  14. …….and the beat goes on………..I started cremating my pets when they die…….their spirits/essence are still alive & well–where ever I live. I sit here at this very moment looking out my window looking at a 10,000 foot snow capped Rocky Mt. peak–that’s where my ashes are going–Remember me? It was windy that day & I was that speck of ash that got in your eye………….

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