· Naughties
· · 2004
· · · September
· · · · 28 (3 entries)

Feedreading News Flurry · Lots of action this week in the syndication-feed technology space: NetNewsWire, Bloglines, Atom, J2ME, dig it. I tried to squeeze it into a paragraph but it just sprawled and sprawled, so you’ll have come to ongoing for the full dump. [Update: Bloglines is being bad.] ...
Helping Them Lie · Google is getting some well-deserved flak for emasculating the Chinese version of Google News by suppressing headlines that point at things the government of China doesn’t want its citizens to read. I didn’t think it worth ranting about, but this pathetic apologia on the Google blog adds insult to injury. Let’s be clear here: the Chinese government is trying to create the impression that it’s normal and acceptable for a large, well-educated, economically-growing modern nation to have an authoritarian one-party system of government. They’re not subtle, they simply forbid news that contradicts their desired impression. By suppressing the headlines that point at forbidden material, Google is actively aiding and abetting the Chinese government’s marketing program. And please, please, can we lose the nauseating twaddle about how it’s OK to suppress the truth because it’s “less than two percent of Chinese news sources”? What do you bloody well expect when the government of China is actively engaged in suppressing such news? The reason why that number is low is because too many other people are doing what Google is. Someone at Google may really believe the platitudes in that blog entry, but in effect the company is engaged in kissing the wrong kinds of asses. This is not good. [Update: Someone named Didier is flaming me for hypocrisy because he claims Sun sells computers that are part of the problem. Normally not worth highlighting, mais en français... tordant! (On n’a pas un mot pour “marketing”? Hmmm)]
Google’s Future · On a few occasions in this space I’ve bitched about Google, and I was getting ready to write another gripe, but I got an uneasy feeling, and here’s why: Basically, the site is great, and basically, the people who work there are great (insofar as I know them). Furthermore, I think they’re going to win the search wars for the foreseeable future. Not because of their inventiveness; I’m pretty sure that a good smart Web-savvy group of software engineers could replicate the PageRank machinery and the AdSense/AdWords marketplaces and Gmail and so on. They’re winning on the basis of execution: The site is always up and it’s always fast and you don’t get bit by bugs. That’s easy to state but it’s incredibly hard to do and it requires engineering virtuosity that I just haven’t seen equaled by anyone else. An outfit steeped in Web culture like Yahoo or Amazon or EBay might have a chance at turning the trick, but I don’t see Microsoft having the DNA for it. Note that I’m talking about the site and the people, not the company or its shares; but at the moment, I’d cheerfully bet that two years from now I’ll still be doing a lot of Web searching and that I’ll be doing most of it at Google.
author · Dad
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