July 12, 2005


Filed under: General,Web site — pohodo @ 8:15 pm

Well, things happen and they don’t always go my way. My DSL router decided it didn’t want to slave away any longer, so it gave up. I was having some trouble with my ISP and I’m just plain lazy about things sometimes, so it’s taken a while to get this back up. Hopefully, I won’t have any more hardware failures and I’ll be able to keep this server going.

A lot has been going on since my router died and I’ll try to catch up. So with any luck, I’ll soon tell you about my new car and my trip to Las Vegas, as well as more information on my Bahamas sailing trip and my newly forming plan for a Tortola sailing trip later this year.

Anyway, glad to be back!

April 2, 2005

Evil Empire Google?

Filed under: General — pohodo @ 8:21 pm
I’ve largely felt that Google has been a huge benefit toward shaping the future of the Web. They seem to be pushing the envelope faster, farther and better than anybody else; creating great, useful tools and generally being a good netizen about it.

I came across the new beta version of the Google toolbar for IE through a colleague. I only use IE to verify my work looks as expected, so I would probably have never seen it otherwise. There is an AutoLinks “feature” in this version that disturbs me about the future of things to come from Google. I’m okay with the google toolbar looking at search terms or even what URL the user is currently on and displaying generic advertising type content in their little toolbar space, but they’ve really crossed the line now. This new feature uses actual content of sites to produce links to other places by either making plain text a link on the site, or by using that exact content in links in the toolbar (or both).

On the surface, it doesn’t seem all that bad. After all, if you could click on an address and be wisked away to a mapping site for directions, or have a book’s ISBN number link you to a place to purchase that book, you could argue that it’s just making life easier for the user. The problem lies with Google profiting off of content which isn’t their own, specifically when competing businesses are involved. For example, if you’re browsing the Barnes & Noble Web site looking for books and then the Google toolbar inserts links into a Barnes & Noble page linking the user to a place like Amazon.com, that’s undermining the ability of Barnes & Noble to effectively do business – which is why they have their site up and running to begin with. In that situation, Google would be profiting by hijacking content authored by a business and taking users to competing sites. It’s one thing for Google to run competing ads and such on a Google search page they own, but it’s an entirely different animal doing that on somebody else’s page.

Fortunately, this is still just in a beta version of the toolbar. Hopefully, it won’t ship in the final release version. But it makes you wonder how drastically the vision of Google could be changing with the new-found money from their successful IPO. Until this, I was a pretty big Google supporter, but if this is where they’re heading I’ll have to change my position. Perhaps it’s inevitable, given the growth of Google, that they’ll become more inline with the Microsofts of the world.

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