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Category — Rants

Google, oh google.

With all the talk recently of Google defying the US government, I kindof missed the other news that
Google has bought another company.

I spotted it when browsing the directory, and it was mentioned on PC Talk, more details here

As you can see if you read their post,

Google buys radio station

General Technology
has agreed to pay $102 million in cash for dMarc Broadcasting, whose
technology links radio stations and advertisers to automate the radio
ad selling process.

Will we be getting google adverts on the Radio next? Will you have to do a jingle for your site if you want to compete in the future? Is google making it a case of the rich get richer, and the poor, well screw em….

Or is it just purchasing it to learn from people who have possibly learnt a little more about the advertising game than they themselves have? Who knows, only google knows for sure.

I really, really hope that google does not start inflicting the world with radio ads for everything they advertise on adwords, and I really hope they dont even consider doing TV ads.

The playing field is fairly even at the moment, as it does not cost much to do a adwords campaign most of the time (well a small one that is) and you dont have to hire a sound recording studio to do a text ad.

If they start with the radio ads though, those with money will be able to afford ads on the radio, and the rest wont stand much of a chance. Google seriously needs to think before it turns the internet into something more commercial than it already is.

And dont get me started on Google defying the US governement, what are they doing their?

Privacy is important, but they have to act within the law, if they have to do something, then they have to do it. Its not up to them to set the laws of their land, nor to tell their elected officials what is right or wrong. This sort of thing is bigger than that, it should be put to public vote.
Just because they are billionaires does not make them better than anyone else, and if they dont like the rules, they should not be playing the game. I dont like the fact the governments want to spy more, but I figure they are doing it for good reason, like perhaps to convict the serious criminals, or catch terrorists. I doubt they are looking to see what cooking recipes Mrs Smith is searching for……

Perhaps google does not want the government to see this sample of search queries because google is fully aware the government may not like what it finds, after all I bet there will be a heck of a lot of searches for illegal activities in amongst that lot, and google probably does not want the government to turn around and say - you have to inform us everytime someone searches for “how to make a bomb” or “how to kill a president” for example. They just want to sit back and say they do no evil, even though its clear that their tool can be used very efficiently to help people do a lot of evil. But then again, so can any tool, or search engine really for that matter.
What is so wrong with giving a list of search queries, if its just a list of searches made, then its just the terms that were searched for, no who searched for them, so no one’s privacy is really at risk here is it?
Is there more to this? Are they terrified that someone may see just how much data they actually collect? Maybe, power has corrupted them, or maybe they just want to DRAW ATTENTION TO THE INTERNET.
Because that is exactly what they are doing, they are so big, they have drawn attention to themselves, and are now putting politicians in a position where they will probably turn around and start passing all sorts of laws, rules and regulations regarding the internet.

And when that happens, and the internet has been so tied up in Red tape thats its not worth using, we can all thank big old Google for not thinking things through - again.

Course, it may not happen, but who thinks the politicians are going to like google defying them?

Well, thats just my opinion, could be wrong, have been before, and will be again.

Maybe its just a storm in a teacup, and one side will back down. But who knows. Also, who knows just what the implications of this are long term, if search queries are made available to the goverment.

January 23, 2006   No Comments

Censorship on the internet

Spotted this on Dirty Tricks

Dirty Tricks: Microsoft Helps China Stifle Freedom of Speech

Microsoft Helps China Stifle Freedom of Speech

USA Today

Corp. has shut down the Internet journal of a Chinese blogger that
discussed politically sensitive issues, including a recent strike at a
Beijing newspaper.

It appears that Microsoft is getting some flack for shutting down a blog which the Chinese government took a dislike to, freedom of speech is very important - but In this instance, as the Microsoft Blog service in question was actually hosted in China, I dont see how they had much choice.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

The service is in China, so they have no choice but to obey local laws in that case, it would be a different ball game if the blogger had registered the blog on the US or UK sites, and I wonder if Microsoft would have taken the same decision in that instance?

Personally I dont agree with the way things are censored over there, but I dont live there, so dont have first hand experience of the issue, Im only going on what I have read.

However to me, the mere fact that a government can close down any site that disagree’s with its views makes me wonder about the way things are ran over there. In fact, the censorship alone tells me more about a country than any blog criticising a governement ever would. It makes me think the government in question is either a bully, or very insecure, either way they can’t take it when someone speaks their mind, if the person is not in agreement with their policies. I could be wrong, they may have very good reasons for what they do, Im sure Hitler thought he had good reasons for acting the way he did, Sadam Hussein probably thought he had good reasons for keeping his opposition silent. But is it right? To not allow people to question what is going on in their own country, or even to report on it?

But what can a governement have to fear from individuals writing words? Surely everyone is entitled to their opinion, or else they become slaves, living in fear of speaking a word out of turn.

But it is their country and they can do what they please, whether their people like it or not by the looks of things. I dont know how their political system works over their, but Im guessing people cant vote them out, or they would have done so by now. I also wonder if china is censoring peoples opinions even if they dont live in china? Is this being censored? Are the ponderings of someone in the UK getting hidden from the people of china, or is it only the chinese themselves that cant write what the feel? What do the majority of people over their actually think about this issue, is it a non issue to most of them? Or is it something of great concern, but as they are not allowed a free voice, people dont know its of concern?

The funny thing is, by censoring the blog in question, they have brought about worldwide attention to how they operate, and that has probably done a lot more damage to the publics perception of China than that blog ever could have done.

Go figure.

At least in most of the world, censorship like this is not a issue, yet…. But everyone does need to keep an eye out to make sure it does not creep in slowly, the internet is a global community, and politicians are often written about online - I bet not all of them like that, and I would not be suprised if they want to change the laws to make sure people cant speak freely at some point in the future.

But thats just a possibility, it may never happen, unlike in some countries where it is already happening.

What do you think? Should people be allowed to blog, report news and speak freely? Or is it ok to for the few to control the many?

January 10, 2006   No Comments

The mind boggles sometimes.

I had a chuckle today over a couple of submissions in the backlog, despite lots of guidance on site about choosing the correct category when submitting, lots of people still dont bother.

I sometimes just move sites myself to more appropriate categories, but there is a high chance they will just get deleted if the submitter has not taken the time to find an appropriate category to submit to.

You would think, that of all people, a SEO blog, especially one about ethical issues in SEO, would be able to submit to the correct category? Nope not in this instance (no I wont give the link), a so called leader in web placement (their words not mine!) and they cant even submit to a directory properly. A seo blog is not a blog directory, so it should not have been submitted to that category! Needless to say I rejected it.

That was closely followed by another submission, about link exchanges and seo, which was submitted to the video game category….. The blog did not mention video games, that I could see, so in the reject bin it went.

Obviously in the last instance the submitter actually went looking for a category, so its not like they didnt know about the categories, its probable they just wanted to find a category with only a few links in, to get more PR.

Well, it backfired, as they didnt get listed at all. Sites wont get into the wrong category, I check the category, and if its way off, I move it, or delete the submission. So cheating is useless here - dont try it.

It does not take long to do what the vast majority of submitters do - and thats to read the guidelines, and submit to the appropriate category, and follow the rest of the guidelines. Doing so makes the directory a better place for everyone that uses it.

January 7, 2006   No Comments