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John Bitumen
29-11-2004, 05:35 PM
www.google-watch.org

these cats are up to some evil stuff. gmail sounds like a terrible idea! apparently they're going to rifle through your emails for commercially useful information. the cunts.

also the sheer horror and revolt i felt at the claims on their masthead. "we dont wear suits" so the fuck what! as if that means anything!!!

Rambler
29-11-2004, 05:43 PM
Well, maybe. I'm all for protecting personal data and so on, but after a while, a law of diminishing returns comes into play. Google is still the best option for searching the web, and as such is an immensely valuable service. If we wanted something like this for books - a personal servant to trawl round the British Library for us, say - it would cost a fortune. The lives of almost anyone who uses the net is made immeasurably easier by something like Google - and it's completely free (still!). If that means inadvertently revealing every now and then my interests and commercial purchases, then so be it - I don't feel particularly compromised by that, and the gains certainly seem worth it in this case. Obviously some personal data is sacrosanct - and there are pretty draconian laws governing that sort of thing - but not all of it has to be.

grimly fiendish
29-11-2004, 10:48 PM
apparently they're going to rifle through your emails for commercially useful information

er, no. a computer is going to (has been for some time!) rifle through it looking for keywords. the results it comes out with are hysterical, FWIW: a brief exchange between me and my mate about his gig spawned four adverts for wedding rings (obviously the word "band" was the trigger).

it's exceptionally benign, and google have never been anything other than completely open about it. and hey, if it bothers you, don't sign up! that said, i can send you an invite if you want :)

John Bitumen
30-11-2004, 09:53 AM
it's exceptionally benign, and google have never been anything other than completely open about it. and hey, if it bothers you, don't sign up! that said, i can send you an invite if you want :)

i was really surprised about that site. i guess i'm just amazed that people will ascribe the most heinous conspiracy theories to microsoft, and yet when it comes to google (perhaps by virtue of their ultra plain frontpage and them using keyword like "no suits") we're dedicated to the belief that they're wholly benign.

i loved your band anecdote. but isnt it a little spooky?

rewch
30-11-2004, 12:28 PM
not necessarily indicative of anything but, for reasons nobody seems able to pin down, google's cookies seem to have a universal expiration date of 2038, which contrasts with a conservative microsoft expiration date of 2007 or urban75 expiring in 2005...

not sure if we should be worried that google have plans for a new world order though...

Wrong
30-11-2004, 01:21 PM
I don't think we need to be worried about that - 2038 is just the latest date that can be expressed with 32 bits - it's the binary equivalent of the millennium. Although, I suppose, that does raise the worrying possibility that google might be the antichrist.

Also: http://www.google-watch-watch.org/

Wrong
30-11-2004, 01:32 PM
i loved your band anecdote. but isnt it a little spooky?

True, in a way, athough really scary are people like Autonomy (http://www.autonomy.com/content/home/) and their clients (including the Department of Homeland Security), who use similar techniques on a variety of sources of data, probably many of which are dubiously acquired. And their board of directors includes Richard Perle.

More generally, I wonder if their isn't scope for a left-wing anti-privacy campaign, privacy being a) a construct of bourgeois individualism and b) increasingly impossible and useless as the real world becomes more virtual. The problem, anyway, isn't surveillance on its own, but the way in which surveillance becomes a sort of control. Maybe we should be attacking the control directly?

grimly fiendish
30-11-2004, 02:17 PM
privacy being a) a construct of bourgeois individualism and b) increasingly impossible and useless as the real world becomes more virtual.

absolutely. it's really, really simple: if you're that bothered about privacy, stay indoors under a big blanket and - whatever you do - don't connect your home computer to a world-wide network.

of course google aren't in it for altruistic reasons any more: they're a bloody big business. but for some reason a vocal minority of internet users seem to think the web should be a place of lawless anarchy, where nobody has any right to make money. fine, if you want to go back to the dark ages of the early 1990s, but personally i don't mind the odd advert/cookie/etc if it means i'm getting my content FREE.

thanks for the link, too, Wrong: that explains a lot!

John Bitumen
30-11-2004, 02:59 PM
absolutely. it's really, really simple: if you're that bothered about privacy, stay indoors under a big blanket and - whatever you do - don't connect your home computer to a world-wide network.

yeah i ought to try that ;)

rewch
01-12-2004, 05:28 PM
[QUOTE=Wrong]I don't think we need to be worried about that - 2038 is just the latest date that can be expressed with 32 bits - it's the binary equivalent of the millennium. Although, I suppose, that does raise the worrying possibility that google might be the antichrist.

thanks for that...but if the world is going to end in 2012 why worry?

but i think there is some mileage in the no privacy idea...except that unfortunately some entities (governments & security agencies) can't be trusted by us little people

richard perle is a very, very scary individual

be.jazz
01-12-2004, 05:53 PM
2038 is just the latest date that can be expressed with 32 bits
? Why is that?

DigitalDjigit
01-12-2004, 07:17 PM
I think it should be 2034.

I am thinking 16 bits is used for minutes and seconds and such and the other 16 bits is split like this:

5 bits for the day (0-31)
4 bits for the month (0-15)
leaving 7 bits for the year (0-63)

Since computer time keeping starts on January 1, 1970 we get 1970+64 = 2034

John Bitumen
01-12-2004, 07:25 PM
Also: http://www.google-watch-watch.org/

Wow. Gee. Thanks for that.

Maybe we should register:

http://www.google-watch-watch-watch.org

Wrong
02-12-2004, 12:11 PM
I think it should be 2034.

Well, this only strictly applies to unix - windows, old macs and so on may well be different. Anyway, the 32 bits just represent seconds, which gives you a range of 4 billion odd seconds, or 136 years. But half of this is used for dates before 1970, so we only have 68 years of future.

Here's Wikipedia's explanation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unix_epoch)

Grievous Angel
02-12-2004, 12:16 PM
I don't anticipate using google as an online document / mail store. I won't let anything even vaguely confidential be looked at, even if by a computer.

However I don't subscribe to the "Google is evil" model. That just doesn't make sense to me.

The privacy thing has scarcely started. Privacy and personal data escrow will be two of the biggest business issues of the next 20 years.