Google = Cyberdyne?

Google keep pushing limits with showing off two new technologies that are guaranteed to take people by charm and fear. I’ll explain these (almost, eh) diametrical words in a moment, but first, here’s the techy info:

1. A new online translator. In the beginning, there was Babelfish. Now Google are entering this market. Here you’ll find an explanation of how the translator by Google works.

2. 3D satellite software. This product, based on Google buying Keyhole, enables the user to browse maps based on satellite images; the software renders them in 3D. Explanations on this technology is found here. Check out this screen-shot for an easy graphical overview.

I think Google are pushing technical boundaries. Good for them and for a lot of people! The problem is, this may prove to be too good for one company. I think Google are slowly turning into Microsoft, which is of course, a double-edged sword. I’ll show you what I mean. When I studied network technology in 1998, I remember Google as a little upstart, going against Altavista, providing only web searching. Few believed Altavista could be toppled. They ruled the search market, right? Well, today, when people are using “google” as a verb, you may see where I’m heading with my theory.

As much as I like companies to unveil useful, great products, I’m always against companies that get too big, in a capitalistic sense. It reminds me of a book I’m reading, “Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film“. In it, we’re faced with freshness that turns sour with time (and too much money). The author presents Sundance, the American independent film-festival, and Miramax, a small independent film-distributor. Both organisations, I’m sure, started out with the best of intentions, but as soon as they got loads of money involved, artistic merit went out the window and megabucks became the lingua franca.

As you may have guessed, I’m against corporations, mostly because the usual description of corporations (which, according to me, has been “ruthless, big company”) is superceded with “psychopath”, as corporations often “behave like” by nature. To quote Dr. Robert Hare, expert on psychopathy, from the documentary “The Corporation“:

The corporation is the prototypical psychopath.

Of course there is more to this than that quote, which is taken a little out of context. Hare was asked to comment on a list of characteristics of the modern, American corporation, which legally has the same rights as an individual (I’m not making this up!) yet often “behaves” completely callously, unethically and without any sign of morality in the least. See that documentary. I know I’ve been regurgitating this a lot, but seriously, it’s a very good documentary. I just sent for a DVD copy of my own.

Anyway, as Microsoft is at the brink of their monopoly trial, Google stands a good chance of becoming a real runner-up. Just check the Google Labs to see the variety of projects they’re working on. As I’ve said, a lot of them are good, and a lot of them can make the Google board very rich persons, suddenly becoming able to change the lives of a lot of people. You don’t think so? Just take this example of how fizzy drinks-companies treats the people of India. I’m sure Coca-Cola and their likes started out with good intentions, but soon forgot all about that. Always keep an open mind, people.

update: I just got word from Jim Gilliam’s blog, that he’s unveiled the secret project he’s been working on for ages. It’s a documentary about WAL-MART, the gigantic American supermarket-chain, called “WAL-MART: The High Cost of Low Price”, which will be quite interesting. I’m posting this little note about it here, as this has everything to do with this post. A synopsis of the film, from the official documentary site:

WAL-MART: The High Cost of Low Price takes the viewer on a deeply personal journey into the everyday lives of families struggling to fight goliath. From a small business owner in the Midwest to a preacher in California, from workers in Florida to a poet in Mexico, dozens of film crews on three continents bring the intensely personal stories of an assault on families and American values.

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One Response to “Google = Cyberdyne?”

  1. Niklas’ blog » Blog Archive » Music, video, politics and religion Says:

    […] Speaking of which, rumours are spreading, saying Google are ready to get into the PC retailing game. Hang on. Have I written about their totalitarian take before? Some say that well, at least they’re not Microsoft. Yeah, but Pol Pot wasn’t George W. Bush, so shut your faces: two wrongs don’t make a right. I’m saying that it’s good that Microsoft, the biggest company on the planet (commercially speaking), is getting to feel real competition, but on the other hand, I dislike other competitiors getting the short end of the stick. Somehow, due to experience, I have the feeling that Microsoft have already tried to out-buy Google – or that vice versa will be the case in a while. Imagine the size of that company. […]

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