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Google Wants You To Be Its Unpaid Muse

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the voluntary-grindstone-for-nose-skinning dept.

Google 227

theodp writes "So where do you turn to for great ideas when tough times force you to abort your engineers' brainchildren? If you're Google, reports Nicholas Carlson, you simply outsource brainstorming to your users. Google's launched a new Google Product Ideas blog as well as a Product Ideas for Google Mobile site where users can submit feature and product ideas and vote on others. So what's in it for you if you come up with Google's next billion-dollar-idea? 'If you post an idea or suggestion and we put it into action, we may give you a shout out on our Product Ideas blog,' explains Google, 'but we won't be compensating users for their ideas.' Lucky thing don't-be-evil Googlers don't have to live up to the IEEE Code of Ethics, or they might have to credit properly the contributions of others." So what's wrong with a shout out among consenting adults?

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Eat me !! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26298907)

Eat meat, that should be !!

Re:Eat me !! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26298911)

Can't it be both?

That's right, I'm a GoogleFag.

Re:Eat me !! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26298997)

I droiopped a brown rope this morning the size of Google. My ass is now compleatly gone.

Don't want Google to steal your ideas? (5, Insightful)

phayes (202222) | more than 5 years ago | (#26298917)

Don't contribute to their ideabox. It's not like Google is forcing people to contribute. Why is that too difficult for the article submitter to understand?

Slashdot should pay me! (5, Insightful)

an.echte.trilingue (1063180) | more than 5 years ago | (#26298987)

This is ridiculous. Should /. have paid the guy who submitted this? What about me for all the moderation I have done? Should my company pay people who fill in customer satisfaction surveys?

I am really getting tired of this /. "google really is evil" meme. I mean, jeez, here we're jumping on them for doing standard market research. When they do something that really is evil (like when Microsoft killed netscape), that will be news.

Re:Slashdot should pay me! (0, Troll)

Francais Troll (1442059) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299075)

Je suis un fan de Google sur les outils de traduction, je suis sÃr que beaucoup d'entre vous peut le dire. Sucez mon pénis, vous tous!

What meme? (1, Troll)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299537)

I am really getting tired of this /. "google really is evil" meme.

It's not a meme, it's just the truth.

Until you can crack open their entire operation and show me, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Google doesn't abuse their position in at least one way (because that's all it takes, then I'd let go some of my skepticism.

After all, absolute power corrupts absolutely.... Of course though, Google does have the best kool-aid.

Re:What meme? (0)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 4 years ago | (#26299767)

Until you can crack open their entire operation and show me, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Google doesn't abuse their position in at least one way

This is just dumb and shouldn't be modded up. I'm not going to spend anymore time writing on this, it's just plain paranoid delusional thinking.

Re:What meme? (1, Funny)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 4 years ago | (#26299939)

it's just plain paranoid delusional thinking.

No it's not, it's reasonable.

Google has shown that they are by far one of the best handlers of information on the planet. It's more than natural to assume that the average person would probably object to some form of "handling" that they perform with information related to you.

I never said they're the lapdog of Satan or big brother, but still, Google shrouds its inner workings in secrecy (more than is necessary, IMHO) for a reason that I'd wager goes far beyond protecting trade secrets.

I do, however, trust Google leaps and scores more than I'd ever trust Facebook.... that's an entirely different can of worms (though I may add, their kool-aid has been getting quite tasty with all their web 2.0 flavoring).

Re:What meme? (5, Insightful)

N1AK (864906) | more than 4 years ago | (#26300013)

It isn't reasonable. No organisation is run in a completely open manner, with ALL communications (and everything else) logged and released. In fact I doubt any human lives a life with that level of transparency.

To say it is the truth that something is evil just because you don't have 100% access to information proving it is paranoid, as it is defining everything you don't know everything about as evil.

I never said they're the lapdog of Satan or big brother

You said they were evil, if that isn't what you meant retract it and state what you did mean. If you did then don't obfuscate the issue with irrelevant things you didn't call them ;)

Re:What meme? (2, Insightful)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 4 years ago | (#26300011)

it's just plain paranoid delusional thinking.

If you're a zebra, it's not paranoid or delusional to think that a lion will eat you first chance it gets. It's the nature of the beast. Yes, you might have found the one lion in all the jungle that was raised in a vegan commune, or that doesn't have a taste for zebra; but that's an extraordinary claim requiring extraordinary evidence.

If you're an ordinary citizen, it's not paranoid or delusional to think that a large for-profit corporation will screw you first chance it gets. It's the nature of the beast - the corporation that doesn't maximize its short-term profits by any means necessary gets hit by shareholder lawsuits. Yes, you might have found the one multinational corporation in all the world that has found a way to keep profits high without screwing anyone over; but that's an extraordinary claim requiring extraordinary evidence.

Re:What meme? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26299809)

If you're going to claim something, then it's your job to prove it, not the people trying to call you out on your tinfoil hat bullshit.

Re:What meme? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26299993)

It's quid pro quo. You have been getting an awesome search engine for free. Can't they get a little in return you zealot?

Re:What meme? (2, Insightful)

cephah (1244770) | more than 4 years ago | (#26300089)

So it's guilty until proven innocent, then?

Re:Slashdot should pay me! (2, Insightful)

ExtremePhobia (1326407) | more than 4 years ago | (#26300015)

hey, I wouldn't mind getting paid for my ideas. If you put a significant amount of work into something that's going to get somebody else paid, I don't think it's that wrong to expect some compensation. On the flip side, if you know you aren't going to be paid then you know that your compensation is strictly just getting props. If that bothers you, it's not their fault. If this ideabox doesn't work out then they may start paying people for their ideas.

Supply and Demand - The Supply is huge, the demand nearly non-existent... so you don't get paid.

Re:Slashdot should pay me! (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#26300051)

we're jumping on them for doing standard market research.

Actually, I think we're jumping on them for being a multi-billion dollar company cynically taking miserly advantage of the naive Web 2.0/UGC culture. The next logical step would be for them to reward the really, really clever and marketable ideas with limited edition Google Logo pins and official membership cards in the Google Youth. Or maybe the "Google Yooth." Yeah, I like that...

I'd suggest such a club as a money-making idea to Google directly if I didn't think it would result in them tapping my phone and implanting a microphone in my dog.

Re:Don't want Google to steal your ideas? (1)

slugtastic (1437569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299009)

It's not like Google is forcing people to contribute.

Who said they do?

Re:Don't want Google to steal your ideas? (0, Troll)

Francais Troll (1442059) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299157)

Votre mère. Mordre sur ma cul coq-vous de fumer sac de thé!

OR (2, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299065)

patent the idea, and then submit it to Google's box while you work on the idea.

Re:OR (1)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 4 years ago | (#26299973)

I'm sure that their lawyers have worked something up so that when you submit an idea, you give up your legal right to that idea.

Re:Don't want Google to steal your ideas? (5, Insightful)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299147)

Or, do. I would LOVE if every service provider gave me a place to voice my opinion on how they can improve their service without me having to have the expertise to actually execute the idea.

An idea is just that: an idea. It's not a product, it's not a service, it's not even the result of a great deal of work. There are a lot of things I'd like to see companies do that I can't begin to make money off of, but I think they could and I would benefit from them. I don't care if they profit off my ideas, my gain is that they are doing what I want.

Leave it to Slashdot users to find a way to negatively spin it when a company goes to great lengths to give their consumers a voice.

What? (1)

Dreen (1349993) | more than 4 years ago | (#26299611)

Maybe Im blind or something but I only see a brainstorm directory for mobile apps. for normal ones they say "While we're kicking off this initiative with Google Mobile, we hope to extend Product Ideas to more Google products in the coming year." Am I missing something?

The Gift Economy.* (2, Insightful)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#26298919)

"So what's wrong with a shout out among consenting adults? "

For those who envision the domination of a gift economy. Now's your chance to make it happen. First software, now ideas.

*Aka "ideas want to be free".

Re:The Gift Economy.* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26298973)

Honestly, I'd rather prefer 100 million dollars to a random quantity of "whuffie". That was a story, babes. You don't see Corey Doctorow actually offering all his books for free.

Re:The Gift Economy.* (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299057)

Um, yeah, he pretty much does. At least all of his more recent ones.

Re:The Gift Economy.* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26299165)

http://craphound.com/content/

Re:The Gift Economy.* (4, Insightful)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299015)

"So what's wrong with a shout out among consenting adults? "

For those who envision the domination of a gift economy. Now's your chance to make it happen. First software, now ideas.

*Aka "ideas want to be free".

I think I preferred the old economy where we sold our skills to billion dollar companies.

Re:The Gift Economy.* (2, Interesting)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299025)

ah, but at least with software the GPL forces derived products to still be free, if you gift an idea to Google, they get to keep it as if it was theirs all along.

I wonder if the T&C of the product idea site says you have to cede copyright and any patents to them?

Re:The Gift Economy.* (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 4 years ago | (#26299807)

You can't restrict people from having the same ideas as yourself. Your comparison is horribly inaccurate.

Re:The Gift Economy.* (2, Insightful)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 4 years ago | (#26300087)

You can't restrict people from having the same ideas as yourself.

No, but you can stop them from using those ideas. That's what a patent is for.

Re:The Gift Economy.* (1)

PJ1216 (1063738) | more than 4 years ago | (#26299863)

What if someone other than the submitter already owns the patent or copyright (assuming the idea is copyrightable or patentable)

Re:The Gift Economy.* (2, Insightful)

afxgrin (208686) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299087)

Too bad not everyone plays their fair part in the gift economy. Instead, there's a very high likelihood, that Google can just take the ideas that are submitted, and implement them without providing any reward to the submitter.

Even if there's some EULA/Contract/legal stuff that Google provides at first, good luck taking them to court and winning against this multi-billion dollar corporation.

There's also the problem of providing relevant ideas. In a public forum listing ideas, there maybe many very good ones, but may hold no relevance to a corporation like Google. By posting the non-relevant idea, you then leave that idea open to the public, where some other corporation who has no intention to 'play fair' at all, can take it, and become profitable, or completely ruin the idea by implementing it poorly and creating an atmosphere of negative public opinion.

I don't blame people for -not- sharing their ideas, even if they never have the resources, time, or dedication to see them through. In the wrong forum, you may face nothing but hostility, and ignorance, because the audience just doesn't understand what you're presenting, or finds your idea a threat to theirs.

Sounds like a nice idea however.

Re:The Gift Economy.* (4, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299423)

All too often, we are brought up on the perspective that the "killer" idea is more important than the execution. It's like some type of get-rich-quick scheme for thinkers. This is one area where the patent system used to work, only granting patents on working models are specific implementations - nowadays it's the "killer idea" which some corp or troll patents, sits on it, and waits for someone else to do the work. Truly novel or killer ideas are uncommon - great execution is more important. I would say that Apple's iPods and iPhone are a testament to this. Not one super novel idea in itself, but a slew of good compromises and vision to see it through. Good execution.

I don't think society progresses far when people hoarde their ideas in the mistaken beliefs that it's all gold (rather than the 99.999% fool's gold that they are) or actually more novel than it really is and not collaborating with anyone. I would look to Paul Erdos as the ultimate example of intellectual collaboration.

The problem is that ideas that seem good are plenty. It's like blades of grass. The problem is getting yours to stick out, so that the corporation actually picks your and pours their resources into executing it. I would imagine it's a good feeling if something actually came out of it.

*Note, I'm talking ideas, not some specific design.

All of the terms are put clearly (3, Insightful)

Peaker (72084) | more than 5 years ago | (#26298925)

How could this be illegitimate, if it does not intend to hide or mislead Google's intentions?

Re:All of the terms are put clearly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26299707)

It's like Walmart asking for ideas what they could do next to become even bigger. Would you give Walmart ideas?

Re:All of the terms are put clearly (2, Insightful)

Peaker (72084) | more than 4 years ago | (#26299889)

That is irrelevant. What's relevant is that Walmart have every right to do so if they fully enclose that they take the ideas without any compensation.

There's nothing wrong with it (5, Insightful)

matt4077 (581118) | more than 5 years ago | (#26298933)

Why shouldn't they ask for ideas from users? It's part of any business relationship that both sides profit. Since I rarely click on ads, I've probably gotten more use out of google products than they got in return. If I had a good idea, I'd have no problem to let them know. At the least, their products get better and I get to use the cool new feature. Most of the ideas are probably worthless to individuals anyway, since they might only be a feature, not a product.

Plus, all the ideas are out in the open for everyone to see, so any competitor is free to implement them as well.

Re:There's nothing wrong with it (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26299113)

Replace google with microsoft.

How to you feel about the issue now you fanboi?

Though so.

Re:There's nothing wrong with it (1)

matt4077 (581118) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299135)

Your opposition only makes me stronger.

Re:There's nothing wrong with it (2, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299179)

I've got several ideas for Microsoft.

  • Make WPA work reliably.
  • Make WPA (the other one) work reliably.
  • Make it so you can save power management settings without having to frig the registry.
  • Make XP Pro SP3 install properly even if it can't read a stupid music file. Or at least tell you that it needs to run as administrator at the start

They can implement those and I won't ask for a penny.

(I have several others that are quite unprintable).

Re:There's nothing wrong with it (1)

u38cg (607297) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299365)

Quite agree. I suspect you'll find that Google already gets a large number of people contacting them suggesting they do this or that. Having a centralised place where they can employ a guy to sift the wheat from the chaff seems a sensible next step.

Re:There's nothing wrong with it (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299555)

To me it's always a question of licensing. If you care to keep a share of your idea and the product made of it be sure to submit it to someone who won't steal it from you. Of course this is easy with FOSS licenses but not impossible with proprietary licenses, given that your idea or product is valuable enough.

It also (4, Insightful)

camcorder (759720) | more than 5 years ago | (#26298937)

...makes you unpaid advertisers.

Re:It also (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299053)

Kind of like ppl paying MS for a new version of windows beta and then debugging it for them while telling others what they think of it?

Re:It also (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299347)

The difference here being that with Microsoft you have to pay, but then you don't have anything nice to say about it. Whereas Google is free, and mostly doesn't suck.

How is that different than /.? (4, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#26298945)

Other people create the articles, we create the original content that draw people to this site. People love having a soapbox where they think others will listen to their ideas. So I don't understand the tone of the summary.

OTOH, years ago, people working at Nintendo (USA) told me that when they recieved letters, they put them in the trash as soon as it became apparent it was an "idea" letter for a game. They didn't want the liability. How is google going to curb this aspect?

Re:How is that different than /.? (5, Informative)

Sen.NullProcPntr (855073) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299043)

OTOH, years ago, people working at Nintendo (USA) told me that when they recieved letters, they put them in the trash as soon as it became apparent it was an "idea" letter for a game. They didn't want the liability. How is google going to curb this aspect?

The letters to Nintendo were unsolicited. Google requires you to agree to their TOS [google.com] before you can post an idea.

Re:How is that different than /.? (3, Informative)

Psycizo (776693) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299095)

For the TL;DR people:

11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive licence to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This licence is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.

Re:How is that different than /.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26299219)

1. Come up with great idea
2. Request a patent for it's implementation, register for copyright and a bit later offer idea for "free" to Google as anonymous
3. Wait for patent and copyright to be approved
4. ???
5. Profit

Re:How is that different than /.? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26299231)

"By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive licence to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This licence is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services."

So the license to distribute etc is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display and promote the services. That's quite a narrow limitation. No sublicensing, for a start...

Re:How is that different than /.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26299051)

Ideas for features submitted to Google probably don't fall under the blanket of "intellectual property."

Re:How is that different than /.? (1)

afxgrin (208686) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299139)

They have billions of dollars, random letter writers typically don't. That's how.

Re:How is that different than /.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26299723)

They have billions of dollars, random letter writers typically don't. That's how.

So the millions that Nintendo had wasn't enough?

I don't think I understand.

something doens't add up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26298949)

At the moment, "2,436 people have submitted 670 ideas"

I haven't looked at the content of these ideas but on the surface of it, it seems like 1766 people's idea what to post:

"F1RST!!!11!!!!1!"

This is the herald of a new dawn! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26298953)

I found my socks!

Hey,... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26298959)

... they are already doing it with search queries!

Ideas are cheap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26298985)

Seriously, raw ideas are cheap. Everyone has an opinion. The hard part that you need to pay people for is making the ideas work.

Like Edison said, 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.

They could make your idea real... for free (4, Insightful)

wyoung76 (764124) | more than 5 years ago | (#26298991)

Most people I know (myself included) have a lot of ideas, both good and bad, but have no idea or resources to make the idea into a marketable and/or profitable idea. The fact that your idea could be made real by anyone else and accessible worldwide is pretty much its own thing to brag about.

Re:They could make your idea real... for free (2, Insightful)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299099)

Not to mention, just being credited with coming up with Google's next big thing is enough to almost certainly land you a well paid job for life somewhere.

Re:They could make your idea real... for free (3, Insightful)

Rastl (955935) | more than 4 years ago | (#26299711)

Not to mention, just being credited with coming up with Google's next big thing is enough to almost certainly land you a well paid job for life somewhere.

Yeah, good luck with that one on your resume.

"I came up with the idea for Google's 'Whatchawhoozit' module that has revolutionized the industry. Um, they didn't give me any credit for it or anything but trust me I did submit it through their idea portal."

Alternatively, "I came up with the idea for Google's 'Whatchawhoozit' module that has revolutionized the industry. If you go into Help, About, Credits, Contributers, North America, Submitters and increase the font you'll see me. Right there! Yes, I'm that John Smith!"

I agree that there's many a slip 'twixt cup and lip but I'm not about to sign over all rights to my ideas on the off chance that they'll be used. I'll keep them to myself and see if at some point I can bring them to fruition.

"Unpaid Muse" (4, Funny)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299013)

Not to carp, but as far as I know none of the Ennead ever got paid. Of course, had they existed in the days of the RIAA, Euterpe,Polyhymnia and probably Terpsichore would have been served with writs pronto. This would have been a Good Thing, because Zeus had a thoroughgoing way of dealing with people who pissed off his relatives. But I digress...

As I keep telling our sales people, there is something of a gulf between having an idea and actually implementing it. Also, an invention is supposed to solve a problem, not just to state it. I may think it is a good idea to find a way of checking the extent to which bears poo in the woods, but when someone patents the improved device and process for facilitating mensuration and analysis of the sylvan/urban mass ratio of ursine faeces, I really shouldn't expect to profit.

Re:"Unpaid Muse" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26299297)

Actually, I have it on the highest authority that Urania always forced her servants ... er, clients ... er, no, acolytes to sign an NDA on her methodologies for inspiration, and to sign over 30% of all profits.

Re:"Unpaid Muse" (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#26299895)

Not to carp, but as far as I know none of the Ennead ever got paid.

This is naive at best - and disingenuous at worst. Greek drama was framed within the context of a religious festival. But it was also a competitive exhibition for the playwrights and the winner did not go home empty-handed.

Rarely works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26299063)

A mega-corp I used to work for also did this, but just internally for employees. The reward- a $50 gift certificate if your idea was chosen by the exec's. Participation and the quality of the ideas was awful. Within a few months they shut down the website since the exec's were tired of filtering through all the crappy ideas. There are already a bunch of sites doing the same thing. Good ideas are rare, good ideas for free are almost unheard of. Think about the American Inventor show. The payoff was huge, yet even amongst a poll of millions of people most of the ideas were pathetic. Even the winning ideas were lame and never become profitable.

So google fanbois still have strong precense in /. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26299077)

If Microsoft did this would you fanbois?? stupid asses.

Re:So google fanbois still have strong precense in (1)

slim (1652) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299367)

Sure. It'd be a step towards MS giving me the kind of products I want. Which right now, they don't.

Comment witheld (2, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299079)

Before I make a comment on this article, you're going to have to compensate me. Or did you think you could steal people's time for some free comments?

Apples to Apples (5, Interesting)

BecomingLumberg (949374) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299091)

If this was a report about Ubuntu brainstorm, pretty much the same thing, it would be a glowing review? Why can a for profit company not employ the same techniques?

Re:Apples to Apples (4, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 4 years ago | (#26299639)

Probably due to perception of result.

When Canonical/Ubuntu takes an idea and runs with it, odds are good that everyone benefits, and the results are freely shared without any real encumbrance or price.

When a for-profit company takes an idea and runs with it, odds are better than good that everyone will have to pay for the privilege of reaping the benefits, and a patent or two will prevent anyone else from implementing it for at least the next 25 years.

Not that I'm taking sides (after all, Google's idea-gathering is voluntary), but that's how it usually shakes out.

/P

Re:Apples to Apples (2, Informative)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 4 years ago | (#26300047)

Hmm.. I use a fair amount of Google products and I cannot recall paying for one of them.

Re:Apples to Apples (1)

eapache (1239018) | more than 4 years ago | (#26299643)

<quote>If this was a report about Ubuntu brainstorm, pretty much the same thing, it would be a glowing review? Why can a for profit company not employ the same techniques?</quote>

Dell is running Ideastorm. I don't see the big deal either, as long as terms are clearly stated.

Re:Apples to Apples (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 4 years ago | (#26299673)

I should punch you in the face for this, but I know you're just flamebaiting. You know perfectly well of the differences between contributing to an open project (which means you didn't lose the rights to use them) and giving away ideas for no personal gain. This isn't about right contra wrong, but rather stupid contra smart.

Re:Apples to Apples (1)

BecomingLumberg (949374) | more than 4 years ago | (#26299919)

Okay, you do that. Preferably on the chin though - I have a date tomorrow night and a black eye would be troublesome. Anyone who contributes has decided they are okay with it. So what - it is their idea, not yours.

What's the big deal? (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299105)

Isn't this the same as Dell's Idea Storm and Ubuntu's Brain Storm?

Re:What's the big deal? (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 4 years ago | (#26299779)

To answer your question: no. It could be seen as very similair to Dell's, but not Ubuntus. The difference is that the contributions you submit for Ubuntu Brainstorm are yours and others to keep. Thus there's always a personal gain, and no providing you with a new product to purchase does not count.

Garbage (4, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299117)

The article mentions that Google won't be compensating submitters, then quotes like holy writ the IEEE code of conduct which mentions crediting them.

Last time I looked, those words weren't synonyms.

Re:Garbage (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299483)

If your idea is good enough to be compensated, you should patent it and sold the patent. But 99% of the ideas I see in websites like Ubuntu Brainstorm aren't good enough for anyone to pay for them. If Google actually makes something the user wants, having the idea come true should be enough compensation.

Re:Garbage (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#26299697)

No, no, no no.

Patents should be for an invention/implementation (4 stroke engine), not an idea (horseless carriage).

Wow, a feedback blog, what a concept! (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299221)

So tell me, why is listening to your users and customers a bad thing?

Read as: "We've got tons of talented engineers... (2, Insightful)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299239)

...with absolutely f*** all to do right now as we only have one real product, search, and we're hesitant to make big changes to it... Please give us the ideas we obviously cannot think up on our own so we can give these guys/gals something to do because bored smart people tend to leave no matter how good the bennies are." ;)

Re:Read as: "We've got tons of talented engineers. (1)

slim (1652) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299413)

we only have one real product, search, and we're hesitant to make big changes to it...

Well, I'm a regular user of Gmail, Reader, Maps, Docs, Notebook, Desktop Search and probably others I've forgotten.

Search is often improved - they're often adding new file types and previewers. Just recently it became possible to sort search results in a way that gets remembered next time you do the search.

Re:Read as: "We've got tons of talented engineers. (1)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299475)

Do you realize how many engineers Google actually has? ;) Google should really create a new product line/direction and become seriously devoted to it. Can you imagine, with the talent Google has, what they could do with Open Office (or build a new platform with the same goal) or if they wanted to obliterate Exchange Server? Unfortunately, this is not (as far as I can tell) Google's goal. Google's goal is search, search infrastructure, and fun little add-ons like gMail, simulations, Google docs, et cetera.

Google isn't looking for a real product to build, they're looking for cool things to attract users to Google to bolster search revenue. That doesn't mean they wouldn't ever build a serious product other than Search, but the culture would (apparently) have to change to do so. It's hard to be competitive if your engineers spend 20% of their time on something other than the product you want to deliver and you can't simply scale a software engineering project by adding people. It's a careful balance.

Re:Read as: "We've got tons of talented engineers. (1)

Kent Recal (714863) | more than 4 years ago | (#26299841)

What a truckload of nonsense.
Google has quite a few serious products lined up next to search and if you look really hard even you may be able to find them.

Re:Read as: "We've got tons of talented engineers. (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#26299867)

Can you imagine, with the talent Google has, what they could do with Open Office (or build a new platform with the same goal)

I think Google would much rather you used Google Docs than Open Office. I would characterise Docs as a 'serious product'. Sure you can't use it offline, but Google works on the assumption you're always online.

Actually here's Google's interests:

  • Anything that attracts users to see Google Ads
  • Anything that causes users to provide clues for the ad targeting algorithms (search terms, email contents, page contents, doc contents etc.)

Which reminds me - I didn't include Adsense in the list of Google services I use - and from a Google revenue perspective, it's the most important one.

Welcome to Web 2.0, baby! (1)

davFr (679391) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299301)

no texT.

Against the IEEE Code of Ethics? Huh? (1)

sirwired (27582) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299317)

The ethics code requires contributions by others to be "properly credited." It by no means requires the contributors to be paid (unless of course pay was promised.) Also, if credit is explicitly not promised (as in this case), failing to credit is not against the code.

SirWired

Re:Against the IEEE Code of Ethics? Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26299649)

The ethics code requires contributions by others to be "properly credited." which is more or less what hognoxious said right here. [slashdot.org]

FTFY.

GASP! (3, Funny)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299329)

My God, how far can this go? Google has the audacity to listen to its customer and actually use the better ideas?

Because Google is Huge (1)

rxan (1424721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299331)

I think the evil seen here is only due to Google being such a large corporation. To smaller companies, ideas are the golden egg. They are a way to get an edge on other companies, make a splash in the market, or even create brand new markets. And people don't have a problem with this because they are the underdogs.

But Google is huge. People always seem to make a stink when big companies patent ideas. It's because they don't really need to. You know that in a few years after another company implemented an idea, the larger companies are going to copy it anyway, patent or not. Larger companies don't really need the protection of the patent system.

Top Secret Money Making Formula (1)

marsman57 (559422) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299461)

1. Come up with cool original idea. 2. Patent your idea. 3. Submit idea to Google. 4. Sue Google for Patent Infringement. 5. Profit. Not ??? step necessary!

Re:Top Secret Money Making Formula (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26299701)

1. Come up with cool original idea.
2. Patent your idea.
3. Submit idea to Google.
4. Sue Google for Patent Infringement.
5. Get laughed out of court as Google shows where you agreed to turn over all copyright and patents to them in the terms of service.

Not ??? step necessary!

There, fixed it for you.

Re:Top Secret Money Making Formula (improved) (1)

orasio (188021) | more than 4 years ago | (#26299749)

...
3. Have a friend submit the idea to Google ...

Ideas aren't bankable (1)

mariox19 (632969) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299467)

An idea is a long way from an implementation. Were they alive today, should Jules Verne be paid for the submarine, or Da Vinci for the helicopter?

Profit... (1)

Kindaian (577374) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299479)

1. Register a patent with the idea
2. Post the idea in the idea site
3. Wait for google to implement it...
4. Sue google for unlicensed patent use
5. Profit...

(i know it doesn't conform with the standard way)

Re:Profit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26299787)

1. Register a patent with the idea
2. Post the idea in the idea site
3. Wait for google to implement it...
4. Sue google for unlicensed patent use
5. Get laughed out of court as Google shows where you agreed to turn over all copyright and patents to them in the terms of service.

(i know it doesn't conform with the standard way)

There, fixed it for you.

At least they're honest (1)

elysiana (1152995) | more than 5 years ago | (#26299495)

They're being upfront about the policy, and it's not even buried in legal mumbo-jumbo - it's RIGHT THERE in the FAQ. If you were going to submit an idea to a corporation and were worried about compensation, wouldn't you try to find that info beforehand? FAQ is a great place to start, and bingo, there it is. Problem solved - if you're looking for compensation, you know not to go to Google with your idea. So where's the prob?

oh sorry a small mistake (1)

shakuni (644197) | more than 4 years ago | (#26299593)

This is MSFT initiative wrongly posted as Google one....

please change your comments accordingly.

inconvenience caused is regretted

Wait, what? (4, Insightful)

KingJ (992358) | more than 4 years ago | (#26299645)

A way to finally contact Google? It's so difficult to get in contact with them normally - even if you're paying them (in the case of AdWords). Perhaps we can finally start talking to real people at Google, or at least have them read some of our grievances.

this FP foGr GNAAB... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26299657)

*BSD but FreebSD
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