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Less Than Free

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the fine-price-point dept.

Businesses 330

VC Bill Gurley has up an insightful piece on the strategy behind Google's releasing turn-by-turn mapping for free. He calls it the "Less Than Free" business model, and it is beyond disruptive. On the day that Google announced its new service, the stock in the two companies that had controlled the market for map data, Garmin and TomTom, dropped by 16% and 21%, respectively. (Those companies had bought Google's erstwhile map-data suppliers, Tele Atlas and NavTeq, in 2007.) "When I asked a mobile industry veteran why carriers were so willing to dance with Google, a company they once feared, he suggested that Google was the 'lesser of two evils.' With Blackberry and iPhone grabbing more and more subs, the carriers were losing control of the customer UI... With Android, carriers could re-claim their customer 'deck.' Additionally, because Google has created an open source version of Android, carriers believe they have an 'out' if they part ways with Google in the future. I then asked my friend, 'So why would they ever use the Google (non open source) license version?' ... Here was the big punch line — because Google will give you ad splits on search if you use that version! That's right; Google will pay you to use their mobile OS. I like to call this the 'less than free' business model. This is a remarkable card to play. Because of its dominance in search, Google has ad rates that blow away the competition. To compete at an equally 'less than free' price point, Symbian or Windows Mobile would need to subsidize." Gurley speculates that the company may broaden "less than free" to include the Google Chrome OS.

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330 comments

eat my shorts slashdot !! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30138336)

Eat my shorts slashdot !!

old news is so exciting! (-1, Offtopic)

timster (32400) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138340)

It's nice to know that Mr Gurley has learned how the industry works.

So let me get this straight... (4, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138356)

The virtue of Android, from the carrier's perspective, is that it allows them to create terrible branded user experiences.

Re:So let me get this straight... (4, Funny)

Nursie (632944) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138372)

And get paid for it! Don't forget that bit!

Yeah, sound sucky doesn't it? I had hoped that we were starting to see the end of "this feature crippled by your carrier, instead here's a button that'll take you to our website (and charge you for that)".

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

rho (6063) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138764)

Thank God we have Google to defend the end-users' interests.

Seriously, is there anything that Google can't provide? Maybe they should run everything!

Less than freedom (5, Funny)

xzvf (924443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138790)

Less than free as in beer, less than free as in freedom?

Re:Less than freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30138986)

Less than free as in less-lethal. You're gonna get hurt no matter what, AND you could lose an eye.

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138512)

No more so than Windows mobile, and at least you can get the source code for Android.

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138860)

And what? Which phones let you readily install a home-brew version of the OS?

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138572)

The virtue of Android, from the carrier's perspective, is that it allows them to create terrible branded user experiences.

And thus create a small industry out of people reinstalling the non-terrible, open source version of the same phone's software

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138786)

I bet there will be a small safe patch if it becomes common.

Re:So let me get this straight... (1, Interesting)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138598)

I just got a G1 from my brother to use for development. I thought it was very cool I could wipe the firmware from T-Mobile and put a custom mod on there that allowed me to move apps to the SD card, use WiFi tethering, etc. Show me another phone/OS environment you see that happen on.

Re:So let me get this straight... (0)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138800)

On my htc touch pro 2 w/ windows mobile i could do that without formatting? Also has bluetooth and usb tethering which i thought was excessive.

Gee, it's almost like they have a monopoly or some (5, Insightful)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138364)

or something...

Let's see, using dominance in one market to establish dominance in another market. Check!

Re:Gee, it's almost like they have a monopoly or s (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30138458)

or something...

Let's see, using dominance in one market to establish dominance in another market. Check!

Aww, come on. It's Google. It's not like they'll ever do EVIL. (Cue aside about bridge in NY or swampland in FL here...)

Besides, all their "cool" stuff impresses the easily impressionable. "OHHH! LOOK! NEW SHINY!" So that makes it OK.

Re:Gee, it's almost like they have a monopoly or s (4, Funny)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138816)

I thought we were talking about Google here, not Apple.

Re:Gee, it's almost like they have a monopoly or s (5, Interesting)

cvd6262 (180823) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138482)

When I first read this I thought about IBM back in the day. They could put a small company out of business simply by announcing, "Yeah, we're working on that too." And they had to fight off some well-founded lawsuits. Eventually, IBM became known for quiet and consistent R&D (Giant MR comes to mind) because they had to watch what they said.

Will that day come for Google? I think not (or it's a long way off). IBM's issues with the courts came around the same time Ma Bell was dismantled, which couldn't happen now.

Horseshit. (5, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138492)

The operative word being "dominant". Google isn't the only big-time company that obviously throws money at people to use their shit (remember MLB and Obama's inaguration streaming with respect to Silverlight?), but they might be one of the few to actually succeed at it.

Bing is a joke, Yahoo is for 12 year-olds. If the other giants actually innovated instead of rehashing and hyping to death the same tired shit, maybe we'd have some real competition.

Re:Horseshit. (2, Interesting)

lordmetroid (708723) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138558)

The Japanese sure seem to like Yahoo! Maybe Yahoo is the only search engine that does not deliver insane search results when searhing in Japanese??? Anyone with experience that can clarify why Yahoo is big in the Japanese market?

Re:Horseshit. (0, Flamebait)

zionian117 (1068050) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138778)

If you know about *all* the other search engines why can't you just search in Yahoo.co.jp yourself? Is it just too hard to open a new tab and type that?

Re:Horseshit. (1)

TikiTDO (759782) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138782)

I am pulling this completely out of my ass, but I wouldn't be too surprised if some Japanese like Yahoo! just because it's named "Yahoo!" Some of those people are WEIRD.

Re:Horseshit. (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#30139032)

Ohhhh-kay. I'll agree, some Japanese probably do just fall in love with the silly name. For all I know, the word "yahoo" means something in Japanese that really is cool. But - what excuse do all the rest of the weird people in the world have?

Someone mentioned above that Yahoo is for twelve year olds. I would add all the clueless users of the world to that. From day one, I never saw anything on Yahoo that would induce me to use their services. On the other hand, I liked what I saw on Google immediately.

Re:Horseshit. (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30139044)

Japanese are comfortable being bombarded. The main reason you saw the switch to Google early on was that the site was spartan. NA users switched fast, it didn't bug the Asian market too much. For a Japanese specific experience people hit up Goo. I think most people use Google now in Japan since iGoogle. I guess a lot of Japanese ppl like the everything on one page setup. Mostly I think people are just slow to move. People are all about phone tech and gadgetry... not so much computing experiences.

Re:Horseshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30139100)

"If the other giants actually innovated instead of rehashing and hyping to death the same tired shit, maybe we'd have some real competition."

Isn't that a quote from Microsoft from a few years back?

Re:Gee, it's almost like they have a monopoly or s (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30138556)

Cue the Johnny Trustbusters. What exactly do they have a monopoly on? Searching? Right, I only have about a dozen alternatives.

Re:Gee, it's almost like they have a monopoly or s (1)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138580)

That would make sense if you could demonstrate how they are leveraging their current "monopoly" (search) to dominate in another area (mobile phone OS, Sat Nav). This is VERY different from having a dominant (and convicted) monopoly in one type of operating system (desktop) and then using that to shift into other operating system areas (Mobile, Gaming, etc).

Its the difference between GE and Standard Oil. Being GOOD at different things is fine.

Re:Gee, it's almost like they have a monopoly or s (4, Insightful)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138740)

you are very happy to point out that MS is convicted for abuse of a monopoly position, which is true, but please try not to make it complete fud-style.

First of all, having a monopoly is legal. Nothing wrong with that.

Secondly, MS got only convicted way after becoming a monopoly, AND abusing that position to work themselves into other market. Your comment makes it sound like it's the other way around.

Google can be argued to have a dominant position in search and online advertising, whether it qualifies as a monopoly you will have to ask a judge.

This subsidising of an ad-supported operating system imho does reek of abuse of position in one market (on-line advertising) to push out competitors in another market (mobile phone advertising).

Re:Gee, it's almost like they have a monopoly or s (2, Insightful)

Flammon (4726) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138686)

No it's not. Having dominance in one market is a monopoly. Using dominance in one market to establish dominance in another market is an illegal monopolistic activity, in some countries anyway. Using a strategy that gave you a monopoly in one market, in another market is perfectly acceptable though which I think is what Google is really doing here.

Re:Gee, it's almost like they have a monopoly or s (4, Insightful)

nephridium (928664) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138788)

You're not thinking BIG enough. Their stated goal is to monopolise any and all information available and put it in easily indexed electronic form. This includes, obviously, YOUR data, i.e. where you live/work (through IP tracking, gEarth), what you're interested in (Search, Youtube), what you consume (Marketplace, affiliates), aka your net worth, and any means you use to communicate and access data, be it through your PC (gDesktop, Chrome OS), mobile (Android+apps) or any other conceivable device/network.

Re:Gee, it's almost like they have a monopoly or s (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138828)

Nope. What market dominance did they need for this?

Maybe I'm blind (4, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138928)

I fail to see the harm. In order for this sort of thing to be illegal, some user somewhere has to come to actual harm somewhere. Instead of paying through the nose for navigation information (much of which is already public knowledge), people get it provided by advertising sponsors like they get their free TV. There's room for free TV and cable also. As long as the other providers provide a premium experience and content, they'll be fine.

Should they fail to provide a premium experience and content, they'll lose customers. Isn't that what's supposed to happen?

In the article he points out that Google wanted to do some things with the data that they didn't want to let Google do. They told Google no. In the old world, where the buyer of that data had no choice that would have been the end of the story. But now, apparently Google has the resources to build their own data and publish it however they like - they're not held hostage by the vendor of their information.

It seems fair to me that if Google takes the trouble to drive a car through and photograph every major intersection in the country, index it against their map, address and aerial photographs, they ought to be able to publish that data any way they like.

In a world where we have monopoly after monopoly leveraging their power to prevent progress, here we have a powerful company leveraging its tremendous market power to cause progress to occur. I think that's fabulous.

Monopoly (2, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138392)

It's certainly a hard deal to pass up for carriers. Is leveraging like this considered to be approaching an abuse of monopoly for Google?

Re:Monopoly (1)

AniVisual (1373773) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138460)

Actually, Google's abusing the monopoly of the iPhones. And they do provide an open-source version, don't they? I'd thing that the FOSS version and the Google version are 'compatible' to each other to some extent, so the carriers can easily switch to the FOSS version should the need arise.

Re:Monopoly (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138568)

Can you explain what monopoly they have? It's a rhetorical question, they have none of course.

With all you "true capitalists" running around babbling about how _you_ are the real capitalist because you want the government to "protect" the market, I'm sure that pretty much everybody will have a "monopoly" over something eventually.

Re:Monopoly (1)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138644)

That would be internet searching and advertising for 500 Alex.

Yes there are other players in both sectors, but none big enough to matter.

Re:Monopoly (5, Insightful)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138688)

Ahh, another demand-created "monopoly". I find that concept just fascinating. Apparently in this day and age you can have a monopoly in something even when there are 50 alternatives just because the consumers overwhelmingly choose your product.

I find this concept baffling. There's a low barrier to entry, and if Google raised prices enough advertisers would go elsewhere. If customers didn't like the search engine, they'll go elsewhere.

This isn't what the antitrust laws were designed for, they were designed to prevent abuse of government granted monopolies or monopolies over physically limited (supply side) resources. There's no ethical or rational reason to define a monopoly as "being too successful in your field despite numerous competitors".

When one power company or phone company uses anti-competitive tactics to drive out their competition I'm all for going after their asses, but most applications of antitrust law nowadays are just bullshit crybabyism by competitors.

Re:Monopoly (1)

blushade (1680674) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138762)

Thank you for this. Finally, someone who doesn't just cry "MONOPOLY!" If everyone has free access to turn-by-turn mapping and the company who provides this service can stay afloat, we all win. For those who think Google is evil because of TFA, you're basically saying that they're providing really good service, so they must be bad.

Re:Monopoly (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30138880)

the first people to cry "monopoly" are always those open source fags. it makes sense, the quality of all open source software is, quite frankly, crap. they aren't used to having nice stuff.

jealousy is a bad thing.

Re:Monopoly (2, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#30139010)

But how is this ANY different from Intel locking AMD out of the OEM market for years? After all, it wasn't like Intel had a product that people hated, hell most folks didn't give a crap WHAT CPU was in their machines as long as it ran their software. They had those catchy jingles, pretty stickers, etc.

Only we geeks and those that watch market news know we could have had a much more competitive landscape if the chips would have been allowed to sink/float on their own merits. Netburst was crap, a total space heater, and was always slower than Athlon, yet Athlon lost. Because Intel could say "Buy Intel(C) chips and enjoy this nice fat check. Buy AMD and....NO SOUP FOR YOU!"

I don't see how this is any different. Google has such a cash reserve they can make sure nobody else can compete NOT by the quality of their product, which lets be honest most haven't tried an OEM Android and have no clue if its good or not, by simply giving out those big fat checks to companies that "Go Google(c)". How is it ANY different?

Re:Monopoly (3, Interesting)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138824)

The world "monopoly" here is being used to mean "market power". This is common usage.

A firm having market power means that the market is broken. Firms abusing market power in one market to create market power in another market is a serious problem.

Whether simply having market power due to lucking out with the network effect is something that anyone should be given shit over is arguable. On the other hand, market power gained through abuse of government regulation is a serious issue that needs to be fixed.

Google's power seems to come mostly from economies of scale, somewhat from network effects, and hardly at all from government regulation.

Re:Monopoly (1)

Gudeldar (705128) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138844)

Many people cry "anti-trust" when it doesn't really apply but I can't think of any clear cases where anti-trust law was applied when it really shouldn't have been. The two most recent examples of Microsoft and Intel both have clearly engaged in anti-competitive behavior in the past.

Re:Monopoly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30138850)

Umm... no? Monopoly simply means you have a very dominant position in the particular market. Does not matter if you attained it 'ethically' or not.

Having a monopoly position is not, in and of itself, illegal. The laws are really around restricting a monopoly to ensure that it does not abuse that strong position.

Way to set up the straw-man btw. The concern isn't that Google is using anti-competitive tactics in the search/advertising business. Instead, it is about Google using its dominant position in the search/advertising space to compete in the mobile os space. Leveraging a monopoly position in one are to gain an advantage in another can be considered abuse.

Re:Monopoly (1)

int69h (60728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30139046)

Nothing wrong w/ having a monopoly. You only run afoul of antitrust laws when you abuse it. Is Google classified as a monopoly yet? I dunno, but if they're not they're approaching it.

Re:Monopoly (1)

kjart (941720) | more than 4 years ago | (#30139110)

Ahh, another demand-created "monopoly". I find that concept just fascinating. Apparently in this day and age you can have a monopoly in something even when there are 50 alternatives just because the consumers overwhelmingly choose your product.

So by that logic Microsoft wasn't a monopoly due to the existence of many distros of Linux? The problem isn't becoming too successful, it's using your success in one market to break into another: i.e. bundling things with Windows and, in this case, allegedly exploiting their position in search to get into the mobile market (not that I necessarily agree with that position).

that settles it. google is evil. time to move on. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30138438)

if you don't agree you can go back to sucking dicks for a five in the back alley of the art district. god damn faggots.

More than free? (1)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138456)

Wouldn't that be more than free?

Re:More than free? (2, Informative)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138508)

No. You get more, yes. But free doesn't describe what you get, it describes what you pay. And you are paying a negative amount. Therefore it is less than free.

You can't pay a negative amount (1)

Snaller (147050) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138806)

Don't be silly.

Re:You can't pay a negative amount (2, Insightful)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138902)

Mathematically you can - any time someone pays you you are effectively paying them a negative amount. Sure, physically you can't, but when has that ever stopped a slashdotter's argument? :)

That's also the only possible way 'less than free' would make any kind of sense at all. And 'more than free' can't possibly be what's being referred to in this article - I mean, if the price is more than free then the price has some positive value, so you are paying for it.

Re:More than free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30139086)

To many people, free means 100% discount. Under that model, "less than free" means less than 100% discount.

Consider the strange but unequivocal phrase: "I'd wouldn't buy it for any less than 20% off." which means "I'm not willing to pay more than 80% of the asking price."
Now substitute the word free as used above, and "I wouldn't buy it for any less than free" becomes "I'm not willing to pay more than 0% of the asking price."

Re:More than free? (2, Insightful)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138518)

As in beer. The cost is less than free because you get paid to drink the beer.

Re:More than free? (1)

WryCoder (18961) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138526)

Better than free would be better.

Antitrust (1)

camh (32881) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138474)

So, Google are leveraging their monopoly in search/advertising to break into the mobile platform market? Is this Google being evil?

Re:Antitrust (1)

CatOne (655161) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138498)

Roger, Roger.

Unsure if it's anti-trust though.

Re:Antitrust (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138720)

Well, it depends on how you look at it. I mean really, Linux isn't Google's doing, so you basically have android - and really it's just an ad delivery platform that happens to contain all the elements of a proper GUI toolkit - which you need to show ads.

If a company throws a party with an open bar to advertise their products would you say they're breaking into the booze market?

Re:Antitrust (1)

micheas (231635) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138858)

If a company throws a party with an open bar to advertise their products would you say they're breaking into the booze market?

It would probably suck to be the bar next door if the party seems to be scheduled every night for the next ten years.

Less than Free? (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138484)

Or is that "More than Free"? I'd consider getting a free operating system AND revenue to be MORE, not less... but perhaps that's semantics.

It seems like somebody was desperate to write an anti-google story. He seem to be highly suspicious of the carriers for daring to want to compete with the iPod and the Blackberry; than, he seems to be surprised that Google PAYS people to use the version of the Android OS that Google actually PROFITS from.

There's nothing really nefarious here. It's how it was intended to work from the inception.

Re:Less than Free? (1)

Zarel (900479) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138736)

Or is that "More than Free"? I'd consider getting a free operating system AND revenue to be MORE, not less... but perhaps that's semantics.

Another poster suggests "better than free", which I think is the least ambiguous way of phrasing it.

It seems like somebody was desperate to write an anti-google story. He seem to be highly suspicious of the carriers for daring to want to compete with the iPod and the Blackberry; than, he seems to be surprised that Google PAYS people to use the version of the Android OS that Google actually PROFITS from.

The story doesn't seem very anti-Google at all; in fact, reading TFA (omg shock people do that? etc), it seems that he's praising Google for their ability to disrupt (i.e. out-compete) their competitors. I mean "Google’s brilliance doesn’t stop there" doesn't sound very anti-Google at all.

Re:Less than Free? (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138906)

>> Another poster suggests "better than free", which I think is the least ambiguous way of phrasing it.

But the whole point of TFA is to be ambiguous and somehow prove an open source and free mobile OS as something less desirable. So, a clever spin and you have got 'less for free'.

Re:Less than Free? (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138768)

Well, less is more, more or less.

Its the Intel Lawsuit - Google Style (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30138516)

Didnt Intel just get taken to court by AMD over something very similar? Intel was paying HP and Dell to use there chips (the less than free approach).

I wonder how long before Tom Tom/ Garmin/ Microsoft/ Apple / Palm/ Nokia take them to court before damage is done.

Its very anti-competitive. Brilliant...but anti-competitive.

Re:Its the Intel Lawsuit - Google Style (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138608)

It's not anti-competitive. You just don't understand that the business model has changed. What if the new business model is what's described above? Suddenly they're being "anti-competitive" for making that business switch while others are going with the dinosaur model?

Changing the rules and evolving the business model is not anti-competitive. None of those companies will be taking them to court for this, they wouldn't have a leg to stand on.

You all think it's great that the music distribution model has been turned on its head and that traditional CD sales are going the way of the dinosaur, but can't accept that the same thing can happen in different markets for different reasons.

Re:Its the Intel Lawsuit - Google Style (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138722)

It might be anti-competitive because Google are using their market dominance in one field (search and advertising) to gain market share in another field (mobile phone/net-book/etc operating systems) by paying royalties from ad revenue to carriers and handset makers.
IANAL so I dont know if it is anti-competitive or not though.

Google is the Foundation (4, Interesting)

improfane (855034) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138520)

The one thing about Google you have to understand is that they employ lots of very smart people: they employ scientists, research graduates, economists, technicians and business people. They have calculated with sheer intelligence all business moves: they know what they need to do to get the best business and business position.

In short, they are the foundation. Eventually they will collect all human knowledge and make the encyclopedia that encompasses all human knowledge... this is just a rouse for the real purpose of Google...

I wonder if they employ psychologists?

Re:Google is the Foundation (1)

al0ha (1262684) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138570)

s/Do No Evil/Be Future Evil/g

Re:Google is the Foundation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30138638)

What will they call it though?

Some sort of... guide to the galaxy?

Re:Google is the Foundation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30138650)

I wonder if they employ psychologists?

Without a doubt

Re:Google is the Foundation (4, Informative)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138676)

I wonder if they employ psychologists?

They employ multiple psychologists, each specializing in different areas of operation. This can be a huge help when attempting to understand why customers, partners, and employees behave the way they do. Add in the fact that by employing a large number of highly intelligent people, their employee population undoubtedly has a higher than average number of people with certain personality imbalances. It comes with the territory.

Re:Google is the Foundation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30138908)

They employ multiple psychologists, each specializing in different areas of operation.

What the fuck are you talking about?

Search the jobs site [google.com] :

Your search - psychologist - did not match any data available in our jobs section.

Please edit your search terms and try again.

Re:Google is the Foundation (5, Informative)

TheMooX (613002) | more than 4 years ago | (#30139008)

Google embraces fusion -- both in the realm of data and the duties of its employees. They far surpass the need for a simple psychologist -- they need someone to both analyze personalities, and serve as a resource to help smooth out those personality imbalances.

Searching the jobs site... [google.com]

Your search - analrapist - did not match any data available in our jobs section.

Please edit your search terms and try again.

Damn it... I'm just assuming all the positions are currently occupied...

Re:Google is the Foundation (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 4 years ago | (#30139012)

So, they don't have any open positions for psychologists - wouldn't that be completely independent of whether they already have them or not?

Re:Google is the Foundation (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#30139092)

They also employ a CEO, which isn't listed on the jobs site either.

Re:Google is the Foundation (1)

Rufty (37223) | more than 4 years ago | (#30139066)

Whoosh!

Re:Google is the Foundation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30138994)

In short, they are the foundation. Eventually they will collect all human knowledge and make the encyclopedia that encompasses all human knowledge... this is just a rouse for the real purpose of Google...

I wonder if they employ psychologists?

Sounds like they're employing some psychohistorians, actually.

Re:Google is the Foundation (0, Troll)

zionian117 (1068050) | more than 4 years ago | (#30139038)

That gets modded interesting? You clearly need to develop some real intellect.. maybe read some books and not just slashdot comments...

Re:Google is the Foundation (1)

Spikeles (972972) | more than 4 years ago | (#30139080)

Psychologists? No.. their next employment offer will be for a Psychohistorian [wikipedia.org]

Why does anyone want internet GPS anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30138538)

Please clue me in. Roads don't get built or moved THAT often. I have an automotive GPS with a gigabyte of maps in ROM and it works fine with no internet. Annual updates are available, but even those aren't really necessary. Before I got the GPS, I used a book of printed maps that was about a decade old, and even in my busy exurban area, the age of the map was almost never a problem. It's not like a weather report. The idea that I need up-to-the-minute online data about where the roads and towns are is just weird. What am I missing?

Re:Why does anyone want internet GPS anyway? (4, Insightful)

NiteMair (309303) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138594)

What am I missing?

You're likely missing the bigger picture.

Eventually google's turn-by-turn will have integrated street view imagery, and probably virtual advertisements on the buildings paid for by those businesses (or their competitors)...

Furthermore, as you pass areas of interest, you'll likely see wikipedia articles and user-generated-content (read: pictures/reviews) pop into view (like Google Earth), and eventually google will own your entire travelling experience.

Re:Why does anyone want internet GPS anyway? (1)

quercus.aeternam (1174283) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138974)

And we'll like it, all except for the tin-foil-hatters.

Re:Why does anyone want internet GPS anyway? (1)

Tynin (634655) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138602)

Up-to-the-minute online data about where any police checkpoints and speed traps are would be nice.

Re:Why does anyone want internet GPS anyway? (4, Insightful)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138624)

Traffic. Online maps in many of the urban centers also report congestion and estimated delays.

Re:Why does anyone want internet GPS anyway? (1)

oldmankdude (1196325) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138646)

I've actually run into a few cases where my portable GPS unit didn't know a few roads existed, so those yearly updates are worth something! A more compelling reason, however, is stuff like construction, traffic, etc. That kind of stuff can change on a weekly or even daily basis (more for traffic). Google might not have even implemented this, but it saving half an hour by avoiding a construction zone would be a pretty compelling reason to have an internet connection in addition to GPS.

Re:Why does anyone want internet GPS anyway? (3, Interesting)

east coast (590680) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138666)

What am I missing?

Your paper maps only make a difference if you know where you're at when you use them. Aside from that your maps also don't have information about stores, street addresses and the routes that are easiest to use to get you there.

Internet based GPS information is great on a phone since it's taking up no memory/storage and can be updated by the moment for things like traffic flow and road construction.

There is more to GPS than just road maps.

Re:Why does anyone want internet GPS anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30138760)

and there are roads that don't have cell reception.

Re:Why does anyone want internet GPS anyway? (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138802)

No technology is perfect but different users with different needs can decide what works best for them. Amazing concept to some users around here, I know.

Re:Why does anyone want internet GPS anyway? (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138812)

All the links to Google and their vast database of search.
For example, if you are out and about and want food you can easily use your Android handset to Google for the nearest Subway or KFC or McDonald's and have Google Navigation give you turn by turn directions to take you there. Or if you are trying to find someones house, you can grab an address from your phones address book (or from a SMS message or email that someone has sent you) and have Google Navigation give you directions.

As others have said, having a GPS that can download data in real time also means you can get up-to-the-minute reports on traffic and construction and accidents and other delays or hazards. This means that the route it gives you is the fastest/best/shortest/whatever route at the time you are driving it (not the fastest route given ideal road conditions)

And with it being Google, customization will no doubt be a feature.

Now all I need is for Google to buy (or create) some Australian map data and offer Google Navigation for free on an Android set in the land down under.

FYI Navteq was not aquired by Garmin (5, Informative)

Akira1 (5566) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138590)

Navteq was aquired by Nokia.

Call me crazy, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30138672)

I don't really think these products compete with each other. The free google service requires you to have an up and running internet connection, while the garmin and Tom Tom products have built in maps to use and require no internet connection.

I imagine that if you were to use the google free service in your car for a month everywhere you drove, it would cost a tremendous amount unless you have some kind of truly unlimited data plan. Not only that, but you can't use it unless you can get an internet connection.

This might make the non free devices look cheap in the long run. So to me it seems they really don't compete with each other. The google service
sounds great for occasional use, but I'm not sure how practical it will be for constant use.

Re:Call me crazy, but (1)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138744)

Actually, Mercedes-Benz already leverages Google. You get the turn-by-turn then download it to your car's navcenter. My group was the one to implement this back in 2007.

Re:Call me crazy, but (1)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138770)

Clearly you don't live in iPhone land.

Android WILL take over. (5, Informative)

sphantom (795286) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138682)

It's only a matter of time before Android takes over top market share for smartphones, the only real question is how long it takes. Now before you start screaming fan boy, bear with me here.

- Android is free
- Android can run on almost any piece of modern hardware, on any carrier (you listening Apple? probably not.)
- Every major carrier and every major smartphone maker either already has an Android phone, or has one in the works
- Being open source, carriers and smartphone makers can customize it as little or as much as they want
- Once smart phone makers are hooked on free, the only reason to dump Android is if there's a better mobile phone operating system out there that's worth the cost. Tough to do considering Android will be constantly approved upon given it's open source. Seriously, why dump Android to pay a per unit license fee when Android can do everything most smartphone users want their phone to do (and more in some cases)?

Some disclaimers apply here:
- No I don't have an Android phone, but yes I've used it enough to be familiar with it (including 2.0).
- I don't think its 100% there yet, but it's not far.
- Apples UI design is definitely better.

I'm sure some will disagree with me, and that's fine. Obviously this is my opinion and a guess. If you're looking for some ammo though, I use a Pre, switched from an iPhone and am pretty darn happy with it.

Re:Android WILL take over. (5, Insightful)

jaxtherat (1165473) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138808)

Aren't those the same arguments used when talking about the superiority of Linux on the desktop, and yet we still have less than 5% market share?

Just sayin'

Re:Android WILL take over. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30138854)

A fair point, but there is the difference that the smartphone market is nowhere near saturated (although the iPhone is rather popular) and Android has solid support from major smartphone manufacturers and carriers. Of course, the iPhone has a serious foothold in the market at the moment as their App Store has had a significant head start. (Personally, I think the vast majority of apps should just be web pages anyway, so I don't think that should really matter.)

Re:Android WILL take over. (2, Insightful)

sphantom (795286) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138922)

Absolutely! Linux on the desktop does share many of those common points. The key thing that distinguishes the two is that (in my opinion) Linux on the desktop doesn't actually compare well to Windows from a user's perspective. Unfortunately one of the major factors when deciding between the two is a dependency in what a person is used to. Fortunately, Android has FAR less of a battle to win in the smartphone space given how relatively simple phones are compared to computers and how poor Microsoft's offering is compared to the rest of the market.

Re:Android WILL take over. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30138938)

The difference is that all the telecom companies aren't in Microsoft's pocket from the start.

Re:Android WILL take over. (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138960)

Aren't those the same arguments used when talking about the superiority of Linux on the desktop, and yet we still have less than 5% market share?

Unlike the desktop, people don't have 20 years' worth of weird old DOS and Windows apps that they 'need' to run on their phones.

Plus I don't believe that Linus is paying companies to install Linux on their PCs yet.

Re:Android WILL take over. (2, Insightful)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138836)

"- Apples UI design is definitely better."

Yep, well, you just defeated your own argument.

Re:Android WILL take over. (1)

Mr Thinly Sliced (73041) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138982)

I agree with you 100%.

I think Apple are getting themselves into the same Spot that SGI held for a while building luxury products for high spenders. And we all know how the SGI story unfolded. As soon as the products become "commoditised" (3D workstations for SGI, smartphones / PDA for Apple), the luxury producers time is up.

I think Apple have made some nice products, but their lock-in and high prices plus exclusivity are the screws in the lid of the coffin. Apple just hasn't fallen into it yet.

most users aren't aware of how much google knows.. (2, Interesting)

distantbody (852269) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138730)

...It's bad enough that they crawl though emails to find advertising targets, but the OS is one of their biggest plays yet to analyse every piece of seemingly benign and anonymous user data and assemble a specific user profile. Think about that: one company; the single biggest commercial data-miner knowing many of your details and habits and inferring others. Would they try to extract every possible profit out of that? Personally the last data-mining straw from google was them wanting my mobile number to create an email account. For verification? Yeah right... Wouldn't they just love to add that to the profile.

Stock Prices Falling. (5, Informative)

JohnAllison (838880) | more than 4 years ago | (#30138838)

Please note, kdawson,

The day Google announced the free turn by turn navigation coincided with the day both companies announced corporate losses.

Who's to say how much either news contributed to the stock drops. I can't, and ignoring said fact skews the story. Bad editor, bad, bad.

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