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Google Wants To Administer the First White Spaces

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the what-can-you-squish-in-there dept.

Google 112

aabelro writes "Google proposes to the FCC to become the administrator of a White Spaces Database containing geo-location information about devices using the free channels in the radio spectrum."

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Hmmmm... (5, Insightful)

AnotherUsername (966110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30669372)

I would much rather the FCC be the administrator of it. I know Google is the big player right now, but it is still just a corporation(especially one that profits from data mining/advertising). The government is not for profit. Google is completely for profit. The government is more likely to make access to the database free. As always, as those who know my views can guess, I trust the government more than I do corporations, and this includes corporations like Google.

Re:Hmmmm... (2, Insightful)

jo42 (227475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30669474)

The question you have to ask yourself is "Which is the greater evil?"

The money grubbing corporate types at Google or the lobbyist driven bureaucrats in Government?

Since I'm on a "Just say NO! to Google" jihad, I'd have to give it to the paper shufflers in Government...

the answer is (0, Flamebait)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#30669778)

you dont know jack shit. what you term 'lobbyist driven bureaucrats in government' are just a storefront for really evil money grubbing corporate types, like at&t, riaa, time warner et al. had they got their way up until now, the internet you so ordinarily use would have turned into a cable network already.

compared to them, google types come up as clean as an angel.

Re:the answer is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30671860)


With the government, I can vote the asshats out. I can run for office myself and get things changed.

With Google, you have no choice. If you're online you cannot block 100% of google's datamining or advertising.

If I do not use any google services then they are taking from me with nothing in return.

A corporation, a profit making entity, making money off of my information, whether I approve or not, is pretty freaking evil.

Ha, nice theory (4, Insightful)

zogger (617870) | more than 4 years ago | (#30673248)

I've been paying attention to US politics since Eisenhower/JFK transition years and I have yet to see this asshat voting out theory turn to practice. What happens is one group of asshats replaces another one. We have two groups of asshats who swap off every other election or so, but the continuation is corrupt government, whistleblowers or potential whistleblowers in government bureaucracy are always afraid of repercussions in their jobs (or worse...). Both those government hijacking groups lobby hard and perpetually to scare the population into "not wasting their vote" on any alternative to the asshat nominee, to insure only asshats get voted for. It is a remarkable effective and simple technique in keeping the asshat party, the one with two wings, in power.

So even if you decide to "run for office yourself" to help clean things up, you are lucky to make it past real local elections, county or above, you toe the asshat party line or ..nothing. You most likely won't get elected, big fat waste of time, and if you do get elected, you are in peril of either being marginalized, or heck, they off people man. The dual wing corrupt asshat "shadow government" just plain do not like honest people who aren't bribed or blackmailed off. Stuff happens to those folks, or they just get completely ignored, one or the other.

The closest we have come to breaking this power sharing corrupt criminal cartel and kleptocracy is the reform party efforts, but they scared the two wing asshat party so much that they decided that they "wouldn't allow" anything *but* asshats on the stage at the big national debates, and the asshat controlled media went along with that. Pretty much knocked the stuffing out of any third party/alternative vote efforts.

    The League of Women Voters, to their credit, dropped their sponsorship of the asshat national debates at that time. Which should have been a major clue to the electorate..but around 97% or so now have caved in and decided to "not waste their vote" and have kept electing asshat criminals right along since then. And the asshats make damn sure government is run as a for profit bribery and influence and jobs peddling organization.

Any real mavericks, perhaps with new ideas or..gasp..not corrupt, really honest people, get marginalized and demonized immediately in the controlled asshat press, labeled as "fringe", or they just get completely ignored. conclusion is..there's about no diff anymore if some corporation or alleged government runs things, the asshats are in charge in both areas, and its the same people with revolving door government to global corporation jobs, etc, where just about everything at the decision making level is done with behind the scenes payoffs and bribes, etc, and our form of government should more fairly and accurately be labeled as a Corporatocracy [] .

It is not as bad as it could get yet, obviously there are some other rather extreme heinously run nations that are even more despotic and corrupt, but this has been the trend and direction, heading towards that total despotism, as long as I have been paying attention.

What is sad and funny at the same time is sitting in the middle, having to shift all around all the time so as not to catch any asshat cooties, and watching both asshat extremes of the vigorous "true believers" types point fingers at each other across some fairy tale imaginary dividing line while they chant in unison "It's all your fault!! If only all of OUR asshats where in charge, things would be just so much bettah!".

Damn funny really.

What this has to do with Google and whitespaces and spectrum, etc I can't say in exact terms, but I am fairly confident to predict that in general terms, which ever policy that will go to ship the most amount of cash into the fewest amount of hands will eventually turn out to be "the" policy or regulation, etc. What asshat spokesmodel they slap in front of that will be mostly irrelevant.

Re:Ha, nice theory (1)

ccarson (562931) | more than 4 years ago | (#30674984)

We're so screwed:

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage."

Re:the answer is (1)

jimpop (27817) | more than 4 years ago | (#30673436)

With the government, I can vote the asshats out.

That's the easy part, let us know when you have figured out how to rid the FCC of lobbyist (one of which is Google).

Re:the answer is (2, Insightful)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 4 years ago | (#30674950)

If you use sites that advertise through them you *are* getting something in return though.

Anywhere you go that google tracks you, they are paying someone for the privilege to track you, that someone provides you a service with that money.

Re:the answer is (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676262)

"With the government, I can vote the asshats out."

Good luck with that. When the killing went down at Chappaquiddick, millions of people said they Ted would never get another vote in this country. But in reality, only the Grim Reaper was able to remove that asshat from office.

There have been literally dozens of politicos that have just sickened me, some of them I've campaigned against. The scummier the lowlife is, the harder he is to get out of office. Teflon Bill? Good grief.

Besides - we in the states lack any sort of recall election. Mayor Bill White of Houston made that city into a "Sanctuary City" for criminals of all types, primarily illegal aliens. The drug mules, child slavery and child prostitution rings, money launderers, and run of the mill gang bangers were more than happy to take advantage of Bill's generosity. And, Houston voters were stuck with that crap.

It's a dirty business, and I have no idea how to clean it up. Term limits would be a good start. Career politicians should become extinct, plain and simple. Remove their pensions and medical benefits, and they WOULD be extinct very soon! The president and the vice don't even deserve what we give them for pensions, let alone the congress critters. And, don't get me started on civil service - we've been taken for a walk down the garden path with that too.

We're told that the unions ruined so many of our corporations - but civil service has benefits to put most unions to shame.

Kill 'em all, let God sort them out. Start with the lawyers - those are the bastards who spend years in college studying how to best confuse the issues. Ever notice how many politicians have law degrees?

Re:the answer is (2, Insightful)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 4 years ago | (#30672450)

I don't know if google type are clean as angels, but at least with google you know up front that they are for profit. With the government, they say they are not for profit when they are all out to make a buck (or a few million) for themselves.

Re:the answer is (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30672650)

Google is the worst kind of corporate evil around today. To suggest they are an angel is beyond naive.

Re:Hmmmm... (5, Insightful)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#30669780)

Why is government control necessarily "evil"? It's function* is to control social institutions and infrastructure that is otherwise unprofitable to run or should not be run in a for-profit manner. Furthermore, corporations come and go, as do their agendas. Would you want AT&T to be in charge of all IP addresses that were unused back in the 70s when it was the dominant player in telecommunications? In 20 years Google will (hopefully) be just another once-were-innovators.

If this same discussion were happening 10 years ago, the big name putting up their hand to administer it, and would probably have little competition, would be Microsoft. Who'd want that? Google will one day be what Microsoft is today; hated, feared and opposed by pretty much everyone, and all the Google fanboys today will claim then that they never really liked Google the way ex-MS lovers now claim they never liked MS.

Corporations should *never* be given permanent power over social infrastructure. I never understood the willingness of the US population to give fundamentally transient organizations power over social infrastructure. Imagine if SCO actually *did* have control over anything important in the Unix world?

Privatization is *not* the panacea that Americans hold it to be.

(Oh, and I know you're not saying it is, I'm agreeing with and taking further your point.)

* Current implementation of "government" is not what I'm talking about, I'm talking philosophically.

Re:Hmmmm... (0)

BigRedFed (635728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30669928)

Why is government control necessarily "evil"? It's function* is to control social institutions and infrastructure that is otherwise unprofitable to run or should not be run in a for-profit manner.

Depends on what you mean by government. If you mean a socialist government, then you are correct. If you mean a government of free people who take responsibility for their own lives and interact in a free manner without coercion, then you are incorrect.

Re:Hmmmm... (2, Informative)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#30670066)

No, it's the government's job to make laws. That's a social function.

Re:Hmmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30671446)

What are you trying to say? That the army should be for profit? Bridges, Roads? Sometimes 'free' people (whatever that means) can choose without coercion what they want their government to do. You probably think a social contract is socialist.

Re:Hmmmm... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30671644)

Anyone as rabidly anti-government as you obviously are has no concept of public goods.

So tell me, Mr. I Hate Anything That Has The Faintest Whiff Of Socialism, how would, in a fully privatized world, roads and streetlights be constructed? Would you prefer a world where you had to put a coin into every streetlight as you passed it or have toll gantries every time you turned a corner onto a new road? Or do you like your "pay taxes once, access for all regardless of use" model? Because, government tax dollars spent on roads is stinky, slimy socialism. Yuck.

Re:Hmmmm... (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#30673376)

If there's no coercion, there's no government, just an organization.

Re:Hmmmm... (1)

rhekman (231312) | more than 4 years ago | (#30671488)

The fault I find with your argument is the asterisk post-script at the end -- *Current implementation of "government" is not what I'm talking about, I'm talking philosophically".

You cannot separate a philosophic ideal of government from its real world implications. Entrusting a bureaucracy to administer infrastructure you see as vital still creates a ruling class that then becomes entrenched and seeks to protect its own interest.

I do not see a protected bureaucracy as something superior to a corporation. Since governments, by there nature, are granted a monopoly on force, they should not be trusted with any more power than necessary to guarantee encroachment on our natural rights by other individuals or foreign powers who seek to usurp or deprive us.

Re:Hmmmm... (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#30671846)

Therein lies your problem. You cannot give government the power to stop other citizens from encroaching your rights, without giving them the power to stop you encroaching the rights of others. Once you give them that right, you by necessity must give them the latitude to define what constitutes such an encroachment. They then define whatever they decide is in their interests as being in the interests of protecting citizens from each other. Hello, PATRIOT Act. Don't you see? You already have your minimal government; Everything the US federal government has done in the last decade has been in the interests of "protecting its citizens". The current situation is entirely within the parameters of what you suggest, that government only be allowed to prevent encroachment of its citizens' rights from internal and external threats.

One way or another, an authority must be given authority. Given that, I'd rather the authority be in some way elected. You can't vote for a corporation to do something or stop doing something. They are purely driven by profits, and if profits are counter to the greater good, then screw the greater good. It's the capitalist way.

A corporation will *never* do what is in the public interest, unless, coincidentally, that happens to parallel the path of greatest profit. If you give corporations power over inherently political matters, your social welfare becomes a commodity, to be bought and sold by whoever buys whatever license based on however best they can squeeze profit out of the public.

The problem is with the political system's corruption. To throw out politics as the primary means to regulate the body politic is to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Government is not inherently evil, its just this implementation of it that is. E.g., heavily tied to the private sector, two party system etc. Fix the implementation, don't write off the approach.

Separation of powers (1)

formfeed (703859) | more than 4 years ago | (#30672724)

Once you give them that right, you by necessity must give them the latitude to define what constitutes such an encroachment. They then define whatever they decide is in their interests as being in the interests of protecting citizens from each other. Hello, PATRIOT Act.

That's why you have separation of powers, warrants, process rights, and other safe guards. Patriot act, the no-fly list, Germany's attempted child pornography list, Australia's internet laws are examples of governments removing safeguards without too much public protest, because the government does it for "good" reasons. At some point they of course will abuse that power.

Limit the power of the administration: Not a direct appointed "Czar", but maybe a director, appointed by a board. Or term limits that are different from the election cycle.

It should be a decentralized agency with a clear mission that is not part of the day-to-day 2-party fight, but follows long-term goals. I would list the US Postal Service as an example, but then there was Comstock. It's hard to protect such a "service" agency from administrative "wishes" without making it immobile and resistive to any change. But then, there are basic safeguards, which haven't been restored yet.

Re:Hmmmm... (2, Insightful)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 4 years ago | (#30671546)

In 20 years Google will (hopefully) be just another once-were-innovators.

Really? I hope in 20 years Google is still innovating. While I realize there is a cycle to companies growing and dying (especially as new competitors come to the market), I do not wish for a company to become Just Another Big Company(TM).

Re:Hmmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30676350)

It's not very innovative to simply buy your competitors like youtube and doubleclick or buy the people doing the actual innovation like grandcentral. []

Re:Hmmmm... (2, Insightful)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678886)

You are right. Acquiring other companies is not very innovative - at least not in the technological sense. My question to you is - what's the problem with it?

You only have to look around a little bit to see that these smaller "competitors" are much more easily able to innovate. They have the flexibility and the "nothing to lose" mentality that makes that a possibility. In addition, you make it sound like buying up a smaller company (I dislike your word "competitors") is a bad thing. I'm pretty sure nobody strong armed those companies into selling to Google. The owners/founders of those companies were HAPPY to sell to Google because (surprise, surprise) THEY MADE MONEY.

Of course, this is not to say I condone "strong arm" buying tactics. But, from my readings, I haven't seen Google responsible for anything like that. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

In addition, while some of these companies had a fairly decent user base (though, definitely not all), being bought up by a larger company means you now get brand recognition, you get moved to the forefront of your industry, etc. I personally had not heard of Grand Central until Google's purchase of them and the release of Google Voice. Same with a number of other companies.

Whenever anybody bashes Google, Microsoft, Apple, Oracle, or any other big company for buying up smaller companies, I just shake my head, because that is all part of doing business. Everybody who is in business, ultimately, is in it to make a profit. The little guy, the big guy, the individual - everybody wants to make money and see their business succeed. That's not A Bad Thing(TM).

Re:Hmmmm... (1)

BountyX (1227176) | more than 4 years ago | (#30672274)

It's function* is to control social institutions and infrastructure that is otherwise unprofitable to run or should not be run in a for-profit manner.

Technically, no. It's function is to facilitate transactions between entities in an efficient, stable, and acceptable manner (within the law). Sometimes it has to assume the social responsibility itself to make that happen, but this should NOT be confused with control. There are also many social institutions that are not government controlled (churches, which many are unprofitable btw). I think you are confusing regulation with control. The first implies following some sort of rule of law, while the other may or may not (thus, is ambiguous).

Re:Hmmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30673314)

"facilitate transactions between entities in an efficient, stable, and acceptable manner"

Technically, no

Trade and contracts are not social institutions? And I didn't mean *all* social institutions, just those which are universally required for society to function within the parameters of its self-defined identity.

cognitive dissonance (1)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30673348)

Propaganda (aka PR) for generations on behalf of corporations has suckered the ignorant American public into a warped view of reality.

Even the word socialism has been destroyed; we lack even general terms for the public to use. Populism still exists but is often equated with mob rule over here. Most extremes turn out poorly, democracies are by nature more socialist and populist.

I remember the 80s when we had the peak of anti government hype outside and inside the government (hell we had a corp spokesperson as president.) We even still have the common phrase "government of the people by the people, for the people." Despite this, many people thought that the government was the problem and was a separate thing from themselves - ignoring that THEY are the government.

If a democratic government can't do something that means that the people can't organize and do it as a group; essentially arguing that democracy does not work in that situation. Perhaps so-- but people would support democracy more if they realized what it really is beyond the meaningless BRAND name it has become in the eyes of the public.

Re:Hmmmm... (1)

flatrock (79357) | more than 4 years ago | (#30674740)

I guess government control is no more or less evil than any other control...

I'd would say there are some things the government does well, but having worked with and for the government most of my adult life I really can't think of any. There are however some public resources, such as the radio spectrum that need to be protected and administered in the public interest, and government is the best of the choices we have of who to to do that. So the government needs to be in charge of it. It needs to regulate it. That however doesn't mean having the government hire civil servants and beaurocrats to develop and maintain thins like a whitespace database.

Our government does employ a lot of extremely bright and talented people. However, they spend most of their time dealing with beaucracy and overseeing things from a high level. It is far more practical to have those bright people specify what is needed, and then let companies like Google come up with proposals on detailed implementations and then provide the expertise to implement them.

Let the government do what needs to be done by the government, but let privite industry provide the innovative implementations within the guidelines provided to them.

As for infrastructure... If it can be provided by private industry under what governmental regulation that is really necessary only, then let private industry build and maintain it. Let them take the risk and allow them reasonable rewards if they are successful. As foolish as corporations often are they manage to screw up far less than the government and provide a better value to customers than the government does.

The government is rarely a good solution to any problem. However, they are sometimes the only practical solution.

Re:Hmmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30670514)

Trust me dude. You *don't* want the government doing it. I'm doing some work with a DOE lab right now on a project involving a large collider that's been in the news (hence, AC). Let me be clear. After this experience, the only thing you want the government doing is defending you with the military, and that's only as long as you're far enough away from the conflict to not be friendly fire.

Re:Hmmmm... (2, Informative)

pwfffff (1517213) | more than 4 years ago | (#30671126)

You've never worked in a modern corporation have you?

Re:Hmmmm... (2, Informative)

AnotherUsername (966110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30671258)

What about the Postal Service? Or the National Weather Service? What about the National Institute of Standards and Technology? What about the Department of Labor? These are a few government services that seem to perform rather well. These aren't the only entities that perform well, either. I just didn't feel like spending hours listing various government services.

Without you providing actual examples, I can only assume you dislike the bureaucracy. The government doesn't have a monopoly on bureaucracy. It is only the most famous environment. It is present in corporations as well(think Office Space). Google has bureaucracy. Anytime large amounts of money are being used on anything, or there is a possibility of fines or jail because of lost paperwork, there will be bureaucracy. If this is the only reason you have for the government not doing something, I say that the government should start today.

Re:Hmmmm... (1)

the_hellspawn (908071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30673212)

Your answer sir is; give it to me. All the moneys will go to me. I will run the data center in my garage and use MySQL for the software on Linux. The data center will consist of a single computer tied into a residential cable connect that the ISP calls 'broadband'. The database will have a single table called space. The use of one table will reduce the time needed to make a query; since, you won't need all those relationships. My table will have a primary key too called counts and it will be started at 1 and go to the nth and always incremented by one. I will also be kind to set up a webpage, so get the counts that you would like. Insert 2 in the text box and press the submit button and you will get the 2nd row. See really easy to use. Google will just over complicate things by having hundreds or thousands of tables and numerous numbers of relationships will an overabundance of computer. The g'ment will attempt and end up with my design after spending 10billion on the project. So the greater evil is both and I am the savior.

Re:Hmmmm... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30669480)

The problem is, if people don't like what the government is doing there is no real way for rapid change. An international boycott of Google could both change its plans quickly and perhaps put it out of business. Any time you'd try that with the government you would simply get thrown in jail.

Re:Hmmmm... (3, Insightful)

LOLLinux (1682094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30669560)

An international boycott of Google could both change its plans quickly and perhaps put it out of business.

And such a thing actually happens, how often?

Re:Hmmmm... (4, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30670330)

An international boycott of Google

Your solution advocates a
(*) market-based
approach to solving the Google problem.

Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work:
(*) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once

Specifically, your plan fails to account for:
(*) The enormous popularity of Google
(*) International reluctance to engage in sweeping change
(*) A lack of support from famous Musicians and Actors

and the following philosophical objection also applies:
(*) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever been shown practical
(*) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem

Re:Hmmmm... (3, Insightful)

el_tedward (1612093) | more than 4 years ago | (#30669606)

We have much more of an ability to make change through the democratic process than we do by trying to scream at/boycott a corporation until we get what we want.

Not that most people know enough about what is going on in the world to change their vote based on something technology related like this, but that'll probably change as more old people die. We have a much better chance of getting people to go out and vote than we do with getting enough people to boycott a corporation.

Re:Hmmmm... (2, Insightful)

syzler (748241) | more than 4 years ago | (#30669626)

I believe a group of people boycotted their government a while back. They were not all thrown in jail, in fact I believe most of them are now referred to as the founding fathers of the United States of America.

Re:Hmmmm... (1)

erstazi (1304229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30669774)

I believe a group of people boycotted their government a while back. They were not all thrown in jail, in fact I believe most of them are now referred to as the founding fathers of the United States of America.

The winners always get to write history. If the founding fathers of the USA were to have lost the revolution, they would have been quartered.

Re:Hmmmm... (2, Informative)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30669994)

Maybe that's why they enshrined the right to protest against the government? How many anti-war protesters were arrested for protesting the war (and not something else) during the Bush administration? How many Tea Party types were arrested for their protests (and again, not for something else?) Neither of those groups were really the victors (in that there's still a war and still a health care bill), but simply protesting the government isn't illegal.

Re:Hmmmm... (1)

erstazi (1304229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30670930)

Were any of them quartered?

Re:Hmmmm... (1)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30674864)

No. I can say unequivocally that no Tea Partier and no anti-Iraq or Afghanistan war protester was ever quartered.

Did I miss a joke here or something?

In Soviet Russia.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30671444)

..soldier quarter YOU!

Re:Hmmmm... (2, Informative)

Lostlander (1219708) | more than 4 years ago | (#30669804)

Bah that hasn't happened in the first world for a few hundred years how do we know if it even works anymore.

Really, It's Entered the Realm of Parody: (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#30669722)

Eric Schmidt is just one furry white cat and a cigarette-holder short of a Bond villain.

Re:Really, It's Entered the Realm of Parody: (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#30670088)

Eric Schmidt is a fucking pussy!

Re:Really, It's Entered the Realm of Parody: (2, Funny)

colesw (951825) | more than 4 years ago | (#30673562)

So just missing the cigarette holder than?

Re:Hmmmm... (4, Insightful)

MrTester (860336) | more than 4 years ago | (#30669750)

Dont confuse the administrator of the database with the governor of the data therein. Google is just proposing to provide the technical solution, not decide the policies that get someone on the list.

And if Google gets this, the goverment will certainly write into their charter limits on what and when they can charge.

I just dont see an issue here.

mod parent insightful (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#30669800)

i posted in this thread. perhaps more iditos who didnt read the article wont come barging in yelping libertarian/republican crap if they understood what was it about.

Re:Hmmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30669826)

Exactly. People need to RTFA.

Google proposes the operation of a WSDB for at least 5 years, promising to “transfer to a successor entity the Database, the IP addresses and URLs used to access the Database, and the list of registered Fixed WSDs” in case they cannot live up to it. Google proposal does not limit the possibility of existing other such databases.

Re:Hmmmm... (3, Insightful)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 4 years ago | (#30669762)

Which other firm do you propose administer it? The government is going to hire some firm to build and administer it and will have oversight over it. Google or not.

Not really different from other oursourcing by FCC (1)

mlksys (93950) | more than 4 years ago | (#30669796)

The FCC currently outsources a lot of activities including frequency coordination, license examinations, and so on.

They can put rules in place in the agreement requiring free access. I had to remind one of their outsourced organizations of that when I wanted access to their database, it was granted.

Re:Hmmmm... (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30670034)

The FCC might subcontract to Google.

I honestly don't care who does it, as long as they do a good job of it and remain under the watchful eye of the FCC. Audits, supervision, and whatever else is needed to keep the grunts that actually handle it in line.

Re:Hmmmm... (1)

thearkitex (1420577) | more than 4 years ago | (#30670064)

The government is not for profit.

You have no idea how hard I'm trying to keep from falling out of my chair.

Re:Hmmmm... (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 4 years ago | (#30672480)

The government is not for profit.

You have no idea how hard I'm trying to keep from falling out of my chair.

As soon as I finished reading the OP (just to make sure there was no /sarcasm tag) I scrolled down to make sure someone had responded to that little nugget of hilarity. Two responses, so far. There's hope for humanity, yet...

Re:Hmmmm... (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30670104)

I trust Corps more than I trust the Gov. I trust a Corp to act in its own self interest damn the rest, as for the Gov we live in a Republic motives change depending whose in charge.
I'm not opposed to a Corp being in charge of the white space but I am opposed to it being Google because of the conflict of interest.

Re:Oddly, Google could be the good guy here (1)

Julie188 (991243) | more than 4 years ago | (#30670206)

I'm extremely concerned at the amount of power Google is gathering, its data collection, its lack of privacy protection. BUT in this case, Google is the good guy. The FCC forced this whole database option upon the white spaces industry and then said white spaces database admins can charge fees for the service. The company with the most experience (and in Microsoft's camp) was actually partially funded by an FCC commissioner ... so the FCC could be granting a profit-making contract to "one of its own." Now the FCC can't say that it doesn't have another option. Google is big enough -- and its proposal not only says it wants to offer this service for free (possibly), but it includes a method for multiple providers, keeping competition in the game. (My full views here if you are interested: [] ).
Network World's Google Subnet

Re:Hmmmm... (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 4 years ago | (#30670384)

The FCC is not necessarily always trustworthy, IMHO. They were scolded by a federal court when they tried to force adoption of BPL [] because they "...failed to satisfy the notice and comment requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act ('APA') by redacting studies on which it relied in promulgating the rule and failed to provide a reasoned explanation for its choice of the extrapolation factor for measuring Access BPL emissions." [ source ] []

The long and short of this story is that the FCC wanted BPL deployed, and was (according to two federal judges) apparently willing to suppress factual data [] to 'get it done' regardless of the harm it would do to Amateur Radio - you remember those guys that provide emergency communications when the fancy trunked systems die in emergencies? Yeah, them.

The judges said (quoted from the above article) that "...the Commission redacted individual lines from certain pages on which it otherwise relied...there is little doubt that the Commission deliberately attempted to 'exclude [ ] from the record evidence adverse to its position'"

Governement can't be fired though. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30670750)

If you give the government the job, they will never let it go. If you delegate it to a company you can replace them for poor performance. The government won't fire itself for poor performance. Example is of course the Newark Airport TSA.

Re:Hmmmm... (1)

scamper_22 (1073470) | more than 4 years ago | (#30671016)

ummm, where to you get the idea that government is not for profit?

The only difference between government and a corporation is who gets the profit.

Corporation - profits go to investors, private sector workers.
Government - profits go to public sector workers, bureaucrats

The rest is all the same. Driving business to their industry...

Take a look at the drug war. It's a business for police officers, prison guards, lawyers...
Or take a look at public education. it's a business for teachers and teacher unions.

Re:Hmmmm... (1)

cellurl (906920) | more than 4 years ago | (#30671100)

I trust Google.
Ten years from now when the founders leave, I may not.
Its innovative to give Google 5years, no more, no less to do it.
They will do a fantastic job, but it should go out to bid [] , shouldn't it?

Not all feds are good, and not all feds are bad. I didn't always believe it, but I now do. [but thats a POLL I imagine...]

Heres something the feds won't do as well as we are. []

Inevitable (0, Offtopic)

Chapter80 (926879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30671672)

Didn't we know Google was after administrating white space for the past five years? []

Re:Hmmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30673576)

Do no evil. Just control everything, then change the definition of evil. Step 4, profit.

Re:Hmmmm... (1)

flatrock (79357) | more than 4 years ago | (#30674408)

The Database and its administration will be paid for either directly through some form of fees or indirectly through taxes. In neither case is it free, its just a matter of who gets the bill.

It is highly unlikely the FCC is going to hire civil servants to develop and maintain such a database in any case. If they do it will take longer, cost more, and have more problems. Why? Because the government is the only entity with even more beaucracy and inefficiency than large corporations, and less direct incentive to do the job well. It is more cost effective and more sensible to contract out the work to a company that already has the technology and the people with the expertise required.

Since Google has the capabilities and the expertise they should be able to do this reasonably well. However, even if another company gets the bid, Google's proposal will at least mention issues that the government might otherwise miss. The government can only specify what they want as well as they understand the issues, and a lot of times things go badly simply because the governemtn doesn't know what they want at the begining and the requirements evolve over time.

Re:Hmmmm... (1)

hierophanta (1345511) | more than 4 years ago | (#30674586)

The government is not for profit. Google is completely for profit.

Governments are FOR-profit organizations. Its just that they arent trying to profit from it's citizens (that would be like eating yourself). The semantics get funny because governments print money but in the true sense or the word they certainly do. [] -

profit (prft) n. 1. An advantageous gain or return; benefit.

This is just like... (1, Funny)

retech (1228598) | more than 4 years ago | (#30669390)

...letting Pfizer admin the FDA... oh wait, their lobbyists already do.

These aren't the droids you're looking for, move along.

Re:This is just like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30669402)

Wait wait, can someone make a pizza analogy out of this?

Re:This is just like... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30669440)

It is like making a fat man the pizza delivery boy... did that work for you?

Re:This is just like... (1)

Conchobair (1648793) | more than 4 years ago | (#30669650)

I want to be that fat man with all the pizza.

Re:This is just like... (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30673722)

Two pizza delivery vehicles start 5 miles apart. One drives 85 miles/hr south, the other 90 miles/hr west. How many vehicles will they destroy before they crash into a garbage truck 7 miles out of their way when looking for the correct address while texting each other about the beers they are drinking?

Oh wait, we need to mention pizza's somewhere in there to keep it as a pizza analogy and not a math problem or a car analogy. Ok, and then they threw chairs at the pizza's.

MInification (1)

hightower_40 (1167627) | more than 4 years ago | (#30669426)

Perhaps they'll use a whitespace minifier to remove all of the whitespace from the electromagnetic spectrum, so our radios will load faster!

Re:MInification (1)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | more than 4 years ago | (#30671226)

We see now that Google's hiring of Guido von Rossum was only the first step in their evil plan to dominate the world of white space.

(just a joke; I love Python)

say it loud (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30669434)

White spaces? What about Black Spaces and Latino Spaces and Asian Spaces?

Google is attempting to monopolize racism!

Re:say it loud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30670218)

I, for one, welcome our White Space overlords.

Re:say it loud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30670936)

The GNAA [] will never allow Google to get away with this!

we will never bend (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30669438)

Freebanders 4VR!

Fox, meet henhouse (4, Interesting)

speedlaw (878924) | more than 4 years ago | (#30669516)

I agree that the way that broadcasters have "parked" spectrum is appalling. Did you know every FM slot is "taken" even in areas where no one uses them ? I once tried to buy a radio station-it was an education. The fact is that even here in media saturated NYC there's a lot of unused RF, and at the higher UHF allocations the fact that one market might interfere with another is greatly lessened. There is no good reason why we need to regulate the way we have been. It's like making a national park with strips of industry. The real reason is that this was a great "restraint of trade" for the established propaganda providers (see "community FM radio") Still, if I were a broadcaster, I'd be very afraid. Since the Congress is a wholly owned subsidiary of corporate america, google can't do a worse job than the FCC.

Re:Fox, meet henhouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30671624)

I know it's heresay, but I was listening to a conversation on a local HAM repeater about how south jersey emergency personel frequently have problems with interference from Boston stations on days when tropospheric skip is occuring. He said that he was somehow involved with the running of those radios (I can't remember exactly how), and that he had complained to the FCC and they told him "too bad". So there are other sides to the story, and "neigboring" markets aren't the only problem.

Re:Fox, meet henhouse (1)

speedlaw (878924) | more than 4 years ago | (#30674734)

Sure, I've worked some tropo from here north of NYC to Philly, but it is very rare, and at the frequencies proposed for whitespace, much less likely than the 2 meter band (144-148 mhz).

Will it have (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30669564)

But will 'white space' have any Black programming ?

Google Wants To Administer the First White Spaces (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30669590)

Google Wants To Administer the First White Spaces?

Does that mean Google wants to control all Python code? They have gone too far this time!

Conspiracy Theory... (4, Funny)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 4 years ago | (#30669622)

I really like the "Google is NSA" tag. I think it's my favorite conspiracy theory yet!

Since they employ ex NSA geeks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30671298)

Google employs ex NSA geeks, advertised for programmers with security clearance, and has DoD contracts. Don't be too quick with your sarcasm.

Article is Misleading (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 4 years ago | (#30669652)

This is *not* about gated communities; rather, it has to do with allocating the radio spectrum.

Google slogan mmm (5, Funny)

Ractive (679038) | more than 4 years ago | (#30669820)

Google slogan : "Don't be evil"

Google slogan in 5 years : "Don't be soooo evil"

Google slogan in 10 years : "Just don't be as evil as Satan himself"

Google slogan in 20 years : "All your arses are belong to us"

Re:Google slogan mmm (4, Funny)

ZarathustraDK (1291688) | more than 4 years ago | (#30670054)

Google in 50 years : "Developers, developers, developers, developers!"

Re:Google slogan mmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30674602)

Uhuh. And we all know what happened when the last guy who wanted to have his own "Whitespace", you know, the angry Austrian Corporal with the funny moustache.

No. (2, Interesting)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30669980)

The FCC should have responsibility for this,and so should maintain the data.

Google wants to get a foot in the door to be able to control/promote a wireless carrier in this spectrum.

And that I don't much mind. But they should have to pay, or at least compete, for that space.

In a way, this is worse than the major carriers playing tic-tac-toe with spectrum auctions.

Not the only administrator... (1)

sanjosanjo (804469) | more than 4 years ago | (#30670056)

They want to be one of the administrators - not the only administrator. There are many organizations that will be running databases - all flowing from a master database that the FCC controls.

Come on people... who will do it better? (0, Flamebait)

jr76 (1272780) | more than 4 years ago | (#30670462)

Do you HONESTLY think the government will run it better than google? And, do you think the government won't simply do it in OTHER businesses' interest? Google is the obvious choice.

Re:Come on people... who will do it better? (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#30671360)

If by "obvious choice" you mean "obvious choice not to run it due to privacy concerns" then I agree.

There's no way I'd want Google to be able to geolocate devices, considering how much information Google already collects about people.

Re:Come on people... who will do it better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30673824)

your tilting against windmills, here, most ip's are already geolocated now and are continuously being refined daily. Once IPV6 hits, it will only get worse/better depending upon pt of view.

Bad idea (4, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 4 years ago | (#30670648)

The first thing a hacker would do is use a trim() function and destroy all the data...

Re:Bad idea (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675524)

A real hacker would use chop(). =P

Has this all been thought out? (1, Informative)

dtmos (447842) | more than 4 years ago | (#30670870)

I've never been comfortable with the entire White Space approach, especially the database idea. A big problem is that primary users are only protected out to a predetermined contour, not to their actual range as used in the field. For example, TV stations are only protected out to a given contour (a specific distance out from the tower, where the station's signal strength is predicted to weaken to a predetermined threshold) specified in their license. However, many, many people in rural areas watch over-the-air television at distances well outside the contour, by using antennas that are larger, and mounted higher (often with mast-mounted preamplifiers), than those assumed when the signal strength threshold was set. Should a secondary user query the Google database from this area, he will get authority to transmit on the television channel, since he's outside the protected contour of the TV station, and would then interfere with the television reception in the area. A homeowner (or, more likely, a farm owner) could complain to the FCC, only to be told that he's outside the protected coverage area of the TV station and has to accept the interference. I doubt he'd be happy with that answer.

A similar problem arises with the licensed wireless microphones used in electronic news-gathering (ENG) trucks. They're quite mobile, and cover large areas. How are they supposed to get Internet connectivity in the field to check the database? Presumably they're out of cellular range, since they're in rural, White Space areas; what do they do? And if they use the channel without updating the database, how is a secondary user going to know he's there? The secondary user will query the database, get an "all clear" and, not knowing the microphone is nearby, transmit on the same channel as the microphone.

It just seems like the practical aspects of all this need some more thought.

Re:Has this all been thought out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30671594)

Should a secondary user query the Google database from this area, he will get authority to transmit on the television channel, since he's outside the protected contour of the TV station

I thought the whole idea behind the White Spaces, was that he would just get authority to transmit on a frequency near the TV channel. Sure, to the TV guys' lobbyists, that's the same as being on the channel, but let's be realistic: the real reason they won't like White Space is that they want people to be watching TV instead of surfing the net or downloading video from a competitor. Haven't we thrown them and their bullshit enough bones already? The proposed approach gives the TV guys something they want (fewer internet users inside cities) and they should be happy with that.

Re:Has this all been thought out? (2)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | more than 4 years ago | (#30673448)

You're leaving out a major stipulation of the FCC's ruling: whitespace devices must listen before transmitting, not just query the database. They can't just check the database and begin broadcasting. Not only does that potentially cause the interference with the primary user you're concerned about, it could easily run right over the top of other whitespace devices, thereby seriously limiting their utility.

Given the listen before transmit rule, and given that the rural areas you're talking about have the least number of active primary users, it seems unlikely a marginal TV station will ever suffer interference from a whitespace device. There's plenty of truly empty spectrum to use first. Unless they proliferate even more wildly than Google dreams, I find it hard to believe whitespace devices could even come close to crowding the licensed users in rural areas.

Consider also that very likely it's your farmer's own whitespace devices that are the closest to his TV receiver. After all, his nearest neighbor is a mile or two away. If he encounters a bad device that somehow, against all the mechanisms in place, manages to interfere with his television reception, he can always turn it off. More likely, considering said whitespace device is probably providing him Internet service, he'll turn the TV off and get his TV program through his Internet-providing whitespace device, with a better picture, albeit more slowly. (Yes, as it turns out, it's possible to get a fuzzy signal out of a digital television tuner. My brother pulls in marginal stations that way.)

As for your licensed wireless mics, I suspect they'll be gradually replaced with whitespace mics. The tech who has to find a usable chunk of spectrum manually had better learn other skills, because that process is a completely automated feature of whitespace devices. More than likely, they'll be able to get Internet connectivity using the other whitespace devices in the area. I can easily see whitespace devices proliferating widely enough that every area has at least one whitespace ISP. It might even be free for low throughputs.

If Google has dreamed big enough, they'll use something similar to the Android development process to push, entice, cajole, and bully hardware vendors into producing whitespace devices capable of mesh networking. The spectrum in question allows signals to propogate far enough that a whitespace mesh has some small chance of springing up. Then the whole world changes. Internet becomes truly ubiquitous.

But that's just a dream.

Re:Has this all been thought out? (1)

Buelldozer (713671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678006)

I'm curious. How is it that the Primary user with a truckload of fancy gear has no internet access to query the database but the secondary user, who is very close by, does have internet access to query the database?

Fp faGOrz (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30671024)

inteNtions and Look at your soft,

I see no problem with it (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30672092)

We don't plan to become a database administrator ourselves, but do want to work with the FCC to make sure that a white spaces database gets up and running. We hope that this will unfold in a matter of months, not years.


Google proposes the operation of a WSDB for at least 5 years, promising to “transfer to a successor entity the Database, the IP addresses and URLs used to access the Database, and the list of registered Fixed WSDs” in case they cannot live up to it. Google proposal does not limit the possibility of existing other such databases.

They're not proposing to do it on their own and willing to hand over everything if they fuck it up.

Whitespace? (1)

rp (29053) | more than 4 years ago | (#30673426)

While they're at it, why don't they create a Brainfucks database. Now that would be useful.

Looking forward to see the API bindings on Google Code.

Evil is as Evil does. (2, Insightful)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676322)

This is simply a way to monetize something that was intended to be free.

Free or not, where there is a demand, the market will create itself and Google plans on being there first. I RTFA and it seems to me that they are just trying to "grade" a whitespace based on its physical location and the devices at that location. So and so coordinates, with yada-yada using it. Check. The database is simply to let those users know who is who, and where.

The next step would be, in my mind, to strangle the supply of whitespace by camping as many geo-locations as possible.
(wow, that actually sounds like fun...Pitch a tent and roast marshmallows!)

My first impulse(were I without a conscience) would be to lease/mount a transmitter on every cell tower out there, specifically to fill whitespace. It could simply broadcast old Jimmy Swaggart reruns or simply white-noise. Just keep it filled to claim priority. After all, the idea is to keep people from interfering with ANY other transmissions...even if it is someone simply camping the whitespace there. This is basically a Land-Rush on the whitespace, and the lawyers think that mapping it all will give them something to work with...some sort of claim of rights to that whitespace.

When you have most of it camped, you are then in a position to start making deals.

Market created.

The problem is eventually that "non-existent" market will drive use to the point it actually WOULD interfere with adjacent frequencies...exactly what was trying to be prevented by the creation of whitespaces.

Back to square one with Google making truckloads of cash in the process.

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