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Google Chairman To Testify At Antitrust Hearing

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the what-about-the-congressional-monopoly? dept.

Google 93

bonch writes "Following a threat of subpoena, Google chairman Eric Schmidt will be testifying at a Senate antitrust subcommittee in September. Google has denied acting anticompetitively and cites its success as the cause of the increased scrutiny. The Federal Trade Commission and European Commission have both launched antitrust investigations into the company, and the Justice Department is also conducting a criminal probe into their acceptance of ads from rogue web pharmacies, an investigation Google has set aside $500 million to settle."

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why do people still use google, given tracking? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36706376)

Given that they track EVERYTHING you do, and there are other competing search engines which do not do that, why would anyone use google any more?

If google is a monopoly (not saying they are or are not), they are so because it's what people made them. This isn't like Standard Oil where one company can make it impossible to buy from others. There are a bunch of search engines just a URL away. Google hasn't removed them from the internet.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (-1, Troll)

cgeys (2240696) | more than 3 years ago | (#36706414)

Google is also evilly leveraging their monopoly position to get marketshare in other areas. The very same thing that Microsoft did in the 90's. If you go to Google's homepage with IE the page looks really spammy, with buttons all over to make Google users homepage and pushing out Chrome and everything else. If you download anything from Google they also try to include Chrome with it, as well as pay other software makers and hardware manufacturers to bundle Chrome with their software. Shady tactics.

Chrome is becoming a problem (2, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36706454)

Chrome is getting to be as intrusive as IE used to be.

Re:Chrome is becoming a problem (4, Insightful)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 3 years ago | (#36706564)

...how is that even possible? IE was pre-installed and impossible to completely remove. How is Chrome anywhere near as "intrusive" as that? Not only that but Google never forces you to install Chrome to use any of their services.

I smell bullshit.

Re:Chrome is becoming a problem (2)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#36707300)

It's intrusive in that Google spams the hell out of it if you use a non-Chrome browser. The Google homepage has a Chrome advertisement in the upper-right every single time.

Re:Chrome is becoming a problem (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 3 years ago | (#36707434)

It's intrusive in that Google spams the hell out of it if you use a non-Chrome browser. The Google homepage has a Chrome advertisement in the upper-right every single time.

So? The Google homepage doesn't automatically download Chrome to your computer.

Microsoft's homepage advertises Microsoft services. And Amazon has the audacity to advertise the Kindle on their homepage. Oh my!

Love your sig, btw. Taken out of context, it implies something much more sinister than the e-mail actually meant. I know because I Googled it.

Re:Chrome is becoming a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36711566)

So what is the problem?

Google "spams hell out of it" and you still want to use their services willingly?

Move to competitors if you dont like being "spammed hell out of it".

If someone makes their primary product terrible and you are not forced to use it, then dont use it.

Curious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36707598)

...I can't seem to remove Google's shitty mobile browser from my Android phone. I can add Opera Mobile, of course, but I simply cannot remove Google's browser.

No - herp derp rooting is not a viable option. Sorry, kids, IE was not 'impossible to completely remove' any more than Google's shit.

Re:Chrome is becoming a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36708188)

They are getting really invasive with their tactics to get you to install chrome... And once you install it you get their invasive Google update software... which is the reason I don't install any Google software..

Re:Chrome is becoming a problem (3, Insightful)

npsimons (32752) | more than 3 years ago | (#36706824)

Chrome is getting to be as intrusive as IE used to be.

How do you mean? Are there websites which require you to use to Chrome to access them? Has Google intentionally broken standards in Chrome to "enhance" its users web experience? Does GMail or any of Google's other services turn you away if you're not using Chrome? Does Google use undocumented APIs to make Chrome run faster than other browsers? Is Chrome so deeply embedded in the OS (on purpose) that you can't uninstall it completely without using a third party hack?

Re:Chrome is becoming a problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36707016)

Certain features in google's pages (like blocking search results) only work for Chrome. Kind of reminds you of Microsoft, doesn't it?

They also implemented some TCP/IP shortcuts on their web servers that aren't quite up to spec but that Chrome supports. Does that remind you of Microsoft's IIS/IE TCP hacks?

The google auto-updater isn't trivial to uninstall, either.

Re:Chrome is becoming a problem (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 3 years ago | (#36708028)

You're basically making stuff up. None of what you said is true.

Re:Chrome is becoming a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36710502)

Actually it is, Chrome implements SPDY and so do the Google frontends. It's yet another proprietary Google extension.

Re:Chrome is becoming a problem (1)

Cl1mh4224rd (265427) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710700)

Certain features in google's pages (like blocking search results) only work for Chrome.

That's false and easy enough to verify as false.

Re:Chrome is becoming a problem (2)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#36707328)

Are there websites which require you to use to Chrome to access them?

Yes.

Has Google intentionally broken standards in Chrome to "enhance" its users web experience?

Yes. It's called bundling Flash and adopting some esoteric video codec.

Does GMail or any of Google's other services turn you away if you're not using Chrome?

They don't turn you away, but they spam Chrome links all the damn time, talking about a "better, faster web."

Does Google use undocumented APIs to make Chrome run faster than other browsers?

Only because WebKit is open source. Google is not an open source company as they are often portrayed. Their search engine is a closed source and proprietary as Windows, and they've withheld Android source from non-priveleged partners.

Is Chrome so deeply embedded in the OS (on purpose) that you can't uninstall it completely without using a third party hack?

Hello? Chrome OS.

Re:Chrome is becoming a problem (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 3 years ago | (#36707432)

You're raving, and clearly have a rage-on for Google. I only bother to respond at all in case anyone takes you seriously.

Are there websites which require you to use to Chrome to access them? Yes.

What websites require Chrome? They are in a process of requiring standards-compliant browsers, including dropping IE6, but that's a very far cry from requiring a specific browser. And in any case, they aren't even blocking IE6 - just not supporting it, so parts of the page might not work perfectly. But that's IE6's problem.

Yes. It's called bundling Flash and adopting some esoteric video codec.

Flash is a *plugin*. You know who else bundles Flash? Windows and OSX. Google, as a matter of fact, barely uses Flash for anything, preferring standard HTML.

They don't turn you away, but they spam Chrome links all the damn time, talking about a "better, faster web."

I use Firefox. I've never seen a Chrome link unless I use Internet Explorer. I've seen "use a modern browser like IE8" links using Firefox before, but I didn't get my panties in a twist over it.

[Google hasn't used undocumented APIs to improve Chrome] because WebKit is open source. Google is not an open source company as they are often portrayed. Their search engine is a closed source and proprietary as Windows, and they've withheld Android source from non-priveleged[sic] partners.

What the hell are you talking about? Google's search engine is their biggest asset, and a trade secret. Most Google employees don't even have full access to the code. And the Honeycomb thing was so that people wouldn't try and stick it on phones and ruin the user experience - something that there's ample evidence would be attempted. They're in the process of merging the two branches, after which point it'll be released. I don't even particularly like Android, but I think that's a reasonable stance to take.

Is Chrome so deeply embedded in the OS (on purpose) that you can't uninstall it completely without using a third party hack?
> Hello? Chrome OS.

Chrome OS is a Linux distribution that boots into a browser. For all intents and purposes, it is the OS. It doesn't make sense to talk about removing it.

Re:Chrome is becoming a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36707906)

What? Windows doesn't bundle Flash. OSX stopped bundling Flash a while ago.

Re:Chrome is becoming a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36707442)

Being opensource, Chrome OS offers the ability of developing an independent alternative like Firefox OS. Which by the way the Mozilla team said they didn't want develop. I think it is really hard to say any antitrust violations have happened when the company releases the source to a project but also allows competitors to use and modify it for their own use. The Chrome advertisement is a targeted advertisement for users with non chrome browsers. Targeted advertisement is far from illegal.

Chrome is not comparable to IE (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 3 years ago | (#36706834)

Chrome is getting to be as intrusive as IE used to be.

Come on, moderators, sober up! This guy was aiming for "funny", and definitely not "insightful".
It's hard to think of a less insightful premise or a more false comparison. Chrome must be installed voluntarily (unlike IE), can be removed completely (unlike IE), and is neutral regarding other services from its maker (unlike IE). Hell, Chrome even has an open-source version - Chromium (stunningly unlike IE).

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (4, Insightful)

RasputinAXP (12807) | more than 3 years ago | (#36706502)

You mean one blue bar across the top and an "install Chrome" button on the top right? That ain't spammy. The MSN homepage, now that's spammy.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (2)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#36707342)

That bar appears on multiple Google services and never goes away unless you log into an account or run Chrome. The only reason Chrome exists is to get more users onto their closed-source search and advertising platform, which is why it defaults to their search engine, for example.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (1)

ustolemyname (1301665) | more than 3 years ago | (#36707582)

Actually, when you install chrome it asks if you want to use yahoo, Bing, or Google. Last time I used it yahoo was the first suggestion.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36707698)

So they advertise Chrome on Search, so that they can get those users to convert to Chrome and from there use Search? That makes perfect sense.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36706524)

" Google is also evilly leveraging their monopoly position to get marketshare in other areas."

Yes, but why do the HAVE that monopoly? Because people give it to them voluntarily.

I'm bewildered by this. When google-analytics and google-syndication started showing up on every web page on the planet, why did everybody keep letting themselves be tracked? Why not block them? Why still use google's search, at all, given it's nature?

Google is only as evil as WE allow them to be. Stop giving them business, and they won't be able to abuse their position. If you keep giving them business in spite of their near-monopoly, then don't complain when the obvious abuse happens.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (-1)

cgeys (2240696) | more than 3 years ago | (#36706538)

Google is only as evil as WE allow them to be. Stop giving them business, and they won't be able to abuse their position. If you keep giving them business in spite of their near-monopoly, then don't complain when the obvious abuse happens.

Microsoft is only as evil as WE allow them to be. Stop giving them business, and they won't be able to abuse their position. If you keep giving them business in spite of their near-monopoly, then don't complain when the obvious abuse happens.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (4, Interesting)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 3 years ago | (#36706716)

Google is only as evil as WE allow them to be. Stop giving them business, and they won't be able to abuse their position. If you keep giving them business in spite of their near-monopoly, then don't complain when the obvious abuse happens.

Microsoft is only as evil as WE allow them to be. Stop giving them business, and they won't be able to abuse their position. If you keep giving them business in spite of their near-monopoly, then don't complain when the obvious abuse happens.

There is still an important difference, known as the "Microsoft tax". It's difficult to find a computer without Windows installed, mostly because of Microsoft's licensing policies to OEMs. Google has a monopoly because people (the end users) voluntarily choose their services. Microsoft has a monopoly because of agreements with other large companies, not because of the users' choice.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36708004)

It's difficult to find a webpage that doesn't use Google ads. And on the other side, it's difficult to make a profitable web business if it isn't indexed on Google.

Talking about a monopoly on search misses the point. Search users aren't their customers, they are their product. It would be like arguing Microsoft has a monopoly on the DVDs with an OS on them. Maybe most DVDs with an OS on them have a Microsoft OS on them, but your analysing the wrong part of the chain.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36707962)

> Microsoft is only as evil as WE allow them to be. Stop giving them business, and they won't be able to abuse their position.

I never gave them my business to start with. But your point is valid: they in fact were able to abuse their position because after they started and were clearly being evil, people *kept giving them money*.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#36708232)

This is Slashdot. All your company has to do is run Linux, and the people here will defend you to the bitter end.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36709788)

The very cold and bitter end, somewhere past the wall.

Winter is coming.

Why people still use google... (4, Insightful)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 3 years ago | (#36706602)

Google is also evilly leveraging their monopoly position to get marketshare in other areas. The very same thing that Microsoft did in the 90's.

Just to correct a critical part of your argument: in the 90's there was essentially no viable alternative to Microsoft's monopoly OS; however, there are any number of alternative web search services as viable alternatives to Google. To the extent that Google has a monopoly, it is one they are either (i) voluntarily granted by consumers, or (ii) retain only by inertia. Either way, the alternatives in search are viable and a Google monopoly can persist only if the alternatives are worse. This is in stark contrast to the Microsoft monopoly, which was truly evil (and apparently still strives to remain a monopoly).

Re:Why people still use google... (3, Insightful)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 3 years ago | (#36707522)

Not to mention that it cost businesses a whole lot of money to switch away from Microsoft. It doesn't cost me anything to type in the URL of an alternate search engine. The only reason I stopped using AltaVista when Google came out was because Google's search results were much better. People figured out how to abuse the meta tag system and Google's algorithm side-stepped that abuse. Give me another minimalist-design search engine that does what Google does better and I'll use that instead (as long as it isn't owned or partnered with Microsoft or Oracle, that is).

In the 90s I would always get so angry when Bill Gates said stuff like, "The government is trying to punish us for our success." That was bullshit and he knew it. But that statement seems valid when applied to Google today. These politicians are in the pocket of Google's competitors. Namely, Microsoft.

Hopefully Schmidt sticks it to these fuckers on camera: "Well, gee, Senator, what I'd like to know is why you're on this panel when you take such large campaign donations from my largest competitors. Don't you think there's a conflict of interest here?"

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (1)

Undead Waffle (1447615) | more than 3 years ago | (#36706736)

Oh you mean like Microsoft bundling Internet Explorer with their operating system, then setting the default page to msn.com and setting the default search engine to bing?

Not to mention my grandpa bought a computer from Best Buy and they sent Geek Squad out to set it up for him. They showed him how to use MSN and bing and gave him a new Windows Live e-mail address and showed him how to use that. I wonder how much Microsoft is paying for that?

These are the kinds of users Google is trying to get by putting those "Download Chrome" and "Make this your homepage" buttons. People that don't know where to find the settings for these things that are only using Microsoft products because that's the way it came from the store. Surely Google's tactics are acceptable given their competitor already has a massive advantage by being the default. I haven't seen any software from other companies that included Chrome but if I did that's the only part I might disagree with.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 3 years ago | (#36711018)

Name one example please, of Google "leveraging their monopoly position to get marketshare in other areas".

Compare and contrast a few things

- Microsoft forced users to install IE. They shipped it with the OS and did not allow you to not install it. Furthermore, they wrote key web properties of theirs like OWA and Windows Update to only function in IE.

- Whereas, if you go to Google.com or YouTube.com, the word Chrome is not even mentioned most of the time. Sometimes, OCCASIONALLY, they have a link to download it. But they don't make the site ONLY work in Chrome, or make portions not work in other browsers - even though they EASILY could.

- Microsoft shipped Hotmail integrated into Windows Outlook Express and Windows Messenger, which also both ship with windows.

- Google doesn't EVER even have advertisements for GMail on their home page or result pages, even though they easily could.

- Microsoft is using their Xbox 360 platform to push Windows Phone with forced advertisements spewed throughout your dashboard, and things like giving Windows Phones to your Avatar. And also not allowing other phone platforms to access Xbox Live! data.

- Google doesn'r EVER even have advertisements for Android on their home page or result pages, even though they easily could. They don't make any of their properties not render on other phones, even though they easily could. And they don't lock down any of their web APIs to Android only, even though they easily could.

I can name many many more examples.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 3 years ago | (#36716988)

Furthermore, they wrote key web properties of theirs like OWA and Windows Update to only function in IE.

I can't imagine how you could implement a standards compliant web based software update system really, so that argument is a wash. But thank fuck they did write OWA to only work in IE - you realise the Microsoft Exchange team actually invented XMLHTTPRequest for use in OWA, right? That lock-in created one of the most useful (open!) web technologies available today.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (0)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#36706436)

The problem is not becoming a monopoly.

The problem is using their monopoly to force their way into other markets and become the de facto standard in those markets. Sort of like Microsoft forcing everybody but MS Office out of the word-processing and spreadsheet markets.

Google's been doing very similar things with their search engine dominance, if you look at a lot of the other markets they've expanded into recently.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (1)

Pigskin-Referee (1389181) | more than 3 years ago | (#36706676)

Sort of like Microsoft forcing everybody but MS Office out of the word-processing and spreadsheet markets.

You really should learn a little more about what you are talking about. Lotus screwed themselves with numerous law suits against competing spreadsheet makers.
"Lotus petitioned the United States Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari. The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court's opinion in a 4-4 anonymous tie vote, with Justice Stevens recusing.[6] Lotus's petition for a rehearing by the full court was denied. By the time the lawsuit ended, Borland had sold Quattro Pro to Novell, and Microsoft's Excel spreadsheet had emerged as the main challenger to Lotus 1-2-3."

In the case of Word Perfect, they simply failed to stay current. If you read the entire account of Word Perfect, not just the documentation post at Wikipedia , its sale, etcetera, you will discover that Microsoft spend millions on creating a product that was superior to Word Perfect. At one time it was a well know fact that the Microsoft help line could give you better advice on the use of Word Perfect that the Word Perfect help line. Microsoft taught their help desk employees Word Perfect inside and out so that they could assist any called who wanted to learn how MS Word work in comparison to Word Perfect. You might want to check our . Not the best report ever written; but it does point out some real problems with Word Perfect. Once it was sold to Novell it was effectively done in.

Microsoft never forced (how could they) anyone to use MS Office. They simple created a far superior product. Both Lotus and Word Perfect were basically one dimensional. Microsoft created a multi-dimentional product and the rest is history.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (4, Informative)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#36706726)

You left out the part where Microsoft used hidden program hooks, undocumented, in their OS to make it so that Lotus couldn't perform as well as Office (whose development team had access to ALL of the operating system and optimized calls).

The same crap Microsoft did to Netscape when they started trying to take over with Internet Explorer.

The same crap Microsoft did as recently as 2009 to Firefox [s5h.net] .

Now run along and get yourself an education. You obviously don't know crap about what you are talking about.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (1)

Pigskin-Referee (1389181) | more than 3 years ago | (#36707232)

You conveniently forget that it is Microsoft's OS. Microsoft is not the first, nor will it be the last to have undocumented calls/procedures in its code whether it is an operating system or a simple application. Microsoft spent upwards of 2 million dollars to develop a better spreedsheet/word processor while others where either wasting their time in court or engaging in internal corporate in-fighting. Plus, Microsoft made the applications work seamlessly together. Something at that stage of program development (90's) that was virtually unheard of. What really burns your ass is that the best the FOSS in over a dozen years could produce is a poor clone of Word 97, aka Open-Office. Spreedsheet development is a joke. Maybe that is why nobody takes you seriously. You give away a product for free and Microsoft charges hundreds of dollars and yet they still control 90+% of the market. You can try and mumble any cavorted logic you want; however, the bottom line is nobody is buying what you are selling.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36707630)

Nice try Stallman.

I can't imagine a real paid shill would be that unprofessional.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (1)

ion.simon.c (1183967) | more than 3 years ago | (#36707842)

...however, the bottom line is nobody is buying what you are selling.

They're not buying it, 'cause it comes free of charge! ;)

Try Kubuntu, with Crossover Linux (née Crossover Office), if you must run Office. You're likely to be pleasantly surprised. (I type this while waiting Win 7 Pro to complete a five-minute software install for my MS LifeCam Cinema. This camera worked out-of-the-box with Kubuntu.)

P.R, well said (couldn't have done better) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36708148)

See subject-line above...

APK

P.S.=> Do or Have I used Linux? Yes, I have & yes, still do on a 2nd rig here... BUT, what got me to really "give it a go" to see it for a LONG period, was that I used it, exclusively in fact, all last summer on a laptop while I was in Europe touring it & travelling!

Did I like it? Sure, it works, & a LOT better than when I first tried in in 1994 (Slackware 1.02) & later in 1999 (RedHat 5.2-6.0)... it's come "WORLDS" since then, as it should have over that much time!

However - it's STILL no Windows 7!

I.E.-> It doesn't have as much device support (or as of high a quality either).

Which makes sense from the hardware makers' "pov" - they're out to SELL HARDWARE & they put more effort into those for Windows.

After all, Windows IS the largest OS platform holding 94% of the market IS Windows from PC's on desktops, thru departmental workstation clients & servers, to "enterprise class" systems like NASDAQ uses for their "OFFICIAL TRADE DATA DISSEMINATION SYSTEM" 24/7 for coming up on a DECADE now of uptime (via failover clusters in Windows Server 2003 + SQLServer 2005)...

... apk

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36708102)

In what fashion is installing a plugin to Firefox similar to using undocumented program hooks to make their software better?

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 3 years ago | (#36717048)

Oh bullshit. That thing in 2009 was about making it so the .NET Framework could actually work with Firefox. You know, compatibility? It's not fucking sabotaging at all.

You goddamn zealots bitch if Microsoft doesn't work to make things compatible (*ooh, I can't use this ClickOnce bullshit in Firefox, Microsoft is an evil monopoly*) and you bitch if they do work to make things compatible (*ooh, Microsoft installed a plugin to Firefox to make ClickOnce work, Microsoft is an evil monopoly*).

The only thing they did wrong is that they did exactly as Adobe, Sun, and Apple already do and installed it as a Firefox system plugin rather than a user plugin. You will of course bitch that they made it so you can't remove it, however that particular behaviour is by design of Firefox, not Microsoft.

Why don't you quit goddamn pretending to be rational and just admit that you'll claim that no matter what they do, it is clearly wrong because you don't agree with it.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36706692)

For example, go to Google and type in "mortgage interest rates." Google gives itself the #1 ad, at the very top. Additionally, it allows itself three lines for the ad text beneath the headline (which no other Adwords advertiser can have), it has that special "compare rates" button (which no other Adwords user can have), and it allows itself to have its ad copy in columns, which are also against Adwords' rules.

The keyword "mortgage interest rates" is extremely valuable, and Google is leveraging its monopoly in search to push its other businesses and disadvantage its competitors. That's the kind of shit that the FTC gets interested in.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#36707994)

Put what you want on your website. Google will put what they want on theirs. If you don't want to see what they put, don't go there. This is a first amendment issue.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (5, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#36706632)

Given that they track EVERYTHING you do, and there are other competing search engines which do not do that, why would anyone use google any more?

Why would I care if they track my searches? Will they e-mail porn searches to my parents? Because that would be rather awkward, but otherwise it doesn't matter.

There are search engines that don't track me, have equal or better methods of keeping junk from polluting the top hits, don't actually track me, don't have intrusive ads, and scout's honor don't really track me? Well then, I'll use them if I have any reason to.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710200)

because they'll optimize the next searches. or "optimize" rather - you know what you end up if you do that? optimizing you to visit the sites that have the same fucking adverts as the last site, optimizing your search results to actually be rather stale, optimizing them to be from "near you" when in fact you don't want your coding googling to be optimized at all. and when you click a link it'll count that as a succesful search hit, despite you not knowing if it's a site full of spam or not. it makes their service less valuable - but that's not of course a monopoly problem. monopoly problem comes when you stop getting hits as you get downgraded for not having google analytics tracking your users and when you start pushing your other wares through the search busines(they do that). googles defence to all this is that it was not intentional money grabbing monopoly tactics that have lead to the current situation, too bad MS already used that defence.

Because they don't do evil, that's why! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36706642)

Why, Google said so themselves!

And if you can't trust an overgrown ad agency, who can you trust?

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36706742)

Because most don't care if someone tracks mundane things.

" i searched for the best price on stew mix " isn't something to be overly concerned about falling into the wrong hands.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (1)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 3 years ago | (#36706992)

I'm going to take a stab at this.. People who use Google first and foremost like the bulk of their products for how well they work and their simplicity. Google aims to make things generally as lightweight, streamlined and efficient as possible and I think that strikes a chord with a lot of people. As for the tracking, well I think a lot of people honestly just don't care that much, and if the other primary search engine being Bing then I'm guessing people are choosing the lesser of two.. "evils" for lack of a better word.

By and large Googles "do no evil" policy whether it still holds true or not is a great marketing strategy because by and large people generally accept it. Now I'm not saying how wise that is because everyone knows companies can change very easily when money and power grow, but I think MS took a big hit in the image department in the 90's and 00's and that is still being felt.

I would like to add on a more 'tin foil hat' note that it seems that Google has been under a LOT of fire lately and I would not be surprised at all if MS didn't have a hand in it, especially with it's good government connections. Either way.. seems Google is getting big and powerful and that has a lot of people scared for some reason.. because it seems to me (and again this seems to be my own observation) that people who didn't mind MS being a juggernaut seem to be terrified of Google in that position.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (3, Insightful)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 3 years ago | (#36707162)

"Given that they track EVERYTHING you do, and there are other competing search engines which do not do that, why would anyone use google any more?"

It's the tracking that makes them so good. Next you'll be complaining about how Google indexes the internet.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36707270)

To be honest I don't mind google sucking at selling me to advertisers and be good at indexing data. I don't see why a company that protects its main software products behind closed source licenses gets such a wide pass on slashdot - supposedly the F/OSS community. I guess Google shills have successfully penetrated slashdot.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36708358)

I don't see why a company that protects its main software products behind closed source licenses ...

It would be more accurate to describe Google Search as a hardware project. The software itself is nearly useless.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (1)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 3 years ago | (#36707184)

Given that they track EVERYTHING you do, and there are other competing search engines which do not do that.

I want to know what search engine you speak of. I mean WTF we live in the age of the all seeing eye (corp and gov) watching eveything you do. And don't EVEN get me started on corporations monetizing data with or without your consent. What company can be trusted to do the right thing anymore. I use Google products because their products work...well. I don't believe I can trust a corporation to not track my every move online and sell it to the highest bidder. I'm not trying to call you out or anything. I'm just pointing out that if you leave a kid alone with the cookie jar there's bound to be a few missing cookies and one of those is likely tracking you. /rant

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (1)

starofale (1976650) | more than 3 years ago | (#36708366)

I want to know what search engine you speak of.

DuckDuckGo [duckduckgo.com]

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36708688)

DuckDuckGo: I think it tracks even when they say they don't. Tags included in some of the search results that are being sent to the destination page (e.g., ...?tag=Amazon). Nags to enable JavaScript from the HTML search results page. However, enable JavaScript and they have recently started serving Ads by Yahoo. So yeah, I think they track.

Also, at this point their search results are much more inferior to Bing and Google. In fact, when they run out of results... they suggest trying Google or Bing! Their sidebar "bang" suggestions are all for entities that are known to, you know, track.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (1)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710482)

Thanks for the link. I'm amazed that such a site could actually exist.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (1)

Stormthirst (66538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36708744)

Have you tried using Bing? It's sh*t by comparison to Google.

Re:why do people still use google, given tracking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36711272)

I smell a hipster.

Wait till we get in duh showah boy.

Eric the clown (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36706442)

Why do people even listen to this bozo is a mystery to me.

Glass, fuck Google in the ass

Re:Eric the clown (-1, Redundant)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#36706540)

Ballmer? Is that you?

We've got a new load of chairs straight off the boat from China. Would you like them delivered or will you send someone to pick them up?

--
BMO - nah, man, I'll eat 'em here.

Re:Eric the clown (2)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#36706566)

Eric Schmidt is the guy who said only people who have something to hide care about privacy. I'll side with chair-throwing Ballmer over that one.

SPY to Payoff (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36706452)

Fuck Google

I call shenanigans. (4, Funny)

Helpadingoatemybaby (629248) | more than 3 years ago | (#36706480)

Not even the Senate could reach a human at Google.

Re:I call shenanigans. (1)

Pigskin-Referee (1389181) | more than 3 years ago | (#36706688)

Not even the Senate could reach a human at Google.

Ain't that the truth. Talk all you want about Microsoft; however, at least they have a real, live, functioning telephone number.

Re:I call shenanigans. (2)

Compholio (770966) | more than 3 years ago | (#36706722)

Ain't that the truth. Talk all you want about Microsoft; however, at least they have a real, live, functioning telephone number.

MS: What is the nature of your call sir?
Caller: We'd like to get a representative of your company to show up to a senate hearing.
MS: That'll be $200 for an incident report sir, would you like me to charge your credit card?

Re:I call shenanigans. (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36707068)

Try calling about hotmail and see how far you get... My LiveID on windows isnt accepting my password anymore, but my Xbox will happily sign on with the same credentials. Hotmails solution is a ticket-in-forum weirdness that asks a bunch of questions that i really dont know that answer to because i only ever use that account because MS requires it for LIVE.

It's everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36706552)

The humor i find is the ad at the top of the page advocating the purchase of a chromebook, as if it wasn't ubiquitous enough.

Re:It's everywhere (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 3 years ago | (#36706708)

Because they track(ed) you they know you are in the market for a reliable cloud-based portable solution.

Because of the same tracking I get a Wall Street Journal ad.

:)

Re:It's everywhere (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36707078)

Every fuckin day i get the 'Got Vape' ad for weeks since i checked out their website. I've wondered if I buy one, and register it, will they stop presenting me with the ads?

Don't (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36706754)

Don't say anything about doing no evil. Again.

Depends (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36706832)

"acceptance of ads from rogue web pharmacies"

Did they spam people? Hang 'em.

Are they selling honestly labeled drugs to those who want to buy them? Heroic.

Revenue Generation (1)

Nonillion (266505) | more than 3 years ago | (#36706950)

These so called "anti-trust" investigations seem to be more about government revenue generation than anything else.

Re:Revenue Generation (1)

Dragon Bait (997809) | more than 3 years ago | (#36707796)

These so called "anti-trust" investigations seem to be more about government revenue generation than anything else.

Government revenue? Or campaign revenue. Obviously Google needs to donate more to key senators' retirement^Wreelection fund.

Re:Revenue Generation (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36707926)

Not really, antitrust lawsuits are about keeping the market competitive. Unfortunately for much of the last decade the DoJ has been looking the other way when companies like Google have behaved in anticompetitive ways, but it is still a serious issue to anybody that wants quality service.

Mergers rarely if ever benefit the consumer, most of the time they're more about eliminating pesky competition and sleeping in a bed stuffed with hundreds.

I'm just astonished that it took them that long to come under scrutiny given the crap they've been pulling like buying out doubleclick that alone should have triggered an investigation.

Re:Revenue Generation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36709144)

Oh? Let's look at a previous large tech company to get hit with the anti-trust lawsuit, Microsoft.

They were even convicted, but I'm not sure they had any kind of reparations. They weren't even prevented from doing the thing that got them the suit in the first place.

The only substantive change to Microsoft's behavior compared to before they got hit with the anti-trust suit was that before the suit, they gave almost *nothing* to *any* political campaigns....

If that wasn't originally the goal with MS, it will certainly be the goal for many companies to follow them.

Re:Revenue Generation (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#36709580)

What revenue does the government generate in an antitrust investigation?

Nothing to gain, lots to lose (4, Insightful)

bradley13 (1118935) | more than 3 years ago | (#36707082)

The problem, of course, is that testifying before the Senate is a lose-lose situation.

These are public events that are really grandstanding occasions for senators to work on soundbites for their campaigns. Whoever is "testifying" is just a target for those soundbites. Play target well, and they will shoot you down - "look, we politicians are for the common man and against big business". Defend yourself effectively - show the Senators to be wrong or (more likely) totally uninformed - and suffer the dagger through the cloak instead of the public hanging.

Re:Nothing to gain, lots to lose (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 3 years ago | (#36707568)

Exactly. There is no reason for Schmidt, Brin, or Page to personally appear at these hearings other than to get the press to cover the event. The senators know that no one in the media will show up for a hearing with some random 'Google representative.' They also know that it would be bad for the press to show up for the hearing with some random 'Google representative' because that representative will probably be the best person suited for the occasion (a lawyer), meaning he will talk circles around them and make them look like fools. Of course, Schmidt will probably do that anyway.

Re:Nothing to gain, lots to lose (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 3 years ago | (#36707932)

"Schmidt will probably do that anyway."
,br> Given Eric's tendency for gaffes it will be an interesting session. and that is what as "adult" supervision" that he is paid all that money to do.

Congress (1)

unsolicited (2277156) | more than 3 years ago | (#36709500)

We don't need Congress.
With the proliferation of Internet and Cell phones we can directly vote on Bills and make/change Laws.

Re:Nothing to gain, lots to lose (1)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710260)

Are you serious? With the lobbying power that Google has this is most likely going to be one big charade.

Re:Nothing to gain, lots to lose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36712930)

How can a senator shank you if you just removed their credibility?

Ahahahaha. (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36707292)

Wasn't Google one of the companies crybabying about Microsoft's "monopoly"? I find this satisfyingly hilarious. Ordinarily I'd side with Google in this matter, unless you have control over a physically limited resource you don't have a real monopoly. But in this case I'll make an exception - nail Google to the cross, Johnny Trust Busters!

Microsoft shills (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36707512)

I feel like the only people who post on Slashdot anymore are Microsoft shills. What kind of money is in being a mouthpiece for Microsoft, I wonder? I'm willing to troll for money.

Re:Microsoft shills (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#36709592)

What Slashdot are you reading? The site is usually pretty pro-Google.

Monopoly? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36708252)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly

There are free, easy, and viable alternatives to every single thing Google does. In fact, those other things are installed by default on nearly every single computer (Safari, IE) and are heavily locked down by market leaders (IOS, Windows). Android, Chrome and Google search *earn* their way to their position by being better (in consumers opinion) and they *maintain* their position by continuing that. Don't like Chrome? Use the browser that came with your OS. Don't like Google search? Type "bling" (it was probably the default on your OS). Don't like Android? Use an iphone, winphone, nokia, blackberry (most of which sell better than droid). Don't like gmail? Need I say more?

How much is google gouging the consumer for search? For chrome? For email? For droid? Google cares about one thing: affordable and unfettered access to the internet. The level playing field where they are confident they'll kick anyone's ass based solely on value to consumer. Apple wants to control the gateway. Microsoft wants to control the platform. Facebook wants to control the data. Google wants to make buckets of money by earning it, then do other cool things with it. Driverless cars. Renewable energy. Fiber to the door.

Nothing lamer than conspiracy theorists and people who just can't stand other's success. Grow up.

Re:Monopoly? (2)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#36709584)

There are free, easy, and viable alternatives to every single thing Google does.

That was also true for Microsoft software.

Wonderfull ... not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36709096)

Goodle's Darth Vader Eric Schmitt will enlighten the Senate commettii of the succlect Tainwanesse flesh ... grilled to his special recipee.

--

Antitrust... Example? Anyone? (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710918)

Does anyone have an example of a single instance where Google used it's dominance in one area of the market to unfairly achieve dominance in another? Because that is the definition of Anti-trust. Simply being very good at your market, or entering a lot of markets, does not define anti-trust.

I can't even really THINK of two markets Google is dominant in. They have their fingers in a lot of pies, sure, but the only market they are really dominant in is search/online advertising.

And even if you consider them a dominant player in the mobile market - I can hardly see how you could claim that they used their dominance in search to achieve that. I don't recall ever going to Google.com and them pushing me to buy an Android phone. Them achieving dominance there is purely due to having a superior product.

Microsoft on the other-hand.... every friggin time I log into Xbox live or any of their online properties, windows phone is shoved in my face. Google could easily be doing this, but they don't.

Re:Antitrust... Example? Anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36711352)

Go to google.com and type in "mortgage rates"

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