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Could an Erasable Internet Kill Google?

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the keyzer-soze-approved dept.

Google 210

zacharye writes "As Google's share price soars beyond $1,100, it seems like nothing can stop the Internet juggernaut as its land grab strategies continue to win over the eyes of its users and the wallets of its advertising clients. But an analysis published over this past weekend raises an interesting question surrounding a new business model that could someday lead to Google's downfall. Do we want an erasable Internet?"

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210 comments

No, it would improve Google searches (-1, Flamebait)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about 4 months ago | (#45785703)

Google is close to unusable unless you manually set it to show recent results. Old stuff on the internet is mostly noise and rot.

I bet more than 95% of everything older than 3 years is noise and rot that nobody has any use for.

Re:No, it would improve Google searches (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45785779)

Not true at all! Very often I'm looking for the answer to something and it was discussed in a forum back in 2007 or 2000 even... and now that human knowledge is forever passable to whoever needs it, when they need it. Humanities greatest achievement is inventing something that remembers for us. We're terrible at it.

That's because somebody posted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45786325)

... a message on the thread in recent months.

Re: No, it would improve Google searches (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45786801)

Well I sure wouldn't mind it if Google would stop bugging me about using my real name... And no I do not want to be part of Google+ for the 10,000th time. I've already stopped using YouTube after it twice cleverly forced all of my comments to use my real name.

Stop being evil, Google.

Re:No, it would improve Google searches (3, Interesting)

gl4ss (559668) | about 4 months ago | (#45785817)

internet is already erasable..

but what _could_ kill google would be some law that stated that you couldn't make use of caches of sites... since , uhm, that's what it would take to change the current erasable internet into even more erasable, by somehow forcing people to not keep copies.

Re:No, it would improve Google searches (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45785925)

Bullshit assumptions about "old information" being anything 3 years or older.

Re:No, it would improve Google searches (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45785983)

Yeah only 5% of people ever need to get info on stuff more than 3 years old. Most have upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 8 already and have left Windows Server 2008 R2. And the rest of us are using the latest Linux kernels or *BSD installs.

Seriously if Google does their job right old stuff won't appear in your results if you are searching for new stuff unless the new stuff is using the same names (in which case the person who came up with the new stuff is being stupid).

The real noise is the link spam crap. When I search for stuff I get pages with my search terms but nothing else but ads or nothing related. Or worse I get unrelated pages without my search terms at all.

Google getting unusable is because of crap like this, not because of old stuff.

Re:No, it would improve Google searches (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45786151)

"have left Windows Server 2008 R2"

Are you having a larf? Most of our systems have only just left Server 2003. At least 2008 has a functioning GUI wheras with S2012 MS wants you to manage everything remotely. A lot of our Server apps will never ever support MS Remote App managment and use a local gui to setup their config and operations. For some apps we deliberately disable remote access because of security concerns. Yeah I know that this sounds silly but these systems are used by people who are not users but abusers.
It will be 2015/16 before we go to 2012Rx if ever because of the latest MS price hike hase made us seriously consider going to RHEL. We don't use any Sharepoint, lookout or BizTalk crap on these systems.

Re:No, it would improve Google searches (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45786707)

Look up the word irony. Maybe use Google for that...

Re:No, it would improve Google searches (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45786953)

Whooooosh*

*That's a 'whooooosh' from 2004. If you want a newer 'whooooosh' you'll have to miss a less obvious use of sarcasm.

Re:No, it would improve Google searches (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 4 months ago | (#45785985)

Apparently you've never had to work with anything but the most recent releases of software.

Re:No, it would improve Google searches (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45786775)

Look up the word irony. Maybe consider using Google for that...

Re:No, it would improve Google searches (5, Insightful)

thunderclap (972782) | about 4 months ago | (#45786023)

Apparently you are so young you were never forced to do research for a high school or College paper without the internet. You know those books and Encyclopedias 'older than 3 years are noise and rot that nobody has any use for' yet they were available and useful for a century before the internet appeared.

Re:No, it would improve Google searches (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45786385)

Apparently you are so young you were never forced to do research for a high school or College paper without the internet. You know those books and Encyclopedias 'older than 3 years are noise and rot that nobody has any use for' yet they were available and useful for a century before the internet appeared.

Senility must be creeping up on you, old man. Those books and encyclopedias were written with future usefulness in mind; random internet postings and slapped together web pages were not.

Re:No, it would improve Google searches (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45786501)

For College most information still is in books and papers. Forget the internet for anything that is not phyics or other hard science. If you do research in history or social sciences you need 300 page books written by professors. I still have not yet found that information on the net.

Re:No, it would improve Google searches (1, Interesting)

solidraven (1633185) | about 4 months ago | (#45786569)

If I may be so bold as to state this, calling social sciences books information is a bit of a joke in my opinion. I generally consider such books a good way to start a barbecue in fact. And actually, a lot of engineering related information on the internet is incorrect due to Arduino users making uninformed statements about mass production consumer electronics.

Re:No, it would improve Google searches (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45786903)

It really depends on what you are looking for. Most of my searches are for computing related issues and given the rate at which these things change old results are unlikely to be useful. On the other hand if you are looking for tips on unblocking your drain, not much changes in the plumbing world so a 10 or 20 year old posting (if you found one) is as likely to be relevant as one posted yesterday.

Re:No, it would improve Google searches (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 4 months ago | (#45786047)

> I bet more than 95% of everything older than 3 years is noise and rot that nobody has any use for.

Sounds plausible. Still -- one man's junk is another man's treasure ...

Archive.org is invaluable for this reason alone.

Re:No, it would improve Google searches (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45786079)

You're an idiot. I think you should be aware of this.

Re:No, it would improve Google searches (2)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 4 months ago | (#45786109)

Google is close to unusable unless you manually set it to show recent results. Old stuff on the internet is mostly noise and rot.

I bet more than 95% of everything older than 3 years is noise and rot that nobody has any use for.

obvious troll is obvious

Re:No, it would improve Google searches (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45786197)

Get rid of Google's 20 year Usenet archive and half of their data mine is gone.

Re:No, it would improve Google searches (5, Insightful)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 4 months ago | (#45786281)

You are confusing "mostly unusable" with "mostly unusable by you. The rest of us use it every day with great success.

Re:No, it would improve Google searches (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45786379)

I bet more than 95% of everything older than 3 years is noise and rot that nobody has any use for.

If that's true, my guess would be that's because 95% of people who use the internet only consume. This 'new business model' only applies to social media. Knowledge certainly shouldn't be ephemeral.

Please consider that the human species greatest advantages over other species stem from our sharing of knowledge. Sharing also has the immediate effect of accumulation. The sum of individuals becomes an organism accumulating knowledge over time.

Have we really come to a point, where sharing information is already restricted for several generations at a time that we're seriously considering the benefits of forgetting everything from more than 3 years ago. While none of these things will truly stop the motivated learner, I find these artificial roadblocks to the strengths of our species is troublesome.

Will Google end when I get superpowers? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45785711)

Because the odds of me getting super powers and destroying Google are the same as companies choosing not to store data. They will either openly admit to it like Facebook and Google, or they'll just lie and do it anyway.

No (5, Insightful)

Harlequin80 (1671040) | about 4 months ago | (#45785713)

See subject.

Expanding though. Erasable internet is a very very small segment of internet data traffic. The whole point of something being erasable is that is only to be seen by one particular recipient. Given we are here on Slashdot, while logged into facebook, reading our email demonstrates pretty easily that ephemeral internet activities only make a tiny percentage of the total data.

We are still going to shop, browse, email, and post. Erasable internet is irrelevant to this.

Rubbish. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45785721)

This is the dumbest thing I've ever seen on Slashdot.

Re:Rubbish. (1, Troll)

NonUniqueNickname (1459477) | about 4 months ago | (#45785755)

This is the dumbest thing I've ever seen on Slashdot.

And keep in mind AC has seen everything, commented on almost everything. This one really takes the cup.

Re:Rubbish. (0)

HairyNevus (992803) | about 4 months ago | (#45785767)

You haven't been here long enough to see two stories in a row posted on the same story, by the same editor.

Re:Rubbish. (1, Offtopic)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 4 months ago | (#45786155)

You haven't been here long enough to see two stories in a row posted on the same story, by the same editor.

I am pretty sure AC has seen that many, many times.

Re:Rubbish. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45785913)

Nipple flaps down and ready for deployment, now tell me how much you hate it! :P

What's so bad about it... (5, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | about 4 months ago | (#45785723)

With absolutely nothing pushing the pendulum in the direction of increased privacy, I'm for an erasable Internet, just because nothing else is there to push in that direction. Governments love the info. Companies love it. People don't have the power or voice to state anything. So, it is obvious when someone comes along that sort of guarantees [1] a picture will disappear, people will flock to that service en masse since they are so tired of a large, WORM database. Post a pic on FB, it is there forever. Post it on a website, reputable search engines will slurp it up. Use robots.txt and a hidden URL, it gets slurped up anyway unless there is some type of active authentication.

A company that makes a peer to peer protocol to send encrypted messages where the key comes from multiple clients (and each client will not send the piece after the expiration date) is going to make money. People do want privacy, but it so incredibly hard to get that. If I wanted to send a photo to someone, and physically travelling is out of the picture, I'd have to get with them, set up gpg, then send it via that. Or, copy it onto offline media and snail mail it. Some firm that uses decent cryptography will make a mint just assuring people that a conversation has a high chance of staying stays private and vanishing after it was done.

[1]: How long the pic really remains on the company's server is a question, but to people, it is off the record.

Re:What's so bad about it... (4, Insightful)

cold fjord (826450) | about 4 months ago | (#45785851)

There have been previous discussions about a "right to be forgotten [slashdot.org]." It is hard to say what sort of traction it will ever get.

I'm sure it will become a popular idea with recent college grads that enjoyed partying with friends that had camera phones, as well as hooligans. But it already can be pretty difficult to track down some things, especially since the search engines started limiting how many pages they will retrieve for a search (at least for the general public). Even if you can remove a document from one place, it can often be found in another. How do you get them all? It would take a fair amount of work.

Against the "right to be forgotten" there is also the continuing erosion of useful information from various sites. There are some things that are disappearing from the internet even if you can find documents that mention them. Servers go away, files are lost, purges occur because "nobody would ever want that, it's old!" There are a lot of factors involved in this subject.

Re:What's so bad about it... (1)

inode_buddha (576844) | about 4 months ago | (#45785937)

The idea of an erasable internet is very popular with politicians lately. The UK has it down to an art form almost. Not sure about the US yet.

Re:What's so bad about it... (5, Insightful)

crutchy (1949900) | about 4 months ago | (#45786389)

The idea of an erasable internet is laughable.

If you post your personal information to someone else's server, then you have lost control of it... end of story.

You can never be sure of what then happens to it regardless of what laws are in place or proposed.

Apart from not having any guarantees of the character of the corporations/employees/contractors/technicians that have access to the data you post, you also have no idea whether the data is being intercepted and stored for later decryption by government/hackers/criminal organizations.

Moral of story... if users of the internet really give a damn about their online privacy they should take a little more responsibility for the "information" they spew.

Re:What's so bad about it... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45786909)

The idea of an lockable car is laughable.

If you leave your car locked or unlocked, then you have lost control of it... end of story.

You can never be sure of what then happens to it regardless of what laws are in place or proposed.

Apart from not having any guarantees of the character of the corporations/employees/contractors/technicians that have access to car that you left unattended, you also have no idea whether your car is being stolen or vandalized by government/hackers/criminal organizations.

Moral of story... if users of cars really give a damn about their vehicles they should take a little more responsibility for them.

Here I FTFY.

Re: What's so bad about it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45786187)

How about it being used by regular people who want to escape the Total Information Awareness machine outsourced to the private sector?

Your "troublemakers and terrorists" card isn't flying long.

Re:What's so bad about it... (1)

richlv (778496) | about 4 months ago | (#45786885)

I'm sure it will become a popular idea with recent college grads that enjoyed partying with friends that had camera phones, as well as hooligans.

...and then companies will start creating their own collections of publicly available photos.
a better outcome would be accepting parties as a good thing :)

Definitely Not (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45785725)

Honestly, I think the impact on society of governments and organizations to rewrite history or remove history from the internet is a much more frightening concept than people being able to google your name and find out you were a twerp in your younger years.

You can't lead a horse to privacy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45785727)

The horse has to actually want that themselves. For an erasable internet to work, everyone in the chain would have to cooperate on that.

Where profit motives exist for tracking them, horses get watched going around the racetrack. The slaughterhouse wins in the end.

Re:You can't lead a horse to privacy. (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 4 months ago | (#45785805)

The horse has to actually want that themselves.

No... you can lead them to privacy; no problem.

The trouble is; Facebook built a cage around privacy, all except a small sample jar, so even if the horse wants some, (s)he's going to have great trouble contorting around the bars of the cage, just to successfully get a small sip at most.

Re:You can't lead a horse to privacy. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45785895)

FB doesn't force horses into the slaughterhouse, they go willingly. That's the whole point. Privacy is available - horses are easily misled.

Re:You can't lead a horse to privacy. (4, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about 4 months ago | (#45785897)

I don't understand all the bitchin about facebook privacy when USA still has pretty much no laws at all on personal databases and sales of them.

you want the real privacy problem? that you can't ask in usa what data a company has on you. that they don't need to publish what they do with the data. that they can sell your SSN.

yet people bitch about one single company that only has data you wanted to post for other people to see...

Re:You can't lead a horse to privacy. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45785969)

Exactly correct gl4ss. The only reason FB is "bad" is because of the deception around what they DO with that data people sent to it thinking ONLY THEY AND THEIR FRIENDS were getting the benefit of that information. FB wasn't forthcoming about that initially. They were deceptive slightly, mostly by omission.

But now that people KNOW about it, it's STILL HUGE. People still by the millions to billions upload their lives knowing FB uses and keeps that information forever and still "vaguely" expect privacy? It's a farce.

Re:You can't lead a horse to privacy. (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 4 months ago | (#45786699)

you can't ask in usa what data a company has on you

Of course not, that would be a breach of corporate privacy. The real privacy problem is that people are attempting to define things as private that they have already made public, also the fact that it would be difficult to function in the modern world without giving certain information to corporations and the government, eg: try buying a house or an expensive car in cash and see what happens.

Re:You can't lead a horse to privacy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45786139)

Interesting how google servants always inject other companies into a story about google to deflect blame...

Oh well, hope you're atleast getting paid....

Makes assumption that erasable internet possible (5, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 months ago | (#45785743)

I don't think you can ask that question at all without first discussing if an "erasable internet" is even possible.

You know how data likes to be free? Well, it turns out it really enjoys being stored also.

Re: Makes assumption that erasable internet possib (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45786259)

You're missing one of the points. Real time dynamically changing content. What I see on website X at 1:38:25 pm, is 100% differet from what you see at 1:39:25 pm. Imagine constantly, or semi, changing Net contant on a massive scale. It wouldn't be saveable, except at the user end, and even then, you'd have to reserve it for something archival to slurp.

I don't know to what end it would serve, but it becomes and exponential storage increase to try an archive everything at every moment.

Time Machine, set to 10 seconds for the Internet? Not happening. Yet...

Re: Makes assumption that erasable internet possib (3, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 months ago | (#45786401)

Real time dynamically changing content. What I see on website X at 1:38:25 pm, is 100% differet from what you see at 1:39:25 pm

That is not realistically going to happen of course. In reality most things change on a more life-like pace that is easily archivable for anyone that cares, or even those that just collect for the sake of collection.

But even in your presented case, you don't have to archive every iteration. Just snapshots, or trends, or some kind of summary about what was and how it shifted. There is always the possibility of storing some permeable shadow of a thing, no matter how often you try to change it.

One last thought; the saying "the more things change, the more they stay the same" exists for a very valid reason...

Re: Makes assumption that erasable internet possib (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45786491)

And what use would be a site like that, except for some kind of art statement and short lived entertainment? People will post "Hey, check out this always changing site! What does it show to you?" for a day or two, and then it will successfully go into a dark corner, visited only by few outliers who like the randomness.

If you want it to be any useful, you'll need to provide a way for people to link to a specific item on your site. That's where crawlers step in - your frontpage can be always changing, they just need to collect the individual posts.

Re:Makes assumption that erasable internet possibl (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 4 months ago | (#45786333)

It's the free/stored dual nature of data; which can be easily proven by passing data through a very narrow slit.

Re:Makes assumption that erasable internet possibl (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45786397)

Data is a very naughty boy that way.

Re:Makes assumption that erasable internet possibl (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45786365)

Let's hope it is not possible because the probability of living out some old novels like Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 might well be increased exponentially. After all if it is erasable and there is no public hard copy then: "We are at war with Eurasia, we have always been at war with Eurasia" becomes available at the touch of a switch, as well as the evidence to eliminate dissenters.

No. This headline is stupid. (1)

dmomo (256005) | about 4 months ago | (#45785751)

The article doesn't mention any downfall of Google. The whole idea is a false dichotomy. Why can't both types of content exists. Oh, wait, they already do.

Just because something is erasable doesn't mean it has to be erased. Most useful content wants to be found. Erasing that content would be stupid.
Google's job is to help people find that content. There is a lot of competition to be found by google. I don't see the ABILITY to erase content an issue for Google.

Just because there are types of content like snapchat that are not meant to be searchable doesn't mean the downfall of Google.

Re:No. This headline is stupid. (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 months ago | (#45786157)

Incidentally, Snapchat is actually a terrible example of 'eraseable internet' (though it sure doesn't go out of its way to tell you that...)

They recently rolled out [pcmag.com] a fun new feature:

"If you're a Snapchat aficionado, it's worth your while to check out some of the app's enhancements, for they include a brand-new "Replay" feature that now allows you to re-view one of your previously viewed Snapchats a second time. Perhaps you didn't have your Snapchat screenshotting app ready to go the first time (or, worse, your physical camera).

Snapchat does build in a few caveats with the Replay feature. For starters, it doesn't appear as if you can close the app down and reopen it to view a previously viewed Snapchat. Any replay action you do has to be in one, singular instance — which eliminates our "load your screenshot app up" example from above. Additionally, you only get one Replay each day. Make it good.

Interestingly enough, Snapchat doesn't notify the party that sent you the original Snapchat that you've elected to view it a second time. That might be useful information for a sender to know, for no particular reason whatsoever (wink). "

Well, well. you mean to say that those magic disappearing 'snaps' don't actually magically disappear, it's just a couple of permission bits getting twiddled on the server and the client doing a (generally sloppy) job of deleting the local copy? Wow, you'll tell me that 'streaming a video' is actually the same as 'downloading it in ordered chunks and starting to watch the first ones while you wait for the rest' and not something magically different...

If anything, to be able to enable this 'feature' after the fact, snapchat is clearly storing much, much, more than their service would theoretically require (the 'snap' would have to live server-side until delivery; but could be purged immediately thereafter. It isn't.) They may be tapping into a desire for ephemeral communication that somebody like Google doesn't; but it's a facade, a deliberate deception to encourage people to put more sensitive information into the same giant pool of ever cheaper storage with some dubious path to 'monetization'.

Re: No. This headline is stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45786525)

Technically the "replay" could be locally cached on the device. Not necessarily stored server-side as you imply.

Re: No. This headline is stupid. (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 months ago | (#45786715)

True, though people hacked the snapchat client up, down, and sideways the moment snapchat was silly enough to insinuate some degree of security and/or when they realized that it would make scoring amateur porn easier, and to the best of my knowledge no such local storage was located. Pitifully sloppy deletion, yes; but not any intentional caching.

Re:No. This headline is stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45786665)

What makes that headline even more stupid is that the internet does not store data in the first place. The internet is a technology, which will deliver packets from source to destination, and that is inherently a one-shot process. Push a packet onto your wire, and under normal circumstances, in less than one second, that packet will no longer be on the internet. Even under extreme congestion, your packet exists for only a few minutes.

There are however technologies build on top of the internet, which do store data. So do we want an internet, which can magically delete content stored by higher layer applications? We definitely do not want that. It would be a security nightmare. Luckily such witchcraft to unsay things already said does not exist.

re: Snapchat and eraseable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45785753)

http://snapchatleaked.com/

Not NSA erasible (1)

gishzida (591028) | about 4 months ago | (#45785757)

Nice idea but flawed...

Until we outlaw the NSA-Military-Corporate-Industrial Government's ability to do their "Big Data Spying" in the name of "security" no application / service will elude the rooms where they scrape your data & mail before it hits your application.

No mention of that in the article... but then you would not expect real reporting from a paper owned by Rupert Murdoch

Interesting: An Internet Without Memory! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45785759)

"Memory" is critical to the operations of NSA in their war against United States Citizens.

Limiting or even removing the "memory" of the internet is a novel "left flank" to counter the NSA, so beloved by Obama and the National Democratic Committee, for obvious reasons (interim election 2014 and Presidential Election 2016, and the Obama Presidential Library Fund Committee).

Snicker snicker.

Re:Interesting: An Internet Without Memory! (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 4 months ago | (#45786315)

"Memory" is critical to the operations of NSA in their war against United States Citizens.

Lies. They don't limit themselves to United States Citizens.

An invisible internet would though.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45785765)

Most revenue models currently used are based upon the fact that Google knows who you are.
Once it becomes possible to use Google and other services anonymously Google will have a big problem.

Re: An invisible internet would though.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45785929)

Exists.

Not a problem, u lose

Could An Erasable Internet Kill "Obama" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45785769)

That is the real question.

Partial answer coming.

November 2014.

Do we want an erasable Internet? (2, Insightful)

csumpi (2258986) | about 4 months ago | (#45785801)

Sure.

Can we have it?

No.

Wisdom goes that there are no stupid questions. This, however, is as close as you can get.

It's happened before. (4, Interesting)

Virtucon (127420) | about 4 months ago | (#45785825)

If you dry up the source of information that has allowed Google to dominate Internet search then it would hurt them financially. The biggest fear for them would be tougher privacy laws. Right now the Class Action E-Mail/Wiretapping case [lexology.com] doesn't look too good for them so there may be some changes in the future for gmail users. The NSA fiasco with Snowden means that more people are asking pointed questions and Google and all the others who make money off of your personal data have to do a little walk on the tightrope. On one side they've pushed legislators away from enacting tougher privacy laws but now they're information has been hacked by the NSA yet they condemn that. The only reason Google exists is that it can mine information efficiently. Throw a few lawsuits and some new legislation into that mix and it suddenly gets very cloudy for them. Take a look at Google Glass for example, [huffingtonpost.com] right now the thought of millions of people with always on cameras can become quite disturbing especially since you don't know where those images are going or what they may be used for. Sure there's the augmented reality take on it, but how will society take to it in the long run?

Re:It's happened before. (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 months ago | (#45786175)

If I were Google, I'd worry less about privacy legislation (even in the curiously-disposed-to-regard-consumers-as-human EU, the privacy regulators are badly outgunned, and it's downhill from there) and more about the (surprisingly incompetent; but persistent) attempts by ISPs to take financial advantage of being the ultimate Man in the Middle...

Re:It's happened before. (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 4 months ago | (#45786613)

Privacy laws won't hurt Google much because everyone else will be in the same boat. They are an advertising company, there will still be a market for ads, it's just that targeting them will be harder. Harder for everyone.

Re:It's happened before. (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 4 months ago | (#45786753)

Precisely, a economic "market" is a just a set of rules governing transactions. A "free market" is a market with no restrictions on who joins, other than they obey the rules. The tea party interpretation of "free market" as "a market free from regulation" is an oxymoron, nice enough people I'm sure, but probably best not to give them the keys to the treasury (again).

Re:It's happened before. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45786815)

The tea party interpretation of "free market" as "a market free from regulation" is an oxymoron

Exactly. If the market is not regulated by the state, it will be regulated by those companies already on the market.

Re:It's happened before. (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about 4 months ago | (#45786963)

If a court was dumb enough to regard spam filtering and ad targeting as "wiretapping" then what it would mean is that Gmail users would suddenly get (a) flooded with spam (but there would be no better place to go to) and (b) become expected to pay for their accounts, which means handing over credit card details, which include things like your full name and billing address. Be careful what you wish for!

No such thing. (2)

ddt (14627) | about 4 months ago | (#45785865)

If it's publicly viewable, it's archivable, which means someone will archive it, particularly if no one else is, so it's not erasable.

Re:Obligatory (1)

Psychotria (953670) | about 4 months ago | (#45786651)

That might be interesting if: (a) somebody didn't reference the law every time they see a headline ending with a question mark (i.e. every couple of minutes) - I assume to look intelligent; and (b) if it were actually true. Did you know that any headline ending in a question mark can also be answered 'yes'? Or even, shock, 'maybe', or even more shocking 'possibly'?

What's this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45786025)

"News for nerds", edited by people who clearly don't understand how the internet works. If someone can read your data, they can save it and share it. An erasable internet is impossible.

Re:What's this? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 months ago | (#45786203)

It would be an unbelievably terrible plan; but We Have The Technology to implement a fairly robust 'trusted computing' dystopian system. Contemporary consoles are already edging close to the point where you need a hardware attack to get in (which makes mass-compromises slower, more expensive, and more time consuming, unlike software hacks) and a bit of origin metadata and a default-deny policy would make 'depublishing' all material originating from traitor systems on all compliant systems quite doable.

That wouldn't prevent the existence of darknets; but it would push them well beyond the reach of Ma and Pa iPad(speaking of lockdown appliances..)

What we need is Google health care.... (3, Funny)

zoid.com (311775) | about 4 months ago | (#45786031)

What we need is Google health care. This tonsillectomy sponsored by advil.

Re:What we need is Google health care.... (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 months ago | (#45786233)

Isn't Google's hardware strategy based around vast numbers of expendable, replaceable, generic systems operated as cheaply as possible?

Google healthcare would boil down to "This node is uneconomic to repair, it has been sent for recycling and a failover node whose internet browsing habits most closely resemble those of the failed node has been dispatched to replace it. If any of your personal or professional relationships depended on the failed node, please try refreshing your browser."

A tax on advertising, though... (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | about 4 months ago | (#45786173)

The House Ways and Means Committee is considering making advertising non-deductable as a business expense. [adweek.com] That would take a bite out of Google.

There are good arguments for a tax on advertising. Most Americans are "spent out"; they're spending almost everything they earn. The US personal savings rate is near an all-time low of 2%. In that situation, advertising can't create new demand. It's just a war between advertisers. So that's a good place to tax.

Re:A tax on advertising, though... (1)

rolfwind (528248) | about 4 months ago | (#45786353)

When it doesn't affect you, anything is a good place to tax.

But forget the corps, how many small business jobs will be lost? Printers who print those ad-ridden placemats for diners, how about business cards? Will signmakers take a hit too? Not to mention those who put up billboards or shoot and act in TV or radio adverts. And I'm sure the USPS will fall even faster in the red and iirc, they are the nations largest nonmilitary employer.

You might as well argue that Americans are spent out, it's just a war between manufacturers/credit cards/etc and all those legitimate expenditures should be nontax deductible.

I'd rather go the other way, get the government out of picking winners/losers here and institute across the board apt tax while wiping out income/capital gains/inheritance taxes (keeping ss and gas taxes because they correspond with payout).

At best, this is an argument for a consumption tax but only coupled with a savings deduction that counts as double. Since that's what americans have problems with, saving.

Re:A tax on advertising, though... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45786701)

There are good arguments for a tax on advertising.

There are reasons for politicians to raise the possibility of making advertising non-deductable. Think election year, think "donations from lobbyists" - which might be the reason it's a perennial issue that's been on and off the table for decades.

But the real reason it won't happen is because it's a dumb idea. Like any other tax, the cost will simply be passed through to the consumer. If Congress wants to raise taxes they should just raise taxes instead of trying to hide it like this.

something kill Google already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45786209)

I miss the WebCrawler. Oh those were the days, when games used IPX and porn was in text form. Now get off my fucking lawn!!

Do people include Google just to get page clicks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45786391)

Yes.

Google wouldn't be hurt a bit by "erasing" the internet, they run mostly on advertising that just requires your current attention.

Don't tell tuppe666... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45786435)

...he'll be heartbroken!

only when the majority cares .... (1)

thephydes (727739) | about 4 months ago | (#45786451)

will there be a functioning erasable internet. At the moment, 99% - probably more - of the population do not care what data is collected about them or even that data is collected about them. Those who do care, opt out in whatever way they can. Google = internet or IE = internet are dominant thought patterns and will continue to be. Edward who? .......

No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45786597)

Leave Google alone finally.
This is boring and you are all pathetic.

Re: No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45786647)

Whilst I agree that the article doesn't really have anything to do with Google,
Google has finally jumped the shark and if they would FOAD that would be a very good thing.

Google has expanded (1)

aissixtir (2752321) | about 4 months ago | (#45786785)

That would be right if Google was how it was at the start. However Google is not how it once was as it is no more just a search engine. However, sure the laws in a country can change. That does not stop Google from moving its will-be-"illegal" server in a country where there will be no problem.

Could an erasable internet kill Google? (1)

BringsApples (3418089) | about 4 months ago | (#45786891)

The answer: Yes, an erasable internet would kill the whole internet, of which Goolge is a part.

As it stands, the human race is the accumulation of human experiences (from our inherent interest in exploration, all the way down to what we put in our food and why). This information is integrated into the fabric of our consciousness, and when looked at from a global perspective, shows that evolution is actually going on. It's a bio-logic sense-making intelligence that needs nothing other than the human cortex (for "storage"). This kind of "memory" cannot happen in anything other than the fabric of the natural universe, AKA bio-logical beings.

But the tools of humanity, as they are, require their own "shelf" to reside. For the internet, the 'storage of data' is the very fabric of it's existence, it's "shelf" on which it resides. Like someone pointed out, looking at a forum from 13 years ago for information is the very reason for the internet. It was what everyone was excited about back in the late 80's-early 90's when we talked about what the internet is. However now since things like Facebook and twitter (or as the article talks about, Snapchat) have exposed the ridiculousness of humanity's ego, then that same ego wishes to remove the past, in order to preserve itself. This would be like removing roads because cars emit carbon that's causing global warming. Use the internet as it was originally designed or, like using any other tool incorrectly, you may break the tool, or whatever you're using the tool incorrectly on.
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