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Google Gets Away With What Microsoft Couldn't

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the you-can-tell-a-book-by-its-cover dept.

Google 481

FreshlyShornBalls writes "WebProNews is reporting that Google's new beta toolbar apparently sports an "AutoLink" feature which appends hyperlinks to existing content. These hyperlinks, of course, point to their services, such as maps for addresses, isdn numbers for books, etc. Sounds an awful lot like Microsoft's "Smart Tags"." Update by J : ... except that Microsoft's proposal was in the monopoly browser while Google's software is a third-party add-on, and Microsoft's was (originally) on by default while Google's is a button to click.

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481 comments

It is simple (5, Funny)

odano (735445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714588)

Microsoft is Evil
Google is Not (yet!)

Re:It is simple (1)

HyperChicken (794660) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714685)

What defines evil?

Re:It is simple (5, Insightful)

pbranes (565105) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714857)

Throughout humanity, there is a basic standard of right and wrong. We may disagree on some of the smaller points of it, but the general principles are there. Don't steal, don't murder, don't lie, etc... Evil is something that breaks one of these basic rules. A company out for a profit is not inherently evil, however, when it starts to break these rules, then it partaking in evil actions. In general MS and Google are neither evil because neither of them are breaking these basic laws of humanity. We may not like the way they compete in business, but that doesn't make them evil.

You forgot... (-1, Troll)

LighthouseJ (453757) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714714)

Apple is Not
US is Evil
Everyone Else is Not
Linux is Not

ad nauseam ...

Re:You forgot... (1)

pbranes (565105) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714790)

Now reverse that and you have the view of americans as opposed to the view you gave which is the one europeans hold ;-)

Re:It is simple (5, Insightful)

pbranes (565105) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714737)

I think we need to stop thinking of Google and MS as good vs. evil. They are both companies out to make a profit. Google chooses to make a profit by showing us advertisements, while Microsoft chooses to make a profit by getting us to buy their software. Neither is less or more evil than the other - they both answer to consumers when the screw up something, and since consumers control the almighty dollar, they are answerable to us. The problem is that most consumers can't agree on what color blue is, much less whether a company is doing something that is too invasive or not.

Re:It is simple (1)

bladx (816461) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714770)

but when a company becomes really powerful, or is in a powerful position, does the "absolute power corrupts absolutely" come into play in the business world? i like google in general, and google has excellent execution of useful ideas. but it just seems to me like google wants the trust of millions of users, for some reason...

Re:It is simple (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11714773)

Problem is this is a genuinely useful feature.

I wish Microsoft had been able to develop this feature, instead of being yelled at as monopolistic.

Instead, I have to use Google's tool of the same.

Who says Microsoft can't innovate? Problem isn't inability, it's that if they do, they have an AntiTrust suit slapped on them...

Re:It is simple (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11714969)

"...Who says Microsoft can't innovate?..."

If MS does innovate, it usually means buying a company that did the innovating. My idea of innovation must be completely different than Microsofts. I see it as contributions to computer science and MS sees it as bring a product (however it was obtained) to market. And usually this spells the death of the innovating company.

Re:It is simple (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714827)

It's a simple calculus -

NAZIs -> Commies -> (terrorists ->) Chinese -> Saucer people

likewise,

IBM -> Microsoft -> Google -> ???

Re:It is simple (2, Funny)

DGtlRift (235865) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714949)

Until MS buys them out - why reinvent the wheel when you can just buy it and bang it into a triagle?

Easy Tiger! (5, Insightful)

hedgehog2097 (688249) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714589)

Easy tiger - for this to work, you have to click a button on each and every page you want to temporarily create these links on. It took 3 minutes to confirm that. Is the art of journalism dead?

This is an opt-in feature designed to help people who want it. Google aren't ramming this down people's throats.

There is also the option to change the default mapping app - you can switch between Mapquest and Yahoo maps in addition to Google's offering. A nice touch - google didn't have to do that. It's just a shame this only works for US addresses right now.

Of course, this is all academic. It runs on IE, and the average /. reader won't touch that with a bargepole.

I of course detonated the PC I used to test the toolbar in a controlled explosion a few minutes ago.

Re:Easy Tiger! (2, Insightful)

arkanes (521690) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714625)

Anyone who can't see the difference between an optional feature in an opt-in addon and a default feature installed on 90% of the worlds PCs need a good smacking.

Re:Easy Tiger! (4, Insightful)

no parity (448151) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714654)

This is an opt-in feature designed to help people who want it. Google aren't ramming this down people's throats.

The obvious reply: Would you say the same if it was Microsoft?

That's deceptively complicated. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11714710)

See the truth is "Of course not."

But I don't want to look like a hypocrite, or give up my dogma, so I've got to complicate everything by lying, and calling you a "M$FT fanboy, who's too stupid to know any better." Now stop trolling me with relevant questions.

Re:Easy Tiger! (5, Insightful)

ADRA (37398) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714801)

I don't think I've ever heard outrage about an optional opt-in 'feature' so far. If you're so averse to a company and their dubious products, don't DL/buy it. If you're forced to through your company, I pity thou.

Wait, there was an opt-in feature. When XP was installed, it told you to install a new passport account. You don't really need to setup MS passport , but most people seeing it thought it was, or were to indifferent to ignore it.

Re:Easy Tiger! (4, Insightful)

|<amikaze (155975) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714907)

You don't really need to setup MS passport , but most people seeing it thought it was, or were to indifferent to ignore it.

It really helped how it popped up every 20 minutes, "HEY! You could be the proud owner of a FREE passport account!!!" in those little speech bubbles. Makes it hard to ignore, especially when you know that if you go through the process that damn bubble will go away.

Re:Easy Tiger! (2, Insightful)

TRACK-YOUR-POSITION (553878) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714909)

If it was a seperate download, not included or facilitated in XP or IE, and allowed you to switch to other information providers, then while I can't speak for everyone I would say the same in that case.

Re:Easy Tiger! (5, Insightful)

White Roses (211207) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714929)

Microsoft doesn't appear to be able (or remember how) to do anything that doesn't involve ramming something down someone's throat, so, really, the question is moot. With Microsoft, it's not a matter of opt-in, or opt-out. You can't easily (some would say ever) opt-out of IE on your Windows computer. Can you opt-out of ActiveX controls? Until the EU's case, you couldn't really opt-out of Media Player. By opt-out, I mean, I can get rid of it and still have a working, functional Windows system. Google doesn't have that kind of power. Frankly, neither should MS.

Re:Easy Tiger! (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714959)

MS smart tags wasn't an opt-in feature, and you couldn't make it point to non-MS services.

If MS had implimented it in the same exact way, then...yeah, I would say the same if it was MS.

Re:Easy Tiger! (1)

xanie (446372) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714678)

Good research on this, please mod this guy up (I would but no mod points!)

I think the article is flamebait and is just trying to incite people to hate Google, when, as of yet, they have not done anything wrong.

/Wearing a Google shirt
//Uses a Google Search Appliance at work
///mmmm Google

Re:Easy Tiger! (3, Insightful)

sriram_2001 (670877) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714708)

Guess what - Microsoft's SmartTags were far less evil. The website owner had complete control over the SmartTags. Here. Google offers no such control. So let's say you are on MapQuest.com - the Google toobar would still give you a link to their own Google maps. Sorry folks - just another example of cognitive dissonance

Well... (0, Redundant)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714590)

They haven't gotten away with it...YET!

Books don't have ISDN numbers (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11714598)

It's ISBN not ISDN

Re:Books don't have ISDN numbers (4, Funny)

temojen (678985) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714855)

You could try plugging an ISDN into a book, but I've never been able to find the socket.

isdn? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11714609)

or ISBN? :)

Cause I didn't know books had ISDN numbers...

Not a monolopy ... (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714624)

Microsoft has an almost total monolopy on PCs. If Microsoft does this, it's anti-competitive. They have been convicted as monolopists.

If Googles optional toolbar points at their services, that is hardly an abuse of a monolopy. Heck, I don't even have a google tool bar, I don't want one.

But at work, I'm forced to have a windows machine.

Until or unless Google becomes a big monolopy who can force everyone to use their crap, the fact that Google does something that would be illegal for Microsoft to do is irrelevant.

Why is this so tough?

Re:Not a monolopy ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11714718)

For the zillionth time, there is no such thing as a "convicted monopolist". Or "monolopist", for that matter.

Spouting "convicted monopolist" is like stamping "Ignoramus" on anything else you have to say.

Re:Not a monolopy ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11714812)

Or "monolopy", or even "monolopist".

Re:Not a monolopy ... (1)

doorbender (146144) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714748)

Hear hear!!

where were all these ppl yelling monopoly when "certain company" was building thiers??

if google was any where near what MS does my idiot boss wouldn't have the option of using yahoo. He types URLs into the search field instead of the address bar.

Re:Not a monolopy ... (1)

cowboy76Spain (815442) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714754)

It would be an abuse of monopoly if Microsoft did something as "the only tool that will work on Windows is ours" or even "we will allow more tools but ours will be always, by default, available".

If neither of these are true, then it is just a new branch of its bussiness that does not support on its monopoly, and therefore completaly legal and ethical.

Re:Not a monolopy ... (3, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714865)

"But at work, I'm forced to have a windows machine."

You'r "forced" to have a windows machine at work? So did Bill Gates and his storm troopers kick down your door one day, shanghai you and chain you to a desk in some tech support hell?

Or are you "forced" in the same way that dairy worker is "forced" to work with dairy products or a carpenter is "forced" to work with wood?

Re:Not a monolopy ... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11714927)

> You'r "forced" to have a windows machine at work? So did Bill Gates and his storm troopers kick down your door one day, shanghai you and chain you to a desk in some tech support hell?

Don't be such an ass. If a company requires a Windows desktop PC, and you can't install anything else on it, then YES, you're forced to use a Windows machine. What's so hard to understand that (unless you're a Microsoft apologist)?

Re:Not a monolopy ... (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714867)

It seems quite unfair to bar Microsoft from adding new features to their software just because everyone uses their software.

Re:Not a monolopy ... (0)

clontzman (325677) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714910)

They have been convicted as monolopists.

No they haven't. It's not illegal to be a monopoly (and it'd be hard to argue that they're a monopoly with Apple and Linux in the picture).

But at work, I'm forced to have a windows machine.

OMG, get Upton Sinclair on the line. In other news, I hear there are some people who don't get to choose what brand of telephone they use at work. Somehow, they manage.

Courage.

Re:Not a monolopy ... (2, Funny)

goofyspouse (817551) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714936)

I am effin in tears at the repeated use of "monolopy" in this post. Transposing the L and the P once is understandable, but doing it throughout the whole post is just plain hilarious.

IF google takes over your browser (5, Informative)

doorbender (146144) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714627)

takes over your browser integrates it with the OS and forces you to see the links. then they are getting away with something MS didn't .... quite

beloved slashdot sponsors, here's your drama (4, Informative)

macsox (236590) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714631)

yes, it has an optional feature that does this. and that optional feature has different levels of link creation.

and for pete's sake, slashdot, if you're going to get paranoid and argumentative, at least do it on the day the story broke [scripting.com] so it has some currency.

Re:beloved slashdot sponsors, here's your drama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11714856)

Thanks for stickin' it to the slashdot dumbasses.

Yet, I called my fellow uber-geeks dumbasses.
Reason?
They constantly air boring, old news- and get it wrong. /. has become my 'entertainment' news- and I go to Gnews for the real scoop.
Sad, it is.

Perhaps they'd start reading comments and see what their problem is- but probabaly not.

Of course... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11714644)

Microsoft is a convicted monopolist.
Google is not.

It's not a matter of "We like Google"; Microsoft's monopoly position simply prevents them from doing certain things.

Re:Of course... (1)

cosinezero (833532) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714862)

Yeah, because there's other search engines out there, right? Google has about the same market share on search that MS has on OS's.

The difference being microsoft controls the OS (2, Insightful)

Serveert (102805) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714668)

Microsoft controls the OS so they could integrate smart tags for their benefit and control and the user has no choice.

vs Google toolbar which you can optionally download. Don't like it, don't download it.

Simple.

Why not uk version (1)

freeshoes (826204) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714674)

Why doesn't google make it work in the UK for addresses and phone numbers.

Re:Why not uk version (1)

GIL_Dude (850471) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714741)

The UK must be too small? Everyone already knows where everything is? /sarcasm Sorry - I don't know - maybe that is in phase 2?

Moron. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11714675)

FreshlyShornBalls might as well be FreshlyShornBrain. You have to choose to use this, by installing their toolbar, on IE no less. It's not like they're trying to hide it or turn it on for every browser on your system by default.

Big Deal. Nothing to see here.

In Soviet Seattle (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11714676)

M$ Smart Tags You!!!

There are a few minor differences (3, Informative)

Miara (724648) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714677)

AutoLink will add tags to web pages that take you to other places in services that were accessible to everyone. SmartLink was intended to replace existing tags with links to places MS wanted you to go, and to add links that would only work if you happened to be running Windows. Not that I like this idea either, but it's not exactly the same evil.

Google isn't a convicted monopolist (5, Informative)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714683)

Google gets away with what Microsoft couldn't

Oh Good Lord what rock have you been under for the last 15 years.

Microsoft is a monopolist convicted of using that monopoly in unlawfully anti-competative ways to run competitors out of business. They've violated in spirit and letter numerous consent decrees, agreements with government, and even court orders, and gotten away with it because their cycle of business is orders of magnitude faster than the wheels of justice.

As a convicted monopolist, Microsoft must play by a different set of rules than everyone else, like, say, Google, which has never been convicted of anything in the US (and quite IMHO bugus trademark violations in France).

You might as well say "Joe's Computers get away with what Microsoft Couldn't." Damn straight. Joe's Computers, like Google, haven't been shown to even be a monopoly, much less convicted of abusing such a position if they had it. Microsoft has, on all counts.

What Monopoly (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11714963)

First of all, there's no such thing as "convicted monopolist". That's an idiotic term in itself, since it's not illegal to be a monopoly. Show me the law that says being a monopoly is illegal. That's right you can't, so please stop with this lie.

Second, I find it funny that the slashbots rant and rave about this godawful monopoly Microsoft supposedly has, yet brag about their magnificent Linux, BSD, *nix boxes, and ooh and ahh over Apple's latest offerings.

Some monopoly there.

Rather, they WOULD have gotten away with it... (5, Funny)

BlueThunderArmy (751258) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714691)

...if it weren't for that pesky Slashdot!

ISDN? (2, Informative)

wvn (798192) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714694)

isdn numbers for books I thought it was called ISBN...

Re:ISDN? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11714746)

Haha, I noticed that too, you beat me by a few minutes to the post!

You mean ISBN numbers for books (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11714696)

nt

ISDN Number for books? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11714702)

I think it's ISBN.

ISDN? (0, Redundant)

Cytlid (95255) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714730)

such as maps for addresses, isdn numbers for books, etc.

Wow, books have ISDN numbers now? What ever happened to ISBN numbers?

ISDN? (0, Redundant)

Servo (9177) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714734)

Please proof read submissions before they get posted. It is called an ISBN number. ISDN is a telco circuit.

OMG!!! No! (5, Funny)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714738)

What Google has done is completely different because it didn't come from Microsoft. Microsoft has been operating a sweatshop of coding gnomes. They pay them only in fractions of a farthing per month! Whereas Google employs a crack team of trained code sphinxes who test their search technology daily with vexing questions. Google pays their sphinxes well and because of that the sphinxes coded this new technology that is quite superior to Microsoft's magic links technology. So don't fear the sphinxes for they are your friends. Microsoft abuses gnomes. They are evil.

Yes. Laugh... it's absurdist! ;P

Re:OMG!!! No! (3, Funny)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714884)

Whilst I appreciate being modded up as informative for the parent post, I find it scary that someone may have actually taken my post regarding sphinxes and gnomes to heart. After all, there is a major flaw in the previous post. I left out the most important detail that Bill Gates was an escapee from the Roswell UFO crash in the 40s. Hence his power to subjugate gnomes and corral giant trolls (Ballmer). :P Sorry for the oversight.

Remove those rose-tinted glasses (5, Insightful)

BillsPetMonkey (654200) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714739)

I did wonder how long the "Microsoft Inc Bad, Google Inc Good" pastiche could last.

Just because its founders are young and "wacky" doesn't mean they can't make very corporate decisions in polo shirts instead of pinstripe shirts. The platitude about "thinking outside the box" already sounds trite coming from Google. The decision to fire a blogger for speaking up [infoworld.com] is proof that Google has a PR department just like any other corporate minded drone army.

Bill Gates was once young and just as idealistic as Sergey and Brin. Bill Gates once said that he was planning to give away most if not all of his fortune to charity - I bet he wasn't labelled "evil" back then ...

Re:Remove those rose-tinted glasses (5, Informative)

William_Lee (834197) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714912)

"Bill Gates once said that he was planning to give away most if not all of his fortune to charity - I bet he wasn't labelled "evil" back then ..."

Just to chime in, I hate M$ as much as the next red blooded /.er, but Bill Gates has given away more than most people in the history of philanthropy. He's already donated about a third of his net worth to charity. Cut the guy some slack on this front. I don't know how anyone could criticize this guy from a philanthropy perspective.

From http://www.beliefnet.com/story/34/story_3450_1.htm l

regarding his contributions:

"I don't mean the actual figure, which is itself an unimaginable $22 billion. Rather, I refer to the percentage of his wealth he has donated. Still in his early 40s, Gates has now distributed about one third of everything he has to charity."

Re:Remove those rose-tinted glasses (3, Informative)

sriram_2001 (670877) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714920)

He *is* giving away most of his fortune to charity. You might have a problem with how he makes his money- but no one can question the way in which he spends his personal fortune. The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation have contributed billions and billions to causes around the world. And some of those things are far greater causes than the ability to 'share' software

Re:Remove those rose-tinted glasses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11714954)

On one hand, we have Microsoft-brand "Smart Tags". These showed up whenever Microsoft wanted them to, and pointed to whatever Microsoft wanted them to. I still get E-Mails from people in Outlook with random things underlined because of the "Smart Tag" feature that they had enabled on their machine that just gives me an empty dropdown box if I click them on my machine.

On the other hand we have Google-brand "Smart Tags". You choose to see them (in an entirely separate act from choosing to install the google taskbar!) You even choose where they go (addresses can go to the beta google maps, or to mapquest).

Which would you choose to be outraged over?

Re:Remove those rose-tinted glasses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11714978)

Sergey and Brin

Sergey and Page. Or Sergey and Larry. Or Brin and Larry. Or Brin and Page.

But Sergey and Brin is just one person.

isdn numbers????? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11714753)

or isbn? :o)))

How long before this feature is haxxored? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11714772)

Auto complete pointing to google services, eh?

Why I do I have the uneasy feeling that there will even be a goatse.google.com with a bunch of google ad banners?

Good *god*, has anyone read the comments ... (-1, Troll)

de1orean (851146) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714785)

... on the Web Pro News site?? and i thought you lot were a bunch of contentious retards.... :-)

linky [webproworld.com]

Google and Microsoft not the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11714795)

1. I don't have to install Google's toolbar to boot my system. Many of us have to use Microsoft (application availability being one major limiting factor).

2. There are plenty of competitors from which I can obtain a toolbar. I am not forced into choosing Google's. For the most part I have no choice but to use Microsoft.

The upshot is that there are actions that would be acceptable from a typical company that would not be acceptable from a monopoly.

Why do they have to be exactly the same? (4, Insightful)

Dephex Twin (416238) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714810)

A major issue of creating "smart links" (even though these aren't exactly the same as smart links) is one of trust. Can we trust Google that they aren't going to take advantage of us with a feature like this? Well, just look at their track record, where they consistently go above and beyond what consumers expect and set a new standard in user-friendliness.

Why should Google treating its users with respect and consistently creating a quality product be worth nothing? This article sounds like it is using the logic of an eight year old.

Microsoft is the company known for being a big bully who uses its position of power to cram things down its users throats. It is the opposite of Google. This is why the reaction is different, and perfectly valid as well.

I am also much less inclined to trust Microsoft's search engine, Microsoft's maps, etc. than anything Google puts out there.

hah! (2, Interesting)

CaptainPinko (753849) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714820)

when microsoft divests itself of operating systems then we'll talk, until then it's two seperate cases.

Here is a quick example and counter-argument: Mr. Mizter: Why can't I marry a blonde? Mr. Foo married one. I should be able to marry one too...
Mr. Bar:...but you've already married a brunette whereas Mr.Foo hasn't. If you'd like to seperate from your brunette then you can feel free to have yourself a try at marry a blonde.

Google is not getting away with anything.

We have seen the enemy ..and it is us (5, Insightful)

sriram_2001 (670877) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714838)

I find it surprising that most /.ers, while criticizing the MPAA and the RIAA for placing restrictions on the way their content is used, balk when website content is manipulated on the browser end.

Microsoft's Smarttags could have had great benefits and brought about semantic-web like features if only people weren't paranoid. After all, the website owner had full control over how and where smart tags were displayed on his page.

Now, 3 years later, Google does a stripped down version of the same to make themselves more money (MS' smart tag gave the website owner options - Google does not), and we all scream asking for the equivalent of DRM on web pages.

We who don't want to pay for the music and movies, who don't want to pay for software, who believe in the 'creative commons', throw a collective fit when a user agent wants to do something cool with the HTML already downloaded to the computer already.

It's been over a decade since the first browser - and all we have to show for it from Microsoft, Netscape, Opera and Mozilla put together is what? A new way of doing tables and tabs!

Stop cribbing and let someone innovate.

trustworthiness (2, Insightful)

supernova87a (532540) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714858)

It's just like people -- when you build a relationship of usefulness and trust with someone, they'll look upon your new ideas with less skepticism and maybe more tolerance for a commercial venture, and won't feel like you're blatantly exploiting them!

Not a monopoly (0)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714885)

Maybe it's because Microsoft indulging in those extra features would be abusing its monopoly, which Google doesn't have? So Google's features don't strangle the market, but rather better serve it through actual competition?

Ok, how about this... (1)

apoplectic (711437) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714904)

If Google implements this feature in their own GBrowser (assuming this ever comes to fruition), wouldn't Google be pulling as much of a Microsoft as Microsoft did with smart tags? Regardless of monopolistic history?

Article text... (0, Offtopic)

ari_j (90255) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714945)

I'm not going to paste it. But I am going to point something out - people (myself often included) complain about the quality of writing and editing here on Slashdot, but evidently this site isn't alone. From the article:

For example, say
your browsing a web page with numerous addresses on it. AutoLink will turn each of those addresses into direct links to the Google Maps database.

That's a part of the article quoting someone else, though, so here is something written directly by the actual article author (who has "nearly 15 years of ... journalism and communications experience" and should know better):

In addition to addresses, it will also add links for ISBNs, package tracking numbers, and vehicle identification numbers. This all has Greg Linden a bit spooked. I agree. How come nobody is crying foul here? Remember all the heat Microsoft took over its planned Smart Tags feature a few years ago? Gary
eludes to it, but I think that there should be more discussion here.

Why don't journalists and communications people have to learn the language they're communicating in before being given jobs or keeping jobs for 15 years? Imagine if you walked into a job interview for a position writing Java code and couldn't answer what the difference is between while and if ... you would not walk out with a job offer. The writing professions should be held to no less a standard, but we're letting them get away with it. Why?

N.B. for the people who haven't spotted what's wrong, either because English is a second language or because they are fellow victims of the educational system that produced this article's author.. "Your" is the second-person possessive, whereas "you're" is the correct spelling of the homophone that means "you are," the intended meaning here. I am willing to let contractions slide in journalism, but at least spell them correctly. The "each"/"links" problem is a parallelism thing - the meaning inherent in the way it is worded is that each address will be turned into more than one link, whereas the intended meaning was probably that "AutoLink will turn each of those addresses into a direct link to the Google Maps database." Finally, "to elude" has a meaning similar to "to evade." The word intended here is "allude," meaning "to make an indirect reference." Both come from the same Latin root, ludere, but the difference between prefixing with e and with ad is quite significant.

The worst post ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11714951)

This is hands down the worst post ever. Who accepted this crap? Why post this story. Whoever submitted it really has his head up his ass.

Yeah right... (0, Redundant)

stinkbomb (238228) | more than 9 years ago | (#11714981)

...isdn numbers for books...

No wonder nobody reads anymore; who wants to drag out some dusty old isdn modem just to read??

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