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Google's Impact on the Internet

CmdrTaco posted about 9 years ago | from the slightly-less-than-slashdot's-of-course dept.

Google 351

Kierkegaard writes "The Globe & Mail and Fortune Magazine both wrote a piece on Google, arguably one of the most important companies in the world, and its influence and impact on the Internet. In particular, they mention the effects of Google's recent new services, like Blogger and Maps, as well as their take on how Google threatens the Microsoft Corporation. "If Sergey and Larry stick to their corporate mantra -- Don't be evil -- and are able to stem degeneration into the typically corrupt corporate ethos, who knows, they may just succeed in assuming the fair and honourable dominion over the world's information they so naively set out to achieve eight years ago in their garage.""

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Fristy Prost (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12291366)

Ph Yeah!!!!! I win.

Re:Fristy Prost (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12291478)

Sorry, but all your work is of poor quality.

Please try again.

Google important? (5, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | about 9 years ago | (#12291370)

If they weren't around I'd just be using Yahoo or whatever, and having less unused space in my various free web-based email accounts.

Perhaps... (5, Insightful)

gandell (827178) | about 9 years ago | (#12291402)

Consider this. Yahoo, MSN, and many others have begun scrambling to provide the same services that Google has right now. Toolbars, Desktop Search apps, and even increased space in your email accounts. Like it or not, Google has changed the face of the search industry. Will they keep their dominance? It depends on how the technology evolves. I've not seen any of the other internet based companies have the same impact. I'd say that makes Google pretty important.

Re:Perhaps... (3, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | about 9 years ago | (#12291483)

> Like it or not, Google has changed the face of the search industry

I'd not call that `changing the face of the search industry`. But I wasn't denying they've affected how some other companies, simply that it's not one of the most important companies in the world, which was the original, laughable claim to which I was responding.

Re:Perhaps... (1, Interesting)

packeteer (566398) | about 9 years ago | (#12291571)

I dont consider a company important just because it forces its competitors to compete. Thats how the system is suposed to work. Think about this; if Google suddenly ceased to exist would our lives be much different? I know that really like how google helps me find stuff really quick but its not like before google was around i sat around all day thinking about how lame search engines were. Basically what im trying to say is that Google is "one of the more important technology companies that are fairly new", not simply one of the "most important companies".

Re:Perhaps... (1, Troll)

TGK (262438) | about 9 years ago | (#12291619)

And people in the 16th century didn't sit around all day thinking about how lame horses were.

I'm not saying Google is the Automobile to Yahoo's horse, but your argument is flawed.

Re:Perhaps... (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 9 years ago | (#12291620)

I dont consider a company important just because it forces its competitors to compete. Thats how the system is suposed to work.

class Feedback_loop_company {};
Feedback_loop_company Google = new Feedback_loop_company();

Yeah, if we didn't have this instance, we'd have to make a new one. The fact that it's here, and taking the tortise approach to world domination, as opposed to the hare, makes Google at least interesting, if not important.
You know that the thought of their own OS distribution has to have crossed their minds...

Re:Google important? (1)

jeroenb (125404) | about 9 years ago | (#12291520)

Well, Google is extremely important with regards to the internet, regardless of whether there would be alternatives if they didn't exist.

But in general (as the posting claims)? I think that's overestimating the importance of the internet as a whole, at least in the current situation.

Re:Google important? (4, Insightful)

thirteenVA (759860) | about 9 years ago | (#12291541)

That's a rather cynical view. How could you possibly try to downplay the impact of Google by attempting to paint them as yet another search engine and email provider.

Without Google I'd have lost hours searching through wads of irrelevant and/or paid listings in yahoo or MSN.

Without Google I'd have been lost when trying to convert teaspoons to tablespoons or quarts to liters.

Without Google, we'd be lost in a sea of paid advertisements lurking as 'relevant articles'.

Only recently have I found it more difficult to pull good results from google, but even so, their usefulness is unparalleled. Google maps is easily the best web-based mapping application. Gmail leaves other mail providers in the dust (and gives free POP access, which is rare) Google local is incredibly useful for finding nearby shops and restaurants.

I can no longer imagine a world without Google, and can only laugh at your attempt to downplay their importance in todays society.

Re:Google important? (4, Interesting)

thirteenVA (759860) | about 9 years ago | (#12291584)

It's amazing to think that 8 years ago some of the greatest minds in the world were saying "How will we organize and access the far reaches of the web". Two college students took it upon themselves to figure it out and deploy that solution to the world.

Sergey and Brin take their job very serious. Organizing and delivering a whole world's information/thoughts/opinions is a HUGE responsibility, yet they've carried it and with dignity. I see little if any abuses of the power they hold. How many other companies could do what google does and resist the temptation to abuse their audience or subject them to slanted views/opinions or worse.

Google's only agenda is to get you where you want to be.

Re:Google important? (0, Redundant)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 9 years ago | (#12291590)

If cars weren't around, you'd just walk. If beds didn't exists, you'd just sleep on the ground. If fire was never discovered, you'd just eat raw meat. Are any of these therefore unimportant?

Re:Google important? (0, Redundant)

IchBinEinPenguin (589252) | about 9 years ago | (#12291631)

And if MS weren't around we'd all be using Apple (or something).
Just becuase, in an alternate rality, someone else _could_ have taken their place doesn't make them unimportant.
If Earths atmosphere didn't have O2 we might have evolved to breathe methane instead. Doesn't mean O2 isn't important!

Isn't is kinda scary? (2, Interesting)

Sanity (1431) | about 9 years ago | (#12291382)

I must say that I have growing concerns about the prospect of one company effectively determining what can and cannot be found on the world wide web, not to mention one company handling the email of a vast proportion of Internet users.

I mean, much as I hate to criticise one of Slashdot's fatted calves, and much as I recognise how innovative Google is, and what a keen grasp they clearly have of how to design user interfaces for the web, Google are answerable to shareholders, not some higher moral sense, much as we all would like to think that they are.

I recently wrote a blog entry [locut.us] on this subject, and suggested that it should be possible to create a decentralised, cooperative P2P web search network that could do what Google does, but without any centralised reliance on a service, but rather a decentralised reliance on other people. Click the link for more detail about how this could be achieved in a scalable way.

Re:Isn't is kinda scary? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12291422)

Before Google, there was Yahoo, THE search engine. It seems entirely unlikely that any one company could ultimately restrict what can and cannot be found. If useful knowledge isn't be presented by one agent, I'm sure some enterprising individual(s) will come up with something that DOES present it.

If Google gets lazy, someone else will be willing to take over.

Re:Isn't is kinda scary? (1)

golgotha007 (62687) | about 9 years ago | (#12291601)

I also used Yahoo exclusively for web searching. However, I hated how 'busy' their site was and the time it took to load up all the flashy bits.

When I first discovered Google, sometime in 98 or 99, the number one thing that attracted me (besides good search results) was the non-obstrusive nature of their webpage.
It was nice and simple and loaded quickly because of the content (or lack thereof).

One thing that I can't stand are web pages that are so busy looking, I can't easily figure out how to get the information I need.

Re:Isn't is kinda scary? (3, Interesting)

0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) | about 9 years ago | (#12291433)

MSN is used by many people who won't change their home pages in IE. Yahoo is used by many others, evidenced by its high level of registered users, who are more familiar with that site.

Google may be a verb, but it doesn't control the WWW or what can and cannot be found on it.

If Google tried to censor or in any way hamper what could and could not be found on the web, there will be others who take over, and Google knows this. They'd lose ad revenue, consequently, and that's the end of them. That is why they have extended support to the open-source community, and stuck to their "Do no evil" policy.

It's in their best personal, moral and business interest.

Re:Isn't is kinda scary? (1)

liquidpele (663430) | about 9 years ago | (#12291441)

" I must say that I have growing concerns about the prospect of one company effectively determining what can and cannot be found on the world wide web"

Blame the French.

"cooperative P2P web search network that could do what Google does"

Are you serious? Google works so well because the have super-fast clusters with uber-caching. A p2p type network would be sloooooow, and give you different results each time you logged on. No thanks, I don't think the nice ideology is worth the trouble.

Re:Isn't is kinda scary? (3, Interesting)

Sanity (1431) | about 9 years ago | (#12291460)

A p2p type network would be sloooooow
Not necessarily, the paper linked in my blog entry demonstrates that this is possible in logarithmic time. With a UDP-based protocol it could be very fast indeed.
give you different results each time you logged on

Re:Isn't is kinda scary? (1)

liquidpele (663430) | about 9 years ago | (#12291519)

"Not necessarily, the paper linked in my blog entry demonstrates that this is possible in logarithmic time. With a UDP-based protocol it could be very fast indeed."

logarithmic would be the theoretical max would it not? Actually, Your idea would be reasonable if everyone had fiber (or something really fast), but with dsl and cable I just don't see it happening... I'll take a moment out of my work day and read the paper though since I'm not doing anything else around here...

"give you different results each time you logged on"

I was assuming this would be similar to Gnutella, where you get different results based on which super-node you connect to.

Re:Isn't is kinda scary? (1)

Sanity (1431) | about 9 years ago | (#12291577)

I was assuming this would be similar to Gnutella, where you get different results based on which super-node you connect to.
No, its a different approach that doesn't rely on supernodes, its entirely decentralised, and far more scalable than a supernode-based architecture.

Re:Isn't is kinda scary? (2, Insightful)

Albio (854216) | about 9 years ago | (#12291476)

If you can't find something important on Google, do you just giveup?

Re:Isn't is kinda scary? (1)

DrLex (811382) | about 9 years ago | (#12291482)

Now it would be really scary if, on the day when Google has reached its goal of 'internet information domination', Microsoft announces that Google was actually a MS subsidiary, made to look like an opponent. Then suddenly Google becomes 'MS Google' and an evil laugh emanates from Redmond... :)

Re:Isn't is kinda scary? (0)

AviLazar (741826) | about 9 years ago | (#12291635)

You will disappear in Damn spies.

Move along people nothing to see here, we will give you an extra Gigabyte of google space. Aren't we cool? Now go Google something.

Re:Isn't is kinda scary? (2, Informative)

Jurph (16396) | about 9 years ago | (#12291508)

I think you mean a sacred cow.

A "fatted calf" is fattened up because it's about to be slaughtered and eaten. A "sacred cow" is in no such danger.

Re:Isn't is kinda scary? (1)

garcia (6573) | about 9 years ago | (#12291517)

I must say that I have growing concerns about the prospect of one company effectively determining what can and cannot be found on the world wide web, not to mention one company handling the email of a vast proportion of Internet users.

While I see what you are saying and I agree due to my tinfoilhatness I have to disagree that it is "handling the email of a vast proportion of Internet users."

This is a typical Slashdotter perception. Most people outside of "techies" don't use GMail. They may in the future but they aren't currently.

So for right now, let's not get *that* worried about them handling all the Internet's email but I do agree we should keep it in the back of our minds for later.

Re:Isn't is kinda scary? (2, Insightful)

dema (103780) | about 9 years ago | (#12291540)

I must say that I have growing concerns about the prospect of one company effectively determining what can and cannot be found on the world wide web, not to mention one company handling the email of a vast proportion of Internet users.











Where are you getting this "one company" stuff? Same goes for email, just because Google knows how to design a good interface does mean they are the only option.

Re:Isn't is kinda scary? (1)

utexaspunk (527541) | about 9 years ago | (#12291550)

Isn't is kinda scary?

is sure is kinda scary, but are and were are the ones that really keep me up at night...

Re:Isn't is kinda scary? (1)

Zate (687440) | about 9 years ago | (#12291555)

Its only scary when its a company like Microsoft. Your afraid of what happens when Google gets a monoply because your previous experience with monopolies was bad. "Dont be evil" says it all.

Your current reaction/apprehension/fear is a direct result of other companies being evil and seeking not to do good for the common man, but to line their own pocket. Google just happens to have hit on an attitude and ethos that in basic terms puts doing good first and reaping the rewards of doing good second. Just so happens it works really well. I for one hope other companies take notice that making a fun interesting work environment and promoting "the greater good" can be just as lucrative as being a snake in the grass and fouling up the internet with malware, spyware and virii. Google are the direct Anti-MSFT and i for one welcome our new benevolent non-evil overlords :)

Re:Isn't is kinda scary? (2, Insightful)

daviddennis (10926) | about 9 years ago | (#12291636)

Let's say that tomorrow Google says that, in the interest of increasing revenue, they are going to implement GooglePops, their new pop up and pop under advertising service. "Our advertisers have been asking for fresh methods of recovering customer eyeballs in this space," said a Google rep.

The outcry would be immediate. The Slashdot story would get 5,000 comments. There would be people who said that this proved that Google was evil, after all. And there would be people who would defend them, in the context that pop-up ads are effective, and therefore what people really want.

In the end, Google would lose a tremendous amount of credibility. People would start laughing at them. And AltaVista and A9 and MSN would work ever harder, knowing they could knock Google straight off the perch. A lot of people would stop using Google and would never come back. And the Googleplex would no longer attract the very best people, as it does today.

This is the beauty of that ever-adjusting system we call the free market. People who don't like Google will go to other search engines if they see it as truly "bad". And enough is now understood about search that it wouldn't be that difficult to create a new search engine with similar quality results.

This is our protection against Google turning "bad". They know that if they do, they lose credibility and customers. The people who run Google are smart and know where the money is: In being the biggest and most respected search company on the planet.

They're not going to give that up for a bunch of pop-up ads. But if they do, we'll desert them in droves, and they'll get exactly what they deserve.

Hope that helped.


Internet barons... (3, Insightful)

Gopal.V (532678) | about 9 years ago | (#12291384)

Google's always behind technology
Yahoo's always behind safe money (see the Y! News vs G News)

And Microsoft is behind all evil,
Netscape survived as Firefox and
Macromedia just went to Adobe ..

That's a brief history of the web since Y2K :)

Of course. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12291602)

Of course, we've always been at war with Oceania.

Wait... (1, Funny)

0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) | about 9 years ago | (#12291385)

so if they're not evil and corrupt, they can be fair and hono(u)rable in their endeavo(u)rs?

I've seen more insightful commentary in polls for Slashdot polls.

Re:Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12291448)

No kidding. The "degeneration into the typically corrupt corporate ethos" sounds like some kind of proletariat crap. TYPICALLY? They're just companies, people. Sometimes people get too greedy, but it's hardly the norm.

Googlewhack (4, Funny)

Malc (1751) | about 9 years ago | (#12291387)

Thank you Google. Without you that madman Dave Gorman might have stopped after meeting people with the same name. But with your help he got to play Googlewhack and I got to listen to his stories and split my sides with laughter.

What about the not-so-good things? (4, Interesting)

Enigma_Man (756516) | about 9 years ago | (#12291388)

I'm curious to hear from people that have bad experiences with Google, or wish they did something another way, or even any examples of "corporate evilness" from them.

I'm not trying to be trollish, just curious if anybody has any perspective other than the very good experiences most of us have had with Google.


Re:What about the not-so-good things? (5, Interesting)

DelawareBoy (757170) | about 9 years ago | (#12291413)

How about Google assisting censorship in China?

http://www.marketingvox.com/archives/2005/04/15/ ch ina_censorship_working_google_workers_happy/

As an avid reader of Slashdot, I think we all can find a bit of evil in this..

Re:What about the not-so-good things? (1)

mgs1000 (583340) | about 9 years ago | (#12291468)

"Don't be evil...unless there is money to be made"

Re:What about the not-so-good things? (3, Interesting)

eric_brissette (778634) | about 9 years ago | (#12291605)

As far as I knew, the whole Chinese censorship thing wasn't about money. My understanding (which may be wrong, correct me if I am) was that Google was attempting to pre-censor some news stories for the Chinese, so that China wouldn't block the site completely. It was a choice between leaving out some stories, or having China block the entire site. Maybe it was the wrong choice, but the reasons behind it didn't seem all that sinister.

Re:What about the not-so-good things? (4, Insightful)

oneiros27 (46144) | about 9 years ago | (#12291568)

You can either bring no service, or service in compliance with the rules and regulations of the locations that you are providing the service.

Which one is more evil? Refusing to provide your service to a population that could otherwise benefit from it, even in its reduced capacity, or making it available, even if you might not be happy with the terms you're required to comply with?

The correct answer -- neither. Neither one is inherently evil. The first one is petty and immature, and the second one can be construed as greedy without knowing all of the details.

Re:What about the not-so-good things? (2, Insightful)

DelawareBoy (757170) | about 9 years ago | (#12291638)

Here's a touchy subject. (No trolling, really, trying to make a counter example).

Is it better not to have slavery? Or to have slavery and abide by the law, and treat your slaves as nice as you can? I'd vote that the first one is the more socially responsible one.

Yeah, this is a bit of a stretch comparison, but the point I'm trying to make is that Google could have made a stand to say, "what you, China, is doing is wrong, and we will "do no evil." Instead, they accept the check and say, "we'll do what we can."

Can you shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding?

Re:What about the not-so-good things? (5, Interesting)

michaelhood (667393) | about 9 years ago | (#12291439)

Google's AdWords [google.com] program is completely opaque in it's processes. I get my clicks reduced/"slowed"/paused on some keywords, and through the roof on others. Google flat out ignores requests for explanations. Google also turns a huge blind eye to fradulent clicks, which we estimate could be as high as 10-20% of all registered clicks. This is not limited to just myself. Both issues are well documented on the webmasterworld.com forums by dozens of other advertisers. Higher volume advertisers get no preferential treatment from what I can tell, except that we just run into problems *more* often, due to the volume.

Re:What about the not-so-good things? (1, Interesting)

xtracto (837672) | about 9 years ago | (#12291588)

That was an interesting point. For what you state here, and some other things I have been reading, it seems Google is not as good with their "Clients" as it is with their users.

Now, that is sad, because I can see it quite similar to other companies monopolistic practices. Of course, I know there are other web page search engines but being google the most used, I guess people want advertise there, and Google knowing it, can ignore their advertisers claims...

I hope that does not go bad to goole, as I can think some other company (MS, Y!, AV, etc) could get a better "Ad revenew scheme" that really attracts advertisers (here, I think M$ has a better posibility to do that as they have lot$ of ca$h to $pend)

Re:What about the not-so-good things? (1)

kawika (87069) | about 9 years ago | (#12291524)

Click fraud in Adwords/Adsense [slashdot.org] . Google says the problem is minimal, but it's not. Yes, it's in Google's best interest to clean it up to maintain confidence in the system, but they don't want to let on how big a problem it is for the same reason. They don't want people to start asking for credits or refunds.

Scams perpetrated through Adwords/Adsense. Keywords are being bid up by the scum that can afford to--the ones that lie to make the sale. It's tough for a legit company to compete with one that will lie. As a publisher I have almost no control over what ads are displayed on the site, I can only block by URL and not by company for example. I cannot block Claria the company, I must block whatever URL they or their affiliates decide to use this week. And I'm limited to a total of 200 URLs in the Adwords block list.

Toleration of spyware distribution through blogger.com. Want some spyware? Try [blogspot.com] one [blogspot.com] of [blogspot.com] these [blogspot.com] blogs [blogspot.com] .

Re:What about the not-so-good things? (1)

m50d (797211) | about 9 years ago | (#12291531)

Someone offered RSS feeds of Google news, and they takedown'd him. That was the point they became evil in my book.

I'd love to be on the inside of this machine (4, Interesting)

Adult film producer (866485) | about 9 years ago | (#12291391)

Unless you reject cookies from google outright, they can learn a lot about you. The colour of shirts you like to wear, what cpu manufacturer you prefer, what ideas you had for mother's day presents, everything concerning your sexuality, your political leanings (left, right, fascist, communist.)

Give them a few years and their database of profiles will be awsome.. I just hope their not working in concert with any covert u.s. government institutions.

Look they can't be evil (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12291395)

I searched for "google evil" and got a mere 3.3 million hits but ... ...searching for "microsoft evil" yielded a token 2.6 million hits.

They pretty much cancel each other out as I see it.

Re:Look they can't be evil (0)

Albio (854216) | about 9 years ago | (#12291504)

But how many of the "google evil" hits were talking about "google's do no evil" policy? And how many of the "microsoft evil" hits were actually flaming microsoft?

Google = "The Internet" (5, Insightful)

pete19 (874979) | about 9 years ago | (#12291400)

I tend to find that especially amongst "non-geeks", Google IS the internet. Could they have much more of an impact than that?

Re:Google = "The Internet" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12291469)

Really? I heard "Internet Explorer".

Re:Google = "The Internet" (2, Interesting)

dlZ (798734) | about 9 years ago | (#12291542)

I've noticed that many of my home clients swear by Yahoo or MSN, and don't even realise how large Google has gotten. A lot of them also like their Internet providers page as their homepage, though, because it feels more AOLish than having a useful start page.

But I'd say they feel that IE is the Internet more than anything else. We recommand and install Firefox for all our clients, and I've heard remarks ranging from "Oh, other people make IE now, too?" to "Oh, IE is the best, that's why it comes with Windows." Oh, 95% of these clients are spyware removal, infected to the point that you can't even get into Windows or if you can it's completely unuseable.

Re:Google = "The Internet" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12291615)

I've found that most of the non-geeks here at work tend to use Ask Jevees as their primary web search, and when presented with google, they use like Jevees and get really upset when they can't find what they're looking for.

Then again, these were 6th graders who think MTV still means Music Television, I imagine that's where they saw the ad for Ask Jevees. Personally, I had never bothered with it because as all true geeks know that if it's not on Google, it's not on the web. You can imagine my surprise when I told the class to 'google-it' for the first time and they all went to Jevees. They all new the phrase, and identified with web-searching, but it was not tied to google.com.

April 20, 2005 (5, Funny)

michaelhood (667393) | about 9 years ago | (#12291405)

Sterling, VA (REUTERS) April 20, 2005 -- The recent thrust of Google stories on the ever-popular Slashdot website have not been just a coincidence. Slashdot will be renamed to Googledot effective May 1, 2005. Slashdot editors seek to assure the readership that all of Slashdot's features will remain, including but not limited to 3+ Google stories per day, and an infinite amount of dupes.

Garage? (5, Funny)

MoonFacedAssassin (539728) | about 9 years ago | (#12291409)

...they may just succeed in assuming the fair and honourable dominion over the world's information they so naively set out to achieve eight years ago in their garage.

Is it just me, or does it seem every computer "revolution" begins in a garage (*ahem* apple, etc)?

*Note to self* Get a garage.

Re:Garage? (1)

Chexum (1498) | about 9 years ago | (#12291539)

Garage.. I think here it means the Stanford University. (Am I the only one remembering the google.stanford.edu address?). So.. how that build-a-university program of yours is going, eh?

Threatening M$ ??? How? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12291414)

OK, I'll admit I didn't RTFAs, but I have to ask: how in ${deity}'s name can Google threaten M$? Do they sell OSes, OA suites, etc.?

This is like this "iPod killer" fixation: why does everything have to be viewed as a threat to M$? Is billg's incapacity to accept to have to compete (fairly) and resulting intolerance of potential competitors rubbing off everyone else?

Google a threat? (5, Insightful)

gtoomey (528943) | about 9 years ago | (#12291416)

Google revenue: 3 Billion. Microsoft Revenue: 38 Billion

Unless Google pulls a rabbit out of a hat (like a new operating system), I cant see this changing any time soon.

Re:Google a threat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12291467)

just sit back and watch as all those systems slip through their fingers...

Re:Google a threat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12291485)

they said they were a threat, not stomping MS into the ground.

They haven't been too evil (3, Insightful)

tech-hawger (874902) | about 9 years ago | (#12291420)

I think they're doing a good job of "not being evil". People freaked out when Gmail first came out because of the whole we'll-scan-your-emails-to-show-relevant-ads thing. But people aren't complaining too much now with 2 gigs free space (and increasing everyday). Yahoo was all over the 1gig free e-mail but hasn't said much in regards to Google's 2gig offering. They have been getting new products to the market a lot faster than their competitors. It's now mostly Yahoo and Google with Microsoft somewhat lagging behind in the innovation and speed department.

Stay good, Google! Stay good! (5, Insightful)

FhnuZoag (875558) | about 9 years ago | (#12291421)

Yeah. So they think that goodness will triumph. Fat chance. The Dark Side always wins. Power corrupts. No matter what pledges are made, there is nothing concrete that will keep google from becoming 'evil'. After all, everyone's perception of evil changes, and who knows what would happen if Google starts thinking for people, deciding for its customers what it's best interests are? The online community is getting too reliant on google. We need competition. We need alternatives. If one group be allowed to dominate, it needs to be one with openness and non-profitness written into its being. And google does not have that.

Re:Stay good, Google! Stay good! (1)

fermion (181285) | about 9 years ago | (#12291648)

One thing that kept the internet a happy place for so long was that good ideas were given a place to prosper. As one serch engine declined in usefullness, another rose to take it's place. Competition was fierce among retailers and service providers. Users were sophisticated enough to see the technology, although they were often too young to have the experience to stay away from the scams.

This is no longer true. MS used the desktop monopoly to hijack and then nearly destroy meaningful browser innovation. Google has created a near search and ad monopoly that is going to be very difficult to unseat. Simple searches seldom resturn useful results at the top. We are way past the point where, in the past, we would have had a good aternative. MSN is not is.

Re:Stay good, Google! Stay good! (2, Insightful)

phuturephunk (617641) | about 9 years ago | (#12291664)

Not necessarily. The Dark side wins when the majority play an honest game and someone who has ill intention breaks the rules to aquire the most amount of wealth, power..whatever..in the shortest amount of time.

When the majority of firms are part of the 'dark side' then it makes more sense to go counter what they do and just let the integrity and quality of your work speak for you. Eventually, the people get fed up with the dark side shitting on them and then they turn to you as a shining example of how to do it right..without anyone getting hurt in the process.

Or so it should work in a perfect world. Either way, with the general distrust and malaise people have towards corporate America, any firm that plays a good game is alright with me.

Their impact on the internets? (3, Funny)

hsmith (818216) | about 9 years ago | (#12291425)

They have converted slashdot into their press release center, you always know what is going on with google!

I just wonder... (-1, Offtopic)

mmaddox (155681) | about 9 years ago | (#12291426)

I just wonder when people will start using the word "effect" again as a noun and "affect" again as a verb instead of the seemingly-all-encompassing "impact." You all sound like a bunch of Republican speech-writers.

Re:I just wonder... (2, Funny)

dlZ (798734) | about 9 years ago | (#12291573)

Your post has had an amazing impact on my day. It's a whole new paradigm. I will dialogue with you later.

Google is way overestimated. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12291427)

I know I will be modded down for this but still need to say it.

Google has had very little real impact on the "Internet". For those of us who used it before Google, before the web, P2P, bittorrent, and the hordes of stupid people who populate it, the internet is about the same.

I think that if Google has had any effect it is largely negative. Google Groups has done more harm then good, Usenet used to be a place you could go for real information. Now it is nothing but complete crap.

As for searching, Altavista was acceptable before google was on the scenes. Google really offers nothing new. They simple consolidate what can be found elsewhere by any savvy user.

Don't get me wrong. I think they are a great company and I use their products every day but I also think they are just another internet company and eventually they will be replaced. Companies like these (Google, Yahoo, Ask Jeeves) tend to have a boom followed by a period of dwindling interest as it finds its niche. Google is just another niche company that happens to be in the boom stage at the moment.

Re:Google is way overestimated. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12291492)

I'm not quite following how Google had a negative impact on USENET. I think USENET's decline in usage (and quality for that matter) is tied directly to the fact that they really didn't 'market' themselves as a useful service for information dissemination to the masses
I too used to go on USENET quite a bit to find out interesting tech information, but I stopped in the late ninties once surfing the web made getting that information a whole lot easier (and cleaner for tha tmatter). It's not a good thing when you can load up just about any unmoderated group and the first 500 threads are adverts for horse porn.
Usenet didn't keep with the times, therefore USENET is marginalized. Then again, you can still find great tech information (Novell is a great example here) on the moderated forums.

Re:Google is way overestimated. (2, Insightful)

RMH101 (636144) | about 9 years ago | (#12291614)

"they didn't market themselves"? who is "they"? usenet's totally decentralised, there is no "they" to market anything.
google groups has done usenet harm in a way: they've now got "google groups" and most younger people don't know their NNTP from their elbow. you can now not only post to usenet via google groups, but *start up new google groups* which obviously don't propogate out to usenet - hence a google groups user's unlikely to go and start using usenet.
usenet's signal to noise ratio is somewhat higher than the web though, possibly for exactly this reason...

live eb tonod (1, Funny)

binarybum (468664) | about 9 years ago | (#12291428)

that's right folks, donot be evil backwards looks a lot like latin or something for "destroy the earth". And let's not forget that google backwards looks a lot like el Goog which is probably spanish or something for "the Goog".

really though, honourable or not, "dominion over the world's information" is inherently evil.


Nostalgia (1)

ectotherm (842918) | about 9 years ago | (#12291442)

Remember "back in the day", around 1994, when there was Webcrawler, and every query brought back only 12 hits? And none of them were pR0n? And you had to go to a BBS via modem to get drivers? Gettin' old...

The Microsoft threat (1)

Jugalator (259273) | about 9 years ago | (#12291462)

Even if Google is dominating the internet search business at the moment, and doing that is a powerful position in the information age of today, I find it a bit exaggerated that there's a discussion on how Google may threaten Microsoft Corporation. They make everything from computer mice and game marketing, to maintaining an own development language, and operating systems spanning from the table PC to large datacenters. Let's not forget that. :-) This beast won't go down even if Google one day will overtake 100% of the web and information searches. Well, as long as Google search gives fair results and ranks Microsoft as highly as they should be ranked due to how PageRank works...

They All Become Evil, Eventually... (3, Insightful)

ausoleil (322752) | about 9 years ago | (#12291464)

Think of the progression in the trilogy, "Lord of the Rings" -- the main character, Frodo Baggins, starts as an ingenue, takes on the task, and at the end, once he realizes the true power of the Ring, decides that he will keep it for himself. Of course, there is a twist of fate and a happy ending, but one thing was for certain: Frodo was seduced by the power the Ring offered.

The same thing will likely happen to Google, though the term 'evil' may a bit overused. Google is a public company now, and like all public companies, they have a responsibility to maximize shareholder value. If the directors of the company will not do this, the board has a responsibility to put in place people who will.

That said, Google will become more like Microsoft and more like Adobe over time. They will try to protect their market share, they will try to prevent the entry of others into their market space that they perceive as a threat. And, given the world's propensity to pull for the "little guy" Google will in turn be perceived (rightly or wrongly) as a bully, a bad guy and therefore -- evil.

This is a natural progression for successful startups. Microsoft did not begin as a huge monolith, it was a small company that one could send an e-mail to the founders and usually get a reply. It was also a decent company from a service standpoint. They grew, their market grew and the service got a lot less personal and the stakes got a whole lot bigger. Thirty years later, they are thought of as a James Bond villain.

If Sergey and Larry stick (?!?!) (2, Insightful)

pindlet (811940) | about 9 years ago | (#12291466)

Sergey and Larry are answerable to the stock holders now. Their responsibility is to maximise shareholder value. That may or may not coincide with a nice guy image. As for 'corrupt corporations' - they are there to make money for their owners, not be some quasi-religious body to make us feel good.

Google micropayment system? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12291471)

I remember reading .. i think it was a while back about that there was plans to integrate google micropayments integrated into google desktop .. sdomething like millicent .. whatever came of it? Anyone know? I remember reading about a patent they had filed on it.

Anyway, I am looking for the time when it will be possible to search for a song or movie or tv show and then be able "buy this song" or whatever. I guess they have to work out the DRM issue since the ipod and other mp3 players dont support an open DRM standard.

Ah .. google to the rescue google micropayments

http://digital-lifestyles.info/display_page.asp? se ction=cm&id=1822 .. I think if they can do it where it's very unobstrusive and secure without having to fill out a form or something each time .. like one click micropayments off an icon or something (jeff bezos dont run out and patent it).

Don't be evil (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12291513)

So, all Google need to do now, is setup Google Religion, and use that to determine good and evil.

Don't forget to be the best search engine (1)

Dr.Opveter (806649) | about 9 years ago | (#12291522)

There were times all my buddies were using altavista because it gave good hits.
Google is just the best until it gets too big, too bloated and the right information doesn't pop up at the top of the list but rather adds related to your search. The next best search engine is just waiting to happen.

One of the most important!?! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12291525)

"...arguably one of the most important companies in the world..."

Huh??? What about, oh, I don't know... oil companies, food companies, telecom companies, drug and health industries, transportation.... I could go on, perhaps just consider companies that have been around for, oh, longer than 10 years or so for some companies that are vastly more "important" than some search engine.

The internet is not the entire world, people, much as we sometimes wish it were. If it magically went away today, the vast majority of the earth's population probably wouldn't even notice....

Just wait (2, Funny)

Gatton (17748) | about 9 years ago | (#12291528)

Just wait till Google becomes Googlezon! [broom.org] Then we can really start to worry. I am waiting to hear the announcement that Google is moving their office to Cheyenne Mountain.

Wow (3, Insightful)

mattmentecky (799199) | about 9 years ago | (#12291538)

arguably one of the most important companies in the world

I guess this is where the arguably comes in....Google is great and all but...one of the most important companies? In the grand grand scheme of things I would say that it is barely even relevant. Sit back and think about any company that is researching an AIDS cure/vaccine, cancer treatment, any kind of any disorder - Alzheimer's, parkinson's, multiple sclerosis...and depending on how you cut 'company' I would hazzard a bet to say that any non-profit company is more important/relevant than Google...

Keep perspective people, at least quantify your statement with "most important tech companies" and then you have a more sane argument. Google is just a good company.

Re:Wow (0)

dlZ (798734) | about 9 years ago | (#12291618)

I wish I hadn't posted so I could mod you up. I would definetely rate companies that are working to cure diseases as more important. The same with places feeding, housing, and just generally helping out those less fortunate.

Important as a tech company, but only until the next great thing happens. IBM, Apple, Microsoft, and countless others that have really moved the tech world or made it more accessable, well, that's important. If it wasn't for these kind of companies, Google would have been a moot point from the beginning, because no one would have needed it.

Nice, but a long way to go... (-1, Offtopic)

redeye69 (877540) | about 9 years ago | (#12291549)

They've a fair bit to go on this yet, there is no real map data outside of Belfast and it can't even give me directions from Belfast to Dublin at the minute. Certainly doesnt compare to the AA's Route Planner [theaa.com] but has a lot of potential. Would be nice to get some good hi-res sat images of Ireland too.

Innovation vs Popularization (5, Interesting)

Locarius (798304) | about 9 years ago | (#12291560)

What it comes down to me is the fact that Google seems to actually care about pushing new ideas and new technologies. Microsoft has always been about giving the user as little as possible until someone else innovates, and then sinking cash into bringing it to the popular market.

Microsoft's impact on the Internet exists because most people are browsing from a Microsoft platform. If Google can introduce a platform to browse to all their services easily (Google branded Knoppix, perhaps) they might just remove the element of: "I'll use Microsoft Internet services because it must work smoothly with my OS".

And yet, the frogies are up in arms (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 9 years ago | (#12291589)

What I find funny is that the french are going to work with MS on doing their books, and MS has a LONG, LONG, LONG history of screwing every one of their partners. Google comes along and is trying to do the rights things and then is accused of being nasty. What a world.

Okay... (0, Redundant)

koreaman (835838) | about 9 years ago | (#12291594)

Are we supposed to get a hard on every time Google is mentioned now? What's up with /.'s Google saturation lately?

way to filter out slashdot drivel (-1, Troll)

brontus3927 (865730) | about 9 years ago | (#12291606)

Slashdot stories= interesting
Slashdot comments= YMMV

Solution: Set comment threshhold at 4. Set comment modifier for informative at +2 Interesting & Insightful at +1. Funny, Freaks, & Foes at -2. Karma Bonus at 0.

Now if the RSS feed grabbed the links in the stories, I could possibly skip visiting slashdot altogether

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