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Google to Offer Free Wi-Fi?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the big-brother-google dept.

Google 419

meaning writes "Business 2.0 reports on the possibility of Google building a national broadband network and giving Wi-Fi access to everyone in America. From the article: 'So once the GoogleNet is built, how would consumers connect for free access? One of the cheapest ways would be for Google to blanket major cities with Wi-Fi, and evidence gathered by Business 2.0 suggests that the company may be trying to do just that. In April it launched a Google-sponsored Wi-Fi hotspot in San Francisco's Union Square shopping district, built by a local startup called Feeva. Feeva is reportedly readying more free hotspots in California, Florida, New York, and Washington, and it's possible that Google may be involved.'"

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419 comments

Monday Night at the Google-A-Go-Go (0, Troll)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 8 years ago | (#13326966)

Free Wi-Fi? Sure. Why Not? They've been ladling out the free Kool-Aid here for months, and that's worked out well for them. Tastes great too, doesn't it?

DOESN'T IT?!?

*sigh*

OK, Citizen-Praetorian DiBona, you win. Resistance is futile, I see that now. Tell me where I report for re-programming.

Re:Monday Night at the Google-A-Go-Go (4, Funny)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 8 years ago | (#13326987)

You raise a good point. Free as in beer, Free as in Speech, and Free as in Kool-Aid. Yes, we shall have to remember that for future arguments.

Re:Monday Night at the Google-A-Go-Go (2, Insightful)

uncoveror (570620) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327031)

Sometimes free is bad. The WiFi is free, but the advertisers bombarding you with sales pitches know exactly where you are. If the network's security is cracked, a lot more people than just salesmen know exactly where you are! It would be even better for Big Brother than webcams! [uncoveror.com]

Negativity on this board... (3, Interesting)

mollog (841386) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327136)

The negativity on this board is a little depressing. I, for one, am tired of getting gouged by; baby bells, cable companies, cell phone companies, etc., etc. The hope that Google, of all companies, will come in and save us from the ongoing rape of consumers of communications, is something that makes me hopeful. I know without a doubt that all these services can be provided by one vendor instead of three, using one communications technology instead of four or more.

Europe, Japan, and other countries have better services for less money. If Google can shake up the status quo in the United States of Greed, I'm right there with them. Hooray for Google.

Re:Negativity on this board... (1)

macdaddy357 (582412) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327207)

If you call it the United States of Avarice, you don't even have to change the initials. USA! USA! USA! Yeehaa!

Re:Monday Night at the Google-A-Go-Go (3, Funny)

medeii (472309) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327060)

You're forgetting Free as in Herpes.

Re:Monday Night at the Google-A-Go-Go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13327004)

They've been ladling out the free Kool-Aid here for months, and that's worked out well for them.

Posting from Jonestown, are you?

Satire (1)

dg41 (743918) | more than 8 years ago | (#13326970)

This has got to be satire.

Gentoo?? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13326971)

I use Gentoo; how does this affect me?

Re:Gentoo?? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13327097)

Assuming you still haven't compiled mozilla-firefox... it really DOESN'T affect you.

Re:Gentoo?? (5, Funny)

mattbot 5000 (645961) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327291)

I use Gentoo; how does this affect me?

It won't--you still won't be able to get your wireless card working.

If this actually happens and doesn't kill AOL... (4, Funny)

Quaoar (614366) | more than 8 years ago | (#13326972)

...then I don't know what will.

Re:If this actually happens and doesn't kill AOL.. (1)

kkovach (267551) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327265)

Yep, AOL and the roaches will be the only things to survive nuclear war. :-)

- Kevin

Now (5, Interesting)

JonN (895435) | more than 8 years ago | (#13326975)

these are the real times we will all need a tinfoil hat. Who knows how Google will broadcast ads using a nationwide network of Wi-Fi

Re:Now (4, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327168)

The displaying of ads while surfing are the least of your tinfoil problems if you are using someone else's free wifi.

They are already building business listing databases and reviews via Dodgeball, they are building HUGE databases based on your e-mail with GMail, and I can only imagine what databases they could build w/free wifi.

Re:Now (1)

TheOtherAgentM (700696) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327176)

I don't see it being too different from those free ISPs. A bar going across the top displaying some text ads can be relatively unintrusive for free wireless.

Next up (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13326979)

Google to colonize Mars!

Google to build moon base!

Google to cure cancer!!!! OMG!!!

I'll believe it when I see it.

Seriously (4, Insightful)

Spy Hunter (317220) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327038)

First it was VoIP, then it was IM, now it's Wi-Fi? Why does the news media keep reporting these *completely* unsubstantiated rumors about Google as if they were actually news? Why not wait until Google actually announces what it is going to do? It's not as if there won't be an interminable beta period between announcement and public release anyway. This rampant Google speculation that has gripped the tech media has moved past the "annoying" phase to the "just plain stupid" phase.

Re:Seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13327116)

Don't forget about Google Browser [kottke.org] and Google OS [kottke.org] .

Re:Seriously (4, Insightful)

DarthTaco (687646) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327186)

It's a stock market thing. Buy a bunch of google stock (if you can afford much), and start a rumor that google is curing cancer. Take your 5% and do it again next week.

Re:Next up (0)

macdaddy357 (582412) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327064)

Great Google-ey Moogle-ey!

Actually... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13327075)

>Google to colonize Mars!
>Google to build moon base!
>Google to cure cancer!!!! OMG!!!
>I'll believe it when I see it.

Actually, one seems to be "true":
http://www.google.com/jobs/lunar_job.html [google.com]

Re:Next up (1)

croddy (659025) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327135)

What does Google need with a starship?

Re:Next up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13327193)

The amazing thing is that these are even *less* substantiated than Apple rumors, if such a thing is possible. They don't even try.

Apple: my brother's girlfriend's mom's pet labrador's best friend's dentist knows this guy who works at Apple who says Mac OS 10.5 will cure cancer!

Google: it's possible Google may cure cancer next month -- and if they do, we think it'll be called GTumor!

Gimme a break, guys...

Oh, and this wouldn't be a proper slashdot comment without:

Microsoft: we cause cancer; but what are you going to do about it? Monopoly, bay-bee.

Wonder if the telcos will sponsor a bill? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13326981)

They don't want municipal free wireless, so they sure aren't going to like Google doing it. Maybe they'll try to start an antitrust action against them, saying they are getting monopoly profits from search. Wouldn't it be ironic if Google is declared a monopoly and this is stopped and Microsoft is only given a slap on the wrist!

First post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13326984)

First post...
First post... Oops I musta duped it...

Hmmmm....I don't get it (0, Redundant)

SimplyBen (898147) | more than 8 years ago | (#13326989)

1. offer free wifi 2. offer free search 3. ?? 4. Profit Now, souls might be swomething worth selling.

Re:Hmmmm....I don't get it (4, Interesting)

FuturePastNow (836765) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327118)

1. Offer free wi-fi
2. Offer free search
3. Guarantee that every human being who uses them will see ads
4. Massive profit

Fixed it for ya

Re:Hmmmm....I don't get it (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327208)

I am surprised they haven't offered a web OS type deal. Kind of a free office appz over the web if you will.

They already have google mail, that's a quarter of the web office suite. How hard would it be to offer a java based office suite freely available over the web that's compatible with everything M$.

Re:Hmmmm....I don't get it (1)

a.different.perspect (817184) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327119)

Well, the profit might come from context-sensitive AdSense ads for all the sites you visit using Google's free Wi-Fi - that is, the same way Google makes billions out of free search and free email.
 
I'm personally not sure that it would work, but I am sure that's how Google would want it to.

How many hotspots... (2, Funny)

Nicky G (859089) | more than 8 years ago | (#13326993)

I wonder if it will be 10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 0? Hah.

GoogleNet (1)

Graviteh (907587) | more than 8 years ago | (#13326995)

I always thought this would happen. Man, now the only thing missing is Googzilla.
I, for one, welcome our new Search Engine overlords.

Re:GoogleNet (1)

outlineblue (472351) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327047)

Almost sounds like SkyNet doesn't it? *shrudder* What happens when everybody uses the free GoogleNet and all broadband providers are out of buisness? Then Google can expose their real side... what if the GoogleNet becomes some kind of google version of the internet where every web page you visit is taylored to please the google overlords and nobody ever notices because everybody sees the same pages....
On the other hand, free WiFi would be cool :P

Idiots With Columns (5, Funny)

MrNonchalant (767683) | more than 8 years ago | (#13326996)

Next Google will take over horse farming. And give us all ponies!

Seriously people.

Re:Idiots With Columns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13327273)

No. You get ponie here:
http://opensource.fotango.com/software/ponie/ [fotango.com]

All Hail Google! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13327000)

We are worthless cretins at the feet of Google Almighty! There is nothing they cant do... even if they can't, slashdot will post about it anyway!

Google commands you! (4, Funny)

learn fast (824724) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327005)

Prepare to toil in our underground sugar caves! Remarkably clean, usable, state-of-the-art sugar caves, but toil you shall!

Praise be Google (0, Redundant)

oiper (575250) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327009)

I for one, welcome our new internet overlords. May God be with you Google as you enslave the human race.

Pricey? (5, Insightful)

shinyplasticbag (670882) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327010)

Based on how much difficulty people have had trying to blanket even smallish cities, I have no idea how Google could possibly cover a country the size of America with WiFi. How many thousands of hotspots would it take?

What they should do is bring back Ricochet...

Re:Pricey? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13327027)

It will take a Googleplex of wifi hotspots, too bad it will probably be Windows only software...

Re:Pricey? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13327123)

Richochet has been reborn in Denver anyway..

Re:Pricey? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13327129)

Ricochet came back, twice.

First time was for $8.25 mil, courtesy of Metricom.

Second time was +/- $3 mil, courtesy of YDI Wireless

America?? You mean USA! (-1, Troll)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327142)

Why do US-poeple NEVER get it?? USA != AMERICA! DAMN!!!! Maybe because they think the world is a state of the usa! (like iraq is).* ----- * (if you ask poeple here in europe if they think us-poeple are *that* stupid to think so, they answer "sure. why not? just look at what they do, how they talk and how they behave. they think the whole world is theirs and the're the world-police, but don't even know a thing about other countries.". of course this does not count for *all*. but sure it counts for *most*. and i'm sorry for the rest.)

Re:America?? You mean USA! (1, Troll)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327190)

The best explaination I've seen is that the USA is the only country that uses "America" in its name, so really, it makes sense as a shorthand.

Re:America?? You mean USA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13327192)

The United States of America is the only country with America in its name. There is no other place called America, there is North America, South America, Central America, and the Americas, but no other place which is just referred to as America. Do you get pissed off at other people for only using part of a countries name, like people referring to the People's Republic of China as China? Hell, there its at least warranted since there's another country with China in its official name.

Re:America?? You mean USA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13327198)

WTF are you on about? You must suck a lot of cock because I can't understand a word you're saying.

Re:America?? You mean USA! (4, Insightful)

syrinx (106469) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327257)

Let's take a quiz. Which of these countries has "America" in its name, and would therefore be most likely to use "America" and "Americans"?

Dominion of Canada
United States of America
Estados Unidos Mexicanos
Republica de Guatemala
Republica de Honduras
Republica de El Salvador
Republica de Nicaragua
Republica de Costa Rica
Republica de Panama
Republica de Colombia
Republica Bolivariana de Venezuela
Co-operative Republic of Guyana
Republiek Suriname
Republica Federativa do Brasil
Republica del Ecuador
Republica del Peru
Republica de Bolivia
Republica de Chile
Republica del Paraguay
Republica Argentina
Republica Oriental del Uruguay

I believe that covers everything on the two American continents (French Guiana not being a country). I can go through the island nations in this hemisphere too, if you'd like.

Not that I expect you to even read this, being a troll and all. But still.

Re:Pricey? (4, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327220)

The thing that bugs me is the entitlement mentality that some have about this. If it is "WiFi" then it should be free. I too would like to know how it can be paid for if no fee is charged especially given the high cost of infrastructure.

Sure, free wireless works OK for coffee shops or restraunts here and there, as an incentive to get people to buy, but that is very small coverage and seems to encourage excessive loitering which is detrimental to business if they have too many people taking up tables several hours each during peak times.

Re:Pricey? (4, Funny)

mr_z_beeblebrox (591077) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327239)

How many thousands of hotspots would it take? The impedance of the Earth (according to the Tesla mailing list, is 400uf. All google has to do is design, patent and build the first 802.400uf (oh yeah, write the 802.400uf standard) transmitter and connect it to the Earth ... oh and figure out where one would ground that to. Anyway, google will surely turn the Earth into a giant WiFi hotspot. Then in Q2 2006 they will wipe out disease. Finally, in August 2007 googlenet becomes self aware...

A better idea (1)

cmdrTacyo (899875) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327015)

Now if only google offered free porn.. then I wouldn't have to ever leave the computer

Re:A better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13327172)

Now if only google offered free porn.. then I wouldn't have to ever leave the computer

They already offer free porn. [google.com] Enjoy.

(PS: Turn off Safesearch or you won't get anything decent.)

not in rural areas, I assume :( (1)

Newbreedofnerd (894701) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327016)

If this did happen, it of course wouldn't reach the more rural areas. Stuff like this always has us missing out. :( Looks like I'll be moving into a city when I'm older if I don't want to miss out on nifty technology...

Re:not in rural areas, I assume :( (1)

Gyga (873992) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327254)

Obviously, to much distance to build a hot spot reaching into the center of even 3 properties (my 12 my neighbors 300 and my other neighbors 400) and none of us would enjoy a large tower placed on our land (image a bunch of southeners with guns/trucks).

Actually... (1)

Momoru (837801) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327293)

Google is a major investor in one of those Internet-over-power-lines companies. Perhaps someone got their rumors mixed up, but there may be some sort of Google internet coming your way (Or at least Google will have their hand in it)

new category: google rumours (4, Insightful)

ltwally (313043) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327017)

Lately there have been so many newly announced (and shortly there-after: denounced) rumours concerning Google, I'm proposing that Slashdot create a new category just for Google related rumours.

Seriously... are there people out there that have nothing better to do than speculate as to what new thing will come out of google's labs next?

And people say that I need to get a life...

Re:new category: google rumours (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327109)

OMGWTF! Google sponsored one wi-fi hotspot in a tech-heavy city! This must mean they plan to roll out free wifi all over the country!!!!

I am failing tos ee the logic.

Re:new category: google rumours (5, Funny)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327154)

Seriously... are there people out there that have nothing better to do than speculate as to what new thing will come out of google's labs next?

Yes, there are. [google.com]

Air Tight Buisness Plan (0, Redundant)

Quick Sick Nick (822060) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327019)

Step 1. Blanket the entire nation with free internet access, costing the company millions.

Step 2. ?????

Step 3. Profit!

Re:Air Tight Buisness Plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13327290)

Step 2. Collect underpants.

What would free WiFi mean? (3, Interesting)

ReformedExCon (897248) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327020)

The first and most obvious question is how Google would manage to support a huge wireless network without charging for service. Perhaps they'd sell ad space and coffee near the hubs?

The second question I had was how much damage such a network would do to existing local internet companies. If Google moves in and essentially gives their product away, how can the current ISPs cope?

As a user, I'd be glad to have reliable, free wireless service available. A country where the service was ubiquitous, much like the electrical system and water system, would be a dream (probably the network administrator's worst nightmare, though).

Re:What would free WiFi mean? (2, Insightful)

jeaton (44965) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327056)

As a user, I'd be glad to have reliable, free wireless service available. A country where the service was ubiquitous, much like the electrical system and water system, would be a dream (probably the network administrator's worst nightmare, though).


Neither electrical service nor the water system are free (nor are they really ubiquitious). Why would you expect wireless internet service to be so?

Re:What would free WiFi mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13327288)

The first and most obvious question is how Google would manage to support a huge wireless network without charging for service.

The internet is inherently a peer-to-peer network. In theory they could just organize things and let the locals bear the actual costs.

If Google moves in and essentially gives their product away, how can the current ISPs cope?

Wifi is unlikely to perform as well as wired in the near future, so there's some advantage there. But in the longer term, the only ISPs that are likely to survive, Google or no, are the ones providing the long distance trunks. Communication within a city is bound to be nearly free eventually. Intercity communication, on the other hand, now we're talking really long term.

Google Earth, no kidding. (2, Funny)

luckynoone (775973) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327029)

I hope this happens. Google rocks.

Once they get big enough, I hope they will overthrow the governments of the world.

When they do, they will make it simple, basic, and easy to use. In addition they will offer free healthy lunches daily, plenty of fun activities, free healthcare and dental onsite, free gym access, a free gmail account, and the best ever... a Microsoft-free world. Whoops, I spilled the news about their secret G-OS

lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13327035)

Sweet now just load a sniffer on which ever router im connected to and start capturing all login information!

Seriously. What the fuck are you thinking when you deploy a wifi network with it's security risks. It's going to be abused then there would be articles posting of "Hackers use sniffers to steal personnel information on public networks." I suggest go back to the drawing board.

What's next? (4, Insightful)

nutshell42 (557890) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327046)

The first few lines of the article:

What if Google (GOOG) wanted to give Wi-Fi access to everyone in America? And what if it had technology capable of targeting advertising to a user's precise location?

And it doesn't sound like the author hasn't any further proofs or even rumors.

What if Google wanted to install cameras all over the world and call itself Big Google henceforth? What if Google launched a Mars mission and secured themself exclusive rights for the whole planet? What if they bought Blizzard and released the MMORPG World of Google where virtual elves can search a virtual Azeroth-Net for magic potions?

What if Google didn't anything that would cost more than their market capitalisation, instead concentrated on remaining a search engine with new searches for kitchensinks and lost pets and perhaps a cooperation agreement with some other companies (Apple, publishers for their library project, etc) along the way? Or is that last one too far-fetched?

Makes sense (2, Insightful)

bloggins02 (468782) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327050)

For those wondering how offering Free WiFi could possibly make sense from a business perspective:

From TFA: Google could stand to save millions of dollars by having an end to end network of its own instead of carrying its traffic over major ISPs (TFA states that Google is also buying up dark fiber).

Now, there are also some interesting ways Google might earn revenue from this system:

1) Imagine having to view a short ad before full access is granted

2) Imagine a special browser or access program you would need to download before use. The program could show ad words content or other ads

3) Of course, there's always "Get 24 hrs DOUBLE THE SPEED for only $9.99!"

Anybody have any other ideas for how Google could generate revenue from this?

Re:Makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13327153)

this guy can't put his links right 403 [kodakgallery.com] , after a brief look at the computer that he owned, well, everything makes more sense.

Googlenet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13327052)

It seems likely that you can only use Google, and Gmail, and you will constantly be monitored and sent targeted ads.

Getting worried (5, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327055)

I like Google. Excellent search engine, great news aggregator, webmail done right. But I'm getting more than a little uncofortable about the reach of the company. I have been cutting them a good deal of slack, but I'm gradually coming around on that. They have enough data on me and my habits that they probably can map my relationships better than I can myself. They can know my interests, my taste, my foibles, probably what I'm working on, and the only thing standing between potential knowledge and actual mining of it is a non-binding, pretty vacuous "Don't be evil" statement.

And while free Wifi is great and all, that risks becoming another chokepoint - who will be able to compete in practice if the lazy, easy way is to connect to Google Wifi to access your Gmail account and get the latest news in the Google aggregator or perhaps do some comparison shopping with Google. And finding the store is easy - just click the Google maps link and you'll see exactly where it's at.

If the company ever does decide to be evil, they have a huge amount of subtle control over their users at their disposal.

Oligopolies or monopolies are bad, no matter who is holding it.

Re:Getting worried - (About Google?!?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13327151)

[Stunned look]
Your worried about ... Google?
What OS are you using to type this?!?
I hope it is Linux or your hypocracy is unbelievable!
Thank goodness we have you to warn us. Now please
shut off your MS based PC and go relax with an XBOX game.
Oh, but don't forget to record ATHF with your MS DVR system.
Your saftey from the oppressive Google will be ensured by the benevolent Bill!

Don't be evil (1)

winkydink (650484) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327159)

I always find myself thinking that there's a little 1-pt font trailer on that message that says "until we decide otherwise"

Re:Getting worried (1)

div_2n (525075) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327183)

If the information is out there, someone will do it.

To satisfy your paranoia, might I suggest 1) Working on a cash only basis, 2) Spending only cash, 3) Never sign anything, 4) Never own anything and 5) Live off the land.

Welcome to the digital age.

Re:Getting worried (5, Insightful)

pthisis (27352) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327205)

IMO, once google went public then "Don't be evil" lost all value. As a private company, you can have goals like that. As a public company, you can wind up in court (and your officers in jail) if you aren't acting to maximize shareholder value.

Now, I don't think they're evil. In fact, I think they're a pretty good business at serving my needs. But when it gets down to it, they're just a business.

BE GOOD (1)

alucinor (849600) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327212)

Why couldn't the motto have been

"Be Good."

Re:Getting worried (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327301)

Excellent search engine

      It's an appalling search engine. But it's better than the competition.

      Searching on the internet for anything meaningful (and I mean academic searches with sources and references) is almost useless and involves a lot of time wasted, but this is not Google's fault. It's the fault of information providers who classify their information incorrectly, or abusers who take advantage of the system to make their site appear to contain the information you seek in the never ending quest for hits.

      If Google were so successful we would have no need of specialized, moderated databases, like medline, or wiki, etc.

      Oh it's great for surfing or your kids' high school homework though. Click on this link. Nope. Click here. Nope. Click...ahhh!

This is a bit worrying... (1)

swaic (541592) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327063)

This is truly starting to worry me a bit here. Google seems to be giving away quite a bit of good stuff for free. Nothing is free so they must want something back in return. Are we potentially just selling our souls to the devil in disguise?

this is sad. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13327065)

so, a delusional blogger made an entry about a nonexistant relation about a slide, and his own fantasies and this shit is published, for god sake, looking the bio [glennf.com] confirms that he is a moron.

Finally - private companies, not government (4, Interesting)

acoustix (123925) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327086)

This is what I've been waiting for: private companies providing free access instead of tax payers paying for it.

Capitalism does work!

-Nick

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13327261)

How is this POSSIBLY flamebait? This is a perfectly legitimate viewpoint relevant to the story. Moderators, please mod this comment up.

Brilliant Strategy (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13327096)

By supporting a variety of products and exploring countless different potential businesses, Google keeps its core nebulous. Anything is a potential target for Google to diversify into. This gets them a lot of free coverage for products they may or may not even be associated with, but the "Gee-Whiz" factor is still there.

Whether or not its an actual strategy per se, or pleasant happenstance, I don't know, but it's done damn well in either case.

--mOperandi

Also in New York City (Bryant Park) (5, Informative)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327099)

Wifi access in NYC's Bryant Park [bryantpark.org] is sponsored by Google. From the official park webpage:

Special Thanks To
The Bryant Park Wireless Network is proudly sponsored by Google.

A rose by any other name is still a rose... (1)

Jettamann (25050) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327107)

Google is to 'Rumours' as Microsoft is to 'F.U.D'

Given enough time, resources, money and good old Greed and Google will become just as evil as WalMart, Microsoft and Apple.

Eventually google will offer so many 'free' things, that it will eventually suffer from a 'God Complex' and demand payment for service, or we will take away what we created!

Don't Be Evil? (1)

pmbarth (230087) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327117)

Google's http://www.dontbeevil.com/2004_05_09_arch.html [dontbeevil.com] don' t be evil culture is something we hear less and less about. While I'd like it to be true their privacy policies leave a lot of openings for them. This is the next logical step for them -- they're already tracking a lot about you so why not take the last step and literally track everything everyone is doing with free Wi-Fi.

I use Google but the more I read about these types of plans I wonder if it is time to start thinking about an alternative.

Trickle down economics (1)

tankd0g (875636) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327131)

It's socialism, actually, and yes it does work as long as someone with deep pockets pays for it. Google gives nothing away for free, between the ads they cram down your throat and the consumer information they collect, the money never stops streaming in.

Why not real news such as no more book scanning? (1, Redundant)

Mustang Matt (133426) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327132)

http://news.zdnet.co.uk/internet/0,39020369,392132 95,00.htm [zdnet.co.uk]

For those of you that were hoping to read more than some author's wild speculation here's real google news... They've suspended scanning books due to copyright issues. It sounds like they're giving everyone a chance to respond that has a copyright on whether or not they get their books included.

I know whats next.... (1)

Cylix (55374) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327138)

Google to offer free sandwhiches...

Some pudgy guy was quoted as saying, "If google is doing it, I will eat it and I'm sure they will destroy the competition."

Subway was unavailable for comment, but an anonymous source said they were on the verge of releasing a competing search engine to combat this new competitor in their own arena.

The pudgy guy was no longer available for comment as he was stuffing his face with google sandwhiches.

Domination (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13327158)

Sergey - Skynet is fully functional.
Larry - Time to take full control over the unwashed masses.

I cant remember where... (1)

TooncesTheCat (900528) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327180)

I read this, but somewhere I read that Google will be the biggest company in the entire history by the year 2007 ( might be 2010+, cant remember )

Anyone know where I heard this?

Re:I cant remember where... (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327226)

I read that Google will be the biggest company in the entire history by the year 2007

      Amazing, for a company that doesn't actually produce anything apart from an extremely inefficient way to organize publicly available information. It's the miracle of the stock market I tell you.

Let's apply the "Google Lens"... (1)

BRSQUIRRL (69271) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327184)

Let's look at this through what I like to call the Google Lens: nothing that Google does is mysterious, unexplainable, or even particularly charitable. They are a business, and they are interested in only two things in the pursuit of profit: (1) organizing and searching large quantities of information and (2) advertising. Nothing else.

So where would this fit in? I'm not saying it wouldn't, or that they aren't planning something like this...I'm just saying that some derivation of this would have to intersect with their business interests at some point.

Love to see it happen for the following (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13327201)

So all the other wireless carriers shit a brick once it's launched. But don't worry instead of doing something like this they'll spend their money on lobbists to get laws passed when nobody is up outlawing free access.

the word "consumer" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13327231)

I am sick of the word "consumer". Why does the post use this word? Why not "customers" or "citizens" or "people"? The word shows disrespect. It puts the world into two categories: corporations and consumers. I am not a consumer! Now even /. posters have been trained to use this word! ...FUCK! WE'RE FUCKED!!! FUCK YOU!!!

Unlikely (0, Redundant)

sentanta (619440) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327269)

Unlikely.

This is what M$ will do: (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327270)

M$ will do something similar, very fast. Of late, I have noted that M$ has been playing "catch-up" on several fronts. Google could be in trouble since M$ is bigger and more present than Google in many markets. But I also know that being bigger does not necessarily mean better or even relevant.

Umm (1)

axonal (732578) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327279)

Is it me or does it seem everyone speculates Google will do all these different services? IM, WiFi, Bill Pay, electronic transfer of money, etc... ...where are they getting all this info?

TANSTAAFL (4, Interesting)

sheldon (2322) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327280)

There's an old saying... The most expensive gift you can get someone is a Free Puppy.

Similarly speaking... I'm not sure I can afford to get "Free" Wi-Fi access from Google.

I'm just a whee bit tired of being innundated with advertising, and the cost of product purchases going up to pay for all of it. You know, I'd be willing to spend a little bit of money to just get the things I want and need, rather than paying for everybody else to get stuff they never asked for.

Whatever you do... (1)

swaic (541592) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327295)


Just don't click on the Pi symbol in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.

Wait, what? (1)

DroopyStonx (683090) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327299)

Google goes all this amazing stuff... it really does.

Free Wi-Fi *tear* god bless you lil Google.

Can daddy have his complimentary hookers and an 8-ball?

I got a Feeva (2, Funny)

miracle69 (34841) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327312)

And the only prescription is MORE COWBELL!!!

Big enough (1)

gkozlyk (247448) | more than 8 years ago | (#13327319)

At least Google is big enough in recourses to accomplish something like this. I wonder if their free wifi comes with AdSense?
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