Google-Sized Hypocrisy

It's amazing how quickly folks will turn on you in this industry. Remember the days when IBM was evil? Although Big Blue is still raking in the bucks, no one seems to get mad at it these days.

Taking over IBM's place as the company you loved to hate was Microsoft. That's still true, too -- many folks still can't stand Bill & Co., but anger at the chaps up there north of Seattle doesn't burn as brightly as it once did.

In part, that's because a new target is getting larger and larger -- Google. Like IBM and Microsoft before it, Google has preeminence in a key computer-age technology; in this case, Internet search. Like its IT ancestors, it's become wildly, staggeringly successful. And, like any big company, it's starting to make missteps and sometimes letting its hyper-aggressiveness overcome the good common sense it had when it was a scrappy startup.

The latest dustup is a court case with the U.S. Department of Justice over lists of search requests and Web site addresses, which the government says it needs to fight child porn on the 'Net. According to a news story on our Web site (by the way, have you noticed that we now have a lot more news on the site, and it's updated more often?), "Cooperating with the government ‘is a slippery slope and it's a path we shouldn't go down,’ Google co-founder Sergey Brin told industry analysts earlier this month."

As they said in my high school days, gag me with a spoon.

I agree with Google's refusal to knuckle under to Washington, but its high-minded statement of principles is simply a crock. It had no problem, for instance, laying down for China when the Commies wanted it to censor search results. Of course, Google will tell you how different this situation is.

Gag me with a shovel. No wonder folks are starting to dislike this company.

Our Prices Are Low!
The FBI thinks its latest attempt to bring its computer systems out of the Paleozoic era will cost around $500 million. The system -- dubbed "Sentinel" -- will have a contract awarded within the next month or so, with Lockheed Martin as one of the two remaining companies being considered. The previous efforts at modernization -- how do we say it delicately -- blew like the Big Bad Wolf.

I can save the government tons of money. Award the contract to Keith and Associates, and I'll only charge Uncle Sam $250 million. I won't do the job right either and will completely bungle the whole thing, just like what's going to happen with the upcoming company. But I'll screw it up for just half the money. Such a deal!

Subscribe to Redmond Report

This column was originally published in our weekly Redmond Report newsletter. To subscribe, click here.

How Will You Use the Ultra-Mobile PC?
Now that we know what Origami is, I want to know how you're going to use it, if at all. The secretive project (now called the "Ultra-Mobile PC") is out in the open as of last week, and it's a PSP-sized computer that can run a full OS (Windows XP at first). It's bigger than a PDA but smaller than the smallest laptop. As of right now, there's no keyboard, just a strange sort of pie-slice-shaped split keyboard that you can tap with a stylus to type. A Microsoft veep said, "It really opens up new opportunities for PC use." What new opportunities? Is this something you're considering buying? If so, how do you see yourself using this? Personal? Productivity? IT administration? Let me know at [email protected].

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.


comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe on YouTube