Tag Archives: Larry Page

Update On Domestic Abuse Case Will Be Posted Tomorrow

Hi guys:

Tomorrow I will be posting an exclusive article on my blog with more information about the domestic violence controversy surrounding the family of a major face of Google – Marissa Mayer. I have already posted on article about the case but the new article will give you more details about what allegedly happened.

It’s going to be really interesting, to say the least. Make sure you take some time to visit the blog tomorrow. In the meantime, take some time to get to know who Marissa Mayer is and what she does at Google.

Three years ago, The New York Times published an article titled “Putting a Bolder Face on Google” and it’s a fantastic read. It focuses on Marissa and really let’s you know more about her character. Here are some interesting quotes about her in the article:

“Mayer, who is Google Employee No. 20…A popular guest on TV news programs and talk shows, a Google-booster often quoted in print, and a rapid-fire presence on San Francisco’s social scene, she is the rare executive who has become — at least in the sometimes cloistered world of computer geeks — a celebrity”

“Ms. Mayer, 33, plays a pivotal, serious role at Google…She is one of the few Googlers with unfettered access to and influence over Mr. Brin and Mr. Page”

A 2009 Gawker.com article described her as “the best known Google executive outside the search engine’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, and its billionaire founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin”

Ms. Mayer has even dated the current Google CEO Larry Page at one point. This is a woman very much part of the identity of Google and a recognizable face of the company.

I’m leaving you a video of her on the Martha Stewart show and I will see you back here tomorrow

For more information:

New York Times – click here

Gawker – click here

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Former Google Executive Tears Apart Company In A Candid Blog Post

English: Logo of the band Rejected Español: Lo...

James Whittaker is a former Google executive who recently left the company after he had enough of the downward spiral. Mr. Whittaker published a blog post this past Tuesday where he gives you the truth about what is really happening over at Google.

He was hired at Google back in 2009 when things were relatively still doing okay at the company – but after a few short years he knew he had to leave. He packed up his things and ditched Google last month. He gives his reasoning in his blog post titled “Why I left Google”. It’s an excellent post to read through and I urge you to read the whole thing for yourself (link is provided at the bottom). I will give you the highlights from his blog post accompanied by my commentary:

“…there is no drama here, no tell-all, no former colleagues bashed and nothing more than you couldn’t already surmise from what’s happening in the press these days surrounding Google and its attitudes toward user privacy and software developers”

  • Alrighty – no need to dig for dirt and get nasty. There is enough public BS surrounding Google that could fill a ton of books.

The Google I was passionate about was a technology company that empowered its employees to innovate. The Google I left was an advertising company with a single corporate-mandated focus.”

  • Google has changed a lot over the years. It’s definitely not the same Google from a few years back – it’s now all about maintaining ad revenue. They couldn’t care less about their users. Google makes over 90% of its revenues from advertising – that’s about $40 billion every year. They make that money selling your personal information.

“Technically I suppose Google has always been an advertising company, but for the better part of the last three years, it didn’t feel like one. Google was an ad company only in the sense that a good TV show is an ad company: having great content attracts advertisers.”

  • It used to be that Google made a great product, users embraced it, and then advertising dollars came in naturally. Now the emphasis and number one priority is about figuring out how to get more ad dollars into the company and not producing great products.

“Under Eric Schmidt ads were always in the background. Google was run like an innovation factory, empowering employees to be entrepreneurial through founder’s awards, peer bonuses and 20% time. Our advertising revenue gave us the headroom to think, innovate and create.”

  • Sigh– All good things come to end eventually…

“But that was then, as the saying goes, and this is now.”

  • Okay….sigh….that was then and this is now!

“It turns out that there was one place where the Google innovation machine faltered and that one place mattered a lot: competing with Facebook…Like the proverbial hare confident enough in its lead to risk a brief nap, Google awoke from its social dreaming to find its front runner status in ads threatened”

  • Google was built up by the media for so long that it bought into its own hype. Google thought it was invisible – the king of the world. This all changed when the new kid arrived and now threatens Google’s ad revenue. Everything Google does now is centered on beating Facebook. Many Google employees have come out and admitted that there is an intense focus on beating Facebook at the company now. Google CEO Larry Page even said that if employees don’t like the new direction the company is going they can hit the road. Larry Page even threatened to cut off employee bonuses if they fail to beat Facebook – pitiful.

“Google could still put ads in front of more people than Facebook, but Facebook knows so much more about those people. Advertisers and publishers cherish this kind of personal information”

  • Advertisers love getting personal information about users because they can target advertisements at them. Facebook has a treasure trove of information. Google desperately wants personal data about its users now, which is why they introduced their new more intrusive privacy policy earlier this month. This is why they built their “social layer” called Google Plus. They want names, friends contact list, addresses, phone numbers, and other sensitive information from its users. If Google can successfully harvest personal data, they hope this will bring back advertisers. However, Google Plus has been a massive failure and Google is socially dumb.

Larry Page himself assumed command to right this wrong. Social became state-owned, a corporate mandate called Google+”

  • Basically, Larry Page’s obsession with beating Facebook destroyed the company.

“Officially, Google declared that “sharing is broken on the web” and nothing but the full force of our collective minds around Google+ could fix it.”

  • You gotta love the arrogance here. This is so Google ha-ha

“As it turned out, sharing was not broken. Sharing was working fine and dandy, Google just wasn’t part of it.”

  • If Google is not part of it, it must be broken! It must! It must! It must!!!!!

“A user exodus from Facebook never materialized. I couldn’t even get my own teenage daughter to look at Google+ twice”

  • I don’t know a single person who uses Google Plus. If asked, they would respond by saying ‘WTF is that?’

“Google was the rich kid who, after having discovered he wasn’t invited to the party, built his own party in retaliation. The fact that no one came to Google’s party became the elephant in the room.”

  • LOL – I have such a funny mental image of that. A spoiled brat who finally isn’t getting what he wants.

“I don’t click on ads. When Gmail displays ads based on things I type into my email message it creeps me out. I don’t want my search results to contain the rants of Google+ posters”

  • You’re not the only person who’s creeped out by those targeted ads. Recent research conducted by various independent groups has shown that majority of Internet users hate them and think it’s an invasion of privacy.

“The old Google made a fortune on ads because they had good content. It was like TV used to be: make the best show and you get the most ad revenue from commercials. The new Google seems more focused on the commercials themselves.”

  • Google changed and it’s time that people recognize this. I too have moved on from Google and good riddance. Thank you Mr. Whittaker for writing the truth about a great company that once was – until money and power corrupted it. Google’s internal culture has changed so much so that its once passionate employees are plotting their escape. The company has also fallen in the hearts and minds of its users worldwide.

 For more information:

James Whittaker’s Full Blog Post – click here

Business Insider, “Google has strayed from its ‘core principles’” – click here

SFGate, “Google’s Focus On Beating Facebook Is Wrecking The Company…” – click here

Business Insider, “Larry Page To Googlers: If You Don’t Like ‘Search Plus Your World,’ Hit The Road” – click here

The Guardian, “TV ad revenue hits record thanks to Google...” – click here

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Today Is World Day Against Cyber-Censorship

Big Brother 2004 (UK)

In 2008, Reporters Without Borders launched World Day Against Cyber-Censorship – it’s observed annually on the 12th day of March. To take part in this day, I thought it would be fitting and appropriate to expose the censorship Google is responsible for. Google is responsible for a whole lot of censorship of the Internet and abuses the trust people have in the company.

Internet freedom involves exchanging information with ease, it involves access to information, and it involves protection of information. Google is responsible for many infringements on privacy and personal freedoms on the Web. Google’s lack of privacy, reinforced with its new privacy policy, promotes self-censorship and surveillance of innocent people. Google rivals any sort of Government spying all over the world.

Google is one of the largest and most powerful companies in the world. Although Google is a company, we can think of it as a country. Its citizens are the millions of users who log in to and use its products every day. Googlians (the citizens of Google) barely have rights and they definitely have no freedoms. They are constantly being watched everywhere they go, their private messages are thoroughly examined, their sensitive data is kept on file indefinitely, they are in the dark about what Big Google knows about them, and they have no clue how to escape. Some Googlians are completely brainwashed and have taken orders from Big Google very seriously while they toe the line. Other Googlians are deeply concerned, but they’re demoralized and have accepted their fate – they see no way out.

But then there is a growing number of Googlians who are fighting back! They’ve had enough with the repressive conditions and the abuse. They are willing to fight against His Excellency Larry Page and his army of ‘Geeks’. The Google regime is a very difficult one to topple. They won’t go down without a fight and they are willing to fight dirty.

The best way to topple the regime is to spread knowledge and empower the citizens of Google! Tell them there is hope and there is a better way. You don’t have to accept substandard living conditions and the world will not all explode if the regime is toppled! Rise up, citizens of Google! Rise up and claim your rights!

Demand Big Google respect your privacy in your homes! Demand Big Google keep its greedy paws off your autumn harvest! Don’t let Big Google reap the benefits of your personal possessions – don’t let them enjoy the fruits of your labor without your full consent!

A wise and famous Googlian named Antoine Dobson once warned:

 “weeell – obviously –we have a Google data snatcher! He’s climbing in yo browser window, he’s snatching yo data up, and trying to track you! So y’all need to hide yo kid’s data, hide yo wife’s data, and hide yo husband’s data too– ‘cause I hear they’re targeting errbody up in here!”

The citizens of Google hope that Reporters Without Borders will seriously challenge Google, even though Google ironically sponsors the awards ceremony to honor courageous people who use the Internet to fight back. Let’s get serious about what Google is doing. Let’s get serious about the lack of privacy. Let’s get serious about surveillance of unsuspecting users. Let’s get serious about censorship described instead as “personalization”.

A recent Pew research survey showed that the vast majority of Internet users are deeply concerned about data harvesting, they reject creepy targeted ads, and they reject “personalized” searches. We need to hold Google accountable for what it is doing and educate people on ways they can better protect themselves. That same survey showed that people desperately want to protect themselves but they lack the tools or the know-how.

If Google succeeds in its missions to combat against “the faceless web” (as the company put it) then this will inevitably lead to the demise of personal freedoms. It will lead to coerced self-censorship, it will discourage self-expression, and it will erode Internet freedom. Google has no problem doing what it does as long as it can maximize profits. Google makes over 90% of its revenues from advertising – so the average user is always in the background to any decision-making. Advertisers are Google’s number one customer – the average user is just Google’s product.

Therefore, on this global day against cyber-censorship let’s join together against all violators of freedoms. It’s easy to point fingers at the most obvious guilty regimes around the world – but the exclusion of Google is irresponsible and hypocritical.

Reporters Without Borders website: please click here

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Google Fails To Convince The Public That Google Plus Isn’t A Failure

English: Google+ wordmark

A couple of days ago, I wrote about how Google’s latest attempt at social networking with the launch of Google Plus is a massive failure for the company. To catch up on that post, please click here

Okay, so yesterday Google responded to the embarrassing news about Google Plus by denying that it’s a virtual ghost town. Google vice president for engineering, Vic Gundotra, gave an interview with the New York Times. In this interview, Mr. Gundotra doesn’t really say anything new that we haven’t already heard from CEO Larry Page. I guess they haven’t learned from mistakes, so they will continue using the same lies to try to boost up their numbers. When one is desperate, they are willing to say and do anything.

Mr. Gundotra said that he has never seen anything at Google grow so fast as Google Plus. Hmm, perhaps – but has anything plummeted as fast as Google Plus? It’s true that Google Plus sign-up spiked by over a 1000% on the day of its public launch, but it soon almost completely died after a few days. After people satisfied their curiosity and saw that the product is absolutely useless, they hightailed out of there. It burned out so quickly.

Mr. Gundorta refused to give the New York Times any useful data that would indicate good health for Google Plus. He gave nothing to counter the Wall Street Journal’s reporting about the dismal user engagement on the site and said nothing about how people intertwine Google Plus has part of their daily routine.  This is what the New York Times wrote,

“About 50 million people who have created a Google Plus account actively use the company’s Google Plus-enhanced products daily, Mr. Gundotra said. Over a 30-day period, he said, that number is 100 million active users”

Google Plus-enhanced products”? WTF? What this means is that if somebody signs-up for a Google Plus account and that’s the only thing they ever do – it’s fine. As long as they are also still using other Google products and services, then it will still count as engagement on Google Plus. So if you use YouTube, you’re using Google Plus; if you use the search engine, you’re using Google Plus; if you use Gmail, you’re also using Google Plus.

Does Google think the public was born yesterday? Do you think we’re that stupid? Ha-ha. Only a really desperate company would try to boost up their numbers on a failed site by counting activity on a totally different site.  Just face it, Google Plus is yet another attempt at social networking that’s failed – and this one is a colossal failure.

Mr. Gundorta made sure to point out what Google is most proud of, which is “ad engagement” on all Google websites. He claims that socially recommended ads have a higher click-through rate, and this has been successful for Google. If a friend recommends a microwave to you, then research shows that you are more likely to click on an ad about that microwave. This is true; you are more likely take something more seriously if a friend recommends it to you. However, this doesn’t mean that Google Plus is successful in the least. All it means is that Google wants you to sign-up for a Google Plus account, give Google your friend contact list, and then start “+1-ing” (Google’s version of the Facebook “Like” button) anything you enjoy anywhere on the Internet. Those +1 buttons are pretty much everywhere. Google will then take that information and use it to serve your contacts advertisements. You basically become like a celebrity endorser of products – except you won’t have a multi-million dollar contract.

It’s so sad that Google cares so much about monetizing our personal information for huge profits and not, first and foremost, creating a great social atmosphere. Look, the reason why Google Plus sucks so much is because it’s a lousy product. Nobody I know uses Google Plus – nobody says “Hey, what’s your name on Google Plus? How can I find you on Google Plus? Let’s chat on Google Plus”. Ha-ha.

Google Plus is indeed a ghost town and nobody cares to ever use it. Even if Google can share your “+1s” with your friends to achieve higher click-through rates for ads – it won’t matter if there aren’t people “+1-ing” in the first place. Nobody is sharing anything on that lonesome site, which is why Google is hiding the real engagement numbers that matter.

Mr. Gundotra said,

“We have started the social engines at Google and we’re about to step on the gas”

Aww, how determined. Take your time stepping on that gas, Google. You already had about 9 months – take another 9 months if you must.

For more information:

New York Times, “Countering the Google Plus Image Problem” – click here

Mashable, “Google+ Enhanced Ads Are Up to 10% More Effective, Says Google” – click here

SFGate, “So THAT’S What Google+ Is Really About: Advertising (GOOG)” – click here

Atlantic Wire, “Google Fails to Convince People That Google+ Is Popular, Again” – click here

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36 US Attorneys General Tell Google To Stop Violating The Rights And Privacy Of Users

 Today, US Attorneys General from 36 states and territories have written a strongly worded letter to Google’s CEO, Larry Page. The letter expresses deep concern over plans by Google to gather all the personal data of its users across different services offered by the company and use it to figure you out more easily, which will dramatically further deteriorate your privacy.

The Attorneys General called Google’s lack of privacy “troubling” and they reminded Google that Internet users don’t want all their personal data harvested and monetized. Since consumers have diverse interests and needs, they should have the right to diversify themselves when using Google’s many different services, which include YouTube, Gmail, Google Search, Google Maps, Google Android smartphones, etc. Google does not allow for consumers to opt-out of this consolidation of their information, even though this is a fundamental right that should be respected by the company.

Google should allow users to opt-out of this change in Google’s privacy policies and terms of service. Google claims that they are only consolidating personal data to create a better experience for their users – but the Attorneys General don’t buy this argument one bit. The Attorneys General told Google if it was truly meant to make for a better experience – and not really meant to make it easier to sell users’ information to advertisers – then Google should have an opt-in option. Surely, if Google combining users’ personal data would somehow make for a better experience, then people would voluntarily opt-in.

“Your company claims that users of Google products will want their personal information shared in this way because doing so will enable your company to provide them with a ‘simple product experience that does what you need, when you want it to,’ among many other asserted benefits.  If that were truly the case, consumers would not only decline to opt out of the new privacy policy, but would freely opt in if given the opportunity. Indeed, an ‘opt-in’ option would better serve current users of Google products by enabling them to avoid subjecting themselves to the dramatically different privacy policy without their affirmative consent”

The Attorneys General also made sure to hit back at Google’s inconsiderate and nasty comment to those who criticized Google’s plans to combine users’ personal data. People who were criticizing the company for not providing an opt-out were told by Google to stop using Google’s services altogether. Google said that the ultimate opt-out was to quit Google’s services and that critics should accept the changes or get lost.

Although many would absolutely love to quit Google for good, it isn’t as easy as Google is making it out to seem and the company knows it. In hindsight, we know Google is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and that their famous motto “don’t be evil” was just used to make Google look good. Even the late CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, called Google’s unofficial motto (which, by the way, they dropped in 2009) “bulls**t”.  It’s too late for regrets now. We have created a monster and it’s definitely ALIVE!!!!!!

Google is so deeply embedded in our lives and pretty much has a monopoly on search. Since Google is able to reach millions of users all over the globe, it has enormous impact. Even if the most concerned users took steps to dump Google from their lives, Google will still have a hold on millions of unwitting victims of tracking. In addition, Google is present on websites not owned by the company via their tracking tools. Google places tracking devices on millions of websites all over the Internet and they know every one of those sites you have been on. What’s even worse is that even those who reject Google’s products are still targeted by Google. This past weekend we learned that Google deliberately bypassed security settings on Apple’s and Microsoft’s web browsers to track their users. It’s like it’s impossible to get away from this monster!

“This invasion of privacy will be costly for many users to escape. For users who rely on Google products for their business – a use that Google has actively promoted – avoiding this information sharing may mean moving their entire business over to different platforms, reprinting any business cards or letterhead that contained Gmail addresses, re-training employees on web-based sharing and calendar services, and more. The problem is compounded for the many federal, state, and local government agencies that have transitioned to Google Apps for Government at the encouragement of your company,and that now will need to spend taxpayer dollars determining how this change affects the security of their information and whether they need to switch to different platforms.”

It’s also expensive to escape Google. Google’s smarphone software, Android, is on an estimated 50% of all smartphones out there. People who purchased these Google powered phones did so under the impression that their personal information was going to be used in one way and now it’s going to be used in a different way. Google can’t reasonably expect these people to simply break their contracts and throw out their phones now that Google has plans to change their privacy policies. Google knows that these people’s personal information is “held hostage”.

Furthermore, the Attorneys General brought up another important point about the potential danger Google is risking in harvesting and combining personal data:

“Those consumers who remain in the Google ecosystem may be making more of their personal information vulnerable to attack from hackers and identity thieves. Our offices litigate cases of identity fraud with regularity and it seems plain to us that Google’s privacy policy changes, which suggest your company’s intent to create richer personal data profiles, pose the risk of much more damaging cases of identity theft and fraud when that data is compromised, a risk that will grow as instances of computer hacking grow. With this newly consolidated bank of personal data, we foresee potentially more severe problems arising from any data breach.”

The Attorneys General have asked Google to respond to their letter no later than February 29th, 2012. Google’s new privacy policy and terms of service takes effect on March 1st. Meanwhile, privacy advocacy groups have applauded the Attorneys General letter to Google today,

“We’re pleased the state attorneys general have weighed in on this important issue,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Policy director. “Google has spun the new polices as ‘improving user experience.’ In fact it’s about amassing even greater digital dossiers about you. You’re not Google’s customer, you’re Google’s product.”

The states and territories signing on to this letter include: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, N. Mariana Islands, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, the Virgin Islands, and Washington.

To read the Attorneys General letter in its entirety, click here (PDF file)

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Consumer Advocacy Group Wants Google’s Larry Page To Stop Hiding From Congress

Approximately two weeks ago, I wrote about how Congress grilled Google over its plans to more intrusively harvest the personal information of its users and the changes to its privacy policies, which are due to take effect on the 1st of March.

discussed in that posting, which I titled “American Congress Grills Google Over Privacy“, how there was a bipartisan effort made by several lawmakers who were very concerned about Google’s actions and what it means for vulnerable Americans everywhere in the country (click here).

The lawmakers, led primarily by Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif and by Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D- N C, sent a strongly-worded letter to Google in late January to ask for the CEO of Google, Larry Page, to come to a hearing to justify the actions of his company. However, Mr. Page refused to attend himself and instead sent two executives from Google to take his place to answer questions back in Thursday, February 2nd.

 Who knows why exactly Mr. Page felt that he did not need to go himself even though he is the founder and head of his company. I have written here before that Mr. Page has an awkward and quite suspicious aversion to giving interviews, so much so that in one particular year he only allocated 8 hours in total for interviews to the media. Now, it might be that this man just doesn’t like the spotlight on him, but skipping an important hearing before lawmakers to answer critical questions regarding privacy is unacceptable. Period.

Anyhow, Mr. Page’s minions, who were asked to take his place, ended up failing their mission. After an intense two hour meeting with the lawmakers it did little to alleviate concerns – in fact, it actually made things worse. In an interview after the hearing, Rep. Mary Bono Mack spoke to the media where she said that the Google executives were not “forthcoming” with their responses to questions and that she was left confused and more concerned than she was going into the meeting. She even suggested that people stop using Google services altogether “if Google goes too far”.

And now, in a letter made public today, a non-profit advocacy group called Consumer Watchdog has sent a letter to those same lawmakers to ask CEO Larry Page to appear before a committee “to explain his company’s disingenuous statements about its supposed commitment to users’ privacy.”  Yesterday, I wrote an article on here myself where I also pointed out how Google has a problem with telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth (click here). The letter goes on to say,

“As Google’s chief executive, the buck stops with Mr. Page. He should be called to explain the difference between his underlings’ statements and the company’s actions, particularly the recently announced change in Google’s privacy policy and how it handles user data across its services…Google’s practices affect millions of Americans. Google is so dominant on the Internet that for many people Google is the Internet…You must not allow Google to escape legitimate privacy concerns by sending underlings whose high-sounding pledges prove to be empty or whose answers prove insufficient…It is the chief executive who is ultimately responsible for the company’s behavior”

Consumer Watchdog wants the meeting to be made public so that everybody can witness and directly hear what Google has to say. The group also agrees with another privacy advocacy group, The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), in arguing that Google violated its consent agreement with the Federal Trade Commission.

For more information on this story, please click here.

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Google Receives No Love From Their Peers And The Public

According to a recent survey of American adults, an overwhelming number of them do not approve of the personalization of searches and the privacy violations that result from it. Tech website, Search Engine Land, summarized the survey data produced by Ask Your Target Market, which was released in a report available this week.

The first question asked of those surveyed was to find out whether or not they used Google and how often they use the search engine: 38% indicated that they always use Google while others answered differently.

Now here is where it gets interesting, when asked if they like the idea of personalized searches and their personal information from Google Plus being used in search results, an overwhelming number of people responded negatively to it: 45.4% said they think everybody should see the same results, 39.1% said they were concerned about privacy, and only 15.5% approved of Google’s plans to decrease privacy and decrease objectivity in searches.

In another question to the participants of the survey, they were asked if they use Google’s social networking site called Google Plus (which is basically a copycat knockoff of Facebook): 60.4% said they did not even know what Google Plus was or indicated they were not interested in creating an account; 20.3% said they had an account created but hardly ever used the site; and finally only 19.3% responded by indicating they do use it.

They also asked them if they would use Google Plus if they knew their personal social information was going to be included publically in search results – the vast majority did not approve.  Interesting survey.

In other news, late last month, the tech community had their equivalence of the Oscars. The sixth annual Crunchies Awards brought together community members from Silicon Valley to pat each other on the back. There was much love to be exchanged – except for Google, which was shunned and in one incidence even booed.

Harris Whittels, who was the host for the evening, poked fun at Google. He put up a slide showing the logo of Google Buzz (Google’s failed attempt at social networking which resulted in lawsuits, millions in damages, and a 20 year consent order with the Federal Trade Commission for violating users’ privacy) crossed out and an arrow pointing to Google Plus.

The host went on to mock Google’s CEO, Larry Page, by comparing him to Siri (an intelligent software assistant acquired by Apple which can listen to your voice and speak back to you): “What’s the difference between Siri and Larry Page? Siri has a personality”.

San Francisco Chronicle’s article, “No love for Google at the Crunchies this year”, click here

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American Congress Grills Google Over Privacy

 Google is receiving no love from American lawmakers and representative in Congress. On Thursday January 26th eight lawmakers sent a letter to Google to demand more answers to questions regarding Google’s privacy policy. The bipartisan effort is backed by: Republican signatories representatives Cliff Stearns, Joe Barton and Marsha Blackburn. Democratic signatories were representatives Edward Markey, Henry Waxman, Dianne DeGette, G.K. Butterfield, and Jackie Speier, who has introduced privacy legislation.

The letter said:

“While Google suggests that the purpose of this shift in policy is to make the consumer experience simpler, we want to make sure it does not make protecting consumer privacy more complicated”

In a separate strongly-worded letter, by Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif and also signed by Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D- N C, the CEO of Google Larry Page was asked to appear before Congress to answer questions regarding privacy. This is part of what the letter contained:

“These changes might not otherwise be troubling but for one significant change to your terms of service: Google will not permit users to opt out of this information collection and sharing across platforms and devices. Denying users an option to opt out of sharing their information across platforms and devices that they may otherwise strive to keep separate . . . appears to significantly reduce the spirit and substance of ‘meaningful choice.’ “

Google responded to the letter by agreeing to testify before Congress on Thursday, February 2nd, 2012. However, the CEO of Google, Larry Page, declined to go himself – he opted to send two executives from Google instead. Google deputy general counsel Mike Yang and public policy director Pablo Chavez were given the task to appear in a closed-door meeting.

This secretive meeting angered consumer advocacy groups who felt that the meeting should have been opened to the public. Non-profit group Consumer Watchdog said this about the closed-door meeting:

“Your investigation into Google’s practices that affect millions of Americans should be public. There is a substantial irony in a secret briefing from a company that claims its mission is to organize the world’s information and make it more accessible. Allowing Google to give secret briefings does not serve the committee nor the public interest. One can only wonder what Google has to hide”

Despite the efforts of the consumer advocacy group, the meeting happened under closed-door. Regardless, the Google executives were grilled for two hours about important privacy issues and by the end of the meeting, the lawmakers were even more concerned, disturbed, and confused by Google’s intentions. Rep. Mary Bono Mack said:

“At the end of the day, I don’t think their answers to us were very forthcoming necessarily in what this really means for the safety of our families and our children”

She even went on to suggest that if Google continues to not give users adequate protection of their personal information they should stop using Google services “if Google goes too far”.

I highly recommend you read the full interview  for yourself, click here

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Google Thinks It Can Solve Its Problems By Throwing Money At It

You have got to read this article detailing how Google employees are seeing the writing on the wall and are leaving their jobs to begin careers with Facebook: click here

CEO Larry Page is so desperate to beat Facebook that he is dangling bonuses over employee heads. If Google Plus does not work, employees can say bye bye to their bonuses. Ouch! Head over here to read more.

It does not seem like many people over at Google believe in their own product too much. Even top executives at Google do not use Google Plus – how embarrassing. It’s not just innocent Internet users who have to be tricked into and forced into using Google services, even Google employees have to be forced while kicking and screaming. Click here to learn more.

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