How Quickly We Forget: Google's Competitors Falsely Claim Google Dominates Because It Was 'First'

from the history-lesson dept

Well, the second part of the Senate's anti-Google hearings have wrapped up, and like the first part, they seemed pretty misguided. It was a lot of repeating things about how Google is big. There were some reasonable points that do bear more scrutiny, concerning some of Google's business dealings with partners, but, on the whole, people seemed to be making a big deal out of nothing.

For example, one Senator continually quizzed WSGR lawyer Susan Creighton over whether or not Google "scraped" content. Creighton seemed to stumble over the question, but the proper answer is of course it does, because that's how search engines work. Yelp's CEO Jeremy Stoppelman complained about Google taking the same content it indexed for search, and then using it elsewhere. But no one mentioned the basic concept of fair use. If it's a problem for Google to scrape and use content -- as was implied repeatedly in the hearing -- doesn't that make any search engine illegal?

But, the most ridiculous testimony came from Thomas Barnett, a lawyer for Covington & Burling, who was representing a bunch of Google competitors who put together an operation called FairSearch. When asked about whether or not Google was a monopoly player, Barnett flat out lied, claiming that Google is dominant and can't be unseated "because it got there first."

Woah!

I know they say that the history books are written by the winners, but this seems like a case where the history books are being revised by the losers. Anyone who was actually paying attention when Google came on the scene thought Google was a joke. The search engine market was locked up and there was no room for competition. We had Altavista, Lycos, Inktomi, Excite and a few others as well. People thought Google was a crazy idea. Who would possibly enter the search market -- especially since Yahoo really seemed to have the market wrapped up (without its own search engine, but partnering with Altavista and Inktomi, before later partnering with Google)? It was a dead business.

Google wasn't first. It was seriously late to the party.

And that's really the point that's important here. Markets that look locked up in the tech/internet world very rarely stay locked up for long. Five years ago, MySpace absolutely dominated the social networking space. Where are they today? Ten years ago, Yahoo was the dominant destination site. Fifteen years ago AOL was how people got on the internet. Fifteen years ago, Netscape was how you surfed the web. All of these players were dominant with huge market share. How are they all doing today? Which one needed government regulation to break their hold on the market? Things change. Markets change. Rewriting history and bitching about Google because it's big misses the point. If Google does bad things, there are hundreds of entrepreneurs out there just waiting to take parts of the market away from the company.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    The Buzz Saw (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 2:45pm

    Don't forget

    Being first to market does grant a significant advantage. However, if someone comes along and does your job better, prepare for competition!

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 2:49pm

    Yes But

    "...but this seems like a case where the history books are being revised by the losers."
    I like that, and will likely re-use it somewhere in the future.

    There's no point in being upset--the shadow puppets are just reading their scripts, playing their roles.

    Just ask yourself the standard crime investigation questions:
    Who has the opportunity?
    Who stands to benefit?
    Who has the money?

    These are generally easy to pull apart--you can start & end with "follow the money" as the other questions will be answered in answering only that one. Or, more succinctly: It was never about "justice" or fairness or any of the other ballyhoo they're going to trot out.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 2:51pm

    Re: Don't forget

    IMO you should prepare for competition before somone comes along and does your job better.

     

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  4.  
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    Jeffhole (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 2:52pm

    god damnit...

    Whether or not it's the area in which they do the most suing, having lawyers give testimony on the search industry is like me writing a story on my dogs opinions on the current state of research in the field of particle physics. Yeah, they went to college. Yeah, they work a lot. Yeah, they generate a lot of paper. None of that means they know what in the fuck they're talking about.

    This week on will it blend: lawyers. Result: yes.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 2:52pm

    Re: Re: Don't forget

    *someone

     

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  6.  
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    Jay (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 2:56pm

    What's amazing to me about the hearings...

    Why does everyone act as if there were no search engines before Google came along?

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:01pm

    "Google wasn't first."

    Don't let facts get in the way of a good hearing.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:03pm

    So I've never been to a hearing like this, and know very little about it...but did no one laugh? Really? Wouldn't this argument of Google being first have been handily dealt with via a hearty guffaw?

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:06pm

    Re: Don't forget

    The lawyers want a search engine ran by lawyers. They want their search engine to be profitable. Since lawyers make terrible engineers, in order for them to make any money, they need the government to grant them monopoly power.

    How else are lawyers going to get paid? Will someone please think of the lawyer!!!!

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:07pm

    Re: Re: Don't forget

    lawyers *

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:07pm

    I used HotBot for a long time before Google.

     

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  12.  
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    DCX2, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:07pm

    Re:

    Why does everyone act like there were no smart phones or mp3 players before Apple came along?

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:09pm

    I used Altavista

     

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  14.  
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    Craig, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:12pm

    Google too big? What about the banks?

    We get hearings on why Google is too dominate but not about the banks that are "too big to fail" and how they dominate the financial system. Where are the trust busters when we need them?

     

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  15.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:12pm

    Re: Re: Oranges

    Very true. Apple was a long way from being first to market, what they were was best to market--at least from the 'User Experience' perspective.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:13pm

    Re:

    So I've never been to a hearing like this, and know very little about it...

    C-SPAN video of the Google hearing.

     

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  17.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:13pm

    Re: god damnit...

    This week on will it blend: lawyers.
    AAHH!! Where are the US Marshall's now? Please stop this insanity. First it's the corrupt, now it's the lawyers. What's next, patriots and tyrants?
    The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
    Oh. Curse you Thomas Jefferson!

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:13pm

    Re:

    Pretty sure it is "hasta la vista"

     

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  19. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    out_of_the_blue, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:14pm

    30 years ago, Microsoft was the big bad, now look...

    Just a quick counterexample to your Pollyanna view in yet another Google support piece. But I'm sure you're objective even though Google pays you.

     

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  20.  
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    Jay (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:15pm

    Re:

    I used Netscape before it turned into this evil monstrosity .

    and who could forget askjeeves?

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:18pm

    Re: 30 years ago, Microsoft was the big bad, now look...

    Money is irrelevant. Look at you, you're horribly biased, and you do it pro bono.

     

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  22.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:26pm

    Re: Re:

    Teh relevant bit is at 2:08:30, but Barnett starts speaking about 2:07:45. He's an idiot.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:27pm

    Re: Don't forget

    ...or if your own government forces you to be less you can prepare for competition too.

    Baidu! Baidu! Baidu!

    We all will need to learn mandarin is that not marvelous?

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:28pm

    Re: 30 years ago, Microsoft was the big bad, now look...

    I'm not sure you know how counter-examples work.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:29pm

    Re:

    Because for them there were no search engines before Google, for them there was no internet before Google, you are talking about people who lived under a rock here.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:32pm

    Re: 30 years ago, Microsoft was the big bad, now look...

    Except that Microsoft was really, really bad, didn't you read Gates emails?

     

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  27.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Doh, The is what I meant. Not Teh.

    Also, he states that Google is quickly becoming a monopoly in mobile operating systems. Where the heck is the O Rly owl on this one? I like Android, and it's market share is certainly increasing, but to say it's quickly becoming a monopoly in mobile operating systems, along with his other doozy about Google being first, it's obvious this guy either doesn't have a clue, or is willing to lie through his teeth. Neither option looks good. Maybe he's there as the court jester.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:33pm

    I have no doubts that once the original founders of Google retire and the lawyers get in Google will turn into shit, but for today Google is not that bad.

     

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  29.  
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    Mike42 (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:44pm

    Re:

    I used HotBot, then AltaVista, then Dogpile. Each had the flaw of being quickly skewed by people gaming their algorithims. Now, after many years, Google is being skewed as well. I can rarely find a valid link for my coding issues, and that normally spells the end of an engine.
    It's funny to see this hearing now that Google is about to lose it's search edge. Maybe they'll "tweak" the engine again...

     

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  30.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:49pm

    Re: Don't forget

    It can, but often the advantage is insignificant. Over my years in the software biz, I've seen many independent research reports [citation needed] indicating in the vast majority of cases, being the first to produce a new product is a bad thing and leads to going out of business (there's even an old saw about this: the pioneers get all the arrows). The sweet position is to be the second or third one to market.

    The reason is pretty simple: it takes significant resources and effort to bring something truly new to market. The second-comers don't have to expend much of that effort and can instead put the effort into making the thing better.

    As Mike frequently says, and he's 100% correct in this, it's all about the execution, not the idea. Ideas are a dime a dozen. Good execution is rare and difficult.

     

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  31.  
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    The Incoherent One (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:56pm

    Yahoo, Infoseek, Lycos. These were all hugely popular prior to Google's dominance. And even before Google was an option. There success was driven by the fact that they were simply better at it than there competitors, and to this day I think that to be true.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 4:00pm

    Re:

    Bah, you kids and your newfangled search engines! In MY day, we found out about websites by buying books of URLs from the bookstore! We hand-typed addresses into Netscape Navigator, and we were glad for it!

    (Seriously, back in the dialup days I had this phone book-sized book of websites. I used AltaVista later, but eventually I got sick of how cluttered their main page was, same as everyone else that used them. Then one day I heard about a new search engine called "Google"...)

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 4:05pm

    Re: 30 years ago, Microsoft was the big bad, now look...

    Does it matter if mike is on the google payroll for this?

    He's still right either way.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 4:05pm

    Does the U.S. government do any good for citizens?

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 4:08pm

    Re: Re:

    I asked him ten years ago, I'm still waiting for Jeeves to get back to me

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Google released android under apache 2.0(linux bits are still GPL of course), thatmeans google doesn't have a monopoly on android itself and thus no monopoly on the wider smartphoneOS industry.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 4:13pm

    Re: Re:

    Sorry, I'll get those crazy kids off your lawn.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 4:17pm

    I was watching the hearing on C-Span

    http://www.c-span.org/Events/Google-Exec-Testifies-Before-Congress/10737424248-1/

    One thing that really upset me is the fact that they threw all this data at Google without giving Google the opportunity to pre study the data. How can you expect Google to respond to data, statistics, and studies it has not even had the chance to read?

    That's not how court hearings work. Both parties are allowed the opportunity to study the evidence. Why is this senate meeting so different?

    and I seem to somewhat understand Google's responses, but they seem to have flue over the senators head.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 4:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    (If you're allergic to RMS's point of view, then stop reading now and do your own research.)

    Is Android really free software?” by Richard Stallman, September 19, 2011:

    Google has complied with the requirements of the GNU General Public License for Linux, but the Apache license on the rest of Android does not require source release. Google has said it will never publish the source code of Android 3.0 (aside from Linux), even though executables have been released to the public. Android 3.1 source code is also being withheld. Thus, Android 3, apart from Linux, is non-free software, pure and simple.

     

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  40.  
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    crade (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 4:18pm

    I used lycos, which worked just fine to begin with, and eventually got overrun with crappy ads. Then dogpile, which gave good results but had a shitty interface. I must admit, though, google has been getting worse lately. wtf.

     

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  41.  
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    JEDIDIAH, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 4:36pm

    Not the same thing at all.

    So? We're conflating Google and Microsoft now are we?

    Have you used an alternative to Windows or Office today?

    I can do that in 2 seconds with Google.

    It's simply not the same thing. Google offers a commodity product using open standards and platform agnostic interfaces. You can defect to another search engine right now before I am done with this post and then defect to yet another before I am done with it.

    Google doesn't have the same kind of vendorlock.

    Microsoft is Hotel California.

     

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  42.  
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    B's Opinion Only (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 4:37pm

    Google who?

    I remember short years ago thinking Lycos was the be-all, end-all. Artificial Intelligence had been achieved. All of mankind's knowledge was now available. There was nothing more to invent. Period.

    Then Alta Vista came along...

    Who is this Google of which you speak??!

     

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  43.  
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    umb231 (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 4:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    err. I could be wrong, but if I remember correctly, android 2.1 2.2 and 2.3 are all freely available, and Google has said ice cream sandwich (2.4 or 4.0, depending on what they number it) will be freely available too. So taking 3.0/3.1 (which google specifically said was an exception to the rule) only and claiming Android as a whole is not free is misleading at best.
    There's more issues to it as google has certain apps it requires on the phone to be associated with Google, and most wireless providers are requiring phone manufacturers be compliant with google's association because they want google's apps. But that's not google dictating on it's own.

     

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  44.  
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    kyle clements (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 4:49pm

    Re: Re:

    I thought that was the whole point of "plus one". Humans upvote valid content and ignore link-spam.

    WE are tweaking the engine.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 4:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    ...claiming Android as a whole is not free is misleading...


    “Android as a whole” includes all of Android?

    Yes or no?

    “Android as a whole” is just a part of Android, but not all of it.

    Yes or no?

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 4:56pm

    Re:

    Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota) needs to be voted out of office ASAP!!! Her main focus during this anti trust meeting was on intellectual property and the need to enforce copy protection laws. Can you imagine that? An anti-trust meeting focusing on the the need to enforce a government established monopoly. It's OK to accuse Google of anti-trust violations for doing absolutely nothing wrong, but it's not OK to question the century long monopolies that the government wrongfully establishes.

    Vote this person out of office. Any politician who's primary focus is not to fix IP law in the right direction needs to be put on a voter black list and voted out of office ASAP!!! Unbelievable.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 4:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm aware of this issue, but gingerbread and older version are still free to use. Claiming they have a monopoly on even android is still false for this reason.

    Plus, isn't android 3 the tablet version and not the phone one?

     

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  48.  
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    freak (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 5:02pm

    Re:

    The popular engines are the ones attacked by spammers, of course.

     

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  49.  
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    The Incoherent One (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 5:03pm

    Re: Re: 30 years ago, Microsoft was the big bad, now look...

    *tips hat

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 5:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    He should ask everyone who has an iphone in the room to raise their hands.

    (Anyone remember that move of Boise(?) from the Microsoft Monopoly trial? it was brilliant)

     

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  51.  
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    The Incoherent One (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 5:05pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Jeeves quit. Something about not be able to fake that accent anymore. As he walked away he muttered that his name was Thomas too. Who knew.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 5:11pm

    Re:

    And what bothers me about the whole underlying assumption behind this whole hearing is the idea that someone is entitled to a high Google search ranking.

    The hearing talks about a loss in ranking as "costing" a business money. Their ranking went down, it just cost them x dollars. The underlying assumption is that the business is entitled to such a high ranking to begin with.

    No one is even entitled a spot on Google's search engine. It's Google's search engine, they can promote or ignore whoever they want. If Google wants to promote their own brands, I see nothing wrong with that. For years, other companies like Disney have done cross promotion on television, theme parks, radio, etc... and the government never did much (is it that these other companies provide/have provided politicians with more in campaign contributions?). Google doesn't even have access to creating its own television programs and broadcasting them on cable channels, radio, and broadcasted television stations, so they can hardly be even considered cross promoting. Yet we have big media companies that control a huge promotion of all of these information delivery platforms, it costs the consumer a lot (the U.S. offers inferior Internet access at higher prices than most other countries thanks to the government establishment of monopoly power) yet the government does absolutely nothing about that.

    Why is it when Google suddenly promotes its own brand, it's a big deal?

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 5:12pm

    Re: Re:

    huge proportion *

    many other countries (not most, sorry).

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 5:21pm

    Re: 30 years ago, Microsoft was the big bad, now look...

    Just because MS pays you to troll here, doesn't mean that Google pays Mike. You need to ask your corporate masters for a new talking point on this subject, because that one is just pathetic.

     

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  55.  
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    Lorenzo, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 5:27pm

    Re: Re:

    Sorry but umm... why is mozilla evil now?

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 5:31pm

    Re: Re:

    hasta la vista was another search engine but for cracks roms and warez etc

     

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  57.  
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    Nick Coghlan (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 5:43pm

    Re:

    Yes. See http://www.republicanslovegovernment.com/

    It's dangerous thinking to fall into the trap of believing that anarchy would necessarily be preferable to even a dysfunctional central government.

     

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  58.  
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    Bill W (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 5:43pm

    Have you looked at blekko.com? Awful name but a "could be" competitor to Google.

    Who says Google has it locked up? They are living in a dark box.

     

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  59.  
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    Dave, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 5:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Don't forget

    liars *

     

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  60.  
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    Dave, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 5:48pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    /sigh. Yeah. Good times.

     

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  61.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 5:50pm

    Re: Re:

    The hearing talks about a loss in ranking as "costing" a business money. Their ranking went down, it just cost them x dollars. The underlying assumption is that the business is entitled to such a high ranking to begin with.


    That bothered me, too. But for a different reason.

    A few senators hearing at that hearing, Klobuchar, in particular, seemed rather upset that Google wasn't providing “certainty” to businesses. The underlying presupposition is that Google is supposed to work for businesses.

    And I was thinking “But what about users?” Apparently not important to Klobuchar.

    That is, a few senators seemed all upset that Google wasn't screwing the voters over hard enough.

     

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  62.  
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    Dave, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 5:56pm

    Re: 30 years ago, Microsoft was the big bad, now look...

    Pollyanna! Wow, my kids haven't seen that one! Now. Where to watch. Hmmm... not on Netflix instant. Should I go here or here?

     

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  63.  
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    abc gum, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 6:10pm

    Monopoly in search? - LOL

     

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  64.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 6:14pm

    Re: Re:

    Ah the internet phone book I had one of those!

     

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  65.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 6:17pm

    Re: Re:

    Because to many there were no smartphones and MP3 players before the iPod and iPhone. That's not fact, but perception. Also keep in mind that to many, Google *was* their first (and in their mind, the first) browser. Makes sense that the lawyers would use this to their advantage. Doesn't make it accurate or factual, but I see where they're going there.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 6:44pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's not Gogle's, or the governments, job to provide for job security (ie: certainty). This isn't communism/socialism. A system where governments act to provide for certainty/job security is a system destined to fail. Companies need to know that if they don't provide for consumers, they will fail. When a government provides for job security, then companies are freer not to innovate and not to provide consumers with a better product at a cheaper price.

     

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  67.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 7:33pm

    I think this should explain it perfectly...

    "Sorry but umm... why is mozilla evil now?"

    Because they have bigger balls than Google. And you know what happens when you get "bigness". Everyone's looking to take you down a peg.

    It doesn't matter that it's non profit. It doesn't matter if they happen to be a great browser that I use after SRWare Iron.

    No, they're evil because everyone knows it's popular. Suck on that, Netscape!

     

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  68.  
    icon
    David Muir (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 7:50pm

    I look at this hearing and I recall other hearings I've watched where I had far less knowledge about the subject. I wonder how often people get burned by the government for doing absolutely nothing wrong but being called to task for it by politicians with puppetmasters pulling their strings.

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 8:01pm

    Re: Ah the internet phone book I had one of those!

    Did they ever do an e-book version?

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Narg, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 8:11pm

    Of course Google changes the search results

    I don't get the question about Google "rigging" the results. Of course they do. To push their own products. Asking them to do otherwise would be like asking Wal Mart to advertise for Target. Stupid, just plain stupid.

     

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  71.  
    icon
    Marah Marie (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 8:31pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Because Firefox is so bloated. Last night my copy was using 1.4GB of RAM on three tabs (I screencapped it doing so for posterity): one was on a tech article and two were on Dreamwidth. I only have 2GB of RAM to give for my browser, I mean my country, I mean to run all of my Windows. I mean seriously, *that's* just plain evil. I don't know what's happened to Firefox but it's getting harder and harder to run on less than a bajillion gigs of RAM.

    But as for evil otherwise? I'm not sure why anyone would say so. So they partner with Google - I'm not sure if that's evil, but if it is, you can always switch search engines.

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Marc Dupree, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 8:32pm

    Yelp

    You missed the point on Yelp.
    Google licensed Yelp reviews (which were blocked by the public). After the license expired, Google used them anyway and told Yelp, that was the only choice, or to get kicked out of the index. That is the active of a monopolist.

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 8:55pm

    What is funny is if you were actually around for the "start of the internet" you would understand that Google was in fact "first".

    Google was the first to actually cache a page in a manner that the cached page could be accessed. Google was the first to scrape images, to scrape and sort news stories, and so on.

    The differences in the way Google obtained, stored, and manipulated both data (page content) and images was unique. They were literally first.

     

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  74.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 9:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, Android isn't free.

    They pay Microsoft for the privilege

     

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  75.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 9:20pm

    Re: 30 years ago, Microsoft was the big bad, now look...

    Did Larry and Sergey beat you up at school or something? Your hatred of Google borders on pathological.

     

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  76.  
    icon
    G Thompson (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 9:42pm

    Re:

    Are you talking about the start of the internet being the WWW, or ARPANET?

    Google was NOT the first to cache (or actually index) pages, Google was definitely not the first to index images and create thumbnails from them, and google was definitely not the first to index, sort (which is part of indexing) or so called 'scrape' news items.

    The only main thing Google did first was the process of Ranking pages based on how many other pages linked back to them, they looked at the many to many relationships that each unique page had compared to the whole. That was the unique, and using database relational theory and models the most efficient normalisation, point that Google brought to the market.

    They might be the first in the way they manipulated data, but that's like saying Toyota was the first to come up with the slogan "Oh what a feeling", it doesn't mean anything in the context of what the question was.

    They are stating that Google was the first Search Engine, and I suspect so are you.

    Gopher, Archie, Wandex, and the major precursor to Google et.al and what we equate indexing/crawling to today, 'Webcrawler' disagree.

     

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  77.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 10:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    OPERA BITCHES

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    identicon
    Tom, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 10:34pm

    It doesn't matter...

    Google has a monopoly on search. In nearly every country except paranoid, totalitarian regimes like China -- who control access to the Internet with an iron fist -- Google has worked to embed itself in browsers, on the desktop, on mobile phones, etc. There is no credible competition to Google in online search and advertising. Google decides where its competitors will place in search rankings through opaque, proprietary algorithms. Google gives its own properties preference in the rankings (and anybody who disputes that is a moron or a liar or a toady fanboy/employee). It doesn't matter how Google obtained the monopoly. What matters is that it can't be allowed to leverage that monopoly to strangle other markets. Which it most assuredly will do, if given the opportunity.

    I'm going to make a few predictions (and you will find that I'm probably right here). Google search will be ruled a monopoly in federal court. It will eventually be regulated as a utility. The court will appoint a special master who will oversee Google's search algorithms. Page rankings will be required to be impartial and policy-free. Google will not be permitted to prevent Android adopters from using alternative search engines by default. Google will not be allowed to link directly to its own products from the search engine. Google will be required to disclose any proprietary web services linked to its search engine and used by its properties. Google will not be permitted to enter into exclusionary contracts relating to search (e.g. Google Books). Google will be required to give desktop users an obvious and visible choice (like EU's Browser Choice) of which search engine to use. Etc, etc.

    This is going to happen. It doesn't matter how much money Google spreads around. It's gotten too big, and the world knows it.

    I don't hate Google. I just want a level playing field. And this nonsense that Google is "afraid that users will switch" is a pathetic canard.

     

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  79.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 11:21pm

    Re: Re:

    Indexing isn't a new game. What Google did that changed the game was two fold: actually fully caching the pages, and scraping the content off of those pages for further indexing.

    The scraping of news items, the scraping of image content was new and unique in that it wasn't the original intention of a search engine, but rather an outcrop of the unique way the Google collected and cached content.

    A fed B that fed C and so on.

    Gopher, Archie, and so many others were mostly "human made indexes" (think early Yahoo, example). You submitted your pages to them, and then they "indexed" them. Recursive botting of websites was considered very unwelcome at the time, a quick way to get a call placed to your university's IT department to shut down your "project".

    The earlier search engine bots (Hotbot, Alta Vista, Excite, etc) we all very superficial, and often did not do recursive searches, and required user submission of pages for inclusion. As I mentioned before, Yahoo was a "human made index" based on user submissions.

    Google changed that with massive and endless recursive botting, which is why they could scrape so much content. Basically, before Google, search engines were fairly superficial, easily gamed, and rarely "self supporting", failing to have very much depth in their indexes (mostly pointing to index pages, and not taking inside pages unless "invited".

    Back in the day, search engine submission (actually visiting individual submit pages for each SE) was a major job for website owners. Google changed all of that, effectively making submissions meaningless, replaced instead with a social voting of ranked linking (which has it's own issues).

    So yeah, Google was first.

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 11:38pm

    Re: Re: 30 years ago, Microsoft was the big bad, now look...

    To be fair, he seems to just hate everyone.

     

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  81.  
    icon
    BeeAitch (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 11:39pm

    Re: Re:

    I, too had an "internet phone book" that I maintained for myself. To further show my age, I remember giving up on netscape and going back to lynx for a while because netscape was too slow for my taste.

     

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  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 11:40pm

    Re: It doesn't matter...

    No.

     

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  83.  
    icon
    tracker1 (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 11:43pm

    StackOverflow

    I tend to just search stackoverflow for coding questions first. I also will use google with the site:hostname parameter. It does work very well. I don't know what languages/platforms you are using, but rarely see much spammy stuff in the top 10.

     

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  84.  
    icon
    tracker1 (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 11:51pm

    Re:

    there's always duckduckgo as well...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Hmmm?, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 1:11am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I see where they're going there too - complete lies to the ignorant :D

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 1:19am

    Re: It doesn't matter...

    Google has a monopoly on search.

    I don't think you know what that word means.

    I'm going to make a few predictions (and you will find that I'm probably right here). Google search will be ruled a monopoly in federal court. It will eventually be regulated as a utility. The court will appoint a special master who will oversee Google's search algorithms. Page rankings will be required to be impartial and policy-free. Google will not be permitted to prevent Android adopters from using alternative search engines by default. Google will not be allowed to link directly to its own products from the search engine. Google will be required to disclose any proprietary web services linked to its search engine and used by its properties. Google will not be permitted to enter into exclusionary contracts relating to search (e.g. Google Books). Google will be required to give desktop users an obvious and visible choice (like EU's Browser Choice) of which search engine to use. Etc, etc.

    That sounds awful from a user standpoint, frankly. I don't want a bureaucrat determining if Google can improve its search results. I want Google to be able to react quickly. I don't want things like Google maps to not be available via Google. I rely on that kind of integration all the time to get stuff done.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 1:58am

    Re: Re: Re: 30 years ago, Microsoft was the big bad, now look...

    No, just Mike. He's one of the pathetic contrarians who seems to just *have* to oppose him on everything he writes, usually throwing in false accusations, name calling or ad hom attacks in the process. This one just happens to provide a name, unlike the anonymous ones.

     

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  88.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 2:15am

    Re: It doesn't matter...

    Wow, so much fail...

    "Google has a monopoly on search"

    No it doesn't. Anybody can switch at any time simply by entering an address into their browser, and they're spoilt for choice.

    "There is no credible competition to Google in online search and advertising"

    There *is* competition. How "credible" you find it is a matter of opinion, but there are clear competitors to virtually everything it does.

    "It will eventually be regulated as a utility."

    That would be a weird choice, but wouldn't that mean that every other company that does the same thing would need to be regulated as such?

    "Page rankings will be required to be impartial and policy-free."

    How would this be achieved, given that page rankings are usually determined by factors outside of Google's control, even if you believe some of the conspiracy theories? This would also backfire in some pretty spectacular ways eventually.

    "Google will not be permitted to prevent Android adopters from using alternative search engines by default"

    The government having a direct say in how a company builds its own software? Yeah, that will be a positive move... Should they also be stopping Apple from building iOS with its restrictions, or are you only interested in attacking Google?

    "Google will be required to give desktop users an obvious and visible choice (like EU's Browser Choice) of which search engine to use"

    A horrible idea, and this is both unworkable (how does Google enforce this on anything other than Chrome and Android?) and unnecessary (Chrome already gives you a choice when you first run it).

    "I don't hate Google. I just want a level playing field."

    Yet, everything you suggested is to cripple Google in favour of its competitors, most of whom have failed to overtake them for very good reasons (looking at you, Bing). At best, you're looking to kill some of the usefulness of Google so that inferior services can catch up. At worst, it's a horrible precedent, where any company that becomes successful in its field stands to be punished.

     

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  89.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 2:32am

    Re: Re: Ah the internet phone book I had one of those!

    Yes, but you need a 3D printer to print it out.

     

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  90.  
    icon
    WysiWyg (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 2:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That sounds a lot like you have some weird AddOn that fucked up. I now have 3 tabs + 2 "app tabs" open, and it runs fine on about 250 MEGAbytes of memory.

     

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  91.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 3:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    (RMS-style) Free software and open source software are entirely different beasts....

     

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  92.  
    identicon
    Nick, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 3:39am

    Re:

    Whoah, Captain Insight... someone should write an article about that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  93.  
    icon
    G Thompson (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 3:50am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I agree that Gopher and Archie and Yahoo (Lycos) were all human made (mostly) search engine submissions.

    Though you forgot, not sure whether on purpose or not, Wandex by Matthew Gray (around 93 I recall) and the most important search index crawler of them all (as I stated before) Webcrawler by Brian Pinkerton in 1994.

    You might like to read at that link either his original paper or the eventual dissertation on webcrawler which is where google got most of their underlying ideas from.

    So yep, Google was First.. after those two of course. guess that makes it 3rd. Maybe it was the first Third one.. ;)

     

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  94.  
    icon
    William (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 4:24am

    Re: It doesn't matter...

    You've got to be kidding. Google's search results are opinions derived from a clever algorithm. Last time I checked, opinions are protected speech, unless, of course, you want to "trim a little fat off the first amendment to the Constitution."

    Also, we know why Schmidt went and not Sergy and Larry. I suspect the other two would have stood up, given "the best legislators money can buy" the middle finger, and said something of the ilk "see you in court."

     

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  95.  
    identicon
    DS, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 4:33am

    History is now always written by the losers. Go to the Hiroshima Peace Museum, and see how much relevant data was left out of the history. And the outrage anytime anyone anywhere brings up the logical reasons why we did what we did.

     

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  96.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 4:42am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah, soooo there were search engines before Google

     

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  97.  
    identicon
    TN, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 5:39am

    Re: Re:

    I thought this comment was gonna be a joke until I got to the 2nd para.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  98.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 6:03am

    Americans have put the wrong people in power.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  99.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 6:50am

    Re: Re: Re:

    If, by "Google got there first," you take Barnett to mean 'they acquired large market share first,' then you can say every company that potentially has market power 'got there first.' It makes the phrase meaningless.

    Getting there first means getting there first, not doing better than the competition.

    Although I agree Mike might have been unfair to suggest Barnett was "lying." That assumes Barnett knew he was saying something really dumb.

    Hanlon's razor: Don't attribute to malice something that can be adequately explained by stupidity.

     

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  100.  
    identicon
    Cowardly Anon, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 6:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I sort of want to say to him "You keep using the word monopoly, but I don't think you know what it means...."

     

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  101.  
    identicon
    akos, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 7:42am

    forget?

    google wasn't the first. i remember using something like "go get it" or something with a dog, thing, site, SE, whatever.

    google, certainly, has nothing even compared to monopoly. is the leader, simply because is the best. if it was crappy, a new site would pop up and everyone'd use that particular site over night. if it has competitors with the money to hire a layer it's not a monopoly.

    "FairSearch" for me is exclusively google. fair to say, that it produces the best results in most of the cases. there still are some issues, but from what i've seen in the past few months, they are working on it.

     

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  102.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 8:20am

    Re: Yes But

    "Money" ... Agreed, in this case it a combination of MS, Facebook, and various search engines.

    With the crap that Facebook has pulled in the past two years, I have to say they are the prime suspect.

     

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  103.  
    icon
    BigKeithO (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 8:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm with you, I can run a ton of tabs and I usually sit around 250MB of RAM.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  104.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 8:35am

    Re:

    flew *

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  105.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 9:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Leave them open for a couple hours and watch the leaks fill a cistern.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  106.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Kansas Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 9:52am

    First!
    ... oh. Damn.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  107.  
    icon
    Onnala (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 10:03am

    Re: It doesn't matter...

    Troll?

    When you install Chrome it already asks you what search engine you would like to use by default. Google, Bing, Yahoo, ect.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  108.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 10:37am

    After thinking about the hearing for a while, I think I somewhat get what the federal government/senate are trying to determine.

    Google claims that their search results are organic, solely based on what it believes to be the best results based solely on what consumers want. It claims that its search results are not bias towards or against any particular website or business.

    While I believe them, I think the point that the senate is somewhat trying to make is that, if Google is claiming that the search results are unbiased and organic and in fact they are not, then that borderlines fraudulence. It's somewhat deceptive. I have absolutely no problem with Google providing for biased results, but for them to claim that their results aren't bias when they in fact are is something that might require governmental intervention (though I do not believe that Google is doing anything deceptive, I do think they are being honest).

    However, if we want to investigate Google for fraud, then we shouldn't be trying to use anti-trust laws against it when we already have more relevant anti-fraud laws that we can better use against them. The anti-trust laws seem irrelevant here.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  109.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 10:43am

    Re: Re: It doesn't matter...

    Google does have a near monopoly on search, and they continue to work to reach as close to 100% as they can.

    Android? An entire operating system designed get Google in the middle of more transactions.

    Google Plus? An entire social media platform designed to get Google in the middle of more transactions, and to put more of Google on every site (+1 button).

    Chrome Browser? An entire free browser intended to get Google in the middle of more transactions (and to let them track you too!).

    Firefox? Seemingly independant company paid a ton of money by Google for searches made from the browser toolbar

    Google is the "get in the middle" company. What they are doing certainly does line up with what Microsoft was doing in the past, using their size and their power to take over markets, and to "force" (without force) users onto using their platforms.

    At 60% of search, and 33% of the smart phone market (and growth between 2009 and 2010 of 600+%), and more than 10% of the direct browser market (and 32% if you consider the Firefox tie up), Google dominates the market and is well on it's way to getting as close as you can get to a monopoly without being one.

    We won't even discuss how their ranking system in the end favors their own products, and how those products have been created to scavenge market from other successful companies by basically giving it all away for free.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  110.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 2:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: It doesn't matter...

    "Google does have a near monopoly on search, and they continue to work to reach as close to 100% as they can."

    No... No, they do not. They don't stop anyone else from entering the marketplace, they just so happen to be the largest competitor.

    "What they are doing certainly does line up with what Microsoft was doing in the past, using their size and their power to take over markets, and to "force" (without force) users onto using their platforms."

    No... No it does not. Microsoft actively prevented competitors from coming into the marketplace. Google puts out products and says "here you go people, use it if you want" for the most part.

    "Google dominates the market and is well on it's way to getting as close as you can get to a monopoly without being one."

    But Google's domination doesn't mean that someone new can't enter. It's like saying Yahoo can't improve their own search engine and offerings because Google has the most penetration. It's a nonsensical argument.

    "We won't even discuss how their ranking system in the end favors their own products, and how those products have been created to scavenge market from other successful companies by basically giving it all away for free."

    Which companies have been harmed because Google's biased searches (lead by what customers, not businesses want) has harmed a competitor? I find good stuff from Google, but I find even better things through forums and Facebook. So what crimes are being committed by Google being people's go-to but not only resource?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  111.  
    identicon
    Prootwadl, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 3:27pm

    Re: Don't forget

    Unless you're competing against Microsoft. They apparently have carte blanche to downatever they want to maintain their existing desktop monopoly.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  112.  
    icon
    Cynyr (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 5:01pm

    Re: Re: Don't forget

    I know! how dare they make excel so useful, and how dare open/libre office not have a decent scripting language built-in with a built-in editor.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  113.  
    icon
    Cynyr (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 5:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Don't forget

    *posted from my gentoo linux desktop, via my gentoo linux router while holding my android phone.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  114.  
    icon
    WysiWyg (profile), Sep 23rd, 2011 @ 2:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I did what you said, despite it going against every fiber in my body.

    2 hours later and it's now up to a staggering 300 mb. Admittedly, the fact that I now have 4+2 tabs open might have something to do with it.

    You do use the latest (stable) version right? 'Cause I remember there being a major bug a couple of versions ago.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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