Google literally stands between the online public and the sites. Put a site into a top 5 position for a major keyword, and they can become one of the most popular sites online. Rank them at the back (or worse, stick them in the sandbox / naughty pile) and the chance anyone every finds your site is zero - unless of course you are willing to pay big money for exposure.
Google has incredible power over what is and what is not "hot" online. Almost every webmaster, site designer, and programmer is painfully aware of trying to make sites that "please Google", because there is no real alternative.
The real problem of the Olympics isn't the over promise of the IOC, rather it's the over reach of the host cities.
The Olympics lasts a few weeks. In order to get the games, they need a certain number of facilities. Generally, countries see the games as an excuse to go on a massive spending spree to improve their sports facilities and transportation networks. Sadly, they are often building stadiums nobody wants, housing ill equipped for the local population, and transportation networks to and from places nobody normally wants to go outside of the games.
It doesn't help the IOC at this point that the last few Olympics have been financial fiascoes on an extreme scale: Russia reportedly overspent by nearly 50 billion for the winter games, Beijing more than 40 billion over budget for the summer games. These massive overspenders have set the bar high, and nobody seems able to hit it.
We won't even talk about the disaster that is Greece.
The real ongoing issue is that Olympics seemingly cannot happen in existing facilities. It seems to require all new, all modern, all perfect things built for the ages and used for the weeks. In these tougher financial times, only communist (and near communist) nations appear to have the money and desire to get into these things. Even the oil rich countries of the middle East are smart enough not to get dragged into the mess.
Except for Bing. Or Yahoo. Or Ask. If people use Google because they like it better, then Google is being successful. That's the very essence of capitalism, make a better product then everyone else so people use yours.
Okay. Explain to me how to remove the Google search from an Android phone and replace it with a yahoo search - without rooting the phone.
Explain to me how to stop Firefox from sending my incomplete typins to Google as searches (so they can get paid).
Explain to me how I can surf the web without getting buried under targeted and semi-targeted ads from Google based on the my searches on their search engine - without having to disable other products.
You can't easily do any of those things - and the default action certainly is monopolistic.
Here's a question that will blow your troll mind: Would you have seen that article if it wasn't on Google News?
No, and that isn't the point. If I had seen ONLY the headline on Google news, I may have clicked the link and visited the site. Because Google conveniently provided me enough of the opening paragraph to explain the story, I have much less need to go there. I was actually trying to find a study from many years ago about how people read newspapers, and generally it was they read the headline, and if interested, the first paragraph. Most didn't go past that point. Google appears to be showing just enough to make a visit to the source less likely.
For what it's worth, I am not a regular Google news user, I find their attempts to personalize the news doesn't work well for me. So I tend to do the rounds of my usual news sources, rumor sites, and the like... without worrying about what Goog has decided is relevant to me.
news organizations should choose between being on Google or not being on Google.
I think that there is a third space here, which is potentially Google needs to allow for news sites to have a feed that Google can read where the news source can decide how much of the story is shown, what stories they want to show, and so on. Google's "our way or the highway" mentality on things is really painful considering their near monopoly position as a traffic source. That is where my initial point comes in, with them being that near monopoly, it's hard for anyone to stand up to them on any level, because Google can just turn off the tap and end their online business overnight.
I don't mean informed like "in depth, endless knowledge" but pretty much I got the gist of the story and unless it interests me further, I am not clicking to the site. There is enough on the Google site to make it possible to have a skimming knowledge of the days events without ever visiting another site.
I guess when you read a newspaper, you read every word of every story including the disclaims on the ads, right?
The point is you can be informed enough without leaving the Google page, which means the newspapers / news site don't get the benefit of the reader, Google does.
Dealt with for what? For sending the publishers FREE traffic they can (fail to) monetize on their pages?
It's never that simple.
Google has worked very hard to become the main (and nearly one and only) web middleman. They are in many ways not in a very different position of what Microsoft was in with IE a number of years ago. They were not the only player, but they had an effective monopoly.
Google is such a high percentage of the search business, and they use all of their other products (including news) to drive more users to their search. Google search on non-apple mobile devices is a near lock on the market.
The problem here is that Google doesn't just send free traffic. It also builds pages which can take traffic away, allowing users to browse headlines without having to visit pages.
As an example, top of Google news for me is:
"American cameraman for NBC News diagnosed with Ebola in Liberia Reuters Africa - 2 hours ago By Steve Gorman. LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - An American freelance cameraman working for NBC News in Liberia has tested positive for Ebola, the network said on Thursday, making him the fifth citizen of the United States and its first journalist known to "
I don't really have to go any further, I am informed. The nature of the news world is to put a big chunk of the basics of the story into the first paragraph. So the part of the story that Google quotes generally tells you a whole bunch about the story. I don't have to go to the news site in question unless I really want to know more. Essentially, the news site informed me without getting the reciprocal right to show me other options, pages, lines, and the line. Google retained that right.
Just as importantly, the search box on the top of the page goes to generic, paying search results.
Will consumers stay with a company that provides only internet, if they are forced to a competitor to get TV service?
Also, if they walk away from the TV business, will a bigger company (or another company) come in, wire up the area, and offer cable and internet at a better price? We consumers using them for internet (as opposed to another choice) because they were getting TV as well? Will these consumers shift to dishes for TV and use a different internet provider?
Are they shooting themselves in the foot, cutting services and cash flow to obtain a better bottom line result in the short term, without consideration for consumer behavior after that point?
You are correct to the great extent, with one exception. What Mike seems to want to see happen is that the moral issues are ignored after the fact, or that the are dismissed by playing them against a utopian sort of result set that does not in fact exist.
File sharing, for all of it's "content for everyone" and "history preserved" arguments doesn't work that way. Piracy generally is current and doesn't do much to support history. I have done searches before for TV shows that are a few years past their stale date (but well within the piracy window), and those shows just don't exist. The reality on the ground isn't the vast sum of human expression easily available to all (infinitely distributed to our benefits), but rather a system for getting the latest movies or TV shows without having to wait for them to be available in market.
So the theory that we are better off in some way falls apart when you realize that the reality on the ground isn't at all what is used to prop up the arguments. Then the moral issue comes back, because the question doesn't appear to be sharing culture for the benefit of mankind and much more about getting it RIGHT NOW BECAUSE DAMMIT I CAN"T WAIT ONE MORE MINUTE.
So dismissing the moral argument because everyone benefits really doesn't add up. The current situation may actually drive a much more difficult problem, where the market for older TV shows (as an example) is eroded by the piracy the occurred initially, to the point where producing and selling compilation or "season" DVDs may not be viable for anyone except the biggest shows. Since the piracy outlets don't seem to maintain a good back catalog, it could mean that the material is generally less available as a result, and thus we lose benefit.
They process continues, with the reduction in income perhaps leading to choices made on a show to do things in a cheaper manner to meet the bottom line. Do they cut a star or reduce the quality of the sets or storyline in order to stay within their reduced budgets? Is any of that truly a benefit for the public?
It's the old butterfly effect. It's almost impossible to account for all of the effects and implications of change. Boldly claiming "benefits for all" while ignoring the moral standards ignored to get there doesn't add up very well.
Yes, and the question is - who is harmed? The evidence is that those who pirate the most also buy the most, so you can't just point at TPB and scream that it's hurting the content industries
I always get a giggle when someone points to stuff like this, because it lacks a simple point: How much more would they buy WITHOUT piracy?
The problem in play here is that there are a small percentage of people in the past who had to have it all. They purchased tons and tons of stuff, just to have all the latest records, all the movies, whatever. The evidence cuts both ways, there is great potential that the small percentage of pirates who purchase more than the average would have bought even more without piracy.
Plus most of the time those numbers are easily debunked by the fact that they include all of the population who doesn't pirate and hasn't bought anything to drive down the averages. When you limit it to buying consumers, only a very small subgroup of pirates in fact buys more than the average buyer.
Why no matter what? Why can there never be a situation that allows everyone to benefit?
It's the nature of the game. As an example, as they newspaper business has declined (due to the digital era) many newsstands, magazine stores, and others have folded and gone away. So even as a society we see some benefit by faster delivery of news and the like, there is a group of people who "net" don't benefit, except that they have more time (and less money) to read the news, because they are now unemployed or have gone broke because their small business failed. Further, the public may have lost the resource and service that these people may have provided.
And that 25-yr-old range will dominate later so it will inevitably be most of society
yes, and their place as the under25s will be picked up by another group who wants something different. They are never actually right, and they are never actually "everyone" or "society" as a whole.
Read it again: the looters are the absolute minority.
The looters in the the minority, but the majority (or "society") turning a blind eye as they do it is the enabling factor. Many more people will be looters in a riot than they would by themselves on a sunny day on a business commercial street. It's human nature. internet piracy runs about the same, we will pirate only by we would never rip a CD out of a musician's hand (or duplicate it by ripping open a jewel case in a store and stuffing it into your laptop).
And again you are acting as if the majority of the people engage in destructive graffiti.
No, the minority do the graffiti, itself, the majority tolerate it, ignore it, or are too scared to do anything about it. The taggers basically use a minority position to force the majority into their way of doing things.
you are always talking about morals but morals are completely subjective.
Morals are subject along the edges, but generally should be pretty clear down the middle. Don't take from others. Don't violate other people's rights. Don't violate other people's property... these are basic things. The problem these days is that the basic things are lost in a mindless looter in a riot mentality of do whatever, you won't get caught.
Try to think outside of the box
When I think out of my box, then I have to take your box. Are you willing to give it up? What if I just go there anyway and leave you no box to think in? Is it fair?
In fact, it might make for an interesting study to look at the impact of the Alice decision on the stock prices of these companies, and note how little the patent portfolios they hold are really worth, given the likelihood that so many are invalid.
It probably won't make that much of a change, for the same reasons that arms reduction didn't really change the threat of nuclear war. Just like the warheads, patents at this level are more a question of mutually assured destruction, and not of scale.
The net effect in taking some patents out is that the destruction level goes from 1000 times over to 600 times or or whatever. Unless there is actual loss to the point where they lose control of key technology points, the effects are negligible.
The other key point here is that making each patent invalid would require legal action on each and every patent. It still means that each case is brought, and the process beings anew to consider the validity of the patent in the case itself. Even given 1 day per patent, it would take way longer than the lifespan of the patent to invalidate even a small percentage of the portfolios. Each invalidation could be appealed, and the process dragged through the courts for years.
The patents will expire long before Alice means much to existing patents. It may change in some ways how certain patents are granted or not in the future, but that is a different situation.
Thank you John, you got the point exactly. The fact that Watergate didn't lead to much other than Nixon resigning and the US getting stuck with Gerald Ford for a couple of years is the real issue. It should have totally killed the two party system, and instead it just caused them to build bigger fortresses and work harder to cover up their dirty tricks.
Society has decided that it's ok with marijuana, file sharing and others even though a good portion will not engage in those (yet) because they find it somewhat morally questionable.
You need to correct that with "some parts of society". The issue here is with most situations, when you break things down, not every group or every segment of society is in agreement. For people under 25, as an example, weed and piracy may be acceptable. Yet an older segement of society may approve weed but not like piracy, or so on.
Whose morals are right? Mine? Yours? That's why morality should be left out of such discussions as much as possible although there is some common ground where society decides it's ok to go with it.
You almost got the issue, but you let it slip away. You miss the point that moral issues in part depend on who you ask. It's the old looter in a riot question, which is will someone do something under the cover of a riot that they would morally object to otherwise, or refrain from doing?
If you ask a moral question of only prison inmates, it would differ from the answers of church goers. If the number of inmates is larger than church goers, do we immediately declare the law an ass and make robbery legal, because a simple majority of people think it's okay?
Do we set the bar based on people who do not have morals?
Society has agreed that Human Rights must be respected and it includes privacy there.
Your "society" may think so. Yet, if you go survey people in China, you may not get the same answer. Ask the people in North Korea, you might get a different answer. Ask the people living on a Kibbutz, and you might get a third answer. Human rights too often is expressed in terms of "how the US defines human rights", which is based on personal rights over group rights. In other places, the balance shifts in the other direction, where the rights of the society as a whole are often placed before the rights of the individual. The benefits for Singapore in not allowing chewing gum is perhaps better than the personal human right to chew gum.
As an example not all graffiti is dirt or bad, there's a lot of art out there and messages against corruption etc etc.
You are correct. However, most graffiti requires that one ignores the rights of a building owner or a property owner to decide how their property is to be used. It denies the benefit to the public as a whole on how public space is used, and puts the desires and wants of the individual above the benefit and enjoyment of the society as a whole. Should a citizen be forced to ride in public transit like the NY of the 70s with so much graffiti that you couldn't see out the windows, and wouldn't dare sit on a seat for fear of wet paint? That is a situation where the lack of morals of some (in regards to respecting property rights and public spaces) harms the rights and enjoyment of others.
It's never a simple question. My point generally is that the lack of personal self control is a real issue. The justification for that lack of self control is the "it's not precisely against the law" or "the law doesn't cover it" or "we think we can do it based on a technicality". Everyone pushes to the maximum, including the NSA and every other agency around. The NSA isn't doing anything more or less wrong than the graffiti artist. They are both not respecting your personal rights because they believe either it's legal, justified, or nobody is going to do anything about it. The lack of a moral compass to say "it's just wrong anyway" and a little self control (personal and institutional) is fundamental to the near collapse of Western society.
When you speak of benefits, you state them as a proven conclusion. Yet, we are still in the infancy of any change to the way music / movies / books whatever are delivered. We don't know with any certainty if there is in fact long term benefit, only the short term "people got more stuff" result. We still don't know beyond a short term feeding frenzy style bonanza if the benefit will remain, or if the benefits in volume of stuff is offset by the loss of quality or desirability.
Anyone can create a lot of stuff. Very little of that stuff is desirable by others. Volume alone does not prove a conclusion of benefit.
So are we better off? A snap or instant judgement on that woudl be on par perhaps with the arrival of a drug like Thalidomide. It was a godsend that all but cured morning sickness in expectant mothers and made pregnancy much more bearable to all. Instant snapshot shows an incredible benefit. There were a huge number of babies born with major defects as a result of the drug who would argue later that the benefits for all did not in fact make us better off in the long run. A very false conclusion could have been reached in the late 50s that was in the long term not true at all.
I think you need to go back and re-read your comments over the years. Whenever there is a debate about anything that involves morals, generally you dismiss the morals and point to either "the law" or "what technology allows".
in a specific situation -- the copyright debate -- IF it's shown that *everyone is better off* by a certain solution THEN there is no moral dilemma.
To do that, you have to assume that "everyone" doesn't include rights holders and a whole class of people who work in that field. By "everyone" you mean "most everyone", and then you have to ignore the moral dilemma of ignoring certain people to make the majority "happy" in some manner.
Quite simply, there is almost no case where "everyone" is better off. A large percentage may be better off, but not everyone. There is almost always some form of moral issue, because someone always gets hurt or loses something in these cases.
I don't know why you've spent years on this site trying to constantly misrepresent my views
I don't. I take your views at face value, and typically your "answers" (yes scare quotes) are to point at a collection of posts trying to say that you have said something clearly - when you have not. I can understand why others try to get you pinned down on things, because your most definite of statements on anything generally comes with just enough grey to wiggle out of.
I will also say this: your "outrage" (yes more scare quotes) about my comment here is a perfect example. You ignore the main points, and pick on something else. Why not address the core issue:
Much of the popular themes of Techdirt are "because technology allows" and "because it isn't QUITE against the law". Many of the concepts championed (from Aereo to The Pirate Bay) live and die on the head of a legal pin, splitting the finest of fine hairs without ever seeming to once consider the more basic concepts of right and wrong.
The choices in both of these cases are not just barely legal / not quite legal, but also the MORAL questions of right and wrong. Part of the questions here is one of "are we willing to limits the rights of some group to grant more rights to others?". laws are generally written to lock in and satisfy our needs for a reading of our morals on the issues.
No matter waht, in each case, someone gets advantage, and someone gets hurt. On a moral level, we have to decide if that is acceptable or not. So even in the areas where you say "there is no moral debate" there is ALWAYS a moral debate - unless you purposely want to avoid one. "These are not the moral debates you are seeking" may work on some people, but I don't generally fall for it.
So, now that you got all in a huff about the wrong thing, would you care to actually address the issues rather than making it personal?