Google is evil

With phones becoming more capable, an obvious way to make money was to create and sell a suite of productivity apps, so Quickoffice, the company, produced Quickoffice, the product, to allow you to edit your Microsoft Office documents on your phone, which product they sold very cheaply. Quickoffice, the company, sold lots and lots of copies of Quickoffice the product. They rapidly became the leading productivity phone app, with three hundred million installs.

Google, the company, purchased Quickoffice, the company, and made Quickoffice, the product, free. How very nice of them. What, you may ask, does Google get out of supplying Quickoffice for free?

Their actions tell us: They are generously giving anyone who uses Quickoffice plenty of free storage space on their supercomputer, and, considerably less generously, making it a lot harder for you to store your documents anywhere else. They promise that come 2014 they will make it largely impossible. So, best store all your documents on Google’s supercomputer for convenient access from your phone.

Which means that Google’s supercomputer, the greatest AI on planet earth, gets to read your documents.

And what might it do with that information?

Recall what it did with the information that Central Intelligence Agency Director David Petraeus was doing his email late at night from a single female’s apartment.

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12 Responses to “Google is evil”

  1. Thrasymachus says:

    I have Android now but next phone I’m getting something without cloud storage.

  2. Samson J. says:

    making it a lot harder for you to store your documents anywhere else.

    I don’t buy it, Jim. How will they do this? I don’t store documents in the “cloud”, don’t have a smartphone, and have never even heard of “Quickoffice”, and I’m doing just fine.

    I mean, honest-to-goodness, why would anyone need to access documents from their phone?

    • Erik says:

      Because for many people, their phone is their only computing device when out of the house/office, and they want to access documents without driving home.

      Me, I’m not touching a smartphone because of just this sort of thing.

      • jim says:

        Smartphones are mighty handy, and most of their their built in spy capability requires a Google login. Just make sure your Google login is bad, and most spy related stuff goes away. Google goes after the low hanging fruit. I have reason to believe they know far less about me than they easily could, because of quite trivial precautions.

        NSA is believed to pay special attention to those who take precautions. Maybe they do, maybe they do not. I don’t know. But I have reason to believe that Google does not bother going after those who take quite trivial precautions.

  3. Eric says:

    Any idea why Google killed Zagat?

    I used to love Zagat, used it all the time, paid them for the privilege. Google bought it, made it free, and destroyed it. They put up a much suckier format with maybe 5% of the reviews, and those in select cities. They claim this is beta or something till they put up the rest of the data, but its been 6 months or more and surely by now all their users, and reviewers, have abandoned ship.

    Why did they pay money for Zagat to kill it?

    • jim says:

      Zagat’s primary asset was information, an enormous pile of well curated information about restaurants. Obviously Google did not want anyone to have that information – instead, it wanted the power to replace that with information spun Google’s way. They may not wind up doing anything very nefarious with that power, but they want the option to do something nefarious. That they are sitting on the information is evil, and shows that they are considering evil deeds, which may or may not be implemented, but are receiving lengthy consideration.

  4. google. kill it with fire. says:

    @Any idea why Google killed Zagat?

    other than search, what does google do that isn’t crap or destroyed by their tender ministrations?

    @making it a lot harder for you to store your documents anywhere else.

    for those that don’t know, google does this in various ways. for example, external sd cards are second class citzens in the storage api (i.e. crippled). so when you want an app to save/store something it usually goes on the internal sd card. f*ck you for thinking your device is under your control.

    google also cripples their own device hardware by not having the option of using an external sd card in the nexus 4 for example. in fact the only phone of theirs that had an sd card was the very first nexus. too bad that more odms are following suit and not having the option of an sd card. google only does this to force you into the cloud.

    google also cripples the hardware by shipping phones with little flash, 8-16gb, instead of say 64gb. again this is to force you into the cloud. flash ram is *way* cheap, but you’d have less need for the cloud.

    i’ve all but given up on smartphones as useful, portable computers. they really only exist to box you into a corps walled garden where you can be sheared mercilessly. we could have computing where all your files were under your control and available everywhere but that’s not how things are working out. nb: moldbug had an essay on this but i don’t have the url hand.

  5. Eliezer Ben-Yehuda says:

    oh, the humanity of it.

    Anyone who wanted to (before google got there first) compile their OWN archive of zagat – could have.

    Anyone who wanted to (before google got therre first) buy zagat – could have.

    What you all want is freebies. You’re welfare queens.

  6. Disappoint says:

    I just bought an Android tablet (reasons). It affords no sense of privacy or ownership. The Term & Conditions of this particular device advised me that I do not own the preloaded software and if I wasn’t happy about that return it for a refund. Google wants all my details, my files, my pictures. I feel I’m being violated by a block of plastic, and not in a good way.

    • nonce says:

      Off the shelf maybe. But many devices afford you the power to root the device and add or remove or customize as you wish; or replace the OS wholesale with an aftermarket rom customized to your desires. You don’t have to run the Google apps at all. There are alternative app stores or you can sideload any app you want. These options entail varying levels of difficulty, but such is life.

      On the other hand if you buy an IOS device you cannot change a thing.

  7. […] Their actions tell us: they are generously giving anyone who uses Quickoffice plenty of free storage… […]

  8. […] compromise is just the cost of doing big business. wired.com/wired/archive/11.01/google_pr.html Google is evil « Jim’s […]

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