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What will Google do next?

by jacques (Priest)
on Apr 09, 2006 at 18:47 UTC ( #542165=poll: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Vote on this poll

Google OS
[bar] 65/13%
Google Browser
[bar] 41/8%
Google Solar System
[bar] 20/4%
Google Airlines
[bar] 10/2%
Google TV
[bar] 37/8%
Hire Larry Wall
[bar] 39/8%
Make another $500 billion
[bar] 36/7%
Organize army. Declare sovereignty.
[bar] 71/14%
Make Microsoft less relevant
[bar] 52/11%
Ignore our privacy
[bar] 85/17%
Nothing revolutionary
[bar] 36/7%
492 total votes
Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: What will Google do next?
by spiritway (Vicar) on Apr 09, 2006 at 21:01 UTC

    You can type in someone's telephone number, and Google will provide their address. Click on "Google Maps" and you will get a street map of the neighborhood; another click, and you can see a satellite view of their residence.

    Privacy is becoming a thing of the past. We are required to give out so much information, just to live, that data mining can now yield a surprising - and to some, an alarming - amount of personal information that can narrow down a search to a single person. If you can get an aerial view of someone's home, I imagine that governments can find out what you ordered on your pizza last night. And who you were with.

      Websites have been around that do that for a very long time, but even before websites that did it you could always use a paper reverse directory or call information. Once you had the name you looked them up in the phone book to get an address. At least here its been doable for ages although i'll admit the satellite view is something new ;)

      Just didn't want google to be catching the blame for something that has existed for ages! And yes I imagine the government has way more info than I'd ever want them to have which is as good of reason as any to fight illegal wiretaps. Cheers!

      Eric Hodges

        The reverse indexes were usually quite expensive. We had them in the lawfirm I worked in years ago. You could get a guy's telephone number, look it up, and then call his neighbors, do whatever.

        The difference between this service and Google is simply availablilty. Anyone with access to a computer can find a person now, as long as the number is in the system (Google lets you opt out).

        I'm not singling out Google as particularly evil or scary; it's just that we were talking about Google here in this vote. And Google is among the best search services around. I like Google. I even used Google Earth to find the building I live in - it's kind of fun. Hey, I live right here! And I see that a neighboring building has a swimming pool on the roof. Maybe I can make friends with the doorman or something, and get in...

      They could also do that in the Dark Ages, allbeit in a much more painful way... ;)

      I feel that's more a complaint about governments than about technology (checking... you seem to live in the US, that clears things up). Governments always have, always had and always will have ways to find out information. That's what power does.

      There is no stopping the future, the question is not even boolean, for that matter. The real question is how the balance will go between the positive versus the negative uses of technology.

      People from all walks of life have now access to more knowledge than ever dreamt of by kings and fascist governments. There are, for instance, free encyclopedia's, operating systems and other software that enable people to use them and study them -- this site is one of them. There are more sources of news than ever before -- anything that happens around the world can be found out in mere minutes -- and it is more likely that those who care can come up with a rather unbiased view from all these sources.

      In my opinion, the most important question is if people will learn to benefit more from the good sides of having so much information available, and to select wisely and truthfully from all that data, than end up misusing or misinterpreting it -- no matter how relative some of these terms often are. There will always be abusers, in any way, in any time, of any system.

      In the end, it all comes down to whether or not you have faith in humanity.

      The internet, Google and search engines are about as relevant to 'good' and 'evil' as the first time someone melted metal and made a purposeful object out of it (feel free to fill in any other lame comparison). Is a metal 'good' or 'evil'?

      Google will do things that are generally liked, and most probably, also things that are generally disliked... Because they can. That's human nature. Just on a big, $500 billion scale. :)

        In the end, it all comes down to whether or not you have faith in humanity.

        Well, in the past century we had the worst acts of genocide ever committed, millions of people slaughtered for the crime of being who they were. In many of these atrocities, those with power to stop it allowed it to go on without much more than official disapproval. We began this century with some folks thinking it would be a great idea to fly some jets into buildings, killing unarmed and helpless people; and the US responded by killing a bunch of unarmed and helpless people, as well as the occasional armed soldier. Those were probably "collateral damage". And the genocides and famines continue without much interference from anyone.

        Without wishing to sound in any way pessimistic, there are times when my faith in humanity is not rock solid.

Re: What will Google do next?
by zentara (Archbishop) on Apr 09, 2006 at 19:09 UTC
    I think they will be hiring a bunch of lawyers, as they are caught in the middle between government agencies wanting all their records, and privacy-advocates. I remember a teacher telling me once, that computer law is an up and coming field.

    I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth. flash japh

      So you went for the "Organize army. Declare sovereignty." option? =)

      I have the feeling they are inventing lots of things of debatable usefulness (after having invented all the useful stuff already).

      Cheers, Sören

        (after having invented all the useful stuff already)

        Are you sure your name is not Charles H. Duell? ;-))

Re: What will Google do next?
by swampyankee (Parson) on Apr 10, 2006 at 00:39 UTC

    Of course, these options are not mutually exclusive. They may make another $500E+09, hire Larry Wall (which could involve a significant chunk of the $500E+09), start their own airline (there are probably few more rapid ways of getting rid of $5×1011), and expand the Google brand throughout the known universe. Google public libraries?


    "Being forced to write comments actually improves code, because it is easier to fix a crock than to explain it. "
    —G. Steele
      mmm....Google brand...
Re: What will Google do next?
by TedPride (Priest) on Apr 10, 2006 at 02:16 UTC
    Google is keeping our privacy in that they aren't supplying information to anyone other than what you can already mine from a variety of public sources. They are not giving user search info to government agencies - to do so would immediately kill their market share while not really improving US security. People would just switch to the next largest search engine and the government would be back to square one.

    Sadly for Google, being the big dog means that everyone wants to knock them down a notch. It's like being the head of a major government agency - everyone gets on your case while the second in command is allowed to float. The government is busily being a pain to Google, but I bet they aren't bothering any of the other search engines.

    Note that I don't really care much if they go through any search results relating to terrorism - that's a matter of national security and anyone stupid enough to search for nuke plans on the Internet deserves what he gets - but once they start investigating civil matters based on search results, it becomes a rather big invasion of privacy. Beyond a certain level of invasiveness, information should only be allowed to move from the police to the national security agencies, not the other way around.

      Hey, I learned how to build an atom bomb on the internet.. It's pretty simple. All you do is take two big lumps of..

      <knock.. knock..>

      Er.. hang on...

      < ... THUD .. handcuff... drag...>

        No, no, no, you don't get it.

        Anybody can probably (with great care and planning) put together a gun-type bomb.

        As we are seeing with Iran at the moment, the BIG difficulty is learning how to enrich the Uranium, and then creating the enormous and hugely expensive arrays of gas centrifuges (or Uranium seperation cyclotrons) to do the enrichment.

        But you see, I've discovered a new and really cheap way to enrich Uranium, so just about anyone could do it with a University Materials lab.

        All you need to do is...

        <knock.. knock..>

        Er.. hang on...

        < ... THUD .. handcuff... drag... >

      Google is resisting the government's intrusion, not to protect our privacy, but to further their own ends. As it happens, these two goals coincide. The moment Google perceives an advantage in working with the government, you can count on our privacy being violated.

      I think that other search engines already capitulated. IIRC, Yahoo! and MSN gave up without so much as a sqawk.

      I doubt it would be dangerous to research how to build a nuke. This information has been public knowledge for decades, as one high school kid showed in a science project where he developed plans for a nuclear device. This was before the Internet had become so popular. Remember, too, that there is all sorts of public Internet access, such as libraries or Internet cafes. Anyone who was up to no good (and who had a lick of sense) would seek such anonymous access. The possible benefit of "security" is an illusion; the known risk of invasion of privacy is almost certain.

      Claiming "National Security" is often nothing more than a ploy to invade privacy and dig up dirt on people the authorities don't like - people who may be agitating for legitimate change, but who are causing the administration too much trouble. Look at all the politicians and others who have been forced to step down or to shut up, because some irrelevant and ancient information had been dug up about them. Someone smoked a joint in the 'Seventies, and is now considered unqualified for some position. Or they had an affair, or otherwise did something we don't approve of, facts dug up only to smear them, and not because these things have any bearing on their present capabilities.

Re: What will Google do next?
by marto (Cardinal) on Apr 10, 2006 at 08:35 UTC
    No option for 'Text indexing our minds'?

Re: What will Google do next?
by jhourcle (Prior) on Apr 12, 2006 at 13:53 UTC
Re: What will Google do next?
by gloryhack (Deacon) on Apr 10, 2006 at 03:39 UTC
    I foresee a Google browser, based upon Firefox, used to cement their position in a market they already for the most part control. I expect integrated instant messaging, collaborative browsing, and the like to be the big selling point, with heavy personalization being a friendly front-end to some serious data mining/exploitation. Imagine the Googlebar taken to its logical extreme...
Re: What will Google do next?
by zentara (Archbishop) on Apr 10, 2006 at 10:30 UTC
    Here is an interesting related story.... ATT is flowing ALL traffic thru NSA

    So you think Google is private. How long will it be, before a story breaks, that Google is reporting ALL search requests in REALTIME to the NSA?

    And..... will our "freedom loving republican masters" put a secret mark on your record, and possibly deny you jobs and housing solely because you googled for some topic... like "unions and fair wages"? All under the secretive guise of "National Security"..................

    When will the first lawsuit against Google Maps appear, when some criminal confesses he got that cheerleader's home location thru them.

    I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth. flash japh
Re: What will Google do next?
by theshz (Sexton) on Apr 10, 2006 at 07:37 UTC
    Probably nothing special. They used to do search well, now they are into everything, a pretty good indication that the results will be average. Their search certainly changed the web, but what have gmail, google maps, google earth, froogle, google talk, google news changed? I've tried all of them, very excited for a few days/weeks, then back to my old stuff. In other words, they revolutionized the web 5-6 years ago, made lots of money, created lots of cool stuff, but nothing revolutionary since.
      They used to do search well
      Are you suggesting that they got worse? That someone else does search better? If you are, I disagree.

      They have dabbled in many areas, and I agree that most of them are at best novelties. I think Google News is a great resource. Not surprisingly, it's search-related, but also automatically compiles top stories under various headings, which makes a nice news page. They also have blog search, which has been handy for me a time or two.

      I think they'll do best in their niche of searching through vast amounts of information to find what the user wants. They've explored just about every available avenue in that genre (and some that weren't available, as authors of copyrighted works were quick to protest), but maybe they'll come up with other useful areas to apply those technologies to.

      Caution: Contents may have been coded under pressure.
Re: What will Google do next?
by QM (Parson) on Apr 10, 2006 at 21:24 UTC
    Either develop Google OS, or, if they're strapped for cash, sell billions of those little rubber bracelets that say "WWGD" (What Would Google Do)

    Quantum Mechanics: The dreams stuff is made of

Re: What will Google do next?
by mk. (Friar) on Apr 10, 2006 at 17:11 UTC
    ignore our privacy

    i though they already did that....

Re: What will Google do next?
by samizdat (Vicar) on Apr 10, 2006 at 17:48 UTC
    I voted for "Declare Sovereignty," but I can't help thinking that there should be an "all of the above" answer. I'm dismayed at how they are diluting their prestige (and market power) by adding all of these disjointed bells and whistles, and I'm thinking that soon enough somebody else is going to figure out the next generation of searching... before they do.

    Don Wilde
    "There's more than one level to any answer."
Re: What will Google do next?
by dmitri (Priest) on Apr 12, 2006 at 22:21 UTC
    Google is a Python shop. If anyone hires Larry Wall, it'll be Yahoo! (When they do, buy stock).
      A language ergonomics expert is going to do what exactly for Yahoo!??!?!?!errr!?,

      Now when you hear about Audrey Tang being hired by Yahoo, that's a whole different story.
        > A language ergonomics expert is going to do what exactly for Yahoo!??!?!?!errr!?,


Re: What will Google do next?
by gube (Parson) on Apr 10, 2006 at 08:15 UTC
    Google Browser..My suggesion is google can bring google browser. Best Search Engine is google and fast attachment and quick sending mail means gmail.. Like, google can make a good revoulution in google browser. :-p

      Funny how you do not tell us why google is the "Best Search Engine". I myself find it becoming pretty poor (especially the groups search (<...dreaming of a return...>)).

      As for "fast attachment and quick sending mail", don't try google when you're in Asia. Yahoo is by far the fastest there (at least Indonesia, where I just was a day ago).

      As for the google browser, I predict they take something that already exists (read: firefox) and add some completely useless features to it (that probably already exist in extensions...). Then they tie in some specific HTML rendering so they can boost gmail and other services and you have yourself yet-another-non-compliant browser (read: MSIE).


      All code is usually tested, but rarely trusted.
Re: What will Google do next?
by kutsu (Priest) on Apr 12, 2006 at 03:12 UTC

    Stop filtering Chinese searches? Yay, I know it's a far flung hope.

Re: What will Google do next?
by blue_cowdawg (Monsignor) on Apr 12, 2006 at 15:12 UTC

    What will Google do next? Go toBuy Disneyland!

Re: What will Google do next?
by tbone1 (Monsignor) on Apr 10, 2006 at 11:27 UTC
    Make MicroSoft less relevant? As far as I'm concerned, Microsoft is already irrelevant, thanks to an organization that MS employees call "R&D South".

    tbone1, YAPS (Yet Another Perl Schlub)
    And remember, if he succeeds, so what.
    - Chick McGee

Re: What will Google do next?
by perlsen (Chaplain) on Apr 11, 2006 at 06:11 UTC
    I hope If You Bring Google TV and Google Brwosers in this situation that may give pleasures to all surfers and TV viewers.

Re: What will Google do next?
by sen (Hermit) on Apr 10, 2006 at 12:56 UTC

    My option is google Browser.


      i think no, because he supports and like firefox..


Re: What will Google do next?
by jimbus (Friar) on Apr 11, 2006 at 15:34 UTC

    I just want to know why the firefox google bar still hits my proxy (that is: tries to access the internet) on startup when I have everyhing shut off but word find.

    iExplorer doesn't that :P

    --Jimbus aka Jim Babcock
    Wireless Data Engineer and Geek Wannabe
      Actually Firefox connects to several sites it previously visited each time it starts ! I'd guess it's more a Firefox problem than a google one :) ( and perhaps also related to the Session Saver extension I'm using ).
Re: What will Google do next?
by SamCG (Hermit) on Apr 12, 2006 at 20:31 UTC
    Maybe they'll do no Evil?

    s''limp';@p=split '!','n!h!p!';s,m,s,;$s=y;$c=slice @p1;so brutally;d;$n=reverse;$c=$s**$#p;print(''.$c^chop($n))while($c/=$#p)>=1;
Re: What will Google do next?
by ambrus (Abbot) on Apr 10, 2006 at 19:03 UTC

    I voted for army and declaring sovereignity.

    A Google browser already exists: Google Web Accelerator.

    "Google OS" and "Make Microsoft less relevant" is the same I think.

Re: What will Google do next?
by GhodMode (Pilgrim) on Apr 17, 2006 at 03:49 UTC

    It's the Google Grocery...
    Walk into the store and step up to a touch-screen terminal. Type the items you're looking for and, in milliseconds, you are presented with a list of millions of items that match your query. To save time, you can press the "I'm feeling lucky!" button on the screen and have the brands selected for you.

    -- GhodMode
    Blessed is he who has found his work; let him ask no other blessedness.
    -- Thomas Carlyle
Re: What will Google do next?
by chacham (Prior) on Mar 04, 2016 at 14:39 UTC

    Hello, i'm from the future. We still don't know the answer to this question.

      I heard Google was planning on creating a browser and an OS named Chrome

        They also have at least one TV appliance. And they have 'Google Maps' for the night sky, which includes the other planets of the solar system. I have not tried to research which of these was "next".

        - tye        

Re: What will Google do next?
by Anonymous Monk on Aug 28, 2008 at 15:23 UTC
    They already have TV = Current TV on direct TV definitely a google channel

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