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The Google Trap » 2008 » March 2008 March - Archiv - The Google Trap

Archive for March, 2008

Googlefalle in Dubai

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

Today I got a very special E-Mail, attached with a photo…

(translated) Dear Mr. Reischl - also in the far away Dubai people are reading Gerald Reischl. Attached a small dokumentation. The pic is for your use. Greetings from Doha.Yours Hans B. PS: Conclusio - incredible, how people are mutating to marionettes…

I wasnt only happy about the pic, I was very happy about the conclusion…dubaigoogle.jpg

Master in deceiving and disguising

Friday, March 21st, 2008

Google is brilliant in deceiving und disguising. This was clearly demonstrated by the “hot” 700 MHz auctions in the USA when Google did not make a winning bid. Yet what should look like defeat is actually a victory. Everyone was convinced that the company would bid an outrageously huge amount – but it was only willing to bid 4.71 billion Dollars, and thereby letting Verizon win with 4.74 billion. I think this move was a rigged bid, especially if you consider that CEO Eric Schmidt helped define the auction rules for the US regulatory authority Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Google requested free access for devices and service providers, to which FCC-boss Kevin J. Martin gave in (I wonder why?). Eric Schmidt’s demands were part of the auction tender: The network must be open to every service provider and any number of devices and software may be used. According to AFP, Google gave the following first follow-up: “although Google did not place a winning bid, it was an important victory for the American consumer”. Even though Google did not receive the frequency-licenses, it is allowed to use the network and run its services over it.

Legislation against the “big brothers” of the web

Friday, March 21st, 2008

I think it is an intrusion into everyone’s privacy that search engines like Google, Yahoo! or Live! collect and analyze personal data for the (sole?) purpose of marketing. I strongly oppose User-Tracking, User-Analysis and User-Predication – all elements omnipresent in Google’s service. And I am not alone - an increasing number of users oppose this type of espionage that powerful and populous Internet-companies use (against us).

But now opposition can also be felt in the US. In the New York Times, Richard L. Brodsky, democratic delegate in the New York Senate, demanded legislation that would prevent Internet-companies like Google & Co. to collect data from its users without their knowing. The users should/must know what information is collected about them or should be able to prevent Google from tracking them down. Brodsky also considers the targeted ads to be alarming.

That is also my request: tell us what personal data is saved about us! Stop your data-collection fervidness! And the legislation should not only be implemented in New York, but worldwide. Brodsky’s demand is a hot potato that most certainly will be targeted by the lobbyists of all big Internet companies affected. Their core capital - information on hundreds of millions of users worldwide - used for marketing purposes is at stake. This essential component of their business could be destroyed. The complete article is available in the New York Times. Opposition against Google is beginning to form.

I hope this is just the beginning.

New York Times ein Gesetz, das Internet-Firmen wie Google & Co. verbieten soll, nicht mehr ohne Wissen des Nutzers willkürlich Daten zu sammeln. Die Nutzer sollen/müssen wissen, was über sie gesammelt wird oder sollen Google & Co. verbieten können, sie zu verfolgen. Brodsky stuft vor allem die „zielgerichtete Werbung“ als bedenklich ein.Das ist genau auch meine Forderung: Sagt uns, welche Daten ihr von uns gespeichert habt! Stoppt eure Datensammelleidenschaft! Das Gesetz soll nicht nur in New York, sondern US-weit gelten. Brodskys Forderung ist jedenfalls ein heißes Eisen, das die Lobbyisting der betroffenen Internetfirmen mit Garantie zu verhindern versuchen, denn damit würde man ihnen ihr Kapital - Informationen über hunderte Millionen Nutzer, die man braucht, um Marketing und zielgerichtete Werbung im Web zu betreiben -, wegnehmen. Den gesamten Artikel gibt’s auf der New York Times. Es formiert sich Widerstand gegen die Methoden von Google & Co.Ich hoffe, dass das erst der Anfang ist.

Mountain View is watching me

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

The great thing about web-statistics-software, available to a “normal” user, is, that one can not only determine the number of visitors to your website, but also the locations where the website was opened. In the past days I have discovered that there is a lot of traffic in the San Jose and Mountain View region (maybe from the Googleplex?). Apparently the website googlefalle.com is on Google’s watch list… But I will facilitate their investigations: next week the English version of googlefalle.com will be online.

Double moral standard

Monday, March 17th, 2008

Google’s acquisition of Doubleclick is not yet completely accepted. On the 11th of March 2008, the EU-Commission gave its approval to the deal, yet Google may still face unexpected problems. Doubleclick acquired the company Performics in 2004 – a so-called SEO – Search Engine Optimizer.

Performics sells tips and tricks on how to be placed in a prominent position on search engine results. An irreconcilable situation.
Even Danny Sullivan, the world’s greatest expert on search engines, believes this. He published an open letter to Google on his web portal, Searchengineland, to sell Performics. To be precise, this means that Google sells tips on how to be placed high up on the results of its own search engine. An unethical situation that should be of concern to everyone: this is almost as if an antivirus-software-company would create and circulate viruses and Trojans, that could be identified and eradicated only by its own software…

I wonder if the EU-commission was aware of Performics…

What is the book called? Do Google employees google?

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

I have a little “bon mot” regarding the book-writing phase… Google’s spokesperson for Germany, Austria and Switzerland, continuously asked what the title of the book will be … I always pretended that I wasn’t sure yet… Until he called me mid-February 2008 (!) and said he had “already found out two weeks ago” what the title of the book will be. I secretly smiled to myself - the title “The Google-Trap” was published on Amazon since December… he should have googled… ;-)

How the book was written

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

„The Google-Trap“ is now available in book- and online stores. The past weeks were tiring, as recent developments have kept my editor and me busy – Google is in the news almost every day. Various chapters had to be modified/updated (for example the recent Micrsoft-Yahoo! developments). But now it is done.

Once the book reaches the printing press, one has to wait patiently. The process of printing a book is by no means comparable to a newspaper or magazine that publishes your article within an afternoon or a day. A book takes considerably longer to finalize – it has to be printed, bound, packaged and shipped to both a repository and individual book-stores. The past weeks were exciting – after all, the book was a lot of hard work.
The story of the Google-Trap – I knew that I would use this title right from the beginning (but did not tell my oftentimes inquisitive interviewees) – started in the night of the 21st of March 2007. I sent Thomas Zauner, the Managing Director of the publishing company Ueberreuter, with whom I realized my previous books (including my first work “Im Visier der Datenjäger”), an email with the subject “idea”. The next morning I received the following response:

Dear Gerald, the idea sounds really fascinating! I couldn’t find a comparable book on www.buchhandel.de, even though more than 50 books showed up when searching for the keyword “Google”: a market niche! Didn’t think that we’d find something like that ;-) We have our internal non-fiction conference today: I’ll present your idea and if the others are as enthusiastic about your idea as I am, we will sign the contract tomorrow. Thank you, Thomas

That’s how it started. I got the OK the next day and we met a few days later in the cafeteria of the Kurier, negotiated (there wasn’t much to negotiate) the terms of the contract and agreed on a publication date in the spring of 2008. Three months later, I started with the necessary research, which significantly intensified in September. In total, I worked on the book for nine months, interviewing dozens of people – including Google’s Head of Research, Peter Norvig, Google-Earth and Google-Maps-boss John Hanke, Google’s Global Privacy Council, Peter Fleischer, Yahoo’s CEO, Jerry Yang, Second-Life boss Philip Rosedale, the internationally renown expert Esther Dyson and the world’s greatest search-engine expert Danny Sullivan.

Many are cited in the book, some – especially Xoogler, the term for Ex-Googler – wanted to remain anonymous.
I studied thousands of pages of research papers, statistics, publications and press releases, researched online for weeks and rented an apartment in San Francisco, USA to do some more research and interviews. Almost half of the book was written in San Francisco. It was my goal to debunk the true colors of the search engine and I believe I have successfully completed my mission.