The conflict of interest between advertisers and users has always been evident to the designers of commercial search engines. In 1998, a few months before the incorporation of Google, graduate students Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page presented their prototype of a web search engine at an academic conference. In an appendix to their paper, they commented, “We expect that advertising funded search engines will be inherently biased towards the advertisers and away from the needs of the consumers.” Indeed. More than two decades after this prophecy, all major search engines, Google first among them, now operate precisely on the business model of surveillance-fueled targeted advertising.

On predicting the future.

2021-01-06T08:15:32+11:0026th January, 2021|Tags: , , |

“Smart” people.

I often wonder where we’d be if Google had spent their don’t-be-evil honeymoon actually interviewing people for some sort moral or ethical framework instead of teaching a generation of new hires that the important questions are all about how many piano tuners play ping pong on the moon.

Mike Hoye on what matters.

2020-02-04T08:52:29+11:001st June, 2020|Tags: , |


Removing Google from your Android phone.

Pretty much my only experience with Android is running emulators so I can play Ragnarok M on my computer and yeah even that is kind of a wild ride…

2019-12-18T10:13:12+11:001st April, 2020|Tags: , , |


Interesting look at how Google’s “auto-delete” feature is essentially useless for protecting user privacy.

(Spoiler alert: it’s got to do with the value of user data over time. Basically, by the time Google allows you to auto-delete data from its services, it’s already extracted most of the value from those data.)

2019-12-03T10:51:52+11:0017th March, 2020|Tags: , , |
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