Here's the rundown on some recent computing/tech news on this decidedly non-tech (yet tech-interested and invested) blog:
Will the real technological Evil Empire of today please stand up?
How about Microsoft? The giants of the 1990s, Microsoft and Yahoo!, have apparently come to an agreement on their potential forthcoming partnership. While both were big in the '90s, and Microsoft being the one of ill repute (which lasts to this day), this partnership could solidify the number two positions in search data and Internet advertising, behind of course Google. According to the details of the partnership, Microsoft gets the upper hand over Yahoo!, which is good news for me, as I own some M$FT but none of ¥HOO. Disclosure aside, in any case, contrary to popular belief, Microsoft isn't as evil as the old Windows 95/98/ME days.
How about Apple? Its computer division is great, with the Mac OS X platform holding its own at an estimated 10% of the PC market. Unfortunately, Apple's iTrinket division (iTunes, iPod, and iPhone) has a dominant market share in the realms of mp3 stores, mp3 players, and smart phones. Furthermore, the iTrinket division (or iGadget, to sound less inflammatory) has made some news by barring Google Voice from its iPhone platform, among other questionable actions as of late. The iTrinket division is therefore sullying the reputation of the old Apple Computer wing of the corporation, so I'd say that a significant slice of Apple can potentially be an evil empire in and of itself. This is bad news if the actions of iTrinkets bring anti-trust investigations that could affect the iTunes/iPod unity, the iPhone/App Store unity, and the Mac/OS X unity. As a proud owner of AAP£, spinning off iTrinkets from the corporation could be a good idea, if all goes wrong.
How about Google? The above to sections refer to Microsoft/Yahoo versus Google's search and ad capabilities, as well as Apple (and AT&T, perhaps) barring Google's latest technology from the iPhone. Far removed from its roots as the cutesy, don't be evil search engine start-up, Google is THE GIANT of the InterWebs age. The Cloud that is Chrome OS that looms over the horizon bodes ill for Microsoft's Windows platform, with Apple's OS X not too far off, if the storm brews successfully. Google Voice - with free text messaging, usually free connection-assisted phone calls, telephone number consolidation, and mp3 recorded/transcribed voicemail - will revolutionize the world of telephones.
Heck, give me a call (it will go to my voicemail):
(I might post whatever voicemail you may leave, either on this blog and/or elsewhere, so be warned...and have fun!)
Now, what's evil about this Google Voice business, among other parts of the Big G's domain, is that Google may use the data, calls, and voicemails for their various marketing and strategizing purposes. In other words, Google may listen in on your calls. Then again, your government - wherever you may live - probably does that to your calls, anyhow. If there is no alternative or opt-out in this matter, which entity would you rather have eavesdrop: Google, which will use the info to send some strange ads to your webpages, or the government, which will use the info to send some unmarked helicopters to your doorstep?
As a shareholder in ₢OO₢ (that's the ticker symbol for Googl€, with a Brazilian cruzeiro symbol for the Gs) - I, for one, welcome our new not evil overlords.
(Possible evil empire honorable mention goes to Amazon.com, which recently pulled a 1984 on its Kindle users by promptly taking back the 1984 eBook from their Kindles, due to a copyright issue with the publisher.)