Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Google Confusion

I have never claimed to be a super political person, in fact if you read my limited postings on Politics you will see that I state this frequently. I often find myself getting fired up about politically motivated issues but not having the cause or place to pour my passion into. Lately my soap box has frequently involved Network Neutrality. Yes, I'm still on this.

Today I had the time to read through Google's Public Policy blog in an attempt to better understand their latest announcement regarding a joint proposal with Verizon. To be honest, I'm still not so thrilled with Google and I am still seriously contemplating a breakup - I've already started researching alternative services and ways to migrate my life away from them.

In their post summarizing the proposal Google frequently references how the proposal would require the FCC to do this, or allow the FCC to do that. There is so much that I don't understand (and I mean, really don't understand - as in, if you can help me to better understand this, please comment or email me because I really do want to understand) so I'm going to try to break it down.

  1. Why is the FCC so heavily involved? Network Neutrality is a global, international issue. So much of our current culture as a global community depends on our connection to each other via the Internet. The concept of keeping the Internet an open media requires that ALL governments keep their involvement to a minimum. Now I'm not naive, I understand that the US was the driving force behind the internet. The technological breakthroughs that allowed it to grow so quickly all happened here, many if not most of the main servers and connection points for the internet lie in the US. I also understand that the data that makes up the www travels over pipelines and that ultimately those virtual highways are either owned, maintained or subsidized by the US government. That said, someone from the US Gov't should be involved. However if you research the FCC's history, budget and responsibilities - I'm not so sure that they are the ones to do it....
  2. Why are Google and Verizon telling the FCC what to do? Here is an example
    "...both companies have long been proponents of the FCC’s current wireline broadband openness principles... Our proposal would now make those principles fully enforceable at the FCC"
    How is it that two major corporations can tell the government what to do? Shouldn't there be some sort of vote, or process before this happens? How a company go from being such a strong proponent of Open Source and User Controlled to thinking it is their place to dictate legislation confuses me.
  3. Why isn't this magical Proposal available to the public? The language in the Proposal summary and Google's response to it are both vague. I've searched and been unable to find the actual Proposal - at this point all we know is what Google is telling us.
  4. What can I do to learn more and encourage legislation to move in a direction that I believe in? I've sent the letters, I've joined the support groups and email groups. I still haven't been told of any action I can take, any activity I can participate in to help raise awareness and make my opinion known.
From what I can read - it's complicated. I need more information to decide - expect more to come.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Is Google Evil?

For some time now I've been following and supporting the concept of Net Neutrality, specifically through SavetheInternet.com. Computers and the internet are an integral part of my life. Chris and I both use the internet countless times a day to plan trips, keep in touch with each other, keep in touch with our friends and just generally keep our lives in sync. Knowing this, keeping it open, maintaining the internet as internationally neutral ground without interference or restrictions of our participation is very important to me.

When I say that we use the internet to keep our lives in sync, I am not kidding, but not just the internet specifically Google. In fact I used no less than four Google services to write this post. Here are all of the Google services that we use on an almost daily basis:
  • Blogger
  • Email
  • Calendar
  • Contacts
  • Docs
  • Spreadsheets
  • Voice
  • Picasa
  • Translator
  • You Tube
  • Maps
  • Chrome
  • iGoogle
  • Images
  • Froogle
  • Reader
Yeah, it's a long list.

I've been a fan of Google for years, I've enjoyed seeing them set new standards and push the envelope in the technology race. I've also always admired their commitment to open source and the concept that the internet is a living organism that is kept alive by everyone that contributes.

It was based on this theory and history of action that I allowed my life to become so entrenched in Google and their services. I have even tried several times to obtain employment with Google.

So, you can imagine the great confusion and a sense of betrayal I felt when I read this article in MacWorld that Chris forwarded to me. The story was first broken by the NY Times and when it comes down to it every other story is just providing opinions about the original Story. The only new information I can find is at The Guardian and even then it's a tiny little quote that doesn't help.

So, I've been researching, trying to learn more. Honestly, hoping to find a shred of proof that Google is the decent company I thought it was. Because if I can't, if I fail to find anything otherwise, then I will be forced to extract myself and my life from Google and it will not be an easy, pretty break up... :(

Has anyone heard anything? Know of any resources where I can learn more?

Update @ 10:00pm - I found a Google Public Policy Blog that I will look over tomorrow. Hopefully it will hold some answers.

Pen Pal Perversion

When did Pen Pal become a code word for Cyber Sex?

I've had a lot of time on my hands lately so I was following up on old emails and found myself looking at the website for an American run orphanage in China that encourages the kids to have pen pals. This led me to search for other overseas penal opportunities.

After more than 20 minutes of searching and clicking around all I have found are sites that use pen pal as a code word for dating, hooking up etc.

It's a sad state of affairs.... :(

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Self Exploration

This has been a good few weeks. My Italian boys are in town which always puts me in a good mood, we have such a great time together. But aside from that, I've been insanely busy. Well, not even that busy but compared to my life a few months ago, or even one month ago, my social calendar has been pleasingly full.

The funny thing is that I'm realizing that I'm more of a loaner than I ever would have guessed.

I have absolutely enjoyed spending time with the good people in my life. Without a doubt. I look forward to further those friendships and relationships. However. I find myself seriously craving some alone time, in my house. An evening to wear crummy clothes, eat cereal for dinner and just generally do whatever I like.

I have no doubt that this alone time will find me soon enough and I have no desire to skip out on social activities to obtain it. I'm just surprised by my desire for it...

It's been a good couple of weeks :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Birthweek 2010 Wrap Up

My birthweek is over but it was a good one. I wrapped it up yesterday with some pool time with some friends and got to witness this little guys first pool dunk - he did awesome!
Then it was off to see Thomas at Bad Dog Production for the newest addition to my body:
I've been planning this for several years so I was stoked to finally make it a reality. Mom went with me for moral support and to do research for herself. As always Thomas did an excellent job. That's the top of my left foot, in case you can't tell. The heart shaped drum is to remind me to always walk to the beat of my own drum :) Perhaps that phrase or even image is a familiar one if you frequent my blog.

Finally then night ended with a massive girl's night out and my favorite sushi place - Wazzabi in Winter Park. It started off rough with a miscommunication about their ability to take reservations (they don't FYI) but eventually the manager did make it right by not only getting us a private room but also hooking us up with free Edamame and appetizers once seated.
After a delicious dinner we all went back to my place for wine and some Butterfly cake lovingly made for me by Daisy and her BFF Betty - it was just as yummy as it was cute.
After some swordfighting on my new Wii (thanks Mom and Dad) the night wrapped up and I slipped off to dreams about me new job.

Movies, game systems, DMB, friends from abroad, SeaWorld passes, Butterfly cakes, tattoos and sushi - what a packed and amazing birthday/week. Thanks everyone!