Posts tagged google

Google Removes ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Clause From Its Code of Conduct

google, alphabet, code-of-conduct, dont-be-evil, evil, Corporatism, 2018

Google’s unofficial motto has long been the simple phrase “don’t be evil.” But that’s over, according to the code of conduct that Google distributes to its employees. The phrase was removed sometime in late April or early May, archives hosted by the Wayback Machine show. “Don’t be evil” has been part of the company’s corporate code of conduct since 2000. When Google was reorganized under a new parent company, Alphabet, in 2015, Alphabet assumed a slightly adjusted version of the motto, “do the right thing.” However, Google retained its original “don’t be evil” language until the past several weeks. The phrase has been deeply incorporated into Google’s company culture—so much so that a version of the phrase has served as the wifi password on the shuttles that Google uses to ferry its employees to its Mountain View headquarters, sources told Gizmodo.

via https://gizmodo.com/google-removes-nearly-all-mentions-of-dont-be-evil-from–1826153393

The Google codebase [as of January 2015] includes approximately one billion files and has a history of approximately 35 million…

google, versioning, software, ACM, data

The Google codebase [as of January 2015] includes approximately one billion files and has a history of approximately 35 million commits spanning Google’s entire 18-year existence. The repository contains 86TB [Total size of uncompressed content, excluding release branches] of data, including approximately two billion lines of code in nine million unique source files. The total number of files also includes source files copied into release branches, files that are deleted at the latest revision, configuration files, documentation, and supporting data files.


Google’s codebase is shared by more than 25,000 Google software developers from dozens of offices in countries around the world. On a typical workday, they commit 16,000 changes to the codebase, and another 24,000 changes are committed by automated systems. Each day the repository serves billions of file read requests, with approximately 800,000 queries per second during peak traffic and an average of approximately 500,000 queries per second each workday. Most of this traffic originates from Google’s distributed build-and-test systems

http://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2016/7/204032-why-google-stores-billions-of-lines-of-code-in-a-single-repository/fulltext

Everything Is Broken

security, computers, rant, 0days, NSA, facebook, google, culture, everything is broken, human rights

Facebook and Google seem very powerful, but they live about a week from total ruin all the time. They know the cost of leaving social networks individually is high, but en masse, becomes next to nothing. Windows could be replaced with something better written. The US government would fall to a general revolt in a matter of days. It wouldn’t take a total defection or a general revolt to change everything, because corporations and governments would rather bend to demands than die. These entities do everything they can get away with — but we’ve forgotten that we’re the ones that are letting them get away with things.

https://medium.com/message/81e5f33a24e1

Dark Google

google, politics, privacy, Shoshanna Zuboff, FAZ, absolutism, digital autocracy

If there is a single word to describe Google, it is „absolute.” The Britannica defines absolutism as a system in which „the ruling power is not subject to regularized challenge or check by any other agency.” In ordinary affairs, absolutism is a moral attitude in which values and principles are regarded as unchallengeable and universal. There is no relativism, context-dependence, or openness to change.

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/debatten/the-digital-debate/shoshanna-zuboff-dark-google–12916679.html?printPagedArticle=true

Big data: are we making a big mistake?

big data, analytics, google, flu, correlation, theory, theory-free

Four years after the original Nature paper was published, Nature News had sad tidings to convey: the latest flu outbreak had claimed an unexpected victim: Google Flu Trends. After reliably providing a swift and accurate account of flu outbreaks for several winters, the theory-free, data-rich model had lost its nose for where flu was going. Google’s model pointed to a severe outbreak but when the slow-and-steady data from the CDC arrived, they showed that Google’s estimates of the spread of flu-like illnesses were overstated by almost a factor of two.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/21a6e7d8-b479–11e3-a09a–00144feabdc0.html#axzz2xS1VXiUc

Google Flu Trends gets it wrong three years running

new scientist, google, flu trends, big data, prediction, data driven projection, algorithms

Google Flu Trends, which launched in 2008, monitors web searches across the US to find terms associated with flu activity such as “cough” or “fever”. It uses those searches to predict up to nine weeks in advance the number of flu-related doctors’ visits that are likely to be made. The system has consistently overestimated flu-related visits over the past three years, and was especially inaccurate around the peak of flu season – when such data is most useful. In the 2012/2013 season, it predicted twice as many doctors’ visits as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) eventually recorded. In 2011/2012 it overestimated by more than 50 per cent.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25217-google-flu-trends-gets-it-wrong-three-years-running.html#.UyK6qce7hBo

Don’t be a Glasshole

Glass, google, ethics, instructions, social mediation

Don’t Be creepy or rude (aka, a “Glasshole”). Respect others and if they have questions about Glass don’t get snappy. Be polite and explain what Glass does and remember, a quick demo can go a long way. In places where cell phone cameras aren’t allowed, the same rules will apply to Glass. If you’re asked to turn your phone off, turn Glass off as well. Breaking the rules or being rude will not get businesses excited about Glass and will ruin it for other Explorers.

https://sites.google.com/site/glasscomms/glass-explorers

Seeing as a Service

changeist, AR, augmentation, perception, place, google, enclosure

We know that applications such as Google Maps, Google Earth and StreetView already acquiesce to regulations that require obscuration of government installations, private companies’ facilities in some cases, some brands, and private citizens faces and number plates—even as it works hard to decipher items like house numbers. In other words, technology is used to differentiate what we can see and not see, depending on the legal or ethical (or otherwise) standards of a particular place. For the most part, Google Maps, Google Earth and StreetView are forms of augmented reality. They digitally render reality with forms of markup, of contextual data, which adds to our perception of places. Except in the cases of blur, pixelation and, it could be argued, accidental presentation of various kinds of render ghosts—people and things only partly captured or partly presented, artifacts of digital accident or persistent memory. Some kind of determination is made that there are things present in reality that we can’t or shouldn’t see.

https://medium.com/futures-exchange/403771297f5f

How advertisers became the NSA’s best friend

NSA, google, tracking, sureveillance, advertising, cookies, defective by design

What’s still unclear is whether the NSA is directly hacking Google or using some other way to track these cookies. But while the company is officially keeping quiet, the simple math of cookie tracking makes it likely that the NSA didn’t need any help from Google. Tracking cookies offers the NSA the perfect system for following suspects across the web: it’s pervasive, persistent, and for the most part, it’s still unencrypted. “It solves a bunch of tricky problems for bulk web surveillance that would otherwise be quite difficult,” says Jonathan Mayer, a fellow at Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society who worked with the Washington Post on the report. The right cookie will follow you as your phone moves from 3G to a coffee shop’s Wi-Fi network, and in many cases it’ll broadcast your unique ID in plain text.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/12/12/5204196/how-advertisers-became-the-nsa-best-friend

What Is ‘Evil’ to Google?

Ian Bogost, evil, google, morality, ethics, progress, engineering, silicon valley, narcissism

Famous though the slogan might be, its meaning has never been clear. In the 2004 IPO letter, founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin clarify that Google will be “a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short term gains.” But what counts as “good things,” and who constitutes “the world?” The slogan’s significance has likely changed over time, but today it seems clear that we’re misunderstanding what “evil” means to the company. For today’s Google, evil isn’t tied to malevolence or moral corruption, the customary senses of the term. Rather, it’s better to understand Google’s sense of evil as the disruption of its brand of (computational) progress.

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/10/what-is-evil-to-google/280573/

What Turned Jaron Lanier Against the Web?

Jaron Lanier, lynch mob, digital maoism, facebook, google, VR

And so it is with Jaron Lanier and the ideology he helped create, Web 2.0 futurism, digital utopianism, which he now calls “digital Maoism,” indicting “internet intellectuals,” accusing giants like Facebook and Google of being “spy agencies.” Lanier was one of the creators of our current digital reality and now he wants to subvert the “hive mind,” as the web world’s been called, before it engulfs us all, destroys political discourse, economic stability, the dignity of personhood and leads to “social catastrophe.”

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/What-Turned-Jaron-Lanier-Against-the-Web–183832741.html?c=y&story=fullstory

Google Engineer Told Others of Data Collection

technocracy, communication, corporatism, privacy, google

Google’s harvesting of e-mails, passwords and other sensitive personal information from unsuspecting households in the United States and around the world was neither a mistake nor the work of a rogue engineer, as the company long maintained, but a program that supervisors knew about, according to new details from the full text of a regulatory report. The report, prepared by the Federal Communications Commission after a 17-month investigation of Google’s Street View project, was released, heavily redacted, two weeks ago. Although it found that Google had not violated any laws, the agency said Google had obstructed the inquiry and fined the company $25,000. On Saturday, Google released a version of the report with only employees’ names redacted.

https://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/technology/google-engineer-told-others-of-data-collection-fcc-report-reveals.html?_r=1