May 15, 2009

Best Hate comment about Google...

When i posted an entry about the tasks feature in Google calendar and expressed my desire for another feature, I never knew that someone will really read it and will post a comment bigger than any of my Blog Posts...

Well Tom Burns posted a comment and i thought a lot about it but i actually had nothing to reply, So posting the comment here in this post, So that you too can read his views and give your views about it!!!
With all due respect to your desire for that helpful feature, it’s just completely idiotic that Google has missed a step, an obvious one, and is not, at least to my knowledge, integrating this task list so it becomes a part of the iCalendar standard foundation that GCal is built on, making task lists in Mozilla and Apple iCal apps sync with online GCal task list. Or even that the task list syncs to ANY offline software app at all. It’s the same thing with the Contacts feature. I’m quite pleased that Google hosts my domain for free under Google Apps and gives me a rather robust set of office and technology suite tools as well as free reign to administratively manage the front end of the domain but notice how the app set in Google Apps is quite smaller than that is all available to regular Google users, that was a smart move because you start releasing unfinished, someones-sophomore-coding-project release apps intended for use by businesses and there will be a ugly backlash. Google, just like it’s silly name, is run by a lot of silly people on the end user product side with 1. an incessant need to rush apps out to the public, label them all beta so if they break or are incomplete, not their fault 2. anything outside the Google universe is always a second thought, almost a bandaid or an “oh $hit. we forget about these million other people who don’t work at google who are are customers!” be it calendar sync to offline apps by third party software companies, the contact sync that we’ve been waiting for for like a million years and I don’t think will ever sync accurately with any offline contact manager except through lame export import (if they had truly outstanding alternatives to what I was using today I’d switch for sure. but really they are actually very half ass, the GCal interface is atrociously ugly and unsightly I only use Gcal as a conduit between my Apple iCals or if I am away from iCal access and can only get Gcal online, it’s only now with themes that Gmail is liveable - themes in Gmail was my holdout to hosting my domain there and finally and most ridiculously childish business practice of “Labs.” Don’t misunderstand and think I am trying to quash innovation or don’t actually love Labs - I hate txt messaging and labs has an amazing desktop, TRUE txt messaging interface that makes it more palatable for me to use a function, so I have my love there - but it’s really not best business practice to release half baked software apps all labeled beta while developing a lab project for that the beta software app that is still a little rough around the edges and buggy.

But lets call this what it is: this isn’t Google’s line of business - developing great software apps for free. I mean they are free, no wonder they are crappy. Google is a large scale internet infrastructure developer and builder, plain and simple. Alongside advertising of course. But consumers get sucked in… I remember the big hoopla over the gmail addresses and only 50 invites a person. What a freakin marketing scam, and all for a beta product. Besides that, I mean you go into some of the help forums and hear these people who need help seriously because somehow their data has disappeared or something in a beta app breaks and they lose info. The general Google user I would conjecture doesn’t even know or have any idea that consumer based products don’t mean a lot to Google as it’s not their main business. So, caught up in the trendy Google hoopla, have become reliant on Google to be like Microsoft in the sense that their basic office and technology suite apps are going to work and going to work all the time and not going to lose your data (that’s a broadstatement mostly applicable to MS Office and apps not tied to the Windows OS). And of course people think, “wow, it’s all online, I don’t even have to back up.” Cloud computing needs to come with a warning that you need to have two copies of everything stored in the cloud in separate locations and backed up regularly if your data is important to you. Google never tells you to back up anything hardly ever. And I’ve never seen a warning from a online storage site recommending dual back ups but that’s chasing the customer away to another service provider so I can understand. It might be fair to trust that the reputable cloud storage services do in fact main redundant back ups in different physical locations (p.s. shopping for online storage: make sure they have redundant back ups in different physical locations. if they are reputable, reliable, and going to be key players, they will have that implemented). So now Google has all these people sucked in their little web - and how people ever started getting so excited and devoted to beta apps unless influenced by a big marketing campaign is beyond me - they are all hooked and Google just does what it wants. It’s absolutely atrocious on the consumer side how they treat people who use their products. Again, my loving Google Apps and my domain hosted for free can most certainly exsist with my opinion of how Google treats end users of their consumer products.

And not to beat the proverbial dead horse, but the HUMONGOUS privacy implications inherent in ALL of their services and applications. They have a big dog and pony show with their prominently displayed privacy policies. But there’s not a doubt in my mind they are mining all the data, personal, business, secret, important, vital that passes through their servers. And if I am right, they were so ballsy to put ads in gmail that are relevant to the content of the email you really want to be private. Granted, I am pretty sure no one is looking at the email because some of the ads that pop up clearly operate off keywords and they’ve interpreted the context of a word incorrectly in the email and so the ad displayed is totally off the wall. There is probably some deeply buried clause - if you start to read Google’s complete privacy policy as a whole you’ll find you’re linked from page to page to page… it’s like a trail… nothing is all consolidated in one easy to access place - and that clause that simply says, i conjecture, “by using our services you grant us a full and royalty free right to reuse your data and publish and disseminate and sell it and display as we choose at our leisure” much like the Facebook fracas (I think it was facebook, I don’t do much on the social network sites) a few months back. There are still websites, some cloud storage websites, that have that same clause although not so deeply buried.

Again, my point is most certainly not to minimize your desire and need for the particular feature you requested. Rather, i think I have a couple points: 1. Google needs to stop these Willa Wonka on a lark shenanigans and innovate for the better good of the masses, not for the niche market. Because not only is that just not good, it’s also contradictory to other areas of their business where they want large scale acceptance . 2. We are moving more and more towards an open source computing environment (OpenOffice 3 is like a miracle on the Mac and I will NEVER use MS Office again. In fact. I’ve removed every single piece of trash MS software from all my computers, except the necessary evils of windows video codecs, and, very reluctantly, the Silverlight media plug in which I only begrudgingly installed so as to utilize NetFlix on Demand. Anytime someone sends me some Windows file, I log onto to one of the many convenient file translation websites and convert to a mac friendly format right off the bat for free. User friendly versions of desktop Linux in large scale enterprise deployments for administrative functional areas of business are destined to do away with most certainly the Mac with its huge price tag and for sure Windows and the ever present MS Office, a suite where I read a recent survey that the average user, we’re talking mid level Joe Blow Admin Asst, uses just a little over just 20% of MS Office’s total capabilities. @ $400 a pop, not a good ROI when you’ve got a free open source project (Open Office) that’s really come to it’s day and can compete for the average user’s business, why waste money on crap you don’t need??? anyway I digress) Google’s stuff is already free, why not hop on the open source bandwagon with all its apps? I mean look at Apple. Apple seems to have it on the hook, although I think they are wasting their breath and effort because I don’t know one single person running safari on a Windows machine, and I constantly send people .mov files,. Ouicktime defaut, and they can’t be opened because they don’t have Windows Quicktime - their release schedules for multi platform products are either on the same timeline or just days or weeks apart. There’s no waiting two years for say a Mac Chrome Browser. (oh thanks Stainless!)

Oh boy that’s a lot, well if you decide not to post my little diatribe I’ll understand but at least I had the chance to get that all of my chest.

Best to you.

Tom Burns

So Guys what's your view about this!!

P.S:- Thanks Tom for the Beer Pitcher!!!

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