Patrice Riemens on Sun, 10 May 2009 13:48:46 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Ippolita Collective: The Dark Face of Google (Afterthought 2008)

NB this book and translation are published under Creative Commons license
2.0 (Attribution, Non Commercial, Share Alike).
Commercial distribution requires the authorisation of the copyright
holders: Ippolita Collective and Feltrinelli Editore, Milano (.it)

Ippolita Collective: The Dark Side of Google (concluded)

Afterthought for the French Edition, 2008

Today Google's domination appears to spread further and further in, and
over the digital world(s). Hence the analysis and the [perspectives] we
engaged with when we started our research in 2005 are {in our view} more
timely than ever. The bright face of Google is becoming dimmer as fast as
its hidden face grows visibly darker.  Thus, it has become more urgent
than ever today to go beyond the hype running  after each and every
'scoop' that is the latest technological  innovation. We must on the
contrary take a pause and allow for the time necessary to elaborate a
critical discourse. This book's gambit was to propose an approach for
in-depth reflection without constantly following Google's most recent
innovation. Nevertheless we are not unhappy to see  that many a hypothesis
we formulated in this book has actually come about in reality, and this is
especially true of the profiling taking place along {the users'} search

Google's homepage has become more complex {in the meanwhile} as services
are now directly accessible. And as a search is processed the mechanisms
behind profiling, such as become manifest in the {search} page's margins,
appear to have become visibly more refined and invasive.

The Google-mobile [telephony]  convergence discussed and anticipated in
chapter 5 has become a reality with the spectacularly stage-managed launch
of Android, a system that grafts itself onto hand-held appliances (GSMs,
Palm Pilots, Smartphones, etc.), and which is of course totally  Linux/
Open Source-based. Android is being developed by the Open Handset
Alliance, a platform of mobile operators, chips manufacturers, mobile
appliances producers, software developers, and various other commercial
players. It is a consortium of scores of ITC heavy-weights, ranging from
Intel to Motorola and from Samsung to eBay. Google has also launched a
competition offering serious prize money for the best Android-based
applications development proposals. Award winning proposals (selected by a
Google internal committee), will be earmarked for trophies and funding to
the tune of a cool US Dollars one crore [see chapter 1]. Google thereby
confirms its evolution towards a software-centered enterprise: its
much-awaited GPhone therefore will not be the next technological object,
but, literally, an 'android', that is a mean to make use either of already
existing tools, or to invent the ones of tomorrow.

One should note furthermore that in the best traditions of 'free'
resources entitlement, the Android license will make it possible for
Google to avail of the contributions of coders the world over - for free.
And then to resell the package obtained from their labor for money - and
all this perfectly legit. This as Google has chosen for the Apache license
2, which is much less far-reaching than GPL as regards the upholding of
'free'. And Android represents only the latest move in Mountain View's
strategy to 'pacmanize' the world of F/OSS. Today, Google's Open Source
projects are no longer hosted on the site: they are on
Google's own server, com , for enhanced visibility, better
services - and closer control. So once again, accumulation is King.

(END of the Book - minus the notes)

Translated by Patrice Riemens
This translation project has been supported and facilitated by:

The Center for Internet and Society, Bangalore
The Tactical Technology Collective, Bangalore Office
Visthar, Dodda Gubbi post, Kothanyur-Bangalore (till March 31st, 2009)
The Meyberg-Acosta Household, Pune (April 2-11, 2009)
The Bawa-Jonnalagadda Household, Bangalore (April 12-18, 2009)
The Haskel-Huley (London), Bunting (Bristol), Zingas (Glastonbury), and
Bezembinder (Groningen) Households  (April 19 - May 10, 2009)

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