Jan 132012

I confess I haven’t been following the whole Google, Search Plus Your World debacle, aside of muttering to myself “catchy name”. What I’ve picked up from my RSS feed is that Google has gone and flipped another one of those damn switches, and this one folds information from Google+ into your search results. This ostensibly ranks some results that favor Google and its services over results that, say, would give you the most relevant information.

Even though I’ve been turning a deaf ear to the latest exploit of Google’s search monopoly, according to Bloomberg, the FTC hasn’t. They plan on broadening their current antitrust investigation, which Google made public in June, to include Google S,PYW. Who says there’s no efficiency in government? Put your hand down.

I really hope all that talk about Eric Schmidt going into politics was just that. This guys appears at 2 Senate Subcommittee meetings chanting “Google doesn’t play favorites with search” over and over and now Google+ makes it 100 times more obvious than any of the algorithmic games that were being played before. At least then you needed smart people to root out their bullshit. This rises to a level of bluntness that even elected officials will be able to act on. Do Larry and Sergey secretly hate Schmidt? Maybe this is their idea of a practical joke?

You can bet that this piling on is going to yield some kind of blowback for Mountain View (in addition to the supernova of Schmidt’s political future), and it won’t be the kind of trouble that Larry will be able to buy his way out of.

Jan 132012

In an attempt to provide some unification to the cornucopia of ass that the apps in the Android Market resemble, Google announced a framework of design principles for the latest  version of the Android operating system. “Design principles” are a lot like “Mission Statements”: pretty words intended to signal some sort of unification, but really only as consequential as the means of enforcing them. And Google doesn’t really have the means. Samsung is going to continue with TouchWiz and HTC will keep slapping Sense over the base Android UI/UX. In terms of app developers, they fall into 3 camps. The vast majority produce cut-and-paste and/or knock-off shit and don’t give a whit about Android’s design principles. The ones who currently employ good design and make good apps for Android (both of them) are probably insulted by the principles’ obviousness, so it won’t effect them either. I suppose there is a small group of earnest developers seeking some direction that stand to benefit, so congrats to Google and artisan Matt Duarte on reaching those souls who are artistically gifted, yet in need of guidance.

This is Google’s latest attempt to address the rampant fragmentation that is encouraged on a Wild West platform like Android. If the mandated inclusion of the Holo theme on all ICS handsets is a stick, this is its analogous – and equally inconsequential – carrot. But I do hear ICS comes with some sweet new wallpapers.

I'd f*ck me.

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