“You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”
Larry Page gave a Q&A session at the end of yesterday’s I/O keynote, and during it he said the following:
“You need to have interoperation… We struggle with people like Microsoft. The Web is advancing too slowly. I’d like to see more open standards.”
Sounds nice, except as software developer Laurent Eschenauer points out:
- Google+ has no open RSS output, hence no PuSH support, no write API, in fact it has absolutely nothing open
- Google Reader is scrapped, along with RSS support within Chrome
- WebDav for Google Calendar is dropped in favor of their proprietary API
- XMPP is dropped, while 3 years ago it was at the core of their Wave efforts
In addition, Google Glass - which is built on the Android platform - doesn’t share the same level of perceived openness as its phone and tablet-based counterparts:
One thing many developers may not have realized before Google published these documents is that the API is essentially an old-school RESTful service. The only way to interact with Glass is through the cloud. The only apps you can build – at least for now – are web-based, and despite the fact that Glass runs Android, you can’t run any services directly on the hardware.
Stephen Hackett ends his latest piece with a sentiment that sums up my feelings on how Google is treating open standards and, by extension, its users:
Is Google evil? No. Do they send mixed messages to the world? Yes, but so does almost every other company.
Google’s really not all that different from anyone else, but they have painted a bigger target on their back than most.
I’d have more respect for Google if Larry Page got out onstage and said, “We’re locking things down more to provide a better overall experience to our users” instead of trotting out tired and routinely debunked tropes about “openness” and “standards”.
Apple pulled the same thing with FaceTime when it was announced, with Jobs claiming he eventually wanted FaceTime to become an open standard. It still hasn’t happened and probably never will. At least with iMessage, you know what you’re getting: locked into Apple’s ecosystem. It’s the same with BlackBerry Messenger and Google’s Hangouts.
Google is still pretending it’s a graduate thesis with grand visions for open computing, when in reality it’s just like every other company looking out for the bottom line. Again, not a problem, but the empty promises have to go.
Ian Betteridge takes a tongue-in-cheek shot across Gruber’s bow.
Tom Warren for The Verge:
Google’s complaint centers on the lack of ads in Microsoft’s YouTube app, something it claims is a direct violation of the terms and conditions of the company’s YouTube API. The Verge has learned that Microsoft created the app without Google’s consent with features that specifically prevent ads from playing. The lack of ads clearly hits Google’s own revenues, but also those of its third-party content creators that are paid through the company’s AdSense program.
I’m torn on this. On the one hand, I’m happy to see something hit Google where it hurts in the advertising realm. On the other, there are many individuals who rely on Google Ads for their personal income streams.
I guess the silver lining is that Google only has to worry about six people not seeing YouTube ads.
Fascinating article in The New Yorker this week:
Meanwhile, engineers interested in tape, having learned what they could from what the Nazis left behind, made their way to Crosby and showed him what the new magnetic technology could do. His interest was more than piqued; he handed fifty thousand dollars to the men from the Ampex corporation, which at that time was just a half-dozen people. The machines they delivered went into use in 1947, and a new Crosby show, edited by tape splicing, was broadcast—the first radio show to use the new technology. Suddenly audio—recorded media—was flexible. It could be cut and pasted, rearranged, and edited.
The Ampex sign still stands over Redwood City; it’s a Silicon Valley landmark. And Ampex still exists as a smaller company focussed on various kinds of recording. But the company is not what it was; for some time, it was a major manufacturer of equipment in America, a key player in early Valley history: as tape recording caught on, along came computers with stored programs. Magnetic tape was an improvement, in many regards, over punched cards or paper tape; it could more readily store data and programs and play them back. From the roots put down through Ampex came a revolution in data storage.