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Google's Sinister(?) Plans 287

Posted by Zonk
from the do-no-meh dept.
puppetman writes "This week, Robert X. Cringely makes some interesting observations as to what Google's up to next. He theorizes that Google is looking to create a bandwidth shortage that will drive ISP/cable/telephone customers into it's open arms (often with the blessing of the ISP/cable/telephone company). The evidence: leasing massive amounts of network capacity, and huge data centers in rural areas (close to power-generation facilities). The shortage will only occur if the average bandwidth consumption by individual consumers skyrockets; think mainstream BitTorrent, streaming moves from NetFlix, tv episodes from iTunes, video games on demand, etc, etc. Spooky and sinister, or sublime and smart?"
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Google's Sinister(?) Plans

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  • Google? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Columcille (88542) * on Friday January 19, 2007 @09:41PM (#17690484) Homepage
    Come now, Google don't do evil.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by User 956 (568564)
      Come now, Google don't do evil.

      This prediction sounds less like google and more like Skynet. Especially the "piggybacking on power-generation facilities" part.
      • Re:Google? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Gorobei (127755) on Friday January 19, 2007 @10:26PM (#17690864)
        In the past decade, a lot of big firms with serious computing needs have been building huge off-site compute centers. Cheap power (a nearby power plant) and cheap cooling (a nearby river) tend to be the driving factors. Now and then you find a great site (mainly because the power plant will commit to providing lots of off-peak power,) and when you do, you often find a "facility" (think 100 ft underground, huge water-cooling system built) available for lease or sale nearby. Go figure, people have been doing this for a long time!
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 19, 2007 @10:03PM (#17690690)
      Anybody who has ever planned a large network (meaning .0000000000001% of Slashdotters) already knows that getting users to hog MORE bandwidth doesn't require an evil plot. All it requires is a network and attached computers.

      If you build it, they will come. If you offer something for users to use, they will use it.

      It's simple reality, no evil plot required.
      • by packeteer (566398)
        Anyone who understands economics will know that when you increase consumption of something it spurs research and development for the related technology. If there is money to be made by making faster networks it will be done by someone.

        I cant see how the average user's consumption coming in line with my already high bandiwdth usage would be bad. I am constantly torrenting, streaming, downloading, and playing WoW. As more people do all of these things it means i have a better chance of getting an even bett
      • by k12linux (627320) on Friday January 19, 2007 @10:48PM (#17691040)

        <pedantic>
        (meaning .0000000000001% of Slashdotters)

        I know you are trying to make a point but that % of all people alive on earth today is about 1/15,000th of a person.

        </pedantic>
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Marsala (4168)

          Makes sense to me.

          My network engineer is always telling me he's got more common sense in his pinky than all of the monkeys in my department put together.

          Usually right before he changes the passwords on the switches.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Satorian (902590)
        Anybody who has ever planned a large network (meaning .0000000000001% of Slashdotters) already knows that getting users to hog MORE bandwidth doesn't require an evil plot.

        No. Just porn.

    • ... to coin the term GEvil? For shame, Columcille.
    • Re:Google? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Tablizer (95088) on Friday January 19, 2007 @10:56PM (#17691080) Homepage Journal
      Come now, Google don't do evil.

      You'll start seeing a new search results paging icon:

      Eviiiiiiiiil
           
  • What? Me worry? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bitbucketeer (892710) on Friday January 19, 2007 @09:41PM (#17690486)
    Maybe Google will run fiber to my home out here in sunny Ridgecrest, CA. Verizon sure isn't going to any time soon.
    • by dreddnott (555950) <dreddnott@yahoo.com> on Friday January 19, 2007 @09:44PM (#17690504) Homepage
      Quit your whining; at least your roads are paved.

      I've been waiting for something faster than dial-up for ten years!
    • I'd sure as hell jump at subscribing if Google offered an ISP service around here that was halfway decent.
      Even if they *were* evil, they could hardly do worse than the local ISPs!
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by NickCatal (865805)
        No. I wouldn't want Google to do an ISP. No matter what, ISPs are always stuck with idiots who have no idea how to fix things. No sense tarnishing Google's reputation due to the inevitable.

        Blizzard useto have a great reputation. Now they incorporate a ton of spyware that looks at your computer's every process, in the name of "reducing cheating." And their customer support is sub-par at best, banning paying users at a whim.

        I mean, these are the guys who made the Starcraft, Warcraft, and Diablo series! They i
        • Re:No kidding... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by chimpo13 (471212) <slashdot@nokilli.com> on Saturday January 20, 2007 @01:44AM (#17692256) Homepage Journal
          Google is tarnishing their image with the "buy your domain through us" thing. Check out the google boards and read the many responses from people with problems.

          I bought a domain for a friend as an Xmas present. I wanted to forward it to a blog (blogspot, which is owned by google). No go. Can't get an answer out of google, it's automated. I just want to cancel it and re-register the domain with another company. Google used GoDaddy for registration, and GoDaddy said they can't help me because the domain I bought is owned by Google. Sheesh.

          It drove me up a wall and I'll end up letting the domain sit blank for a year and then expire and die.

          $10 for the domain and 1 hour 15 minutes on the phone being bounced around GoDaddy. When Google really decides to go evil, we're all doomed. Doomed, I tells ya'. Doomed.
          • Re:No kidding... (Score:4, Interesting)

            by loraksus (171574) on Saturday January 20, 2007 @03:52AM (#17692896) Homepage
            It might also have something to do with the fact that Godaddy (as well as quite a few other merchants who started accepting payments via google checkout *cough* ritz camera *cough*) don't know their head from their ass on a good day, toss in the usual bit of substandard customer service by people who don't speak English and a new payment system and everything goes to hell.
            I know the google checkout thing is sort of secondary, but goes to show how badly companies can fuck up.
    • by fwr (69372)
      Don't you mean AT&T? Why would Verizon run fiber to your home in CA?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by admactanium (670209)
        Don't you mean AT&T? Why would Verizon run fiber to your home in CA?
        because they already do? verizon fios is available in some cities in california already. in fact, i hope to be moving to a city that has it available relatively soon.
  • by SpaceLifeForm (228190) on Friday January 19, 2007 @09:41PM (#17690488)
    That would be easy to do without creating any bandwidths shortages.

  • Or how about... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bin_jammin (684517) <Binjammin@gmail.com> on Friday January 19, 2007 @09:44PM (#17690508)
    Cringley's an idiot, and we're all dumber for having been exposed to this. Sinister? Creating a bandwidth shortage? How about anyone can see bandwidth usage is going up, and will likely do so further into the future. I don't really see how this can be considered anything other than gambling on a developing market. Sinister implies something evil. That can't be right, Google's credo is Do No Evil after all. To sum it up: Cringley=bad, Google=business.
    • Re:Or how about... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 19, 2007 @10:30PM (#17690884)
      Sorry, I have acutally work on the Net Backbone in several locations: New York, San Jose and Illinois. With respect to them causing a shortage; not likely. The Incumbant LEC's control most of the fiber with some others being run by small companies. If there is an issue; people can lay more fiber or go through various competing CLEC for bandwidth.

      Also, I have worked in the same datacener with Google; they have over 30 GigE feeds over dark fiber. As of a couple years ago; they had something like 60 strands per data center. Well, 60 for the larger data centers. As for tapping SBC (my current region) not likley. As for Chicago; downtown? They might give it some trouble; the city and the county have told SBC to maximize their fiber usage. The City and the County (cook) basically spanked SBC for putting too much in? How can you put in too much? Simple they put small end electronics on it; something like a chincy OC-12 or an OC-3 ring; instead of a OC-48 which is using (TTL's) Tight Transmission Lasers; ofcouse with those TTL's being sent over a DWDM system. If true; downtown is screwed; but not the state.

      Now that my NDA has expired; I feel like saying:
      1) Google in their data centers and beyond use Gig-Ethernet; and my suspicions is that it goes back to the Googleplex in California. Currently; they use your standard "Wester Digital HD" with Gigabyte MOBO's; using Penitum III IV proc's. Their network is done by Force 10. Each rack has between 20 and 40 servers; depending on MOBO. Each rack is seperated by an HP switch. Their core switch used to Juniper M20's and they have upgraded to T320's.
      2) funny clip of the telecom industry: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bj1Mtv9cD0I [youtube.com] they forgot Pacific Telesis in the video.
    • by logicnazi (169418) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {izancigol}> on Friday January 19, 2007 @11:09PM (#17691182) Homepage
      Cringely didn't call it sinister or even imply that it was. He just suggested that google was positioning itself to take advantage of the coming bandwidth shortage. The only passage that even suggests sinisterness was his aside that maybe gathering up leasing deals should trigger government scrutiny and that seemed to be only a remark on policy not google's plan.

      It's only the tinfoil hat slashdoters that added the word sinister.
  • by d34thm0nk3y (653414) on Friday January 19, 2007 @09:46PM (#17690518)
    How exactly does one "create" a bandwidth shortage?
    • by russ1337 (938915)
      Exactly. Considering other ISP's are selling off their rural subsidiaries to focus on the city's, I think Google buying it up is just fine. Google have a good reputation for providing services to users for free, and we might see some real competition in the market.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dreddnott (555950)
      Don't you remember the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 1973? Sometimes simply saying that there's a shortage of something can function as a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Colin Smith (2679)
      With an axe... Obviously.

       
    • Four words: Enormous amounts of material. It's not a truck, ya know.
  • Skynet (Score:2, Funny)

    by teal_ (53392)
    It's Skynet, of course. Somebody get John Connor into hiding.
  • Wild speculation (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ParraCida (1018494)
    So total internet data traffic is going to multiply by 30 in the next 3-4 years you say? That's a nice statement to make without any research to back it up.

    The only thing he's got is google buying up loads of fiber and apparently power for their datacenters, while the immediate goal for this is as yet is unknown to us, a takeover of the internet infrastructure would be one of the less likely scenarios.
  • So Google bought MILLIONS of dollars worth of cable and data centers in case bandwidth demand SKYROCKETS by some freak chance that Bittorrent suddenly becomes massive? And they're EVIL for considering this? Right.
  • Does that mean the blue E will be replaced by a blue G? Yeah, I know what is Internet, the blue E...
  • "Sinister"? wtf? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SirTalon42 (751509) on Friday January 19, 2007 @09:49PM (#17690548)
    At least the blurb makes it sound like the author of the article thinks actually USING your bandwidth is a BAD thing. I think that if google (or anyone else, even microsoft or apple) gave people reason to use more of their bandwidth (like more streaming content, more stuff to download that appeals to joe sixpack without taking even as much effort as going to the pirate bay or another site to try and find a torrent) is a GREAT thing. At first it may cause the internet to have some pains (if its a sudden surge, most likely it'll be a slow acceleration), it'll be only temporarily before the ISPs upgrade their network's capacity (which several are already doing anyways), which would mean EVERYONE would end up with higher speeds much quicker.

    How exactly would that be a bad thing (or did my not reading the article mean I completely missed the point? If so, I'm sure many a slashdotter will be correcting me)
  • by viking80 (697716) on Friday January 19, 2007 @09:50PM (#17690552) Journal
    Google only buys/own fiberoptic backbone. They have bought this beause it has been for sale really cheap, because there is a *huge* surplus of it.

    Also, Google needs this for its long term strategy of delivering search functionality to the world without beeing controlled other fiber providers.

    The bandwidht limitation is largely artifical and created by ISPs, as a revenue generating business model.

    ISPs could open up the valve on all DSL lines, and not need any more fiber to support it. Maybe some cheap equipment upgrades here and there.

    Example: A fiber cable may consists of a few hundred fibers delivering from 10Gb to 10TB for a total of 1-100Tb. A city like San Jose, CA, with 100k households, this gives 10Mb-10Gb per household. (And there are actually more than 1 fiber cable)
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Fatal67 (244371)
      You can't be serious. Since NO cable companies are transit free, they pay per meg usage to their transit providers. The more you use, the more they have to pay. They either raise your rates or eat the cost of upgrading the network for free. They are a for profit company. DO you think they will just 'eat the cost'? VOIP, IPTV, and anything else requiring bandwidth will cease to function as they did. They can't offer you a QOS service to commit bandwidth to you because of all of the 'network neutrality' nons
  • Econ 101 Anybody? (Score:3, Informative)

    by moehoward (668736) on Friday January 19, 2007 @09:51PM (#17690572)

    This is just plain good business. Of course, there are many nutjobs (rhymes with star-heft-miberals) that will always look at big business with shifty eyes. And, Google certainly is as big-business as they come. But good strategery like this is just common sense. They are most certainly not out to create a artificial (or whatever he is implying) shortage.

    And, Google builds data centers in rural areas (and gosh, everywhere else) near powerplants for economic reasons as well. Heck, look at the economics of building that new data center in SC that they announced today. Average salary is shy of $50,000 for some few hundred jobs. Compare to placing that data center in suburban Chicago or San Jose or in Manhatten. I mean, this is just math. Makes for a pretty good conspiracy theory, though.

    This Cringely article comes off very tin-foil hattish. Look at all the disclaimers and suppositions and "theories." Gosh, so shocking that a big company is "secret" about their overall strategy. He wants to know Google's "secrets" (strategry) just like an analyst of the oil industry wants to know BP's strategy. Any huge corporation is not going to let that out. Google is no more "secret" than anyone else. It's just that more people are asking Google.
    • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday January 19, 2007 @11:44PM (#17691386)
      Of course, there are many nutjobs (rhymes with star-heft-miberals) that will always look at big business with shifty eyes.

      And apparently there will always be a nutjob that rhymes with moehoward who will insert random attacks on his preferred group to hate so that when he does actually make a good point, reasonable people will wonder if he really is insightful or just lucky in the same way that a broken watch still tells the correct time twice a day.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Monkelectric (546685)
      This Cringely article comes off very tin-foil hattish.

      Cringley's MO is to come up with some sky is falling scenario. Plausible or not it is discussed ad infinitum and therefore he is more well read.

  • by RichPowers (998637) on Friday January 19, 2007 @09:52PM (#17690574)
    Frankly, I'm sick of commentators and "analysts" proposing outlandish theories with no hard evidence to back them up. Someone should create a website that tracks the accuracy of such predictions...
  • Google can't possibly corner the market on communications. It makes more sense as a defense against the breakdown of network neutrality -- the whole point of killing network neutrality is so that big teleco's can extort money from big network players like Google; the little guys aren't worth billing...

    If Google owns it's own pipes, they have a level of immunity.
    • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Friday January 19, 2007 @10:05PM (#17690708)
      Remember that the big beneficieries of the end of net neutrality will be the "last mile" owners, the ISP's. But yes, if Google has many data centers around the country, they could just provide free wireless for everyone, or at least threaten to if the ISP's don't play ball. They've done it in San Francisco, even got some city money for it. Since they wouldn't have to pay bandwith costs (they own the network), hardware fix-it and installation guys (it's wireless), and billing/customer support staff (it's free), they might keep their costs low enough to really make it worth their while to give it away. In any case, it's smart of them to be buying "real" property while there's still money to go around.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by melikamp (631205)
        Mod this up! It is all about the motive. Google has none: they only stand to loose if someone controls the traffic. They have no content of their own, they make money because the Web is neutral. When the content providers will push for non-neutrality, they will in fact be asking to make the Net into Cable, which would make Google completely irrelevant. I have no doubt that Google would kill its own mother to increase the margins, but at the present moment they are on people's side: their entire strategy dep
    • Mod this guy up. This is the only logical reason why Google is doing what it is apparently doing.

      Of course, hedging against a breakdown in Net Neutrality isn't quite as sexy as "Google's going to become SkyNet, OMGWTFBBQ!!!"
  • by malfunct (120790) * on Friday January 19, 2007 @09:55PM (#17690606) Homepage
    Did he ever think that maybe they need TONS of bandwidth to replicate thier data between the thousands of servers in thier giant backend? Did he ever think that power costs are significant enough that not moving near cheap power is a significant business disadvantage? I work on a team dealing with exactly the same datacenter issues and I highly doubt any sinister plans on googles part (even though I don't personally trust them for completely different reasons).

    The answer is easy, Google is just trying to keep up with the monster they have created.
    • by kfg (145172) on Friday January 19, 2007 @10:18PM (#17690804)
      Did he ever think. . .?

      No.

      KFG
    • by karlm (158591)
      Oh, come on. Do you really think that copying diffs of the entire visible World Wide Web to hundreds or thousands of locations really takes that much bandwidth? I'm pretty sure only the Slashdot main page, the Google news main page, and about 1 or 2 other web pages change on the average day, worldwide.

      Google must be conspiring with aliens, gays, and the Chinese government to need that much bandwidth.

      Now please excuse me while I stock up on AA call options. I feel an aluminium foil shortage coming on.

  • Seriously? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jhjessup (936580) on Friday January 19, 2007 @10:02PM (#17690678)
    C'mon, people! Think about this for just a sec... Cringley's claiming that Google has been buying rights to data lines (future bandwidth) - secretly - for some time now. Cringley hypothesises that Google's motivation for this is their corporate insight concerning the future of a more bandwidth-intensive public. Assuming that this hypothesis is correct (it's reasonable), how is it sinister? Google sees that users are using more bandwidth, they see that they can position themselves in such a way as to capitalize it in the future. It's good business sense. Their stock probably is undervalued.
  • Welcome our new well-heeled big-piped overlords.
  • by hillct (230132) on Friday January 19, 2007 @10:11PM (#17690746) Homepage Journal
    Who here remembers Williams Communications and their bandwidth exchange, back during the height of the bouble? This is simply an extension of commodity hedging in the absence of a liquid market. The only way you can achieve such commoditization in the current environment is to invest in the related infrastructure. Much as any company hedges against the cost of key input commodities, critical to thheir business -think airlines investing in oil futures- Google anticipates increasesing commodity costs. There's absolutely nothing sinister about about this. It does however, seem to tip Google's hand with regard to their expectations of Net Neutrality. Vint has probably realized that his quest for net neutrality legislation will fail, and Google will face significant changes in network monetization through a vastly expanded peering fee structure. Where previously, peering fees were (and are typically now) paid by smaller network providers, to larger providers for the right to connect to their networks, in the future, such fees will be structured not based on network size but relative volume of traffic sorted by type. Google wants to minimize the impact of such peering fees (passed from colo provider to colo clients such as Google) by leasing as much network infrastructure as they can acquire. The simple point here is the fewer connections to foreign networks, the smaller the overall cost of peering under any model, regardless of the outcome of the net neutrality debate, but especially if it gets shot down. The point is, there's nothing sinister here. It's simple corporate risk management. Google would be negligent if they didn't do this.

    -- CTH
    • Who here remembers Williams Communications and their bandwidth exchange, back during the height of the bouble?

      Interesting.. I worked for a company that wanted to do that a couple of years back. They even claimed to be getting a patent on the idea... They'd just been bought out by this US investment company, sold on the flashy words ('if we get 1% of the bandwidth market you'll all be millionaires' and other crap (Yes the statement is factually true but the size of that 'If' dwarfs the rest of the stateme
      • by hillct (230132)
        Williams was and is an Oil infrastructure and services company. Their Communications subsidiary now provides cable, fiber and communications infrastructure services. At one point they tried to create a bandwidth exchange. I first became aware of them only when they started advertising on some of the sunday morning political discussion shows (along with Enron). I gater they were able to shed the exchange business without sustaining significant losses.

        --CTH
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rich0 (548339)
      Excellent - the natural progression of this would be to run one cable from each computer on the internet to every other computer on the internet - so as to not have to pay to share cables. And if the major ISPs get their way it might be cheaper that way too.

      Gotta love technological steps backwards. I always thought the whole point of packet-switching is that you DON'T need 3 bazillion circuits between point A and point B. But we'll end up having them anyway since every ISP is going to be at 1% utilizatio
  • by uss_valiant (760602) on Friday January 19, 2007 @10:15PM (#17690776) Homepage
    After RTFA, here's a summary:
    - Google owns (leases) tons of fiber, they control the bandwidth market.
    - Google plans to build a lot of large data centers in rural areas.
    - Google anticipates a massive growth in bandwidth usage due to p2p, youtube, etc.
    - ISPs will be faced with buying tons of new bandwidth OR contracting with Google to use / connent to the nearby data center directly.

    No sir. Google needs a lot of servers for their services. Sure they profit from their local data centers as edge proxies the same way Akamai does, but the whole theory about controlling ISPs, targeting contracts with your local ISP etc. is BS. These data centers are used for their CPU / memory power and then to minimize latency.
  • aslong as we get the gourmet meals and time to work on projects, let them take it over already.. it couldn't be worse than things already are..
  • One of the reasons that Google has been snatching all that dark fiber is so it can locate new network centers in areas where electricity is cheaper. Right now Google is pushing the envelope on their multi cpu platform to the point that power usage is of more concern than the cost of the hardware. Having access to all that dark fiber makes is easier to run a smooth distributed network, plus it does not hurt them if they decide to offer broadband services.
  • by AllParadox (979193) on Friday January 19, 2007 @10:29PM (#17690882)
    Google has created its business on a single rock-solid concept: integrity.

    Google will not route weird advertising to you just because they get paid for it. They will do their level best to allow you to run your own searches, and find whatever it may be that you seek. Any advertising is strictly ignorable in the right column.

    Granting Google the possibility of ethical and honest conduct, I can think of a more likely possibility.

    AT&T, the *Mother* of all telephone companies, wants to provide net services to all their customers. As part of their "services" they intend to randomly interrupt the flow of packets, effectively degrading the truly fearsome competitor to the phone company: Vonage.

    Google, with power backups and significant broadband capability, can deliver what AT&T wants to disrupt: quality Vonage or other VOIP services.

    After that, who needs MS? Google can be your phone company.

    I sure trust them more than I do AT&T or Ed Whitacre.
  • Or, perhaps Google has decided it's cheaper to pay for bandwidth and save on the datacenters.

    If they build in a rural area near a power station, they save on land/rent and it would be a lot cheaper to add more power capacity when necessary. Employees have a lower cost of living, so may be willing to accept lower pay.

    They only need to bandwidth to carry the data from there to the urban centers where the requests come from. Maybe on the scale of Google, it's cheaper to do things that way?
  • If Google is really building datacenters and buying cables to control the internet bandwidth, because "in the future" we will all use 3GB daily, and this is Google's bet, then they suck.

    10 years ago everyone had dial-up. It took only a decade for everyone to download/stream movies. And the technology to transport data will only get better. It won't stop at cable, at 1MB or 2MB per second. Maybe it'll even be wireless. I wouldn't strategize my business around the non-existance of a technology that WILL come,
  • Wrong (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nonsequitor (893813) on Friday January 19, 2007 @10:41PM (#17690976)
    If you google those rural facilities, say 'Google Ann Arbor' a google jobs link is the first hit. When you click on the job descriptions you'll notice they are looking for people to scan books, an IT staff for infrastructure needs, and HR for staffing.

    I bet the bandwidth they're leasing is for hosting this among many of their other possibly unannounced projects. Which will have their own facility. Now imagine if they had some sort of cache synchronization routine between these facilities. And each one were devoted to cataloging the web servers hosted by that and neighboring ISPs, you think that might improve the performace of their search engine? Sorry, while I doubt all of Google's motivations are benign, they are supposed to make money after all, I seriously doubt they are planning to create a bandwidth shortage.
  • by F452 (97091) * on Friday January 19, 2007 @10:43PM (#17690992) Homepage
    People, please RTFA article first before confusing the biased story summary with what Cringely actually said. It is a very interesting column, and of course quite speculative. I didn't get the impression that Bob was suggesting anything sinister on Google's part, certainly I don't think he was suggesting that they would create a bandwidth shortage. What nonsense.
  • There's a whole lot of dark fiber out there, and the fundamental feature of P2P and P2G protocols is that they automatically distribute the load to make it difficult to overload the network. Sure, some of the peers may be far away, but if there is any network congestion as a result, the local peers will have the advantage and balance things out. If there is any planning along these lines, my guess Google is just betting on more information flowing, and lots of it.

    However, I'd like to see a network infrastru
  • and avoid net neutrality issues. Google has more hits and content (with GooTube) than anyone else. If you wanted to bypass the bottlenecks in a very disorganized Internet (just look at the freaking maps, but take your heart medicine first) then you buy up NOC space and cache as much in a distributed network as you can.

    On this one, Cringely is dead wrong.
  • The guy is a joke. He doesn't even use his real name.
  • Most ISP are very reluctant to increase there capacity unless it's almost to the point where they are loosing customers.
    Anything that drives services and network bandwidth forward and reduces it's cost is a wecome and wonderful thing.

    It actually evens the playing field away from the New AT&T monopoly that controls almost all phone and cable TV today.

    For the past 50 years the last mile has been the barrier keeping the Internet and any potential competition ou
  • Think about it.

    There are two parts of an AI -- there's the information, and then there's the building relationships and queries to that information.

    The Web is the information. Pretty soon, a majority of the information in the world will be within reach of Google's spiders. That's not a surprise.

    But, the building the relationships between those data is the hard part. That's the cool part of Google -- they have millions of people doing that work, for free.

    Google is using the queries and query patterns of t
  • Google (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dheera (1003686) on Saturday January 20, 2007 @01:09AM (#17691992) Homepage
    I'm sorry, but I think Google is one of the best businesses I have ever seen. From everything I hear, their work environment is awesome. They have honestly good products (buggy, fine, but much less buggy than M$FT products, so don't complain about the annual bug in Gmail). Google doesn't force things upon users. Google doesn't make secret agreements with other companies to have exclusive control over an aspect of their sales (M$FT does). Google wins by having a good product, not by handwaving and using legalese to trap customers. Google caters to average users as well as advanced users. Google supports the open source community. Google funds a lot of cool projects. Google's projects support and promote the idea of free information and knowledge, and making information more accessible.

    What more could you ask for?

    And why would Google want or care for a shortage of bandwidth? Shortages of bandwidth are not likely to happen any time soon. While processors are starting to see speed limits before we turn to physicists for help, communication lines are nowhere near the bit rate limits that are possible with current technology. Moore's law will still hold for the coming years in terms of bandwidth, at least.
  • by WindBourne (631190) on Saturday January 20, 2007 @01:14AM (#17692038) Journal
    The simple answer is that Google is trying to end-run MS and destroy their monopoly. Anybody who takes MS head-on, loses. So they are increasing the value of the net to the end user. I suspect that by 2008, we will see a free Google OS. It will be Linux. At this time, I do not fear Google or the ppl that currently run it. Problem is that they will not be in charge all the time. In addition, as they say, power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. If nothing else, look at MS. 25 years ago, BG was a good guy. Now, he is the epitomy of absolute evil (except for the foundation which was designed to get ppl to think that he is a good guy).
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by donnacha (161610)

      I suspect that by 2008, we will see a free Google OS. It will be Linux.

      Not going to happen.

      This is like those "Google browser based on FireFox" rumors - fun to talk about but just not going to happen.

      A Google-branded desktop OS based on Linux would hurt Apple a lot more than Microsoft. Eric Schmidt, chairman and CEO of Google, is also on Apple's board. And, no, that doesn't mean there's going to be a Google-branded OS based on OS X!

      At this time, I do not fear Google or the ppl that currently ru

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