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Google Technology

Sorry, Larry Page: Tech-Industry Viciousness Is Here To Stay 201

Nerval's Lobster writes "At this week's Google I/O in San Francisco, Google CEO Larry Page stood onstage and took unscripted questions from an auditorium of conference attendees. That's an unusual move for any chief executive, the sort of thing that risks giving their PR people a heart attack. But Page wasn't up there to offer insights into strategy or drop hints about upcoming products: he wanted to talk about how negativity in the tech industry stood in the way of innovation. 'Despite the faster change we have in the industry, we're still moving slow relative to the opportunities that we have,' he said. 'And some of that, I think, has to do with the negativity. Every story I read about Google, it's us versus some other company or some stupid thing.' Being negative, he added, is not how the tech industry makes progress. But minutes later, Page couldn't resist swiping at Oracle and Microsoft. And Google's battles are just one small element in the circular firing squad that comprises most of the tech industry: Apple versus Google versus Samsung versus Microsoft versus Oracle versus Salesforce versus lots of little startups. Those battles won't fade away anytime soon, because corporations have one goal: profit. And so long as other rivals' technological innovations or marketplace maneuvers stand in the way of that profit, the lawsuits and the CEO sniping will continue. The part of Page's talk that centered on peace and love played well to the audience at Google I/O; but it's easier to argue that the true mode of the tech industry, at its core, is Darwinian competition. Do you agree?"
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Sorry, Larry Page: Tech-Industry Viciousness Is Here To Stay

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 17, 2013 @01:49PM (#43754963)

    Hard. Sometimes viciously. Mother nature has already shown us that dog-eat-dog is the best way to adapt, survive, and even thrive. The business world is the same way. Take your kum-buy-yah bullshit and go sell it to someone else. I have work to do so my company can kick your company's ass and put them out of business.

  • by dhavleak ( 912889 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @01:52PM (#43755001)
    It's not just that tech industry viciousness is here to stay -- it's also that Google is a pretty strong participant in it. Google's been pretty good at appropriating the language of open source when it suits them, and using EEE tactics once they have the upper hand.
  • Money.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vortran ( 253538 ) <> on Friday May 17, 2013 @01:55PM (#43755043) Homepage

    Money is power. Power corrupts. Ethical behavior is incompatible with the pursuit of profit. This is the essence of the old adage "Money is the root of all evil." Think about this very carefully while you consider what values of your own are compromised because you're a slave to your paycheck. Now multiply and amplify that ad infinitum.

    Please read this twice if you feel the need to refute anything herein.

  • Media (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @01:57PM (#43755071) Homepage

    It's time for Sarten-X's semi-weekly anti-media rant.

    The reason the news stories you read about are always us-vs.-them is because you're reading news stories. It's not what's really going on. In a newspaper, the story about the big technology company donating millions of dolalrs in products and support to a third-world country takes a nice little corner on page 12. Meanwhile, the front-page big headline is a story about the company that sues another company for just as much.

    People love controversy, and the media is happy to supply it. It doesn't matter how good your company is or what your corporate charter's stated mission is, you're still portrayed as a Big Evil Company that's out to greedily gather money and decimate your adversaries. On the off chance that you keep your dealings clean enough to not get sued (and don't sue others), you can bet that the media will invent an adversary for you, combining the markets of your closest competitors into a shady conspiracy, just for the sake of a story.

    Sorry, Larry Page: News-media viciousness is here to stay.

  • by kevkingofthesea ( 2668309 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @01:57PM (#43755075)

    This submission, and the comments so far, have missed some key differences between negativity and competition. It is possible to compete without being negative towards your competitor. Good competition (from the consumer's point of view) involves both (all) sides striving to create the best product they can. Bad competition is when, rather than improving themselves, competitors seek to cut each other down.

  • by mystikkman ( 1487801 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @02:00PM (#43755115)

    Larry Page: Every story I read about Google, it's us versus some other company or some stupid thing.

    He means like in these stories? [] []

    Stupid thing indeed, to send lawyers to make things worse for Windows Phone users who are mere pawns in Google's strategic games.

    For example, the imaging tech in Nokia's flagship Windows Phone is far better than Android phones, look at the below videos for proof. []

    How about advancing the state of the art for smartphone camera imaging tech through its loss making Motorola Unit instead of trying to compete by making Windows Phone worse by sending C&D take down letters?

    Why doesn't Google use it's loss making Motorola to advance the state of smartphone camera tech like Nokia is doing instead of trying to prevent people from getting Windows Phone by sending C&Ds and takedowns?

  • by AuMatar ( 183847 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @02:03PM (#43755155)

    Except it hasn't. There's a reason why empathy and altruism exist, and both have shown positive correlation with the ability of the species to survive.

  • by recoiledsnake ( 879048 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @02:03PM (#43755157)

    Google is no better at greed for money.

    See how Google started removing borders around ads and made the shading super light in order to get ad clicks from older people and people with bad monitor calibration: [] []

    Those carefully and scientifically calibrated colors must be worth atleast few hundred million of extra revenue from their cash cow by making gullible people click on ads mistaking them for real search results.

    "Study:Contrast sensitivity gradually decreases with age" []

    Chrome is a trojan horse to weaken Mozilla which is becoming less powerful because Google uses its ad dollars to bundle Chrome with Flash, Acrobat and Java updates by default thereby reducing Firefox's share and has the nice side effect of reducing Google's payments to Mozilla for searches.

    And Web DRM? Of course it's going to be a HTML standard very soon because IE, Safari and... ding! Chrome are going to be supporting it fully with 80% marketshare and people will blame Firefox if Netflix doesn't work in it and recommend you switch to Chrome to see movies! iOS, Android and Windows Phone, BBOS will add support for 100% tablet and phone support for the DRM.

    Chrome on Chromebook already has the EME DRM module. Firefox and Opera are powerless to stop it. We have already seen this play out with the h.264 HTML5 video support in Chrome fiasco when Google promised it would drop H.264 from Chrome to push WebM but did not and Mozilla was left holding the bag with WebM and had to recently had to eat crow and add support for patent encumbered H264. The web is owned by the corporates, not individuals anymore, there was some hope when Firefox was at 40%, not anymore. And we all willingly gave them the power by believing in "open" and "do no evil" and switching in droves.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 17, 2013 @02:05PM (#43755183)

    you are confusing Darwinian competition with anti-evolutionary practices of blocking patents, lawsuits to stop competition, and IP that was stolen in the first place and never should have been granted rights.

    Until the patent and copyright systems are reformed, this is just going to get worse.

  • FOSS ain't exactly a love fest, and they lack to direct profit motive of large corporations. Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds aren't consistently known for being just the nicest guys you've ever met. The only open source community that overtly talks about being nice and polite is the Ruby community with it's "Matz is nice, so we are nice" mantra that falls down just as often as it shows through. Competition and even brutal competition are part of life, for good and ill.
  • by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @02:16PM (#43755275) Journal
    This clap-trap is insightful? Wouldnt it be nice if we could evolve to a point where we dont feel the need to trample our peers to survive? At our level of intelligence, cooperation is FAR more productive then competition.
  • Summary. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SeNtM ( 965176 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @02:20PM (#43755317) Homepage
    Can we all be a little less Star Wars and a little more Star Trek???
  • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @02:28PM (#43755425)

    ^^^^^ This.

    The honest truth is that all of these companies are vicious when it suits them, and conciliatory when it suits them. And it suits them when it means that it will make them more profit. Google, I honestly believe, was at one point the sort of altruistic company that many still paint it as, but with its rampant growth it has moved well past that point. Today's Google is far different from the Google of 10 years ago, and they are definitely the sort to engage in the embrace, extend, extinguish tactics you were talking about.

  • Ethics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @02:34PM (#43755495)

    Ethical behavior is incompatible with the pursuit of profit.

    Nonsense. Pursuit of profit *can* lead to unethical behavior but it does not follow that pursuit of profit *must* lead to unethical behavior. Buying something and then selling it to someone else for a higher price has no component that is fundamentally unethical. If you have a good I need and I'm willing to pay a price for it (a price that is low enough that it does not cause me injury) then we both get something we want/need and both are better off. There is nothing unethical about that exchange.

    I won't even get in to the question of what you consider unethical behavior or why. Ethics are societal conventions and standards which differ between people and groups, not immutable laws of the universe. Perhaps you do consider pursuit of profit to be unethical. That does not mean that the rest of society must consider it so.

  • by HeckRuler ( 1369601 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @02:36PM (#43755537)

    Whoa whoa whoa, "anti-evolutionary"? The rules surrounding intellectual property may be dirty, rotten, and underhanded maybe. But anti-evolutionary?

    Son, evolution is a cold-hearted bitch and she doesn't care if it's a one-sided fight, she will straight-up murderize your entire clutch of eggs. Even if it means less food for everyone in the long run. As long as it helps her and her own, in the here and now, she's down with that. Evolution will toss ethics right out the window, baby, bathwater, and all, if it means she gets to send another gene into the future. That bitch plays hardball and is the first to turn in the other prisoner. It's no dilemma to her. She can make some truly beautiful and breath-taking things, but she has no goal or sense of morals, and the moment you put her in a corner she will sucker-punch the nearest fatty so she's not the first eaten.

  • by Swamii ( 594522 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @02:48PM (#43755673) Homepage

    Ethical behavior is incompatible with the pursuit of profit. This is the essence of the old adage "Money is the root of all evil."

    The actual quote []:

    "The love of money is the root of all evil."

    This is an important distinction. When a man loves money more than personal morals and ethics, only then does his business become unethical.

  • by Nadaka ( 224565 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @03:21PM (#43756019)

    The libertariantards have been out in force recently. Remember that socialism is the devil and the only cure of the inequity of man is to ruthlessly crush your adversaries and climb up on top of their mutilated corpses while fondling your nearest Ayn Rand novel.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 17, 2013 @04:46PM (#43757143)

    At least the Millenials care about their fellow humans. The amount of hatred of the poor, distrust of anyone with a different viewpoint, and lack of empathy from the older generations is frankly sickening to me. It's like a whole generation of sociopaths hell-bent on getting their share of the wealth and enjoying their own retirement with all their needs taken care of, and fuck everyone else.

    No one likes to live with the parents. When you add up skyrocketing cost of rent, skyrocketing college bills (which we trusted older people to give good advice! What was the advice? "Go to college", great help that was), the practical requirement of owning a car to work due to larger and larger cuts on public transportation which adds yet ANOTHER loan, and a minimum wage with declining buying power because of inflationary policies created to tackle financial problems created by our parents and grandparents, I can't help but feel like the youth are actually very BRAVE, HARD WORKERS for tackling that problem and trying to make it work. Entry level jobs pay like shit, and demand waaay more than a 40 hr work week. I know, I have been interviewing and taking jobs lately.

    More of our money is taken out for taxes. You know what the majority of my taxes are? Social security, medicare, to fund programs that the older generations didn't take seriously and let politicians raid. And so now, instead of having money to save for a home, ALL OF MY MONEY is going to pay loans that the older generations TOLD US WE HAD TO TAKE OUT (every parent, every educator, insisted we must go to college! even if expensive, it will get paid back easily!... without telling us that the laws on student loans were changed and it actually doesn't work that way anymore), and pay for the retirement of older people that BLEW THEIR OWN RETIREMENT (or at the least, invested poorly in the stock market and lost it all due to lack of financial oversight).

    Now, I believe everyone should live comfortably, and I am perfectly happy to have my taxes go to pay for your retirement and health care (unless you are lucky enough to have pension -- which great, but understand that it pretty much does not exist anymore, the young will not get pensions or good retirement plans, companies are trying to give us the worst deal possible to pad their bottom line). What angers me is when I am trying my best to provide for my family and help my nation, people like you come along calling us self-centered fools that will destroy the country.

    The country is circling the drain right now because of policies implemented 10,20,30 years ago. It was not the young, it was YOU AND YOUR GENERATION. Now shut up and help, or at least have the decency to admit that the policies of past generations have failed and it is time to move on, try new things, and get our country moving again.

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson