5 Key Points From Google's Privacy-Policy Letter to Congress

5 Key Points From Google's Privacy-Policy Letter to Congress
Point No. 1: Google still isn't selling your personal data.
Point No. 2: You're still up the creek if you get reeled in by a phishing scam.
Point No. 3: You can still use Google and YouTube for searching without Google knowing that you are the one doing the search.
Point No. 4: Users still have lots of options over how they're tracked across the Web.
Point No. 5: If you don't love the new integrated Google, you can always leave it.

Study says humans now use the internet as our main 'memory'

"In the age of Google, our minds are adapting so that we are experts at knowing where to find information even though we don’t recall what it is.
The researchers found that when we want to know something we use the Internet as an ‘external memory’ just as computers use an external hard drive.
Nowadays we are so reliant on our smart phones and laptops that we go into ‘withdrawal when we can’t find out something immediately’."

Read more:

How does Google's new privacy policy compare?

How does Google's new privacy policy compare?
The fact of the matter is, Google doesn't appear to be doing anything worse than what companies likeApple, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Facebook have doing for years. It's just that Google has taken arguably unprecedented pains to alert the public of imminent changes to its privacy policies and has made the new policy approachable enough for the average person to read it. (Or skim it. Or skim what someone else wrote about it after skimming it.)

Is the Loss of Objective Search a Bad Thing?

Imagine a research database, that upon searching for "wind energy," gives top results about the benefits of turbine technology to one student, while another student (with a different search history, or in a different state) is instead shown articles that focus on the noise and vertigo that wind turbines produce. Sound fishy? Google has unveiled a more personal search that does exactly this sort of thing, called "Search, plus Your World. Is this more about advertising revenue than providing access to information? For a nice review of the issue, see a competitor's Escape your search engine Filter Bubble! When, if ever, would you want filtered results?

Libraries begin lending out Chromebooks

Libraries begin lending out Chromebooks
Google is getting the word out there on its Chromebook product, working with libraries to gain more support from consumers.

Google has been working with public libraries recently in order to circulate its Chromebook concept. At least three libraries have been working towards lending out Chromebooks to patrons for a period of time.

Killing It With Legislation, Not Force

Rik Myslewski reports in The Register that Wikipedia is looking at a possible upcoming blackout. Declan McCullagh at CNET notes that this is part of a possible protest response to the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act being debated by the United States Congress that has potential extraterritorial effects. Meanwhile, The Hill reports that Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt characterizes SOPA as criminalizing the fundamental structure of the Web and all its interlinked nature.

Google Closing Long List Of Services

More spring cleaning out of season "Overall, our aim is to build a simpler, more intuitive, truly beautiful Google user experience. In terms of the details, here is the latest update:"
Google Bookmarks Lists
Google Friend Connect
Google Gears
Google Search Timeline
Google Wave
Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal (RE


Google Search Stories

On Google today there is a link below the search box. It says - Watch The Perfect Game, a baseball search story.

This video is part of a series by Google called "Search Stories"

Here are the current stories:
Search Stories: An Introduction
Zack Matere: Growing Knowledge
The Tofino Riders: A 1,000 Year-Old-Wave
Caroline Moore: Supernova 2008ha
Dave Strenski: New Energy for Detroit
Erik-Jan Bos: A Letter from an Old Friend

I don't post this to glorify Google. There are several issues raised in these videos that will be of interest to librarians. A librarian is specifically mentioned in the Erik-Jan Bos video. The "Growing Knowledge" video has several ideas/issues that will be of interest to librarians. Each video is only 1-2 minutes. Consider watching them all and posting your observations and comments here.


Why Google Should Fear A Potential Facebook Web Browser

As Facebook becomes the social platform of the Internet, a custom browser seems like the next logical step. What this means for the online landscape, and why it could help Facebook disrupt Google’s main revenue channel: targeted search advertising.

Full article

You are not Google's customer You Are Its Product

"It knows"
The fear seems be based on the assumption that if Google is gathering all this information then it must be doing so in order to sell it: it is a profit-making company, after all. ‘We are not Google’s customers,’ Siva Vaidhyanathan writes in The Googlisation of Everything. ‘We are its product. We – our fancies, fetishes, predilections and preferences – are what Google sells to advertisers.’ Vaidhyanathan, who likes alliteration but isn’t so big on facts, doesn’t explain what he means by ‘sells’ (or whether ‘to sell a fancy’ could mean anything at all), but if he’s implying that Google makes the information it has about us available to advertisers then he’s wrong. It isn’t possible, using Google’s tools, to target an ad to 32-year-old single heterosexual men living in London who work at Goldman Sachs and like skiing, especially at Courchevel.



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