Sunday, January 29, 2006

Google Video - democratic or dangerous?

Google's march towards taking over the internet, and nowadays, the world, continued recently with the launch of their latest service, Google Video. The idea behind it is to allow everyone to be a movie producer, director and publisher all at once. Actual tv companies can put out trailers, episodes and snippets; while amatuer videos where anything goes are now going to be available under one mass library run by the esteemed search engine creators Google.

The problem that comes with this is like anything that happens regarding the internet and censorship. Critics have already attacked Google's new tool for, as the charge goes, allowing content which isn't suitable for all ages and natures, and with such easy availability. Google's argument is that it is, and always has been, about allowing users democratic access to information. By doing so they have become the number one search engine online, and are now a giant of a company within the internet industry.

Obviously, Google isn't allowing vidoes of child porn, hardcore porn, violence or anything of such extreme nature, and its content is monitored and censored when it gets put online. These sort of areas are the ones that always come up when it comes to the regulating the internet so it would be ridiculous for them to attempt it. However, one user's softcore is another user's hardcore, etc, so it becomes hard to draw the line. Google, naturally, want to attract as much attention and business as possible in order to compete with and outdo rivals, and that means innovating and constantly reinventing the boundaries. As I've said, there are obvious boundaries of acceptable content which Google has not crossed. But since Google is the first major company to offer such a service, they also want to be able to capture as much of the market as possible: to do otherwise would be stupid because someone (Murdoch) comes along, and raises the stakes that little bit more to offer something extra for users, and takes away the business. At the end of the day, Google's worth hundreds of millions, and you don't get like that in the media by playing nice.

Google have been scrutinised so because of their familiarity: I mean, if you really do want to see a busty blonde girl getting ruined by a big black cock, there are millions of websites just waiting for your credit card. In fact, you'd probably go to to search for the websites. Google has always been a tool; for finding sites, images and more, and now they're offering a service that allows anyone to put out videos, and anyone to watch them for free. With their censorship they enforce, Google are still being as democratic as they can be. While the internet era is well and truly today, and the world will never (barring a meteor) return to pre-internet days, the glory of its emergence has now fizzled out. Like just about anywhere in the world; the internet is a beautiful city, but there are some streets you really don't want to go down. The internet isn't a nice place, in truth, but the sweeping arguments that go with regulating it have missed the point rather: that Google is a business in an industry where innovation rules, and user hits are power.

Monday, January 23, 2006

The back at Uni view

Keen followers of my blog (ahahahaha) might notice the ability to write during term time is something that's been missing from this blog since I started year 2 of Uni. That's right; I'm online. Last thursday, the 19th (a day to remember), BT, god bless 'em, connected our line at their end and lo, the internet arrived at Bournemouth!
It's not, actually, that great a thing: with all this work I have due, and my committment to not going out more than once a week in order to maximise my time to do it, the evenings coming home at 3am being off my face have been replaced, so far, by staying up til 3am being tired and on the internet. So like a poisened chalice, the internet has been....erm, a chalice....with poison...

I don't know whether I'm under contract with Nerve* magazine, the Bournemouth Uni magazine that I write sports comment for (I do really: I've not signed anything), but just in case, I will refrain from putting the article I've written for the next issue in this post otherwise it would smack of not being able to think of anything else to write. Suffice to say, the underhanded News of the World paper deserves its up and coming sueing by Sven-Goran Eriksson after its needless and disgusting actions recently with the England manager. A tabloid rag indeed it is.

It's 1:40am, and since this was only a post to catch up, I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A new dawn, a New Year

So 2006 is upon, indeed already washing over us as it is now the 3rd of January. This is probably going to be a grumpy post, but then my grumpiness breeds criticism, and there wouldn't be much point in a blog if it just said "this and that are good and ok".
Mainly I'm annoyed because I spent 9 hours at Sainsbury's today, working on a bank holiday after also working on New Year's day. Sainsbury's, it became evident, was the only place in Rustington open, when the entire village and its dog started queuing up at one of the 20 tills open at 3pm. I've only been working there for two weeks over Christmas and I've had enough - thank God I only have one more shift to do on wednesday. I just lost my will to be cheery and overly polite when, at 5:55pm, 5 minutes before closing, the announcement came over for people to come and buy because there was no time left to shop, and I looked down the end of my checkout and saw 5 or 6 people with not just a few bits of shopping queuing up. When the second or third customer came through, and said to me "You're closing early tonight", it took all my strength not to retort 'You should be thankful we're open at all at 6pm on a Bank Holiday, you stupid, old, ungrateful bint'.

Anyway, it's because I'm tired - staying up til this hour (1am ish) and having to get up at 9:30 and 8:30 respectively. Tomorrow I've got no such commitment, except for having to write a literature essay...oh.
Still, the initial part of 2006 was great - at a pub for New Year's Eve with friends from college and - bizarrely - my parents who happened to be there with their friends. I don't remember 3 and a half hour worth of drinking, nor why it took me two hours to walk home. Still, I enjoyed New Year's celebrations as I predicted I would in my previous post; much more than Christmas Day.
I ranted then about consumerism, and today we were selling chocolate eggs. Christmas Day, with 3 months of expectation behind it, was only 8 DAYS ago and now it's all about Easter eggs! Admittedly, the big ones are not on sale yet, but all the mini-eggs and truffle eggs and extra eggs that rake in the money for Cadbury's and Nestle etc are out in force already. You can see how very easily, and very quickly, two religious based holidays have become distorted and twisted into universal celebrations of material goods and chocolate, with preceeding sagas, months long, of advertising putting out the message of nothing at all, except to make people not think about what the adverts are asking them to do, and just doing it. Certainly, no one is thinking of the reasons why these dates in December and April are noteworthy in the first place - indeed, I put April as a month because even now, as I criticise, I don't know the exact dates that are important when it comes to Easter.

That said, I LOVE Creme Eggs and I will be buying them from time to time in the next 4 months or so while they're on sale.