Greg's Bite: Google news and censorship of the Web
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Greg's Bite: Google news and censorship of the Web

By Greg Mills

Americans are being killed in distant places around the world, in effect, due to policies Google reckons to be protective of freedom of expression on the web. In theory, a strict policy of letting content stand makes sense and protects us from highhanded authoritative governments. There are limits to any theory, which, when taken to an extreme, begin to fade in the light of day.

Such light ought to be dawning in Mountain View, about now. Years of work by our State Department to appear even-handed in the Arab sphere of influence is being swiftly undone by access to a fourth rate movie about Mohammad, content that Google insists needs to stay posted on the web. This to satisfy the web's "freedom of the wild west" mentality that also screams of anarchy.  Anarchy might be the opposite of repressiveness, but at the end of the day, is it any better? To much law or too little law. See http://www.debka.com/article/22358/Post-Arab-Spring-%22moderate”-Muslim-regimes-cornered-by-radicals .

I saw only a few minutes of the silly movie considered absolute blasphemy to a lot of people and it is just awful artistically. It is a poorly written and produced skit taped and edited into an extended clip. Personally, I have no concern for Islam per se, as it is mutually exclusive with Christianity, which I adhere to. While Islam denies that God can even have a son, Christianity is based upon Jesus being the Son of God.  

My issue with Google not pulling the stupid video clip is that there are a lot of people around the world who don't subscribe to our American notion of the right to free expression and are perfectly willing to kill innocent people to express their anger. They have no sense of humor when it comes to Mohammad, period.  Even cartoon drawing of Mohammad brought riots in the Middle East. Does it make sense to pour gas on a smoldering political situation? Do no evil, Google.  

Freedom of speech has been famously limited when someone shouts fire in a movie theater where people get killed in the panic that results. This situation isn't any different. Google needs to pull that video, ASAP. Only the pretext for the violence, or the actual cause of the violence, matters not when an entire region of the world is rioting over one bit of Internet content. Pull the video, Google.

Google is also seeing Apple whip Android in courts around the world this week.  Just as the iPhone 5 hits, Apple's legal battles are beginning to draw blood. Court cases drag on for a long time but at some point things are bound to be ruled on by courts and trade commissions. I subscribe to the Foss Patent Newsletters and they are excellent. They are free and can be subscribed to at www.Fosspatents.com .
 
While we are talking Google, I have been eagerly awaiting the 1Gig internet service Google promised Kansas City, Kansas. It turns out the service is based upon Google cherry-picking the areas with the most concentrated subscribers, with the least amount of construction required. I live between two "fiberhoods" that are both going to get the service sooner than later.  My street connects the two chosen areas but our houses are spaced apart further since we own much larger lots.  Google would have to string a mile of fiber to service the 25 or so homes on my street that would hook up right away -- and we are thus, on the back burner.

I got my order in for the iPhone 5 about six minutes past midnight (Pacific Time) last Friday. I used my iPad from bed and got through just about the time the Apple store went back on-line. I am going to try AT&T's G4 LTE network for a bit.  Verizon was not able to meet the monthly service rate I have been getting from AT&T so I am running my iPad 3 on Verizon and my iPhone on AT&T.  If I keep on getting dropped calls on the new iPhone 5, I will return it within 30 days and get the Verizon version.  

I opted for the 16Gig version since I use the iPad for most of the data uses I formerly did on an iPhone. The notion of buying a package of data to be used among various devices has merit but, in actuality, the numbers didn't add up for me. Perhaps running devices on two networks will be a good idea in emergency situations. We had an Internet element go down a month or so ago for several hours. My TimeWarner Cable Internet service, AT&T and Verizon were also out.  Sort of strange when everything goes dead at once.  

That is Greg's Bite.

 

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