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2/24/2006
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From Our Blog

Google: Love It, Fear It
informationweek.com/1078/blog_google.htm

We should thank Google for pointing out that the root of the problem is that we have poorly defined, unenforceable, and nontransparent privacy laws, where strangers may collect and use unlimited data on anyone without regard to privacy, consent, knowledge, access, or control of the information.

Why blame Google for developing products to dominate the market and profit in a legal and openly visible manner? The issue is that we don't own, place limits on, or control our private data, but actually third parties do! Is this not the time to get strong privacy laws on the books? Information may be the beast that enslaves everyone. --Paul

China Quandary
informationweek.com/1078/blog_googlespin.htm

As unfortunate as the situation in China is, Google has an obligation to comply with local laws and authorities if it wishes to do business in a country. If the situation were reversed and a foreign company chose to impose its local standards (e.g., spying on users is OK, so we don't have a problem with it despite U.S. laws) in the United States, there would be equal criticism.

As long as the Chinese government is the legitimate, recognized authority in China, and there exists no realistic way to change its policies, excepting protests, then if you want to play in its market, you have to comply with its rules. That, however, doesn't make the Chinese authorities any less evil. --MPP

Those of us who have lived under repressive regimes know that torture and murder of political opponents are real. If Google, Yahoo, or Microsoft is providing information about dissidents to these oppressive governments, they are conspiring with these governments to commit murder and torture. You can try to sugarcoat it or justify it, but that's exactly what it is.

Is making a few bucks worth more than the principles of human rights and freedom? I think not. This issue must be addressed at the international level. U.S. or EU countries must not aid further repression of people by their governments. --Bob

When Technology Hurts
informationweek.com/1078/blog_techhurts.htm

Being wired 24-by-7 is counterproductive. It encourages unthinking responses versus considered, thought-through communication. In fact, most text messaging doesn't even warrant a response other than "Think for yourself" or "call me."

I threw away my BlackBerry and get a lot more done. Let's not confuse sound bites with effective communication. --Mike King

If I'd known 30 years ago how much various body parts would hurt as I aged, I would have taken better care of them then. My latest soreness is, of course, my thumbs. Yes, I'm a devoted BlackBerry user. If I lay off the BlackBerry E-mail responses, my thumbs feel better in a few days. So now I use the BlackBerry to read E-mails, but I rarely respond in more than a few words. Survival of the fingers! --Marge Barenthin

DRM Trumps Copyrights
informationweek.com/1078/blog_drm.htm

Copyrights were originally created to allow authors a fair return on their labor. But lately it seems the business world has redefined them to be a method to maximize profits instead. Digital rights management will make it a whole lot easier, since it won't require law enforcement and copyrights to provide the monopoly that makes that fair return possible. --Geo

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