The idea of an autonomous car has been around for decades. I rather like this PR video about Googles project.

 

Of course the Google Car is still outside of the range of even the mega rich. Of more interest and with larger impact is the hot rumor that Google is set to announce Google Drive. No car required!

Google Drive has been pontificated about for months. Common sense would lead you to the thought that at some point Google would leap into the Cloud Storage game. In reality they have been in the cloud biz for years. Gmail is cloud, Google Docs are cloud, the list goes on and on. But to date they have not climbed into the straight Cloud Storage Wars. That might be about to change. The tech press is alive with ‘non attributable’ quotes that next week the world will meet Google Drive. The ‘free’ version will offer 5 gig of storage, and the paid version, much more.

Google Drive sounds fun, but the bigger question is when will they climb into the Cloud Resources As a Processor (AKA – CRAAP) scheme? It does not take much effort to see that if you are going to sell storage you might as well sell cycles to go along with it. If you are going to rent space, why not rent some CPU power?

It will be interesting to see how this story unfolds. Of all the big players in the IT world, Google probably knows more about storage management and load management than most. In my mind they are ripe to head into the market. The big question is how will they leverage it into money? Are we on the verge of CRAAPsense, CRAAPwords, and CRAAPalitics? Only time will tell.

Google has been front and center recently on the subject of security. Targeted ad’s have become the target of questions. Many view it as a form of online stalking. Where you have been, suddenly becomes where you might want to go. It never used to bother me, in fact I never much gave a thought to it. I tend to ignore the adverts. However, when you start watching, an alarming trend does come into view. I use the internet as a research tool. I look up strange things, and it does not take long before adverts loosely connected with the subject start popping up.

Is this, as a consumer want? There are those that view this activity as a form of Cyber Stalking. I just view it as irritating. Maybe irritating is the wrong term, boring is likely a better term. Just because I have searched for information on lets say a ‘Ford Prius’ for an article does not mean that I want to spend a couple of days being bombarded with Ford Prius adverts. I have no intentions of buying the product, so why bother?

Recently I wrote an article about the use and misuse of personal information by data mining companies. This resulted in two solid days of adverts for the companies that specialize in the area! An article about the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) and their attempts to rename High Fructose Corn Syrup to Corn Sugar also created havoc. Everywhere I went was the ugly world of HFCS.

I do lots of reviews, even they color my world. Although it takes a gun to my head to put a review on Amazon, they track me with a passion. Every couple of weeks I get an email with suggestions of what I might be interested in buying. The top items are always those that I have already reviewed. Yes I use Amazon as a link for people to purchase items. But that is all. Its cyber stalking! iMDB is not much better, I use the site for research. They know where I have been and love to recommend items I (usually) already have.

“It’s all in the cookies” the tech guys will scream. Oh sure I can delete them, but not all of them are nefarious, some are benign and even useful.

So, we have Google mining where I have been and trying to predict where I might want to go. Mostly I just shrug it off. Slightly more bothersome to me is the high probability that my gmail account is also being mined. A couple of months ago I was involved in a project to move a web site. This resulted in a good deal of email traffic between myself and the various stakeholders. Clearly my email was being mined, everywhere I went were adverts for Web Site Hosting.

Of course there is the argument that Google is not doing anything bad, it is not mining my emails for evil purposes, merely providing a ‘useful’ service. But, it does open the door to the obvious conclusion that the technology could be repurposed for other uses.

This brings us back to the rumored Gdrive, cloud storage. To imagine that this will NOT be subject to data mining takes a leap of faith that exceeds my capabilities!

Even if all that we are being told by Google is true and they are doing no harm, there is still an Elephant in the room. The warrantless wiretapping debacle by government agencies has been raging for several years. From secret rooms in internet switching hubs, to cell phone data rape and pillage, there is great value in the data, better still, it circumvents the pesky legal system. Just think of the fun that can now be had with Cloud Data Storage?

Simon Barrett

     

 

 

 

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