Home » Posts tagged 'google' (Page 2)

Tag Archives: google

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Catacylsm
Click on image to purchase

Post categories

The World Google Controls and Surveillance Capitalism

The World Google Controls and Surveillance Capitalism

I have been following the scandal of the UK’s Investigatory Powers Act(also known as the Snoopers’ Charter) and Holland’s Sleepwet and their relationship to the encroaching government powers over private data, privacy, data collection, surveillance, and free speech for several years now.  And very much related to these bills created ostensibly to protest us from “terrorism,” is Google’s encroaching powers over our lives, to include the freedom of expression protected by most national laws, not to mention EU and UN Charters, around the planet today.

When the Internet became a tool for communication and research in the late1980s (usually through universities and research institutes) and later rrendered public through commercial Internet service providers (ISPs) in 1991, most people were slow to catch on. Initially, I was inculcated into Internet culture by virtue of being a graduate student at New York University where I came to depend on their computer labs to churn out papers when not using friends’ computers. I still remember Archie, Telnet, and line mode browsers before the release of ViolaWWW.  By the mid 1990s students were curious about hypertext through Memex and Xanada while many others made their personal webpage which they would write in html with the help of on- or off-line instructions.  The concept of a free website builder had not yet emerged and everything was very much ad hoc, individuals figuring out how to fiddle with html as if a late 20th century Mini Cooper under whose hood the user would play around.  And yes, the flashing bright lights that every webpage seemed to embrace as if a will to trigger everyone visiting their page an epileptic seizure.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

DRAGONFLY: Google Employees Publicly Rebel Against Building a Dystopian New Search Engine

DRAGONFLY: Google Employees Publicly Rebel Against Building a Dystopian New Search Engine

More than 1,400 Google staff, many journalists, and human rights organizations are calling on Google to halt its controversial project called Dragonfly.

What is Project Dragonfly?

Dragonfly is a search engine specially built for China. It would unleash more censorship on a mass scale by selectively blocking certain search terms, apparently at the behest of China’s government. Human rights groups are blasting the company for aiding and abetting China’s mass surveillance and rights violations which could result in potential imprisonment.

It turns out Google’s employees had been unwittingly working on this project for a while until 2017 without knowing its intended purpose. News of this highly secret program finally leaked and no one is letting it get swept under the rug.

Thankfully, since the news leaked out, no amount of time has caused advocates and free speech lovers to forget this scandal. Those in the know are using the hashtag #DropDragonfly.

How would the Dragonfly search engine in China Work?

The search engine would censure terms like “human rights” and “religion.” Hundreds of Google employees have called this out as obvious freedom of speech violations.

BBC reported in August:

The search app would “blacklist sensitive queries”, The Intercept says, identifying and filtering websites currently blocked by China’s so-called Great Firewall.

According to documents it had seen, a search via the app would result in a list with banned websites removed and a disclaimer saying that “some results may have been removed due to statutory requirements”.

It said the BBC News website and Wikipedia would be among those blocked.

Employees of Google are horrified.

“We are Google employees and we join Amnesty International in calling on Google to cancel project Dragonfly…”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Creepy Line: A New Documentary on the Immense Power of Tech Giants

The Creepy Line: A New Documentary on the Immense Power of Tech Giants

The Creepy Line, a new documentary by director M.A. Taylor, is now streaming at Amazon Prime. It takes a disturbing look at how Google and Facebook influence their users’ view of the world, and how the companies have pioneered new ways of doing business. It’s a business model in which personal data harvested from users is exploited so as to offer targeted advertising to third parties.

The Creepy Line takes its title from a description of Google once uttered by Google executive Eric Schmidt who said Google’s mission was to “get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.”

In truth, though, by pioneering the “surveillance business model,” Google has been been stepping over “the creepy line” for years.

Is is perhaps in its basic explanations of how the surveillance model works that The Creepy Line is most interesting: the filmmakers explain in simple terms how a small number of companies have come to compile extensive data profiles of many hundreds of millions of human beings, and how that data is the real product sold and used by the companies that collect it.

This, of course, has always been the plan, although it was arguably much more modest at one time.

The Surveillance Model

There’s a lot of money to be made by helping advertisers target specific potential customers. But first you need a lot of data on the people you’re targeting. Successful tech giants can offer this data — and huge amounts of it.

In order to offer advertisers data on potential customers, though, a company first has to collect it. And in order to collect it, the company must offer some sort of bait for the users to seize upon, thus leaving behind their personal data.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Leaked Google Emails Reveal Internal Discussion On Burying Articles From Conservative Outlets

Google – which was exposed trying to help Hillary Clinton win the 2016 election, and who were beside themselves after she lost – discussed whether to bury conservative media outlets in the company’s search function after Donald Trump became president, according to the Daily Caller News Foundation‘s Peter Hasson.

Internal communications obtained by the Caller reveal that The Daily Caller and Breitbart were specifically singled out for potential censorship.

Communications obtained by TheDCNF show that internal Google discussions went beyond expressing remorse over Clinton’s loss to actually discussing ways Google could prevent Trump from winning again.

This was an election of false equivalencies, and Google, sadly, had a hand in it,” Google engineer Scott Byer wrote in a Nov. 9, 2016, post reviewed by TheDCNF.

Byer falsely labeled The Daily Caller and Breitbart as “opinion blogs” and urged his coworkers to reduce their visibility in search results.

How many times did you see the Election now card with items from opinion blogs (Breitbart, Daily Caller) elevated next to legitimate news organizations? That’s something that can and should be fixed,” Byer wrote.

I think we have a responsibility to expose the quality and truthfulness of sources – because not doing so hides real information under loud noises,” he continued.

“Beyond that, let’s concentrate on teaching critical thinking. A little bit of that would go a long way. Let’s make sure that we reverse things in four years – demographics will be on our side.” –DCNF

Not all Google employees agreed with the notion of censoring conservative outlets; engineer Uri Dekel – a self-described Clinton supporter, argued that manipulating search results was the wrong approach.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Mad World

MAD WORLD

And I find it kinda funny, I find it kinda sad
The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had
I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it’s a very very
Mad world, mad world

Image result for the primal scream

The haunting Gary Jules version of the Tears for Fears’ Mad World speaks to me in these tumultuous mad times. It must speak to many others, as the music video has been viewed over 132 million times. The melancholy video is shot from the top of an urban school building in a decaying decrepit bleak neighborhood with school children creating various figures on the concrete pavement below. The camera pans slowly to Gary Jules singing on the rooftop and captures the concrete jungle of non-descript architecture, identical office towers, gray cookie cutter apartment complexes, and a world devoid of joy and vibrancy.

The song was influenced by Arthur Janov’s theories in his book The Primal Scream. The chorus above about his “dreams of dying were the best he ever had” is representative of letting go of this mad world and being free of the monotony and release from the insanity of this world. Our ego fools us into thinking the madness of this world is actually normal. Day after day we live lives of quiet desperation. Despite all evidence our world is spinning out of control and the madness of the crowds is visible in financial markets, housing markets, politics, social justice, and social media, the level of normalcy bias among the populace has reached astounding levels, as we desperately try to convince ourselves everything will be alright. But it won’t.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Fourth Turning & War of the Worlds

THE FOURTH TURNING & WAR OF THE WORLDS

Image result for fake news cnn Image result for illegal immigrant invasion

Image result for bomb hoax Image result for fourth turning war

“In retrospect, the spark might seem as ominous as a financial crash, as ordinary as a national election, or as trivial as a Tea Party. The catalyst will unfold according to a basic Crisis dynamic that underlies all of these scenarios: An initial spark will trigger a chain reaction of unyielding responses and further emergencies. The core elements of these scenarios (debt, civic decay, global disorder) will matter more than the details, which the catalyst will juxtapose and connect in some unknowable way. If foreign societies are also entering a Fourth Turning, this could accelerate the chain reaction. At home and abroad, these events will reflect the tearing of the civic fabric at points of extreme vulnerability – problem areas where America will have neglected, denied, or delayed needed action.” – The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe

The paragraph above captures everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen during this Fourth Turning. It was written over two decades ago, but no one can deny its accuracy regarding our present situation. The spark was a financial crash. The response to the financial crash by the financial and governmental entities, along with their Deep State co-conspirators who created the financial collapse due to their greed and malfeasance, led to the incomprehensible election of Donald Trump, as the deplorables in flyover country evoked revenge upon the corrupt establishment.

The chain reaction of unyielding responses by the left and the right accelerates at a breakneck pace, with absolutely no possibility of compromise. A new emergency or winner take all battle seems to be occurring on a weekly basis, with the mid-term elections as the likely trigger for the next phase of this Fourth Turning.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Shadow Banning Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg: We’re All Digital Ghosts Now

Shadow Banning Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg: We’re All Digital Ghosts Now

Just about the only bulwark against being silenced by the modern-day tech-corporate-NKVD-Stasi is Patreon.

If you do a search of shadow banning, you’ll find sites that claim to help you identify whether Twitter or Instagram has shadow banned your account. The basic idea of shadow banning is to spoof the shadow-banned user into believing their public posts are visible to all while in reality the posts are visible only to the user or in some cases to the users’ followers.

Wikipedia’s definition of shadow banning is:

“Shadow banning (also called stealth banning, ghost banning or comment ghosting) is the act of blocking or partially blocking a user or their content from an online community such that it will not be readily apparent to the user that they have been banned.”

Here is whatis.com’s description: “Shadow banning is controversial because it allows an administrator or moderator to effectively become a censor and prevent specific users from interacting with other members of an online community on an equal basis.”

Shadow banning and outright banning are only the tip of the iceberg: everyone who posts content on the web or social media is subject to much more subtle and completely opaque controls on how much of your digital presence has been ghosted–not just in social media communities but in searches and how links to your site/content and re-posts of your content are handled by the tech cartel that controls what’s visible and “found” on the web and social media.

This cartel is dominated by Google and Facebook. Google controls over 90% of all search: what search results are displayed, the weight given to links (the page-rank assigned to websites) and a variety of other factors that can be depreciated, removed, omitted or blocked by algorithms and/or human censors (a.k.a. administrators) without recourse and without the site or user being informed.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Friday Hasn’t Even Started Yet, But It’s Already Ugly

Friday Hasn’t Even Started Yet, But It’s Already Ugly

The FANGMAN stocks went to heck afterhours.

Just a note to show how decrepit and ephemeral the enthusiasm for stocks is.

So far in October, the S&P 500 has booked 13 losing days, including October 10, when the index dropped 3.3%, and October 24, when it dropped 3.1%. Then came today, with the feel-good moment of a boisterous 1.9% gain. And then came after-hours trading, and nearly everything went to heck, particularly the FANGMAN stocks that weigh so heavily on the index with their $4-trillion market cap. And Friday morning looks already ugly. All of the FANGMAN stocks were in the red in late trading:

  • Facebook [FB]: -2.3%
  • Amazon [AMZN]: -7.4%
  • Netflix [NFLX]: -2.8%
  • Google’s parent Alphabet [GOOG]: -3.7%
  • Microsoft [MSFT]: -1.5%
  • Apple [AAPL]: -0.4%
  • NVIDIA [NVDA]: -2.8%

There were some standout reasons:

Amazon plunged after it reported record profit but missed on revenues and guided down Q4 expectations for sales and profits, a sign of slowing revenue growth. It was down as much as $150 a share, or almost 9%.

Google’s parent Alphabet reported that revenues grew 22%, which missed expectations. Earnings beat, but a considerable slice – $1.38 billion! – of those earnings came from the gains in its portfolio of equity securities. CFO Ruth Porat warned that traffic acquisition costs would increase further as consumers are shifting search activity from desktop computers to mobile devices. Shares plunged up to 5%.

Intel [INTC] reported earnings that beat expectations, and shares initially jumped, but during the earnings call, things got muddled fast, and shares gave up their gains.

Advanced Micro Devices [AMD], an Intel competitor, had plunged 15% during the day despite the big rally in tech shares, after reporting results and discussing a graphics-chip glut resulting from the collapse of the crypto-mining business. It lost another 3% after hours.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Did The Nasdaq Bubble Just Burst?

Regular readers will recall when back in March, Bank of America cautioned that after the tech bubble in 2000, the housing bubble in 2006, we were witnessing the third biggest bubble of all time: the e-Commerce bubble.

Well, after several weeks of sharp volatility which has hammered tech stocks, slammed momentum trades and hurt growth factors, the tech sector is once again sharply lower after hours largely on the back of disappointments from Google and Amazon, with the  ETF which tracks the Nasdaq 100 dropping about 2%, and threatening to slide back into a bear market.

The reason for this latest weakness in the QQQs may be that investors are finally realizing that the latest Nasdaq bubble may have popped, if for no other reason than what is shown in the Bloomberg chart below: namely revenue growth at the two e-commerce titans, Google and Amazon, appears to have finally peaked.

Granted, the decline is not in revenue but in revenue growth, however when investors are already beyond skittish about peak earnings, a slowdown in the second derivative may be all they need to sell now and ask questions later. Which may explains why FANG stocks are all sharply lower after hours as the market begins to reasses just how much longer the “e-commerce bubble” as defined by Bank of America has left before it pops…

“Colonizing Experiment in Surveillance Capitalism”: Privacy Expert Resigns From Google-Backed Smart City Project Over Surveillance Concerns

A privacy expert tasked with protecting personal data within a Google-backed smart city project has resigned as her pro-privacy guidelines would largely be ignored by participants.

“I imagined us creating a Smart City of Privacy, as opposed to a Smart City of Surveillance,” Ann Cavoukian, the former privacy commissioner of Ontario, wrote in a resignation letter to Google sister company Sidewalk Labs.

“I felt I had no choice because I had been told by Sidewalk Labs that all of the data collected will be de-identified at source,” she added.

Cavoukian was an acting consultant involved in the plan by Canada’s Waterfront Toronto to develop a smart city neighborhood in the city’s Quayside development. She had created an initiative called Privacy by Design that aimed to ensure citizens’ personal data would be protected.

Once it became apparent that citizen privacy could not be guaranteed, Cavoukian decided it was time to leave the project:

But then, at a Thursday meeting, Cavoukian reportedly realized such anonymization protocols could not be guaranteed. She told the Candian news outlet that Sidewalk Labs revealed at that meeting that their organization could commit to her guidelines, but other involved groups would not be required to abide by them.

Cavoukian realized third parties could possibly have access to identifiable data gathered through the project. “When I heard that, I said, ‘I’m sorry. I can’t support this. I have to resign because you committed to embedding privacy by design into every aspect of your operation,’” she told Global News. – Gizmodo

Being touted as “the world’s first neighborhood built from the internet up,” the Google designed smart city is set to deploy an array of cameras and sensors that detect pedestrians at traffic lights or alert cleanup crews when garbage bins overflow, reports The Globe and Mail.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Google Wants to Be Your Media Mommy

Google Wants to Be Your Media Mommy

The company suggest it may have to protect us from the bad things that elected Trump and speech that makes us feel unsafe.

Google might soon add its terms of service to the First Amendment. A leakeddocument from the tech giant argues that because of a variety of factors, including the election of Donald Trump, what we call the “American tradition” of free speech may no longer be viable. The report lays out how Google can serve as the world’s “Good Censor,” a stern mommy figure protecting us from harmful content and, by extension, dangerous behavior, like electing the wrong president again.

The document, which Google has officially characterized as research, is infuriatingly vague about whether any decisions have been made or action has been taken. So think of all this as a guidepost, like the Ghost of Christmas Future showing us potential doom ahead.

Google maintains 90 percent market dominance in the internet browsing space and processes some 3.5 billion searches a day. It’s now talking about changing the rules so the freedom to speak will no longer exist independent of the content of speech. What you’re allowed to say could depend on Google’s opinion of whether or not it will negatively affect others. To Google, the personal liberty of speech may require balancing against collective well-being. The company is acknowledging for the first time that it has the responsibility and power to unilaterally adjudicate between “free-for-all” and “civil-for-most” versions of society.

We should be paying more attention to how they plan to do this. But because the document leaked on Breitbart and because the initial rounds of censorship have impacted mostly those right of center, it has received little critical attention.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The NEW Social Media: Alternatives to Facebook, YouTube,Twitter, and Other Big Tech Platforms

The NEW Social Media: Alternatives to Facebook, YouTube,Twitter, and Other Big Tech Platforms

Lately, I’ve written a lot about the alternative media purge and how Big Tech social media platforms are attempting to control the narrative, the elections, and public perception through censorship and financial blacklisting. Lots of people are ready to leave websites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for less-censored pastures. But what are the social media alternatives that are currently available?

Here are some social media alternatives to check out.

Before we get into the alternatives, please understand that all of them will start small. None of them will be able to take on Big Tech without a lot of help and support. We’ve gotten used to free social media because the companies with whom we’ve dealt have virtually raped us, reading our so-called “private” messages, and pillaging our date to sell to the highest bidders. So really, it isn’t that free after all.

You probably won’t find your parents, your best friend from kindergarten, and your Aunt Suzie on these platforms – not yet, anyway. But what you WILL be able to do is speak without fear of censorship. You’ll be able to find your favorite alternative media sources there and find answers that simply aren’t supported by the mainstream.

The only way to change this dystopian atmosphere is to actually make changes ourselves. Go where the freedom is!

MeWe

MeWe calls themselves The Next-Gen Social Network. They raised $4.8 million and launched back in 2016 to take on Facebook and Twitter. They’re about 6 million members strong so far and Mark Weinstein, the founder, plans for it to be 500 million by 2022.

“In the future, MeWe will also revolutionize social media with decentralization, which will render Facebook’s spying and tracking data model completely obsolete,” Weinstein added, a comment that suggests he is indeed trying to replace Facebook.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Big Tech Snuffing Free Speech; Google’s Poisonous ‘Dragonfly’

Leaked Google Secret Memo Admits Abandonment of Free Speech for ‘Safety And Civility’

An internal company briefing produced by Google and leaked exclusively to Breitbart News argues that due to a variety of factors, including the election of President Trump, the “American tradition” of free speech on the internet is no longer viable.

Despite leaked video footage showing top executives declaring their intention to ensure that the rise of Trump and the populist movement is just a “blip” in history, Google has repeatedly denied that the political bias of its employees filter into its products.

But the 85-page briefing, titled “The Good Censor,” admits that Google and other tech platforms now “control the majority of online conversations” and have undertaken a “shift towards censorship” in response to unwelcome political events around the world.

<figcaption>Talk about Russian, er, Jewish, meddling in our 'democracy' ...  Sergey Brin, Billionaire founder of Google</figcaption>
Talk about Russian, er, Jewish, meddling in our ‘democracy’ … Sergey Brin, Billionaire founder of Google

Examples cited in the document include the 2016 election and the rise of Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) in Germany.

Responding to the leak, an official Google source said the document should be considered internal research, and not an official company position.

The briefing labels the ideal of unfettered free speech on the internet a “utopian narrative” that has been “undermined” by recent global events as well as “bad behavior” on the part of users. It can be read in full below.

It acknowledges that major tech platforms, including Google, Facebook and Twitter initially promised free speech to consumers. “This free speech ideal was instilled in the DNA of the Silicon Valley startups that now control the majority of our online conversations,” says the document.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Supreme Court Takes Case That Could End Internet Censorship, Expand First Amendment

Supreme Court Takes Case That Could End Internet Censorship, Expand First Amendment

Supreme Court Takes Case That Could End Internet Censorship, Expand First Amendment

After the recent purge of over 800 independent media outlets on Facebook, the Supreme Court is now hearing a case that could have ramifications for any future attempts at similar purges.

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to take a case that could change free speech on the Internet forever.

Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck, No. 17-702, the case that it has agreed to take, will decide if the private operator of a public access network is considered a state actor, CNBC reported.

The case could affect how companies like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google and YouTube are governed. If the Court were to issue a far-reaching ruling it could subject such companies to First Amendment lawsuits and force them to allow a much broader scope of free speech from its users.

The Court decided to take the case on Friday and it is the first case that was taken after Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the Court.

DeeDee Halleck and Jesus Melendez claimed that they were fired from Manhattan Neighborhood Network for speaking critically of the network. And, though the case does not involve the Internet giants, it could create a ruling that expands the First Amendment beyond the government.

“We stand at a moment when the very issue at the heart of this case — the interplay between private entities, nontraditional media, and the First Amendment — has been playing out in the courts, in other branches of government, and in the media itself,” the attorneys from MNN wrote in their letter to the Court asking it to take the case.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase