Tag Archives: Google

Yet another Open Source Organization?

Google just made some news – and controversy – with their ‘independent’ corporation The Open Usage Commons Foundation. Possibly some kind of 501(c) non-profit organization, we don’t know yet.

It has been instantiated for the sole purpose of trademark management (and enforcement?) for Open Source projects, who are said to be not well positioned to care by themselves. For a start Google assimilated their own projects: Angular, Istio, and GerritCode Review. Own Projects? Oh well, at least for Istio – that was co-developed with IBM – they now clarified who has ownership of its trademark.

In their introduction statement they claim: “[…] Accordingly, a trademark, while managed separately from the code, actually helps project owners ensure their work is used in ways that follow the Open Source Definition by being a clear signal to users that, “This is open source.” […]”

Josh Simmons, the president of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) maintaining the referenced definition has a diplomatic statement to that, which also serves well as a summary: “Of course, OSI is always glad when folks explicitly work to maintain compatibility with the Open Source Definition. What that means here is something we’re still figuring out, so OSI is taking a wait-and-see approach.[1]

Or is this yet another project for the Google Cemetery because the Open Source community is not that into trademarks as cooperations are?

There are more detailed summaries and discussions:

We know who you are and what news you read

… and we only want to improve your site experience and provide you personalised offers of the stuff that you really need.

Right, this is not about the NSA or other mass data retention initiatives by federal governments to fight terrorism. It is just about the common tracking and advertising mechanisms that are embedded in nearly every Web site that you visit every day. It is not only tracked what exactly you read, but also recorded where you went next and when you came back. And this is then aggregated into a quite personal profile of yourself and commercially exploited to offer you the best surfing and shopping experience. So to say Big Data at its best.

Continue reading We know who you are and what news you read

Google vs. China

Google.cn
Good Google?! (image by bonnae)

Hey … the news and blogosphere are full of praise after Google announced that they are considering to discontinue their Chinese business (Google.cn) if they still have to censor search results and to reveal critical privacy information of dissidents to be compliant with Chinese domestic policy.

It is just hard to imagine that Google now suddenly cares more about human rights than about their own wallet. I like more the way how Evgeny Morozov puts it in his post “Doubting the sincerity of Google’s threat” [via netzpolitik.org]:

“Google was in need of some positive PR to correct its worsening image (especially in Europe, where concerns about privacy are mounting on a daily basis). Google.cn is the goat that would be sacrificed, for it will generate most positive headlines and may not result in devastating losses to Google’s business (Google.cn holds roughly 30 percent of the Chinese market).”

So in the end it is still all about the wallet … but ok, Ethan Zuckerman has a maybe more neutral view about the motives in his post “Four possible explanations for Google’s big China move”.

If Google really takes it seriously, I am just curious how long we will have Google.de here in Germany after these alarming developments

Until now apfelkraut.org is still accessible from within Germany, but as I have quite some occurrences of the terms “open” and “free” on this page, I was wondering (like Horatiorama did) if my site can be reached from behind the Great Firewall: Positive, according to just-ping.com and websitepulse.com it is not blocked. So happily at least I do not have to rethink my Chinese business …

[image taken from bonnae]