Techcrunch thinks regulating Google is a kind of free trade

The Techcrunch blog is so often teh stupid, I hardly ever read it.  But someone brought a recent post on the site to my attention, and after seeing it I’m reminded again why these days I largely avoid reading stuff like that anymore [2007 is over, by the way, people].

Some anonymous contributor offers an argument so stupid I’ll let it speak for itself:

“Returning to the continent metaphor, this ends up looking quite a bit like free trade. Various businesses (call them sellers), operating within this continent, wish to conduct business with the rest of the world (that is, the population of buyers). The border — which in this case is the search engine — thus has complete control of who can transact and how often.


If we lived in a world where Google didn’t hold sway over such a significant portion of consumer behavior, this kind of regulation wouldn’t be necessary. The market would be self-correcting, and we could trust the individual decisions of a healthy and competitive search industry. Regrettably, due to search dominance, the industry can’t be left to its own devices.”

Get that?  I know it’s fairly incoherent, and if you think I cropped it to look that way read the post for yourself and you’ll see that’s not the case.  Anyway, the view being advanced in the post is that search is like free trade, so that means Google needs to be regulated.

Not being a free-market ideologue or a Google fanboy, I still have to take the only intellectually palatable position here–that Google is a private business and people choose freely to use their product.  They should have a right to run their own business and not be covered by unnecesary, crippling regulations just so some anonymous sissy can get more traffic for his little site.

But back to the absurb metaphor–I guess in the Techcrunch mindset, the discredited ideology of  “free trade,” which has deindustrialized every corner of America and left huge numbers jobless, is to be taken as an unquestioned postive.  It’s just very strange to then see this obvious free-trade ideologue then call for regulation.  I guess that’s just the convenient position for his own interests.

As this anyonymous blogger bleats on, he starts trying to bolster his argument by giving credit to irrational behavior:

“I’ve seen companies choose to not work with Google’s competitors for fear that by building those relationships, they’re damaging the ability to be indexed properly on Google and are anxious that result sets will be compromised. Many likewise believe that by having a monetization relationship through Google, they will somehow achieve higher quality listings through organic search.”

We’ve all seen people who act according to superstition and assumption.  But most of us don’t try to enlist the types of fools he describes–people who are making business decisions based on reading entrails–to help make our points for us.

You couldn’t reason with this greedy, stupid whiner–whoever he is.  Techcrunch describes him as a “well known executive at one of the largest sites on the Internet.”  I highly doubt that.

The iPod Touch is incredible, amazing, with a sensational design to utilize wireless broadband

Apple’s iPod Touch is more than a portable music player with a great-looking interface–it is the Internet browsing device of the future. Yes, that’s right–the future is actually getting here now!

On an academic tour of the northern European capitals back in 2001, I heard from one telecom executive and professor after another about the amazing devices ready to happen when “3G” mobile telephony was launched. Then it launched, with a whimper, in Norway and Japan, and very little changed.

Phones slowly evolved over time after that, with occasional good ideas from the likes of Palm, Nokia, Sony-Ericsson, Blackberry, Samsung and Motorola, but really–as the network caught up, slowly, it became clear that no one had designed a fully-capable thin-layer computer for hooking into the web at broadband speed that actually had the interface to take advantage of it.

Now wi-fi isn’t everywhere yet–Google and Earthlink haven’t even managed to bring it to San Francisco as they promised–but it is found in more and more places. Though the iPod Touch doesn’t have the camera or persistent connection to the cellular telephone network of the iPhone, it is a thinner device that does very well at its few tasks.

It also avoids the entanglement and expense of a(nother) cell phone contract.

Its touch-screen interface is amazing, and gives easy access to the Safari browser (a much better one than the version for PCs) along with a Youtube player and an iTunes music store, which work when connected to wireless Internet, along with the music and video players and calendar and contact managers that can work anywhere. The battery does need to be hooked in, and wall chargers cost about $30 extra, but for such a thin device the battery is decent.

Being able to install more programs would be nice–I still have to look in to how much I can put on there. I’d like to experiment with other browsers, like Opera Mobile, just because I like to try out stuff like that (as I said, the Safari on the Touch is very good). A few office applications would be excellent additions to the program list, and could expand the functionality of the device. But even now, Apple’s iPod Touch is an incredible breakthrough and likely to be a sensational gift for anyone this holiday season.

Search doesn't describe what search engine users are doing any more

I was just thinking about using the web to search for information. Somehow I surmised that it would be much quicker now than ten or even five years ago, by orders of magnitude no less, in time per search to find relatively useful information. And I kind of flashed back to when I used the web in that late 1990s, and I still think it was hard to find stuff out, at least quickly and from multiple sources. This definitely applied to preparing long reports on narrow subjects.

Now it seems so easy to find stuff out on a massively wide range of subjects and bookmark or archive it, it’s not really the same as it was. Now this effect is much less if one looks at it through the tech industry prism, of course, so I emphasize the massively wide range.

So I thought–it’s not really “search” anymore. It’s “get.”

Because an enormous percentage of people take one of the first results on the page–you type in what you want to get and you get it.