For quite some time now, Google has been throwing its weight around. We feared its market control and innovative genius, not mention its shear corporate monetary power. This week they unveiled a project from the Google Labs, called Correlate.
To most, this seems like another aimless Labs project which has promise but doesn’t really do anything useful. However, to the discerning technophile it’s the canary in the cave; the monster is waking from it’s slumber. Google is starting to analyze and connect – or “correlate”, if you will – it’s data.
Now is the time when we (meaning “you”), should start to feel a shortness of breath. If they are starting to correlate the data of all your searches, it’s only a matter of time before they start to build a full psychiatric work-up on everyone that’s done a few thousand searches. Ultimately, the correlation of data will start to fill in glimpses of your personality, you didn’t intend.
This behavior will be considered on the up-and-up because it’s all just to better match the customer with the applicable marketing campaign. In reality is calculated systematic invasion of privacy only the movies could dream of (see: Minority Report). Think twice next time you type in a search request. Definitely expect more personalized advertising.
This is a reoccurring theme for us: Simplicity.
Recently, we were confronted with the challenge of building an effective photography portfolio website.
When we turned to Google to show us inspiration, we hoped the sites ranked first would be full of brillant artwork displayed in a clean, simple, intuitive website. Unfortunately, that was not the case. The site ranked #1 was a Flash-heavy site which took six seconds just to load before any artwork would show. Once the website loaded, we were bombarded with over-produced animation which stole focus from the artwork.
In response to this site and other sites like it, we decided to offer a simple photography website that keeps the focus on the important part: Photography. When start thinking about what we should do instead of what we can do, Flash animations are the first to go. See what simplicity looks like: http://www.0-day.co. Want a photography portfolio that highlights your art and not the web developer’s technical wizardry? That’s what we do.
Capcom senior VP Christian “Sven” Svensson recently madepublic statements regarding how Capcom is now losing millions due to the PSN outage.
Svensson went on to say:
In short, the hackers appear to be trying to ‘punish’ Sony for some perceived injustice, and they’ve been effective in that I suppose. [...] But they’re also punishing millions of other consumers and businesses which makes it impossible to be sympathetic to their ’cause.’
- Company installed technology (DRM, Digital Rights Management) into their product which calls home and verifies the product is, in fact, genuine. The sole function of this technology is to limit functionality.
- Hackers hack authentication server.
- Product becomes unusable for all legitimate users for more than a month.
Now this ridiculous company is complaining that they are losing money as users aren’t using their product, because product use is effectively limited by DRM.
This is a repeating theme. Whether it’s Yahoo Music Servers http://nkdv.co/1S , or Zune DRM servers http://nkdv.co/1T , or Ubisoft DRM Server outage http://nkdv.co/1U, DRM is a bad idea. If you make a good product and distribute it properly, people will buy it. Period. If you are greedy or paranoid, you and your customers will get burned.
This is once again a lesson to all corporations. Concentrate on selling intellectual properties (IP), not protecting them. DRM just creates headaches for legitimate users; it doesn’t stop the hackers, who are its target.